Business In Brief - November 8, 2007

Charlotte badge maker moving to Fort Mill

FORT MILL -- A Charlotte ID card maker is moving to Fort Mill, York County officials said Wednesday.

Laminex, a manufacturer of custom-printed ID and access cards, lanyards, badge reels, parking tags and event credentials, is moving its manufacturing, warehousing, and administrative offices from Charlotte to Fort Mill, according to a written statement from the York County Economic Development Corp. Laminex will occupy 32,000 square feet of space at the Lakemont Business Park at 4211 Pleasant Road.

Tim Long, Laminex president, said the company plans to invest about $200,000 in the new location, move 18 jobs to the area and hopes to add up to eight jobs in the next year as the company grows.

Laminex, in business since 1945, also distributes hardware and software for ID, access control and visitor management programs. Other product lines include card printers and ribbons, laminators and film, and a wide selection of badge holders and accessories.

ArvinMeritor to close N.C. plant, open 1 in Mexico

DETROIT -- Auto supplier ArvinMeritor announced Wednesday it will close a plant in North Carolina and open one in Monterrey, Mexico, where some work from the shuttered U.S. operation will move.

The axle operation in Arden, N.C., will close by September 2008. The company will begin transferring work in February to another North Carolina facility as well as the Mexican plant, according to a news release.

The closure is part of ArvinMeritor's previously announced restructuring plan that is expected to affect 13 plants and 2,800 employees.

The Troy, Mich.-based company has a plant in York.

The company said the 400,000-square-foot Mexican plant will provide additional capacity for axle and brake assembly operations and parts manufacturing.

Worker productivity surged in summer

WASHINGTON -- Worker productivity surged in the summer at the fastest pace in four years while wage pressures eased.

The Labor Department reported that productivity -- the amount of output per hour of work -- jumped at an annual rate of 4.9 percent in the July-through-September quarter. That was more than twice the 2.2 percent rise in the second quarter and was the fastest surge in worker efficiency since 2003.

At the same time, wage pressures eased. Unit labor costs dropped at an annual rate of 0.2 percent, the best showing in more than a year.

Time Warner earnings meet expectations

NEW YORK -- Weak results from AOL tempered an otherwise strong quarter at Time Warner, the company reported Wednesday, as gains from cable TV and the latest Harry Potter movie helped the media conglomerate meet Wall Street expectations.

The company, which also owns HBO, Warner Bros., CNN and Time magazine, earned $1.09 billion in the three months ended in September, down 53 percent from the same period a year ago, when results were lifted by investment gains and tax benefits. Per-share earnings fell to 29 cents from 57 cents.

Delta Air Lines to widen scope of overhauls

ATLANTA -- Delta Air Lines on Wednesday announced a 10-year, $1 billion contract with Chromalloy Gas Turbine Corp. that will broaden the types of aircraft engines Delta can service at its massive Atlanta maintenance center, bringing in new revenue.

Chromalloy is a major supplier of jet engine parts, and Delta officials characterized the deal as "the largest and most significant parts manufacturing approval agreement in airline history."

The partnership enables Delta to overhaul more types of jet engines, including one widely used on Airbus jets, which Delta doesn't fly.

Murdoch's News Corp. reports earnings decline

NEW YORK -- Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. reported a 13 percent decline in earnings Wednesday from a year ago, when results were lifted by gains from investment sales.

The company earned $732 million in the three months ended in September, down from $843 million a year ago.

News Corp. -- owner of the Fox network, Fox News Channel, MySpace, the Twentieth Century Fox movie studio, newspapers throughout Australia and England, and the New York Post -- is close to completing a deal to acquire Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, for $5 billion.