Dutch retailer Ahold has said that all internal forensic accounting investigations at Ahold, its subsidiaries and its joint ventures have been completed, and have revealed a total of €970m (US$1.12bn) in irregularities.

Ahold said that forensic accountants have identified an additional approximately €73m of "intentional accounting irregularities related to improper purchase accounting." The company said it may be required to reduce pre-tax earnings by this additional amount.

The additional €73m excludes the pre-tax earnings reductions of an expected US$856m (compared to around $880m as was previously announced) related to U.S. Foodservice and around $29m principally related to Tops Markets in the U.S. This amount also excludes a reduction of pre-tax earnings of approximately €8m related to the company’s South American subsidiary Disco.

Ahold said the investigation at Disco "has identified questionable transactions, including inaccurate documentation, and control weaknesses."

In total, all of the forensic accounting investigations found approximately €970m of accounting irregularities that may require adjustments in the year 2002 and restatements in one or more prior years.

Ahold said it has created a task force to address the various accounting practices and internal control weaknesses raised, or confirmed, as a result of the investigations. The taskforce will also oversee implementation of required changes, which are expected to be implemented by the end of 2003.

In addition, Ahold said it has made, or is in the process of making, personnel changes involving U.S. Foodservice, Disco, Tops and the Ahold parent company.