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Business briefs

For Tuesday, April 26, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:


Toilet paper to cost more

CINCINNATI >> Shoppers could soon see higher prices for Pampers diapers, Char­min toilet paper and Bounty paper towels. Procter & Gamble Co. said yesterday it raised U.S. list prices for those products because of rising costs for pulp, oil and gas. The company, based in Cincinnati, told retailers of increases last week. Retailers will decide how much of the increases to pass along to consumers.

Biofuel firm gets new name and CEO

HR BioPetroleum Inc., a developer of algae-based biofuels and bioproducts in Hawaii, said it has changed its name to Cellana Inc. and named a new chief executive officer.

Martin Sabarsky, who had held various executive positions at the company, was promoted to CEO, the company said yesterday. Sabar­sky has worked as chief financial officer and chief operating officer since August 2008. He replaces Ed Shon­sey, who will remain on Cellana's board of directors.

Cellana also announced the appointment of former Hawaiian Electric Co. CEO Michael May to its board. May, founder of T. Michael May Advisor Services, was a top executive at HECO from 1995 to 2009.

In 2007, HRBP and Royal Dutch Shell PLC formed Cellana LLC as a joint venture to build and operate a 6-acre demonstration facility in Kona to grow marine algae and produce vegetable oil for conversion into biofuel. HRBP bought Shell's stake to become the sole owner of Cellana LLC in January.

Kua ‘Aina takes its burgers to Britain

Kua ‘Aina Sandwich Shop has expanded to London through a licensing agreement.

The two-story, 52-seat restaurant on Carnaby Street in London is a joint venture with Diverso Corp. Ltd.

"We are really excited about taking our North Shore concept to Europe," said Terry Thompson, Kua ‘Aina founder and president. The restaurant, founded in Hale­iwa in the mid-1970s, "began with a simple idea that we still apply today: quality food, cooked to order, served informally at a fair price."

Kua ‘Aina expanded to Ward Centre in 1997 and that same year signed a licensing agreement with one of Japan's largest food franchisers, Four Seeds Co., which has built 17 Kua ‘Aina shops in Japan.

Netflix earnings and customers surge

SAN FRANCISCO » Netflix Inc. attracted another 3.6 million customers to its video subscription service in the first quarter, the biggest growth spurt yet in a prosperous run that has established the company as a Hollywood power broker and Wall Street darling.

The financial results announced yesterday topped analyst forecasts. But management offered a cautious outlook that included a second-quarter earnings projection below analyst estimates. That caused Netflix shares to shed $13.50, or 5.4 percent, in yesterday's extended trading.

Netflix's first quarter earnings nearly doubled to $60.2 million, or $1.11 a share, during the first quarter. That was up from $32.3 million, or 59 cents a share, at the same time last year.

The performance was 4 cents per share above the average estimate among analysts surveyed by Fact­Set.

Revenue rose 46 percent to $719 million, about $13 million above analyst estimates.

The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company ended March with 23.6 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, up from 20 million at the end of 2010. The first-quarter surge left Netflix with more subscribers than long-established pay-TV channels such as CBS Inc.'s Showtime.

Wii successor due in stores next year

NEW YORK » The successor to Nintendo's hit Wii console will arrive next year. In disclosing its plans yesterday, Nintendo Co. didn't say what the new system will do.

The Japanese company plans to demonstrate a model of the new console at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which runs June 7-9 in Los Angeles.

Nintendo has dominated sales of video game consoles and sold 86 million Wiis since launching it in 2006.

On the Move

ProService Hawaii has promoted Danielle Haa­gen­son to senior implementation manager from implementation specialist. Her responsibilities include management, coaching and career development of the seven-person implementation team.

***

Two isle firms were listed in the Top 500 Design Firms, which is published annually by Engineering News-Rec­ord, a weekly publication covering the business and technical news of the global business and construction industry:

>> Belt Collins made the list for the ninth straight year and ranked 176th. The company moved up from 232nd in 2010.

>> Architects Hawaii ranked 343rd on this year’s list, up from 354th last year.

***

Hunt Development Group has announced that Thomas Lee has been promoted to vice president of HDG’s Hawaii Division. He joined Hunt as a development manager in 2006.

***

Prudential Locations has hired the following real estate agents:

>> Kaulana Chang was a teller at First Hawaiian Bank’s Kane­ohe branch prior to going into the real estate industry.

>> Jo Ann Foulkes was previously working for Century 21 Liberty Homes and Coldwell Banker McCormack and started in real estate in 1989.

>> Jesse Gresham was previously working for Century 21 Homefinders of Hawaii and has been a licensed real estate agent since 2008.

>> Joey Ann Kempson worked for a year as a commercial real estate agent in California and has a diverse business background in teaching, payroll and sales.






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