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HudBay hikes Lalor cost

TORONTO -- HudBay Minerals Inc. (TSX:HBM) is increasing the cost of it Lalor project by $90 million and posting a sharp drop in both revenue and profit for the fourth quarter on lower sales volumes and lower metal prices.

The Toronto-based miner reported a profit of $7.4 million, or four cents per diluted share, down from $34.3 million or 21 cents per diluted share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue came in at $181 million compared to the fourth quarter of $254 million, when HudBay said it drew down on unusually high copper-concentrate inventory.

HudBay said capital expenditures for Lalor will increase by $90 million to $794 million "as scope changes, including a 20 per cent increase in grinding capacity to 5,400 tonnes per day."

The project near Snow Lake, Man., is home to significant gold, zinc and copper deposits and has been put on a fast track to production by HudBay.

On Wednesday, the company said ore production from the main shaft is still projected to be on schedule in late 2014.

New-look Yahoo page

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yahoo is renovating the main entry into its website in an effort to get people to visit more frequently and linger for longer periods of time.

The long-awaited makeover of Yahoo.com's home page is the most notable change to the website since the Internet company hired Marissa Mayer as its CEO seven months ago. The new look will start to gradually roll out in the U.S early Wednesday.

It's the first time Yahoo has redesigned the page in four years. In that time, the company has seen its annual revenue drop by about 30 per cent from $7.2 billion in 2008 to $5 billion last year as more online advertising flowed to rivals such as Internet search leader Google Inc. and social-networking leader Facebook Inc.

Mayer, who spent 13 years helping to build Google into the Internet's most powerful company, has vowed to revive Yahoo Inc.'s revenue growth by establishing more of the company's services as daily habits that "delight and inspire" their users.

Yahoo.com's revamped home page figures to play a key role in determining whether Mayer, 37, realizes her ambition.

Despite the company's recent financial malaise, Yahoo's home page has remained one of the Internet's top destinations. The page attracted 392 million worldwide visitors last month, a seven per cent increase from 365 million at the same time last year, according to research firm comScore Inc. By comparison, Microsoft Corp.'s msn.com drew a crowd of 334 million, up four per cent from last year.

NYT sells Boston Globe

NEW YORK -- The New York Times company says it is selling the Boston Globe and its related assets, in order to focus on its namesake newspaper.

The Times said it had hired Evercore Partners to advise it and manage the sales process.

Mark Thompson, the Times' chief executive, said in a statement that given the differences between the Globe and the Times, a sale is in the best long-term interests of both properties.

Along with the Globe, the Times is selling the Worcester Telegram & Gazette; the publications' related websites; the Globe's direct-mail marketing company, GlobeDirect; and a 49 per cent interest in Metro Boston, a free daily newspaper for commuters.

Clinging to coppers?

MONTREAL -- Canadians aren't expecting to save all of their pennies and nearly three-quarters want retailers to keep accepting the coin even though it's being phased out, says a new survey.

The Bank of Montreal poll found 73 per cent of those surveyed expect retailers to keep taking pennies -- regardless of the circumstance or amount of their purchase.

And 59 per cent say small businesses should adjust their prices to benefit the consumer.

"Business owners are completely aware that they don't want to inconvenience customers; they want to maintain their relationships," said BMO's Joe Collura said Wednesday.

He added the businesses that are "going to win the day" will be the ones who pass along the cost saving and convenience to their customers.

Retailers who decide to no longer accept pennies as part of cash payments will have to round up or down consumer purchases to the nearest five cents.

However, electronic transactions, such as those on debit cards or credit cards, would still be registered in cents.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 21, 2013 B7

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