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Net sales rise for Ahold USA in Q1

BY Allison Cerra

AMSTERDAM — Royal Ahold’s U.S. subsidiary saw net sales jump 2.8% to $7.8 billion during first quarter 2012, the company said Wednesday.

Ahold USA, which consists of such brands as Stop & Shop, Giant Carlisle, Giant Landover, Martin’s and Peapod, experienced a 1.4% increase in identical sales (0.1% excluding gasoline), as comparable-store sales were 1.8% for the quarter. Underlying operating margin dropped to 4.1% from 4.6% in the year-ago period. The company attributed last year’s solid sales growth to the "favorable timing of Easter (where the relatively low-sales post-Easter week shifted into the second quarter) and good operational execution during adverse weather events."

Commenting on the results, CEO Dick Boer said the company’s recent acquisition of 16 Genuardi’s stores in the Philadelphia market, as well as the U.S. online grocery shopping business, will help the U.S. subsidiary remain competitive in the market, but noted challenges that lie ahead.

"We continued to invest in competitiveness both in the United States and in Europe with higher levels of promotional activity, resulting in market share gains in the United States and maintaining our market share in the Netherlands," Boer said. "As we said before, we expect 2012 to be another challenging year for the food retail industry, with intense competitive activity and consumer spending under pressure due to economic uncertainty, particularly in Europe. We remain confident that our strong brands are well positioned and are well on track to deliver on our strategy."

Overall, Royal Ahold saw sales rise 9.7% to nearly $12.1 billion, while net profit slid from $363.4 million in first quarter 2011 to $352 million.

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RxAlly appoints former Medco executive to VP, chief privacy officer post

BY Alaric DeArment

LEESBURG, Va. — A coalition of more than 22,000 pharmacies around the country has appointed a new VP and chief privacy officer.

RxAlly announced Tuesday the appointment of Peter Duran to the position, in which he’ll be responsible for the ensuring that the group’s privacy practices comply with laws and regulations.

Duran previously worked for pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions for 15 years, where he helped build the company’s privacy program.

"I share RxAlly’s passion for improving patient outcomes and lowering costs and am excited to work with the leadership team and network pharmacies to advance the role of pharmacists nationwide," Duran said.


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Novo Nordisk to donate $80,000 to diabetes groups in Houston

BY Alaric DeArment

HOUSTON — Novo Nordisk is starting an organization in Houston designed to provide assistance to local diabetes education programs, the Danish drug maker said Tuesday.

The company announced that it was accepting applications from local organizations for funding from Novo Nordisk Community Care Houston, one of more than 20 Novo Nordisk Community Care programs started in 2011 that provide funding to local groups. The drug maker is investing $80,000 on the Houston initiative.

"More than 3.2 million Texans were faced with diabetes in 2010," Novo Nordisk executive director of communications and public affairs Lori Moore said. "As an industry leader, Novo Nordisk is committed to reversing the trend of the diabetes crisis. We recognize that community-based organizations play a critical role in providing diabetes education and care that can help defeat this disease."

Novo Nordisk has created similar programs in such cities as Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Minneapolis, awarding $415,000 to diabetes programs.

 


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