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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise as Nuplex meets expectations

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares rise as Nuplex meets expectations, AMP lifts earnings

Aug. 15 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares rose as Nuplex Industries posted a drop in full-year earnings that met expectations and AMP boosted first-half profit. Michael Hill International rose ahead of its full-year results tomorrow.

The NZX 50 Index rose 5.674 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4530.262. Within the index, 23 stocks rose, 18 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $108 million.

Nuplex, the specialty chemicals company, rose 1.6 percent to $3.12 after reporting a 31 percent drop in full-year profit on tough trading conditions in the ANZ and EMEA regions. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell 3.5 percent to $126 million, in line with its May guidance of $124 million to $129 million. The company expects to post improved EBITDA for 2014.

The result “was not as bad as some people thought it could be,” said Shane Solly, head of equities at Mint Asset Management. “Meeting expectations in the current environment is helpful. Trading conditions remain challenging.”

AMP, the Australian wealth manager, gained 4.7 percent to $5.39. The company reported a 6 percent gain in first-half profit on higher wealth management earnings and named Craig Meller as chief executive officer.

“The new CEO seems to be someone the industry likes,” Solly said.

Michael Hill, the jewellery chain, rose 1.6 percent to $1.30 ahead of its results. Reported annual profit is forecast to rise to $39 million from $35 million a year earlier, while dividends may increase to 6.4 cents from 5.5 cents, according to First NZ Capital.

Kathmandu, the outdoor equipment chain, rose 3.7 percent to $2.84, leading gains among some retailers as figures showed the ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index increased to 123 in August from 119.8 last month, suggesting kiwis are still optimistic about the economy.

Pumpkin Patch, the children’s clothing chain, rose 2.4 percent to 87 cents. Briscoe group gained 2.5 percent to $2.46.

Goodman Property Trust led gains among property investors, rising about 1 percent to $1.055. Kiwi Income Property Trust rose 0.9 percent to $1.18, Precinct Properties rose 0.5 percent to $1.035 and DNZ Property Fund gained 0.3 percent to $1.67.

OceanaGold, the operator of the Macraes gold field, rose 7 percent to $2.28, the biggest gainer on the NZX 50. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare rose 1.1 percent to $3.72.

Fletcher Building rose 0.6 percent to $8.29 and Telecom slipped 0.4 percent to $2.275.


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