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Safeway Predicts 2008 Growth

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Pleasanton, Calif. Safeway Inc. predicted at a analysts and institutional investors conference on Thursday that strong sales at its revamped "lifestyle" stores and cost-cutting measures will help drive earnings growth in 2008.

Safeway said strong contributions from the stores will help same-store sales grow 3% to 3.2% in 2008. Cost reductions also will help boost the company's operating margin, according to the company.

Safeway plans to spend $1.70 billion to $1.75 billion in 2008 to build 20 to 25 new "lifestyle" stores and remodel 250 to 255 stores into the format.

“Innovation has been, and will continue to be, the key to our success,” said Steve Burd, chairman, president and CEO. "We have developed highly successful programs to reduce costs, improve service, enhance the quality of products and the shopping environment, and have established new growth vehicles. We believe this will ensure our long-term growth."

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