Royal Ahold

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Royal Ahold of the Netherlands is one of the world's largest supermarket operators and one of the world's largest foodservice and retail companies. The official name of the company is Koninklijke Ahold N.V., with Koninklijke the Dutch word for "Royal". Ahold is registered at the New York Stock Exchange, the Euronext exchanges, at several German exchanges and in Zürich.


Company history

The company's origins can be traced back to the 1800s with the founding of the Albert Heijn grocery store in Oostzaan, the Netherlands. The grocery chain expanded through the first half of the 20th century, and went public in 1948. It became the largest grocery chain in the Netherlands, expanded into liquor stores and cosmetic stores in the 1970s, and changed its name to "Ahold". The company expanded internationally starting in the mid 1970s, eventually buying chains in Spain, the United States, and Portgual, and accelerating its acquisitions in the latter half of the 1990s in markets in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia.

This ambitious global expansion was halted by an accounting scandal at a US subsidiary. In February 2003, the CEO and CFO resigned following charges of financial irregularities. Earnings over 2001 and 2002 had to be restated and the company began selling off some of its grocery chains in Latin America and elsewhere. By 2003, Ahold had totally pulled out of Asia. It has also pulled out of Brazil, once a sizable market for Ahold, and it has sold the Bi-Lo chain in the United States.

Currently, Royal Ahold is still the fourth largest retail based company in the world after Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Home Depot. However, a large part of its turnover is from foodservice, and on the basis of retail sales alone it would rank a few places lower.

Who they own



Latin America

Who owns them

Some of Ahold's major Shareholders are


The previous CEO and CFO, who resigned following the recent accounting scandal, were Cees van der Hoeven and Michael Meurs, resp.



In the turbulent first quarter of 2004 sales declined 11% to 15,4 billion and Ahold recorded a net loss of € 405 million. This was partly a result of the sale of subsidiaries in Brazil and Thailand at unfavorable prices, in an effort to limit the effects of the accounting scandal. At the end of the quarter, net debts were € 7,1 billion.

Over the full year 2004, Ahold's net sales were 52 billion €. This resulted in an operating income of 195 million € and a net loss of 436 million € by Dutch GAAP (€ 110 million by US GAAP). The net debt had been reduced to € 6.3 billion.

See also


  • Helsingin Sanomat ( (daily, print version, 15.6.2004)

Adapted from CorpKnowPedia article under the clauses of GFDLnl:Ahold


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