Originally created 11/26/03

Business Briefs



Atlantic will create new low-fare airline

SAVANNAH, Ga. - Atlantic Coast Airlines, which operates United Express flights from Savannah to Washington Dulles and Chicago, has announced its intention to break from United Express and form a new low-fare airline.

Independence Air will be based at Washington Dulles International Airport and will create one of the country's largest low-fare hubs with more than 325 daily departures to destinations across the United States.

For the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, the new airline could mean up to eight flights daily to Dulles by midyear, when the airline is expected to take flight.

Heinz says profits fell in second quarter

PITTSBURGH - H.J. Heinz Co. reported that its second-quarter earnings fell nearly 10 percent from the same quarter last year, when the ketchup giant was still reporting results from businesses since spun off to Del Monte Corp.

Heinz said Tuesday it earned $191.5 million, or 54 cents a share, in the three months ending Oct. 29, compared with $212.1 million, or 60 cents per share, last fiscal year.

Sales slipped to $2.09 billion for the quarter, down from $2.1 billion last year.

Farm business Deere sees earnings rise

MOLINE, Ill. - Farm and construction equipment maker Deere & Co. said its profits rose nearly 4 percent in its fourth fiscal quarter and more than doubled for the year.

Deere said Tuesday it earned $70.6 million, or 27 cents per share, in the three months ending Oct. 31 compared with $68 million, or 28 cents a share, a year ago.

The company said earnings were reduced by one-time bonuses for employees who ratified a new six-year labor agreement this fall and rising pension costs.

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