Wellington Drive posts half-year operating profit on soaring US sales

Wellington Drive Technologies, the maker of energy efficient motors for commercial refrigerators, has seen revenues rise by 38% in the six months to the end of June on a year earlier, driven by demand in the United States and Canada ahead of the adoption of new regulatory standards next year. Sales in the North American region rose by 119 percent, with strong demand for the Auckland-based company…

  • MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall; Chorus, A2, Genesis drop, … BusinessDesk - 14 hours ago

    New Zealand shares fell after Chorus said profit growth stalled and chief executive Mark Ratcliffe will step down next year. A2 Milk and Genesis Energy also declined while Auckland International Airport and Air New Zealand gained. Within the index 27 stocks fell, 15 rose and nine were unchanged.

  • Analysts revise down Air NZ share price and earnings … BusinessDesk - 14 hours ago

    Analysts have revised their earnings expectations and valuations for Air New Zealand following a forecast profit drop in 2017, with Craigs Investment Partners analyst Matt Peek describing the 2016 financial year as a "nice take-off, bumpy landing". The country's largest airline reported record financial results for the June year last Friday, with pre-tax profit before significant items up 70 percent to $806 million, in line with the effects of a tourism boom, fleet efficiencies, and lower fuel prices. The mid-point of the range would equate to a drop of 38 percent on the previous year and Credit Suisse said the wide range indicated Air New Zealand's uncertainty about the outlook.

  • NZ dollar falls as Fed rate-hike message digested, … BusinessDesk - 14 hours ago

    The New Zealand dollar fell after the top two Federal Reserve officials gave an upbeat message about the outlook for US interest rates this year, increasing the focus on upcoming data such as non-farm payrolls. The kiwi traded at 72.39 US cents as at 5pm in Wellington, from 73.26 cents in New York on Friday before Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen and vice chairman Stanley Fischer spoke. Yellen's speech at the Jackson Hole central bankers retreat was the most anticipated event of the past week and she used it to say the case for an increase in the federal funds rate "has strengthened in recent months", without giving details.

  • Veritas slumps into loss on Mad Butcher write-offs … BusinessDesk - 14 hours ago

    Veritas, the NZX listed hospitality company that owns the Mad Butcher franchise, Nosh food markets and the Better Bar Company has posted an audited net loss of $4.59 million in the year to the end of June 2016, compared to a profit of $3.33 million a year earlier. Total losses from significant operations, operations held for sale and discontinued operations was $7.75 million. The losses stem from the end of its Kiwi Pacific Foods venture, which supplied beef patties to the local Burger King franchise operator, Anatares Restaurant Group, a joint partner in the venture.

  • Auckland Council debt rises 4.1% to $7.6 billion on … BusinessDesk - 16 hours ago

    Auckland Council's debt rose 4.1% to $7.6 billion in the year ended June 30, as New Zealand's biggest city steps up investment to try to manage the rapid rise in its population. The city's unaudited financial statements show $1.4 billion was invested in the latest year on renewing and expanding assets such as public transport interchanges, public parks, and the City Rail link project. Auckland Council chief financial officer Sue Tindal said debt would continue to rise over coming years, "Our financial strategy sets limits on the council's borrowing, to maintain debt at a sustainable level.

  • Auckland Airport major project costs rise as construction, … BusinessDesk - 16 hours ago

    Auckland International Airport says competition for labour and resources due to the city's multi-billion dollar construction boom means the cost of major capital projects may be higher than originally planned, although it stopped short of providing details on any cost over-runs. Capital expenditure for the 2017 financial year is expected to be the highest in a decade at between $330 million and $370 million, including about $232 million on aeronautical projects, as it expands to cope with an increased number of passengers and airlines coming into the country's largest airport. Auckland Airport is paying around 250 of its 350 full-time staff that don't participate in the short-term incentive scheme a $1,500 one-off performance bonus after delivering strong full-year growth, a move that mirrors the $2,500 one-off staff bonus Air New Zealand announced last week.

  • Brian Roche to step down as NZ Post CEO having led … BusinessDesk - 20 hours ago

    Brian Roche will step down as chief executive of New Zealand Post in April 2017, having led the state-owned postal service's drive to adjust to shrinking mail volumes with a combination of cost cuts, asset sales, modernisation and expansion of new businesses. The Wellington-based company will embark on a CEO search to replace Roche, who has held the position since January 2010, said chairman Michael Cullen. NZ Post and its banking subsidiary Kiwibank both reported reduced profits in the 12 months ended June 30, with NZ Post's result bolstered by one-off benefits from an Australian asset sale and Kiwibank experiencing a difficult second-half to the financial year.

