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COMPANY BRIEFS

Friday 16th June 2000

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Jump Capital, a private vehicle partly owned by Sir Michael Fay and David Richwhite, confirmed its interest in entering the mobile telephony market in competition with Telecom and Vodaphone. It may bid for 3G spectrum in next month's auction.

Venture capitalist IT Capital reported a $2.5 million March-year loss as it absorbed one-offs from the transformation from Iddison Vietnam. It has $14.7 million cash and said the technology sector correction offered opportunities.

Frucor Beverages got its float away oversubscribed but had to drop the price to 150c a share, less than the 195c to 225c indicative range. The cut cost the owners $37 million.

Apple Fields posted a $1.8 million March half-year loss after booking writedowns on property sales. A year ago it lost $81,000.

Whakatane-based electricity lines operator Horizon Energy Distribution booked a $5.9 million March-year profit, reversing a $5.9 million loss a year earlier. The profit included a one-off $2.5 million interest gain.

Seafresh posted a March half-year loss of $1.1 million, compared with a $908,000 loss a year earlier, blaming the dry-docking of all four of its vessels for survey and costs related to Seafresh 1 which sank off the Chatham Islands in March.

RadioWorks, now 72% owned by Canada's CanWest, posted an $8.8 million March-year loss after writing off $14.4 million of goodwill following the acquisition of Radio Otago. Profit before the goodwill write-off was up 43% to $5.6 million.

Appliance retailer Pacific Retail reported a $7.7 million March-year profit, compared with a $810,000 loss a year ago, but warned the "current economic climate" tempered the group's expectations.

Australia's BRL Hardy looked set to secure Nobilo Wines after gaining the Vieceli family's 9% and the Nobilo family's 29.3%. Public shareholders have been offered $1.05 in cash or $1.10 worth of BRL shares.

Transport company Mainfreight boosted March-year profit by 30% to $9 million. All divisions contributed and Australia in particular turned around.

Contact Energy stands to make around $25 million from a two-year, 20-petajoule gas supply agreement with Fletcher Energy. FCE will sell the gas on to generator Genesis for its Huntly plant.

Air New Zealand gained Australian regulatory consents for its purchase of News Ltd's 50% stake in Ansett, subject to various conditions.

National Mail lost $2.6 million in the March half-year, in line with prospectus forecasts. Its IPO left it with $12.9 million of cash to pursue expansion.

Fisher & Paykel posted a $54.4 million March-year profit, up 55% on the previous year's result before abnormal restructuring costs. There were no abnormals last year.

Marlborough-based Flight Timbers will triple production of radiata pine products to meet increased export demand. It will relocate and expand its sawmill.

Nuhaka Farm Forestry posted an operating surplus of $1.1 million and Opio Forestry Fund made $190,000. Both funds are managed by Perpetual Trust.

Food group Golden Circle has lodged notice it intends to buy Brierley Investments' 54% stake in Cedenco.

Brierley Investments copped a downgrade from credit rating agency Standard & Poor's. Its long-term rating fell from BBB to BBB minus, reflecting the concentration of its portfolio in three core assets.

Carpetmaker Cavalier Bremworth is spending $5 million expanding its Napier and Wanganui yarn-spinning mills to cope with a 25% jump in demand.

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