FINANCE

Shoe Carnival profit drops in Q2, on track to open 13 net new stores

BY Staff Writer

Evansville, Ind. — Shoe Carnival reported Thursday that net income for the quarter ended July 30 dropped to $2.7 million from $4.1 million in the year-ago period. Sales edged up 0.8% to $166.7 million, and same-store sales dipped 1.1%.

The shoe retailer said it expects to open 17 new stores and close four stores in fiscal 2011.

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FINANCE

Ahold Q2 profit drops on increased U.S. competition

BY Staff Writer

Amsterdam — Royal Ahold NV reported Thursday that net income in the second quarter declined to $287 million from $290 million a year earlier, dragged down by performance of its U.S.-based Stop & Shop grocery stores.

The company cited increased competition in the U.S. for its lackluster quarter. Ahold said it will seek to limit price increases and cut costs in the United States, particularly at its Giant-Carlisle chain, which competes with Wal-Mart Stores.

Second-quarter sales declined 3.5% to $9.9 billion.

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REAL ESTATE

Massmart to increase store count by 8.6%

BY Staff Writer

Johannesburg — Massmart Holdings Ltd., the South African retailer controlled by Wal-Mart Stores, announced Thursday it will up its store counts in fiscal 2012 by 8.6% to 340 stores. The company will open 27 new stores during the period, mostly in South Africa and two in Nigeria.CEO Grant Pattison said the accelerated pace is to keep the company in front of its competitors.

Also on Thursday, Massmart reported an 11.6% rise in total sales for the year ended June 26 to $7.29 billion, and upped its forecast for the remainder of 2011.

"There are some challenges with the global economy and some uncertainty if interest rates will go up or down in South Africa," said Pattison, but "We remain confident we have the right plans in place."

Profit for the period fell to $116.2 million from $156.5 million a year earlier.

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