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F&P Healthcare shares jump 5.2% as weak kiwi prompts upgrade

By Paul McBeth

Aug. 28 (BusinessDesk) - Fisher & Paykel Healthcare shares jumped 5.2 percent after the breathing mask respirator maker lifted its earnings outlook as a weaker kiwi dollar boosted the value of its predominantly export sales.

Chief executive Lewis Gradon said the manufacturer expects to report net profit of $245-250 million in the year ending March 31 on revenue of $1.17 billion, up from an earlier forecast for profit of $240-250 million on sales of $1.15 billion. The increased guidance is based on the kiwi dollar trading around 64 US cents, down from a previous assumption of 65 cents. It was recently at 63.58 cents.

"Our New Zealand dollar results can be influenced by exchange rate movements, and our earnings guidance has benefited from a weakening of the New Zealand dollar," Gradon said in a statement ahead of today's annual meeting.

The shares climbed 78 cents to $15.93 and have gained about 23 percent so far this year.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare reported a profit of $209.2 million and revenue of $1.07 billion in the March 2019 year.

"During the first quarter, we have seen strong growth in our hospital product group, which continues to be supported by uptake in both our Optiflow nasal high flow therapy and non-invasive ventilation products," Graydon said. The hospital unit accounts for about 60 percent of revenue

F&P Healthcare said that, based on current exchange rates, first-half revenue will likely be $560 million, generating a profit of $120 million. It reported a first-half profit of $97.4 million and sales of $511.3 million a year earlier.

Gradon told shareholders the company expects the hospital division to generate slightly higher constant currency revenue growth in 2020 than the 11 percent reported in 2019.

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