SOURCE: Ahold NV

January 25, 2008 01:06 ET

Ahold Trading Statement Q4 2007

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - January 25, 2008) -



Amsterdam, the Netherlands - Ahold today announced consolidated net sales of EUR 6.6 billion for the fourth quarter ended December 30, 2007. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2006, net sales increased by 0.2% and increased by 6.5% at constant exchange rates. For the full year, consolidated net sales of EUR 28.2 billion were 1.2% higher compared to 2006. At constant exchange rates, consolidated net sales were up 6.1%.

In Europe, market conditions were favorable. In the United States, the turbulent economic environment did not have a significant impact on local market conditions. Price investments related to the further roll-out of the Value Improvement Program, launched in September 2006 at Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover, will continue to impact margins.

For full year 2007, Ahold reiterates that total retail operating margin will be at the higher end of its 4.0% to 4.5% guidance.

Sales performance

Stop & Shop / Giant-Landover

Fourth Quarter

  * Net sales increased 2.0% to $3.9 billion.
  * Identical sales increased 2.7% at Stop & Shop (1.2% excluding
    gasoline net sales). Identical sales decreased 0.5% at
    Giant-Landover, impacted by lower pharmacy sales.
  * Comparable sales increased 3.1% at Stop & Shop and decreased 0.3%
    at Giant-Landover.

Full Year

  * Net sales increased 1.5% to $16.7 billion.
  * Identical sales increased 1.3% at Stop & Shop (0.6% excluding
    gasoline net sales) and decreased 1.1% at Giant-Landover.
  * Comparable sales increased 1.7% at Stop & Shop and decreased 0.9%
    at Giant-Landover.

Giant-Carlisle

Fourth Quarter

  * Net sales increased 8.6% to $1 billion, due in part to the
    acquisition of the Clemens Markets stores in the fourth quarter
    of 2006.
  * Identical sales increased 4.8% (3.8% excluding gasoline net
    sales).
  * Comparable sales increased 5.7%.

Full Year

  * Net sales increased 13.0% to $4.3 billion, due in part to the
    acquisition of the Clemens Markets stores in the fourth quarter
    of 2006.
  * Identical sales increased 3.7% (3.2% excluding gasoline net
    sales).
  * Comparable sales increased 5.1%.

Albert Heijn

Fourth Quarter

  * Net sales increased 12.9% to EUR 2 billion, due in part to the
    acquisition of the Konmar stores in the fourth quarter of 2006.
  * Net sales at Albert Heijn supermarkets increased 12.6% to EUR 1.8
    billion.
  * Identical sales at Albert Heijn supermarkets increased 9.3%.

Full Year

  * Net sales increased 12.1% to EUR 8 billion, due in part to the
    acquisition of the Konmar stores in the fourth quarter of 2006.
  * Net sales at Albert Heijn supermarkets increased 12.3% to EUR 7.3
    billion.
  * Identical sales at Albert Heijn supermarkets increased 7.9%.

Albert / Hypernova (Czech Republic and Slovakia)

Fourth Quarter

  * Net sales increased 16.7% to EUR 427 million (10.8% at constant
    exchange rates).
  * Identical sales increased 10.1%.

Full Year

  * Net sales increased 12.5% to EUR 1.6 billion (9.1% at constant
    exchange rates).
  * Identical sales increased 6.8%.

Schuitema

Fourth Quarter

  * Net sales increased 3.1% to EUR 773 million.
  * Identical sales increased 2.0%.

Full Year

  * Net sales increased 2.4% to EUR 3.3 billion.
  * Identical sales increased 1.3%.

Unconsolidated joint venture - ICA

Fourth Quarter

  * Net sales increased 22.1% to EUR 2.4 billion, due in part to ICA's
    acquisition of the full ownership of Rimi Baltic AB in December
    2006 (21.9% at constant exchange rates).

Full Year

  * Net sales increased 22.2% to EUR 8.9 billion, due in part to ICA's
    acquisition of the full ownership of Rimi Baltic AB in December
    2006 (22.0% at constant exchange rates).

