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AccentHealth announces nine new condition-specific TV networks

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — A health education television network has added nine condition-specific networks.

AccentHealth said in addition to its current lineup of four networks, the company will focus its attention on diabetes, heart health, men’s health, mental health, senior women’s health, rheumatology, allergies, asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease. These networks will reach and educate more than 13 million patients in doctors’ waiting rooms each month through its digitally delivered content, the company said.

"The digital age allows us to refine health messaging, directing specific information to only the most relevant patients, providing the information they want, when and where they are eager to learn and can discuss it with their physicians," AccentHealth CEO Daniel Stone said.

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99 Cents Only sees slight Q4 comps growth

BY Gail Hoffer

CITY OF COMMERCE, Calif. — 99 Cents Only Stores announced that retail sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, a 14-week period, were $366.4 million, compared with $328.6 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, a 13-week period. The additional week included in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 contributed an additional $26.9 million of retail sales, the company reported. Same-store sales, calculated on a comparable 13-week period, increased 0.5%

The company reported that consolidated net income increased by $1 million to $17.9 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, versus $16.9 million in the prior year, or 24 cents per diluted share.

Eric Schiffer, CEO of 99 Cents Only Stores, stated, "We are pleased with the continued progress of our long-term operational improvement programs. Continuous improvement in all areas of our cost structure has enabled us to achieve a pre-tax profit margin of 7.4% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 versus 7.3% for the same quarter in the prior year, and 8.3% for the full fiscal year versus 6.9% for the prior year. Despite continued improvement in our pre-tax profit margin, our net income as a percentage of sales declined for the fourth quarter to 4.7% versus 5.0% last year. This percentage decline was primarily due to an increase in the effective tax rate from 31.9% of pre-tax income to 36.3% of pre-tax income, primarily due to one-time tax benefits in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010."

The company believes that revenue growth in fiscal 2012 will primarily result from new store openings and increases in same-store sales. For fiscal 2012, the company expects same-store sales to be positive in low single digits and plans to open at least 16 stores with most of its new stores expected to be opened in California. The first new stores should open in July and the majority of the store openings will be in the second half of fiscal 2012.

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A&P divests Superfresh stores in auction

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. — Grocer A&P recently completed the previously announced auction of 25 Southern Superfresh locations as it continues to implement its financial and operational restructuring, the company announced on Wednesday.

The winning bids, which are subject to approval from the bankruptcy court before the sales would be completed, will be listed in motions of the company to be filed with the court on May 27. The winning bids are as follows:

  • Ten stores — two in Baltimore and one each in Parkville, Arnold, White Oak, Lutherville, Cambridge, Chestertown and Brunswick, Md.; and Washington, D.C. — were won by a joint venture between Mrs. Greens Management and Village Supermarkets. The White Oak and Lutherville, Md., stores will be operated by Village Supermarkets, with the remaining stores to be operated by Mrs. Greens Management;

  • The Ellicott City, Md., store was given to Supervalu;

  • The Westminster, Md., store was given to its landlord, Englar Center Limited Partnership; and

  • In addition, the prescription customer lists of seven Superfresh stores were awarded to three different bidders (three to Walgreens, three to Safeway and one to CVS/pharmacy). Based on these results, the company expects auction proceeds in excess of $40 million.

The bankruptcy court is expected to consider its motions on these proposed sales at a hearing on June 14. A&P expects to cease operating these 12 stores by mid-July.

The company anticipates closing the 13 remaining Superfresh locations that were not sold at auction. These locations are expected to be closed by mid-July, subject to approval by the court.

As previously announced, the company’s Superfresh locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Maryland/Delaware shore area were not included in this bidding process. These stores continue to operate as normal.

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