Earnings per share rise 31.8% to Euro 0.35 Net earnings rise 48.2% to Euro 256.2 million Operating results increase 68.0% to Euro 539.9 million o Sales increase 57.7% to Euro 12.4 billion Reconfirmation of strong earnings growth for full-year 2000 Royal Ahold, the international food provider, achieved second quarter 2000 net earnings of Euro 256.2 million, a 48.2% increase. Sales rose 57.7% to Euro 12.4 billion and operating results increased by 68.0% to Euro 539.9 million. Earnings per share for the quarter rose 31.8% to Euro 0.35. Excluding currency fluctuations, specifically the higher average exchange rate of the U.S. dollar, earnings per common share grew 18.8%. Ahold President Cees van der Hoeven commented that the results were "fully in line with the outlook the company has consistently announced. Our various operating units have performed well and the company is right on track. Our autonomous sales growth is robust while recent acquisitions and new joint ventures have contributed to the significant growth of sales and results." Van der Hoeven reiterated the company's excitement about the adapted multi-channel strategy. "Our activities in the American foodservice sector, targeting the market for out-of-home consumption, are highly promising. This strategy enables us to reach consumers when they are eating out, which they are doing more regularly. We will be prominently positioned across the United States in this rapidly-growing food consumption segment thanks to our acquisition of U.S. Foodservice (UFS), the country's second largest food distributor, and our planned purchase of PYA/Monarch." "In the meantime," the Ahold President said, "we are identifying significant synergy benefits among our foodservice and food retail operations. Jointly, our food retail and foodservice activities are prospering, and that applies to our operations in the United States, Europe and Latin America. We are very positive about the state of business and about our future."