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    Ahold Expects $30 Billion in U.S. Foodservice Sales by 2004

    AMSTERDAM - Dutch supermarkets group Ahold said it expects to make sales of $30 billion at its U.S. food services business by the end of 2004, The Financial Times reports.

    AMSTERDAM - Dutch supermarkets group Ahold said it expects to make sales of $30 billion at its U.S. food services business by the end of 2004, The Financial Times reports. Further acquisitions of supermarkets or groups of stores are also on the company's agenda.

    "There are lots of companies we have been following for a long time," chief executive Cees van der Hoeven said.

    The company said it plans to make $19 billion in sales at its U.S. foodservice unit this year after reporting a 104 percent acquisition-driven surge in revenues last year to $12 billion.

    Ahold acquired U.S. companies PYA/Monarch and Mutual and Parkway in the last two years. The company generates about 60 percent of its turnover in the United States, according to Reuters.

    Some analysts have speculated that Ahold might be a potential buyer for Kmart Corp., which filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition earlier this week. Van der Hoeven didn't comment directly on Kmart, but said a move into discount retailing is not among his plans. "Within the next three-year period it is unlikely we would move into new channels," he said.

    Still, if Kmart or its creditors sold off individual stores then Ahold could consider snapping some of them up if they were in desirable locations, Ahold spokesman Hans Gobes said, according to Reuters.

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