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Elizabeth Arden CFO resigns to accept position at the Hain Celestial Group

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Elizabeth Arden, whose portfolio includes such celebrity fragrance brands as Britney Spears, Elizabeth Taylor and Justin Bieber, has announced the resignation of its EVP and CFO Stephen Smith, effective Sept. 1. Smith is leaving the company to serve as EVP and CFO of the Hain Celestial Group.

Elizabeth Arden is now searching for a new CFO.

 “Steve has been a valuable member of our management team since he joined us in 2001, shortly after the Elizabeth Arden acquisition. Along with the strong finance and accounting team that Steve has built, he has been instrumental in managing the financial governance of our company to very high standards. Steve has been a trusted colleague, and on behalf of the company, I’d like to thank Steve for his dedication, leadership and contributions and wish him the best in his new position,” stated E. Scott Beattie, chairman, president and CEO of Elizabeth Arden.

“The past 12 years have been extremely rewarding, and it has been an honor to participate in the Company’s significant growth over that time,” Smith stated. “While I will miss my colleagues, I look forward to new challenges in another consumer products industry as I pursue this unexpected opportunity. Elizabeth Arden has a strong and highly talented finance organization, and I am confident that Elizabeth Arden will continue to enjoy much future success."

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Astellas Pharma introduces Astagraf XL for kidney-transplant patients

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTHBROOK, Ill. — Astellas Pharma has introduced a new drug for preventing the body from rejecting transplanted organs, the company said Thursday.

The drug maker announced the availability of Astagraf XL (tacrolimus) extended-release capsules in pharmacies. The drug is designed for use in kidney transplant patients with Genenetech’s CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil) and corticosteroids, with or without induction of Novartis’ Simulect (basiliximab).

"The availability of Astagraf XL marks a significant moment for the transplantation community, giving new adult kidney transplant recipients an additional option in their immunosuppressant care," Astellas Pharma US president James Robinson said. "Astellas has long been a leader in the field of transplant immunology, and we are proud to continue to advance care for transplant recipients."


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Sears Holdings’ losses mount in second quarter 2013

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings Corp.’s losses grew in second quarter 2013, while EBITDA fell despite growth in the company’s online business and loyalty program, the parent company of Kmart said Thursday.

The company, based in suburban Chicago, said its online business at Sears.com and Kmart.com grew by 20% compared with second quarter 2012, while members of the Shop Your Way loyalty program generated more than 65% of sales, compared with 55% during the same period last year. Chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert cited the figures as evidence of progress toward the company being a "member-centric" retailer.

"While the increase in Shop Your Way promotional activity and member redemptions resulted in a meaningful increase in our costs, it demonstrates that our members are deepening their engagement with our program, which will allow us to further accelerate our transformation," Lampert said. "At the same time, we recognize how important it is to improve the profitability of our company, and I am disappointed that we did not deliver a better result."

The company posted a loss of $194 million, compared with $132 million in second quarter 2012, on the back of sales of $8.9 billion, compared with $9.5 billion a year ago. Kmart posted sales of $3.17 billion, compared with $3.37 billion in second quarter 2012, as comps decreased by 1.5%, including a 2.1% decrease for Kmart and a 0.8% decrease for Sears; Kmart’s decline was the result in decreases in the pharmacy, grocery and household categories, among others. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was a negative $55 million, compared with a positive $116 million in second quarter 2012.


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