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ZAANDAM, The Netherlands - Ahold today announced a 3.8 percent rise in its first-quarter 2002 net earnings (first 16 weeks of the year through April 21, 2002) to Euro 328.0 million (2001: Euro 316.0 million).
"Growth of net earnings and earnings per share excluding goodwill amortization and currency impact in the first quarter of 2002 was obviously below our usual standard, but in line with expectations," said Ahold President & CEO Cees van der Hoeven. "It is largely the result of significant backloading toward the latter half of the year of earnings growth at BI-LO, and in Portugal and Spain, as well as other gains in the first quarter of 2001."
On a pro forma basis, net earnings increased by 22 percent and earnings per share by 10 percent, van der Hoeven said. "By all accounts, the core business continued to perform very well. U.S. Retail, U.S. Foodservice and our large companies in Europe and Latin America all showed substantial sales and earnings growth. Since other companies are catching up, we expect to significantly surpass last year's numbers in the second half of 2002. As an early sign of recently introduced EVA programs, our capital efficiency improved compared to 2001."