FINANCE

Jones Apparel Group 3Q Profit Drops

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Jones Apparel Group Inc. reported that its third-quarter net income dropped 93% to $27.3 million from $400.1 million a year ago, citing slower sales and the elimination of two sportswear lines.

The exit of those moderate sportswear lines hurt profit by about $65 million in the quarter, the company said.

The year-ago quarter’s profit was helped by a $90.9 million income-tax benefit that was only partially offset by hefty restructuring costs. In the 2008 third quarter, the company reported a $14.6 million provision for income taxes rather than a benefit.

The bankruptcy filings of two regional department stores and the lower shipping volumes that resulted also affected results, the company said.

Revenue fell 6% to $964.7 million from $1.03 billion.

Sales fell in both the wholesale jeans and wholesale better apparel divisions. Wholesale footwear and accessories sales grew slightly, while licensing revenue also dipped.

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Lhermite joins Playlogic as manager of Game Factory

BY CSA STAFF

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands and NEW YORK Playlogic Entertainment announced that Olivier Lhermite joins Playlogic as managing director of its in-house development studio; the Playlogic Game Factory. Lhermite previously worked as group technical director at Electronic Arts on popular franchises like the FIFA, NBA and NHL series.

Dominique Morel, chief technical officer at Playlogic, said: “Olivier’s strong managerial background and vast industry experience will help us to embark on new exciting IPs and technological excellence.”

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Whirlpool to cut 5,000 jobs

BY CSA STAFF

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. Whirlpool announced that in order to reduce costs, it has cut approximately 5,000 jobs across its global organization, including both jobs that have already been announced through plant closures along with new reductions taking place now and through the end of 2009.

In North America specifically, Whirlpool said the cuts would affect about 500 positions.

 

According to Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool chairman and ceo, the actions are expected to produce savings of approximately $275 million on an annualized basis. “While decisions to eliminate jobs and close facilities are very difficult, they are necessary to create a cost-effective business structure. These changes will ensure that our company is proactively taking the necessary steps to adjust its cost structure and production capacity to lower expected demand levels.”

 

Whirlpool’s staff reductions come after the company announced that earning from continuing operations decreased 7% to $163 million, or $2.15 per diluted share, compared to $175 million, or $2.20 per diluted share reported during the previous year’s quarter. Revenue of $4.9 billion for the quarter increased 1% from the $4.8 billion reported in the third quarter of 2007.

“We are in the midst of a rapidly changing and very challenging economic environment. We have seen a sharp drop in demand in North America and Europe during the third quarter, and we do not expect demand conditions to improve in the near term,” said Fettig, Whirlpool chairman and ceo. “Our third-quarter results were negatively impacted by declining demand and record levels of cost inflation. These unfavorable factors were partially offset by improved price/mix and productivity.

“The global credit crisis has had a profound negative impact on what was already a weakening and very fragile global economy. Declining home values, rising unemployment and very low consumer confidence levels will likely prolong a negative demand environment at least through the middle of 2009.”

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