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Ahold Shareholders Take Deloitte to Court

BY CSA STAFF

Amsterdam, Netherlands, Royal Ahold NV shareholders who got hit by the food giant’s accounting scandal in 2003 are taking accountancy firm Deloitte to court in a damages claim that could reach hundreds of millions of euros, the shareholders said as a group in a press release. Deloitte was Ahold’s accountant when the scandal hit.

The shareholders are also putting a claim against former Ahold CEO Cees van Hoeven.

SOBI, an independent Dutch association that acts as financial markets watchdog, said the current claim comes after a very disappointing end to a previous one by the shareholders.

These shareholders then approached SOBI’s Pieter Lakeman to help prepare another round of claims, and he has agreed.

In March, the Dutch disciplinary council for registered accountants ruled Deloitte ‘seriously failed’ in its supervision of Ahold’s US Foodservice. The Netherlands’ Royal Institute for Registered Accountants confirmed the ruling.

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BJ’s reports 8% net sales increase

BY CSA STAFF

NATICK, Mass. BJ’s Wholesale Club on Tuesday reported a net income of $22.7 million for its third quarter, a 24% jump over the prior year’s period.

The wholesaler, who experienced a $1.4 million loss in 2006 because of post-tax and discontinued operations of the company’s ProFoods Restaurant Supply clubs, is seeing nothing but green this year.

Net sales for the third quarter were approximately $2.1 billion, an increase of 8% over the third quarter of 2006, while comparable-club sales grew by 3.4%.

According to the company, strong categories included televisions, small appliances, cheese, coffee, dairy, frozen produce, juices, meat, milk, office supplies, produce, soda and water. Weaker categories over last year included apparel, automotive and tools, cigarettes, pre-recorded video, residential furniture and tires.

BJ’s ceo Herb Zarkin said sales of perishable foods rose 8%—a product category carrying high profit margins that also lifted second quarter results. “Perishable foods represent our greatest opportunity to capture market share from supermarkets,” he noted.

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Ross Stores names Froman to board

BY CSA STAFF

PLEASANTON, Calif. Ross Stores announced on Wednesday that John W. Froman has been elected to its board of directors, effective immediately.

Froman served as president and ceo of NAMCO Pool & Patio from 2005 to 2007. Prior to that, he spent almost 20 years in various management roles at Circuit City, eventually serving as its evp and coo. He began his retail career over 30 years ago at Avon Products, Inc.

“We are delighted to have John Froman join our board of directors,” said vice chairman, president and ceo Michael Balmuth. “We believe that his extensive business knowledge and in-depth retail management experience will make him a valuable resource for the Company and its stockholders.”

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