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Supervalu reports drop in 2Q sales, net earnings still up year-on-year

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS Supervalu’s second quarter net sales dropped while other record earnings were more positive.

The company, which reported its earnings for the second quarter of fiscal 2008 on Wednesday, said their second quarter net sales dropped by 4.6 percent to $10.2 billion, compared to $10.7 billion last year.

Meanwhile, the company received better news when reports indicated that their net earnings had jumped a whopping 12 percent to $148 million, compared to $132 million last year. Earnings per share escalated by 13 percent to $0.69.

“In year two of our three-year journey, we are implementing programs to improve our long-term sales performance and deliver our synergies, while operating our business from day-to-day,” said Jeff Noddle, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. “I am pleased to affirm our fiscal 2008 earnings guidance today, which represents another year of double-digit earnings per share growth.”

Supervalu’s second quarter of fiscal 2008 ended Sept. 8, 2007, and included 12 weeks of combined results compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2007, which included 13 weeks of acquired operations.

Last year, Supervalu completed its $11.4 billion acquisition of Albertson’s premier retail properties, which transformed Supervalu into the nation’s third-largest supermarket chain with leading market shares across the country.

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Kinney announces services for flu, pneumonia, breast cancer, diabetes

BY Michael Johnsen

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. Kinney Drugs on Tuesday announced the addition of flu and pneumonia immunization clinics, breast cancer educational seminars, and diabetes screening/awareness programs in all of its markets.

The clinics started Sept. 29 and will continue through Nov. 28. Both flu and pneumonia vaccines will be free for people with Medicare Part B and many insurance programs are accepted. The immunizations will be administered by a registered nurse employed by Maxim Health Systems.

Breast Cancer Educational Programs will be available to customers at various stores throughout the chain. The programs offer a variety of educational information and services including a lecture by Lois Hjelmstad, a breast cancer survivor and author of two books. The program includes the Mobile Mammography, which operates within a coach-type bus and makes scheduled stops to bring mammograms to underserved populations in the northern New York, and a series of in-store educational programs through partnerships with community medical centers, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and local county Wellness Connection coordinators. 

And during the month of November, Kinney Drugs is teaming with 27 medical centers and hospitals to conduct diabetes screenings as part of Diabetes Awareness Month. The screenings will be held in all Kinney Drugs markets; customers will be given their glucose level via finger stick blood test and information on diabetes awareness, prevention and better care. The American Diabetes Association will be on hand at most stores to answer questions and offer their programs and services.

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Jean Coutu reports increase for Q1

BY Michael Johnsen

LONGUEUIL, Quebec The Jean Coutu Group on Tuesday reported an 8.2 percent increase in operating income, which totaled $55.5 million (in U.S. currency) for the first quarter ending Sept. 1, and includes the company’s share of Rite Aid’s results.

The share of the loss in the Jean Coutu Group’s first quarter 2008 earnings amounted to $30.3 million.

“We are satisfied with our first quarter results,” stated Jean Coutu, the Group’s chairman. “We continued to improve sales growth and operating performance in our Canadian network while Rite Aid began the integration of the acquired Brooks Eckerd stores. As expected, this integration will require a lot of effort and resources initially, but will result in even stronger synergies than anticipated when the transaction was closed.”

The company also announced Tuesday that Francois Coutu will resume command of the Canadian operations as president aand chief executive officer of the company. Jean Coutu, who assumed control of the Jean Coutu Group shortly before talks between Rite Aid and the Canadian drug store chain commenced over the sale of Brooks and Eckerd, will continue as Jean Coutu Group chairman.

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