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Alexander & Baldwin profit slumps 34%


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POSTED: Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Strong property sales and increased efficiency at its ocean shipping segment weren't enough to keep Alexander & Baldwin Inc.'s fourth-quarter or full-year earnings from slumping.

Fourth-quarter profit for the parent of Matson Navigation Co. was $23.9 million, or 58 cents a diluted share, down 34.3 percent from $36.4 million, or 85 cents a diluted share, a year earlier. Revenue was $400 million, down 7.6 percent from $433 million in 2007, the company reported early today.

Net income for the full year was $132.4 million, or $3.19 a diluted share, down 6.9 percent from $142.2 million, or $3.30 a diluted share in 2007. Revenue was $1.9 billion, down 12 percent from $1.7 billion in 2007.

Real estate sales operating profit in 2008 was $95.6 million, 28 percent higher than $74.4 million a year ago. Revenue was $350.2 million, up nearly three times from $117.8 million in 2007.

In 2008, real estate sales included residential and commercial units at the Keola Lai high-rise development in Honolulu, two shopping centers and one office building on the mainland, as well as single-family homes at Kealaula on Kauai, a residential apartment building on Maui, three improved Maui properties, and several leased fee parcels and other land parcels on Maui.

Full-year operating profit from Matson Navigation Co., Hawaii's largest ocean shipper, fell 16 percent to $105.8 million from $126.5 million a year ago. Revenue rose 2 percent to $1 billion on higher revenue from fuel surcharges and an improved cargo mix that was partially offset by reduced container volume, mostly in Hawaii.