14.2.21 gongwer news service ohio report 2013 & feb 2014 hiring
Gongwer News Service Ohio Report
Volume #83, Report #35 -- Friday, February 21, 2014
Ohio Business: Cedar Fair Reports Record 2013 Financial Results; FirstEnergy
Announces Upgrades; Dispatch Gets New Tagline; Libbey; Wendy's; Cincinnati Bell;
Cedar Fair, the Sandusky-based entertainment company that owns Cedar Point and Kings Island as
well as nine other parks across the U.S. and Canada, reported record financial results for last year.
The results include: full-year net revenues of $1.135 billion, up 6% from 2012; net income of $108.2
million, up $6.3 million, and Adjusted EBITDA was $425.4 million, up 9%.
The company reported the EBITDA total increase reflects a 5% increase in average in-park guest
per capita spending, a 2% increase in comparable park attendance and a 6% increase in out-of-park
revenues. Its goal is to reach $450 million in that category in 2014 - a goal that the company had set
"We are pleased to report 2013 was a remarkable year for Cedar Fair, and we expect this
momentum to continue into 2014," Cedar Fair president and CEO Matt Ouimet said in a statement.
"Our long-term FUNforward strategy is working well as we experienced solid increases across all
aspects of our business this year, including record attendance and in-park guest-per-capita
FirstEnergy Corp: The company plans to invest more than $475 million in 2014 on service reliability
infrastructure upgrades in its Ohio Edison service territory, it reported this week.
The spending is a $233 million increase compared to what was spent on reliability infrastructure in
the region last year.
A company release detailed major projects scheduled for 2014, including building new substations,
starting construction on a new 100-mile transmission line, installing enhanced remote-control
technology in multiple facilities, inspecting and replacing utility poles, and continuing tree trimming
work, including a special program to remove trees endangered by the Emerald Ash Borer.
"The infrastructure projects we have completed in recent years have helped produce fewer service
interruptions for Ohio Edison customers, and our goal with the 2014 reliability spending is to
continue this positive trend," Ohio Edison regional president Randall A. Frame said in a statement.
"The infrastructure projects are designed to help maintain our system on a day-to-day basis to
benefit customers now while helping prepare our system for future load growth."
In a separate release, FirstEnergy said it will invest $176 million in Cleveland Electric Illuminating
Company territory in 2014 - that's about $27 million more than last year.
Major projects are much the same as those scheduled for the Ohio Edison territory.
"Our goal is to build redundancy and resiliency into our system as we continue to reduce the number
and duration of outages our customers might experience," CEI regional president John Skory said in
a statement. "From building new substations to inspecting underground circuits and trimming trees our primary objective is to enhance the reliability of our system."
Dispatch Printing Company: The Columbus Dispatch on Friday unveiled a new branding
campaign called "Experience. Discover. Pursue."
In a release, the company said the campaign "embodies 142 years of history and tradition of the
newspaper while embracing new ways to tell the stories that impact Central Ohio. "
"Columbus Dispatch readers have been with us through 27 presidents, 41 governors and every
season of Ohio State football," vice president and chief marketing officer Phil Pikelny said in a
statement. "The new tag line 'Experience. Discover. Pursue.' is a true reflection of the possibilities
The Dispatch presents our hundreds of thousands of readers each day."
Libbey: The company's fourth quarter results, released on Friday, show a 45.9%improvement in
income from operations to $19.1 million, compared to $13.1 million in the prior-year quarter.
It also set company records in the fourth quarter for adjusted income from operations of $26.7 million
and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) of
The results reflected a reporting change in the U.S. Sourcing segment, which includes U.S. sales of
sourced ceramic dinnerware, metal tableware, hollowware, and serveware. The company now
reports results for the Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
"Fourth quarter revenues were in line with our expectations and, along with the benefits of our much
improved cost platform, allowed us to achieve a 25.9% increase in adjusted EBITDA, compared to
the fourth quarter of 2012," CEO Stephanie A. Streeter said in a statement.
