Ahold has announced its intention to sell its Benelux foodservice unit, Deli XL as part of an ongoing strategic review of its operations.

Deli XL is the market leader in he Netherlands and Belgium with consolidated net sales of E837m for 2003. It also provides some 60,000 products to 30,000 hospitals, company canteens, schools and hospitality outlets.

“We have decided to divest Deli XL despite the fact that we believe the company is well placed to take advantage of growth opportunities as the fragmented European foodservice industry consolidates,” said Ahold president and ceo Anders Moberg.