Business Briefs


POSTED: Saturday, September 12, 2009

Japan's quarter growth weaker

TOKYO » Japan's growth in the second quarter was weaker than initially thought, but government figures still show that the world's second-largest economy has managed to climb out of a recession.

The Cabinet Office said yesterday that gross domestic product, or the value of the country's goods and services, grew at an annual pace of 2.3 percent in the April-June period, following a yearlong contraction. Preliminary data had said the economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.7 percent during the quarter.

The weaker numbers largely came from worse private-sector inventory adjustments and investments. On a quarterly basis the economy grew 0.6 percent, revised from an earlier 0.9 percent rise.

GM rescinds some pay cuts

DETROIT » General Motors Co., in an effort to keep employees happy as it tries to climb back to profitability, has rescinded white-collar pay cuts it made last spring as it tried to conserve cash and avoid bankruptcy protection.

The automaker was losing staff because its pay scales were no longer competitive, spokesman Tom Wilkinson said yesterday. He did not know how many had left or exactly how many workers were affected by the cuts. The pay cuts ranged from 3 percent for many lower-level workers to 10 percent for executives.

Pacific Office taps interim leaders

Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc., a West Coast real estate investment trust with properties in Hawaii, has appointed interim leadership.

Jay Shidler, the company's chairman of the board, will serve as the new president and chief executive officer, and Lawrence Taff will serve as chief financial office while the company conducts a formal search for each position. Taff also will retain his existing responsibilities as executive vice president of Honolulu's operations.

The appointments were made following the departures of former President and Chief Executive Dallas Lucas and James Kasim as chief financial officer.

“;Given Larry's and my history with Pacific Office and its predecessor operations, I am confident in our ability to guide the company through this leadership transition until successors are named,”; Shidler said.

Honolulu office properties in the company's portfolio include Waterfront Plaza, Davies Pacific Center, Pan Am Building, First Insurance Center, Pacific Business News Building and the Clifford Center.

Wet 'n' Wild offering $29.99 pass

Wet 'n' Wild Hawaii is offering a discounted pass for kamaaina and the military.

The pass, which can be purchased for $29.99 with a military or Hawaii ID, gives guests unlimited access through Dec. 31. Regular one-time adult admission to the park is $39.99. The discount pass can be purchased at the park's ticket office or online.

Delta might bail out Japan Airlines

ATLANTA » Delta Air Lines Inc. is considering making a cash infusion of $2 million to aid struggling Japan Airlines Corp., a person briefed on the talks said yesterday.

In exchange for the infusion, the person said the world's biggest airline operator could get a stake in Japan Airlines, an expanded presence in Japan and coveted access to the closest airport to the Tokyo business center.

Mera Pharmaceuticals loses $91,244

Mera Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Kona-based producer of human nutritional products from microalgae, swung to a loss of $91,244 in its fiscal third quarter ended July 31 from a net profit of $7,521 a year ago.

Revenue decreased 38.6 percent to $106,213 from $173,098 a year ago, primarily due to the end of a licensing agreement on June 8 with HR BioPetroleum. Mera had received $22,000 a month from HRBP for granting the company access and use of Mera's facilities to perform a research project related to large-scale cultivation and production of certain microalgae species. The agreement also allowed HRBP license rights to a patent and other intellectual property owned by Mera.



» Honolulu Theatre for Youth has named the following new officers and board members: Van Cornwell, president; Steve Trecker, vice president; Kristi Maynard, treasurer; Bonnie Fong, secretary; Tim Bostock, former president. New trustees are Trini Kaopuiki Clark, Mark Haworth and James Kellett Tam.

>> Paul Toner, formerly an executive in Hawaii's hotel industry, has been named senior vice president and chief operating officer of RockResorts and Vail Resorts Hospitality. Toner is a past director of marketing for the Marriott's Pacific Islands regional office in Honolulu and for the Hyatt Regency Kauai and the Hyatt Regency Maui.