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April 25, 2005

NETHERLANDS: Laurus announced fall in Q1 sales

Dutch retail group Laurus has today (Monday) announced sales of €865m (US$1.1bn) in the first quarter of 2005, compared with €954m in the same period a year ago.

Dutch retail group Laurus has today (Monday) announced sales of €865m (US$1.1bn) in the first quarter of 2005, compared with €954m in the same period a year ago.

Like-for-like consumer sales of Edah, Konmar and Super de Boer were down by
8.5% compared with the first quarter of 2004. Edah, Konmar and Super de Boer reported net sales of €726m, compared with €800m in 2004.

Laurus is using a new method of dividing the year into quarters. The first quarter is weeks one to 12 instead of one to 16. The second and third quarters also comprise 12 weeks, followed by a final quarter of 16 weeks.

“Laurus is pursuing its recovery plan that runs up to the end of 2007,” said chairman Harry Bruijniks. “The road to recovery is being resolutely followed, one step at a time. In 2005, apart from further efficiency improvements, the priority for Laurus is to renew the store formats.”

“Edah stores are being converted to the new Edah Lekker & Laag format. Edah
Lekker & Laag sales are substantially better than those of the ‘standard’ Edah
stores but there is scope for further refinement of the format, which will be
implemented in all 60 of the stores already converted to the Edah Lekker & Laag
format,” he said.

“On 20 April, the first store piloting the new Lekker & Laag Superstore format was opened. A further three pilot stores are due to open in the near future, in the west, centre and east of the country,” he said. “With the Lekker & Laag Superstores – megastores carrying a very extensive food range at low prices – Laurus is making further inroads into the still growing discount segment of the Dutch food market.”

“Laurus has its eye firmly on the future,” he said. “The present disappointing sales figures stem from the transitional situation currently affecting the formats.”

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