Thursday, March 18, 2004

Tristate business summary

Precision Optics severs employees

3M Precision Optics in Clermont County's Union Township has completed a voluntary severance program offered to an unspecified number of workers this month. A spokeswoman for the St. Paul, Minn., company said enough employees accepted voluntary buyouts that only a "minimal'' number of employees were terminated. She said she couldn't discuss the number of employees accepting buyouts or who were terminated. The plant, which makes lens systems for projection TVs, employed about 1,250.

Kroger to close 15 Ralphs stores

Kroger Co. Wednesday said it would close 15 underperforming Ralphs supermarkets in Southern California within the next 60 days. The company said the store closures are not related to the recently resolved Southern California supermarket labor strike. Kroger last quarter had a $75 million expense to write down assets in 74 stores where sales lagged. Ralphs made the decision to permanently close the 15 stores following its annual review of its supermarket operations. Each of the stores slated for closure has experienced declining sales over an extended period of time.

Delta discounting Amsterdam flight

Delta Air Lines this morning is expected to announce a major price reduction for the first month of its new flight between Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and Amsterdam. The sale features a round-trip coach ticket for $399, compared with $742 normally. Those tickets must be bought by April 1 and at least 21 days in advance of travel, and travel must include a Saturday night stay and begin Monday-Thursday. Delta is launching the new route from here May 1, while reinstituting a route to Rome on the same day.

Staff reports

Bank buyer may cut 800 jobs
Sex pill maker sued over claims
City votes $2.5M for condos
Erpenbeck's victims get their say
Immigrant tastes push goat sales
It's not whether Reds win or lose, marketers decide
Alderwoods report shows a turnaround
Shareholders OK mega-bank merger
AK Steel bill wins final passage
Fitch lowers bond rating for DPL
Higher energy costs put Feb. CPI up 0.3%
Greenspan: Banking system solid
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