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CVS credits private labels

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

CVS Caremark says private label sales are its key growth drivers as consumers continue to cut their spending in the slumping U.S. economy. In a Feb. 19 earnings call, CEO Tom Ryan said CVS' consumer business was "impacted by the recession, but we're somewhat resistant." He said sales of tooth-whitening and salon hair-care products slowed in the firm's fiscal 2008 fourth quarter, but private-label product sales were up. "Our general merchandise is up - consumables, healthcare, beauty," he added. CVS earned $949.3 million in the quarter, a 17 percent increase from $811.2 million a year ago. Fourth-quarter sales at retail drugstore open more than one year increased 18.8 percent to $13.8 billion, the firm says. The Woonsocket, R.I.-based chain's net revenue for the October-December period increased 10 percent to $24.1 billion. The firm says its total revenue for the year increased 14.6 percent to $87.5 billion
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