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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Maui Land & Pineapple posts $123.3M in losses

by Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer

Last year was not a year to remember for Maui Land & Pineapple Co., which posted a staggering net loss of $123.3 million and quit the business of pineapple growing on which the company was built.

The financial loss was a record for Maui Land, at least in recent history, and pushed its two-year combined loss to just over $200 million after including the $79.4 million loss in 2008.

Excluding the last two years, the company over the prior 20 years had not lost more than $11 million or earned more than $15 million in any year.

Trouble with a luxury timeshare and condominium project in Kapalua and with pineapple production during the recession are the primary reasons for Maui Land's major financial hardship over the last two years.

John Durkin, chief financial officer, said 2009 was a year of transition for the company.

"We think we've made some good improvements to our cost structure, and we plan more improvements," he said.

Leading the company toward improving its finances will be Ryan Churchill, a longtime Maui Land executive who was named president and CEO last month.

In the last quarter of 2009, Maui Land reported losing $30.4 million, which included a $20.9 million expense to exit pineapple production. For the full year, agriculture operations resulted in a $22.8 million loss.

Real estate development operations for Maui Land generated a fourth-quarter operating loss of $1.4 million, which was an improvement from a $61.5 million operating loss in the same quarter a year before.

But for all of 2009, real estate development activity produced a $62.6 million operating loss, compared with a $40 million operating loss for all of 2008.

Maui Land resort operations posted a $4.7 million operating loss in the fourth quarter, down from a $6.6 million loss in the same quarter the year before.

For the full year, resort operations resulted in a loss of $16.1 million, compared with a $19.7 million loss in 2008.

Revenue for all of Maui Land's business segments was $50.4 million, compared with $51.1 million in 2008.

Shares of Maui Land stock closed up 43 cents at $5.23 before the earnings announcement was made. Shares over the last 52 weeks have traded between a high of $10 in May and a low of $2.35 in late January.