Royal Ahold (NYSE: AHO), the international food provider, today reported 2000 consolidated sales of Euro 52.2 billion, a 55.7% rise over the Euro 33.6 billion sales generated in 1999. Organic(a) sales growth, at constant currency rates, was 6.3% higher for the year.

In the United States, sales rose 35.4% to USD 27.5 billion. This increase includes the acquisition of U.S. Foodservice. Ahold achieved strong organic sales growth in both its food retail and foodservice activities in the U.S.

In Europe, sales surged 59.6% to Euro 16.7 billion, partially reflecting the consolidation of the ICA Group in Scandinavia. All other European trade areas achieved substantial sales growth, supported by the opening of new supermarkets and hypermarkets.

In Latin America, sales increased by 43.7% to Euro 5.0 billion. This considerable increase is a reflection of the new partnership with La Fragua in Central America and of strong sales growth in Brazil and Argentina.

In Asia, sales decreased 15.4% to Euro 402.6 million as a result of the divestment in 1999 of activities in Singapore and China.

Remarks by Ahold President & CEO Cees van der Hoeven:

"We are very pleased with this sharp growth in sales. Sales during the fourth quarter -- and specifically during the Christmas period -- were very strong in all operating areas. In the United States, fourth quarter identical* sales were up 3.2%, which translates into comparable* sales growth of 4.1%. This underlines the overall strength of our competitive position."

2000 Earnings Outlook Reconfirmed

Ahold reconfirms its outlook that operating earnings in 2000 in all regions will increase over 1999. Net earnings will be sharply higher and earnings per share, at constant currency rates, are expected to rise by 17-20% compared to 1999.

Ahold will release fourth quarter and full-year 2000 results on March 6, 2001.

All figures are exclusive of sales tax.
Organic sales exclude sales from acquisitions.
Identical sales compare sales from exactly the same stores.
Comparable sales are identical sales plus sales from replacement stores.

Background

Royal Ahold operates approximately 8,500 supermarkets, hypermarkets and other store formats in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia with 2000 sales of Euro 52.2 billion. The company is also developing significant experience in the foodservice industry and as an e-commerce player. Ahold employs more than 400,000 associates and serves the food needs of over 30 million loyal customers in 26 countries every week.

In addition to its listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: AHO), Ahold's shares are trading on the Amsterdam Exchanges and on the Swiss Exchange. Additional information is available on Ahold's website: http://www.ahold.com.

Royal Ahold press releases may contain 'forward-looking' statements. Actual results may differ from such statements as they may have been influenced by factors beyond the company's ability to control.