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Wal-Mart Posts Modest 3Q Profit Gain

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores posted a modest 3.8% gain in profit grown for the third quarter, ended Oct. 31, but said it expects electronics and other general merchandise to propel it to a healthy holiday season.

Income rose to $2.4 billion, or 57? per share, from $2.3 billion, or 54? a share, a year ago. It was the chain’s smallest quarterly profit increase in three years. Wal-Mart said its third-quarter earnings were affected by the higher cost of fueling its large truck fleet and the temporary closing of stores after the hurricanes.

Sales totaled $75.4 billion, an increase of 10.1% over $68.5 billion for the year-ago period. Same-store sales rose 3.8%.

In a conference call with investors, Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott said Wal-Mart sustained sales despite hurricanes, skyrocketing gasoline prices and higher home-heating bills. He called the quarter “a pretty good performance in a difficult environment.”

“I believe we will have a good holiday season,” Scott said. He added that January and February could be difficult months as holiday bills come due and higher heating-oil and natural-gas prices have a greater impact.

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Safeway Promotes Two

BY CSA STAFF

Pleasanton, Calif., Safeway has announced the promotion of David Lee to president/general manager of non-perishables and Rojon Hasker as president/general manager of perishables and lifestyle. Both Lee and Hasker have worked through the ranks in Safeway.

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GNC Announces Management Change

BY CSA STAFF

Pittsburgh, Joseph Fortunato, GNC Corp.’s senior executive VP and COO, has been named president and CEO, replacing Bruce Barkus.

According to the company, Barkus stepped down to pursue other interests.

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