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Business

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briefs

Zimmer reports ’13 earnings

Zimmer Holdings Inc. on Thursday reported annual earnings of $761 million, or $4.43 per diluted common share, less than a 1 percent increase compared to the $755 million, or $4.29 a share, posted for 2012.

The Warsaw orthopedic devices-maker reported annual net sales of $4.62 billion, a 3 percent increase over the prior year.

Zimmer also reported fourth-quarter earnings of $235.9 million, or $1.36 per diluted common share, a 55 percent jump from the $152.8 million, or 88 cents a share, posted for the prior year’s fourth quarter. Net sales were $1.24 billion, a 5 percent increase.

The company paid $718.8 million to repurchase 9.1 million shares during 2013. Zimmer also reported more than $216 million in special items for the year. Items included global restructuring, certain litigation and recent acquisitions.

Symmetry may close UK production plant

Symmetry Medical Inc. is considering closing its production plant in Cheltenham, United Kingdom, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But first, the Warsaw orthopedics industry supplier must consult with its 40-person workforce there.

The location in fiscal 2013 generated $4 million in revenue, which was an operating loss for the company. The British government requires companies planning job eliminations to meet with workers and discuss why the action is being considered and ways they might avoid or minimize job cuts. The employer is also required to help workers transition to new jobs. That could include paying for skills training.

As a result, Symmetry officials are unsure if or when the plant might close. The plan is part of an effort to reduce the company’s footprint and lower costs.

First Financial earnings decline

First Financial Bancorp on Thursday reported annual earnings of $48.3 million, or 83 cents per diluted common share, a 28 percent decline from the $67.3 million, or $1.14 a share, posted for 2012.

The Cincinnati-based parent of First Financial Bank also reported fourth-quarter earnings of $3.8 million, or 7 cents per diluted common share, a 77 percent plunge from the $16.3 million, or 28 cents a share, posted for the same three months of the prior year.

Fourth-quarter earnings were reduced by several special items, including $1.3 million paid in benefits for employees whose jobs were eliminated. First Financial entered the Fort Wayne market in December, when it hired away 15 Tower Bank employees.

Toyota tells dealers to stop selling 6 models

Toyota has told North American dealers to stop selling six popular models with heated seats because the fabric doesn’t comply with U.S. safety codes and potentially could catch fire.

The order affects 36,000 cars, trucks and minivans, about 13 percent of the inventory on dealer lots in the U.S., spokesman John Hanson said. Also affected are additional vehicles in other countries.

No fires or injuries have been reported, but Toyota can’t legally sell cars that don’t comply with U.S. safety codes, spokesman John Hanson said.

Dealers can no longer sell certain Camry, Avalon, Sienna and Tacoma models with heated seats from the 2013 and 2014 model years, as well as Corollas and Tundras from 2014.

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