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Kimberly-Clark discusses outlook following Q4 results

BY Vivian Gomez

DALLAS — Following its fourth-quarter results, Kimberly-Clark plans to pursue targeted growth initiatives and support growth opportunities with increased advertising and research spending.

The company’s net sales of $5.3 billion were even with the year-ago period. Organic sales, which exclude the impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates and lost sales as a result of European strategic changes and pulp and tissue restructuring actions, rose 5%, including an 11% increase in K-C International. 

"The strength of our results this past year gives us added confidence that we will continue to execute our global business plan well going forward,” chairman and CEO Thomas J. Falk said. “We expect to achieve a healthy level of cost savings, which should help fund brand investments and improve margins.  We will also focus on cash generation and allocate capital in shareholder-friendly ways.  And while we expect significant currency headwinds and higher commodity costs this year, we plan to deliver solid bottom-line growth.  We remain optimistic about our prospects to drive profitable growth and generate attractive returns to shareholders."   

In November 2013, Kimberly-Clark said it was pursuing a tax-free spin-off of its health care business. A spin-off would create a stand-alone, publicly traded health care company with approximately $1.6 billion in annual net sales and leading market positions in both surgical and infection prevention products and medical devices.

Company management continues to analyze the potential spin-off and expects to seek approval from the board of directors in the second quarter of 2014. Kimberly-Clark continues to expect that the spin-off will be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2014, assuming board approval and subject to market, regulatory and other conditions.
 

 

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Giant Eagle to bring Market District, GetGo concepts to Indianapolis

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — Giant Eagle is making a push into Indiana with a Market District concept and GetGo, a convenience store, planned just outside of Indianapolis. 

It will be the first Giant Eagle stores in the state, which are slated to open in 2015, and additional stores in the metro area might follow.

“We are thrilled to bring our Market District and GetGo concepts to Carmel and greater Indianapolis,” Giant Eagle CEO Laura Karet said in a statement. “We are also actively evaluating opportunities for additional locations.”

 

 

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Target’s ‘Express’ format a move in the right direction

BY Antoinette Alexander

Target is looking to open a new, smaller — much smaller — store in the base of an apartment building currently under construction near the University of Minnesota campus that will serve as a test for the new format dubbed TargetExpress, the New York Times has reported.

Clearly, the trend toward smaller continues. First it was Walmart Express and then CityTarget’s 80,000- to 125,000-sq.-ft. footprint, and now the even tinier TargetExpress. In fact, taking a look back at DSN’s “12 for 2012” story, which examined trends and issues impacting retail pharmacy in 2012, smaller formats were highlighted as one trend to watch. Obviously, it’s still one to watch.

These smaller formats are not only incredibly convenient for consumers but, as DSN noted back in 2012, they are attractive for retailers looking to further meet the needs of consumers residing in “food deserts.”

This smaller TargetExpress format, which is scheduled to open in late summer, is a move in the right direction for Target in meeting consumers’ needs — especially by offering a mix of grocery and health and beauty — in the midst of its cyber woes.

 

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