ALFA BETA CHAIN IS READY TO EXPAND

ATHENS, Greece -- Alfa Beta Vassilopoulos here, which generated double-digit increases in both sales and earnings last year, expects to open four new supermarkets during 1994.of the chain.Alfa Beta's four-store expansion project follows a restructuring of administrative and logistics departments last year.Delhaize, which holds 50% of Alfa Beta, said it had assisted its Greek subsidiary with these

ATHENS, Greece -- Alfa Beta Vassilopoulos here, which generated double-digit increases in both sales and earnings last year, expects to open four new supermarkets during 1994.

of the chain.

Alfa Beta's four-store expansion project follows a restructuring of administrative and logistics departments last year.

Delhaize, which holds 50% of Alfa Beta, said it had assisted its Greek subsidiary with these changes "to improve working methods and management systems." Delhaize also said it enjoys an "excellent partnership with the local management." The Belgian retailer, which also owns the 1,000-store Food Lion chain of supermarkets in the United States, acquired its Alfa Beta holding in 1992.

Alfa Beta recently completed a strong fiscal 1993. Sales, including valued-added taxes, increased 31% last year to about $228 million (53.6 billion Greek drachmas at the exchange rate of 235 drachmas per $1).

Net income rose 87% to $3.2 million, or about 1.4% of sales.

Additionally, Delvita, a Delhaize holding in the Czech Republic, also expects to open four new supermarkets as part of its 1994 expansion. Delvita operated eight supermarkets in Prague at the end of 1993.

Delvita said its sales tripled in 1993, due in part to the modernization of the company's stores throughout 1993 and the opening of a new unit at the end of the year. Delvita said its stores have become "real supermarkets with quality products at aggressive prices."

Sales at Delvita totaled $27.5 million (769 million Czech koruna at the exchange rate of 28 koruna per $1) last year. This compared with sales of $8.5 million in 1992.

Cash flow totaled $264,000, the company said. Neither year-ago cash flow nor net earnings were reported.

Delhaize owns 88.5% of Delvita.