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Sales of Nivea, Eucerin increase during first half of 2014 at Beiersdorf

BY Antoinette Alexander

HAMBURG, Germany — Beiersdorf released results for the first half of the year and recorded a lift in sales of Nivea and Eucerin brands in the consumer business segment.

The consumer business segment recorded organic sales growth of 5% in the first half of the year. The strong euro led to a reduction in this figure of 5.1 percentage points as a result of negative effects from currency translation, the company stated. Structural changes reduced growth by 0.1 percentage points. In nominal terms, sales therefore decreased by 0.2% to €2,637 million.

Nivea sales rose by 6.1% compared with the previous year. In the first half of 2014, Eucerin continued its strong sales performance of the previous year, recording a 6.8% increase in sales. La Prairie recorded sales growth of 7.0%.

Consumer sales in the Americas were down 4% on the previous year (€464 million), due to exchange rate changes for the U.S. dollar and the key South American currencies. Organic sales in the Americas region rose by 4.8%. Sales in North America were up 4.2% on the previous year.

Organic group sales in the first half of the year were up 5.0% on the prior year. Growth was reduced by 4.8 percentage points due to exchange rate effects. Nominal group sales were up 0.2% on the previous year, at €3,171 million (previous year: €3,163 million). The consumer business segment recorded organic growth of 5.0%, while sales grew organically by 5.4%.

Looking ahead, the company stated that it expect slightly higher growth in the United States economy in 2014. Alongside increased consumer spending due to a lower unemployment rate, it anticipates higher public spending.
 

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Cardinal Health approves quarterly dividend, announces board leadership changes

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio – Cardinal Health on Wednesday announced that its board of directors approved a cash dividend of $0.34 per common share payable on Oct. 15, 2014, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Oct. 1, 2014.
 
The board of directors also authorized an increase by $1 billion to its existing share repurchase program announced on Oct. 31, 2013.  With this addition, the Cardinal Health program has approximately $1.7 billion available for share repurchases and expires on Dec. 31, 2016. 
 
Also, John Finn, a Cardinal Health director since 1994, has informed the company that he has decided not to stand for re-election when his term expires at the 2014 annual meeting of shareholders. Effective Nov. 1, 2014, the board has appointed Gregory Kenny as lead director and chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee. Kenny, who has served as a director since 2007, will succeed Finn, lead director since 2009 and chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee since 2012.
 
"John's impact on Cardinal Health is incalculable. For two decades, John has been a source of insight, experience, instinct and collaboration," stated George Barrett, chairman and CEO of Cardinal Health. "As lead director, he has played an extremely influential role on our board and has been an extraordinary partner to me. I've come to depend on his keen judgment. I know I speak for all of us in wishing John the very best."
 
In addition, effective Nov. 1, David King will become chair of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee. Clayton Jones also has assumed the role of chair of the Audit Committee.  
 
 
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Costco sees lift in July sales

BY Antoinette Alexander

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco reported on Thursday a boost in net sales and same-store sales during the month of July.

Net sales totaled $8.55 billion for the four weeks ended Aug. 3, an increase of 9% from $7.87 billion during the similar four-week period last year.

Same-store sales increased 5%, while U.S. same-store sales also increased 5% during the period.

For the 48 weeks ended Aug. 3 net sales were $101.43 billion, an increase of 7%. During the 48 weeks, same-store sales increased 4%. In the United States, same-store sales rose 5%.
 

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