Ahold finds 970 million euro hole in accounts

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 02 Jul 2003

AMSTERDAM: Dutch global retailer Ahold said yesterday that it had completed internal forensic probes into its accounts and found a total of 970 million euros in irregularities that would force it to restate results. 

Ahold, which first revealed flawed book-keeping in February and sparked a worldwide scandal that forced its top management to fall on their swords, said it had uncovered an additional 73 million euros in intentional accounting irregularities. 

This figure comes on top of a US$856mil accounting hole at the group’s key US Foodservice unit, where a legal investigation is continuing, and other irregularities at its US unit Tops and Latin American business Disco. 

Ahold, which has appointed two former executives of Swedish furniture group Ikea as its chief executive and chief financial officers, did not say where the additional sum was found but said it was related to improper purchasing accounting and that it could reduce its pre-tax earnings by the same amount. 

“All of the forensic accounting investigations found about 970 million euros of accounting irregularities that may require adjustments in the year 2002 and restatements in one or more prior years,” the company said. – Reuter  

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