Columbia wins ruling
on Canadian boot sales
Officials in Canada said this week that Columbia Sportswear Co. would not need to pay additional duties for allegedly 'dumping,' or selling products below cost.
Portland-based Columbia and its boot-making subsidiary, Sorel, which makes rubber-bottomed footwear, had been required to pay dumping duties since September after the Canadian customs agency ruled that they had sold footwear below cost.
The two companies allegedly had dumped footwear imported into Canada from manufacturing facilities in Macao and Vietnam. Duties previously imposed for dumping will be refunded, and future duties will not be imposed.
Challenge grant offered
for school spring sports
After a low-key three years, moneyman Andrew Weiderhorn has returned to the local spotlight by making a donation to Portland Public Schools.
Weiderhorn and his wife, Tiffany, said Wednesday that they will make a $75,000 challenge grant to help save the schools' sports programs. The donation was made through the Oregon Sports Authority Foundation.
The 'challenge' apparently comes from Weiderhorn's request that other businesses toss in $75,000, the approximate amount needed to allow Portland's public schools to offer spring sports. The Oregon Sports Authority Foundation is holding an auction Feb. 27 to help raise $100,000 for the schools cause.
Damon Stoudamire of the Portland Trail Blazers donated $250,000 earlier.
Weiderhorn now heads Fog Cutter Capital Group.
KGW nears sales
deal with Univision
KGW-TV (8), which until Jan. 1 had been the sales agent for Telemundo Northwest, is negotiating to sell ads for Univision NW on channels KKEI (38) and KPOU (31), sources say.
Univision is the No. 1 Spanish-language network.
Last week, the Univision network replaced the Telemundo network on Channel 38. It's the first time Univision has been broadcast for free in the Portland area.
AT&T Cable currently sells ads for Univision on Channel 31.
The joint sales agreement Ñ which is expected to be signed in two to three weeks Ñ is considered highly lucrative, given the growing number of Hispanic viewers. The deal would give KGW sales staff the ability to sell ads for five stations.
The Portland station, owned by Belo Inc., is about to launch a 10 p.m. news segment on the independently operated PAX. KGW also does sales for Northwest Cable News, its own station and KGW.com.
The Portland TV market generates $140 million in ad revenue a year. Hispanics make up an estimated 10 percent of the viewing audience.
Odoriferous Pearl District
plant will move to port
An odor offending the sensibilities of the upscale residents who increasingly dominate the Pearl District soon will disappear, along with its source.
The Wilbur-Ellis Co., an agribusiness that produces bone meal and blood meal, has sold its Northwest 13th Avenue and Marshall Street mixing plant to developer Al Solheim for $2.7 million.
Although the plant had operated at the site for 50 years, its new neighbors were lodging an increasing number of complaints about its smell.
Wilbur-Ellis Ñ the last industrial company in Northwest Portland with its own rail connection Ñ will move to Terminal 4 at the Port of Portland in July. It will be able to expand its production capacity there, said Mark Madden, whose Madden Co. brokered the deal.
The San Francisco-based company produces 2,000 to 3,000 tons of pet food ingredients and fish meal. It hopes to double that in its new location, said Pete Schoonveld, export manager.
'It was a good opportunity,' he said. 'The place we're at is old and antiquated. We wanted to be closer to the port. I wouldn't say it was the smell that made us move.'
Schnitzer Steel reports
A strengthening market for recycled steel helped propel Schnitzer Steel Industries' first-quarter net income to 90 percent above its profits for the same period a year ago.
The Portland-based company reports a net income of $3.9 million on revenues of $76.8 million, or 41 cents a share. Net income last year was $2 million, or 22 cents a share.
Tom Zelenka, Schnitzer's public affairs manager, says the overseas market for scrap metals is recovering from the 'Asian economic flu' that started in 1997. The company also cut costs.
Recycling operations earned $3.1 million for the quarter, three times the revenue from a year ago, but those gains were offset by losses in its steel manufacturing division. Schnitzer manufacturing lost $1.3 million in the first quarter, compared with $200,000 last year.
Railcar maker Greenbrier
trims annual losses
Lake Oswego-based Greenbrier Cos. made more money and lost less in its first fiscal quarter of 2003 compared to a year ago, reducing the railcar manufacturer's net losses worldwide to $743,000, or 5 cents a share.
The first quarter of the 2002 fiscal year saw losses of $5.043 million, or 36 cents a share.
Most of the recent quarter's losses were in Europe. Mark Rittenbaum, senior vice president and treasurer, said the company is recapitalizing its investment in Europe, which accounting rules classify as 'discontinued operations.' He said its North American market is larger.
Greenbrier reports delivering 1,200 railcars in the first quarter, compared with 900 for the comparable 2002 quarter. Rittenbaum says Greenbrier also cut expenses by paying down debt, which reduced its interest costs.
The growing backlog of orders for more railcars makes Greenbrier executives optimistic about this year, Rittenbaum said.
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