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Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Tuesday, February 15, 2000

Cheap Tickets forms business-deal unit

Cheap Tickets Inc., the Honolulu-based seller of discount airline tickets, has formed a new business development division to seek deals with travel suppliers and Internet companies. The company hired Jason D. Horstman, former vice president of Northwestern Travel Management, to head the division as vice president of business development.

Hawaiian Air books more passengers

Hawaiian Airlines Inc. said today it carried 447,996 passengers in January, 2.7 percent more than the 436,373 passengers reported for January 1999.

The airline's load factor, the percentage of available seats occupied by paying passengers, decreased to 66.7 percent from 71.6 percent in January 1999, but its total interisland, mainland-Hawaii and Hawaii-South Pacific capacity was up 17 percent from January 1999.

Wal-Mart net rises but 2000 looks tough

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose 23 percent as the world's largest retailer drew more shoppers to its big U.S. supercenter stores and international sales more than doubled.

Wal-Mart shares closed down $1.87 today at $57.

Executives warned that rising oil prices and labor costs will make it more difficult to keep cutting prices, one of the main strategies for attracting customers. Wal-Mart said it will also have a tougher time matching last year's sales gains. Net income rose to $1.92 billion, or 43 cents a share, from $1.56 billion, or 35 cents, a year ago. Sales rose 26 percent to $51.4 billion in the period ended Jan. 31 from $40.8 billion.

U.S. factory output strong in January

WASHINGTON -- Industrial production at the nation's factories, utilities and mines surged in January to its highest level since August 1998, with strong showings across the board.

The Federal Reserve reported today that production rose by 1 percent last month, much stronger than the 0.5 percent gain many analysts were forecasting.

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