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Business briefs

For Tuesday, February 8, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services


Credit card use picks up

WASHINGTON >> Americans are putting more money on their credit cards after more than two years of cutting back, a sign they are gaining confidence in the economy. The first increase in credit card debt since the financial crisis hit helped to lift overall consumer borrowing 3 percent in December, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $2.41 trillion, the Federal Reserve said yesterday. Credit card borrowing rose 3.5 percent, the first rise since August 2008.

Go! Mokulele boosts traffic 8.6%

Go! Mokulele said an improving state economy enabled it to carry more passengers last month than a year earlier and filled a greater percentage of its seats.

The 75 percent-owned joint venture of Mesa Air Group Inc. transported 55,032 passengers in January, up 8.6 percent from 50,325 in the year-earlier period. Its load factor, or percentage of seats filled, increased 8.53 percentage points to 69.80 percent from 61.27 percent.

Revenue passenger miles, or one paying passenger transported one mile, rose 4.9 percent to 7.2 million from 6.9 million, while available seat miles, or one seat transported one mile, fell 7.7 percent to 10.4 million from 11.2 million.

"We are optimistic tourism and Hawaii's economy are on the mend," Mesa CEO Jonathan Ornstein said.

A&B foundation donates $1.6M

The charitable-giving arm of Alexander & Baldwin Inc. reported making $1.6 million in donations last year to nonprofit organizations.

The cash contributions from the Alexander & Baldwin Foundation represented an increase from $1.3 million distributed in 2009.

A&B said 550 charities in Hawaii and on the mainland received contributions last year.

Most of the money -- about $1.3 million -- went to Hawaii groups. The balance went to organizations on the mainland, including many in Oakland, Calif., where A&B subsidiary Matson Navigation Co. is based.

A listing of grants of $250 or more made by the foundation is available online at

HTA to fund 120 events and projects

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has partnered with the City and County of Honolulu, County of Hawaii, County of Kauai and County of Maui to select more than 120 events and projects statewide to receive funding under the County Product Enrichment Program for 2011.

CPEP was created in 2002 as a partnership between HTA and the counties to strengthen and diversify Hawaii's tourism product and provide a quality visitor experience. Through the program, the four counties receive HTA funding, businesses assistance and other resources for tourism product enrichment activities to support projects in the areas of agri-tourism, cultural tourism, eco-tourism, edu-tourism, health and wellness tourism, and techno-tourism.

For more information on each of the programs and events, go to

Hasbro net off as game demand lags

NEW YORK >> Hasbro Inc.'s earnings slipped 16 percent in the fourth quarter as U.S. demand for board games waned later in the year.

But the toy maker's net income still beat Wall Street expectations, and the company said it expects earnings and revenue growth in 2011.

Hasbro, which raised its quarterly dividend by 20 percent four days ago, admits it had some missteps in its games category in the fourth quarter, including trying to promote too many products at the same time. It makes many of the classics, including Life, Clue, Cranium and Battleship.

The fourth quarter is a crucial one for toy makers because it includes the holiday season. The period can often make up nearly a third of annual revenue. Hasbro's quarterly net income fell to $140 million, or 99 cents a share, for the three months ended Dec. 26. That compares with $165.6 million, or $1.09 per share, a year ago. Revenue dropped 7 percent to $1.28 billion from $1.38 billion.

On the Move

Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services, has named Dr. Virginia Pressler to the advisory committee for infant mortality for a three-year term. Pressler is executive vice president and chief strategic officer for Hawaii Pacific Health.


Hawaiian Airlines has appointed Susan Donofrio as its senior director of investor relations. She will be responsible for interacting with Hawaiian Airlines' global investors and will be located in New Jersey.


The Federal Aviation Administration has given two Aloha Air Cargo employees top honors for excellence in the aviation field:
>> Darren Espina was named the 2011 Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year.

>> Jeff Kim received the 2011 Avionics Technician of the Year award.


NFL Charities has awarded a $4,500 grant to After-School All-Stars Hawaii for its All-Stars Sports Showdown event, which promotes teamwork and sportsmanship among students from King Intermediate School and Washington, Dole, Kalakaua and Jarrett middle schools.


Hawaii Pacific Health has announced the following new members of its board of directors: Karen Chang, chairwoman, Lyle Tabata, Andy Kawano, James Kakuda and Laurie S. Foster. Individuals who have retired from the board include David T. Pietsch Jr., former chairman, Pamela W. Dohrman, Don Wilcox and Clint Churchill.

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