AHOLD REPEATS VOW TO MAKE FINANCES MORE TRANSPARENT

ZAANDAM, Netherlands -- Ahold here repeated last week its promise to begin reporting its financial results according to both U.S. and Dutch generally accepted accounting principles beginning with first-quarter 2002.Dutch GAAP and U.S. GAAP."We hope that this quarterly disclosure will help you see us as one of the most transparent, if not the most transparent, company in our sector."In April, Ahold

ZAANDAM, Netherlands -- Ahold here repeated last week its promise to begin reporting its financial results according to both U.S. and Dutch generally accepted accounting principles beginning with first-quarter 2002.

Dutch GAAP and U.S. GAAP.

"We hope that this quarterly disclosure will help you see us as one of the most transparent, if not the most transparent, company in our sector."

In April, Ahold said it would report quarterly results according to both countries' standards in response to the controversy that ensued after its March presentation of its annual report, which stated the 2001 profit as 1.1 billion euros ($906 million U.S.) according to Dutch GAAP, that subsequently became $105 million according to U.S. GAAP as reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission a month later.

Van der Hoven told the shareholders, "The way the 2001 earnings statement and annual report came to market hardly merits a prize."

At the shareholders' meeting, Ahold also released its sales figures for the 16-week first quarter ended April 21.

Retail sales of its U.S. subsidiary, Ahold USA, Chantilly, Va., rose 16.2% to $7.9 billion in the 16-week first quarter ended April 21, with comparable-store sales up 2%.

Ahold said sales increased at all its U.S. retail operations except Bi-Lo, Greenville, S.C., and sales were better than expected at Bruno's, Birmingham, Ala., which the company acquired last year.

Ahold USA's food-service sales rose 56.6% to $5.4 billion, an increase the company attributed largely to the consolidation of Alliant Foodservice, Deerfield, Ill., another 2001 acquisition.

Van der Hoeven said, "In the U.S., where the economy suffered a telling blow as a result of the Sept. 11 events, both our food retail and food-service operations have been able to improve their performance."

Companywide, Ahold sales grew 22% to $20.3 billion.