Archive | Archive – local business

Snapshot on local business, week to 30 June 2002

30 June 2002

Kiwi Income Property Trust unitholders have been sent the investment statement & letter of entitlement & acceptance form for the $71.3 million 1:6 renounceable rights issue, priced at 82c.

Foodland Associated Ltd has repaid the vendor finance advanced in connection with the acquisition of Woolworths (NZ) Ltd’s holding company, Denstree Corp Ltd. FAL refinanced through an institutional placement & institutional pro-rata priority non-renounceable rights issue.

Air New Zealand’s group revenue passenger kilometres (rpks) fell 10.1% in May on a 10.6% capacity cut. Passenger traffic from the Tasman & Pacific routes fell slightly, partly offset by increased traffic from Japan and other Asian routes. The load factor increased by 1 percentage point. The comparison with May 2001 is complicated because Qantas NZ planes were grounded in late April 2001 as that company was placed in liquidation. May 2001 operating statistics include significant domestic capacity and rpk growth due to the collapse of Qantas NZ. For the May 2002 financial year, rpks fell 4.1%, capacity 4.8%. This kept the load factor constant at 72%.

29 June 2002

Fletcher Building Ltd will gain full listing on the Australian Stock Exchange from Monday 1 July. It’s been listed in Australia as a foreign exempt company. Fletcher Challenge Forests Ltd will also get full listing.

Fletcher Challenge Forests Ltd said a memorandum on the proposed acquisition of the Central North Island Forest Partnership assets would go to shareholders in mid-July and a shareholder meeting would be held in mid-August.

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Snapshot on local business, week to 8 July 2001

Latest: Rail corridor mode preferences chosen, Anderton says zero-rating and business clusters will help boat-builders, Evergreen’s forests 3.5% above expected value, Securities Commission okays abbreviated prospectuses in takeovers.

8 July 2001

Councillors around the Auckland region established rail corridor mode preferences on Friday after a five-hour workshop, dubbed Working Forum B. Their preferences are light rail in the west, conventional rail in the south. The region’s local bodies will formally consider the recommendations over the next six weeks, to establish a regionally agreed position by the end of August. Transit New Zealand’s board approved the North Shore busway project in principle last Wednesday.

4 July 2001

Jim Anderton — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for economic, industry & regional development — told the Boating Industries Association on Tuesday that zero-rating for gst purposes goods & services supplied to foreign pleasure craft in New Zealand temporarily should increase the work on super-yachts that New Zealanders get at the next America’s Cup. Mr Anderton also said the concept of cluster development, as was happening in boat-building at the former Hobsonville airbase, would increase earnings from this industry, which was already the largest manufacturing industry not based on primary produce, with annual export earnings of $600 million.

Evergreen Forests Ltd’s forest estate of 21,201 stocked hectares was valued independently by Jaakko Pöyry at $157.4 million ($7424/stocked ha) at its 30 June balance date. Evergreen chief executive Mark Bogle said this was $8.9 million higher than a year ago and 3.5% above the expected year-end book value. The net stocked area increased from 21,007ha over the year.

2 July 2001

Companies listed for at least a year will be allowed to issue an abbreviated prospectus for a takeover in an exemption compromise agreed by the Securities Commission. The exemption for others will be more limited. A draft should be on the commission’s website (www.sec-com.govt.nz) next week. Investment statements will also be tailored “to reflect the different circumstances of a takeover.”

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Snapshot on local business, week to 28 April 2002

27 April 2002

The Warehouse Group Ltd will apply for full stock exchange listing in Australia, retaining its New Zealand listing. It’s listed in Australia now as a foreign exempt company.

Wellington retailer Kirkcaldie & Stains Ltd increased its net profit for the February half by 5.5% to $1.07 million on sales up 6.7% to $20 million. Basic earnings/share rose from 40.45c to 42.7c. The company settled purchase of the Harbour City Centre in March, after balance date.

New Zealand’s population rose by 52,500, or 1.4%, in the March 2002 year to just under 3.9 million (3,898,600), according to the Statistics NZ estimate. The increase was more than 3 times greater than the previous year’s 16,400. The net migrant inflow of 25,600 compared to a 12,600 outflow the previous year, but the natural increase slowed, from 29,000 (excess of births over deaths) in the March 2001 year to 26,800, a 7.6% fall. Statistics NZ said half the population was now aged 34.7-plus, compared to a median age of 31.6 in 1992. Children under 15 (878,600) fell from 23.1% to 22.5% of the population, the 65-plus group (462,800) rose from 11.3% to 11.9%, and the middle batch (2,557,200) stayed the same proportion at 65.6%.

Fletcher Challenge Forests Ltd was trying to buy back the whole of the Central North Island Forest Partnership’s assets for the $1.5 billion of bank debt, but couldn’t meet a key condition — a finance package — before a deadline imposed by receiver Michael Stiassny (Ferrier Hodgson). Fletcher & its partner, Citic of China, fell out, sending the partnership into receivership. The Vela family is the other bidder now seeking control of the partnership.

