MIDDAY UPDATE: Tower flags $120M bonus to shareholders

By Paul McBeth

Nov. 29 (BusinessDesk) - Insurer Tower boosted annual profit 67 percent and said it will pay out $120 million to shareholders after selling its medical insurance business.

Profit rose to $55.8 million in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, from $33.4 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Revenue from ordinary activities rose 23 percent to $483 million. The shares rallied 3.7 percent to $1.97 today.

The board declared a final dividend of 6 cents per share, taking the annual pay-out to 11 cents. The capital return will add a further 44.6 cents per share.

Sky TV shares tax credits with shareholders in special dividend

Sky Network Television will pay $124.5 million in a special dividend to shareholders as a means to distribute $44 million in tax credits.

The pay-TV operator will make a special dividend of 32 cents per share, adding to the 22 cents in dividend payment made in the 2012 financial year. The shares climbed 2.4 percent to $5.19.

Last year, Sky TV paid a special dividend of 25 cents per share.

Argosy boosts first-half profit on cheaper management costs

Argosy Property lifted first-half earnings 29 percent as it reaped the benefits of a cheaper cost structure from bringing management inhouse.

Distributable income, the favoured profit measure for property investors as it strips out unrealised value changes in property portfolios, rose to $20.2 million, or 3.6 cents per share, in the six months ended Sept. 30, from $15.7 million, or 2.84 cents, a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement.

The property investor made a net profit of $5.9 million, or 0.81 cents per share, compared to a loss of $19.3 million, or 3.62 cents, in 2011 when it had to buy out its external manager.

The shares rose 0.5 percent to 93 cents.

Methven misses first-half earnings guidance as UK unit disappoints

Methven, the tapware maker whose board agreed to link directors’ fee increases to earnings growth, reported a worse-than-expected 27 percent drop in first-half profit on its unprofitable British operation.

Net profit fell to $2.3 million, or 3.5 cents per share, in the six months ended Sept. 30, from $3.2 million, or 4.8 cents, a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. The company had forecast a 25 percent decline in September. Sales fell 7.2 percent to $50.3 million.

The UK unit posted an ebitda loss of 184,000 pounds. Methven’s British management team formalised a restructuring plan last month to address earnings in the first-half to return the unit to profit. The restructuring is expected to cost $270,000.

The shares rose 0.7 percent to $1.36.

(BusinessDesk)

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