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Lifetime Brands reports profit


Lifetime Brands Inc., the Garden City-based kitchen and dining goods company, has turned a profit and increased its sales by more than 18 percent, the company reported on Thursday. For its first quarter, ended March 31, the maker of Farberware, Cuisinart and other brands reports $1.3 million profit on $109 million in revenue, with per-share income of 11 cents. That compares to a loss of $949,000 on sales of $91.7 million, with a per-share loss of 8 cents, in the same quarter last year. The 2012 results were "an encouraging start to the year," chief executive Jeffrey Siegel said in a statement. -- Joseph Mallia



Builders suing credit union


The builders of a 55-and-older complex in Port Jefferson are suing Bethpage Federal Credit Union, claiming the bank reneged on a construction loan last year, which caused construction delays and extra costs. Liberty Meadows Llc, whose principals are partners Demetrius (Jim) Tsunis and Enrico Scarda of the Northwind Group of Hauppauge, filed the suit Wednesday in State Supreme Court in Riverhead, according to Liberty attorney Steven G. Pinks of Hauppauge. The complaint claims Bethpage loaned the men $4 million to purchase land but changed its mind about another $6 million it had promised to lend. The suit seeks $38.4 million in damages. Bethpage Federal termed the suit "without merit" and said "like any prudent commercial lender, we engage in a comprehensive analysis before making a loan and decided not to move forward with this one." -- Tom Incantalupo



Sales grow at 1-800-Flowers


Carle Place-based Inc. showed improved sales, and while its earnings performance improved markedly, the gift and flower retailer still had a loss, the company reported in its financial results for the quarter ended April 1. 1-800-Flowers lost $85,000 on net sales of $179 million, compared to a loss of $2.6 million on sales of $158.8 million in the quarter ending March 27, 2011. In terms of net income per share, the company essentially broke even for the current quarter, compared to a loss of 4 cents per share in the prior-year quarter. Company officials said its consumer floral division grew 12.6 percent. Chief executive Jim McCann said the company saw "double-digit revenue growth across all three of our business segments." -- Joseph Mallia







Samsung Galaxy S3 phone bows


Samsung Electronics Co.'s latest Galaxy phone will have a high-definition touch screen that's nearly twice the size of the iPhone's, while being thinner and lighter than Apple's phone. The Galaxy line has emerged as the biggest competitor to the iPhone. The Galaxy S III will go on sale in Europe on May 29 and in the United States this summer, Samsung said. The Korean company showed off the phone Thursday at an event in London. Like previous Galaxy phones, the S III will run Google Inc.'s Android software. The processor, or "brains" of the device, will be upgraded with four computing cores. The iPhone and most other high-end phones are "dual-core."



Mortgage rates at record lows


Average rates for 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgages fell to record lows this week, offering more incentive for Americans to buy or refinance homes. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on the 30-year loan fell to 3.84 percent, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s. The previous record of 3.87 percent was reached in February. The 15-year mortgage, a popular option for refinancing, dropped to 3.07 percent. The previous record of 3.11 percent was hit three weeks ago. Low rates haven't done much to boost home sales. Rates have been at or below 4 percent since early December, yet sales of both previously occupied and new homes fell in March. -- AP


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