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Danka Business Systems PLC, which bought Eastman Kodak Co.'s copier distribution business in 1996, is cutting about 450 jobs in the photography company's hometown.

Danka has seen a sharp decline in revenues, profit and stock price since it doubled in size by buying Kodak's copier sales and service business for $688 million.

In an attempt to avoid bankruptcy, Danka said Friday it is laying off about half its work force here but will offer to relocate some of them to other Danka plants around the country.

Short on cash and pondering bankruptcy, Danka had accounted for 90 percent of Kodak's $425 million in annual copier sales until the companies terminated their supply contract in December.

In November, Kodak eliminated about 300 jobs at its copier assembly plant because of declining demand from Danka.

Office equipment distributor Danka is based in London with U.S. headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fla. It employs 20,000 people worldwide.

Judge OKs deal for GM truck owners
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- About 6 million owners of General Motors trucks with fuel tanks on the side will get $1,000 vouchers to use in buying new GM vehicles, under a court ruling that could wrap up a 7-year dispute.

A leading consumer advocacy group, which had opposed earlier settlements in other state courts, said it would not challenge the Louisiana decision.

The vouchers will go to the 5.8 million people who owned the trucks as of July 1, 1996, when the national class-action settlement was first approved, said Michael Crow, attorney for the truck owners.

The vouchers are good toward the purchase of any GM vehicle except Saturns. They go to owners of General Motors C- or K-series trucks built from 1973-87 or a R- or V- series truck built from 1987-91.

Critics had claimed side-mounted gas tanks on the trucks were fire hazards in side-impact crashes. Most trucks' tanks are mounted in the middle of the frame to protect them. The settlement also drew criticism for the more than $24 million in payments to attorneys when truck owners were not getting cash but vouchers that had to be used to buy a new GM vehicle.

20,000 to lose jobs as Caldor closes
NORWALK, Conn. (AP) -- After struggling for three years to revive its ailing company, discount retailer Caldor Corp. said Friday it will close all of its 145 stores and go out of business for good.

More than 20,000 employees who work at Caldor's stores will lose their jobs after the stores close in May.

After three years of operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection, the decision to liquidate followed the refusal of a group of creditors to agree to a plan of reorganization.

Caldor was founded in 1951 by Carl and Dorothy Bennett, who combined their first names to form "Caldor" and opened one small store in Port Chester, N.Y. The Bennetts sold Caldor to Associated Dry Goods Corp., and in 1986, ADG merged with the May Department Stores Co.

In 1991, Caldor went public and grew into a company with $2.5 billion in annual sales.

But in recent years, Caldor failed to distinguish itself from other regional discounters, like Ames Department Stores, and couldn't compete with retail giants like Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target.

Buffalo stock index rises in week
Buffalo stocks rose this week, led by General Motors Corp., Adelphia Communications Corp. and Bethlehem Steel Corp.

The Buffalo Bloomberg Stock Index, an employee-weighted list of 57 companies with operations in the region, rose 3.65, or 1.83 percent, to 203.38, mirroring movement in the broader markets. The index is up 4.68 percent so far this year.

General Motors Corp. shares rose 7 7/1 6 to end the week at a 52-week closing high of 90 3/4 . It reported fourth-quarter earnings rose 55 percent, beating estimates, to $2.19 billion, or $3.25 a share. It was expected to earn $2.65 a share, based on the average estimate of analysts surveyed by First Call Corp.

Adelphia Communications Corp. shares rose 4 3/8 to 52 5/1 6. Shares of the largest U.S. cable television companies surged Tuesday and Wednesday on optimism that revenue will rise as local telephone service and Internet access are offered over their systems.

Bethlehem Steel Corp. rose 5/1 6 to 9 1/4 as President Bill Clinton called for a new round of worldwide trade negotiations, which could include accepting fewer steel imports.

This week, the Buffalo Bloomberg Stock Index outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index.

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