Ferrero To Sweeten Chicago With Major Investment

By Al Brown, The Chicago Times

July 15, 2022

CHICAGO – Candy giant Ferrero to further investment in Illinois with innovation center in Chicago.

Ferrero North America announced Thursday they plan to construct a new innovation center in Chicago’s Marshall Field and Company Building.

Ferrero said the 45,000 square foot space will house research and development teams and employees from Ferrero’s Old Post Office location representing Fannie May, Nutella Café, Keebler, Famous Amos, Mother’s, and other Ferrero brands.

Ferrero’s announcement comes a month after plans for expanding its Bloomington facility by an additional 169,000 square feet was announced along with the expansion of a chocolate processing facility. 

Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker, always one for expansion, was pleased to announce more chocolate and Ferrero products coming to Illinois.

Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker

“Ferrero is an iconic manufacturer and we’re thrilled that they’ve chosen Illinois for their first U.S. chocolate processing facility.  Today we celebrated the expansion of Ferrero’s operations and the Kinder Bueno line coming to Bloomington,” Pritzker said on Twitter.

Ferrero expects the new innovation center will employ 170 employees and is expected to be completed by Spring of 2023.

Inflation Soars To 9.1% in June

By Sloan T. Wilson, The Chicago Times

July 13, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday the consumer price index, an aggregate measure of everyday goods and services, increased to 9.1% from a last June, outpacing the 8.8% Dow Jones estimate.  

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, CPI increased 5.9%, monthly CPI rose 1.3% and core CPI increased 0.7%, compared to estimates of 1.1% and 0.5%.

KKR To Expand Industrial Real Estate Portfolio

By Sloan T. Wilson, The Chicago Times

July 9, 2022

NEW YORK — Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Inc. announced the purchase of 6300 Providence Way, a Class A warehouse property located in Eastvale, California.

According to KKR, the property totals 281,000 square-feet of warehouse space with 32-foot clear heights.  The property also features a 148-foot truck court and trailer parking. 6300 Providence Way is located in close proximity to I-15 with access to major trucking routes.  The warehouse is also one hour from Los Angeles International Airport, the Port of Los Angeles, and The Port of Long Beach.

“We are pleased to announce the purchase of 6300 Providence Way, an acquisition that adds to our Inland Empire footprint.  We are continuing to invest in high-quality industrial real estate in strategically located, irreplaceable locations which we believe will continue to remain a mission-critical part of the supply chain for businesses of all sizes.” said Ben Brudney, a Director in the Real Estate group at KKR in a press release.

According to the press release, KKR purchased the property via KKR Real Estate Partners Americas III.  Since 2018, KKR has committed or purchased $7 billion of logistics assets since 2018 and owns over 45 million square-feet of industrial real estate in major U.S. cities.

Payrolls Increased 372,000 In June

By Willard W. Hughes, The Chicago Times

July 8, 2022

WASHINTON — Nonfarm payrolls increased 372,000 in June which beat the Dow Jones estimate of 250,000, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The unemployment rate remained flat at 3.6% from May.

Nonfarm payrolls in May were revised down to 384,000 leaving analyst to wait to see if June’s numbers will also be revised. 

Average hourly earnings increased 0.3% in June, which is 5.1% higher from last June.

Government sponsored sectors, education and healthcare services, dominated in job creation with 96,000 hires.  Professional and business services added 74,000 positions.

Ford Outperforms Industry In June

By Jeff L. Tucker, The Chicago Times

July 5, 2022

DEARBORN, MI – Ford Motor Company announced Tuesday that total US sales reached 152,262 vehicles in June with EV sales jumping 77 percent.

According to Ford, total US shares in June increased to 12.9 percent as sales outperformed the industry.  Industry sales were down 11 percent as Ford sales jumped 31.5 percent over the previous year.  Ford has seen continued growth in F-Series, Explorer and Expedition models as well as battery-electric vehicles.

 “Amid industry-wide supply constraints, Ford outperformed the industry driven by strong F-Series, Explorer and new Expedition and Navigator SUV sales. Combined, these vehicles represented just over 56 percent of our sales in June –up about 8 percentage points from May. F-150 Lightning was America’s best-selling electric truck in June in its first full month of sales, while our overall electric vehicle sales were up 77 percent over last year.” Andrew Frick, vice president, Sales, Distribution & Trucks, Ford Blue said in a press release.

F-Series sales climbed 26.3 percent over the previous year and represents 37.9 percent of Ford’s overall sales.  Ford claims F-Series has been expanding market share through the first half of the year, outselling its second-place competitor by nearly 40,000 units.  Currently, 60 percent of F-Series retail sales came from previously placed orders.  Total pickup sales, including F-Series, Ranger and Maverick moved up 26.3 percent over the previous year with total pickups sales of 66,663.

Ford also said sales of electric vehicles jumped 76.6 percent over the previous year totaling 4,353 for June.  Both F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E dealer stock is higher than last month which is expected to bolster stronger sales in July.

Ford SUV sales totaled 60,894, which is an uptick of 35.3 percent over the previous year.  The new Bronco continues to bolster total sales.  Ford said the Bronco family of vehicles expanded its sales by 82.7 percent over last year totaling 15,703 SUVs.  Ford also saw strong sales in both Explorer and Expedition models. Combined, their sales increased 56.7 percent over the previous year and represented almost 44 percent of Ford SUV sales.

Newmont Agrees To Profit Sharing Agreement with Peñasquito Union

By Brooks M. Deering, The Chicago Times

July 5, 2022

DENVER — Newmont Corporation agreed to a profit-sharing agreement with unionized workers at the Company’s Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas, Mexico.

The gold mining giant announce the agreement Tuesday in which its subsidiary, Newmont Peñasquito, will pay union workers an uncapped profit-sharing bonus up to 10%.  In addition, Newmont agreed to an “. . . immediate cost equivalent of $70 million, which is representative of the payments related to 2021 results.”

“We are pleased to have reached this agreement with the National Union of Mining, Metallurgical, Iron and Steel and Similar Workers of the Mexican Republic.  Through a respectful dialogue and the active participation of union leadership including Senator Napoléon Gómez Urrutia, we reached this agreement without interruption to the operation, ensuring a lasting relationship for the future of Peñasquito.” said Newmont President and CEO Tom Palmer in a press release.

Newmont Corporation, based in Colorado, is the world’s largest gold mining company with over 30,000 employees and contractors.  Founded in 1921, Newmont controls gold mines in Nevada, Colorado, Ontario, Quebec, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Australia, Ghana, Argentina, Peru, and Suriname.  Newmont also mines silver, zinc, copper, and lead.

The open pit operated Peñasquito Mine is considered the fifth largest silver mine in the world and is wholly owned by Newmont.