Business

Business Briefs: McDonald’s, KFC in China hit with food safety scandal

BEIJING – McDonald’s and KFC in China faced a new food safety scare Monday after a Shanghai television station reported a supplier sold them expired beef and chicken.

The companies said they immediately stopped using meat from the supplier, Husi Food Co. Ltd. The Shanghai office of China’s food and drug agency said it was investigating and told customers to suspend use of the supplier’s products.

Dragon TV said Sunday that Husi, owned by OSI Group of Aurora, Illinois, repackaged old beef and chicken and put new expiration dates on them. It said they were sold to McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants.

The report added to a series of food safety scares in China that have battered public confidence in dairies, fast food outlets and other suppliers.

Allergan to cut 1,500 workers

Botox maker Allergan will cut about 13 percent of its workforce as part of a push to become more efficient while it fights a hostile takeover bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

The Irvine, California, company said Monday it plans to trim about 1,500 employees and roughly 250 vacant positions as it restructures to focus on its “highest value opportunities.”

Allergan said its restructuring will yield annual pretax savings of about $475 million in 2015. It announced the cuts the same day it said second-quarter results trumped analyst expectations, as earnings grew 16 percent to $417.2 million.

Allergan Inc. has rejected several takeover attempts from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and activist investor Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management. The latest amounts to about $53 billion in cash and stock.

Netflix’s 2Q earnings soar

SAN FRANCISCO – Netflix’s second-quarter earnings more than doubled as new episodes from one of its hit series helped the Internet video service surpass 50 million worldwide subscribers for the first time.

The gains announced Monday include an additional 570,000 U.S. subscribers, slightly more than Netflix’s management predicted. The quarter is typically the company’s slowest of the year, as people spend more time outdoors instead of watching video.

The second quarter featured one of Netflix’s marquee attractions, “Orange Is The New Black,” which returned for its second season in early June.

Netflix earned $71 million, or $1.15 per share, during the April-June period. That compared to income of $29.5 million, or 49 cents per share, at the same time last year.

Survey: U.S. sales, hiring rising

DETROIT – Rising sales helped boost hiring and wages at U.S. businesses in the second quarter, and companies are optimistic that the trends will continue this fall, according to a new survey by the National Association for Business Economics.

Fifty-seven percent of the 85 respondents to the quarterly survey said sales at their companies rose in the April-June period. That was up from 53 percent in the first quarter and 35 percent in the same period a year ago. Just 5 percent of firms said sales fell during the second quarter.

Respondents also said the outlook for the July-October period is strong. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they expect sales to increase during the third quarter, and just 1 percent expects sales to decline.

As sales picked up, so did hiring. Thirty-six percent of firms said they hired more workers during the second quarter, up from 28 percent in the first quarter and 29 percent in the second quarter of 2013.



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