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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by Air NZ

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise, led by Air NZ after FY result beats estimates

By Hannah Lynch

Aug. 30 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand shares rose, led by Air New Zealand after its full-year profit beat estimates and the airline forecast earnings to double in 2013. Auckland Airport fell after its annual profit climbed 15 percent.

The NZX 50 Index rose 1.17 points, or 0.03 percent, to 3629.56. Within the index, 22 shares rose, 20 fell and 8 were unchanged. Turnover was about $111 million.

Air New Zealand shares rose 13.4 percent to $1.01, the highest since Nov. 23. The national carrier slated for a government selldown beat estimates with a 12 percent drop in annual profit to $71 million. That beat the consensus analyst forecast of $44.5 million.

"Air New Zealand has come through, and has been working on this for a long time - it hasn't just happened overnight," said Shane Solly, portfolio manager at Mint Asset Management. "The result was better than expected and they gave guidance of a new outlook that caught people by surprise."

Nuplex Industries rose 5.4 percent to $2.95. The stock is up about 24 percent this year. Last week the specialty chemical maker met its guidance, after the contribution from newly acquired Viverso and improved resin margins made up for falling volumes and the impact of a high kiwi dollar.

Ryman Healthcare, the retirement village operator, rose 2.7 percent to an all-time-high of $3.82. The stock has gained about 34 percent this year.

Auckland International Airport fell 1 percent to $2.58. The airport is raising its dividend policy to pay out 100 percent of underlying earnings, up from 90 percent, following a 15 percent increase in tax-paid underlying profit of $139.0 million in the year to June 30.

"The revenue was slightly below forecast and the profit was inline - it hasn't surprised the market so investors haven't reacted," said Bryon Burke, head dealer at Craigs Investment Partners. "Stocks that have been in line with forecasts haven't been treated that harshly."

Telecom, New Zealand's largest listed company, fell 0.8 percent to 2.41. Fletcher Building, the nation's largest construction company, shed 0.3 percent to $6.60.

The decline was led by Goodman Fielder, the food ingredients maker, down 3 percent to 64 cents.

Allied Farmers, the group that turned itself into a penny-dreadful stock by buying the loan books of Hanover Finance and United Finance, was unchanged on 2.5 cents. It narrowed its full-year loss to $14.1 million in the 12 months ended June 30 from $40.98 million taking smaller impairments and reducing expenses.

New Image Group, which makes colostrum-based health tonics, were unchanged on 15 cents. The company reported a full-year loss of $6.1 million in the 12 months ended June 30 after taking one-time charges to write-down its Living Nature and Sleep Time brands.

(BusinessDesk)

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