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Ahold To Explain Accounting Issue in Conference Call

LONDON - Dutch supermarket group Ahold NV said today it will hold a conference call with analysts Monday to explain an accounting issue that has seen the retailer's shares fall 10 percent in two days, Dow Jones reports.

Ahold's shares began to tumble Thursday after the company's annual report highlighted a discrepancy between Dutch GAAP -- or accounting practices -- and U.S. GAAP.

According to analysts, the report reveals that Ahold's net earnings, which the company released with its annual results March 7 under Dutch GAAP, would be reduced significantly under U.S. GAAP, which wasn't highlighted at the time.

Ahold senior VP Hans Gobes told Dow Jones Newswires that the issue will be "very well explained" in a Monday conference call between analysts and senior management, including chief executive Cees van der Hoeven.

"We feel sorry that the analysts are surprised by the difference between Dutch GAAP and U.S. GAAP as shown in the annual report. We feel the reaction is rather strong, because I think we have explained very well and in detail to analysts about the difference between Dutch and U.S. GAAP," Gobes said.
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