Business Briefs


POSTED: Saturday, November 21, 2009

D.R. Horton sees spike in orders

Homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc., which has operations in Hawaii, saw new home orders nationally spike 26 percent from a year ago in its fiscal fourth quarter as buyers raced to close deals and take advantage of a federal tax credit. But the company had a wider-than-anticipated loss fueled by write-downs.

D.R. Horton, which caters primarily to first-time buyers, and other builders have seen home orders improve thanks to the incentive. But the tax credit also has raised concerns that it has merely pulled sales forward. For the quarter ended in September, D.R. Horton posted a loss of $231.9 million compared with a loss of $799.9 million a year earlier. Revenue plunged 42 percent to $1.01 billion.


First commercial maile farm to start

WAILEA, Big Island » A Hawaii company is starting the state's first large-scale commercial maile farm on the slopes of Mauna Kea.

Most of the maile used to make leis in the islands comes from outside Hawaii.

By some estimates, 90 to 95 percent of the commercially sold maile in Hawaii is grown in Tonga or the Cook Islands.

Oahu-based Alii Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club is starting the Big Island farm called Ka Mahi'ai 'Ihi o Wailea, or “;the sacred farm of Wailea.”;

The first harvest is expected between 10 months to a year from now. Farm manager Mamo Lundin says 10,000 maile plants will be harvested in the first year.

The farm will create 20 jobs and is expected to have a customer base of 25,000.

It will also grow koaia, which is a subspecies of koa.


UPS hiking up new rates for 2010

ATLANTA » UPS Inc., the world's largest shipping carrier, is raising 2010 rates for ground packages by an average of 4.9 percent.

The company, based in Atlanta, said yesterday there also will be an average net rate increase of 4.9 percent next year on all air express and U.S.-origin international shipments.

The rate increase for air express and international shipments is based on a 6.9 percent increase in the base rate, less a 2 percent reduction in the air and international fuel surcharge index.

The new rates take effect on Jan. 4.


Verizon Wireless reopens Kona store

Verizon Wireless will open its second “;evolution”; communications store with a Hawaiian blessing at 8 a.m. today at Kona's Lanihau Center.

The newly remodeled store at 75-5595 Palani Road is double the size of the previous store and offers consumers hands-on interaction with wireless voice, data, music and video services.


BBB forms advisory council on Kauai

Hawaii's Better Business Bureau has formed an advisory council with business leaders on Kauai, designed to provide local networking opportunities and support for good business practices on the Garden Isle.

The Kauai representatives are members of BBB Accredited Businesses and include Chairman Mel Rapozo of M & P Legal Support Services, John Belliveau of A/V Kauai, Lesther Calipjo of Kauai Foreign Cars, Lori Cardenas of Aunty Lilikoi Products, Candace Mack of Kauai Calls! Set Your Heart Free, Lani Phillips of Lani's & Boyd Upholstery and Ryan Thompson of Cypress Electric Communications.

The BBB is considering the establishment of similar advisory councils on other neighbor islands.


On the Move

; » Oceanit has promoted Derrick C. Elfalan to manager for the civil engineering section. He has 29 years of civil engineering experience. In addition, Joanne E. Hiramatsu was promoted to co-manager in the environmental engineering and planning section, and Jay M.K. Stone was promoted to co-manager in the environmental engineering and planning section.

» Newsweek has ranked CB Richard Ellis No. 45 in its 2009 Green Rankings. The list, featured in the Sept. 28 publication, measures the environmental performance of the 500 largest U.S.-based publicly traded companies.

» Symetra Investment Services has announced that the Chinen & Arinaga Financial Group won the award for “;Outstanding Achievement in an Agency for 2009.”; SIS annually recognizes an outstanding agency based on business development, client service expertise, professional aptitude and overall performance.

» Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa has announced Kaleo Keolanui was awarded the Elwood J. McGuire Award at the 25th Annual Law Enforcement/Security Appreciation Luncheon. He is director of security at Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa.