Business news in brief

Commerzbank AG, the German lender that got $24.3 billion in state aid, plans to cut more than 5,000 jobs, the newspaper Handelsblatt reported. The bank's board and employee representatives reached an agreement on group-wide job cuts. It is Germany's second-biggest lender by market value.
Commerzbank AG, the German lender that got $24.3 billion in state aid, plans to cut more than 5,000 jobs, the newspaper Handelsblatt reported. The bank's board and employee representatives reached an agreement on group-wide job cuts. It is Germany's second-biggest lender by market value. (RALPH ORLOWSKI / Bloomberg News)
Posted: June 19, 2013

In the Region

OSHA cites Carson Helicopters

Carson Helicopters Inc., of Perkasie, has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for eight violations including exposing workers to hexavalent chromium, known to cause cancer, at the company's plant. OSHA proposed a $40,500 fine after a complaint triggered a December 2012 inspection. Other violations alleged are spray booths containing combustible floor lining, no airflow measuring devices or fire extinguisher systems, lack of engineering controls to reduce exposures, and lack of a medical program for workers exposed. Carson Helicopters has 15 business days to comply or contest the citations. - Linda Loyd

Energy panel sets pipeline sessions

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission set public sessions beginning Tuesday in West Chester and continuing Wednesday in Swedesboro to determine the scope of its environmental assessment of a Columbia Gas Transmission pipeline project. FERC says its review of Columbia's East Side Expansion will include potential impacts on residences near the right of way, erosion and sediment control, and potential impacts on water quality. The project involves installing an 8.9-mile pipe in Chester County and an 7.4-mile pipe in Gloucester County. Wednesday's session will be 7 p.m. at the Woolwich Township Hall, 120 Village Green Dr., Swedesboro. More information: - Andrew Maykuth

Burlington Coat sales up 8.4 pct.

Discount-apparel retailer Burlington Coat Factory reported an 8.4 percent increase in net sales for its first quarter ended May 4. Sales for the privately held chain of 503 stores were $1.07 billion compared with $982.4 million for the same quarter in 2012. The South Jersey-based company reported a smaller net loss of $702,000 for the most recent quarter, compared with $3.9 million for first quarter 2012. Burlington Coat said it prefers to focus on adjusted net income, which adds back certain items, such as $8.9 million in fees paid for amending a term loan and $1.1 million in advisory fees paid to Bain Capital, which bought the chain in 2006. Adjusted net income increased to $11.1 million from $842,000 in last year's quarter. - Mike Armstrong

Union officials offer plan at GE plant

Union officials presented a plan to keep 950 jobs at a General Electric Transportation plant in Erie, but the company cast doubt on the proposal. The Erie Times-News reported that the leadership of Local 506 said the union can save $20 million a year in exchange for the company's agreeing to keep all the jobs. But as a condition, the union proposed that the company transform its new Texas plant into a facility to be used only when the century-old Erie plant is producing at capacity. Last week, GE proposed a two-tier wage structure for new employees, mandatory overtime, and other contract changes - moves the union rejected. - AP


US Airways HQ in Arizona sold

US Airways Group's headquarters building in Tempe, Ariz. has been sold to an Orlando-based real estate investment trust for $41.8 million. Parkway Properties Inc. bought a 75 percent interest in the 225,000-square foot, nine-story office tower, according to a prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. US Airways, which is the sole tenant and will still own 25 percent of the building valued at $56 million, plans to merge with American Airlines and move the combined carrier's headquarters to Fort Worth, Texas. It has an option to terminate the Tempe lease on Dec. 31, 2016, the regulatory filing said. - Linda Loyd

Regulators probe patients' death

Federal regulators are investigating the deaths of two patients who received injections of a longer-lasting version of Eli Lilly's antipsychotic Zyprexa. The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that the patients died three to four days after receiving an appropriate dose of the drug known as Zyprexa Relprevv. Lilly spokesman Morry Smulevitz said in an e-mail the drugmaker cannot conclude whether the deaths were related to the drug's administration, but Lilly is still studying the issue. An FDA representative said doctors can continue to use the drug as long as they follow the instructions for administering it and monitoring patients that comes with it. - AP

European car sales hit another rut

European car sales had their worst May in 20 years as the region's recession drags on, the European automakers' association said Tuesday. Passenger-car demand for May dropped by 5.9 percent on the same month last year in the 27-country European Union, to 1.042 million units, the lowest level for that month since 1993, when sales dropped below one million, according to new figures released by the group. For the first five months of the year, sales dropped 6.8 percent to 5.07 million. The results come after April offered a brief respite, with a slight increase in sales due to an extra two work days compared with a year earlier, not a change in consumer heart. Analysts have forecast sales will drop another 3 percent to 5 percent this year, for a sixth consecutive year in decline. - AP

Boeing launches Dreamliner model

Boeing Co. launched the final and largest member of its Dreamliner jet family, the 787-10, at the Paris Air Show Tuesday. The jet officially entered the market with 102 orders from blue-ribbon customers such as United Airlines; British Airways; Singapore Airlines; GE Capital Aviation Services, the airplane-leasing unit of General Electric Co., and Air Lease Corp. First delivery is scheduled for 2018. In a briefing ahead of the launch, a top executive said Boeing hasn't decided where the jet will be built. Designed to be fuel-efficient, the stretched 787-10 will carry about 320 passengers, 40 more than the 787-9, though with a shorter range - about 8,000 miles, compared to 9,800 miles for the 787-9. - Seattle Times

Smithfield lays off 120 more

Smithfield Foods Inc. is laying off 120 more workers as part of its previously announced closure of a Virginia facility that makes hot dogs and deli meat. The move by the Smithfield, Va.-based company comes amid its pending $4.72 billion takeover by China's largest meat producer. Layoffs began in January, with more than 400 workers to be affected in all. - AP

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