Originally created 05/05/04

Business briefs



P&G employees receive awards

Procter & Gamble's Augusta powdered detergent plant on Wednesday announced a one-time special performance award for employees for their recent productivity.

The company, which employs more than 250 on Marvin Griffin Road, offered all nonmanagement employees a choice of two personal days off or the after-tax cash equivalent of those days.

The company also is distributing 3,000 shares of P&G stock to select employees who made "significant business contributions" and will ask managers to organize special celebrations for their employees.

Qwest reports first quarter profit loss

DENVER - Qwest Communications International Inc. reported a first-quarter loss of $310 million, blaming a 3.9 percent drop in revenue partly on fewer local telephone service sales and a delayed launch of its nationwide wireless service.

The loss announced Tuesday amounted to 17 cents a share for the January-March period, in contrast to a profit of $152 million, or 9 cents a share, a year earlier.

Air France deal for KLM completed

PARIS - Air France has acquired control of KLM Royal Dutch, the two carriers announced Tuesday, cementing their agreed merger that would create the world's largest airline company.

In a joint statement, the French and Dutch airlines said they had cleared the last hurdle in the merger they agreed to last year to create Air France-KLM.

KLM shareholders tendered almost 42 million shares representing 89.2 percent of the airline's capital in a share swap offer.

Analysts say oil cost will stay high

LONDON - The price of oil is likely to remain high in coming months and could rise further, analysts say, due to ravenous global demand and petroleum producers' reluctance to boost supplies.

Recent security problems in Saudi Arabia and Iraq also have inflamed markets. Crude for June delivery rose 77 cents on the New York Mercantile Exchange to $38.98 per barrel, a new 13-year high.

AT THE HELM

A top Wall Street personality visits Augusta to talk about the investment world.