Amtrak rolls to record
WASHINGTON — Railroad officials say Amtrak carried a record number of passengers in the year ending Sept. 30 despite Northeast service that was temporarily knocked out by Superstorm Sandy. The nation's passenger railroad network carried 31.6 million riders during the 2013 federal budget year. Amtrak's long-distance routes recorded their best ridership in 20 years with 4.8 million passengers. Ridership for all of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington reached 11.4 million passengers, the second-best year for the corridor. That was despite service interruptions when Superstorm Sandy hit last October, flooding tunnels and tracks. Ticket revenues also increased to a record $2.1 billion. Amtrak relies on federal subsidies for a small share of its operating expenses.
Ikea increases sales
STOCKHOLM — Buoyed by increasing demand for its popular furniture and accessories, Ikea says sales grew more than 3 percent to 27.9 billion euros ($38 billion) in the latest fiscal year. The world's largest furniture retailer said Monday that market share grew in most regions, including Russia and China, and that “significant progress” was made in North America. The Sweden-based company does not release quarterly figures. It gave no more details in a brief release on Monday, saying its full report for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31 will be published in January. Ikea says that by 2016 it plans to replace its complete lighting range with eco-friendly LED lights to help households save on energy costs. Ikea has 338 stores employing some 154,000 people in more than 40 countries.
Facebook to open in Israel
JERUSALEM — Facebook says it is acquiring an Israeli mobile technology startup and opening its first office in Israel. Facebook said in a statement Monday that Israeli mobile utility application developer Onavo would help the social media giant create better mobile products and help connect more people around the world to the Internet. The Tel Aviv-based company also has an office in California. Israeli media reported that Facebook is buying the company for more than $100 million and that it was Facebook's largest acquisition of an Israeli company. Facebook declined to comment. Facebook has bought two Israeli companies in recent years, but employees were transferred to the U.S.