FINANCE

Pantry CFO resigns

BY Staff Writer

Cary, N.C. — The Pantry announced today that Mark R. Bierley, CFO, has resigned effective May 25, 2012. Bierley has accepted a position near his home in Michigan.

The convenience-store company will begin a search for a new CFO promptly. Berry L. Epley, VP and corporate controller, will assume Bierley’s responsibilities until a successor is named.

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FINANCE

Starbucks profit jumps 18%

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Starbucks Corp.’s net income surged a better-than-expected 18% in its fiscal second quarter, as its store traffic increased in most parts of the world. The coffee giant also raised its forecast for the year on the results and said it was accelerating its growth.

For the three months ended April 1, the company earned $309.9 million, compared with a profit of $261.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose to $3.2 billion, up from $2.79 billion a year ago. Same-store sales increased 7%.

Starbucks’ same-store sales were strongest in China and Asia Pacific, where sales rose 18%. Same-store sales were up 8% in the Americas but down 1% in the region encompassing Europe, Middle East, Russia and Africa. Starbucks executives attributed the weakness to ongoing economic turmoil in parts of Europe. The company said it is taking similar measures in those markets as it did when it was struggling in the United States, such as introducing loyalty programs and improving service to boost sales. It also is continuing to adapt its offerings to local tastes.

"I will tell you unequivocally that we will turn the European business around in the same way we turned the U.S. business around," company founder and CEO Howard Schultz said in a conference call with investors.

Still, he added that the situation is "very, very tough" and varies greatly by region.

Starbucks, which has more than 17,000 stores globally, said it will accelerate new store growth this year to about 1,000 net new stores around the world. The total includes approximately 500 net new stores in the Americas, with licensed stores comprising approximately one-half of the new additions.

In its most recent quarter, Starbucks opened its 3,000th store in the China/Asia Pacific segment and first store in Norway.

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News

Walmart expands conservation efforts

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is working hard to improve its image with its latest announcement that its Acres for America program is conserving an additional 300 acres of land to protect and restore wildlife habitats in the heart of U.S. cities, including Bridgeport, Chicago, Portland, San Diego, and Washington, D.C.

"Walmart is proud to help protect and restore important natural habitats in communities that we serve," says Jennifer May-Brust, Walmart VP realty supplier management and compliance. "The Acres for America program exemplifies our commitment to sustainable development as it directly links our land use to land preservation. Our urban restoration projects often times involve volunteers, including our customers and associates, and provide a way for people to connect with and enjoy nature right in their backyard."

In 2011, Walmart expanded its Acres for America investments to include urban conservation projects in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles. The awards announced this week will support additional projects in Bridgeport, Chicago, Portland, San Diego, and Washington, D.C.involve community volunteers in enhancing habitat quality in the wetland by restoring native vegetation, which will benefit fish and bird populations in the Tualatin River system.

The 2012 Acres for America urban projects are:

Pequonnock River Fish Passage, Bridgeport, Conn.

Partner: Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound

This project in the heart of Bridgeport will install a fish ladder in the Pequonnock River, providing safe passage for river herring, trout, sunfish, eel and perch through a highly urbanized area. It will mitigate the damaging effects of a highway construction project that paved a part of the stream channel.

Eggers Grove Marsh Restoration, Chicago, Ill.

Partner: The Field Museum/Forest Preserve District of Cook County

Volunteers will remove invasive species, sow native plant seeds and maintain trails in Eggers Grove, a 205-acre preserve on the Illinois-Indiana border. The marsh and woodland along Lake Michigan is a rare example of the region’s natural ecosystem and is an important habitat for migratory and nesting birds.

Nyberg Creek Wetland Restoration, Portland, Ore.

Partner: Wetlands Conservancy

The Nyberg Creek Wetland lies along I-5, the major transportation corridor in Oregon. This 13-acre project will involve community volunteers in enhancing habitat quality in the wetland by restoring native vegetation, which will benefit fish and bird populations in the Tualatin River system.

Otay Delta Habitat Restoration, San Diego, Calif.

Partner: River Partners

Located near several trail systems and the Bayshore Bikeway, this project focuses on 65 acres where the Otay River meets San Diego Bay. Community, state, federal and local agencies will collaborate on a restoration of the area that will benefit local residents and four endangered species of birds.

In addition to these four projects, Walmart will award an additional grant to support the Anacostia River Revitalization Fund in Washington, D.C. The Fund supports projects that improve water quality, benefit public health and local economic development, and provide outdoor recreation and volunteer opportunities in the nation’s capital. Partners include the Washington, D.C. Department of the Environment and federal agencies.

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