STORE SPACES

Darden Restaurants surpasses waster reduction goal four years ahead of schedule

BY Marianne Wilson

Orlando, Fla. — Darden Restaurants reduced restaurant water usage by 17% on an aggregate basis between fiscal years 2008 and 2011, exceeding its 2015 goal of reducing water consumption in each of its restaurants by 15% on aggregate and is more than half way toward meeting the same goal for reducing energy consumption in its restaurants, according to the company’s second annual sustainability report.

"Water scarcity, declining fish stocks, health and wellness and developing future talent – these are just some of the issues shaping our operating environment, our communities and our business," said Clarence Otis, chairman and CEO of Darden. "We recognize we have the responsibility to make a positive difference around a host of sustainability issues to drive the growth of our company while also creating social value."

The report also highlighted other environmental accomplishments, including:

  • The completion of new green building prototypes for Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, enabling all new restaurants to align with LEED certification standards;
  • Tripling the number of Darden restaurants that take part in single-stream recycling of glass, plastics and aluminum;
  • Increasing Darden’s landfill diversion rate by 14%; and
  • Receiving the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star certification at its Restaurant Support Center facility in Orlando, which is now generating 20% or more of its power from the 1.1-megawatt solar installation completed in December.
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FINANCE

American Eagle Outfitters raises Q2 earnings outlook

BY Staff Writer

New York — American Eagle Outfitters Inc. said Wednesday it was raising its second quarter earnings outlook because of stronger-than-expected sales.

The specialty retailer expects adjusted second-quarter earnings of 19 cents to 21 cents a share, compared with its previous estimate of 13 cents to 15 cents a share.

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News

Earnings, private stock price take a hit at Publix

BY CSA STAFF

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix sales grew $6.8 billion in the second quarter, a 3.2% increase from $6.6 billion for the same period last year. Same-store sales rose 1.9%.

Net earnings took a slight hit, declining 0.2%, to $381.6 million from $382.4 million in 2011. However, earnings per share for the second quarter increased to 49 cents for 2012, up from 48 cents per share in 2011.

Publix’s sales for the first half of 2012 were $13.9 billion, a 3.7% increase from last year’s $13.4 billion. Comparable-store sales for the first half of 2012 increased 2.6%.

Net earnings for the first half of 2012 were $791 million, compared with $780.5 million in 2011, an increase of 1.3%. Earnings per share increased to $1.01 for the first half of 2012, up from 99 cents per share in 2011.

Effective Aug. 1, Publix’s stock price decreased from $22.70 per share to $22.00 per share. Publix stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix associates and members of its board of directors.

“The economy continues to affect our results and stock price,” said Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw. “During these difficult times, our associates remain focused on providing excellent customer service.”

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