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    Ahold Reports Drop in Second-Quarter Sales

    ZAANDAM, The Netherlands -- Royal Ahold here said today that its consolidated sales for the second quarter ended July 12 were Euro 13.0 billion, a decline of 12.4 percent, compared with the Euro 14.8 billion reported for the same period in 2002.

    ZAANDAM, The Netherlands -- Royal Ahold here said today that its consolidated sales for the second quarter ended July 12 were Euro 13.0 billion, a decline of 12.4 percent, compared with the Euro 14.8 billion reported for the same period in 2002. In a difficult trading environment, sales, excluding currency impact, increased by 2.5 percent, and organic sales growth, excluding currency impact, amounted to 1.3 percent. All numbers exclude sales of joint ventures and are unaudited.

    In the United States, Ahold said its retail sales increased 1.1 percent to $6.2 billion. Organic sales growth also amounted to 1.1 percent. Comparable sales declined by 1.1 percent, while identical-store sales declined by 1.9 percent.

    In a related development, Ahold also said today that it has reached an agreement with its syndicate of banks to extend the deadline for the delivery of audited consolidated fiscal year 2002 financial statements to Sept. 30. After the completion of all internal forensic accounting investigations, as announced July 1, Ahold is determining and processing the accounting adjustments required as a result of these investigations and of the audit. In consultation with its auditors, Deloitte & Touche, Ahold has concluded that this process is taking longer than expected.

    The delay in completion of the audited consolidated fiscal year 2002 financial statements will further delay the publication and filing of its annual report. Ahold said it will publish and file the annual report as soon as possible after completion of the audited consolidated financial statements.

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