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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Three months after an accounting scandal was revealed at its Columbia, Md.-based U.S. Foodservice subsidiary, Dutch retailer Ahold says it has uncovered an additional $29 million in accounting errors in other American operations.
The company also announced it will miss a June 30 deadline to finish auditing its books for 2002.
Ahold said other accounting probes have since found an extra $29 million in irregularities, primarily at its Tops markets subsidiary based in Buffalo, N.Y.
Noting that the accounting investigations into its other units had taken longer than expected and that its accountant, Deloitte & Touche, was four to six weeks behind schedule as a result, Ahold pledged to have the remaining probes finished within two weeks, adding that its banks have now agreed to a new deadline of August 15.
Once all the investigations are completed, Ahold said it will review all findings with the audit committee to determine the necessary accounting adjustments to "determine what steps must be taken to strengthen internal controls, to eliminate any improper accounting practices and to take whatever remedial actions are deemed necessary" to reform its business.
Shares of Ahold have recently regained lost ground on upbeat earnings figures, but still down considerably from levels of around $22 a year ago. On Amsterdam's stock exchange, Ahold shares fell 1.6 percent to close at 6.23 euros ($7.39).
Ahold will host an investor's conference call today at 4:00 p.m. CET.