ID NEWS: Ahold gets one-day extension to report results

Royal Ahold, Zaandam, The Netherlands, has announced it will issue a release on its audited consolidated fiscal year 2002 financial statements for fiscal 2001 and 2000 on Thursday, October 2, at 8:00 a.m. CET, following Wednesday trading hours in Amsterdam and New York. Its syndicate of banks has agreed to the one-day deferral.

Furthermore, Ahold stressed it would pay 678 million euros worth of convertible subordinated notes that mature on Tuesday, in full and in cash.

According to Reuters, the company's equity base will be reduced as a result of goodwill write-offs for its Columbia, MD, based U.S. Foodservice subsidiary, where more than $800 million in profit overstatements were discovered earlier this year. These impairments are seen at 2-3 billion euros. Profits will have to be adjusted to reflect profit overstatements of about $1 billion over two years.

Reuters says there is no consensus analyst forecast for Ahold's 2002 net profit because of wide variations in estimates for writedowns and charges.

Meanwhile, Ahold has divested its supermarkets in Paraguay and, according to Reuters, said on Tuesday it sold two shopping centers in the Czech Republic, part of a venture 65% owned by Investkredit Bank AG.
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