News In Brief

Breaking with the company's official silence, a source inside DaimlerChrysler said its money-losing US division would post a profit by the end of next year. But the source told Reuters news agency that projections of profitability for Chrysler in the first six months of 2002 could best be described as "ambitious." DaimlerChrysler has refused to comment publicly on a Wall Street Journal Europe report that it will announce the return to profitability for the US unit at its annual news conference Feb. 26, when a company-wide restructuring plan is to be detailed.

Citicorp will pay $1.6 billion to acquire Dutch-owned European American Bank (EAB) and its metropolitan New York and Long Island branches, the companies announced. The deal also involves the assumption of $350 million in debt. If approved by regulators, the new entity will carry the name Citibank and may result in the closing of overlapping branches, a Citicorp spokeswoman said. EAB has been owned by Amsterdam-based holding company ABN Amro NV.

Up to 2,000 jobs will be cut over the next 12 months by Prudential PLC, Britain's largest insurance company, a senior executive said. The layoffs are part of a restructuring plan aimed at saving about $200 million next year. The carrier is not affiliated with Prudential Insurance Corp. of America.

The company that ran NBC's official website during the summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, announced it will cut 217 employees, or 59 percent of its workforce. San Francisco-based Quokka Sports Inc. attributed the reductions, which follow 40 layoffs last November, to a slumping online advertising market. The company continues to run far behind Internet sports leaders cbs.sportsline.com and espn.com, and its Sydney website drew roughly 5.6 million visitors - only about half the expected number.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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