25 April 2002

Fletcher Challenge Forests Ltd said it wouldn’t proceed with the agreement it entered on 28 March to buy the assets of the Central North Island Forests Partnership, but wouldn’t rule out further possible interest in buying the forest estate. Fletcher chief executive Terry McFadgen said it couldn’t finalise arrangements in the time available. The partnership, between Fletcher and Citic of China, ended bitterly with Michael Stiassny of Ferrier Hodgson taking control as receiver. He has indicated another offer, from the Vela family, is on the table.

Auckland Regional Council and Auckland Regional Transport Network Ltd (ARTNL, owned by the region’s local bodies) jointly submitted an expression of interest to Infrastructure Auckland this week for the Auckland region rail upgrade project. The plans include cost estimates of $388 million to develop the region’s rail network into a rapid transit commuter service. The project will start this year, infrastructure works should be completed by January 2006 and 10-minute service frequencies are planned across the network, in better trains, by December 2006. First, though, the Government must complete purchase of the network from TranzRail (expected net month), ARTNL must secure an access agreement, and funding must be secured.

Shopping centre owner Westfield NZ Ltd will sponsor Style Pasifika, starting with the Style Pasifika Fashion Award 2002, to promote innovative New Zealand fashion & entertainment. The award is open to all fashion designers throughout New Zealand & the Pacific Islands, and will be held at the Auckland Town Hall on September 24 and 25. Westfield became involved with Style Pasifika at the inaugural New Zealand L’Oreal Fashion Week as sponsor of the opening parade, which showcased 3 young New Zealand designers.

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Snapshot on local business, week to 14 September 2003

14 September 2003

Retail sales in July were worth $4.36 billion, 6.6% above the level in July 2002. Vehicle sales & services continued to be major factors – sales up 7.3% to $688 million, services up 6.2% to $642 million. Statistics NZ said the biggest category gains were by department stores (up 16.8% to $250 million), footwear (up 14.8% to $25 million), hardware (up 11.4% to $74 million) & recreational goods (up 10.9% to $174 million). Sales in the Auckland region rose 7.5% to $1.44 billion, Waikato 4.1% to $413 million, Wellington 10.1% to $507 million.

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Snapshot on local business, August 2000

16 August 2000

Sky City today announced net profit up 32% to $60 million for the year to June, then followed that with a decision to place 20 million shares with New Zealand and Australian institutions at $3.99 for net proceeds of $79.4 million, to be used to buy the infrastructure for the rollout of digital and interactive services.

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Snapshot on local business, week to 1 September 2002

31 August 2002

GPG, through GPG Forests Ltd, launched a $67 million partial takeover offer for Rubicon Ltd on Thursday. On Friday night, the Takeovers Panel said GPG “may not have acted or may not be acting or may intend not to act in compliance with the takeovers code by making a partial offer that may not comply with the code in a number of respects.” The panel will meet on Thursday 5 September at 10am to discuss what to do. The notices of motion are on the panel website.

Auckland City Council’s ban on drinking in public places in the downtown area & Viaduct Harbour will take effect from Thursday 26 September, running from 9pm-6am Thursday evenings to Sunday mornings.

28 August 2002

ASB Bank has issued a special report on the bear market, including tips on riding it out successfully, in its winter investment update. On commercial property, it says interest rate rises are expected to be moderate, and are unlikely to prevent property incomes & values from rising.

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Snapshot on local business, week to 13 May 2001

Latest: City roadworks watch, new Rodney council structure in place, wood-processing takeovers.

8 May 2001

Auckland City Council has created a roadworks notification service, to be updated weekly. It’s available on email: contact Deborah Hull-Brown at the council, [email protected]

Rodney District Council has put in place its new committee structure, a first in many respects for the way it’s targeting new focuses instead of being a repeat of old forms.

The Commerce Commission has requests for two wood-processing acquisitions before it. Commission decisions on clearance should be given by 18 May. Nelson Pine Industries Ltd, ultimately owned by Japanese wood processor Sumitomo Forestry Co Ltd, wants clearance to buy Rayonier MDF NZ Ltd, which operates the Mataura plant of US company Rayonier Inc. The second clearance request is by Fletcher Building Products Ltd to acquire the assets of Carter Holt Harvey Ltd’s door manufacturing division at Wiri.

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Snapshot on local business, week to 16 February 2003

11 February 2003

Shotover Jet Ltd present a positive outlook for 2003 despite gloomier tourism projects when it announced a 30.4% rise in December half profit to $1.6 million on steady revenue of $11.6 million. After noting the 5.5% rise in visitor numbers to New Zealand in 2002, Shotover said the market expectation for 2003 was a 4% rise, cut by disappointing world economic data, the appreciating NZ dollar & growing speculation of a US-Iraq war. “Notwithstanding the less optimistic outlook, Shotover Jet remains confident that it will deliver an improving overall performance for the current year.” Among its gains so far: the kiwi recovery programme at Rainbow Springs, called Operation Nest Egg, has become the leading kiwi breeding facility and Shotover Jet wants to get commercial leverage. It hatched 11 kiwi eggs in 2001 — and 69 in 2002.

