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Friday 21st November 2003

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Car parts company Repco
at noon yesterday listed on the New Zealand Exchange at $NZ3.10. The company, which also listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, raised $A442 million from the issue of 166.8 million shares at $A2.65.

Recently floated insurance group Promina upgraded its forecast of December year profit, albeit in an obscure manner. It said the previous forecast of a net profit at the bottom end of its 12.5-15% long-term return on equity range was now upgraded to around the middle of the range.

Restaurant Brands downgraded its forecast of the February-year profit, albeit in an obscure manner. It said a downturn in sales at its KFC fried chicken chain would knock about $2 million from its second-half profit. It had previously forecast the half would produce a profit equal to the $6.1 million of the second half last year. As first-half profit was $4.3 million, that suggests the full year will be $8.4 million compared with $11.1 million a year ago.

Contact Energy turned in a 10.7% higher $118.2 million September year profit amid speculation majority owner Edison Mission Energy will put its shareholding up for sale. US-based Edison confirmed it was looking at selling "some or all" of its overseas assets.

Wakefield Hospital posted an $846,000 September first half profit, up from $466,000 a year ago. All divisions contributed and newly acquired Bowen Hospital contributed 28% of net profit.

Abano Healthcare gave way to shareholder concerns about a resolution allowing directors to make a share placement of up to 19.9%. For the next six months, if a share placement of more than 15% is undertaken, existing shareholders will be offered the opportunity to buy further shares at the same price.

Transport group Mainfreight boosted September first- half profit by 46%, to $3.7 million. The domestic, logistics, and international divisions all improved but Australian international operations performed below expectations.

Mainfreight said it was considering selling Owens Group's Australian wharf cartage, international freight forwarding, shipping agency, and container services arms. The proceeds would help fund Mainfreight's acquisition of nearly 80% of Owens' shares.

Heritage Gold's September-year deficit decreased from $295,000 to $226,000. Revenue was $56,000. The company still has shareholders funds of $7.2 million.

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