AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — Royal Ahold n.v., the owner of Stop & Shop stores in the United States, posted net income of €196 million ($273 million) in the first quarter ended April 19, down 25% from €261 million in the same period a year ago. The decline reflected higher taxes and a €66 million net provision for lease guarantees for BI-LO and Bruno’s, according to the company. Total group sales climbed to €8,654 million ($12,059 million) in the first quarter, up 15% from €7,514 million. EBITDA within Ahold USA rose 27% to €397 million ($553 million) on a 19% gain in sales to €5,170 million ($7,205 million). Operating income at Ahold USA was €239 million ($333 million), up 31%.
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