Dial Corp. will lay off 700 people, close six plants and phase out some product lines -- including venerable Purex liquid bleach -- to cut costs and stay competitive.
The company's 5-year-old Lunch Buckets line of microwave meals is another casualty of the cost-cutting move, which Dial announced yesterday. The company said the move would result in a $130 million charge against third-quarter profit.
John Teets, chairman and chief executive officer of the company behind such household names as Dial soap and Breck shampoo, declined to detail which plants would be closed or where layoffs would occur to reduce the consumer products division's work force by 15 percent.
Warzel relinquishes United Artists presidency
Peter C. Warzel has resigned as president and chief operating officer of United Artists Theatre Circuit Inc., citing personal obligations, the company announced yesterday. He also was a board member and has led United Artists for five years.
The company said Mr. Warzel had expressed concern that personal matters needing his attention would affect his job performance, but officials did not elaborate.
Stewart Blair, chairman and chief executive officer, will assume Mr. Warzel's duties and a successor will not be sought, the company said.
Japanese economic index still under key level
Japan's key economic indicators announced yesterday showed little hope for an immediate upturn in the economy, staying below a critical level indicating "boom or bust" for a third straight month.
The index of leading economic indicators -- closely watched as a barometer of trends in economic activity for the subsequent six months -- stood at 20.0 on a scale of 100 in July. It was at 15.4 in June and 23.1 in May.
It was the third straight month that the index, compiled from a basket of indicators such as jobs data and money supply, has been below the so-called "boom or bust mark" of 50.
U.S. Patent Office going on-line
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is going on-line in November.
Officials said yesterday they will open a home page on the Internet's World Wide Web on Nov. 9 with a file of patents issued over the last 20 years.
The file will list each patent and include data from the first page of the listing published in the Official Gazette of the Patent Office. The searchable files will permit researchers to determine if an invention they are working on is similar or identical to one that has already been patented.