MIDDAY UPDATE: Carmel Fisher the first lady of fundies

By Paul McBeth

Feb. 26 (BusinessDesk) - High profile fund manager Carmel Fisher has cemented her spot as first lady of funds management with her firm, Fisher Funds, buying Tower's funds management business for $79 million.

The deal will almost quadruple Fisher Funds' assets under management to more than $5 billion, and firmly transforms what was once a boutique into the fourth biggest player with 8 percent of the market.

Any efficiencies Fisher can achieve will be passed on to customers through lower fees, she told journalists in Auckland, though it's too early to tell whether aggregating back office administration will lead to any job losses.

Taranaki-based TSB is supporting the purchase for an unspecified amount, and will take 26 percent of Fisher Funds, and get two directors on the six-seat board. That will make it Fisher Funds' second biggest shareholder, leap-frogging Wellington-based investment bank Morrison & Co, which didn't participate.

Dame Jenny pleads to be judged on her performance as Genesis chair

Former Prime Minister and Genesis Energy chair Dame Jenny Shipley wants to be judged on the performance of the power company up for a government sell-down, and not presiding over the Mainzeal group of companies right up to their collapse.

Dame Jenny said she's on the Genesis board at the behest of the shareholders - former Cabinet colleagues and shareholding ministers Bill English and Tony Ryall - and asked people to judge her on the results of the company, which turned in a respectable increase in net first-half earnings.

“I have always been judged by results in my career and I will be in the future,” she said after repeated questioning which she attempted to avoid.

The state-owned energy company slated for partial privatisation boosted net profit 85 percent to $71 million and returned to paying dividends after two years.

Delegat's sells more wine, keeps lid on costs

Wine-maker Delegat’s Group lifted first-half profit by 31 percent after increasing sales of wine in North America and Europe and keeping expenses in check.

Profit rose to $19.3 million, or 19.04 cents a share, in the six months ended Dec. 31, from $14.7 million, or 14.45 cents, a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Revenue climbed 1 percent to $129.1 million.

The company lifted total case sales by 7 percent to 1.09 million in the first half, with the strongest growth in North America, where sales jumped 30 percent to 309,000.

The case price realisation fell 3 percent to $113.2, which the company said reflected adverse foreign exchange movements. The company held its operating gross margin at 59 percent.



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