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Ebos 1Q trading up 10%, new CEO Davies says

Friday 31st October 2014

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Ebos Group, the healthcare and animal care products company, is tracking ahead of last year in the first three months of trading, as it beds in a much bigger focus in Australia after its 2013 acquisition of pharmaceutical firm Symbion.

The Christchurch based company's first quarter trading was 10 percent ahead of the same period a year earlier, new chief executive Patrick Davies told shareholders at today's annual meeting, without being more specific. He also told them of today's acquisition of Australian premium pet food business BlackHawk, which is expected to immediately add to the group's earnings.

"We continue to generate the majority of our earnings from our broad portfolio of healthcare businesses, but the animal care division is an important contributor and provides a positive diversification of our earnings," Davies said. The former head of Symbion took over as chief executive last month.

Ebos today announced the $57.8 million BlackHawk acquisition as it looks to grab more of the fast growing pet food sector in Australia, which it estimates is worth $720 million.

The 2013 Symbion acquisition tilted the company's focus across the Tasman, with about 80 percent of revenue and earnings now derived from Australia.

Mark Waller, the firm's former chief executive who is taking on its chairmanship in the coming year, said the company is "fundamental to the healthcare infrastructure" for New Zealand and Australia, with a broad spread of business activities that "provides us with the platform upon which to drive further growth."

The shares rose 3.3 percent to $9.40, and have declined 6.2 percent this year.


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