OPERATIONS

Billing Services Group Limited Board Changes

BY CSA STAFF

BSG, one of the telecommunications industry’s leading clearing and settlement, payment and financial risk-management-solutions groups, recently updated shareholders on two separate management initiatives—succession planning and cost reduction.

Greg Carter, president of BSG Clearing Solutions North America, will succeed Randall Brouckman as CEO for the Group effective immediately. Brouckman is standing down to concentrate on his personal interests.

 

Carter, 44, managed BSG’s San Antonio business since 2004 and was with one of BSG’s founding companies for ten years before the Group’s establishment. Carter has held no company directorships during the past five years and there are no further disclosures required to be made in respect of Carter with regard to paragraph (g) of Schedule 2 of the AIM Rules.

The company continues to trade in line with management’s expectations and will maintain its focus on rapid debt amortization and all other means to continue to create shareholder value.

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Home Depot announces store closings, fewer openings in fiscal year

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA The Home Depot today announced that it plans to close 15 underperforming stores and said that it will no longer pursue the opening of approximately 50 U.S. stores.

However, the company reiterated its intention to open 55 new stores, which include 36 U.S. stores.

The 15 stores that will close represent less than 1% of the company’s store portfolio, but will impact approximately 1,300 associates. The company stated it will provide store managers and assistant store managers with positions elsewhere in the organization and will work to place the remainder of associates in comparable positions at other stores.

“Closing a store is always a difficult decision because it affects both our people and our communities,” said chairman and ceo Frank Blake. “But, as with our decision to slow future store growth, this is the right decision and will bring long-term benefits to our associates and to our shareholders. … By building fewer stores, in the best locations, and making sure our existing stores are profitable, our company will be in a much stronger competitive position.”

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CVS/Caremark posts record first quarter results

BY CSA STAFF

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark Corp. today announced its first quarter results, which were boosted by the addition of Caremark’s pharmacy benefits business as well as an early Easter holiday.

For the thirteen weeks ended March 29, 2008, the company posted net revenues of $21.3 billion, an increase of $8.1 billion from last year’s $13.2 billion. Same-store sales in the CVS/pharmacy division rose 3.9% over the prior year, benefitting from an earlier Easter that helped shift more holiday sales into March.

Net earnings for the quarter increased 83.1% to $748.5 million, or 51 cents per diluted share, compared to $408.9 million, or 43 cents per diluted share, in the prior year period.

“I’m very pleased with our results for the quarter, ” stated chairman, president and ceo Tom Ryan. “We delivered strong revenue and margin growth across our businesses that led to earnings at the high end of our expectations.”

During the quarter, the company opened 41 new retail pharmacy stores and closed 19 stores, two mail-order pharmacies and one specialty mail-order pharmacy. It also relocated 53 retail pharmacy stores and one specialty store.

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