AMSTERDAM (AP) — Royal Ahold NV, the Dutch owner of supermarket chains Stop & Shop and Giant, said U.S. sales rose 4.3 percent to $6.1 billion (€4.6 billion) in the fourth quarter from the same period the year before, with its performance boosted by its stores remaining mostly open during Hurricane Sandy.

Ahold said "identical sales," which strip out acquisitions and gasoline sales, were up a more modest 1.4 percent.

Including Ahold's European chains, sales rose 7.5 percent to €7.8 billion ($10.4 billion), due mostly to acquisitions. Ahold operates the dominant Albert Heijn chain in the Netherlands, as well as chains in Scandinavia and the Czech Republic.

Ahold reports complete earnings results Feb. 28.