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Roundup: Bayer profit barely rises as plastics offset new drugs; Starkist promotes interim president to CEO; Federated posts ...

| Friday, April 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Bayer profit barely rises as plastics offset new drugs

Bayer Corp.'s North American sales jumped 7.3 percent in the first quarter, led by strong results from the Robinson-based company's CropScience division. The American subsidiary of Germany's Bayer AG recorded sales of $3.6 billion from January to March. Its CropScience division had North American sales of $1.3 billion, up 13.5 percent, the company said. Bayer also has HealthCare and MaterialScience divisions. The company employs 15,400 people in North America, including 2,300 in the Pittsburgh region. Bayer AG's first-quarter profit fell short of analysts' estimates because new medicines struggled to offset lagging older drugs and plunging earnings at the plastics unit. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and special items increased 0.4 percent to $3.2 billion, the Leverkusen, Germany-based company said.

Starkist promotes interim president to CEO

StarKist Co. said Thursday that food industry veteran and interim president, Sam Hwi Lee, was promoted to chief executive of the seafood products company. Lee had been acting president since Nov. 1, after StarKist announced that former CEO in-Soo Cho had resigned to pursue new opportunities. Lee, a former Nestle Korea president, has been member of StarKist's board since 2008. He was also is a former Dole Food Co. and Armour Foods Co. executive. The management change is the latest for the company. In June, Starkist announced “strategic changes” with five executives based at its North Shore headquarters leaving the company. The tuna producer said in a statement that the moves were designed to better align and leverage owner Dongwon Enterprises' expertise, as well as streamline the company. Dongwon bought the company from Del Monte Corp., which acquired it in 2002 along with three other H.J. Heinz Co. divisions. StarKist has about 90 employees at the North Shore offices.

Federated posts slight gain in quarterly profit as revenue dips

Federated Investors Inc., the money management firm based Downtown, reported quarterly net income increased 2 percent to $43 million from $42 million the year earlier. Per-share earnings equaled 41 cents in both periods. Revenue dipped 1 percent to $228 million from $230 million. An increase in investment income offset revenue declines resulting from waiving money-market fees for some clients. Federated's level of managed assets accounts increased 3.6 percent to $377 billion as of March 31 from year-ago levels.

Unemployment aid applications drop to 339K

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, the second-lowest level in more than five years. The decline suggests hiring is improving from last month's sluggish pace. Applications for unemployment benefits dropped by 16,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average declined 4,500 to 357,500. Applications are a proxy for layoffs. When they decline, it signals that companies are cutting fewer jobs.

Larrimor's to close Galleria store

Clothing retailer Larrimor's plans to close its store at the Galleria in Mt. Lebanon after 20 years to concentrate on its Downtown location. “We want to return to our roots as one great destination store,” said Tom Michael, president of the company, which has been in business for 74 years. The Galleria store will close at the end of May when its lease expires, Michael said. Larrimor's specializes in men's and women's designer clothing. Its other location is on the first level at One PNC Plaza. Michael declined to say how many employees work at the Galleria store or whether they will be offered jobs Downtown.

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