Business news briefs: Area manufacturer acquires U.K.-based industrial firm

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Area manufacturer acquires U.K.-based industrial firm

Wilmerding-based Wabtec Corp. has acquired Napier Turbochargers Ltd., a U.K.-based provider of turbochargers and related parts for the power generation and marine markets. Wabtec would not disclose the cost of the deal. Napier, based in Lincoln, England, has about 150 employees and annual sales of about $55 million.

Wesco net income, sales for year higher than 2011

South Side-based Wesco International reported fourth-quarter net income of $48.6 million, or 95 cents a share, compared to net income of $54.8 million, or $1.12 a share, for the fourth quarter of 2011. Sales for the quarter ended Dec. 31 were $1.64 billion compared to $1.29 billion the fourth quarter last year. Net income for the year was $223.9 million, or $4.38 per share, compared to 2011 net income of $196.3 million, or $3.96 a share. Sales for 2012 were $6.6 billion compared to sales of $6.1 billion in 2011.

Debt-collection operation shut after complaint

A U.S. district court has shut down a Houston-based debt collection operation and frozen its assets following a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission accusing the business of illegally using insults, lies and false threats to collect on payday loans. The operation -- Goldman Schwartz Inc. and three affiliates -- collected debts nationwide for payday loan companies such as Ace Cash Express, Advance America, First Cash Advance and Money Mart, the FTC said. For information about dealing with debt collectors, see "Debt Collection FAQs" at www.ftc.gov.

Kraft sues Cracker Barrel over food packaging plans

Kraft Foods is suing Cracker Barrel Old Country Store over the restaurant chain's plans to use the "Cracker Barrel" name on packaged ham, bacon and other foods. Kraft notes that it started using the "Cracker Barrel" name on cheese in 1954. A representative for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store wasn't immediately available for comment.

Apple is No. 1 seller of phones in the U.S.

The launch of the iPhone 5 and the declining popularity of nonsmartphones have made Apple the biggest seller of phones in the U.S. for the first time, research firm Strategy Analytics said Friday. The firm estimates that Apple shipped 17.7 million iPhones of all kinds to U.S. buyers in the October to December period, meaning it accounted for 1 in 3 new phones. Former No. 1 Samsung Electronics of Korea was close behind, shipping 16.8 million phones, including nonsmart ones.

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