Originally created 09/09/04

Business briefs



Auto auction plan earns state grant

Economic developers working with a local investment group that is trying to develop an auto auction facility in south Richmond County received approval for a $310,392 state grant Wednesday.

The OneGeorgia Authority announced its grant to the Richmond County Development Authority will help pay for water and sewer extensions and road improvements to a 50-acre tract at the intersection of Doug Barnard Parkway and Dixon Airline Road.

The $7 million project, to be called the Augusta Auto Auction, will cater to regional franchise and independent auto retailers and is expected to create 140 jobs.

Partners in the venture include Jim Watson; his father-in-law Frank Lawrence, the owner of Bobby Jones Ford; his brother-in-law Frank "Bud" Lawrence II; and Dan Dorsey.

The $9 million in grants announced Wednesday also included $200,000 to partially fund the renovation of a Lincoln County industrial building that will be leased by a Louisiana manufacturer of commercial grills. The company, Top Grill Imports LLC, is expected to create 20 jobs.

Local firm handles new 7UP beverage

Augusta beverage company Dixie-Riverside Inc. has been named the area distributor for Dr. Pepper/Seven Up Inc.'s new 7UP Plus, a calcium- and vitamin C-fortified version of the lemon-lime soda.

Dixie-Riverside, which also distributes RC and Sunkist products in the market, began delivering the berry-flavored, low-carbohydrate soda to area stores last week.

"It's doing great," Dixie-Riverside President Ed Perry said. "A lot of people, especially women, are looking for ways to get more calcium."

Coke bottler drops earnings outlook

ATLANTA - Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., the largest bottler of Coca-Cola products, lowered its full-year earnings outlook and put its third-quarter forecast below analysts' expectations due to softer-than-expected volume trends.

For the year, the company said it now expects earnings in a range of $1.21 to $1.25 a share. Excluding a second-quarter nonrecurring item of 5 cents, full year earnings are expected to be $1.26 to $1.30 a share.