Merchandise exports fell 5% to $31 billion in 2002, Statistics NZ said on Monday. New Zealand went from a $988 million surplus in 2001 to a $1.33 billion deficit in 2002. For the month of December, the $279 million deficit was higher than usual at 11.7% of exports. The export figure, still provisional, dropped $20 million from the initially released $2.39 billion. Imports came to $2.699 billion.
Website: Statistics NZ

Statistics NZ said last Friday the population was 24,400 short of 4 million at 31 December. The population rose 63,400, or 1.6%, in 2002, of which 38,200 came from a net migration gain. The natural increase has been falling — from 30,500 in 2000 to 28,000 in 2001, and to 25,200 in 2002.

Statistics NZ said today the working-age population grew by 59,100, or 2% in 2002. The unemployment rate fell from 5.2% (102,700) in the December 2001 quarter to 4.8% (95,300 people) in the December 2002 quarter. That figure is the actual number, not the seasonally adjusted or trend version.

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Snapshot on local business, week to 28 December 2003

23 December 2003

Transfund has approved the North Shore Busway and Esmonde interchange upgrade projects following a major projects review. The approval is dependent on bus stations & feeder bus services being developed in tandem with the facility. The decision means Transit can now formally submit an application for funding for the projects. The Busway involves building a 2-way dedicated motorway for buses beside the Northern Motorway and connections with 5 Busway stations. North Shore City Council has started building 2 of the stations.

Blacktop Construction Ltd will start widening Green Lane East to 2 lanes in both directions between Ascot Ave & Peach Parade in January as part of a $10 million city council upgrade in the Greenlane/Great South Rd area.

Evergreen Forests Ltd said the independent valuation of its forest estate at 31 December would be $118.7 million, down 14.1% on the $138.2 million value at 30 June. Both figures exclude the Otau forest, which has been sold for $4.75 million. Evergreen chairman Peter Wilson said the board’s strategic review, announced in October, was underway and an external consultant had been retained to assist with the review process.

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Snapshot on local business, November 2000

Latest: New local body bills, insider trading review, roading control, Jihong Lu bankrupt, new rail deal, F&P alleges dumping as profit slips.

28 November 2000

Local Government Minister Sandra Lee introduced two bills today. The Local Electoral Bill should be in place for next year’s elections, limiting campaign spending, but the proposal to introduce the single transferrable vote (STV) would not take effect until the 2004 elections and would be determined by local choice. The other bill widens the narrow commercial focus of local authority trading enterprises (lates), and would make them subject to official information laws.

21 November 2000

The Securities Commission says insider trading law is inadequate, and has produced a report on the law and practice for public comment (go to External links and click on Government/Securities Commission to to see the report). Commission chairman Euan Abernethy said liability provisions “might operate inappropriately against [ie, hurt] those who have made no gain, and current legislation might be too narrow to catch all those whose actions should be penalised.”

11 November 2000

The last government came up with a policy to centralise all road maintenance control, and it was starting to head towards full user-pays, which meant rural roads would all be corrugated dirt tracks before long. At the central-local government forum on Thursday, Prime Minister Helen Clark was asked what had happened to this policy: “All gone and dead — in the rubbish bin,” she said.

9 November 2000

Savoy Group director Jihong Lu has resigned as a director of listed company Savoy Equities, citing personal financial reasons. The main one is his bankruptcy, in the High Court yesterday, for nonpayment of $2.5 million arising from a High Court judgment in June from a complicated wrangle Mr Lu had with a Malaysian company, MESB Berhad, MESB’s intention to buy into SmarTel, and Mr Lu’s intention to buy into MESB, which all came badly unstuck.

Auckland City councillors will be briefed today on a revised heads of agreement on rail corridors proposed by Tranz Rail, under which the rail company would buy track time instead of the other way round, as in the present proposal. Tranz Rail wants the Auckland region’s councils to take a full assignment of its leases through to expiry in 70 years — $112 million cost to the region minus tracktime payments by Tranz Rail, versus $65 million and payments to Tranz Rail under the first version. All councils will consider that this month. They’ll also meet at Eden Park on 17 November to be briefed on rail corridor modes, with a decision scheduled for next March.

Fisher & Paykel’s half-year profit fell $1 million to $23.1 million. It partly blamed “quite unrealistic price competition in Australia and New Zealand from Korean washing machines and refrigerators. The company has laid a dumping complaint in New Zealand and is seeking advice on what to do in Australia about what it says are also dumped prices. A move over the next six months from a divisional to centralised structure will cost 200 jobs and save $9 million/year, with payback of less than a year on abnormal costs. It plans to cut capex 30% to $25 million/year for the next three years, has moved healthcare to a new East Tamaki site and will continue selling and closing non-performing activities.

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