Ahold has announced it is to open 1,250 new and remodeled stores to boost organic growth. The company expects its total store count to reach approximately 9,000 by the end of the year. "Our strength lies in our ability to achieve significant organic growth while acquiring and integrating world-class companies into our group," said president Cees van der Hoeven. Last year Ahold reported sales growth of 6.6% and operating results of 13.6%. The board said it expected sales and operating results to improve in all trade areas in 2001, reflecting healthy organic growth alongside the contribution of recent acquisitions. {{NEWS }}