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NZ shares edge up as deluge of results hit market

A deluge of company earnings poured through the local market today, ranging from the likes of Air New Zealand to kiwifruit grower Seeka.

Thursday, February 23rd 2023, 6:10PM

by BusinessDesk

The S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 94.3 points, or 0.8%, to 11,888.50. Turnover was $154.2 million.

Octagon chief investment officer, Paul Robertshawe, said investors would be chewing over today’s deluge of results which had been more positive across the board than earnings released earlier this week had been.

“The market's having another look and thinking a bit harder about how those stocks are treated,” he told BusinessDesk.

Air NZ announced the big news today that it was back in profit, with pre-tax earnings of $299m for the six months to Dec 31 ­– after three years of painful losses and a deficit of $376m in the same six months last year.

There was even better news for shareholders with the airline considering paying a dividend at the end of its financial year due to the company recovering faster than expected from its financial woes. Air NZ edged down 1.2% to 79.5 cents by early evening.

Auckland International Airport (AIA) said its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, fair value adjustments and investment in associates (Ebitdafi) came to $189m for the period – up a tidy three-fold on the $60.3m a year earlier.

AIA was up 2.9% to $8.83 by early evening.

Robertshaw said SkyTV would be an interesting company to watch as the television network firm tries to keep a healthy balance sheet as it battles against huge streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus.

SkyTV's net profit fell to $26.2m, down from $28.3m in the previous corresponding period thanks to increased costs and the business being forced to pay Vodafone to keep its Vodafone TV service open longer than expected.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) also fell by 14% from $85m to $73.7m for the half-year, in line with last year when adjusted for one-offs. SkyTV was down 1.9% to $2.56 by early evening.

Agribusiness Scales Corp jumped 5.4% to $3.30 today after releasing its first-half results. 

It was a story of two halves, Robertshawe said and it would likely be another season before the company fully recovered from the severe weather events the agribusiness has encountered this year.

Scales said lockdowns in China had led to material reductions in market prices during critical sales windows, which impacted its horticulture division. 

Kiwifruit specialist Seeka said its net profit after tax was $6.5m in the year to Dec 31, down a large 56% on the year, with higher labour costs and lower yields impacting margins. Seeka rose 0.3% to $3.11.

Tourism Holdings rose 2.7% to $3.85 after its first-half earnings kicked up a gear thanks to NZ’s tourism sector roaring back to life. 

The travel and tourism operator reported a statutory net profit of $25.2m in the 12 months ended Dec 31, an increase of $29.6m from the previous corresponding period's loss.

Precinct Properties said it delivered a strong operational result in the first half of the financial year, which was driven by rental price uplift and demand for premium office space. 

Its operating income rose 12.7% to $51.3m in the six months ended Dec 31 2022 compared to the same period a year earlier. The stock was up 1.98% to $1.285.

Mānuka honey wholesaler Comvita edged up 0.6% to $3.38 after it saw a net profit of $4.2m in the six months to Dec 31, an increase of 19.4% over the same period the year before.

Across the rest of the market, tech company Serko was up 4.4% to $2.35, Move Logistics fell 3.9% to $1 after it reported a net loss and decreased revenue in its first-half results.

Rubber manufacturer Skellerup jumped 4.7% to $5.08 and IT services firm Solution Dynamics fell 7.8% to $2.14 after releasing the results from its first half financial period.

The NZ dollar was trading at 62.30 US cents at 3pm in Wellington today, barely moving from 62.34 cents yesterday.

Tags: Market Close

« NZ's market flat as Ebos impresses market and Spark disappointsNZ market focused on aged-care stocks »

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