Ahold reported consolidated first quarter net sales of 15.4 billion euros, or about $18.2 billion, an 11.3% decline from last year. The exchange rate of the U.S. dollar contributed 10% of the decline, Ahold said. The sell-off of some Ahold businesses also contributed to the sales decline, the company said.
Retail net sales in the U.S. fell by 1.2% to $8.2 billion, much of that decline coming from the sell-off of Ahold's Golden Gallon chain last year. But net sales at Ahold's Columbia, MD-based U.S. Foodservice division rose by 4.6 % to $5.5 billion, mainly driven by inflation, the company said.
Ahold is struggling to rebuild itself after the discovery of more than $850 million in accounting irregularities at U.S. Foodservice unit last year. New top executives have been brought in at both U.S. Foodservice and Ahold.
Last month, Ahold reported a net loss under Dutch accounting rules of 1 million euros for 2003, or $1.2 million compared with a net loss of 1.2 billion euros, or $1.4 billion, for 2002.