AMSTERDAM — Ahold will remain “vigilant about the changing economic environment and rising food prices,” in fiscal 2008, John Rishton, chief executive officer of Ahold, told shareholders at the retailer’s annual meeting Wednesday. “In the United States, price investments related to the acceleration and further rollout of the Value Improvement Program will continue to impact both sales and margins in the first part of the year — with improvements expected later in the year,” he said. Also Wednesday, Ahold said it had sold its 73% stake in retailer Schuitema NV, operator of C1000 stores, to CVC Capital Partners, but will retain a 20% interest in the group. As part of the deal, 58 stores will be converted to Ahold’s Allbert Heijn brand, the company said.
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