Archive | Archive – local business

Snapshot on local business, week to 22 December 2002

16 December 2002

KFC fastfood chain owner Restaurant Brands NZ Ltd will switch chicken suppliers in 2004, from the Tegel division of HJ Heinz to Inghams. “We currently spend about $40 million a year on chicken and changing suppliers will reduce the company’s costs by $5 million-plus each year for the 7-year term of the new contract,” chief executive Jim Collier said. Inghams will expand operations in Mt Maunganui, Te Aroha & Cambridge. As well as a price advantage, Inghams will offer advanced technology & product innovation.

The Auckland Regional Council takes delivery this week of the 1st of the 10 refurbished trains which will be the basis of the regional passenger train service. The council also decided to add 2 trains to the interim fleet by mid-2003, 4 between August 2003 & March 2004 and 4 more in the 2005 financial year. The initial 2 SX trains will be on charter from Tranz Rail, at a total $3.2 million over 4 years.

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Snapshot on local business, week to 3 November 2002

3 November 2002

ASB Capital Ltd, part of ASB Bank Ltd, will issue up $150 million of perpetual preference shares, with a right to accept oversubscriptions of $50 million, carrying a dividend for the 1st year of the greater of 7.4% & the 1-year interest rate swap rate plus a 1.3% margin, and a dividend measured on the swap rate (plus 1.3% margin) after that. The offer is to open on Monday 11 November, closing on 9 December.

1 November 2002

The Securities Commission has banned advertisements for a forestry investment scheme offered by NZ Forestry Investments Ltd (Ross Collins, sole director & shareholder, a former director of Avalon Investments Ltd, Mt Maunganui). Securities Commission enforcement director Norman Miller said the company was based in Mt Maunganui, the forest is in the Wanganui region, and neither of the required prospectus or investment statement has been offered. The scheme has been promoted for 2 months in the Bay of Plenty, offering $5200 shares in NZ Forestry Investments (No 3) Ltd, which isn’t a registered company.

29 October 2002

It struck me that Ross Armstrong’s demise was more likely to have been engineered by finance minister Michael Cullen while prime minister Helen Clark was out of the country, a suitable time to dispose of a concept Dr Cullen didn’t like. So it’s been amusing to read & hear the superficial coverage of politics as it relates to this affair. Act leader Richard Prebble takes the subject further than I’d surmised, in his Letter from Wellington today. Sometimes Mad Dog’s Epistle is a delight. Today’s takes you inside politics, succinctly.

28 October 2002

Infratil Ltd has completed & signed documentation of a coinvestment arrangement with Orion NZ Ltd and the Government’s Venture Investment Fund (VIF) which will see each commit $20 million for investment in developing technology companies. IO Management, jointly owned by Orion and HRL Morrison & Co, will manage the $60 million IO Fund. Infratil shareholders approved the arrangement at the company’s annual meeting on 23 August.

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Snapshot on local business, week to 29 July 2001

Latest: New Mainstreet policy.

24 July 2001

Auckland City has adopted a new policy to make operation of Mainstreet programmes consistent. Fifteen operate in Auckland City. They’re funded through a separate rate and are a partnership between the council, businesses and local communities.

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Snapshot on local business, week to 23 March 2003

22 March 2003

Savoy Equities Ltd will make a $514,000 renounceable 1:2 rights issue of 51.4 million new shares at 1c/new share & 1:4 issue of 25.7 million attached options to buy a share at 10c by 30 June 2005. The rights won’t be quoted because of cost.

The 1st 2 stations of the $56 million North Shore busway were officially launched on their way to construction on Wednesday. Earthworks have started at the Albany & Constellation Drive park/ride stations. They’re to open next year. The $140 million busway will have 5 stations & operate as a dedicated 2-way motorway for busies & high-occupancy vehicles along the eastern side of Auckland’s northern motorway. It will be New Zealand’s 1st and is part of the region’s integrated transport running through the central Britomart interchange, due to open for trains on 23 June and for buses in July. The Albany station will sit on 7ha beside the Oteha Valley Rd ramp off the northern motorway. It will have 350 carparks in stage 1, 1200 eventually. The other stations will be at Sunnynook, Westlake & Akoranga.

