Originally created 06/11/04

Business briefs



Former Mitsubishi president arrested

TOKYO - Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s former president Katsuhiko Kawasoe was arrested Thursday on charges related to a cover-up of auto defects suspected in a fatal accident.

Five other Mitsubishi officials, including a former president and vice president at the truck unit, also were under arrest, police said.

The arrests come just weeks after several Mitsubishi officials were charged in a separate accident, and are a serious setback to a turnaround plan announced last month after company partner DaimlerChrysler refused to provide it more cash.

Ford settles with lease customers

LANSING, Mich. - Thousands of Ford Motor Credit customers could receive $100 each as part of a settlement related to the company's vehicle leasing practices. Notices will be sent to customers involved in the settlement.

The $6 million agreement involves 38 states, including Georgia and South Carolina.

The settlement affects certain customers who ended a lease before its expiration date and subsequently bought the vehicle.

Earnings forecast satisfies P&G

CINCINNATI - Procter & Gamble Co. said Thursday that it is comfortable with analysts' 1-cent increased earnings estimate for the fourth quarter that ends June 30.

Analysts have raised their fourth-quarter earnings estimates to 97 cents per share. The company has given no specific estimate for earnings, a spokesman said. P&G is expected to release the quarterly earnings Aug. 2.

Sara Lee plans to close five plants

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Sara Lee Branded Apparel, the makers of Wonderbra, Hanes and Playtex products, will shut five plants and lay off 3,825 workers worldwide by year's end, the company announced Thursday.

The news comes as the company consolidates its production of intimates, sportswear and underwear. The changes are being made in anticipation of apparel trade restrictions set to expire at year's end.