FINANCE

Casey’s Q2 income up 43%; bullish on store expansion

BY Dan Berthiaume

Ankeny, Iowa — Casey’s General Stores, Inc. reported impressive performance for its fiscal first quarter, with net income up 43% to $55.7 million, from $39 million.

Net revenue increased 10.5% to $2.1 billion, from $1.9 billion. The company credited strong sales in all categories, especially gasoline, with driving its performance.

Casey’s said that its annual goal is to build or acquire 70 to 105 stores and replace 20 existing locations. As of the end of the quarter, the company opened four new stores, acquired three stores, and completed five replacement stores. It has 31 new stores and 18 replacement stores under construction, as well as 19 stores under written agreement to acquire.

“Our pipeline of new store constructions and potential acquisitions is as full as it has been in recent history,” said Robert J. Myers, president and CEO of Casey’s. “Our balance sheet remains very strong and we are well positioned to take advantage of opportunities.”

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Belk’s multichannel campaign draws 220,000 registrants

BY CSA STAFF

Southern retailer Belk drew in nearly 220,000 registrants through daily prizes and giveaways in its “Belk’s 125 Days of Prizes” campaign.

Belk partnered with mobile, social and digital engagement provider ePrize to power the sweepstakes across a microsite, Facebook and mobile channels. The multichannel campaign, which aimed to promote Belk’s 125th anniversary and to increase consumer engagement with the brand, exceeded Belk’s expectations for engagement across digital channels.

Almost 220,000 consumers registered for the promotion, of whom 79.6% chose to receive updates on future promotions, offers and other news from Belk, a rate that exceeded ePrize benchmarks. In addition, 13.1% of registrants chose to receive text messages sharing exclusive offers from Belk. The rate also exceeded ePrize’s benchmarks for mobile opt-ins. Belk also accrued more followers than expected across social media platforms, more than doubling their Pinterest followers from 7,247 to 15,275. Meanwhile Facebook registrations reached 37,775, with 12,075 of registrants referring friends. And a total of 61,695 Facebook posts on the campaign. In all, more than 2 million sweepstakes entries with an average of 9.6 entries per registrant were received, and consumers uploaded more than 24,000 photos sharing their favorite Belk memories.

“Reaching our 125th year anniversary was a huge milestone for Belk, which is why we worked with ePrize to launch this unique campaign to thank our valued customers with a bevy of prizes,” explains Jon Pollack of Belk, EVP of sales promotion, marketing and e-commerce. “We were blown away with the strong engagement driven throughout the entire campaign, especially the mobile and social success. This success will only help us moving forward, as a way to further integrate multichannel engagement in our marketing efforts.”

“Retailers today understand the significant impact successful mobile and social campaigns can have on the bottom line,” explains Sara Kowal, VP of innovation at ePrize. “Although it was no surprise that Belk saw increased levels of registrations and interaction throughout the 125 Days of Prizes sweepstakes, we were impressed with the drastic shift in mobile and social engagement. We look forward to working with Belk to further establish them as mobile and social pioneers in the retail space.”

ePrize’s clients include Coca-Cola, Microsoft, The Gap, Lenovo, NHL, Yahoo!, P&G and AT&T.

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PepsiCo chief scientific officer joins CTO Forum board

BY CSA STAFF

Dr. Mehmood Khan, EVP and chief scientific officer for PepsiCo, has been appointed to the CTO Forum Advisory Board. The CTO Forum brings together senior technology executives and business leaders to discuss and collaborate on key technology issues facing the industry and to accelerate innovation across organizations.

"We are very honored to welcome Mehmood Khan to our advisory board. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the medical, pharmaceutical and food and beverage fields with a proven R&D track record. His knowledge, expertise and vision will be a huge asset for the CTO Forum," said Basheer Janjua, founder and chairman of the CTO Forum and CEO of Integnology Corporation.

"I’m equally honored to be working with my friends and colleagues at the CTO Forum. Their efforts benchmarking technologies and strategies that address global challenges facing business, society and quality of life are making a significant impact," said Khan. "In so many ways, the CTO Forum serves the same purpose as our global R&D organization at PepsiCo, which is equally committed to global best practice exchanges across process, technology and product innovations critical to the future of PepsiCo."

In his role at PepsiCo, Khan has led a strategic transformation to transform, grow and continually enhance the company’s global portfolio of high-quality food and beverage offerings. Under his leadership, the R&D team has led the development of important nutrition platforms such as fruits and vegetables, dairy, baked grains, and hummus and other fresh dips.

Throughout the past six years, in an effort to further develop categories and capture the growth opportunities of the future, the R&D function has expanded its research capabilities by recruiting highly regarded clinical and food scientists, global health leaders and medical experts, in addition to launching research projects with leading universities worldwide. In 2012 alone, PepsiCo opened three new R&D centers of excellence: in Hamburg, Germany, Shanghai; China; and Monterrey, Mexico.

Before joining PepsiCo, Khan was president of Takeda Global Research & Development Center, overseeing its worldwide research and development efforts with sales of more than $10 billion worldwide. Previous to that position, he was a consultant endocrinologist and faculty member at the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn., serving also as the director of the Diabetes, Endocrine and Nutritional Trials Unit in the division of endocrinology. Prior to the Mayo Clinic, he spent nine years leading programs in diabetes, endocrinology, metabolism, and nutrition including as chief of endocrinology for the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, University of MN. He has served as faculty both in the department of Food Sciences, College of Agriculture and the Medical School at the University of MN.

Khan serves on a number of national and state committees including as a governor of the New York Academy of Sciences, a member of the State of Illinois Innovation Council and a member of the board of the American Diabetes Association Research Foundation as well as several humanitarian organizations. He earned his medical degree from the University of Liverpool Medical School, England, and completed a fellowship in clinical endocrinology and nutrition at the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis’ Department of Medicine and Food Science and Nutrition.

The CTO Forum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering a trusted, open and creative environment which brings together technology experts from different industries to define opportunities and collaborate in harnessing technology’s potential.

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