Colgate-Palmolive plans to close down factories

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

NEW YORK -- Colgate-Palmolive Co., the consumer products giant behind brands like Ajax detergent and Irish Spring soap, plans to cut its worldwide work force by about 12 percent, or about 4,400 jobs, and close one-third of its factories as part of a four-year plan aimed at boosting its sales and profits. Its stock climbed nearly 8 percent. The moves announced Tuesday come as the consumer products industry has been grappling with higher costs in raw materials, gas and packaging, all of which have put more pressure on profits. Colgate-Palmolive also faces increasing competition from larger rival Procter & Gamble Co., which has taken big bites of the market with an increased focus on skin-care and beauty products.

Anheuser-Busch teams with Saigon Beer

ST. LOUIS -- Beer giant Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. continues to grow its international business, reaching a cooperation agreement with the largest brewer in Vietnam. The agreement with Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverages Corp., known as Sabeco, calls for an exchange and sharing of technical expertise in areas related to management, technology, distribution, marketing and brand and market development, the companies announced this week. Anheuser-Busch said in a statement that both companies recognize the growth potential of the Vietnamese beer market.

Tool buyers sue Sears over Craftsman ads

CHICAGO -- Three tool buyers sued Sears, Roebuck and Co., accusing the retailer of false advertising and consumer fraud through ads stating its Craftsman tool line is "Made in U.S.A." The lawsuit was filed last Thursday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Tool buyers Kenneth Vigiletti, Sidney Hyatt and Elaine Hyatt claim in the lawsuit that Sears' promotions led consumers to buy Craftsman tools out of a sense of patriotism because they were labeled "Made in U.S.A." even though they include metal parts from Austria, Denmark, China, India and Mexico. A spokesman for Sears said Tuesday that more than 1,600 Craftsman hand tools are made in this country, but "we don't claim that every Craftsman tool is made in the U.S.A."

-- From wire reports

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