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Group shows support for FDA with boost to budget

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Despite anxieties about plans to spend up to $700 billion to bail out banks, the Food and Drug Administration is getting a $300 million boost to its budget for fiscal year 2009.

The Alliance for a Stronger FDA announced its support Monday for a continuing resolution in Congress that will allow the FDA to spend at a higher rate next year than it could this year. The House passed the resolution Wednesday, and the Senate passed it Saturday.

“Our alliance has advocated for funding for FDA that will enable it to retain its standing as the ‘gold standard’ of consumer protection and to regain the confidence of the American public,” alliance president Wayne Pines said in a statement.

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Walgreens reports yet another record year of earnings

BY Jenna Duncan

DEERFIELD, Ill. For the 34th year in a row, Walgreen Company has reported record-breaking sales and earnings, the company today reported. The company released fourth quarter figured, and credited its aggressive management style of handling expenses for its continued profits.

For the quarter ended Aug. 31, Walgreen Company reported that profits climbed 11.7 percent to $443 million ($0.45 cents per share, diluted), with consideration of a $79 million “vacation accrual adjustment.” In the same quarter last year, the company reported an increase to $397 million ($0.40 cents per share, diluted). 

Furthermore, fiscal net profits for the year rose by 5.7 percent to $2.16 billion. Last year at the same time, profits rolled in at $2.04 billion, the company reported. Per share net earnings for fiscal 2008 jumped 6.9 percent to $2.17 per share, diluted. That compares to last year’s earnings per share, reported at $2.03 per share, diluted. 

Walgreen Company also said that overall sales had risen by increased 8.8 percent to reach a new record for the fourth quarter, $14.6 billion. Yearly total sales were up 8 percent hitting $59 billion, the company said. 

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FGX International lists Siano as new director of marketing

BY Jenna Duncan

SMITHFIELD, R.I. Eyewear designer and seller FGX International today named its new marketing director, that Salvatore Siano. Siano previously was serving as brand manager of Foster Grant, the company said.

Siano will head marketing business to support Foster Grant Sun and reading glasses and also will manage the Magnivision business.

Siano told media representatives that working for Foster Grant has been both exciting and challenging and he is embracing his new role as an opportunity to develop Foster Grant and Magnivision into stronger brands.

Before his position at FGX International, Siano served as senior brand manager for six years at The Holmes Group.

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