Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, July 21, 1999

Hawaii operations hurt Hilton's net

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Hilton Hotels Corp. today said its second-quarter profit rose just 1.5 percent as Hawaii operations, stung by the slowdown in Japanese tourism, continue to hurt overall results at the fifth-largest U.S. hotel company.

Profit from continuing operations rose to $66 million, or 25 cents a share, from $65 million, or 25 cents, in the year-ago quarter. The profit matched analysts' expectations. Revenue rose 18 percent to $539 million from $457 million.

Revenue per available room rose a less-than-expected 0.5 percent at hotels Hilton owns in the United States. Hilton's revenue was dragged down as Japanese tourists stayed away from its Hilton Hawaiian Village resort in Waikiki and its Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island. Excluding Hawaii, revenue per room at Hilton's owned hotels in the United States rose 1.6 percent. Cash flow declined 15 percent at the 2,500-room Hilton Hawaiian Village. Hilton said it expects to report weaker cash flow from the Honolulu resort for the rest of 1999. The properties results are expected to improve in 2000, Hilton said.

GM agrees to recall 3.5 million vehicles

WASHINGTON -- General Motors Corp. has agreed to recall about 3.5 million vehicles to conclude a five-year government investigation into problems with anti-lock brakes installed on sport utility vehicles, vans and pickup trucks.

The vehicles under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, include the 1991-97 Chevrolet Blazer, GMC Jimmy and the Oldsmobile Bravada sport utility vehicles; the Chevrolet S-10 and GMC Sonoma, Cyclone and Typhoon pickup trucks; and the 1992-95 Chevrolet and GMC Suburban sport utility vehicles.

In other news . . .

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- Johnson & Johnson, a maker of medical products from drugs to surgical devices, agreed to buy Centocor Inc., one of the few profitable biotech companies, for $4.9 billion in stock. J&J will buy Malvern, Pa.-based Centocor for $61 a share, 23 percent above yesterday's closing price of $49.50.

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