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Safeway launches annual fundraising campaign for MDA

BY Anna Mcgrath

PLEASANTON, Calif. Safeway announced its seventh companywide campaign to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association and its work to defeat more than 40 devastating neuromuscular diseases.

Proceeds from the campaign go towards financing medical research and programs to improve the lives of people with neuromuscular diseases.

Safeway’s 2009 MDA campaign commences this month and will last through Labor Day. Over the years the company has raised more that $41.7 million for muscular dystrophy charities.

“Safeway is an invaluable partner that has proven, time and time again, that it cares deeply about people affected by muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases and all people with disabilities,” said MDA national chairman Jerry Lewis. “By reaching out to millions of customers each day, Safeway will raise public awareness while bringing hope and help to the hundreds of thousands of people – kids and adults – living with these muscle-wasting diseases.”

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Craig C. Phillips elected VP, general manager of the oncology business unit at Cephalon

BY Anna Mcgrath

FRAZER, Pa. Cephalon announced Craig C. Phillips was elected VP and general manager of the oncology business unit.

Phillips will be responsible for managing all aspects of the U.S. oncology business including sales, marketing and medical affairs.

“Since joining Cephalon two years ago, Craig has clearly demonstrated an ability to exceed expectations and bring value to our organization through his leadership,” said Robert Roche, EVP of worldwide pharmaceutical operations. “I am confident that Craig’s leadership and vision will support the dynamic growth of the Cephalon oncology business and allow us to continue to bring medicines that matter to the healthcare professionals and patients battling cancer.”

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Spartan fights economy with jump in net sales

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Supermarket operator Spartan Stores had a $9.3 million jump in consolidated net sales during first quarter of its fiscal year 2010, the company announced in an earnings release this week.

That and a 9.4% increase in EBITDA stemmed mostly from Spartan’s acquisition of VG’s Food and Pharmacy stores, the company said. First-quarter operating earnings increased moderately, to $15.1 million compared with first quarter fiscal year 2009.

“We are pleased to report steady operating profits despite the prolonged economic challenges and the incremental costs associated with this year’s business and operational initiatives,” Spartan president and CEO Dennis Eidson said in a statement. “As anticipated, comparable store sales at our retail supermarkets declined during the quarter due to economic uncertainty, which is causing changes in consumer purchase behavior, such as a shift to lower-priced private label products, and price deflation in certain high-volume product categories.”

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