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Business Briefs

For Wednesday, August 4, 2010

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services


Consumer spending lags

WASHINGTON » Consumers did not boost their spending in June, and their incomes failed to increase, further evidence the economic recovery slowed in the spring. Americans also saved at the highest rate in nearly a year. Personal spending was unchanged in June, the Commerce Department reported yesterday. It was the third straight month of lackluster consumer demand. Incomes were also flat, the weakest showing in nine months.

Whole Foods profit up as costs dip

AUSTIN, Texas » Whole Foods Market Inc. reported yesterday that its third-quarter net income jumped as sales rose and costs fell for the natural and organic grocery chain.

Whole Foods, which has been increasing its presence in Hawaii, said it earned $65.7 million, or 38 cents a share, for the quarter that ended July 4. That's up 88 percent from the $35 million, or 25 cents a share, a year earlier. The results included $700,000 in costs for relocating and closing stores, including terminating leases. Whole Foods spent $18.2 million on those items last year. Revenue grew 15 percent to $2.16 billion.

Alaska Air traffic sets record

Alaska Airlines said its planes were 87.4 percent full in July, the highest-ever load factor for the carrier.

The airline, a unit of Seattle-based Alaska Air Group Inc., has been boosting its flights to Hawaii over the past year and is now the fifth-largest carrier serving the islands. Alaska recorded 1.99 billion revenue passenger miles in July, up 11 percent from the same month a year earlier.

Alaska also reported that 88.6 percent of its flights were on time in July, up from 87.2 percent in July 2009.

2 Maui firms to release stream water

The state says Wailuku Water Co. and Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. will begin releasing water to Waihee River and North and South Waiehu streams in Central Maui next week.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says the companies will act Monday to comply with a state water commission order issued in June. But the move is unlikely to satisfy two Maui groups who want the companies to return more water than the commission ordered.

Hui o Na Wai Eha and Maui Tomorrow appealed the water commission's ruling in state court last month. They say they're being deprived of the water they need to grow taro and restore natural habitat.

Boyd's Vacations Hawaii revenue up

LAS VEGAS » Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. said yesterday its second-quarter net income fell 73 percent as Americans continued to hold onto extra cash in an uncertain economy. The company owns and runs 16 casinos in Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana and Louisiana. It also owns Vacations Hawaii, which operates six charter flights a week between Honolulu and Las Vegas. Revenue for the subsidiary increased 2.7 percent to $7.7 million from $7.5 million.

Overall, Boyd earned $3.4 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with $12.8 million, or 15 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 6 percent to $578.4 million.

On the Move

Pemco has promoted Kimiko E. Yamamoto to president and chief operating officer from vice president and chief operating officer. She was previously involved in the project and construction management for the firm.


Alexander & Baldwin has hired Brian Smith as manager of properties accounting, in the Honolulu office. He has been an audit senior associate and audit manager with KPMG as well as a certified public accountant in Alabama and Georgia.


Kelvin Taketa made the NonProfit Times' nationwide list of the "Top 50 Power and Influence" for 2010. Taketa is president and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Community Foundation.


Finance Factors employees raised $7,305 at the 15th annual Finance Factors Charity Breakfast. Funds will go toward "Making Ends Meet," which provides emergency financial assistance to individuals who have experienced a setback or trauma associated with illness, crime, unexpected death in the family or loss of income.

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