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Green Cross Health shares jump 6.9%, adding to profit gains

Green Cross Health shares jump 6.9%, best performer on NZX All Ords

By Tina Morrison

June 4 (BusinessDesk) - Green Cross Health, which changed its name from Pharmacy Brands this year to coincide with an expansion into the primary health sector, is the biggest gainer on the NZX All Ordinaries Index today as the company's earnings growth draws investors to the closely held stock.

Shares in Green Cross jumped 6.9 percent to $1.56, and yesterday touched $1.60 in intraday trading, its highest in more than nine years. Shares in Green Cross, which is 61 percent owned by cornerstone investors Cape Healthcare and LPL Trustee, have risen 17 percent in the past week since the Auckland-based company posted a 14 percent increase in annual profit.

"It's purely in reaction to what was a pretty good result," said James Smalley, a director at brokerage Hamilton Hindin Greene. "There's not a huge amount of liquidity. There's not really any selling at a reasonable level for the buyers to hit so the buyers are still pretty keen. With low liquidity stocks if you are keen to get in, you are normally having to pay a bit more."

Green Cross chairman Peter Merton said on May 27 that annual profit rose to $18.8 million from $16.6 million a year earlier as performance improved across all business units together with contributions from its new pharmacy and medical acquisitions. The company plans further acquisitions in the sector and is confident its platform will create further opportunities for growth and synergies between its businesses.


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