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Kroger’s Q2 sales up 11.6%; supermarket raises full-year guidance

BY Michael Johnsen

 

CINCINNATI — Kroger Thursday morning reported total sales of $25.3 billion, representing an increase of 11.6% for its second quarter. Total sales, excluding fuel, increased 12.4% in the second quarter over the same period last year.
 
"We are winning with customers because we offer a full range of advantages including a great overall shopping experience, excellent customer service, a complete assortment of both national and corporate brand products and everyday low prices and promotional offerings," stated Rodney McMullen, Kroger CEO. "As we improve our connection with customers, we are also executing our growth plan and delivering on our key performance indicators – all of which is fueling strong financial results for shareholders."
 
Net earnings totaled $347 million, or $0.70 per diluted share, and identical supermarket sales growth, without fuel, was 4.8% in the second quarter of fiscal year 2014, marking the 43rd consecutive quarter of positive identical supermarket sales growth. 
 
Net earnings in the same period last year were $317 million, or $0.60 per diluted share.
 
Based on the second-quarter results, the company raised and narrowed its adjusted net earnings per diluted share guidance to a range of $3.22 to $3.28 for fiscal 2014. The previous guidance was $3.19 to $3.27 per diluted share. Kroger raised its identical supermarket sales growth guidance, excluding fuel, to 3.5% to 4.3% for fiscal 2014. The previous guidance was 3% to 4%. 
 
This is the second consecutive quarter that includes Harris Teeter in Kroger's statement of operations. Year-over-year percentage comparisons are affected as a result.
 
 

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Dr. Hauschka Skin Care launches at CVS/pharmacy Healthy Skincare Centers

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Dr. Hauschka Skin Care has announced the expansion of its partnership with CVS/pharmacy.

As of Sept. 1, a selection of the brand’s skin and body care products, including the newly reformulated Rose Day Cream, launched in 792 CVS/pharmacy “Healthy Skincare Centers” nationwide.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this prestige brand concept with CVS/pharmacy,” said Victor Morrison, CEO of Dr. Hauschka Skin Care. “The ‘Healthy Skincare Centers’ provide an ideal platform for Dr. Hauschka Skin Care to share our efficacious, 100% natural products with even more consumers nationwide. Their Beauty Advisors are trained and on location to prescribe the right skin regimen for each shopper, which speaks volumes about the CVS/pharmacy customer service strategy and aligns with our continued commitment to education."

 

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NABP establishes .pharmacy domain

BY Michael Johnsen

MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. — The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy last week launched the .pharmacy generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) to provide consumers a means for identifying safe, legal and ethical online pharmacies and related resources. 
 
"Because rogue drug sellers continue to proliferate on the Internet, distributing dangerous counterfeit and substandard medications to consumers, the launch of the .pharmacy program is a significant step in protecting the public health, both in the United States and other countries," said NABP president Joseph Adams. "NABP is pleased to begin offering .pharmacy registration so that consumers can easily determine if the site they are using is an appropriately licensed, legitimate pharmacy operating in compliance with program and applicable regulatory standards."
 
Of the tens of thousands of rogue sites selling prescription drugs online, NABP has reviewed more than 10,800 and found that nearly 97% do not follow pharmacy laws and standards established to protect the public health.
 
With this in mind, NABP will grant use of the .pharmacy domain only to legitimate website operators that adhere to pharmacy laws in the jurisdictions in which they are based and in which their patients and customers reside, so that consumers can easily find safe online pharmacies.
 
The first registration phase for .pharmacy domain names will begin in November. This date marks the start of the Sunrise Period­ a preliminary, limited registration period for those trademark holders who have entered their trademarks into the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers Trademark Clearinghouse. During this period, trademark holders may apply to NABP for approval to register their trademark name as a .pharmacy domain. 
 
Following the Sunrise Period, registration for .pharmacy domain names will be open to pharmacy websites that are accredited through the NABP Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites and Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites programs, as well as for pharmacy websites that have received approval through the NABP e-Advertiser Approval Program. These pharmacies and their websites have already undergone a thorough review process and established their compliance with NABP standards for legitimate online practice and are considered eligible to register a .pharmacy domain name.
 
Applications from other pharmacies seeking to register a .pharmacy domain name will be accepted beginning in early 2015. This phase will be followed by the general registration (or general availability) period, which will be open to any entity offering pharmacy-related products, services or information that meets .pharmacy eligibility standards. Entities seeking a .pharmacy domain must first submit an application to NABP. Once approved, applicants will be able to register the domain through an approved registrar. 
 
With the support of an international advisory committee, and the International Pharmaceutical Federation, NABP has developed policies and procedures to ensure that only websites dispensing legitimate medications and operating in a manner that is safe and lawful may use a .pharmacy domain name. The .pharmacy eligibility requirements were developed to address concerns shared by domestic and international stakeholders about illegal online drug sellers distributing products that endanger patient health worldwide. 
 
Among the global coalition of stakeholders behind the .pharmacy initiative are the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, Eli Lilly and Company, European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines, FIP, Food and Drug Administration, Gilead Sciences, Inc, INTERPOL, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, LegitScript, Merck, National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities, Pfizer and state boards of pharmacy.
 
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