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Business Highlights

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Kraft expects long-term growth at new North American foods company

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Kraft said Friday that its new North American food company will be positioned to deliver long-term profit and revenue growth, while also returning cash to its shareholders.

Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft told investors at a conference in Boston that it expects the North American grocery company to post a 2013 profit of about $2.60 per share. The prediction includes 26 cents per share in restructuring costs.

Kraft Foods Inc. is set to split into two companies on Oct. 1. Kraft decided to spin off its global snack business in March. That company, called Mondelez International Inc., will be home to global brands including Oreo, Cadbury and Nabisco and will trade under the ticker symbol "MDLZ."

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Kroger profit dips as costs rise

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ The Kroger Co. said Friday that its profit dipped slightly in the second quarter, as the nation's largest traditional grocer faced higher expenses and an increased tax rate.

The Cincinnati-based company said a key sales figure rose during the period as its loyalty program helped attract shoppers. But merchandise costs â¿¿ which include advertising, warehouse and transportation expenses â¿¿ also rose 4.3 percent.

Like other supermarkets, Kroger has been paying more to stock its shelves because of rising commodity costs. The company has tried to offset the impact by introducing more store-brand items and fewer brand-name products.

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J&J again seeks more approvals for clot blocker

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) â¿¿ Johnson & Johnson said Friday that it has given the Food and Drug Administration additional data on its new anticlotting drug, in a second attempt to get approval for more uses.

Xarelto already is approved for three things: reducing risk of blood clots in people who've had knee replacement surgery or hip replacement surgery and for reducing stroke risk in people with a common irregular heart rhythm â¿¿ atrial fibrillation â¿¿ not caused by a heart valve problem.

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