  • Auckland Airport pays staff $1,500 bonus as tourism … BusinessDesk - 20 hours ago

    Auckland International Airport is paying its staff a $1,500 performance bonus after full-year profit and revenue benefited from the country's tourism boom and a significant uplift in the number of international airlines and capacity servicing Auckland. In the year to June 30, total passenger movements were up 9.1 percent to 17.3 million while international passengers (excluding transits) rose 8.1 percent to 8.8 million and domestic passengers increased 9.8 percent to 7.9 million. Domestically the arrival of Jetstar on regional routes to compete against Air New Zealand has also increased flight capacity.

  • Spotlight Reporting raises $5M from NZVIF-backed fund, … BusinessDesk - 21 hours ago

    Spotlight Reporting, which provides cloud-based tools to import data from accounting service firms such as Xero and QuickBooks to generate reports, forecasts and dashboards, says it raised $5 million from an NZVIF-backed fund, Vend's David Wilson and Xero director Graig Winkler among others. The Wellington-based company says chief executive and founder Richard Francis and chairman Graham Shaw, a former Xero director, also contributed to the Series A funding round. As a result of the capital raise, Chintaka Ranatunga from the NZVIF-backed Venture Capital Fund Global from Day One Fund 2 will join the board alongside Shaw, Francis and Miki Szikszai, who is chief executive of travel card company Snapper Services.

  • King Salmon signals IPO that may raise about $30M to … BusinessDesk - 21 hours ago

    Marlborough Sounds fish-farmer New Zealand King Salmon is signalling an intention to sell down existing shares and raise new capital in an initial public offering that would see the three-decade-old company list on both the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges. More detail on the offer is expected this Wednesday, but chief executive Grant Rosewarne said the company is "expected to raise $30 million" in a float that would see long-term majority shareholder Oregon Group drop from its current 51 percent to a 40 percent shareholding, while Auckland-based investor Direct Capital had yet to decide how much of its 42 percent stake to sell down. New capital raised would be used to help fund three new salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds, which King Salmon won resource consents for last year after a marathon process that saw the company's name attached to a landmark Supreme Court interpretation of the Resource Management Act in relation to outstanding coastal landscapes.

  • Intueri first-half profit drops 43% on year-earlier … BusinessDesk - 21 hours ago

    Intueri Education Group, whose chief executive Rob Facer left suddenly this month, posted a 43 percent decline in first-half profit, saying a gain in revenue wasn't enough to offset the benefit of finance and other income in 2015 that wasn't repeated in the latest year. Guidance for full-year ebitda of about $15 million was subject to confirmation of a A$6 million lift in its funding cap from Australia's Department of Education, down from $21.5 million last year, it said. "Intueri continues to trade profitably and we are heading into the second half of the year with a clear strategy and plan in place," said chairman Chris Kelly.

  • Airwork boosts full-year profit 58% as expansion of … BusinessDesk - 21 hours ago

    Specialist aviation company Airwork Holdings has delivered a 58 percent boost in full-year profit to $24.6 million following strong earnings growth in its expanded fixed-wing aircraft business. Income from external customers is now weighted to the rest of the world which accounts for $73 million, while New Zealand earned $40.6 million, and Australia $52.5 million. Airwork will pay a fully imputed final dividend of 8 cents on Oct. 5, taking total dividends for the year to 17 cents per share.

  • Biolumic's UV plant technology extends beyond crop … BusinessDesk - 22 hours ago

    Agritech start-up Biolumic, which increases crop yields by applying ultraviolet (UV) light to seeds, seedlings, and plants, is also treating them for resistance to pests and disease. The Palmerston North-based company was founded in 2012 by chief scientific officer Jason Wargent, who is a Massey University-based world expert on the effect of light on plant growth and development. Early trials in New Zealand on lettuce and basil plants showed promising gains by having specific "recipes" of UV light shone on them to make them hardier and grow bigger.

  • Kordia FY profit up 33% despite lower revenue BusinessDesk - 22 hours ago

    State-owned telecommunications service provider Kordia increased tax-paid profit by 33 percent to $12.3 million in the year to June 30, thanks in part to a focus on completing profitable projects in the Australian market. Revenue for the year fell 3 percent to $240.7 million, with a reduction in total Australian revenues of 8 percent offset somewhat by a 3 percent rise in total billings in New Zealand. "The substantial growth in profitability was realised through a strong result from New Zealand operations and the completion of large scale projects in Australia," said chair Lorraine Witten in a statement.

