Firm adopting Helicopters New Zealand name

Canadian Helicopters, which bought Helicopters New Zealand from the receivers of South Canterbury Finance for $154 million last year, wants to adopt the HNZ name to tap into its global reputation.

The unit, once owned by the late Allan Hubbard, contributed C$18.5 million ($23.49 million) of revenue to the group's C$62.5 million in the three months ended March 30, the company said.

Net quarterly income hit C$8.3 million, or C63c a share, from C$4.8 million, C37c a share, a year earlier.

"Canadian Helicopters had another strong performance in the first quarter as Southern Hemisphere operations offset the seasonal slowdown in domestic activity," chief executive Don Wall said.

Last month, Canadian Helicopters flagged its intention to change its name to HNZ Group to "increase the company's global marketability and branding by distinguishing the company from similarly named Canadian competitors and to leverage the existing HNZ brand recognition".

Shareholders will vote on whether to approve the name change at the annual and special meeting in Canada.

If all approvals are obtained, the company will change its name this northern summer.

Canadian Helicopters has cut its bank debt to C$41.7 million as at March 31. It drew down C$93 million of a revolving credit facility of C$125 million to finance the HNZ acquisition, which boosted its fleet by a third to 160 choppers.

- BusinessDesk

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