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Longs reports another profitable quarter

BY Doug Desjardins

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. Longs Drug reported an 80 percent increase in earnings of $23.5 million for its first quarter ended May 1 with revenues from its RX America PBM continuing to lead the way.

For the quarter, the 516-store chain reported an 8.5 percent increase in total revenue of $1.41 billion with retail drug sales rising 2.9 percent to $1.22 billion. Same-store sales increased 1 percent with pharmacy sales jumping 0.5 percent and front-end sales rising 1.5 percent.

By far the biggest increase was in pharmacy benefit services, which rose 67 percent to $187.3 million compared to $112 million during the same period last year. Prescription drug plan revenues generated $167 million while pharmacy benefit management revenue rose 25 percent to $20.2 million.

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Walgreens to match employee donations to China, Myanmar

BY Drew Buono

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has announced that it will match the donations made by its employees to organizations assisting in rescue, recovery and rebuilding efforts in the regions of western China and Myanmar, who were devastated by a recent earthquake and cyclone, respectively.

Walgreens employees across the nation who donate to their fund of their choice will have their contributions matched with a corporate donation of up to $50,000 to UNICEF, according to the company.

“Our employees have expressed tremendous compassion and generosity toward those who have lost so much in these tragedies,” said Walgreens chairman and chief executive officer Jeffery Rein. “Many have family and friends who have been affected. Our hearts and prayers go out to all who have suffered through such devastating natural catastrophes.”

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Target posts single-digit Q1 loss

BY Drew Buono

MINNEAPOLIS Target has released the financial results of its first quarter 2008, which showed that profits decreased by 8 percent, according to the Associated Press.

The company reported a profit of $602 million for the three months that ended on May 3, down from $651 million during the same period last year. Revenue though did rise by 5 percent to $14.8 billion.

In response to this, Target is now trying to emphasize the “pay less” part of its “Expect More, Pay Less” slogan. The company is focusing on reaching out to consumers through its advertising to make them aware of sale prices as well as sale items located at the end of its stores aisles.

According to Target president and chief executive Gregg Steinhafel, “We’re just very mindful that the consumer is very cash-strapped right now and is looking for good values. They’re looking for more sale merchandise, and we are responding.”

In terms of the rest of the year financially for the company, chief financial officer Doug Scovanner said, “Our topline growth will likely remain sluggish until we see some stability or improvement in the economic environment.”

Target though is continuing with its plans to open 90 to 100 new stores this year, according to Steinhafel.

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