Tuesday, August 15, 2000

Tristate Summary

Henkel raises sales forecast

        Henkel KGaA, the German chemical company, raised this year's sales forecast after first-half profit jumped 23 percent, boosted by its Cognis chemicals unit, whose North American business is based in Cincinnati.

        Henkel sees sales of 12.5 billion euros ($11 billion), up from an earlier forecast of 12 billion. Profit from operations rose to 245 million euros from 199 million in the year-ago period, in line with analysts' expectations. The figures exclude a 20 million-euro charge last year for overhauling Clorox Co.

        The German company, which makes about 23 percent of total sales from chemicals, benefited from growth at Cognis, where first-half sales rose 15 percent.

        As Henkel uses plant-based raw materials, unlike German rivals such as BASF AG and Bayer AG, it wasn't hurt by higher costs for petrochemicals and other raw materials.

Home builder
posts net loss

               Losses from two subsidiaries hurt second-quarter financial results at Zaring National Corp.

        The Cincinnati-based home builder had a net loss from continuing operations of $786,000, or 17 cents a share, compared with a loss of $329,000, or 7 cents a share, a year ago.

        Zaring had pretax losses from both its Zaring Homes Inc. and Homemax Inc. operations. The company also said capital from its discontinued Hearthside Homes is being redeployed into Zaring Homes.

        As announced in February, Zaring is working with New York investment banks to pursue strategic alternatives, including the possible sale of the company.
       — From staff and wire reports


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