Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire




Lingle reducing cost of doing business

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has reduced licensing fees charged to the securities industry.

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Director Mark Recktenwald said Thursday the reduction is part of Gov. Linda Lingle's effort to reduce the cost of doing business in Hawaii and to make the state more business friendly.

The department has repealed an administrative rule that provided for fees for broker-dealers, investment advisers, securities salespersons and investment adviser representatives.

It also repealed a requirement for a Compliance Resolution Fund assessment fee charged in addition to the statutorily required licensing fee.

The fees total about $1 million per year, the department said.

Hawaiian traffic gains in 2002

Hawaiian Airlines' passenger traffic, which rose 13.9 percent in December, gave the Honolulu-based carrier a 2 percent increase for the year as its scheduled operations transported nearly 5.6 million people during 2002.

The airline carried 468,561 passengers in December compared with 411,297 a year earlier. In all of 2001, Hawaiian carried nearly 5.5 million passengers.

With more seats available in December, however, the airline's flights averaged 74.2 percent full, a decrease of 2 points from a load factor of 76.2 percent in the year-earlier period. Hawaiian's load factor for the year stayed even with 2001 at 76.9 percent. The load factor is seats filled compared with seats available.

The airline said it had 591.5 million available seat miles last month, up 32.3 percent from 447.2 in December 2001.

Hawaiian flew 439.1 million revenue passenger miles in December, up 28.8 percent from 340.8 million a year earlier. A revenue passenger mile is one paying passenger carried one mile.

Lanakila gets $75,000 to renovate

The McInerny Foundation has pledged a $75,000 grant to Lanakila, a nonprofit organization that provides support, training, employment and independence opportunities to individuals with disabilities.

The grant will be paid over three years and will be used to renovate Lanakila's Bachelot Street site, which opened in 1968 when Lanakila was still known as Lanakila Crafts Inc.


Record numbers for Potter book

NEW YORK >> At a record pace, advance orders are piling up for the next Harry Potter.

Since Wednesday's long-awaited announcement that the fifth Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," was coming out June 21, tens of thousands of readers have already pre-ordered J.K. Rowling's latest adventure story. and Barnes & both said yesterday that advance orders were well ahead of those for the fourth Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," published in July 2000. "Goblet of Fire" had advance orders of 400,000,'s largest ever pre-order. Barnes & also said "Goblet of Fire" was its largest pre-order.

Yesterday, "Order of the Phoenix" was No. 1 for both online retailers.

Home Depot sees modest growth

ATLANTA >> The Home Depot said yesterday it will broaden its customer base beyond its do-it-yourself clientele and launch a $250 million store remodeling program, but predicted only modest earnings growth for 2003. Home Depot has been trying to retool its identity, as Wilkesboro, N.C.-based Lowe's has gained ground on the longtime market leader.

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