Richina Pacific Ltd will hold a special meeting on 2 April to vote on the removal of Ming Lu as a director for declining to sign a prospectus for a planned rights issue. The company will also seek approval at this meeting to enter into a $US3 million short-term funding facility with a related party to finance the working capital requirements of its fast-growing Shanghai Richina Leather operation in China, until the proposed cash issue can be completed.

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Snapshot on local business, week to 25 January 2004

22 January 2004

Fletcher Challenge Forests Ltd’s special shareholder meeting to consider the proposal to sell its forest assets to a consortium led by the Kiwi Forest Group, and to return capital to shareholders, will be held on Friday 20 February at 10am in the ASB Bank Stand, Eden Park.
Details on the company website: Fletcher Challenge Forests

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Snapshot on local business, week to 24 March 2002

24 March 2002

Hearings on the North Shore busway have been completed, involving 13 notices of requirement for land designation & 24 resource consents. Key target dates now are for Transit NZ & North Shore City Council to notify their decisions in May on the commissioner’s recommendations concerning land designation, the Environment Court to hear any appeals by February 2003 and for those appeals to be resolved and an Environment Court decision by June 2003. Transit NZ should complete its design & tender process in early May for the southern busway section, from Northcote Rd to Exmouth Rd, including the Esmonde Rd interchange. The second section of the Esmonde Rd bus priority lane should be completed by the end of April.

21 March 2002

New figures to throw into the calculations on traffic impacts to justify encouraging people into public transport: these ones are from an assessment of the health impacts of vehicle emissions, headed by the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research for the Transport Ministry. Niwa estimated 399 people/year aged 30-plus died prematurely from exposure to microscopic emission particles, and 970 people/year 30-plus died prematurely from all sources of air pollution. 243 people aged 30-plus died from road accidents in 2001. But the emissions impact may fall without a switch to public transport: a police survey from the anti-smoky-vehicles campaign showed the average fell from 14% in 2000 to 9.4% last year, and the fall in Auckland was even more pronounced. The sulphur content of diesel has also been cut in Auckland.

20 March 2002

The Reserve Bank has raised the official cash rate 25 basis points to 5%. “Today’s increase in the OCR simply represents some withdrawal of monetary stimulus, much of which was put in place as insurance against risks which have now receded. At the moment it seems likely that there will need to be some further reduction in monetary stimulus over the months ahead,” Reserve Bank director Don Brash said. “Since our last statement, the New Zealand economy has been stronger than we expected. Indeed, the economy is already operating at close to full capacity, and indications are that pressures will grow further in the absence of some increase in interest rates. Both consumer and business confidence have bounced back to pre-11 September levels. After a brief pause in October, retail spending has been strong. Visitor arrivals have recovered quickly. Turnover in the housing market has been high, and residential investment has surged. In recent months there has been a sharp turnaround in net migration. The risks to the global economy also look less threatening.”

18 March 2002

Steel & Tube Holdings Ltd has signed a conditional agreement to buy Pipeline Supplies NZ Ltd from OneSteel Ltd for about $11.7 million. Pipeline Supplies’ estimated earnings before interest & tax (ebit for the June 2002 year are $1.8 million on estimated sales of $15 million. Steel & Tube requires an independent appraisal & special shareholder meeting because OneSteel is a related party and the transaction is worth more than 5% of shareholders’ funds. The meeting should be held mid-May.

Pacific Retail Group Ltd expects to make a rights issue soon to raise up to $20 million to fund its growth & acquisitions strategy.

