FINANCE

Finish Line net income jumps in Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

Indianapolis – The Finish Line Inc. reported net income of $42.75 million during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, up 28% from $33.47 million in the year-ago period.

Net sales grew 17% to $518.87 million from $442.68 million and same-store sales rose 6.3%. Finish Line credited its omni-channel strategy, among other factors, as driving its impressive quarterly performance.

“The successful execution of our consumer centric omni-channel strategy drove solid gains in our core business while growth initiatives contributed meaningfully to our record full year revenue and profits,” said Glenn Lyon, chairman and CEO. “We have a clear vision for building on our strong market position through innovative product, superior service, and effective consumer engagements. With that vision and our strong team, we move forward optimistic about our near and long-term growth prospects.”

During the full fiscal year, net income rose 8% to $76.9 million from $71.47 million and net sales grew 16% to $1.67 billion from $1.44 billion. Same-store sales increased 4.2%

For fiscal year 2015, Finish Line expects comparable store sales to be up mid-single digits and earnings per share to increase in the high single to low double-digit range from fiscal year 2014.

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FINANCE

No more bidders for Safeway as ‘go shop’ period expires

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pleasanton, Calif. – Safeway Inc. on Friday said that no other bidders have emerged during the 21-day “go-shop” period following the announcement of its agreement to be acquired by AB Acquisition, the parent of Albertsons.

Under the definitive merger agreement, Safeway and its representatives were permitted to solicit and engage in negotiations with respect to alternative acquisition proposals during the 21-day period that ended on March 27 (the "go-shop" period).

AB Acquisition is the owner of the Albertson’s and New Albertson’s supermarket chains, and in turn is owned by Cerberus Capital Management. AB Acquisition will acquire all outstanding shares of Safeway for $9.1 billion in the deal. The two companies will operate independently until the deal closes.

None of the parties contacted by Safeway during the “go-shop" period notified Safeway by the deadline that they would be interested in pursuing an alternative transaction under the merger agreement. Safeway is now subject to customary "no shop" provisions that limit its ability to solicit alternative acquisition proposals from third parties or to provide confidential information to third parties.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

McDonald’s launches omni-channel coffee promotion

BY Dan Berthiaume

Oak Brook, Ill. – McDonald’s is offering free McCafe coffee is available during breakfast hours starting March 31 through April 13 in participating restaurants. To kick off the two-week campaign, McDonald’s will host "Make Friends with McCafe" sampling events at high traffic locations and transportation hubs in multiple cities across the country.

Starting in mid-April, McCafe will also surprise a Twitter follower every day of 2014 with McCafe coffee and prizes. Fans can also keep up with the conversations using the hash tag #McCafe or by following @McCafe.

"We take a lot of pride in our breakfast offerings and our McCafe coffee is a great complement to our breakfast lineup,” said Greg Watson, senior VP, McDonald’s U.S. menu innovation. “That’s why we’re excited to share it with our guests, on us. This event is McDonald’s way of encouraging new guests to try McCafe Coffee while giving our breakfast lovers even more reason to enjoy the great taste of our signature blend.”

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