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UPDATED: Abano says FY earnings before minorities to rise

UPDATED: Abano says full-year earnings before minorities to beat Grant Samuel estimate

(Recasts to reflect company explanation of profit figures)

March 18 (BusinessDesk) – Abano Healthcare says annual profit before minority interests will exceed the estimate in a Grant Samuel report given last November when the healthcare investor was fending off a proposal from a hostile shareholder.

The Auckland-based company gave the guidance in a market update. Net profit after minority interests would be between $4.5 million and $5 million in the year ending May 31. The Grant Samuel report gave a profit forecast of $5.4 million, although this included $1.4 million owing to non-controlling shareholders in subsidiaries, chief financial officer Richard Keys told BusinessDesk.

Annual revenue is expected to be between $209.8 million and $211.8 million, down from a forecast of $213.8 million in the Grant Samuel report, although up from $207 million in 2013. A strong New Zealand dollar against its Australian counterpart had depressed the forecast results.

Abano said underlying earnings, which strips out one-off gains and losses, will be between $5.8 million and $6.3 million, compared to $4.5 million a year earlier.

"The forecast increase in reported and underlying NPAT for the FY14 year is the result of an improving dental performance along with Bay Audio's solid progress as it moves towards achieving a breakeven result," managing director Alan Clarke said in a statement. "The acquisition pipeline is still strong, although acquisition settlements are expected to be slower during the final quarter due to vendor requirements."

The company has previously put a $400,000 price tag on a takeover bid by Archer Capital and Abano investors Peter Hutson and James Reeves.

They had given an indicative price range of $6.97 - $7.14 per Abano share, lower than the $8.30 to $10.05 valuation given by Grant Samuel.

The statement was released after the close of trading, with the shares unchanged at $6.55. The stock has increased 2.8 percent this year.


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