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Week in review

Friday 25th July 2003

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GDC Communications posted a $344,000 June first- half loss but said it would make a "satisfactory" full-year profit. The company said half-year revenues, adjusted for one-offs, were up and expenses down.

The government chose Telecom as the preferred supplier of broadband services for the Wellington, Kapiti and Horowhenua regions under "Project Probe." In addition to its existing Jetstream DSL service Telecom will use state-owned BCL's towers to deliver wireless broadband.

Southland's Blue Sky Meats reported a 2% higher $6.7 million March-year profit on lower revenues and expenses. The company said although a takeover bid by Lowe Corporation had failed the board would still have to consider shareholding issues.

Tranz Rail and state-owned generator Genesis Power are in talks about moving up to one million tonnes more imported coal from Port of Tauranga to the Huntly power station. They expect to sign an agreement within two weeks.

The hard-pressed managed funds industry enjoyed a bounce in June-quarter performance. Actively managed New Zealand equity funds returned an average 10% for the quarter and 8% for the year, underperforming the NZSX40 gross index by only 0.1%, according to FundSource.

Ilion Technology Corporation, 85% owned by New Zealanders and trading as Pacific Lithium, signed a distribution and marketing agreement with 3M for a new generation of lithium-ion batteries.

Carter Holt Harvey is spending $24 million expanding capacity at its Mt Gambier particleboard plant in South Australia. It is also considering an upgrade of its Whakatane cartonboard mill.

Kiwibank, the budget banking subsidiary of state-owned New Zealand Post, is getting a $40 million capital injection from its parent and announced it was considering going into business banking. It has 165,000 customers and lost $17.5 million in the March year.

Transport company Freightways, owned by investment bank ABN-Amro, is redeeming its 60 million preference shares for $1 each in a financial "tidying up."

The Securities Commission said it would take no action over trading in Sky City shares in November and December last year. Questions of insider trading arose after a UBS Warburg analyst showed management accounts to a fund manager.

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