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Duracell supports 2012 Olympic Games with new program

BY Allison Cerra

BETHEL, Conn. — As part of its sponsorship of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Procter & Gamble said it has tapped its Duracell brand to launch the "Rely on Copper to Go for the Gold" program.

The program — which is headlined by NBA All-Star and Olympic gold medalist, Dwight Howard, along with fellow Olympians Hunter Kemper, siblings Mark and Diana Lopez and Summer Sanders — which gives consumers a portal, the Duracell online Virtual Stadium, to provide encouragement for the athletes through videos, pictures and texts as they train and compete for the Olympic Games in London. As part of the program,by submitting motivational messages to the Duracell Virtual Stadium, consumers have the chance to win a trip to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games or a $500 Visa gift card, Duracell said. What’s more, the Duracell roster of athletes will bolster the “Rely on Copper to Go for the Gold” program through their support at events, social media activations and ongoing fan engagement, Duracell noted.

"Whether in training or using battery power in their everyday lives, athletes trust in Duracell to make sure they are always prepared for what life has to offer," Duracell North America general manager Volker Kuhn said. "Duracell is committed to powering Team USA, and it’s our privilege to provide consumers with a tangible and meaningful way to help athletes achieve their Olympic Games dreams."

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FMI names new director of government relations

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Food Marketing Institute on Thursday named Hannah Walker director of government relations to represent food retailers on Capitol Hill.

In her role at FMI, Walker will focus on a portfolio of issues, including payments, financial services, food assistance, data security and technology. Walker’s experience on the Hill includes a stay at the State of Florida Washington Office, where she was a federal policy adviser dedicated to agriculture energy, tax, trade and environmental issues; and later legislative director to Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., who served on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee and chaired the Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry.

Walker worked on the 2008 campaign that brought Rooney to office, and then served as his legislative director until her most recent move to FMI. Walker helped to organize and build a successful legislative shop for an active Congressional office, advising the Congressman on issues and policy positions with both local and national implications.

Walker earned her bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and her juris doctor from University of Memphis School of Law.

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Profits surge at Dollar General

BY Allison Cerra

GOODLETSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General’s quarterly profit surged 33% to a record $299 million, from $226 million in the prior year.

Sales increased 20.1% to $4.19 billion, compared with $3.49 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales rose 6.5%.

For the full year, profit rose 26% to $819 million, from $649 million in 2010. Sales surged 13.6% to $14.8 billion, from $13 billion last year. Same-store sales rose 6%.

After opening 625 stores in 2011, Dollar General said Thursday it plans to open another 625 units in 2012, which will include 40 of its Dollar General Market stores and 80 new market debuts. About 550 stores are slated for remodel or relocation during the upcoming year.

“For Dollar General, 2011 was another exceptional year,” said Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO. “We executed on our operating priorities and delivered strong financial performance, while, at the same time, we were able to make significant investments which, I believe, will enable us to continue to achieve outstanding results.”

For the 52-week 2012 fiscal year, the company expects total sales to increase 8% to 9% over the 53-week 2011 fiscal year, or 10% to 11% on a comparable 52-week basis. Same-store sales, based on a comparable 52-week period, are expected to increase 3% to 5%. Operating profit for 2012 is expected to be between $1.60 and $1.65 billion.

Diluted EPS for the 52-week fiscal year is expected to be approximately $2.65 to $2.75.

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