In the Region Novavax's revenue rises, but loss grows...

BUSINESS DIGEST

May 08, 2001

In the Region

Novavax's revenue rises, but loss grows to 10 cents a share

Novavax Inc. said yesterday that its first-quarter loss widened, despite increased revenue, as the company's employee base and marketing expenses grew substantially.

The Columbia pharmaceutical company reported a quarterly net loss of $2.2 million, or 10 cents a share, on $5 million in revenue. That compares with a loss of $1.4 million, or 8 cents a share, on revenue of $700,000 in the first quarter of 2000.

The increased revenue and costs reflected Novavax's acquisition of Fielding Pharmaceutical Co. of St. Louis, whose products contributed $4.3 million in revenue in the quarter. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose to $3.5 million for the quarter, compared with $640,000 in the year-ago period.

Technology used by Celsion gets development grant

The National Institutes of Health has paid $417,000 to support the further development of a technology licensed to Celsion Corp. for the treatment of prostate cancer, the Columbia company said yesterday. MMTC, of Princeton, N.J., received the grant to develop a treatment for prostate cancer that involves the use of heat focused on abnormal prostate cells. MMTC has licensed the technology to Celsion.

Celsion already is testing the technology in Phase II clinical trials against benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is marked by an enlargement of the prostate that contributes to problems such as difficulty urinating.

Marriott International to grow by development

J. Willard Marriott Jr., chairman and chief executive of Marriott International Inc., told analysts and investors in Washington yesterday that the biggest U.S. hotel management company will focus on growing through development of its existing brands after losing its bid for Europe's Le Meridien hotels.

Last week, the Bethesda company, which owns and franchises Ritz Carlton, Marriott, Renaissance and other hotels, pulled out of the bidding for Le Meridien, a chain of luxury hotels owned by Compass Group PLC. Marriott's final bid of $1.8 billion pounds ($2.59 billion) fell below the 1.85 billion pounds offered by Nomura International PLC.

The company plans to add 70,000 new hotel rooms through 2002 in the United States and expects to double the number of rooms it has in Europe to about 65,000 by 2003. About 20 percent of European hotels are run by chains, compared with 80 percent of U.S. hotels.

Still, Marriott said, the company remains interested in Le Meridien if an agreement can't be worked out with Nomura.

Allegany County loses 20 jobs, but gains 25 others

Allegany Technology Inc. said yesterday that it will eliminate 20 of its nearly 50 jobs in Cumberland as a result of a company-wide reorganization.

The company, a subsidiary of SI Technologies that builds industrial scales, will move its accounting and mechanical manufacturing departments to Southern California, leaving its sales and service department to serve East Coast customers, and its only electronic manufacturing unit.

Meanwhile, U.S. Marine/Bayliner says it will lease a 15,000-square-foot shell building in Allegany County Industrial Park that it will use to put boat components in containers for shipment to foreign distributors. That work is expected to create about 25 jobs.

Electronic documents firm in city hires ex-Sequoia VP

eOriginal Inc, a Baltimore electronic documents company, named Bryan Caporlette as chief technology officer yesterday.

Caporlette, 34, was previously executive vice president of strategic technology for Sequoia Software Corp. in Columbia. Sequoia was recently purchased by Citrix Systems Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Caporlette will lead strategic planning, applications development, operations and engineering for eOriginal's information technology team. He was an early developer of eXtensible Markup Language, which aids interactive communication on the Internet.

Elsewhere

Northwest mechanics expected to approve contract tomorrow

Northwest Airlines Corp.'s mechanics are likely to approve a new contract tomorrow that gives them the industry's best pay and more than doubles their retirement benefits, consultants and workers said.

The two sides reached an agreement on a tentative contract April 9, about a month after President Bush appointed a presidential emergency board to prevent a strike by the union's 9,800 mechanics and cleaners.

The contract raises base pay, followed by increases of as much as 4 percent annually in the next three years. An average Northwest mechanic's annual pay now tops out at $54,390 after five years on the job. The pay level and the chance to get a new contract after four years of negotiations are big selling points, supporters said.

Sears, J.C. Penney stores to sell new Avon line

Avon Products Inc., the world's leading direct seller of beauty products, is rewriting its 115-year-old rules of doing business. "We want to shake things up," said Andrea Jung, chief executive officer. "We can't be staid."

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