Dutch bank F. van Lanschot said yesterday [Monday] that it has raised its rating for the country#;s leading retailer, Royal Ahold, from ‘hold#; to ‘accumulate#;.

It gave the company a share price target of €31 (US$29.3).

In a research note, Bank F. van Lanschot said it expected Ahold to maintain organic growth of turnover of 5%. This should be combined with with an 8% annual increase in earnings per share over the next two years, the bank said.

Ahold shares were trading at €23.02 yesterday afternoon, down 0.4% from Friday#;s closing price.