Ahold expects its Czech retail business to make a loss for the fiscal year, with its hypermarkets predicted to come under particular pressure.

Fierce competition in the Czech market and the fact that customers are increasingly turning away from shopping at hypermarkets and supermarkets will likely depress sales in the country, the Dutch retail giant has indicated.

“It is especially the former of the two store formats where we are witnessing a fall,” a spokesperson for Ahold told just-food.

However, the spokesperson declined to comment on just how much Ahold is expecting to lose in the Czech market in 2009.

According to local press reports, Ahold’s Czech operations have been in the red for six of the past nine years.