VALASSIS MULLS BUY IN DIRECT MARKETING: FSI, COUPON, PROMOTIONAL POWER SEEKS TO BOOST SALES BY EXPANDING

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Valassis Communications is getting hungry for acquisitions after reporting its best second quarter ever last month.

The company said it would consider buying a direct-marketing business to bolster sales further.

"It might make sense to buy or merge with a direct-mail company," said Alan Schultz, Valassis' president-CEO. "We're not going to go out and make 20 acquisitions, but we are going to do meaningful acquisitions that will have a significant revenue impact for Valassis."

TARGETING BUILDS DEMAND

Valassis long has been a major supplier of FSIs, coupons and promotional items. The company said it is building demand by offering better demographic targeting and consumer tracking.

For the quarter, Valassis reported net income of $16.9 million on sales of $178.9 million, compared with net income of $11.7 million on sales of $164.3 million for the same period last year.

Second-quarter earnings included a nonrecurring payment of about $6 million to former President-CEO David Brandon. Mr. Brandon resigned this spring but remains chairman of the Valassis board through the end of the year.

Through the first six months, Valassis reported earnings of $43 million on sales of $384.6, compared with earnings of $34 million on sales of $354.2 million for the same period last year.

Mr. Gargaro is a reporter at Crain's Detroit Business.

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