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Prices up in Japan

TOKYO >> Japan’s consumer prices in April rose for the first time in more than two years on a temporary spike in energy and tobacco prices, the government said today. Japan’s core consumer price index, which excludes fresh food, climbed 0.6 percent last month from a year earlier, marking the first year-on-year increase since December 2008, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said.

Vendors sought for Prince Lot hulafest

Crafters, artisans and food vendors specializing in Hawaiian products and foods are being sought by organizers of the 34th annual Prince Lot Hula Festival, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 16 at Moanalua Gardens.

The Moanalua Gardens Foundation requires that merchandise be fashioned from quality materials, be made in Hawaii, be Hawaiian in nature and be appropriate for sale at the event. Food vendors should offer Hawaiian and other local foods.

The site can accommodate up to 20 crafters and 10 food vendors in tented spaces with tables and chairs. Spaces cost $150 for crafters and $250 for food vendors. Details are available from Pauline Worsham at or by calling 497-4084.


Rolfing Foundation gives $285,190

The Mark and Debi Rolfing Charitable Foundation, host organization of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, has donated $285,190 to nonprofit organizations on Maui. The funds were raised through programs from the 2011 Hyundai Tournament of Champions, which was played in January at the Plantation Course in Kapalua Resort. Since 1999 the host organization for the season-opening PGA Tour event, through the Mercedes-Benz Championship, the SBS Championship and Hyundai Tournament of Champions, has donated nearly $3.8 million to the Maui community.

This year, designated beneficiaries receiving the majority of the proceeds include Boy Scouts of America, Maui County Council; Friends of the Children’s Justice Center; Hale Makua; J. Walter Cameron Center; Ka Lima o Maui; Lahainaluna High School Foundation; and Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation. In addition, money raised this year went to two new organizations: the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association and Maui Family Support Services.

Heinz to eliminate up to 1,000 jobs

H.J. Heinz Co.’s global expansion efforts are paying off, driving its fourth-quarter net income up 16 percent. But the world’s biggest ketchup maker said it needs to raise prices and cut jobs to continue its profitable path.

The company, based in Pittsburgh, announced Thursday that it will shed up to 1,000 jobs globally in fiscal 2012 as it closes five factories. Heinz has 37,000 workers worldwide.

The closings will include two factories in the United States, two in Europe and one in the Pacific region. It will shed approximately 800 to 1,000 positions and be left with 76 factories. Heinz has looked to emerging markets like China, India, Russia and Brazil to help fuel its growth.

The company earned $223.9 million, or 69 cents a share, last quarter compared with $192.4 million, or 60 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 6 percent to $2.89 billion.

Heinz also raised its dividend by 7 percent on Thursday and increased its full-year outlook.

Ricoh to cut 9% of global work force

TOKYO » Ricoh Co. will reduce its global work force by 9 percent as the Japanese copier maker seeks to overhaul its struggling business.

The Tokyo-based company said Thursday it plans to cut 10,000 of its 109,000 workers over the next three years. It also will streamline redundant operations, withdraw from unprofitable businesses and shift toward new growth areas.

Ricoh expects the changes to bolster operating profit by $1.7 billion by the fiscal year ending March 2014. It targets net sales of at least $29.2 billion, which would represent a 24 percent increase from revenue in the just-ended fiscal year. The company has been battling a strong yen, the lingering effects of the global financial crisis and rapidly changing market demands.

On the Move

New York Life Insurance Co. has added the following two agents to its Honolulu general office: 
>> Thanh Anna Nguyen was previously an assistant at Argosy University-Hawaii for two years.
>> Michelle Villa­luz was previously a sales manager at Advantage Rent-A-Car for four years.


Sopogy, a leader in MicroCSP solar technology development, installation and manufacturing, has announced the promotion of Jim Norvelle to vice president of manufacturing and research and development. Norvelle was previously a vice president of operations for Clear-Com Communications.


Chaminade University has added four members to its board of governors: 
>> John C. Brogan was previously a president-North America, ITT Sheraton Hotels and Resorts; president-Hawaii, Starwood Hotels and Resorts; and chairman of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.
>> Adelia Dung, owner of Spectrum Wealth Management and president of the Alana Dung Research Foundation.
>> Christine M. Gayagas, president of First Canoe Strategies and consultant and adviser to LMI in McLean, Va.
>> Donald Rodri­gues is executive director of Matibabu Foundation.


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