Sharechat Logo

Hirequip investors told to stand tall and proud

Mark Peart

Friday 7th November 2003

Text too small?
Howard Paterson would have appreciated the compliment.

Shareholders in Hirequip, the reinvented Southern Capital, were given a good-natured rark-up by retired sharebroker and local identity H Robert Wilson at the annual meeting in Dunedin on Wednesday.

Wilson, seldom backward in coming forward at Dunedin company annual meetings, chided his fellow shareholders for not being more enthusiastic about the company's recent performance.

"This company is the focus of a lot of Dunedin's hopes and aspirations," he said.

Paterson was the driving force behind Southern Capital's acquisition of the Dunedin-based hire equipment business in two blocks.

In August last year, the company bought 50% from Australian investor GS Private Equity, and the other 50% in March from Hirequip executive director Stuart McKinlay.

Although Hirequip's investment and public company functions are run from executive chairman Graeme Wong's Wellington base, the annual report said all head office functions will ultimately be centred on Dunedin.

At the same time as Hirequip eyes expansion opportunities, with plans this financial year to increase its branch network from 37 to 39, and other hire company acquisitions being considered, it is also focusing on making hire equipment its core business.

The biotechnology investments Paterson spearheaded are to be progressively sold.

Wong told the meeting Hirequip's stake in A2 Corporation, valued at balance date (June 30) at $771,000, had already been sold.

Hirequip's biotech investments include Blis Technologies ($2.2 million), Botry-Zen ($989,000), PharmaZen ($900,000) and CO Surgical ($350,000).

Wong said directors were updating the independent market valuation of Pegasus Bay town in North Canterbury, which they have put up for sale after a controversial association.

The development was valued in March at $25 million and Wong said the company was confident it would sell for at least that.

The company plans this financial year to increase the ratio of hire equipment to the average book value of hire equipment from 0.84 to 0.92.

It invested $15.9 million in plant and equipment in the year to June, including $1.6 million spent bringing off-balance sheet funded assets on to the balance sheet.

Equipment sales totalled $2.6 million and depreciation financed a further $6.7 million. Wong said the company expected to spend about $14 million on plant and equipment this financial year.

  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

NZ dollar falls as China's yuan depreciates
COMMENT: ANZ still doesn't get it
FMA says ANZ should have reported Hisco house sale in financial statements
ANALYSIS: Another new head for Xero's American dream
Jetstar losing money on regional NZ services, watching market 'closely'
A2 Milk says rising environmental costs not a 'big risk'
Cavalier Corp shares fall 16% as it announces write-down
Twyford's choice: NZTA or Super Fund for Auckland light rail
Auckland Airport boss upbeat about future but warns against complacency
NZ Shareholders' Association to oppose Stride's directors' fee bump

IRG See IRG research reports