Business News Briefs: Heinz sales fall while profit climbs

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Heinz sales fall while profit climbs

Sales dipped at the H.J. Heinz Co. during the first quarter, with the declines attributed to a range of issues from restructuring costs to divestitures, currency translation rates and slower sales in categories like U.S. frozen meals and snacks. The Pittsburgh food company reported overall profit climbed 9.8 percent to $195.2 million, helped by lower expenses. Net income from continuing operations fell to $195 million from $213 million during the same period last year. Total sales of $2.8 billion compared to $2.86 billion.

In addition, the company said Hein Schumacher, zone president of Asia Pacific, plans to resign effective May 26. Mr. Schumacher had been president of Heinz China before becoming zone president last June.

Japan’s biggest lender mulls BNY trust bid

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is considering a bid for Bank of New York Mellon’s corporate trust business, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The unit, which helps companies process payments on debt they issue, employs about 3,500 worldwide, including about 135 in Pittsburgh. Mitsubishi is Japan’s biggest lender. BNY Mellon’s spokesman in Pittsburgh, Ron Gruendl, declined comment. BNY Mellon reportedly has hired Goldman Sachs to find a buyer for the unit.

VETaxi in­tro­duces ‘white glove’ ser­vice

Cranberry-based Star Transportation Group's VETaxi division announced Friday it will offer a “white glove” car service, that will use all electric-powered Tesla Model S Premium vehicles. All of VETaxi’s drivers are military veterans or family members of veterans.

ABARTA aims to reach $8.1M capital goal

Jim Taylor, chairman of ABARTA Inc. headquartered in RIDC Park, is helping to raise money to complete the $8.1 million capital campaign needed to build the Lauri Ann West Community Center in O’Hara. With less than $600,000 left to be raised, the campaign will be featured at the Gardenfest event today Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Boyd Community Center in O’Hara.

Job openings, hiring slip in March

The Labor Department said Friday that employers posted 4 million jobs in March, down 2.7 percent from February. Total hiring dipped 1.6 percent to 4.63 million in March.

McDonald's testing seasoned french fries

McDonald’s has started testing seasoned French fries, called “Shakin’ Flavor Fries,” at restaurants in Northern California and St. Louis. Customers will be able to choose garlic Parmesan, spicy buffalo or zesty ranch flavors.

Ford recalls Escape, C-Max hybrid vehicles

Ford is recalling more than 692,000 2013 and 2014 Escape small SUVs and C-Max gas-electric hybrids in North America. The recalls cover a software glitch that can stop the side curtain air bags from inflating in some rollover crashes and exterior door handles that can stop the doors from latching properly, allowing them to open while the SUVs are in motion.

Wholesale stockpiles rise 1.1 percent in March

U.S. wholesale business stockpiles rose 1.1 percent in March after a 0.7 percent gain in February, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Sales at the wholesale level were up 1.4 percent, the best showing since a 1.9 percent rise in May 2013.


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