comscore A&B reports $600,000 loss due to Maui sugar shutdown
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A&B reports $600,000 loss due to Maui sugar shutdown

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    HC&S work on the beginning of the last season of sugar cane at Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) in Puunene, Maui on Tuesday, March 1, 2016.

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. today reported its second consecutive quarterly financial loss, but it wasn’t as big as expected because expenses for winding down the company’s sugar plantation on Maui were lower than forecast.

A&B said it lost $600,000 in the second quarter, compared with a $10.1 million profit in the same quarter last year.

The latest loss followed a $7 million loss in the first quarter as A&B works to close Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. by the end of the year.

A&B said its costs to shut down the sugar plantation were lower in the second quarter than expected, but the expense was still quite big.

Sugar cessation-related expenses totaled $18.5 million in the quarter. That contributed to a $19.9 million operating loss for A&B’s agribusiness division that also includes land leased to a coffee plantation on Kauai. However, after taxes the agribusiness operating loss was $10.5 million.

Other major lines of business at Honolulu-based A&B — commercial real estate leasing, property sales and road paving — offset nearly all of the agribusiness losses, though operating profits were weaker for the later two categories in the second quarter compared with the same quarter last year.

Commercial real estate leasing, which includes running several shopping centers owned by A&B, generated a $14.8 million operating profit in the second quarter. That was up from a $13.9 million operating profit a year earlier.

Property sales produced a $5 million operating profit, which was down sharply from a $14.3 million operating profit a year earlier. A&B said it sold three commercial properties on the mainland and five residential properties at resorts on Kauai and Hawaii island in the recent quarter compared with three residential properties on Kahala Avenue and a 2.4-acre commercial property on Maui a year earlier.

Subsidiary Grace Pacific, which includes a rock quarry and road paving operation, generated a $4.9 million operating profit in the second quarter that was down from $7 million a year earlier. The decline was due to bad weather that delayed paving work, A&B said.

Revenue for A&B in the second quarter totaled $102.7 million, which the company said was down from $153.7 million a year earlier because of lower property sales, asphalt prices and paving work.

According to a Bloomberg consensus, A&B is projected to show a $6.1 million loss in the third quarter and an $18.6 million profit in the fourth quarter, producing a full year loss of $3.2 million.

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