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Comvita forecasts profitable 2nd H. on Asian Sales

Comvita forecasts profitable second half on Asian sales

Feb. 10 – Comvita Ltd., which sells honey-based health products, forecast a profitable second half on a pick up in sales, especially in Asia.

The company eked out a profit of NZ$203,000 in the six months ended Sept. 30, from a year-earlier loss, reflecting a 64% gain in sales. Revenue in the final three months of the financial year, to March 31, is expected to rise as much as 25%, the company said in a statement today.

“Comvita is trading profitably on the back of a strong sales performance in most markets, particularly Asia,” chief executive Brett Hewlett said. “While these are challenging market conditions generally, our strategy of sale of our premium Comvita branded natural health products, through a diversity of sales channels and markets, is clearly working.”

Hewlett declined to give a specific forecast. The company’s shares were unchanged at 97 cents today and have declined 16% in the past month.

Also bolstering the outlook is the weakening New Zealand dollar which will “provide gradual and ongoing benefits over the coming year,” Hewlett said. Comvita hedges between 50% and 70% of net export receipts. The full-year result, though, will also reflect costs to close the company’s Cambridge manufacturing site and relocate the facilities to Paengaroa.

Comvita recently rolled over its long-term debt facilities with Westpac Banking Corp.


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