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Harris Teeter Sales and Profits Rise

BY CSA STAFF

Charlotte, N.C. Regional supermarket chain Harris Teeter, with 169 stores in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, reported that sales rose 10.9% to $893.1 million in the second quarter of its current fiscal year compared to sales of $805.6 million in the same quarter of 2007.

For the first half of the 2008 fiscal year, Harris Teeter sales were up 11.7% over the first half of last year, growing to $1.79 billion from $1.60 billion in 2007.

For the 26-week period that ended March 30, operating profit at Harris Teeter increased 23.0% year-over-year, growing to $90.6 million, 5.06% of sales, from $73.7 million, 4.60% of sales.

In its prepared statement, Charlotte, N.C.-based parent company Ruddick Corp. attributed the sales growth “to incremental new stores and comparable-store sales increases of 3.28% for the 2008 second fiscal quarter and 3.83% for the 26-week period.”

During the first half of its fiscal year, the company opened six new stores, replaced one older store with a new store and completely remodeled three stores.

Ruddick’s release also noted that “Harris Teeter’s continued improvement in operating performance and financial position provides the flexibility to expand its store-development program for new and replacement stores along with the remodeling and expansion of existing stores.”

In the second half of this fiscal year, the company plans to open an additional nine new stores, one of which will replace an existing store, and remodel four stores. Harris Teeter’s growth strategy focuses on the expansion of existing markets. In this fiscal year, key markets for expansion include the Washington, D.C. metro area including northern Virginia, southern Maryland and coastal Delaware.

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Home Depot announces store closings, fewer openings in fiscal year

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA The Home Depot today announced that it plans to close 15 underperforming stores and said that it will no longer pursue the opening of approximately 50 U.S. stores.

However, the company reiterated its intention to open 55 new stores, which include 36 U.S. stores.

The 15 stores that will close represent less than 1% of the company’s store portfolio, but will impact approximately 1,300 associates. The company stated it will provide store managers and assistant store managers with positions elsewhere in the organization and will work to place the remainder of associates in comparable positions at other stores.

“Closing a store is always a difficult decision because it affects both our people and our communities,” said chairman and ceo Frank Blake. “But, as with our decision to slow future store growth, this is the right decision and will bring long-term benefits to our associates and to our shareholders. … By building fewer stores, in the best locations, and making sure our existing stores are profitable, our company will be in a much stronger competitive position.”

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CVS/Caremark posts record first quarter results

BY CSA STAFF

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark Corp. today announced its first quarter results, which were boosted by the addition of Caremark’s pharmacy benefits business as well as an early Easter holiday.

For the thirteen weeks ended March 29, 2008, the company posted net revenues of $21.3 billion, an increase of $8.1 billion from last year’s $13.2 billion. Same-store sales in the CVS/pharmacy division rose 3.9% over the prior year, benefitting from an earlier Easter that helped shift more holiday sales into March.

Net earnings for the quarter increased 83.1% to $748.5 million, or 51 cents per diluted share, compared to $408.9 million, or 43 cents per diluted share, in the prior year period.

“I’m very pleased with our results for the quarter, ” stated chairman, president and ceo Tom Ryan. “We delivered strong revenue and margin growth across our businesses that led to earnings at the high end of our expectations.”

During the quarter, the company opened 41 new retail pharmacy stores and closed 19 stores, two mail-order pharmacies and one specialty mail-order pharmacy. It also relocated 53 retail pharmacy stores and one specialty store.

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