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NPT lifts earnings on Christchurch insurance payout

NPT lifts earnings on Christchurch insurance payout

By Hannah Lynch

May 24 (BusinessDesk) - NPT, the property company formally known as National Property Trust, reported a 12.5 percent increase in fiscal year profit as an insurance reimbursement payment from the Christchurch earthquakes made up for a decline in gross rental income.

Trading profit was $9.94 million in the year ended March 31, up from $8.80 million, the company said in a statement.

Gross rental income fell 15 percent to $20 million from $23.5 million. Net rental income rose 6.9 percent to $16.5 million on higher insurance rental recoveries.

NPT said it narrowed its first-half net loss after tax to $2.29 million from $14.67 million, a year earlier.

The company is still awaiting an insurance settlement on its material damage at Natcoll House.

NPT has spent $13.8 million on earthquake repairs and reconstruction of the Eastgate shopping centre and in March accepted a full and final insurance settlement of $18 million. In April, the Canterbury Earthquake Authority confirmed the shopping mall met the new stricter seismic standards.

“The 2012-13 year looks encouraging,” said Kerry Hitchcock, acting chief executive, adding that “most of the challenges of the last financial year are behind us.”

"There is significant leasing activity underway in a number of properties which will have material impact on our weighted annual lease term, create positive cash flow for the company and add value for shareholders," he also said.

The Christchurch-based company will pay, on July 4, a final dividend of 1.75 cents a share for the quarter ended March 31, for a total 2011-2012 distribution of 4 cents. That compares with an earlier forecast of 3 cents for the year.

Shares in the company are currently up 3.7 percent on the day, trading at 56 cents. The stock has risen about 10 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)

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