Troubled Dutch retail giant Ahold has said it intends to divest its Spanish operations as part of its "Road to Recovery" programme.

Ahold, which is trying to recover from a damaging accounting scandal, said it aimed to raise at least €2.5bn (US$2.9bn) in proceeds from disposals by 2005.

For its food retail business after disposals, Ahold has targeted a minimum of 5% net sales growth per annum, 5% EBITA margin and 14% return on net operating assets from 2005 onwards.

Ahold said it planned to increase its focus by optimising its retail portfolio with an active disposals program and changes to the organisational structure. It will continue to invest in companies that can achieve a sustainable number one or two position in their markets within three to five years, while also meeting defined profitability and return criteria over time. This goes for joint ventures as well. Companies not capable of meeting these objectives will be divested.

In line with this, Ahold announced its intention to divest its Spanish operations. It has initiated a preparatory review and expects to launch the formal sale process as soon as it is ready.