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Keith Ruck resigns from CFO post at Lannett

BY Allison Cerra

PHILADELPHIA — A generic pharmaceutical company announced that its CFO has resigned.

Lannett said that Keith Ruck has exited the company to pursue other interests. The company expects to name a successor soon.

“During his tenure, Keith improved the performance of our accounting and financial reporting team,” Lannett president and CEO Arthur Bedrosian said. “In addition, he was instrumental in upgrading our internal controls and business processes. I would like to thank Keith for his hard work and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

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Winn-Dixie opens doors of remodeled Florida location

BY Michael Johnsen

APOPKA, Fla. — Winn-Dixie on Wednesday celebrated the completion of its newly remodeled store in Florida, the grocer reported.

New departments include a deli serving restaurant-quality entrees and side dishes located just past an expanded produce department.

“We are excited to deliver on our promise of providing our guests with a fresh, new shopping experience that is fun and imaginative,” Winn-Dixie regional VP Dan Lafever said. “This store exemplifies our commitment to the residents of Apopka and serves as a one-stop grocery destination catering to the needs, tastes and preferences of the surrounding community.”

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Walgreens reports positive July sales

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday reported July sales of $5.82 billion, an increase of 4.7%.

Total front-end sales increased 6.8% in July, while comparable front-end sales increased 4.8%. Customer traffic in comparable stores increased 1.4% and basket size increased 3.4%. According to Credit Suisse research analyst Ed Kelly, improved front-end trends across the drug channel are sustainable in the current economic environment because pharmacy operators historically have been able to pass along inflation without impacting volume, and convenient corner locations serve to neutralize any impact from rising gas prices.

Shares of Walgreens stock, however, were trading some 30 cents below Tuesday’s close at $37.54 in early morning trading; though that’s more likely a reflection of Walgreens’ announcement earlier this year that the chain will walk away from the Express Scripts pharmacy network beginning January 2012 due to unfavorable terms.

Prescriptions filled across comparable pharmacies increased 1.3% in July, Walgreens reported. Calendar day shifts in July, which had one additional Sunday and one fewer Thursday, compared with July 2010, negatively impacted prescriptions filled in comparable stores by 220 basis points.

July pharmacy sales increased 2.7%, while comparable pharmacy sales increased 1.5%. In addition to the 220 basis-point impact due to calendar day shifts, same-store pharmacy sales also were negatively impacted by 190 basis points, due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. Walgreens’ pharmacy sales accounted for 64.5% of total sales for the month.

Sales in comparable stores increased 2.7%; the effect of calendar day shifts negatively impacted total comparable sales by 140 basis points.

Calendar year-to-date sales were $41.9 billion, an increase of 7.3%.

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