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Paas rolls out new Easter egg decorating kits

BY Allison Cerra

OCALA, Fla. — Paas has unveiled new egg decorating kits just in time for the celebration of Easter.

The eight new decorating kits include the 3D Eggsplosion, Go Wild, Rockin’ Designs, Egg Tats, Retro Splatter, Eggstra-Terrestrials, Chrome Eggshaust and Deggorating Doodles items. The new kits are available this month at major grocery, drug and mass merchandise stores, for a suggested retail price range of $2.99 to $5.99.

"Each spring Americans decorate as many as 180 million eggs," Paas brand manager Laura Woodward said. "At Paas, we’re committed to keeping the egg-decorating tradition fun, by creating original kits each year that families can use to design their very own masterpieces."

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ABC acquires World Courier Group, a biopharmaceutical logistics company

BY Michael Johnsen

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — AmerisourceBergen on Tuesday announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase World Courier Group, a privately held global specialty transportation and logistics provider for the biopharmaceutical industry, for $520 million in cash.

“The acquisition of World Courier adds a new premium specialty service to our existing portfolio of market-leading pharmaceutical manufacturer services,” stated Steven Collis, ABC president and CEO. “The addition of World Courier’s unique capabilities and expertise to our existing commercialization services further strengthens our offerings to global pharmaceutical manufacturers, and provides an established platform for the introduction of our specialty services outside North America.”

World Courier will become a new operating segment within AmerisourceBergen. World Courier’s president Wayne Heyland will continue on in this position, reporting directly to Collis.

World Courier’s annual revenues are expected to be approximately $500 million in 2012.

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Safeway: Higher profit in the works for 2012

BY Allison Cerra

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway is projecting that 2012 will be a good year for the retailer.

The company said ahead of an investor conference held Tuesday that it forecasts earnings per share will be in the range of $1.90 to $2.10 per diluted share. This compared with net income of $1.49 per diluted share in fiscal 2011, due to a tax charge 29 cents per diluted share. Excluding the charge, diluted earnings per share would have been $1.78 in fiscal 2011.

"We made progress in 2011 on a number of initiatives. We built out an internal technology platform for our digital marketing program, just for U; we continued to achieve significant cost reduction; we maintained price parity; our consumer brands team created another $100 million brand with Open Nature; Blackhawk delivered another year of double-digit growth and we returned $1.7 billion in cash to shareholders," Safeway chairman, president and CEO Steve Burd said. "With 87% of our store base remodeled into Lifestyle stores, we believe we have the freshest asset base in the supermarket industry. When you combine all this with our differentiated offering, we believe we are very well positioned for future growth."

In late February, Safeway reported that overall sales for 2011 were up 6.3% and identical-store sales, including fuel, were up 4.4% for the year.

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