QEX shares jump 29% on debut as logistics firm joins NXT
By Paul McBeth
Feb. 15 (BusinessDesk) - QEX Logistics shares jumped 29 percent on their debut to the small-cap NXT market in the first new listing of 2018.
The shares joined the NXT market, most likely consigned to the dustbin if NZX goes ahead with plans to merge its three equity bourses, in a compliance listing today priced at 35 cents apiece. The stock first traded at 45 cents and was recently at 42 cents, a 20 percent premium and valuing the company at $21.1 million.
Auckland-based QEX was founded by chief executive Ronnie Xue, who owns 80 percent of the firm, and his wife Doreen Wu in 2010, and facilitates the storage, supply, packaging, customs clearance and delivery of New Zealand products bought from stores, online and e-commerce sites by individual consumers from China. It reported revenue of $22.2 million in the March 2017 year at a gross margin of 17.3 percent, and is projecting that to rise to $26 million at a margin of 14.3 percent in 2018 and $28 million at a margin of 15 percent the following year.
QEX raised $2.6 million from wholesale investors in December and January ahead of the listing. Those funds will go towards entering Australia and developing a logistics bridge between China and the trans-Tasman nations.
Former Federated Farmers chief executive Conor English is the company's chair, with Danny Chan on board as an independent director.
"We believe the journey has just started, and as trade between the two countries continues to grow and prosper, QEX will continue to expand its services and operations to cement its position as one of New Zealand’s fastest growing small companies," English said in the company's listing document. "As well as expanding in New Zealand, we also believe there are opportunities to supply similar services out of Australia, and we have started to establish a presence there with the establishment of a fully owned Australia subsidiary company."
QEX's customers include SKY Distribution Ltd, the brand marketing firm for Fonterra's Anmum infant formula, Munchkin formula maker, and Fonterra's Anchor brand.