Business briefs


POSTED: Friday, June 26, 2009

Hawaii softness hurts Ameron profits

Ameron International Corp.'s second-quarter net income fell 42.3 percent from a year ago, partly due to lower sales in its Hawaii division that was caused by softening residential and commercial construction.

The Pasadena, Calif.-based company's earnings fell to $9.4 million, or $1.03 a share, from $16.3 million, or $1.78 a share. Sales fell 16.8 percent to $132.9 million from $159.8 million.

The decrease was largely due to the effect of the collapse in infrastructure spending in California, Arizona and Nevada on TAMCO, Ameron's 50 percent-owned steel mini-mill.

Office vacancies hit 5-year high

Oahu office vacancies have risen to 10.15 percent, the first double-digit rate in five years, according to the Office Market Report by Colliers Monroe Friedlander Inc.

Nearly 122,300 square feet of office space was vacated in the second quarter, bringing year-to-date net absorption to 209,850 square feet. Absorption is the rate at which rentable space is filled.

The vacancy rate, 1.55 percentage points up from 8.60 percent at the end of 2008, indicates a move toward a tenant's market, the report says.

Recent transactions indicate tenants have been obtaining rents below the asking price. However, lease terms include annual increases of 3 percent or more.

Full-service gross asking rent was $2.85 per square foot per month at midyear, up 1 cent from the year-end rate, while average asking net rents were down 2 cents to $1.68 per square foot per month at midyear versus the $1.70 end-of-year 2008.

Further softening in the office market is expected for the second half of the year due to economic conditions, and recovery is not expected, based on local economic forecasts, until 2011 or 2012.

Utility energy programs transitioning

Hawaiian Electric Co., Maui Electric Co. and the Hawaii Electric Light Co. will transfer administration of their energy-efficiency programs, effective Wednesday, to San Diego-based defense contractor Science Applications International Corp.

The transfer is the result of a state Public Utilities Commission decision to use a third-party administrator to run energy- efficiency programs.

Over the past 13 years, the utilities' programs awarded more than $97 million in rebates and incentives to consumers, and reduced demand for electricity by 169 megawatts — equivalent to the output of a large power plant.

Aina Haina 76 station renews lease

Owners of the Aina Haina 76 gas station, which has served motorists for more than 50 years, have signed a long-term lease that could have it operating for up to 20 more years.

Owners Chad and Jen Willing plan a promotion from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday in which all grades of gasoline will be discounted.

Eventually the station will undergo renovation, with owner and distributor Mid Pac Petroleum replacing fuel tanks and product lines and re-doing the color scheme to complement the planned look for the center, which also will be renovated.



; Wade Ishii has been hired as project manager for Heide & Cooke Ltd., one of the state's largest full-service mechanical contractor and air-conditioning service companies.

Hawaii Govern-ment Employees Association members have elected the president and directors for 2009-2011: Jackie Ferguson-Miyamoto, president; Suanne Miyata, Unit 2; Jon A. Gasper, Harry Y. Gima, Stacie K. Hiwatashi, Iwalani P. Kaheiki, Sandra Moses and Patrick K. Yuen, Unit 3; Ronald G. Kapuniai, Unit 4; Francine W. Honda, Unit 6; Georgette Sakumoto, Unit 6; Suzanne R. Kaulukukui, Unit 9; Arnold D. Abe, Gail T. Fujimoto, Peter S. Oshiro and Darren T.Q. Wong, Unit 13; Leroy Simms Jr., Hawaii at large; Priscilla A. Badua, Kauai at large; Sharon M. Char, Maui at large; Keith C.S. Siu, Oahu at large.




Alexander & Baldwin Inc. announced a third-quarter dividend yesterday of 31.5 cents a share that is payable Sept. 3 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Aug. 6.

The company has kept its dividend at the same level for six straight quarters.