Maui Land & Pine Co. nets $1.5M for quarter
By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer
A large land sale helped Maui Land & Pineapple Co. rebound from a first-quarter loss last year to earn $1.5 million in net profit during the first three months of this year.
The Kahului-based pineapple, resort and real estate business said operating profits from its real estate and resort divisions offset a loss in pineapple operations. Pineapple was down despite higher fruit prices and sales.
Maui Land & Pine's net profit of $1.5 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $626,000, or 9 cents per share, during the first quarter of 2003.
The sale of a 6.5-acre conservation-zoned parcel in Kapalua contributed $2.5 million to net profit for the company.
Revenue from all business segments rose by 17 percent to $40.3 million in the recent quarter, compared with $34.4 million in the year-ago period.
The improvements were made amid ongoing reorganization efforts that included last year's sale of offshore pineapple operations and two Maui shopping centers.
Maui Land & Pine also has been replacing several senior executives, resulting in severance costs that largely created a $1.1 million rise in general and administrative expenses in the first quarter.
David Cole, who became Maui Land & Pine president and chief executive officer in October, was not immediately available for comment yesterday.
Shares of Maui Land & Pine closed yesterday at $34.50, down 50 cents. The earnings announcement came after the close of trading.
By segment, Maui Land & Pine's pineapple business accounted for $21.8 million in revenue in the recent quarter, up from $18.3 million in the year-ago period.
The company said the 19 percent rise was partly because of increased marketing that led to more canned pineapple sales to the U.S. government as well as higher fresh pineapple sales.
The improved sales helped reduce the pineapple division's operating loss to $1.4 million for the quarter, compared with a $2 million loss a year earlier.
Maui Land & Pine noted that unusually heavy rain during the quarter delayed pineapple planting, which it said may increase costs for the year.
At Maui Land & Pine's resort operations in Kapalua, revenue rose 14 percent to $14.4 million, from $12.6 million, but operating income was unchanged at $1.2 million for the recent and year-earlier quarters.
The West Maui resort, where Maui Land & Pine earns money from golf, merchandise sales and hotel ground leases, benefited from a 14 percent occupancy gain but was hurt by the unusually wet weather.
Real estate operations at Maui Land & Pine generated $4.1 million in revenue in the first quarter, up 52 percent from $2.7 million in the year-ago period.
The large land sale contributed $3.9 million in first-quarter operating profit, which was reduced to $3.5 million when accounting for other division operations. That compared to $636,000 in operating profit a year earlier.
Maui Land & Pine did not identify the conservation-zoned parcel sold, but previously said it was a property that had been in escrow since last year with a buyer needing approvals to build a home on the site.
Reach Andrew Gomes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-8065.