"We remain on track with our longer-term goals, including increasing profitability, increasing cash
generation and reducing leverage. Our restructuring initiatives over the last two years have
strengthened our cost position considerably, and we are now focused on maintaining the hard-won
margin increase and profitably growing our business."
Wendy's: The fast food company announced Friday the declaration of its regular quarterly cash
dividend of $0.05 per share.
The funds dividends will be payable on March 17 to shareholders of record as of March 3, according
to a company release.
The number of shares of common stock outstanding as of Feb. 14 was approximately 395.1 million,
which does not include the shares repurchased after that date in regards to the company's $275
million tender offer.
Cincinnati Bell: The company recently reported fourth quarter and full-year results that show it
achieved 2013 revenue guidance of $1.2 billion and a 17% year-over-year increase to $359 million
in strategic products revenue.
In a release, Cincinnati Bell also touted its "strong" Adjusted EBITDA of $407 million for 2013, which
is in line with the revised guidance range.
"The momentum created in 2013 and the continued demand for our strategic products gives us great
confidence that we will grow Wireline revenue and generate positive free cash flow in 2014,"
president and CEO Ted Torbeck said in a statement.
Total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2013 was $308 million, down $10 million from the prior year
after excluding data center segment results, the company said. Operating income totaled $40
million, down $10 million from the prior year after excluding CyrusOne.
State Auto: The Columbus-based business this week reported fourth quarter 2013 net income of
$16.4 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, compared with net income of $20.9 million, or $0.51 per
diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2012.
In full-year 2013 results, State Auto had net income of $60.8 million, or $1.49 per diluted share,
compared to net income of $10.7 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, for the same 2012 period.
"STFC's results demonstrated strong fundamentals, led by improved ex-catastrophe loss ratios,"
president, chairman and CEO Bob Restrepo said.
Dana Holding Corporation: The Maumee-based company reported its full-year 2013 results on
Thursday, reporting $6.8 billion in sales and a record 11% margin resulting from an adjusted
EBITDA of $745 million.
The company also posted net income of $244 million for 2013, compared with $300 million in 2012 a total that included a nonrecurring tax benefit of $54 million for the release of tax valuation
allowances in certain foreign jurisdictions. Adjusting for the benefit, the 2013 net income was slightly
lower than a year ago.
Fourth-quarter 2013 financial results show sales totaled $1.62 billion, compared with $1.61 billion for
the same period in 2012. The company said in a release that "while currency movements lowered
sales by $45 million when compared with a year ago, stronger demand across light- and
commercial-vehicle end markets and recovery actions increased sales by about $60 million."
AT&T: The company announced this week that it is looking to fill more than 240 jobs around Ohio,
including nearly 150 new jobs.
More than 930 employees were hired in Ohio in 2013 and $225 million was invested into the state's
networks, AT&T reported. Those positions were in IT/engineering, retail, technician, call center,
business solutions, and corporate support categories.
"AT&T continues to expand its customer base in Ohio and invest in our network to ensure we are
providing the high level of service customers have come to expect of the nation's most reliable 4G
LTE network," president of AT&T Ohio Adam Grzybicki said in a statement.
A list of available jobs can be found at connect.att.jobs/Ohio.
VentureOhio: The newly formed trade association this week announced that it will begin pursuing
policies and programs to increase available capital and promote entrepreneurial growth and job
creation throughout the state.
The association said in a release that it will also publish a yearly venture investment report and host
an annual event celebrating previous and on-going successes in the state's entrepreneurial
"VentureOhio will be a unified voice for the venture investors, incubators, accelerators, universities,
and other organizations that are launching and growing high potential businesses in Ohio," John
McIlwraith, VentureOhio chairman and Allos Ventures managing director, said in a statement.
"We will advocate policies and programs that will provide much-needed support to Ohio's growing
but still developing entrepreneurial ecosystem. In 2014 we will be focusing on steps that can be
taken in collaboration with all interested parties to further support recently launched and future high
growth businesses, and provide these businesses with the resources necessary to accelerate their
growth and create jobs."