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A&B profit rose modestly in second quarters

Andrew Gomes

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. produced a modest gain in second-quarter profit mainly from commercial real estate sales that were offset by a loss in the company’s sugarcane farming operation on Maui.

A&B reported Thursday that its net income for the three months ended June 30 rose 6.5 percent to $9.8 million from $9.2 million in the same period last year.

Much of the gain came from selling an office complex in Texas, three residential properties on Oahu and five parcels on Maui. Those deals helped A&B operating profit from real estate sales surge 83 percent to $14.3 million in the quarter from $7.8 million a year earlier.

“We’re pleased to see continued solid performance from our real estate operations in the second quarter,” Stan Kuriyama, A&B chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

A&B’s asphalt paving subsidiary Grace Pacific produced a smaller operating profit — $7 million compared with $8 million — in the year-over-year period as revenue slipped 11 percent to $57.4 million from $64.5 million. A&B said the reduction was primarily attributable to a lower price for asphalt sales due to the decline in oil prices, as well as lower paving activity due to project timing.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co., A&B’s sugar plantation on Maui, pulled down profit with a $4.7 million operating loss that was partly due to reduced sugar sales despite higher sugar production.

The drop in sugar sales came because A&B retrofitted its ship that delivers sugar to the mainland so that it can also carry molasses, which is a byproduct of making sugar. The change was made to reduce A&B’s cost to ship molasses on another carrier that became necessary after former A&B subsidiary Matson Inc. quit transporting molasses after a 2013 spill at Honolulu Harbor.

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