Costco to buy out partner’s 50% stake in Costco Mexico
Issaquah, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp. said Thursday it has acquired partner Controladora Comercial Mexicana’s 50% share interest in Costco Mexico for approximately $760 million, funded by dividend proceeds, cash and investment balances.
The Costco México joint venture has been 50% owned by each of Costco Wholesale and CCM and operated by Costco Wholesale. :
Jaime Gonzalez Solana will continue as CEO of Costco México.
Kroger delivers on customer strategy with strong Q1
CINCINNATI — Fuel sales at Kroger helped drive the company’s total sales up 5.8% to $29.1 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 from $27.5 billion for the same period last year. Total sales, excluding fuel, increased 4.3% over the same period last year.
Identical supermarket sales, without fuel, increased 4.2% in the first quarter over the same period last year, marking the 34 consecutive quarters of positive identical supermarket sales for Kroger.
Net earnings for the first quarter totaled $439.4 million, or 78 cents per diluted share. Net earnings in the same period last year were $432.3 million, or 70 cents per diluted share.
Separately, the company announced that the board of directors authorized a new $1 billion share repurchase program that replaces the prior authorization, which was exhausted on June 12, 2012.
"Kroger’s solid first quarter performance demonstrates that our Customer 1st strategy continues to resonate with customers," said David B. Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and chief executive officer. "Our core business is growing, and we are rewarding shareholders through earnings growth, increasing dividends over time and share buybacks."
In light of its first quarter results, Kroger has raised its full year, earnings per share guidance to $2.33 to $2.40 per diluted share for fiscal 2012. The original guidance was $2.28 to $2.38 per diluted share.
Kroger continues to expect identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, of 3% to 3.5%. In accordance with original guidance, this includes the expected negative effect on sales from prescription drugs coming off patent.
"We were very pleased with the results of the first quarter. We exceeded our expectations, and as a result raised our earnings per share guidance for the year," Dillon said. "Through our focus on the customer, we will continue to stand out among food retailers, and drive loyalty, cash flow and earnings growth in 2012 and beyond."
Staples elevates business products executive
Neil Ringel was named EVP at Staples Advantage, the office products company announced Thursday.
Ringel previously served as SVP of the Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of the company focused on serving organizations with more than 20 employees. He joined Staples in 1995 and helped launched the Advantage group. He will replaced Jay Baitler who is retiring after 17 years of leading Staples Advantage. Ringel will report to Joe Dody who serves as president of Staples North American Delivery division.
“Neil has demonstrated great leadership at Staples,” said Doody. “He has deep knowledge of the Staples Advantage business and has been a driving force in unifying our total portfolio of products, services and expertise for our contract customers. There is no one better qualified to lead the growth of Staples Advantage in the years to come.”
In addition to office supplies, Staples Advantage is growing its portfolio of solutions, including facilities and breakroom, print, promotional products, furniture and technology.