BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Friday announced its financial results for 2011, with its health plan reporting net income of $60.7 million on revenue of $2.1 billion for the year – compared with net income of $96.2 million on revenue of $1.95 billion in 2010. The Columbia-based insurance giant, with 47 subsidiaries, said its rate increases for the year were lower than the national average, as was its 2.9 percent net income margin, compared with a 4.9 percent net income margin last year. A spokeswoman said the net income and margin were higher last year because of a large tax credit. The company in 2011 also maintained its A+ rating for the 10th consecutive year from the independent financial rating agency A.M. Best; it was only one of two plans nationwide to achieve that level of recognition.
S.C.’s 2 largest golf management companies merge
The two largest golf management companies in South Carolina have merged to form National Golf Management. The new company was announced Friday as a joint venture of Burroughs and Chapin Golf Management and Myrtle Beach National Co. National Golf Management has a vested interest in 23 of the 90 courses along the Grand Strand. Company president Bob Mauragas said the merger would stabilize prices in the market. The courses managed by the new company include the area’s first golf resort, Pine Lakes Country Club, as well as King’s North at Myrtle Beach National, Pawley’s Plantation Golf and Country Club and Tidewater Plantation and Golf.
New data center breaks ground
Roper St. Francis Healthcare broke ground on its planned data center in North Charleston Friday, continuing a mini construction boom of digital storage facilities in the Lowcountry. The newest data center, which will sit on 24 acres along Palmetto Commerce Parkway, will allow the healthcare system to consolidate existing record-retention hardware and provide capacity for more as the shift to cloud storage accelerates. The 16,000-square-foot structure has been built to withstand Category 5 hurricanes as well as strong earthquakes, according to Roper St. Francis, and is slated to open next summer. This summer, Immedion, a managed hosting services company, plans to open its third data center in South Carolina nearby. In October, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) opened a new 20,000-square-foot data center in Hanahan as part of a broader Navy cost-saving initiative. And the biggest in the business, Google, is performing final testing on its second $600 million data center in Berkeley County.
Collection company will add jobs
A Rock Hill collection company says it will add about 100 employees in the coming year. The Herald of Rock Hill reported that Williams and Fudge says the additions would bring the company’s local work force to about 400 people. Owner Gary Williams said the average salary for employees is about $60,000 annually. Williams and Fudge specializes in collecting student loans and related debt. The firm does not collect the federally backed student loans but focuses on loans made directly by colleges to their students, as well as unpaid fines such as parking tickets.
Kristy Eppley Rupon, The (Charleston) Post and Courier and The Associated Press contributed.