OPERATIONS

Walgreens settles prescription billing lawsuit in Connecticut

BY Staff Writer

Hartford, Conn. — The State Attorney’s office in Connecticut said Thursday that Walgreen Co. has settled a civil lawsuit with state and federal officials who accused the retailer of double-billing the government for prescription drugs.

Walgreen has reimbursed the government for billing errors made between June 1, 2006, and Aug. 31, 2008, and admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.

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OPERATIONS

Jobless claims hit three-month low

BY Staff Writer

Washington, D.C. — A report released Thursday by the Labor Department said that jobless claims for last week dropped by 24,000 to 398,000, the fewest since April.

Initial claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 422,000 from an original reading of 418,000. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected new requests for jobless benefits to fall to 413,000 in the latest week.

The average of new claims over the past four weeks declined by 8,500 to 413,750, also the lowest level since April. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it irons out volatility in the week-to-week data.

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Delhaize completes Delta Maxi acquisition

BY Staff Writer

Brussels, Belgium — Belgian supermarket retailer Delhaize Group said Wednesday that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Serbian retailer Delta Maxi.

Combined with its existing operations in Greece and Romania, Delhaize is now, with this transaction, considered a leading retail force in Southeastern Europe.

"This transaction fits perfectly in our New Game Plan, our strategic plan focused on accelerating profitable revenue growth,” said Pierre-Olivier Beckers, president and CEO of Delhaize Group. “The addition of Delta Maxi combined with our existing businesses in Romania and Greece makes Delhaize Group into a leading player in the region. We are looking forward to growing our business in this promising part of Europe."

Delhaize acquired Delta Maxi for approximately $1.35 billion. In Serbia, Delta Maxi operates 350 stores and is the largest food retailer, and its store count in a five-country region is expected to total about 500 by year-end 2011.

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