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Business

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Business

Earnings rise anew at Biomet

Biomet Inc. on Wednesday reported second fiscal quarter earnings of $4.9 million, an improvement of more than $70 million compared with a loss of $66.2 million during the prior year’s second fiscal quarter.

The Warsaw-based orthopedic supplies manufacturer recorded $122 million in special items for the quarter ended Nov. 30. Without those expenses, earnings would have been $127 million.

Biomet also posted consolidated net sales of $826 million for the quarter, a 5 percent increase over net sales of $790 million for the same period of 2012.

Jeffrey Binder, president and CEO, said in a statement that the sales growth was strong across multiple products and geographic regions.

Consumer borrowing jumps $12.3 billion

Americans increased their borrowing in November, led by continued gains in auto and student loans.

The Federal Reserve said consumers increased their borrowing by $12.3 billion in November to a seasonally adjusted $3.09 trillion. That is a record level and follows an October increase of $17.9 billion.

Almost all of the November increase came from an $11.9 billion rise in borrowing for auto loans and student loans. Borrowing in the category that covers credit cards ticked up only $457.8 million after surging in October.

Credit card borrowing plunged after the recession, and consumers remain cautious about taking on high-interest debt. It has gradually increased to its highest level in more than three years.

Diageo forms venture with rap star Combs

Premium drinks company Diageo has formed a new joint venture with rap star Sean “Diddy” Combs and has bought the prestige tequila brand DeLeon.

The 50/50 partnership between Diageo and Combs Wine & Spirits allows the brand to take advantage of Diageo’s distribution network, together with Combs’ star power in marketing luxury brands.

DeLeon has variants of tequila, which have suggested retail prices ranging from $120 to more than $1,000.

In a statement Wednesday, Combs says DeLeon appeals to “those who love exceptional tequila in a distinctive bottle.”

Biotech soybeans lift Monsanto profit

Monsanto reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings Wednesday on higher sales of the company’s biotech soybean seeds and its signature herbicide Roundup.

The St. Louis-based company said it earned $368 million, or 69 cents a share, in the three months ended Nov. 30. That compares with earnings of $339 million, or 63 cents a share, in last year’s quarter.

Revenue climbed 7 percent to $3.1 billion, driven by sales of its Intacta soybean seeds to farmers in Argentina and Brazil.

United Express adds flights to Chicago

A fourth United Express roundtrip flight from Fort Wayne to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport will begin April 1, Fort Wayne International Airport announced Wednesday.

The four connector flights are part of United Airlines’ global network.

Passengers will fly aboard a 50-seat aircraft.

Reservations for the economy flights are available at www.united.com or 800-864-8331.

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