Thursday, January 21, 1999

Bankoh parent’s
net up 5.6%

By Russ Lynch


Pacific Century Financial Corp. had a profit of $35 million in the fourth quarter of 1998, up 5.6 percent from the profit of $33.1 million reported for the year-earlier quarter.

The income was equal to 43 cents a share, compared with the profit of 41 cents a share in the 1997 quarter.

Info Box The company, parent of Bank of Hawaii and the Pacific Century Bank chain on the mainland, said the improved results reflected its successful handling of the Asian financial crisis, which first began to affect its business in the last quarter of 1997.

Steps taken to counter the Asian slump, such as writing off loans in the area, adversely affected Pacific Century's full-year results. Net earnings in 1998 totaled $107 million, down 23.3 percent from $139.5 million in 1997. Full year earnings per share were $1.32, vs. $1.72 in 1997.

The company said the decline was directly linked to actions it took in the second quarter to manage its Asia problems, including a restructuring charge and a higher provision for possible loan losses. During 1998, the banking company cut hundreds of jobs.

At year-end, the company had assets of $15 billion, about the same as 1997's. Loans were up 3.3 percent at $9.4 billion, from $9.1 billion at the end of 1997, and deposits of $9.6 billion were unchanged.

Lawrence M. Johnson, chairman and chief executive, said the year had some bright spots. One of them was residential lending, where the bank closed more than $1 billion in home loans during the year, he said. Johnson said the company's focus on its core business through 1998 brought results that were better than had been expected.

een Emma Gardens and 1450 Young St. -- accounted for nearly half the sales total.

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