Royal Ahold (NYSE: AHO), the international food retail and foodservice company, generated consolidated sales (excluding VAT) over the first quarter (16 weeks through April 22, 2001) of Euro 18.2 billion, a rise of 65.8%. Worldwide organic sales grew by 7.4%.

United States: sales up 60.0% to USD 10.2 billion

In the United States, sales increased 60.0% to USD 10.2 billion. The numbers include 16 weeks of sales of U.S. Foodservice, not included in the consolidation in the first quarter of 2000. Sales from Ahold’s retail operations in the U.S. grew to USD 6.8 billion. Organic retail sales grew 7.2%, comparable retail sales 3.3% and identical retail sales 2.9%. All five Ahold USA supermarket companies (Stop & SHOP, Giant-Landover, Giant-Carlisle, TOPS and Bi-Lo) contributed to sales growth. Organic sales growth at U.S. Foodservice was 16%.

Europe: sales increase by 77.5% to Euro 5.7 billion

In Europe, sales rose 77.5% to Euro 5.7 billion. The numbers include three months of sales of ICA Ahold and Superdiplo, not included in the consolidation in the first quarter of 2000. Organic retail sales grew by 8.0%. In The Netherlands, sales were 14.5% higher, partly due to the consolidation of the A&P stores and strong sales growth at Albert Heijn and Schuitema. Operations in other European countries (Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Norway, the Czech Republic and Poland) all contributed to the significant sales rise.

Latin America: sales rise 8.8% to Euro 1.2 billion

In Latin America, sales increased 8.8% to Euro 1.2 billion. Organic retail sales increased by 6.5%. Both Bompreco in Brazil and Disco in Argentina grew sales and gained further market share, despite challenging economic circumstances. Also La Fragua (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras) achieved considerable sales growth.

Asia: sales total Euro 101 million

In Asia, sales amounted to Euro 101 million, marginally lower than the first quarter of 2000 due to exchange rate differences. In local currencies, sales rose considerably. Organic retail sales rose by 3.4%.

Comment by Ahold President & CEO Cees van der Hoeven

‘Ahold continues to post solid sales growth,’ said Ahold President & CEO Cees van der Hoeven. ‘Our multi-channel strategy, which incorporates food retail operations as well as foodservice operations, is working well. The very significant increase in organic sales growth at U.S. Foodservice substantiates this. We are also pleased with the strong organic retail sales growth over the first 16 weeks, reflecting strong customer appreciation for our formats and our broad product offering and other services. These increases have been achieved by virtually all our operating companies and continue into the next months. The way our business is developing makes us confident that we will again meet our targets in full-year 2001.’

Outlook full-year 2001

The Corporate Executive Board confirms it expects sales and operating results to further improve in all trade areas in 2001, reflecting healthy organic growth as well as the contribution of recent acquisitions. Earnings per share for full-year 2001 are expected to be 15% higher than in full-year 2000, excluding currency fluctuations, extraordinary items and goodwill amortization.

Full results for the first 16 weeks will be announced June 7, 2001.

Editor’s note:

  • Organic sales exclude sales from acquisitions and currency fluctuations.
  • Comparable sales are identical sales plus sales from replacement stores.
  • Identical sales compare sales from exactly the same stores.

Royal Ahold

Royal Ahold is a rapidly-growing international food retail and foodservice company with sales in 2000 of Euro 52.5 billion (close to USD 50 billion). Ahold implements a multi-channel, multi-format strategy, serving consumers on four continents directly through food retail and indirectly through foodservice operations while offering various additional services such as internet-based home delivery. Ahold operates or services approximately 8,500 stores in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia, and has significant activities in the foodservice industry. The company employs more than 420,000 associates and serves the needs of over 35 million customers in 25 countries in its stores each week as well as over 200,000 institutional and foodservice accounts.

Royal Ahold press releases may contain ‘forward-looking’ statements. Actual results may differ from such statements as they may have been influenced by factors beyond the Company’s ability to control, as more fully discussed in Royal Ahold’s annual report.