Top 250 – 2000

How to read the numbers and what they mean

August, 2000

There are other companies in Hawaii that gross more than $23.5 million annually, but they’re not here. Why? One reason is lack of reliable data. Excluded from consideration were those franchise operations, branch divisions or regional offices of national and international corporations with headquarters outside of the islands whose Hawaii sales figures are lumped together with parent company revenues. Examples of major national operations whose local sales don’t appear in Hawaii-keyed print or computer searches are Costco, CompUSA and IBM. However, figures for a few do appear in certain databases and are included in the Hawaii Business Top 250 (Fleming Companies Inc.—Hawaii, for example). Other national and international operations volunteered Hawaii revenues (Sam’s Club and Nissan).

A few local companies that didn’t appear in any print or computer database, but were known by Hawaii Business to be large enough to make the Top 250 list (including Zippy’s and Foodland Supermarkets), declined to release their sales figures. Since inclusion in the Top 250 requires published figures (e.g. annual reports), national database estimates, or figures submitted to Hawaii Business for verification, they were not included.

Estimates produced by national data collection services remain open to error, but the level of confidence is higher, given their extensive research and analysis capabilities.

Only parent companies are ranked. Sales of subsidiaries of Hawaii companies that appear in the Hawaii Business Top 250 rankings are not listed separately, regardless of their size. Some of these subsidiaries have substantial revenues and would make the Top 250 list on their own (e.g. Matson, a subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin). The names and sales of some of these prominent subsidiaries appear in a separate chart in this issue.

Errors. No single information source—or collection of them (Hawaii Business uses several separate databases)—is perfect. Whether computerized or printed, they may all reflect some degree of human error in their compilation, and undoubtedly some companies that should have been included do not appear on this list.

Since most of the information found in national print and online databases is a year or more out of date, it is used only as a starting point. Honolulu-based Mattson Sunderland Research & Planning Associates, Inc. telephones companies in the ranking on behalf of Hawaii Business to verify or update information. Companies that declined to confirm or deny the accuracy of the sales figures are marked with an asterisk next to the sales figure, although company executives have in many cases indicated that the sales data are in the ballpark. Hawaii Business advises exercising extra caution with these listings.

Where sales figures are identified as Hawaii Business estimates, the magazine has compiled the figure based on known previous performance and strong corroborating estimates from industry experts. However, while Hawaii Business exerts reasonable efforts to achieve accuracy, the magazine does not assume any liability for the absolute correctness of the information printed in these rankings.

Finally, Hawaii Business has developed a series of definitions to handle options in classifying data.

  • Rankings: Where sales were equal, companies were ranked by number of employees.
  • Sales: The latest available annual company revenues—calendar-year for some, fiscal-year for others—for the local operation and its subsidiaries.

For companies with headquarters in Hawaii, “sales” reflect the revenues of the company and all of its subsidiaries—in state, on the mainland or overseas. For a company whose parent has its headquarters outside Hawaii, revenues reflect Hawaii sales.

“Sales” figures for banks include total interest income plus total non-interest income.

“Sales” for life insurance companies are reported on a consolidated basis and reflect the total of premiums and annuity considerations, commissions, and allowances on reinsurance ceded, and miscellaneous income.

  • Employees: In most cases, the figure reflects persons working 20 hours or more per week.
  • Parent Company: This refers to the parent of the ranked company. Some ranked Hawaii corporations, in turn, own subsidiaries or divisions.

If the parent itself was a subsidiary, researchers tried to identify and report the ultimate parent.


If your company has annual sales in excess of $23.5 million, you can submit information directly to Hawaii Business for verification for next year’s Top 250 listings. The requirements are:

  • A sales volume high enough to qualify. For definition of “sales” by industry, see above explanation.
  • A cover letter from a certified public accountant attesting to those submitted figures.
  • 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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