Royal Ahold (NYSE:AHO), the international food provider, expects its sales in Spain will double within three years to approximately Euro 4 billion annually. The growth projection is based on strong autonomous sales growth and new acquisitions. So stated Ahold President & CEO, Cees van der Hoeven, while addressing a group of Spanish retailers at a Food Congress in Valencia yesterday. Including the acquisition of supermarket operator, Superdiplo, Ahold in Spain will own at year-end 530 stores with annualized sales of Euro 2 billion. It makes the company’s Spanish operations three times as large as they are today.

Ahold National Player in Spain

“Ahold will be one of the few prominent national food distributors in Spain,” said Van der Hoeven in Valencia. “In just a short period of time, we have built up an excellent position and offer our customers quality stores and outstanding service. We can quickly react to any new developments in the marketplace and new economies of scale help us to further strengthen our position.” Van der Hoeven also stated that Ahold, in addition to acquisitions, also opened 110 new stores in Spain by year-end.

Superdiplo Acquisition to be Finalized Before End 2000

Van der Hoeven said he expects that the Superdiplo transaction will be completed before year-end. The offer for all outstanding Superdiplo shares is currently being prepared and will be issued once Spanish Stock Market authorities in Madrid approve the prospectus. The planned acquisition of Superdiplo immediately contributes to Ahold’s earnings per share.

Superdiplo – Strong Market Position

Superdiplo operates over 300 supermarkets and hypermarkets in southern Spain, on the Canary Islands and in the Madrid region. The locations perfectly blend with the existing Ahold locations. The company has sales of approximately Euro 1.5 billion. The Superdiplo stores serve more than 4 million customers weekly and feature extensive fresh departments along with a wide assortment of groceries and household items.

Excellent Synergy Contributions

The addition of Superdiplo allows Ahold to benefit from the many economies of scale and synergies available, including knowledge exchange and best practices. The synergies are expected to come from the areas of procurement, logistics, IT, distribution and category management, among others.

Background

Royal Ahold is a rapidly growing international food provider with leading supermarket operations in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The company operates more than 7,000 supermarkets, hypermarkets and specialty stores with annualized sales of over USD 50 billion. The company services more than 30 million weekly. In the United States Ahold is the leading supermarket operator along the eastern seaboard with more than 1,100 stores (including Stop & Shop, Giant, Tops, and Bi-Lo), a nationwide food service operation (U.S. Foodservice) and growing e-commerce activities. Annualized US sales amount to over USD 32 billion.

In addition to its listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: AHO), Ahold’s shares are trading on the Amsterdam Exchanges and on the Swiss Exchange. Additional information is available on Ahold’s website: http://www.ahold.com.

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.