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SUPPLIERS CUT OFF PENN TRAFFIC

SYRACUSE (AP) -- Concerned about the possibility The Penn Traffic Co. could again file for bankruptcy, vendors have stopped supplying groceries to the regional chain's stores.

The Syracuse-based company, which operates 212 stores in six states, including 7 Quality Markets stores in Western New York, announced Tuesday it was further delaying filing its annual financial report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and was considering reorganizing under Chapter 11 protection.

Vendor cutoff is normal when a retailer announces it might file for bankruptcy protection, said company spokesman Marc Jampole. He said the company's stores were well-stocked, as were the company's warehouses and other distribution centers.

Ahold restates its restatement

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Royal Ahold said Wednesday that the restated sales numbers for 2001 and 2002 it issued Friday contained "typing errors," prompting another correction.

In 2001, group sales were 54.40 billion euros, or $63.7 billion at current exchange rates. On Friday, it had said sales were 54.04 billion euros, a difference of $417 million.

The error was in South American sales, Ahold said. The correct sales were 1.27 billion euros, instead of 917 million euros reported Friday.

Ahold also understated 2002 sales in Europe by 40 million euros, or $47 million. The company Friday said sales were 3.42 billion euros, when they were actually 3.46 billion euros, or $4.05 billion.

However, 2002 total group sales of 62.9 billion euros, or $73.6 billion, were not corrected.

Ahold operates more than 9,000 supermarkets, discount and specialty stores in 27 countries, including Tops supermarkets in the United States.

Bad weather boosts jobless claims

WASHINGTON (AP) -- More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, in part because some businesses were forced to shut down after tornadoes wreaked damage upon the Midwest.

The Labor Department reported today that new applications for state unemployment insurance rose by a seasonally adjusted 7,000 to 428,000 for the work week ending May 17. That marked the highest level in two weeks and pushed claims to a higher point than the 420,000 level economists were predicting.

The rise in claims last week was due largely to layoffs at businesses that were shut down or disrupted by tornadoes that tore through some states in the Midwest, a Labor Department analyst said.

Still, for 14 straight weeks, new claims have been above the 400,000 mark, a level associated with a sluggish job market.

Brazil probes AES and Enron

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) -- Brazil will investigate allegations that U.S. energy giant AES Corp. and Enron Corp. conspired to rig the 1998 bidding process for Latin America's largest electric utility, a top government official said Wednesday.

The alleged agreement allowed AES to buy Brazil's Eletropaulo for the minimum bid of $1.78 billion, according to a report in the Financial Times of London.

Enron agreed not to bid for the utility in return for other potentially lucrative energy deals with AES, an investigation by the newspaper found.

Ex-manager accuses Coke of fraud

ATLANTA (AP) -- A former Coca-Cola manager claims in a lawsuit that company officials conducted a massive fraud using slush funds to boost equipment sales and rigged a marketing test of Frozen Coke at Burger King restaurants.

Coke said Matthew Whitley filed the suit after it refused a demand to pay him $44.4 million to prevent it. Whitley lost his job as finance director for supply management at the fountain division in March amid a reorganization that eliminated 1,000 jobs.

The lawsuit also claims the company discriminates against minority employees and cooks its books with "phantom" deliveries of syrup that never reach their destinations.

Whitley says he was fired for raising the concerns to Steven Heyer, Coke's president and chief operating officer.

Intel holders veto expensing options

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Accepting the arguments of management, Intel Corp. shareholders on Wednesday voted down a proposal that called on the chip maker's board of directors to expense employee stock options.

Intel executives lobbied shareholders to reject the plan, which would have resulted in accounting for billions of dollars in expenses for options that are currently worthless.

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