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Walgreens 3Q earnings rise 19.6%

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreen Co. today reported a 19.6% net earnings increase in the third quarter of fiscal 2007 to $561 million or 56 cents per share (diluted), from $469 million or 46 cents per share (diluted) in the same quarter a year ago.

Walgreens reported net earnings for the nine months climbed 22.9 % to $1.64 billion or $1.63 per share (diluted), versus last year’s $1.34 billion or $1.31 per share (diluted).

“The growth opportunity we have ahead of us is exciting,” said ceo Jeffrey Rein. “With the first of 78 million baby boomers turning 65 in 2011, the demand for pharmacy services will get bigger and bigger. We intend to be the best-positioned pharmacy chain in the country to serve that need, and we’re on track to exceed our goal of 7,000 stores in 2010.”

Sales increased 12.5% to a $13.7 billion for the third quarter and 14.5% to $40.3 billion for the first nine months. Total sales in comparable-drug stores were up 7.8% in the quarter, while front-end comparable-drug store sales rose 5.6%.

 

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Amid loss, Pier 1 changes focus

BY CSA STAFF

FORT WORTH, Texas After posting a first quarter net loss of $56.4 million, Pier 1 Imports reportedly is attempting to get back on track by shuttering its e-commerce business and closing its clearance outlets and children’s furniture stores. According to reports, the company is focusing on its core stores and will stop selling through its online site by Aug. 31.

Pier 1 Imports today announced a net loss from continuing operations of $56.4 million or 64 cents per share, for the first quarter ended June 2. Total sales declined 5.2% for the first fiscal quarter to $356.4 million from $376.1 million in the year-ago quarter, and comparable-store sales declined 5.4%.

 

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Limited Brands to cut corporate jobs

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio Limited Brands announced today that it will decrease the number of employees at its corporate and brand home offices by 10%, in an effort to reduce SG&A expenses. The company said that it does not expect to eliminate any positions in stores, distribution centers or call centers.

“We are on track with our value-enhancing strategic initiatives and are now ready to embark on fine-tuning the organization to better match the size and complexity of the ‘new Limited Brands’ where we’ll focus primarily on intimate apparel and personal care,” said Leslie Wexner, chairman and ceo. “To improve overall profitability, we have launched a broad effort to streamline the company, enhance productivity and efficiency, and focus resources on the most promising growth opportunities.”

 

Also part of Limited Brands’ cost-cutting initiatives is the previously announced sale of a 67%-stake in its Express brand to affiliates of Golden Gate Capital. Subject to customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close on July 6.

 

The company continues to explore strategic alternatives for its Limited Stores business. No timetable has been established for completion of the Limited Stores process.

 

The company is also evaluating the feasibility of alternatives involving certain other non-core assets, including real estate and other investments. The company is not considering alternatives for Mast Industries, which is strategic to the sourcing and production of merchandise for Victoria’s Secret, Pink and La Senza.  

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