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Ahold Q2 Sales Slip Less Than a Point

ZAANDAM, Netherlands -- Impacted by the lower U.S. exchange rate, Ahold posted a sales decline of 0.9 percent to 10.4 billion euros in the second quarter. The company said excluding currency, its sales grew by 0.6 percent.

Generating some 70 percent of its total revenue in the United States, sales at Ahold's flagship Stop & Shop/Giant Food-Landover division stores rose 4 percent to $3.8 billion, with comparable sales at Stop & Shop up by 1.3 percent and down by 4.1 percent at Giant-Landover.

Net sales in Ahold's Giant-Carlisle/Tops unit fell 1.6 percent to $1.5 billion, mainly due to the divestment of 198 convenience stores in the second quarter. Without the spinoff, sales would have been at the same level as the year before, Ahold said.

Ahold this week announced its first acquisition -- up to 67 supermarkets in the Czech Republic from Julius Meinl -- since implementing its "Road to Recovery" turnaround plan after a major financial overstatement scandal erupted in February 2003.

U.S. Foodservice, where much of the earnings overstatement took place, reported a 2.7 percent fall in sales to $4.3 billion, mainly due to the divestment of businesses.

In Europe the flagship Albert Heijn stores had a 4.9 percent rise in second-quarter sales to 1.5 billion euros as the company reaped the spoils of a price war it started in October 2003.
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