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Ora paper towels offer U.S. consumers a new way to clean up

BY Gina Acosta

NEW YORK — British consumer goods company Better All Round has launched its innovative, round paper towels in the United States.

Now available at Target stores, Ora paper towels offer a compact, cone-shaped stacking system with no cardboard inner tube. Ora is also the first round-shaped paper towel that offers a one-hand grab and guarantees no tearing, unraveling or waste.

“We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Ora in the United States,” said Better All
Round Founder and CEO Oday Abbosh. “We created Ora to truly be better all around, and serve as a versatile, aesthetically pleasing and better-for-theenvironment product. We hope this launch will allow consumers in Texas and across the country to experience first-hand the benefits of incorporating Ora into their daily household routine.“

Ora is available in the U.S. in three sizes: single, double and triple. The suggested retail price for a single pack of Ora is $2.99, a double pack is $5.49 and a triple pack is $7.99. The company says it is looking to expand distribution beyond Target in the United States in 2017.

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AmerisourceBergen reports Q4, FY16 results

BY David Salazar
VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — AmerisourceBergen on Wednesday reported its results from the fourth quarter, ended Sept. 30, and its fiscal year. The company posted a 5.9% revenue increase for the quarter, bringing in $37.6 billion, and saw a fiscal year revenue increase of 8%, bringing in $146.8 billion. 
 
“I am pleased with the solid performance we delivered in the September quarter,” AmerisourceBergen chairman, president and CEO Steve Collis said. “We successfully navigated a challenging healthcare landscape, and we continued to enhance our offerings for customers and make important investments in our infrastructure.”
 
On the basis of U.S. generally accepted accounting practices, the company’s Q4 revenue of $37.6 billion reflected a 5.9% increase in revenue from pharmaceutical distribution and a 4.9% increase in other revenue. Its gross profit for the quarter was $1.4 billion, a 15.5% increase over Q4 last year, driven largely by a LIFO credit of $74.1 million. The company’s operating expenses increased 106.8% for the quarter to $899.7 million, an increase the company attributes to a significant increase in warrants expense. Its Q4 operating income was $224.8 million — a 58.3% reduction from the previous year, which was driven by an increase in operating expenses. GAAP earnings per share for Q4 was $1.56. 
 
The company’s fiscal year GAAP results saw a 21.1% increase in gross profit, alongside a 261.4% increase in operating income. The operating income margin increased to 1.04% as a result of an increase in gross profit and a decrease in operating expenses. GAAP earnings per share were $6.32 for the year. 
 
“In fiscal 2016, we renewed relationships with key customers in our core business, we delivered excellent growth in our specialty businesses, and we had strong contributions from our most recent acquisitions, MWI Veterinary Supply and PharMEDium,” Collis said. “In addition, we successfully mitigated the dilutive impact of the two warrant exercises, and we repurchased a total of $731.2 million in stock under our regular repurchase programs, a significant increase over our original expectation for fiscal 2016. We ended the year with an improved balance sheet, and we have significant financial flexibility as we head into fiscal 2017.”
 
The company’s board has authorized a $1 billion regular share repurchase program that, when combined with the available capacity under the existing repurchase program, allows the company to purchase up to $1.1 billion in shares of its common stock. As of Sept. 30, the company has 220.1 million shares outstanding. 
 
The company, on an adjusted basis, expects revenue growth in FY2017 to increase 6.5% to 8%, stronger performance in second half of the year than the first half, adjusted operating expense growth between 6% and 7%. It expects a 7% to 9% inflation in brand and generic drug prices, with no significant contributions from biosimilars. 
 
“I have great confidence in the strength of our long-term customer relationships and unique portfolio of integrated services which offer compelling value propositions to pharmaceutical manufacturers and provider customers," Collis said. "We provide a vital service in the global healthcare system, and we do so with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of patients while delivering balanced, long-term value to all of our stakeholders.”
 
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Albertsons names new VP communications, public affairs

BY David Salazar
BOISE, Idaho — Albertsons Co. has named a new VP communications and public affairs. The company on Wednesday named Christine Wilcox, who has been the company’s VP corporate communications, to the position, filling a vacancy left by the retirement of Brian Dowling. 
 
Wilcox, an Idaho native, has been at Albertsons for 18 years, working in both internal communications and public relations roles at the company for the last 10 years. In her new role, she will lead an integrated internal and external communications team focused on driving the company’s communications around its growth, trajectory, innovative practices and community involvement. The company is partnering with the Glover Park Group for this effort. 
 
“Chris has been an instrumental leader in our company since we began in 2006, and her passion for our history, employees and loyal customers is self-evident,” Albertsons VP human resources, labor relations, public affairs and government relations Andy Scoggin said. “Chris is yet another example of what we aim to do at Albertsons Companies — empower really talented people and encourage them to grow their careers here.”
 
Wilcox joined the company in 1998. In 2006, she became she became southwest division communications and public affairs director. She was named VP communications and public affairs for Albertson’s in 2013 when the company acquired stores from Supervalu.
 
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