Financial
Volvo earnings hit by new product launches, costs PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 06:38

HELSINKI (AP) — Swedish truck maker AB Volvo enjoyed strong sales in the fourth quarter, but its earnings were hurt by extra costs linked to the launch of new products, write-downs and restructuring charges.

Net profit in the last three months of 2013 fell to 548 million kronor ($86 million), from 869 million kronor in the same period a year earlier. Sales rose to 76.6 billion kronor, from 70.8 billion kronor in 2012.

Describing profitability in the period as "unsatisfactory," the company said Wednesday it would continue cost-cutting measures during 2014, including 4,400 layoffs it had already announced, and will review its products portfolio.

Volvo said it expects a slight growth in overall demand, driven mainly by China and Europe, but added that 2014 will see a reduction in costs.


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$600,000 taken from safe at Osteen's megachurch PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 06:14

HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities are investigating after $600,000 in checks and cash was stolen from a safe at Pastor Joel Osteen's Houston megachurch, which has one of the largest congregations in the country.

Police spokesman Kese Smith said Tuesday $200,000 in cash and $400,000 in checks were stolen from a safe sometime between 2:30 p.m. Sunday and 8:30 a.m. Monday.

The theft was reported Monday morning by a church employee and an off-duty sheriff's deputy who provides security at the facility.

No arrests have been made, Smith said.

Church officials declined to comment Tuesday.

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Strikes in Greece as austerity deal proves elusive PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 06:35

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A 24-hour strike by civil servants disrupted public services in Greece Wednesday as the country's government struggled to hammer out a deal on further austerity measures with international creditors.

The strike by public sector unions hit services at tax offices, local government and elsewhere. A protest march is planned in central Athens later in the day, while civil servants have penciled in another 48-hour strike on March 19-20.

Demonstrators gathered at two squares in central Athens, including cleaning staff fired by the Finance Ministry, who marched holding up buckets and mops.

The latest disruptions have come as negotiations with rescue lenders have dragged on for months, with the government reluctant to impose more economic pain in a country already exhausted by a six-year recession.

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Agency suing American Airlines over tax incentives PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DON BABWIN, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 06:13

CHICAGO (AP) — The agency that oversees public transportation in Chicago is suing American Airlines for falsely claiming to buy "vast amounts of jet fuel" from a small office in a rural community to avoid paying tens of millions of dollars in taxes in the nation's third-largest city, where the actual work is done.

The lawsuit comes a year after the same agency — the Regional Transportation Authority — accused United Airlines in a lawsuit of doing the same thing in the same small town. The RTA filed its lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court late Tuesday afternoon.

The RTA oversees the Chicago Transit Authority, the region's Metra commuter line and the Pace suburban bus service. The agency has been making the allegations against American for more than a year but said it was waiting for the airline to emerge from bankruptcy protection, something that happened in December.

As it said when it sued United, the RTA said American or its subsidiary, American Aviation Supply, could not possibly conduct the business of buying fuel for jets at one of the largest airports in the world, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, out of an office that's less than a 1,000 square feet where one or two employees work. The office is in City Hall in the town of Sycamore.

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