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    Profits Climb for American Greetings

    CLEVELAND -- American Greetings Corp., the largest publicly traded greeting card maker, said on Monday its quarterly profit rose as cost-cutting helped offset the sluggish U.S. retail environment and loss of some retail accounts.

    CLEVELAND -- American Greetings Corp., the largest publicly traded greeting card maker, said on Monday its quarterly profit rose as cost-cutting helped offset the sluggish U.S. retail environment and loss of some retail accounts.

    The company posted a profit of $47 million, or 62 cents a share, for its fiscal third quarter ended Nov. 30, up from $6.6 million, or 10 cents a share, a year earlier, when results were hurt by special charges.

    The company, No. 2 in its industry behind privately held Hallmark Cards Inc., has seen sales pressured in recent months by the loss of one customer, grocery store chain Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., and the closure of hundreds of stores by another customer, Kmart Corp., which filed for bankruptcy this year.

    Third-quarter sales rose 2.2 percent to $588.8 million, but would have been down 4.7 percent excluding one-time

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