AHOLD USA RETAIL POSTS 1.2% DECLINE IN 1Q SALES

ZAANDAM, Netherlands -- Ahold here last week said its sales in the U.S. fell 1.2% in the first quarter, to $8.18 billion, compared with last year's first-quarter results.The company said the divestment of the Golden Gallon convenience-store chain in 2003 lowered sales by about 1.5% for the quarter, and the later Easter this year reduced sales by about 0.8%. Identical-store sales for the period fell

ZAANDAM, Netherlands -- Ahold here last week said its sales in the U.S. fell 1.2% in the first quarter, to $8.18 billion, compared with last year's first-quarter results.

The company said the divestment of the Golden Gallon convenience-store chain in 2003 lowered sales by about 1.5% for the quarter, and the later Easter this year reduced sales by about 0.8%. Identical-store sales for the period fell 1.6%, and comparable-store sales, which include replacement stores, fell 1%.

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