OPERATIONS

Costco sets goal of 150 new stores in five years

BY Marianne Wilson

NEW YORK —Costco Wholesale Corp. is looking to open approximately 150 locations over the next five years, CFO Richard Galanti said on the company’s quarterly conference call with investors.

“And if we get a little better than that, great,” he added. “But that’s certainly a good starting point given where we’ve come over the last few years.”

Of the total, about 55 of the new units would be in the United States, with the rest located in Canada or foreign markets.

To date, for the first three quarters of its current fiscal year, Coscto has opened 19 locations, with plans to open nine in its current fourth quarter, for a total of 28 for the full year. “As compared to fiscal ’12’s expansion of about 3% in square footage growth, this year’s 28 units, on a beginning base of 608 would be about 4.5%,” Galanti said.

For its third quarter, which ended May 12, Costco’s net income rose 18.9% to $459 million. Sales rose 7.8% to $23.6 billion.

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Cargill CEO appointed to Deere board

BY CSA STAFF

MOLINE, Ill. — Deere & Company has elected Cargill CEO Gregory R. Page to its board of directors. Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services.

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the privately held company employs about 140,000 people in 65 countries and has annual sales of more than $130 billion.

"As the leader of a global enterprise with a long record of success in the agricultural and food sectors, Greg brings a breadth of valuable experience to Deere as it addresses the world’s growing need for food, fuel and feed," said Samuel R. Allen, Deere’s chairman and CEO. "His insight and deep knowledge of the agricultural value chain are sure to make important contributions to our company. We are pleased he has agreed to join the Deere board."

Page was named Cargill’s CEO in June 2007 and chairman of the board of directors later that year. Earlier he served in a number of leadership roles at the company including president and COO and corporate EVP. His background, which spans nearly 40 years with the Cargill organization, includes assignments in Singapore and Thailand.

Under Page’s leadership, Cargill has seen significant growth and increasingly focused its operations on innovation and higher-value products. As well, Page has been a forceful advocate of his company’s longstanding commitment to ethical business practices and responsible corporate citizenship.

Page grew up in Bottineau, N.D., and earned a degree in economics from the University of North Dakota. He is a member of the boards of directors of Eaton Corporation and Carlson Companies. Page also is a national board member and former board chairman of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

With Page’s election, Deere & Company’s board totals 12 members, 11 of whom are not employees of the company.

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McCormick expands brand portfolio

BY CSA STAFF

SPARKS, Md. — McCormick & Company, a global manufacturer, marketer and distributor of spices, seasoning mixes and condiments, has acquired Wuhan Asia-Pacific Condiments Co. WAPC manufactures and markets the DaQiao and ChuShiLe brand of bouillon products, which have a leading position in the central region of China.

These products complement McCormick’s current portfolio of flavor products in China that include spices, seasoning blends and sauces. With its strong presence in central China, WAPC also complements McCormick’s presence in the coastal regions.

Annual sales of WAPC’s business are approximately $122 million U.S. In the past five years, sales of WAPC have increased at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 25%, and McCormick anticipates continued annual sales growth of at least 10%. The purchase price for this business was $147 million U.S., subject to normal purchase price adjustments. McCormick funded this acquisition with cash and debt.

McCormick expects the acquisition to increase earnings per share in 2014 and be fully accretive in 2015, once integration activity is completed. In 2013, the company expects to record $4 million of fees and other costs related to the completion of the transaction, as well as integration and financing costs. These costs are expected to more than offset operating income from the WAPC business and have a slightly dilutive impact on 2013 earnings per share. The company expects operating income margin from the business to be approximately 10%, when transaction, integration and financing costs are excluded.

McCormick’s growth strategy includes expansion in emerging markets where consumers have an increasing interest in flavors and branded food products. The company first entered China more than 20 years ago to supply products to industrial customers. This was followed by the successful launch of consumer products. Across both the consumer and industrial business, the company operates profitably in China and has grown sales more than 50% in the past five years.

McCormick & Company products are available at retail outlets, food manufacturers and foodservice businesses.

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