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Profits surge at Dollar General

BY Allison Cerra

GOODLETSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General’s quarterly profit surged 33% to a record $299 million, from $226 million in the prior year.

Sales increased 20.1% to $4.19 billion, compared with $3.49 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales rose 6.5%.

For the full year, profit rose 26% to $819 million, from $649 million in 2010. Sales surged 13.6% to $14.8 billion, from $13 billion last year. Same-store sales rose 6%.

After opening 625 stores in 2011, Dollar General said Thursday it plans to open another 625 units in 2012, which will include 40 of its Dollar General Market stores and 80 new market debuts. About 550 stores are slated for remodel or relocation during the upcoming year.

“For Dollar General, 2011 was another exceptional year,” said Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO. “We executed on our operating priorities and delivered strong financial performance, while, at the same time, we were able to make significant investments which, I believe, will enable us to continue to achieve outstanding results.”

For the 52-week 2012 fiscal year, the company expects total sales to increase 8% to 9% over the 53-week 2011 fiscal year, or 10% to 11% on a comparable 52-week basis. Same-store sales, based on a comparable 52-week period, are expected to increase 3% to 5%. Operating profit for 2012 is expected to be between $1.60 and $1.65 billion.

Diluted EPS for the 52-week fiscal year is expected to be approximately $2.65 to $2.75.

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Adams Smart Shield applicator makes retail debut

BY Allison Cerra

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — Central Garden and Pet has launched a topical flea and tick control delivery device under its Adams brand.

New Adams Smart Shield applicator delivers an application of Adams Flea and Tick Spot On products, providing fast, effective treatment down to pet’s skin, where bugs live. The applicator creates a barrier that helps to prevent getting liquid on pet owners’ hands, has a specially-designed tip to part hair and help get down to the pet’s skin, and clicks to deliver uniform application.

"We learned from our customers that today’s topical tubes do not fully satisfy pet owners looking to effectively treat pets without a mess," said Steve LeVeau, director of marketing for animal health at Central Garden and Pet. "The Adams Smart Shield applicator was developed to meet these customer needs, and will change the application experience for pet owners."

Available nationwide at Walmart stores and other retailers, the Adams Smart Shield applicator carries a suggested retail price of $8.99 for a one-month supply and $19.99 for a three-month supply.

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Food Lion associates, customers raise $4.5 million for Easter Seals

BY Allison Cerra

RALEIGH, N.C. — Food Lion announced that its associates and customers raised more than $4 million to benefit Easter Seals during the retailer’s annual Shop & Care campaign.

The four-week program, which was initiated 21 years ago, aims to provide funds for the nonprofit provider of services for individuals living with autism, developmental, physical and mental disabilities and other special needs. This year, through the campaign, Food Lion said it raised $4.5 million, a 22% increase in funds over last year.

"We are pleased that our associates and customers joined together to raise a record-breaking $4.5 million, which we believe will make a tremendous impact in the lives of children and adults who live with disabilities," Food Lion SVP James Egan said. "Because of these efforts, more than 100,000 children, families and adults throughout 11 Easter Seals affiliates in the Southeast will benefit from our collective donations."

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