LOCAL BUSINESS

Chamber sets China trip

The Greater Akron Chamber is offering a tour of China for the fourth year in a row. The nine-day trip will begin Oct. 16 and run through Oct. 24. A nonrefundable registration fee is due by May 15.

An informational briefing for those interested in going on the tour will be from 5 to 6:15 p.m. May 8 at the Akron-Summit County Main Library, 60 S. High St., downtown Akron.

Chamber membership is not required for the trip, which will focus on Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai.

Cost of the nine-day trip is $2,999, with double occupancy.

The trip will include stays at four- and five-star hotels, 16 meals, an English-speaking tour guide, round-trip airfare from Cleveland and all fees for all main attractions on the itinerary. The tour will include landmarks such as the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square.

Reservations for the tour briefing are requested. RSVP by calling 330-376-5550.

For more information as well as a detailed itinerary, visit www.greaterakronchamber.org or contact Tony Rinella at rinella@greaterakronchamber.org.

Companies get awards

A truck-driving school and a financial planning company are among the recipients of the Greater Akron Chamber Small Business Council’s 2012 Excellence in Business awards.

The recipients are:

• Corporate Technologies Group, a network consulting company in Hudson.

• Hamrick School, a truck-driving school in Sharon Township.

• Jentner Wealth Management, a financial planning business in Bath Township.

• Kovatch Castings Inc. of Green.

An awards luncheon, sponsored by Apple Growth Partners and CFBank, is set for June 8 at the Sheraton Suites at 1989 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls. Cost is $30 per member and $35 per nonmember. Tables of eight are available for $250.

For reservations, call the Greater Akron Chamber at 330-376-5550 or register online at http://www.greaterakronchamber.org.

ENERGY

Fuel-cell program set

A top official of Honda North America Inc. will be the featured presenter at the first Ohio Fuel Cell Symposium, set for Tuesday and Wednesday at the Spitzer Conference Center at Lorain County Community College in Elyria.

Honda’s Edward B. Cohen, vice president, government and industry affairs, will speak along with representatives of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, JobsOhio, Delphi Corp., Crown Equipment, CSA Group, and the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

The symposium will run from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, and 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Wednesday.

Cohen, who served as deputy special assistant to President Jimmy Carter, will give his presentation at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

For more information and to register, visit www.fuelcellcorridor.com or call 440-366-4230.

EARNINGS

Simon raises dividend

Simon Property Group Inc., the largest U.S. shopping-mall owner that includes Summit Mall in Fairlawn, raised its quarterly dividend and full-year profit forecast after a financial measure called funds from operations (FFO) increased more than analysts estimated.

The payout was raised to $1 a share from 95 cents. FFO, a measure of a property company’s ability to generate cash, will total $7.50 to $7.60 a share in 2012, the company predicted. That’s up from an estimate last month of $7.35 to $7.50.

Simon has increased rents as tenant revenue rises at the company’s outlet centers and regional malls. Simon, an Indianapolis-based real estate investment trust, is also expanding overseas to increase growth. It bought a 28.7 percent stake in European shopping-center operator Klepierre SA for about $2 billion last month.

First-quarter FFO climbed to $648.7 million, or $1.82 a share, from $570.6 million, or $1.61, a year earlier. That exceeds $1.68 a share, the average of 20 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue climbed 9.7 percent to $1.12 billion.

Profits at Continental

Continental AG, Europe’s second-largest auto-parts maker, including tires, reported first-quarter operating profit that beat estimates as sales of car components and tires exceeded market growth. Earnings before interest and taxes jumped 21 percent to $1.01 billion, the German-based company said. Sales rose 10 percent.

Continental reiterated a forecast that revenue in 2012 will increase more than 5 percent. It scaled back the target on March 1 from a prediction of as much as 8 percent growth, citing a contraction in Europe’s car market.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.