Stock Takes

A closer look at the markets by Tamsyn Parker

Stock takes: Airport branches out

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Auckland Airport's campervan facility is well set up for travellers. Photo / Supplied
Auckland Airport's campervan facility is well set up for travellers. Photo / Supplied

Auckland Airport, best known for landing planes, parking cars and selling duty free, is branching out into the holiday park business.

Newly arrived yawning tourists will be able to rest and recuperate at the airport's new campervan facility, which comes with the usual amenities such as showers, kitchen and laundry, before heading off to explore the country.

The regular cost for one of the 54 powered bays at the site less than 1km from the airport is $39 a night, although it is charging $29 until the end of next month.

Auckland Airport said it had responded to demand from travellers to provide a well-appointed site close to the airport that they could use before setting off on a long trip and to stay on the last night before returning their campervan.

Auckland Airport commercial manager transport Martyn Brewer said: "Our guests can step off a plane and into their travelling home ... make use of the amenities, stock up at the supermarket or get some rest before embarking on their road trip, a recommendation strongly encouraged by all major campervan rental groups to avoid driver fatigue on unfamiliar roads."

The aim was to fill the campervan park during peak summer months, while during winter some activity was expected with opportunities for campervan storage.

Shares in the airport have climbed from about $2.25 a year ago to close yesterday at $2.47.

TELSTRACLEAR PROFIT

Sharpening the knife has helped TelstraClear, the local subsidiary of Australian phone giant Telstra, return to pretax profit.

On a standalone basis, the New Zealand-based company made earnings before interest and tax of $1 million in the six months ended December 31, turning around a loss of $8 million a year earlier. It was able to chop 7.2 per cent from its operating expenses to $270 million, bolstering its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation 11 per cent to $69 million. Total income fell 4 per cent to $339 million.

TelstraClear contributed a loss of A$9 million ($11.6 million) to the group's pre-tax earnings of A$2.56 billion. Telstra boosted net profit 23 per cent to A$1.48 billion, with a 1.1 per cent increase in revenue to A$12.42 billion.

BUNNINGS' QUOTA FULL

They take with one hand and give with the other. Property shuffling went on merrily at NZX-listed DNZ Property Fund this week when it bought an Auckland building for $24.5 million and sold its Lumley House in Wellington for $20.3 million. Chief executive Paul Duffy said an unconditional deal was struck to buy the Bunnings Warehouse in Mt Roskill and on the same day the fund announced it had unconditionally sold 3-11 Hunter St in Wellington. So, is DIY hot and commercial cold? DNZ wasn't drawing conclusions except to say that buying yet another Bunnings Warehouse just lifted the quality of its portfolio and cemented the business as its single largest tenant contributing about 10 per cent of its rent roll. Duffy indicated DNZ knew the one about having too many eggs in one basket: "As part of DNZ's investment risk management strategy, the company seeks to have no tenant providing more than 10 per cent of the company's portfolio contract rental," DNZ said. So that's it, Bunnings.

POWER DATA SHARED

Moves toward partially selling the energy SOEs may be hitting rough water but if nothing else the prospect of listing is winkling steadily more information from the power companies. Last week Meridian Energy released to the NZX an operating update which included a warning its profits could be affected by hydrology, and this week Genesis released a comprehensive rundown of its second quarter performance, minus any financial data. The Huntly Power Station operator generated more electricity compared with the same period last year and has been the beneficiary of high rates of customer switching, picking up 16,000 more electricity and gas customers during the past year.

SINGLE CO-OPERATIVES

Welcome to the UN's International Year of Co-operatives, just in case you missed that. Years are decreed by that august body to draw attention to and encourage action on major issues, so we've had the year of rice and the year of the potato. This year is intended to raise public awareness of "the invaluable contributions of co-operative enterprises to poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration". We take it the UN wasn't thinking of New Zealand's two biggest co-ops when it made this decree: Fonterra Co-operative Group and Foodstuffs with three regional co-operatives, which dominate milk products and food and groceries and ensure your average NZ investor is locked out of the country's two single most profitable sectors.

FAMILIAR KIWI FACE

How the wheels of fortune turn. Four years ago, Angus McNaughton, chief executive of Kiwi Income Property Trust from 2002 to 2008, left for Asia and then, late last year, he popped up in Sydney, promoted to be Colonial First State Global Asset Management Property's managing director. Last week, Kiwi said McNaughton had taken a seat at its board and an accolade from this newspaper was cited in his list of achievements. "McNaughton has been with the group for more than 17 years. He worked in Singapore investigating opportunities for the group. In 2007, he received the Property Institute of New Zealand's property industry award [sole recipient] and in 2006 he was voted one of the New Zealand Herald's Top 10 Business Leaders of the Year." So when this year's Kiwi annual meeting comes around - probably some time in August - unitholders will be able to welcome a familiar face back to the table.

- NZ Herald

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