Savient names SVP, CFO
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Savient Pharmaceuticals has appointed a new finance chief.
John Hamill will serve as Savient’s SVP and CFO, where he will be responsible for all financial and accounting functions of the company. Hamill, who brings more 25 years of global financial and administrative operational experience to his new role, will directly report to Savient president and CEO Lou Ferrari. Prior to joining the drug maker, Hamill served as CFO of PharmaNet Development Group, a leading global supplier of drug development services.
"John has a valuable combination of global financial, operational and public company experience which will be vital for us as we continue to execute on our strategic initiatives to drive growth opportunities for Krystexxa both in the U.S. and in markets around the world," Ferrari said. "He will be responsible for all aspects of our financial functions and for ensuring the company meets its growth objectives in the most cost-effective manner through the implementation of financial and operational controls and the execution of the financial roadmap."
Rite Aid’s turnaround seeds show signs of growth
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The general consensus seems to be that the turnaround that the country’s third-largest retail pharmacy chain has engineered over the past few years is working.
(THE NEWS: Rite Aid looks to retain ESI patients, provide ‘superior customer experience.’ For the full story, click here.)
Rite Aid president, chairman and CEO John Standley said as much during a conference call Thursday to discuss the company’s second quarter 2013 earnings, noting the company’s "significant progress in our turnaround efforts." Analyst John Heinbockel of Guggenheim Securities seemed to agree, writing in a report, "Our bullish near-term fundamental thesis on RAD remains intact: the combination of generics and the maturation of the Wellness+ program will drive above-trend EBITDA growth for several more quarters."
Wellness+, the loyalty card program the chain launched nationwide in April 2010, has been a major driver of sales, producing many of the chain’s most loyal customers. Since its launch, several enhancements have been made, including Wellness+ for Diabetes and, most recently, a feature that allows members to have +UP points loaded to the cards automatically.
The Wellness-format stores already were trending ahead of the older-format stores early on, and they are now showing better front-end sales than the others. Recently, the company unveiled an updated version of the format in Harrisburg, Pa., which includes enhanced decor, product offerings and merchandising presentations. "The Wellness store format is another area of our business that we are constantly looking to refine," Standley told investors Thursday.
When the Wellness+ program and Wellness stores first appeared, one could say that Rite Aid had sown the seeds for a turnaround. Now, based on the results so far, one can say the crops are well on their way to harvest season.
Do you think Rite Aid’s turnaround plan is effective? Sound off in the comments below.
Ocean Spray cuts sugar for new Craisins item
LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass. — Ocean Spray has launched a reduced-sugar version of its dried cranberries product.
Reduced-sugar Craisins tout 50% less sugar than regular Craisins and now are available at retailers nationwide.
"Now consumers can fulfill their snacking and baking needs without sacrificing taste," Ocean Spray VP global marketing Larry Martin said. "People everywhere have been making the swap from raisins to Craisins dried cranberries, and we hope the introduction of the reduced sugar line will be a further incentive to try Craisins instead."