Ahold announces strategy for profitable growth

Highlights: - Divest U.S. Foodservice - Appoint European Chief Operating Officer and U.S. Chief Operating Officer - Reduce operating costs by EUR 500 million by end 2009 - Cut Group Support Office costs by 50% by end 2008 - Divest Tops and retail operations in Poland and Slovakia - Sell holding in Jerónimo Martins Retail - Implement brand improvement and value repositioning - Reaffirm targets as retail net sales growth of 5% and retail operating margin of 5% - Return approximately EUR 2 billion to shareholders and reduce debt by approximately EUR 2 billion, following divestments Amsterdam, the Netherlands, November 6, 2006 - Ahold today announced plans and financial targets resulting from its Retail Review, which began in May of this year. The plans announced are designed to accelerate identical sales growth, improve profit returns and strengthen the company's foundation for future expansion, creating additional value for its shareholders. The new plans focus on Ahold's core retail businesses in the United States and Europe, the continued roll-out of value repositioning programs, and the reduction of operating costs by EUR 500 million by end 2009. The company has also announced the appointment of new Chief Operating Officers in the United States and Europe to lead its restructured continental organizations. "Since the crisis in 2003, we have completed a comprehensive revitalization program." said Ahold President and CEO Anders Moberg. "We have substantially reduced debt, divested non-core assets, transformed business and financial controls, and resolved multiple investigations and litigation issues. At the same time, we have implemented a successful repositioning program at Albert Heijn and ICA and recovered significant value in U.S. Foodservice." "It is now time for us to focus our efforts on strengthening our retail competitive position, particularly in the United States. We will apply our consumer insight much more actively to improve our product, service and price offering in order to increase customer loyalty." "At the heart of our new continental structure is our commitment to remaining a strong global team." Moberg continued. "Our new structure will enable us to execute our strategy more effectively as a combined organization. We will be able to better drive operational synergies and leverage our retail capabilities and talent across all of our businesses. Our people have always been and will continue to be our greatest asset." Ahold Press Office: +31 (0)20 509 5343 Open the link below for the full press release: