Guide To The 2004 Hawaii Business Top 250

August, 2004

Although this is the Top 250 list, we are aware that there are more than 250 companies in Hawaii that generated gross annual sales of more than $17.6 million in 2003. Some of those companies do not appear in this year’s list for three reasons:

o Their U.S. mainland or international parents do not provide data for Hawaii-based operations (Costco, CompUSA and IBM, for example).

o The company is Hawaii-owned, but lacks sufficient data.

o The company is Hawaii-owned, but refuses to disclose its annual gross sales (Zippy’s and Foodland Supermarkets, for example).

For the most part, Hawaii Business researchers were able to find information this year, using national databases, annual reports and other methods. Estimates produced by national data-collection services remain open to error, but the level of confidence is high, given the extensive research and analysis.

No single information source is perfect. Whether computerized or printed, the databases used by Hawaii Business and its research partners may all reflect some degree of human error, and undoubtedly, some companies that should have been included do not appear on this list.

Since most of the information is at least one year old, the national print and online databases are used only as a starting point. Honolulu-based Ward Research Inc., on behalf of Hawaii Business, contacts companies to verify or update information. Once the information is confirmed, then the company is ranked.

This year, businesses surveyed for the Top 250 were asked to use Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for their industry or industries in calculating gross sales. If any questions arose regarding GAAP, we relied on the expertise of the local office of the accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Companies surveyed this year were also asked to have a company official with a rank equal to that of a chief financial officer or higher to sign off on their reports to Hawaii Business. Hawaii Business does not assume any liability for the absolute correctness of the information printed in these rankings.

Over the years, Hawaii Business has developed a number of definitions when classifying data:

o Rank: A company’s placement on the list. If annual gross sales were equal, companies were ranked according to sales drops and gains compared with the previous year.

o Gross Annual Sales: The latest available annual company revenues for the local operations and its subsidiaries. Revenues may be for the calendar year or for the fiscal year.

o Employees: In most cases, the figure reflects persons working 20 hours or more per week.

o Parent Company: This refers to the parent of the ranked company. Companies surveyed were asked to identify and report the ultimate parent company.

o For companies with headquarters in Hawaii, sales reflect the revenues of the company and all of its subsidiaries in the state, on the Mainland or overseas. For a company whose parent company is based outside of Hawaii, revenues reflect Hawaii sales only.

An invitation to unranked companies

If your company has gross annual sales in excess of $17.6 million, you are encouraged to submit information directly to Hawaii Business for consideration in next year’s Top 250 list.

The requirements are:

o A sales volume that is high enough to qualify. For definition of sales by industry, see above explanation.

o A cover letter from a certified public accountant or a company official, equivalent to a chief financial officer or higher, attesting to the submitted figures.

o A completed information sheet on your company: key executives, number of employees, parent company and a list of operating DBAs, subsidiaries and divisions.

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