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Week In Review

Friday 23rd May 2003

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Vending machine marketer Vending Technologies appointed Grant Stapleton chief executive and Gary Stevens an independent director.

Jump Airlines said it planned to start flying the main trunk routes and to and from Palmerston early next year after securing financial backing from New Zealand and European investors.

Graeme Hart's Burns Philp reported a $A35.2 million ($39.6 million) March third-quarter net profit, up from a $A2.5 million loss a year ago. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation rose 2.7% to $A63.5 million but much of the improvement came from non-operating factors such as an unrealised $A37.3 million foreign exchange gain.

Infratil and Alliant International signed a new, three-year shareholders' agreement over Te Maunga Power, which holds the voting rights for their combined 47% TrustPower interest. No details were given.

Australia's Foodland Associated said it had drawn up a shortlist of "several" potential buyers for its Farmers department store chain. The buyers will be invited to meet Foodland's valuation of Farmers, which is expected in seven to eight weeks.

Air New Zealand's April operating statistics showed the impact of the Sars virus. Revenue-seat-kilometres were up 5% but available-seat-kilometres rose 13.7%, leading to a 5.7% fall in overall load factor.

Shares in Australian newspaper group Fairfax fell after Finance Minister Michael Cullen confirmed the government would legislate to close a loophole allowing media groups to gain a tax advantage from selling and leasing back mastheads. Fairfax is bidding for Independent Newspapers' publishing assets.

Contact Energy is folding its electricity power discounter Empower into the group.

State-owned Broadcast Communications dropped its law suit against Walker Wireless. An agreement will allow Walker to hoist its transmitters on BCL's broadcast towers.

The Commerce Commission gave Shell, Todd Energy and OMV permission to jointly sell gas from the Pohokura field. The permit is conditional on gas being available from February 2006, with full production by June that year.

Kim and Erica Crawford sold their "virtual" wine operation, Kim Crawford, to Canada's Vincor International for $14.8 million.

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