Ahold 'recovering' despite losses

29th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

29 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — Dutch retailer Ahold had a rough time in 2004, reporting on Tuesday a EUR 443 million loss, considerably up on its EUR 1 million negative result in 2003. The company previously announced a 7.3 percent fall in turnover to EUR 52 billion. Ahold was hit by the weak US dollar due to the fact it makes 40 percent of its profits in America.

29 March 2005

AMSTERDAM — Dutch retailer Ahold had a rough time in 2004, reporting on Tuesday a EUR 443 million loss, considerably up on its EUR 1 million negative result in 2003.
 
The company previously announced a 7.3 percent fall in turnover to EUR 52 billion. Ahold was hit by the weak US dollar due to the fact it makes 40 percent of its profits in America.

There were also exceptional accounting losses amounting to EUR 582 million. A large part of this was due to Ahold's sale of shares in supermarket chain ICA.

Fourth quarter profit of EUR 96 million was reported compared with EUR 12 million in the same period in 2003. Bloomberg.com said analysts expected EUR 100 million in profit.  

Ahold chief Anders Moberg said the recovery at the company — which was hit by a massive accountancy fraud in 2003 — was continuing, news agency ANP reported.

The accountancy fraud at its US Foodservice subsidiary sent stocks plummeting at the start of 2003. Several directors were replaced and criminal inquiries continue, while Ahold seeks to restore investor confidence.

"We have made good progress. As we anticipated, this progress did not result in performance improvement in 2004, but we will in due course reap the benefits of our efforts," Moberg said.

As part of its Road to Recovery programme, Ahold said it is targeting 5 percent sales growth and a retail operating margin of 5 percent, Reuters reported.

But financial analysts have expressed scepticism at these targets amid fierce competition among retailers such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

 

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