Italian firm assumes operations of Kauai Coffee Co.

An affiliate of an Italian beverage company has completed its acquisition of Kauai Coffee Co. operations from Alexander & Baldwin Inc.

The deal, announced in December, involves a subsidiary of Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group buying the Kauai Coffee brand, retaining all employees, leasing the 3,000-acre plantation and distributing the coffee through its global sales channels.

Financial terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.

Massimo Zanetti expects to expand recognition of the brand, which will be added to its collection of green coffee operations in Brazil, Costa Rica, Honduras, Vietnam and Indonesia.

“We are excited to welcome Kauai Coffee into our portfolio of prestigious brands,” John Boyle, chief operating officer of Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA, said in a statement. “It’s a wonderful new entry point for us into the growing super-premium coffee segment.

Italian firm assumes operations of Kauai Coffee Co. – Hawaii News –

Alexander & Baldwin profits rise

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. earnings were about flat in the last three months of 2010, but bigger gains earlier in the year enabled the diversified Honolulu-based company to more than double its full-year profit.

A&B reported 2010 net income of $92.1 million, up from $44.2 million the year before.

Fourth-quarter net income was $20.2 million, barely up from $20.1 million in the same quarter in 2009.

Revenue in the fourth quarter totaled $461.4 million, compared with $362.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Full-year revenue totaled $1.6 billion, up from $1.4 billion in 2009.

A&B said its profit was principally driven by ocean cargo transportation subsidiary Matson Navigation Co. operations in China, real estate sales and a turnaround in its sugar business on Maui.

Alexander & Baldwin profits rise – Hawaii News –

Sweet Smell of Success

The rain came down. The price went up, and Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. finished the year with a much improved crop.

The final raw sugar shipment was loaded at Kahului Harbor’s Pier One on Wednesday and Thursday.

The harvest was just shy of 172,000 tons, much better than the 127,000 tons in 2009, but well short of the 200,000 tons the plantation can make in a good year.

In a telephone interview from New York on Thursday, HC&S General Manager Chris Benjamin said that although there is still “a ways to go,” the improved crop and better world prices take the immediate pressure off the plantation.

A year ago, after experiencing heavy losses attributed to a long drought, the directors of Alexander & Baldwin took a hard look at HC&S. The 37,000-acre plantation was the origin of the A&B conglomerate, but today it accounts for only about 7 percent of revenues.

The board approved continuation of the business only until the end of this year, pending improved results.

Financial results won’t be published until next year, but Benjamin said he believes that the board is already satisfied that the operation is on the right track.

At this week’s price of nearly 40 cents per pound of raw sugar (in New York), the crop would be worth more than $130 million, not counting molasses and electricity byproduct revenue, plus the premium for the part of the crop sold as specialty sugars.

Alexander & Baldwin buys California shopping center

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. has added a California neighborhood shopping center to its commercial real estate portfolio, paying $48 million for a 165,500-square-foot complex in Temecula, Calif.

The Honolulu-based company said it bought Rancho Temecula Town Center through subsidiary A&B Properties Inc., in part, using proceeds from a warehouse complex in Ontario, Calif., it sold in October for $43 million.

A&B said the shopping center, which was built three years ago and is 97 percent occupied, is one of Temecula’s best-performing retail properties and is expected to benefit from population growth.

Alexander & Baldwin buys California shopping center – Hawaii News –

A&B earnings triple on strength of Matson’s China service and sugar operations

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. tripled its third-quarter profit with greatly improved performances from its ocean transportation service in China and sugar business on Maui.

The Honolulu-based company reported today earning a net profit of $25.7 million, or 62 cents per diluted share of stock, in the July-September period, up from $8.5 million, or 21 cents per share, in the same period last year.

The big gain was largely from A&B’s ocean cargo subsidiary, Matson Navigation Co., which posted a 67 percent rise in operating profit to $40.4 million in the third quarter from $24.2 million a year earlier.

A&B said Matson’s performance was principally driven by higher volume and yields in its China service, which it expanded in mid-September.

Another contributor to the rise in profit was A&B’s Maui sugar subsidiary, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co., which benefited from higher sugar prices and production.

HC&S, along with Kauai Coffee Co., delivered an $800,000 operating profit for A&B, which represents a $13 million improvement from a $13.8 million operating loss in the 2009 third quarter.

Operating profits from real estate leasing and sales were lower for A&B.

A&B earnings triple on strength of Matson’s China service and sugar operations – Hawaii News –

Alexander & Baldwin buys Utah shopping center

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. has added to its Utah real estate holdings with the purchase of a neighborhood shopping center in Sandy, Utah, for $20.5 million.

The Honolulu-based company said the purchase through subsidiary A&B Properties Inc. was made with tax-deferred proceeds from recent real estate sales, and becomes the third commercial property owned by A&B in the greater Salt Lake City area.

Sandy is Utah’s fifth-largest city, and is about 17 miles from downtown Salt Lake City.

The shopping center named Little Cottonwood Center contains 141,600 square feet of leasable space that is 97 percent occupied and anchored by a local super market. Other tenants include McDonald’s, Starbucks and Texaco.

Alexander & Baldwin buys Utah shopping center – Hawaii News –

Mill, trains, machines at museum

PUUNENE – The Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum is unveiling a new exhibit titled “Mills, Machinery and Locomotives” that will be on display through October.

The exhibit includes never-before-shown historic photos from inside the mill, as well as mill and foundry artifacts, and objects and photos from the Kahului Railroad. Artist Tom Sewell’s video piece, “Enigma of the Mill,” also will be presented, showing how mill operations can be rendered as art.

The museum is open daily, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at 3957 Hansen Road. For more information, call 871-8058 or

Mill, trains, machines at museum – | News, Sports, Jobs, Visitor’s Information – The Maui News

A&B earnings hit $28.9M in ‘strong second quarter’


Alexander & Baldwin Inc. said it earned $28.9 million, or 70 cents per share, in the second quarter.

President Stan Kuriyama called it “a strong second quarter” compared with the $12.6 million earned in the second quarter of 2009.

Revenue was $398.9 million, compared with $351.0 million for the year before.

On Maui, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. made a sharp rebound after a bad 2009, which had the A&B board of directors considering whether to continue in sugar.

For the first half – a more informative period for comparison than just the second quarter – operating profit in agribusiness (which includes Kauai Coffee) rose by $13.9 million and net profit edged into the black at $700,000. Agribusiness had lost a net $13.2 million in the first half of 2009.

HC&S shut down its mill for an unusually long refit and it reorganized its plantings, which have been affected by drought for several years. Operational improvements combined with better prices for raw sugar turned losses into profits.

For the January-June period, Maui Brand specialty sugar sales were down $2 million and molasses sales were down $1.3 million, but power sales were up $1.5 million. Coffee sales increased by $1.5 million as well.

The big gains came from raw sugar, whose output was 31 percent higher, primarily from better growing conditions.

HC&S hires industrial processing plant expert – The Maui News


HONOLULU (AP) – Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. has hired Anna Skrobecki to be the company’s senior vice president for factory and power plant operations. HC&S General Manager Christopher Benjamin said in a statement that Skrobecki has extensive experience in industrial processing plants.

Benjamin said this will help the sugar plantation as it researches alternative processing methods for biofuels.

The Navy and U.S. Department of Energy earlier this year announced they would spend several million dollars researching biofuel production at HC&S’ sugar cane fields on Maui. Skrobecki most recently was operations vice president at Wausau Paper in Wisconsin.

She also worked for Weyerhaeuser and James River Corp.

HC&S hires industrial processing plant expert – | News, Sports, Jobs, Visitor’s Information – The Maui News