Net sales per segment


                Q4 2007     Q4        %        FY       FY       %
(in millions)              2006    Change     2007     2006    Change
All segments
(in euros)

Stop & Shop /
Giant-Landover    2,700    2,975    (9.2%)   12,192   13,089   (6.9%)
Giant-Carlisle      712      737    (3.4%)    3,145    3,032     3.7%
U.S. retail       3,412    3,712    (8.1%)   15,337   16,121   (4.9%)

Albert Heijn      2,001    1,773     12.9%    7,998    7,136    12.1%
Albert /
Hypernova           427      366     16.7%    1,558    1,385    12.5%
Schuitema           773      750      3.1%    3,259    3,184     2.4%
Europe retail     3,201    2,889     10.8%   12,815   11,705     9.5%

Ahold Group       6,613    6,601      0.2%   28,152   27,826     1.2%

Unconsolidated
joint venture -
ICA               2,385    1,953     22.1%    8,900    7,285    22.2%
Average U.S.
dollar exchange
rate
(EUR per USD)    0.6894   0.7747   (11.0%)   0.7307   0.7964   (8.2%)


U.S. segments
(in U.S.
dollars)

Stop & Shop /
Giant-Landover    3,917    3,840    2.0%     16,689   16,438     1.5%
Giant-Carlisle    1,033      951    8.6%      4,307    3,812    13.0%


On November 6, 2006, Ahold announced its intention to divest U.S. Foodservice, its retail activities in Slovakia and Poland, the remaining Tops operations in New York and Pennsylvania, and its stake in JMR. Poland, Tops, U.S. Foodservice and JMR are classified as discontinued operations. On July 2 and 3, 2007, Ahold completed the sale of its Polish retail and U.S Foodservice operations, respectively. On November 21, 2007, Ahold announced its decision to continue to operate in Slovakia. On December 3, 2007, Ahold completed the sale of Tops.


Ahold Press Office: +31 (0)20 509 5291

Notes

The net sales figures presented in this trading statement are preliminary and unaudited.

Definitions

  * Identical sales: net sales from exactly the same stores in local
    currency for the comparable period.
  * Comparable sales: identical sales plus net sales from replacement
    stores in local currency.
  * Constant exchange rates: excludes the impact of using different
    currency exchange rates to translate the financial information of
    certain of Ahold's subsidiaries or joint ventures to euros. For
    comparison purposes, the financial information of the previous
    year or quarter is adjusted using the average currency exchange
    rates for the current year or quarter in order to understand this
    currency impact.

Non-GAAP financial measures

This trading statement includes the following non-GAAP financial measures:

  * Net sales, at constant exchange rates. In certain instances, net
    sales are presented at constant exchange rates or are presented
    in local currencies. Ahold's management believes these measures
    provide a better insight into the operating performance of
    Ahold's foreign subsidiaries or joint ventures.

  * Identical sales, excluding gasoline net sales. Because gasoline
    prices have experienced greater volatility than food prices,
    Ahold's management believes that by excluding gasoline net sales,
    this measure provides a better insight into the effect of
    gasoline net sales on Ahold's identical sales.

Ahold's financial year


  * Ahold's reporting calendar is based on 13 periods of four weeks.
    The quarters in 2007 are as follows:

First Quarter        January 1 to April 22, 2007
Second Quarter       April 23 to July 15, 2007
Third Quarter        July 16 to October 7, 2007
Fourth Quarter       October 8 to December 30, 2007

In case of any discrepancy between the English and Dutch versions of this press release, the English version will prevail.

Forward-looking language notice

This press release includes forward-looking statements, which do not refer to historical facts but refer to expectations based on management's current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those included in such statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements as to the expected impact of the Value Improvement Program on Stop & Shop's and Giant-Landover's margins, the expected total retail operating margin for full year 2007 and Ahold's intention to divest its stake in JMR. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond Ahold's ability to control or estimate precisely, such as the effect of general economic or political conditions, fluctuations in exchange rates or interest rates, increases or changes in competition, Ahold's ability to implement and complete successfully its plans and strategies, the benefits from and resources generated by Ahold's plans and strategies being less than or different from those anticipated, changes in Ahold's liquidity needs, the actions of competitors and third parties and other factors discussed in Ahold's public filings. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Koninklijke Ahold N.V. does not assume any obligation to update any public information or forward-looking statements in this release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as may be required by applicable securities law.


Please open the link below for the full version of the Trading Statement Q4 2007:

Ahold Trading Statement Q4 2007 -- http://hugin.info/130711/R/1185091/237105.pdf



Copyright © Hugin AS 2008. All rights reserved.

Contact Information