SC business notebook, May 10

May 9, 2013 

Riverbanks Zoo changes culinary, retail operations

Visitors to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden will notice changes in food and retail offerings at the park’s restaurants, kiosks and shops. The zoo recently chose Denver-based Service Systems Associates (SSA) to manage the park’s culinary and retail operations. The company’s chefs will create menus and daily specials aimed at providing visitors with “more than just pizza and hot dogs. … an inexpensive gourmet experience,” the zoo said in a release. The retail and restaurant buildings also will be renovated, the zoo said. SSA, which has experience in zoos and other cultural attractions, was granted the multi-year contract by Riverbanks Park Commission, the zoo’s governing authority, through a competitive bid process. The zoo gets more than 1 million visitors each year and is South Carolina’s largest gated tourist attraction.

Contec Inc. expands to create 60 jobs in Spartanburg County

Contec Inc., a maker of contamination control products, has expanded its existing operations in Spartanburg County, investing $6.25 million and creating 60 new jobs over the next five years. The company, which has operated in the Upstate for 25 years, moved into a new facility that offers an additional 170,000 square feet for manufacturing, research and development and distribution operations. The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a Governor’s Closing Fund grant of $150,000 for building improvements. Hiring has begun; see mau.com or call (864) 272-3110.

Greenville company announces bigger loss, job cuts

Electronic capacitor maker Kemet Corp. said Thursday that its fiscal fourth-quarter loss widened and announced the elimination of about 202 jobs. The Greenville-based company’s loss was significantly larger than Wall Street expected and Kemet shares tumbled $1.75, or 26 percent, to close at $4.94. Kemet said the elimination of the jobs, which represent about 2 percent of its workforce and are located in 10 countries, will save it $3.8 million per quarter starting in the Sept. 30 quarter and $12.3 million in its fiscal year ending March 31, 2014. For the quarter ended March 31, Kemet said its loss before expected losses related to its equity interest in NEC TOKIN totaled $24 million, or 53 cents per share. That compared with a loss of $11.7 million, or 26 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Excluding costs related to the job cuts and other one-time items, the company said it posted an adjusted loss before expected losses related to NEC Tokin of 22 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected a loss of 9 cents per share.

Kristy Eppley Rupon and The Associated Press contributed.

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