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Business Today

Katrina to cut into Walter's earnings

By wire services
Published September 1, 2005

Damage from Hurricane Katrina reached Tampa Bay area businesses Wednesday with Walter Industries Inc. saying the storm will have an impact on its third-quarter earnings but that it's too soon to say how much.

The Tampa company expects "significant claims-related losses" at its insurance unit, which has nearly 10,000 policies in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. In addition, two of its pipe-manufacturing plants were temporarily idled by power outages. Also, some of its home-construction regions reported little damage while others remained out of communication, and 612,000 tons of coal located at the Port of Mobile were not significantly affected. Walter's stock closed at $43.87, up 1 percent.

Machinists told to reject Boeing offer

Boeing Co.'s machinists union recommended workers reject the "final" contract offer and go on strike, saying the world's biggest aircraftmaker can afford to spend more on employee benefits. The offer, given to leaders of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers on Wednesday, raises workers' pensions by 10 percent to $66 a month per year of service.

Orlando to launch global ad campaign

Hoping to reclaim tourism business lost to Las Vegas, Australia and Spain, Orlando area officials are deploying a $7.5-million global advertising campaign. The strategy unveiled Tuesday by the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau will more heavily target the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, Mexico and Germany and renew efforts in Canada after a several-year hiatus."We feel like there's an opportunity in the international market, and we want to capture our share of that market," said Jose Estorino, senior vice president for marketing at the bureau.

Recording industry files copyright suits

The recording industry said it filed lawsuits against 754 more people as part of its effort to thwart the illegal downloading of copyrighted music over the Internet. The lawsuits against unnamed individuals were filed in seven states and Washington, D.C. The downloads were distributed through so-called peer-to-peer services such as Grokster, KaZaA and LimeWire, the Recording Industry Association of America said in a statement.

McDonald's names new marketing chief

McDonald's Corp., the world's largest restaurant chain, named Quaker Foods President Mary Dillon marketing chief as the company's sales growth slows. Dillon, 44, replaces Larry Light, who will retire at year's end, the company said in a statement today. She will have the title of global chief marketing officer.

[Last modified September 1, 2005, 00:57:17]

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