  • Chorus full-year profit growth stalls on lower regulated … BusinessDesk - 22 hours ago

    Chorus, the telecommunications network operator, said lower regulated pricing for access to its copper services were to blame for full-year profit stalling, although it sees a resumption of growth in 2017. It separately announced that chief executive Mark Ratcliffe will step down in the middle of next year. Operating revenue barely budged at $1.008 billion from $1.006 billion.

New Zealand Markets

Company Finances

  • Subway: Review finds 'serious' complaint about Jared Fogle Associated Press - Sun, Sep 13, 2015 1:30 AM NZST
    Subway: Review finds 'serious' complaint about Jared Fogle

    The Subway restaurant chain said it received a "serious" complaint about Jared Fogle when he was the company's spokesman but that the complaint did not imply any criminal sexual activity. The ...

  • Holden keeps 100 design jobs in Australia AAP - Sun, Sep 13, 2015 1:06 AM NZST
    Holden keeps 100 design jobs in Australia

    Holden will keep more than 100 design jobs and add 18 new positions after manufacturing ends in Australia in 2017. The powertrain engineering and development team will stay in Australia after General Motors reversed a decision to send the jobs overseas. "More than 100 additional Holden engineering staff will continue to apply their skills and talents to local and global vehicle programs," managing director Mark Bernhard said on Saturday.

  • Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.7M trucks for air bag, weld troubles Associated Press - Fri, Sep 11, 2015 6:18 AM NZST
    Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.7M trucks for air bag, weld troubles

    Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than 1.7 million trucks to fix problems with air bags and welds in the steering system. The biggest of three recalls announced Thursday covers 1.35 million Ram 1500, 2500 ...

  • McDonald's to switch to cage-free eggs over next decade Associated Press - Thu, Sep 10, 2015 9:12 AM NZST
    McDonald's to switch to cage-free eggs over next decade

    McDonald's says it will switch to cage-free eggs in the U.S. and Canada over the next decade, marking the latest push under CEO Steve Easterbrook to try and reinvent the Big Mac maker as a "modern, ...

  • Survey shows big gaps in knowledge about auto safety tech Associated Press - Wed, Sep 9, 2015 9:24 AM NZST
    Survey shows big gaps in knowledge about auto safety tech

    Adaptive cruise control has been an option on some cars for almost a decade. But in a recent national survey, 65 percent of U.S. drivers didn't know what it was. The survey, by the University of Iowa Public ...

  • Toyota invests $71m in driverless cars AAP - Sat, Sep 5, 2015 8:10 PM NZST
    Toyota invests $71m in driverless cars

    Toyota is investing $US50 million ($A71 million) with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the hope of gaining an edge in an accelerating race to phase out human drivers. The financial commitment announced on Friday by the Japanese carmaker will be made over the next five years at joint research centres located in Silicon Valley and another technology hub in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Toyota has hired robotics expert Gill Pratt to oversee research aimed at developing artificial intelligence and other innovations that will enable future car models to navigate the roads without people doing all the steering and stopping.

  • Harley riders rumble into Milwaukee for rally, bike show Associated Press - Sat, Sep 5, 2015 12:06 PM NZST
    Harley riders rumble into Milwaukee for rally, bike show

    Gearheads converged on the Harley-Davidson Museum on Friday to show off, talk shop and get started on a weekend motorcycle rally and custom bike show. Tents outside the museum featured T-shirts, trinkets ...

  • Toyota to invest $50M in car-tech research at Stanford, MIT Associated Press - Sat, Sep 5, 2015 7:36 AM NZST
    Toyota to invest $50M in car-tech research at Stanford, MIT

    Toyota is investing $50 million with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in hopes of gaining an edge in an accelerating race to phase out human drivers. The financial commitment ...

  • From eggs to trees, USDA promotional programs controversial Associated Press - Sat, Sep 5, 2015 6:37 AM NZST
    From eggs to trees, USDA promotional programs controversial

    The slogans are familiar: "The Incredible Edible Egg," ''Pork: The Other White Meat," and "Got Milk?" They've all been part of promotional campaigns overseen by the Agriculture ...

  • Recalls this week: windshield deicer, bicycles Associated Press - Sat, Sep 5, 2015 5:00 AM NZST
    Recalls this week: windshield deicer, bicycles

    More than 4 million bottles of windshield deicer and frost reducer are being recalled because the trigger assembly can be removed by children, posing a risk of poisoning. Other recalled consumer products ...