Thursday, October 9, 2003

Business summary

From staff and wire reports

CG&E wants to recover costs

Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co. has asked state regulators for permission to raise rates later to recoup about $173 million in costs related to upgrading transmission and distribution operations in Ohio.

The company is not now seeking to recover that money from ratepayers because power rates are frozen at least until 2005 under Ohio's Electric Choice law.

The company said it expects to seek to recover the money in rate increases once the market development period ends. The utility said it hasn't had an increase in electricity base rates since 1993.

The company said it has invested more than $144 million in its Ohio transmission and distribution system since 2001 and expects to spend another $242 million by 2005.

KFC owner sees no quick recovery

Louisville's Yum Brands Inc. doesn't expect to turn its ailing KFC unit around until next summer, the company's chief executive said Wednesday.

New advertising campaigns are in the works, but "it will take us until the summer to really know we have this business back on track and humming," chief executive David Novak said.

Through Sept. 6, KFC's U.S. business reported falling sales at restaurants open more than a year in eight of 10 monthly periods.

Putting KFC's performance in perspective, chief financial officer David Deno said Yum's operations in China "made more money than our KFC U.S. business this quarter."

Dollar General to beef up in Ohio

Discount retailer Dollar General Corp. plans to hire about 180 workers when it adds a third shift to its distribution center in Zanesville, Ohio.

The company, based in Goodlettsville, Tenn., said Wednesday that it needs to add the new shift to keep up with demand. Dollar General plans to open 650 new stores this year, company spokeswoman Andrea Turner said.

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