Ahold probe finds $1.1 billion in discrepancies

July 2, 2003
As a four-month probe of Netherlands-based supermarket and foodservice operator Royal Ahold ended, the company said it had found another $84.4 million
As a four-month probe of Netherlands-based supermarket and foodservice operator Royal Ahold ended, the company said it had found another $84.4 million in accounting discrepancies. The investigation reportedly discovered a total of $1.1 billion in suspected irregularities.

Ahold, owner of United States grocery store chains including Tops Markets and Giant Food, said it may have to take an $84.4 million charge against pre-tax earnings.

In a news release, Ahold said the most recent discovery concerns purchase accounting errors, but it did not say where discrepancies occurred. Its Columbia MD-based US Foodservice subsidiary is at the center of investigations by the US Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. In February 2003, Ahold disclosed that it overstated earnings due to improper accounting practices.

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