Supermarket giant Ahold Delhaize 4th-quarter profit soars

Ahold Delhaize, the Dutch-Belgian operator of supermarket chains including Stop & Shop and Giant in the United States, says fourth-quarter net profit soared by more than 300 percent to 744 million euros ($909 million) from the same period a year ago, when one-off costs of 243 million euros dented profits.

The company said Wednesday the profit was boosted by a strong holiday season and a reduction in its income tax expenses due to tax reforms in the U.S. and Belgium.

Sales edged down 3.6 percent to 15.76 billion euros ($19.25 billion), although the company says sales would have risen by 1.6 percent at constant exchange rates.

CEO Dick Boer says that "in a dynamic environment, our great local brands delivered strong results, tapping into changing consumer behavior."