Business news briefs: Findlay chemical producer downsizing

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Lanxess, the German-based rubber and chemicals producer with North American headquarters in Findlay, will cut 1,000 jobs and employee bonuses because of a downturn in demand, its global chairman said Wednesday. The cutbacks should save Lanxess about $134 million annually beginning in 2015, the company said. Jobs will be reduced mainly through a voluntary separation program, but Axel Heitmann, chairman, said forced layoffs could not be ruled out. Lanxess has about 17,500 employees worldwide. Officials at the North American headquarters were not available to comment. Lanxess has 1,500 employees at 14 sites in North America including about 350 in the Pittsburgh region.

Unfairly traded steel frustrates

Allegheny Technologies and AK Steel are crying foul over imports of steel used in electrical transformers, alleging the unfairly traded steel is harming them because it is priced below cost. The two companies, along with the United Steelworkers union, filed complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce against seven countries. They want the agencies to impose import duties to offset the unfair pricing. They are also seeking additional duties against one of the countries, China, to offset benefits they say that country's producers receive from government subsidies.

FedEx Ground beats forecast

Revenue growth at Moon-based FedEx Ground topped all divisions of its parent company FedEx Corp. in the first quarter. Net income at FedEx Corp. in the first quarter rose 7 percent to $489 million, or $1.53 per share, from $459 million, or $1.45 per share, a year ago. That beat the $1.50 per share analysts expected, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. Company-wide revenue increased 2 percent to $11 billion from $10.79 billion last year, while FedEx Ground posted an 11 percent revenue increase year-over-year, to $2.73 billion.

$5.8M for Kennametal chief

Carlos Cardoso --, Kennametal chairman, president and CEO --, received compensation valued at $5.8 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, down 14 percent from the previous year. The Latrobe toolmaker disclosed his pay in a proxy statement being sent to shareholders in advance of the company's Oct. 22 shareholder meeting.

Field & Stream sites on way

After opening just one Field & Stream store so far, Dick's Sporting Goods is so confident in the new specialty retail concept that it is planning 55 more by fiscal 2017, expected to generate about $750 million in sales. The Findlay company, which held an analyst day meeting Wednesday, has a five-year business plan that includes an overall sales target of $10 billion, with online retail accounting for $1.1 billion. In the most recent fiscal year ended Feb. 2, Dick's reported net sales of $5.8 billion. Dick's opened its first Field & Stream store in Cranberry in August, using intellectual property rights to the brand that were acquired last year.

Economic optimism takes dip

U.S. chief executives are less optimistic about the economy, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Business Roundtable. Its quarterly index, which measures the economic outlook of CEOs from the largest U.S. companies, fell to 79.1 in the third quarter from 84.3 in the previous quarter.

>Toys R Us lists desirables

What will kids want this holiday? Toys R Us' annual list of hot toys includes Big Hugs Elmo, the LeapPad Ultra, Xbox One and Doc McStuffins Deluxe Get Better Check-Up Center, no doubt inspired by the Affordable Care Act. For a full list of the 15 top toys, go to www.toysrus.com

hottoys.

Also in business...

Construction of single-family homes rose 7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 628,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. ??? Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry has unveiled its new Z30, touting it as the company's biggest, fastest and most advanced smartphone.

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