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• Royal Ahold said this morning that its overall first quarter profit was up 8.9 percent to the equivalent of $402 million (US). In the US, the company said that Q1 profits were down 11 percent to $202 million at Stop & Shop/Giant of Landover, while they were up 16 percent to $72 million at Giant of Carlisle.

• Target Corp. said that its May sales were up 5.5 percent to $4.6 billion, on same-store sales that were off 0.7 percent.

• Rite Aid Stores posted May sales that were up 47.9 percent to $2.5 billion, from $1.7 billion during the same period a year ago. Same-store sales for the month were up 1.3 percent.

For the first quarter, Rite Aid said that sales were up 48.5 percent to $6.6 billion, on same-store sales that were up 1.5 percent.

The overall sales increases were robust because of the company’s acquisition of Brooks Eckerd.

• Longs Drug Stores said that its May sales rose 0.2 percent to $374 million, on same-store sales that were down 1.4 percent.

• Smithfield Foods reported that its fourth quarter net income was down 93 percent, to $2.4 million from $37.1 million during the same period a year ago. The company blamed the plummeting profits on the increased consumption of corn for ethanol, which is driving up the cost of feeding pigs.

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