Savoy Equities Ltd booked $10,000 of sales in the December year ($15.54 million in 2000) but had no unusuals to declare this time, compared to $70.8 million written off in 2000, and reported a $318,151 net loss compared to a $70.8 million net loss in 2000. Earnings/share improved from a 131.493c/share loss in 2000 to a 0.545c/share loss this time. Savoy now has shareholders’ funds of $200,707 and relies on the support of a minority shareholder to stay alive as a listed shell.

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Snapshot on local business, week to 22 April 2001

Latest: Air NZ improves passenger load factor, official cash rate 4.5%, CPI down 0.2% in March quarter, AMP raises Hallenstein Glasson stake, Richina sells Mair Venison to Howard Paterson.

19 April 2001

Air New Zealand improved its passenger load factor 0.2% to 70.9% in February (over February 2000), revenue passenger kilometres flown (RPK) 1.9% to 3.1 billion, available seat kilometres flown (ASK) by 1.7% to 4.37 billion. For the first eight months of the June 2001 year, the airline’s passenger load factor is up 1.9% to 73.6%, RPK up 6.8% to 26.78 billion and ASK up 4.8% to 36.4 billion.

Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash cut 25 points off the official cash rate today, taking it to 6%. This follows an overnight cut in the US federal funds rate to 4.5%.

The consumer price index fell 0.2% in the March quarter after rising 1.2% in the December quarter, but is still up 3.1% over the year to March. The food group index is up, rented dwellings down after income-related rents were introduced, and the home ownership index is up.

17 April 2001

AMP Asset Management NZ Ltd has raised its stake in clothing retailer Hallenstein Glasson Holdings Ltd from 13.91% to 15.79%.

Richina Pacific Ltd has sold its Mair Venison processing and marketing business to a company associated with NZ Deer Farms Ltd (Phil Pryke & Howard Paterson) at a small premium to the $13.5 million December balance date book value. The final price will be adjusted to match the balance sheet at settlement on 30 April. Mair Venison contributed earnings before interest and tax of $4 million on $43 million sales last year.

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Snapshot on local business, week to 11 November 2001

10 November 2001

Retail sales rose 0.7% from August to September on a seasonally adjusted basis, though department store sales fell 3.4%. September quarter sales rose 1.1% over the June quarter. Taking out price changes, September sales volumes fell 3.8%, after an 8.5% fall in August. Actual September quarter department store sales rose 4.6% on the September 2000 quarter. Core retail group sales (excluding cars, and seasonally adjusted) rose 1.3% in the quarter, including a 1.1% price rise, giving a 0.2% rise in sales volumes.

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Snapshot on local business, week to 6 July 2003

30 June 2003
Gross domestic product rose 0.6% in the March quarter, on top of 0.8% in December and 0.9% in September. Statistics NZ said the economy grew by 4.3% in the March 2003 year. Exports rose 1.6% and imports fell 0.7% in the March quarter. Meat export volumes rose 12.1%, dairy exports fell 4% but remained 19.8% up for the year. Imports of goods rose 0.3% but imports of services fell 2.9%. Internal demand fell 0.2% for the quarter but rose 4.5% for the year. Investment in new housing rose for the 4th consecutive quarter, up 4.2% this time and up 23.3% for the year.

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Snapshot on local business, week to 27 October 2002

22 October 2002

The Securities Commission has banned advertising for 3 futures contract programmes run by Investment Programme Management Inc, which is registered in Belize, Central America, and has offices in Malaga, Spain. Advertising for the scheme has been distributed in Auckland & Hamilton by a few financial planners. The commission said the scheme had no investment statement or registered prospectus, and neither the company nor its New Zealand distributors were authorised futures dealers.

21 October 2002

North Shore City, Waitakere City and Rodney District Councils have agreed to sell their 10.7% of UnitedNetworks Ltd to Vector for $160 million, at the $9.90/share offer price. The councils’ stake is held through the Waitemata Electricity Trust, which is allowed to sell after a recent change to the trust deed. The trust will retain $8.9 million to finance the 3 areas’ undergrounding programmes. The balance will be distributed according to their number of electors in October 2001.

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