In the Region Tax break OK'd for Saratoga St. apartment...

BUSINESS DIGEST

October 18, 2001

In the Region

Tax break OK'd for Saratoga St. apartment project The city Board of Estimates approved a tax break yesterday for Saratoga Court, an empty downtown office building being converted to apartments.

The $8.3 million project, at 222 E. Saratoga St.. will be developed and owned by D'Aleo & Associates and other equity investors. The investors are 13 percent minority-owned businesses and 17 percent woman-owned businesses, according to an agreement with the city.

The benefits of the payment in lieu of taxes will last 10 years and are aimed at encouraging conversion of underused buildings into housing. The city has approved five similar tax breaks for downtown buildings.

Sept. 11 emotions to cost mental health provider

Magellan Health Services Inc. of Columbia said yesterday that its added costs for providing mental health services after last month's terrorist attacks would be less than $4 million, which would not have "enduring effect" on the company. Magellan's annual revenue is about $1.7 billion.

The company said it was issuing the statement "in response to inquiries from the financial community." Magellan is an insurer for mental health and employee assistance program services covering about 70 million people.

In the first day after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Magellan's employee assistance center had received requests for 322 "critical incident" counseling sessions, but requests have since declined significantly.

SafeNet loses 10 cents a share, from gain of 26 cents in 2000

SafeNet Inc., a White Marsh developer of Internet security software, reported yesterday a net loss of $717,000, or 10 cents per diluted share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30, compared with a gain of $1.9 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, for the comparable period in 2000.

Revenue for the three-month period was $4.1 million. That was down 46 percent from $7.6 million for the year-ago period.

The company said it expects a net loss of 5 cents to 7 cents a share for the fourth quarter and a net loss of 20 cents to 22 cents for the fiscal year on revenue of $18.1 million to $18.4 million.

Prometric says it renewed contract with Microsoft

Prometric Inc., a Baltimore computer testing company, said yesterday that it had renewed its contract with Microsoft Corp. to offer the software giant's certification exams.

The certification exams will be delivered around the world. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the contract runs through next year, Prometric said.

Prometric delivers about 40 Microsoft certification exams in several different languages. The new contract with Microsoft includes marketing functions.

Jos. A. Bank to open 7 more stores next month

Seven of the stores Jos. A. Bank Clothiers planned this year will open next month, increasing the Hampstead-based retailer's size to 135 stores.

The stores will open in existing markets, including Pittsburgh; Dallas; Denver; Clarendon, Va.; Marlton, N.J.; Columbus, Ohio; and Louisville, Ky. The men's apparel chain already has opened 14 new stores this year.

Robert N. Wildrick, chief executive officer, also said yesterday that October sales are meeting expectations. "We are having a good third quarter," he said.

Elsewhere

Boeing reportedly plans almost 50% cut in plane production

Two Boeing Co. suppliers say they have been told the company plans to cut airplane production in the Puget Sound area nearly in half by late spring, The Seattle Times reported yesterday.

Boeing would not comment on the report. The aerospace giant is expected to offer guidance on its projected financial future when it reports earnings today.

Meanwhile, Continental Airlines and British Airways said they are negotiating with Boeing to defer delivery of an unspecified number of planes they had ordered.

Atlanta afternoon paper to cease publication Nov. 5

The Atlanta Journal will cease afternoon publication and will combine with The Atlanta Constitution for morning editions starting Nov. 5, Publisher Roger S. Kintzel announced yesterday. No layoffs are expected.

The newspapers have a combined daily circulation of 418,944. In the six months ending in April, the Journal had an average circulation of 87,840.

The Cox Enterprises Inc. publications have shared a news staff since 1982 and publish combined editions as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on weekends.

Alcan to cut 5% to 7% of workers as earnings fall

Alcan Inc. said yesterday that it will cut 5 percent to 7 percent of its worldwide work force, a reduction that trim 2,600 to 3,640 jobs, as the Canadian aluminum giant responds to slower demand for its products.

Alcan said its third-quarter earnings fell to $151 million from $181 million in the year-earlier quarter.

This column was compiled from reports by Sun staff writers, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and Reuters.

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