Thursday, September 21, 2000

Business Digest

Slipping sales force job cuts

        Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co. announced a cost-cutting plan Wednesday that will include an undetermined number of job cuts, amid slipping sales of its Kool, Lucky Strike, Carlton and other cigarette brands.

        Louisville-based Brown & Williamson, the third-largest manufacturer of tobacco products, said Wednesday it has lost more than 3 percent of the tobacco market share since a 1998 settlement with the states' attorneys general.

        It is unclear how many of the company's 6,000 jobs would be lost, spokesman Mark Smith said

Hasbro, Disney in deal


        Hasbro Inc., which has a design and marketing operation in Cincinnati, and the Walt Disney Co. announced a deal Wednesday to collaborate on projects for resorts, theme parks and hotels.

        The agreement also gives the Pawtucket R.I.-based toy maker licensing rights for Disney films and TV shows.

        Hasbro, which makes Mr. Potato Head, Monopoly and other popular toys and games, will develop action figures, puzzles, dolls and other products for Disney movies, starting with Monsters Inc., an animated film set to be released in fall 2001.

EBay expects $3B in sales

        EBay Inc. said it expects to have $3 billion in sales in 2005 as the largest Internet auction site expands worldwide.

        Revenue is forecast to increase 50 percent annually during the next five years, the company said. EBay had $224.7 million in sales last year, more than double from $86.1 million in 1998.

Cafe chain closes unit

        Rainforest Cafe, Inc., which operates 41 rainforest-themed restaurants, said it will close its store in Westbury, N.Y., next month.

        Rainforest Cafe said the mall-based restaurant had the highest operating costs compared with other units in the Northeast.

        The company expects to take a third-quarter charge of about a half-cent a share for the closing.

Ministers meet
on fuel crisis

        European Union transport ministers met for emergency talks in Luxembourg on Wednesday to try to stop fuel-price protests that have blockaded fuel depots, disrupted ports and blocked roads across the continent.

        The protests, now in their third week, showed signs of spreading to Canada, where 1,800 independent truckers warned they would go on strike Friday night unless something was done to reduce fuel costs.

        The 15 European Union ministers were considering appealing to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to produce more oil.

        They were also considering making a call for a unified fuel tax.


New Net firm to swap leases
New company is not without risk
Blot on sterling economy
Government told to leave energy alone
More companies join in social action
With Delta, time really does fly
Kroger employees vote to strike
Realtor retools with demand
Riverboat casinos take in $42 million
- Business Digest
Industry notes: Commercial real estate
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