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Appliances delivers

By Duncan Bridgeman

Friday 30th May 2003

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Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings posted a full-year net profit ahead of expectations but the company yesterday warned of tougher trading conditions ahead.

The whiteware manufacturer reported a $73.5 million net profit for the March year, up from last year's pro forma result of $40 million.

Investors were pleased the analysts' prediction of a profit around $70 million came so close. Appliances' shares were up 36c to a record high of $11.45 at press time yesterday.

The company and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation were created in November 2001 when Fisher & Paykel Industries was split up.

F&P Appliances said it expected market conditions in Australia and New Zealand to weaken next year. But it said the anticipated reduction in volume was expected to be offset by increases in other markets, particularly in the US, the UK and Europe.

Yesterday's result revealed a jump in operating revenue from $339.9 million to $834.9 million. Sales volumes increased 11.6% to exceed one million units for the first time.

The company said it would introduce its Smartload dryer into the US in the coming year, which would complement washer and Titan cooking products sales growth. There were also plans to increase sales in the UK, up 39% last year, through the addition of another 220 storefronts.

Directors declared a dividend of 40c a share on June 20, up 7.5c on last year. Earnings per share jumped to $1.13 from five cents per share the previous year.

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