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A&B profit falls, prompting cutback in Matson China service

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:40 a.m. HST, Aug 8, 2011

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. generated significantly more revenue in the second quarter, but profit shrank for the Honolulu-based company.

A&B reported net income of $18.7 million in the April-June period, a reduction from $28.9 million in the same period last year.

Revenue surged to $488.2 million in the recent quarter, up from $396.8 million a year earlier.

A&B said persistently high fuel prices and overcapacity in the China-U.S. shipping lane hurt performance of its ocean cargo transportation subsidiary, Matson Navigation Co. That weakness overshadowed a "strong" second-quarter from Matson business in Hawaii as well as A&B's real estate and agribusiness operations, the company said in the report issued today.

To compensate for the drag, A&B said it would cut back Matson's service between Long Beach, Calif., and China. Matson expanded its China service in September 2010, doubling its cargo capacity on the route. The company said it will now cut back the service by half.

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