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Mall sale drives up profit for A&B


Alexander & Baldwin Inc. cashed in big by selling Maui Mall earlier this year in a $53 million deal that helped produce a more than sixfold increase in first-quarter profit for the company.

Honolulu-based A&B announced Thursday that it earned $33.4 million in the January-March period, up from $5 million in the same quarter last year.

Selling Maui Mall drove most of the gain, the company said.

A&B generated lower operating profits from its road paving subsidiary Grace Pacific and its agriculture division that includes Maui sugar plantation Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.

Real estate sales produced an operating profit of $52.3 million in the quarter, up from $2.4 million a year ago. In addition to Maui Mall, property sales in the recent quarter included two land parcels on Maui, five resort homes and deferred gains related to three Mainland properties sold in December.

Maui Mall, which is anchored by Whole Foods, Longs Drugs, Wallace Theaters and IHOP, was developed by A&B in 1971. The company sold the property in January to Denver-based Alberta Development Partners and an affiliate of Chicago-based Walton Street Capital LLC with the intent to reinvest proceeds in other real estate acquisitions.

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