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Ahold Restated '04 Earnings Show Smaller Loss

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands--Global retailer Ahold NV revealed yesterday in its annual report that its loss in 2004 was 7 million euros ($9 million) less than it previously reported.

Ahold said its correct full-year loss is 438 million euros ($565.5 million) due to "a change" relating to the divestment last year of its BI-LO/Bruno's stores in the United States. The company did not release further details.

The retailer noted that it has made further improvements to its internal controls, but had found "two material weaknesses with respect to our internal controls," and has taken steps to address and compensate for these. One was related to accounting for income tax provisions, and the other was on translating Dutch earnings to generally accepted U.S. accounting principles, Ahold said.

The company also said it has decided to divest its 50 percent stake in a Spanish winery joint venture, Bodegas Williams & Humbert, S.A. Ahold is in negotiations to sell its stake to Jose Medina y Cia S.A., which holds the remaining 50 percent.

Ahold said its annual shareholders meeting will take place May 18, in The Netherlands.
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