Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Monday, January 3, 2000

Isle water firm branching out

Hawaiian Natural Water Co. said today it has launched a line of "nutraceutical" drinks containing herbal extracts such as ginseng, ginko biloba, kava kava, St. John's wort and echinacea. The 20-ounce bottles will carry labels with graphics indicating the believed benefits of the particular extract.

Marcus Bender, president and chief executive of the Honolulu company, which so far has sold only Big Island-produced pure water, said the East Meets West Xen brand name will start this month in Hawaii and California and later spread to Asia. Product names include Relax/Kava Mango Juice, Sex/Yohimbe Red Zing Juice Cocktail, and Energy/Ginseng Cactus Juice Cocktail.

City signs contract with Ohio company

The City & County of Honolulu has agreed to a $2.4 million, three-year contract with a company in Dayton, Ohio, which will install new software to run the city's property tax functions.

Cole Layer Trumble Co., a subsidiary of Dallas-based Tyler Technologies Inc., will install its Integrated Assessment System in the offices of the city assessor and the city tax collector.

The company said today that the city has been using its mass appraisal system software since 1985.

The new system will help the city maintain property descriptions, set values, administer exemptions and calculate taxes, the company said.

Cost-U-Less sales soared in quarter

Cost-U-Less Inc., the warehouse-style retailer that has two outlets in Hawaii, said it had record sales of $47 million in the last quarter of 1999, up 23.7 percent from $38 million in the year-earlier quarter.

The company, based in Bellevue, Wash., has 13 stores -- two each in Hawaii, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Fiji and New Zealand, and one each in Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles, American Samoa, and Sonora, Calif.

Same-store sales were up 1.5 percent for the fourth quarter. In Hawaii, the company has stores in Hilo and Kapaa, Kauai.

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