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Chief exec of Safeway receives SPIRIT Award from Department of Labor

BY Jenna Duncan

PLEASANTON, Calif. The Department of Labor Wednesday presented Steve Burd, the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Safeway, with the 2008 SPIRIT Award, reports have said. Burd was named for the award because of his mission to create opportunities for people with disabilities.

Former Major League Baseball player Jim Abbott was there to present the award. Abbott has had a successful baseball career, overcoming a condition at birth that left him with just one hand.

SPIRIT is the acronym for “strength in leadership, perseverance in unyielding commitment to achieving success, integrity, serving as a role model, independence and acting as a trailblazer.” The award was presented to Burd at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

“I am deeply honored and proud to be among the Department’s SPIRIT award winners and particularly pleased to be sharing the recognition with Jim Abbott,” Burd said. “Assisting people with disabilities has long been an important part of what Safeway stands for in the community. We have worked hard to ensure that our company is a place where people with disabilities can find rewarding opportunities.”

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Diamond Foods reports quarterly dividend earnings of about $0.05 per share

BY Jenna Duncan

STOCKTON, Calif. Diamond Foods has announced approval by its board of directors of a $0.045 per common share payout.

The company has said that dividend funds will be payable Oct. 29, to stockholders on record as of Oct.16.

Diamond Foods recently completed a successful acquisition of Pop Secret brand microwave popcorn from General Mills, adding to its snack and nut empire. For more information on the company, visit. www.diamondfoods.com.

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Safeway announces its Q3 earnings for 2008

BY Jenna Duncan

PLEASANTON, Calif. Safeway today reported a net income total of $199.7 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, for 2008’s third quarter. This total compares to its net income for the same time 2007, $194.6 million, or $0.44 per diluted share.

Safeway said that its total sales were up by 3.9 percent, totaling $10.2 billion for the third quarter 2008, up from last year’s third quarter total of $9.8 billion. The company said that the rise was caused by profits from Safeway’s Lifestyle stores as well as an increase in fuel prices. Same-store sales were up 2.8 percent with fuel (0.5 percent not considering fuel).

“During the third quarter we took action to provide our customers with better everyday values,” chairman, chief executive officer and presiden, Steve Burd, said in a statement. “As we begin the fourth quarter, our sales momentum is building, with identical-store sales (excluding fuel) currently above 1.5 percent, and we are continuing to reduce costs. We continue to believe our diluted earnings per share for 2008 will be in the range of $2.25 to $2.35 for this 53-week year.”

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