Harbor City Inn changes name
The Harbor City Inn, at 1701 Russell St., has joined the Choice Hotels International franchise system and changed its name to the Quality Inn Inner Harbor.
Located south of Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the downtown business district in Baltimore, the hotel has 120 guest rooms and was recently refurnished.
General Manager Mohamed Hassen said the Choice system was selected because of its "innovative marketing programs and extensive reservations network."
Sony reports profits plunged
Sony Corp., one of the world's leading consumer electronics makers, said yesterday that its profits plunged 60.2 percent in the first half of its fiscal year.
The Tokyo-based company, which also owns major U.S. movie and music operations, earned about 17.9 billion yen, or $150.5 million, during the six months that ended Sept. 30, compared with 45 billion yen a year ago.
The company said the slow economic recovery in the United States, more pronounced stagnation in Europe and a decline in personal spending in Japan hurt its overall results. The yen's appreciation against the U.S. dollar and the German mark also depressed results.
Arcata to sell 3 printing plants
Arcata Corp., which has a small headquarters operation in Baltimore, has signed a letter of intent to sell three printing plants for $85 million to Quebecor Printing of Montreal, the second-largest commercial printer in North America.
The plants to be sold are in Buffalo, N.Y., and Nashville and Clarksville, Tenn. Their combined operations generate gross sales of $200 million and employ about 2,400 people. Customer served by these plants include Reader's Digest, The National Enquirer, Time Warner, American Automobile Association, Harlequin Enterprises and Hachette Magazines.
Quebecor also signed a letter of intent for an option on Arcata's remaining book printing business. Terms of the option were not disclosed. The deal, which will be closed on or before Jan. 29, must still be approved by the board of directors of both companies.
Increase in gift spending expected
The Conference Board believes that average household spending for Christmas gifts will be 6.5 percent higher this year than last year.
According to a survey of 5,000 households, the average household plans to spend $400 on gifts, up from $374 in 1991's holiday season.
"This is good news for the nation's retailers," Fabian Linden, executive director, said in a statement. "Retailers may finally enjoy the merry Christmas they've been dreaming about for three years."