Ahold 2004 first quarter sales

5/11/2004, 8:22 AM (Source: GlobeNewswire)
- Consolidated first quarter 2004 net sales amounted to EUR 15.4 billion, a decline of 11.3% compared to the same period last year - Net sales were significantly impacted by lower currency exchange rates; net sales excluding currency impact decreased by 1.4% - Net sales were also impacted by divestments; net sales growth excluding currency impact and impact of divestments was approximately 1.3%

Zaandam, The Netherlands, May 11, 2004 - Ahold today announced
consolidated net sales (excluding VAT) for the first quarter of the
year (16 weeks through April 18, 2004) of EUR 15.4 billion, a decline
of 11.3% compared to the same period last year. Net sales were
significantly impacted by lower currency exchange rates, in
particular that of the U.S. dollar. Net sales excluding currency
impact decreased by 1.4%. Net sales were also impacted by
divestments. Net sales growth excluding currency impact and impact of
divestments was approximately 1.3% in the first quarter. The net
sales numbers are preliminary and unaudited.

USA - retail
In the United States, retail net sales decreased in U.S. dollar by
1.2% to USD 8.2 billion (2003: USD 8.3 billion). The negative impact
of the divestment of Golden Gallon in 2003 on net sales growth was
approximately 1.5%. Identical sales declined by 1.6% and comparable
sales declined by 1.0%, in U.S. dollars. Net sales in the first
quarter were negatively impacted by the Easter calendar effect by
approximately 0.8%; i.e. the first quarter of 2004 included the week
after Easter, compared to 2003 where the first quarter ended with the
week before Easter. Our retail operations in the United States have
seen ongoing challenging market circumstances. Both Stop & Shop and
Giant-Carlisle showed a resilient performance.

Europe - retail
In Europe, net sales declined by 0.9% to EUR 3.7 billion (2003: EUR
3.7 billion). Net sales growth excluding currency impact amounted to
0.5%. Identical sales growth at Albert Heijn was 0.1%; the increase
in transactions was largely offset by a lower average basket size.
Net sales growth in Central Europe was largely offset by lower
currency exchange rates. Net sales in Spain decreased as a
consequence of intensified competition plus a lower store count.

Foodservice
Net sales at U.S. Foodservice increased in U.S. dollars by 4.6% to
USD 5.5 billion (2003: USD 5.3 billion), mainly driven by inflation.

South America
In South America net sales amounted to EUR 336 million (2003: EUR 581
million), down 42.4% from last year, mainly due to the divestment of
Bompreço in Brazil in the course of the first quarter of 2004 and
Santa Isabel in the second half of 2003.

Asia
In Asia net sales declined by 53.2% to EUR 51 million (2003: EUR 109
million). This decline is due to the divestment of our operations in
Malaysia and Indonesia in the course of the third quarter of 2003 and
the divestment of our operations in Thailand during the first quarter
of 2004.

Unconsolidated joint ventures
The net sales of our unconsolidated joint ventures increased by 1.4%
to EUR 2.6 billion (2003: EUR 2.6 billion). In Central America net
sales were significantly impacted by lower currency exchange rates.
Sales growth excluding currency impact in Central America was 19.9%
in the first quarter. Both ICA and Jerónimo Martins showed an
increase in sales.


Definitions
- Identical sales compare sales from exactly the same stores.
- Comparable sales are identical sales plus sales from replacement
stores.
- Currency impact: the impact of using different exchange rates to
translate the financial figures of our subsidiaries to Euros. The
financial figures of the previous year are restated using the actual
exchange rates in order to eliminate this currency impact.
- Impact of divestments: the impact on net sales of divested
operations. Sales of the divested operations are excluded from prior
year sales.

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