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Business news briefs — Dec. 20

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INSURANCE

Report charts premiums

The Ohio Department of Insurance announced that the state’s average homeowner premiums ranked sixth lowest among the 50 states. Ohio officials cited a report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

The report said the national average premium was $968 per year and Ohio’s average was $652.

The Ohio department said the average is determined by dividing the total premium for a state by the number of insured homes.

The Ohio consumer information phone is 1-800-686-1526. Information is available online at www.insurance.ohio.gov.

EARNINGS

BlackBerry has loss

BlackBerry reported a massive $4.4 billion loss in the third quarter and 56 percent drop in revenue in its first results under new Chairman and Interim Chief Executive John Chen, who hopes to make the company profitable again by 2016.

BlackBerry also announced it is entering into a five-year partnership with Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that assembles products in vast factories in China. Foxconn will jointly design and manufacture some new BlackBerry devices and manage the inventory.

Walgreen’s profits up

Walgreen’s fiscal first-quarter earnings soared 68 percent, helped in part by investments that the nation’s largest drugstore chain has made in other companies.

Overall, Walgreen earned $695 million, or 72 cents per share, in its fiscal first quarter, up from $413 million, or 43 cents per share a year ago, when the company took a $24 million hit after Superstorm Sandy forced it to temporarily close hundreds of stores.

Revenue climbed 6 percent to $18.33 billion.

Adjusted earnings, which exclude one-time items, also totaled 72 cents per share.

Analysts forecast adjusted earnings of 72 cents per share on $18.36 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

MANUFACTURING

Jobs come to Clyde

Whirlpool is moving production of its commercial front-load washing machines from Mexico to Ohio.

The appliance maker, whose brands include Maytag, Kenmore and its namesake, said Friday that 80 to 100 new jobs will be created in Ohio over the next three years to support the relocation. The Clyde, Ohio, plant is 2.4 million square feet, which Whirlpool says is the largest washing machine plant in the world. The company currently makes all of its residential washing machines for the U.S. at the plant.

REAL ESTATE

IRG moves in Xenia

IRG’s Ohio team has made another investment.

Developers Chris Semarjian and Stuart Lichter acquired the former SuperValu Warehouse in Xenia, the developers said.

The 522,000-square-foot facility was formerly SuperValu’s food distribution and warehouse center for large-scale dry, cool and freezer storage.

The Dec. 3 purchase was $4.3 million, according to Greene County property records.

The warehouse acquisition was made by Xenia Bellbrook LLC. Lichter is a principal of Southern California-based Industrial Realty Group and Semarjian, of Cleveland’s Industrial Commerce Limited, is his Buckeye State partner. Both have invested extensively in the Dayton area, including in a former General Motors plant in Moraine, which they renamed Progress Park in 2011.

They also developed the new Goodyear headquarters and are doing rehabilitation work on the former East Market Street complex for Goodyear in Akron.

In their announcement, the investors said reuse plans include offering the former SuperValu site to businesses who need temperature-controlled storage and distribution.

The building includes 300,000 square feet of dry storage, 100,000 square feet of refrigerated space and 80,000 square feet of freezer space.

MERGER

Auto industry deal set

Dealertrack Technologies Inc., which makes software used by auto dealerships, said it is buying privately held Dealer.com in a cash and stock deal that could be worth nearly $1 billion. The company said the deal will expand the services it provides to auto dealers, lenders and shoppers. Dealer.com of Burlington, Vt., makes marketing and customer-relationship-management software for auto dealerships.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.


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