Jamie Gray

Jamie Gray is a business reporter for the New Zealand Herald and APNZ wire agency

Chorus tipped for $100m profit

Chorus chief executive Mark Ratcliffe. Photo / Supplied
Chorus chief executive Mark Ratcliffe. Photo / Supplied

The reporting season enters its final leg this week, starting first with results from the former Telecom unit, Chorus, and state-owned energy company, Genesis, today.

Chorus will report a seven-month result since the company's separation from Telecom on December 1.

For this period, brokers Forsyth Barr expect Chorus to report a profit of just under $100 million.

The key issue for Chorus will be the regulation surrounding its unbundled copper local loop service.

A Commerce Commission edict on the pricing of the Chorus' network is expected in November.

Genesis, the country's biggest energy retailer and one of three power companies on the Government's list for partial privatisation, is set to report its annual result. In the six months to December 31, the company's net profit more than doubled to $38.3 million.

Tomorrow

State-owned Mighty River Power, which is first in line for partial privatisation, is set to report its annual result.

For the six months to December, Mighty River reported operating earnings of $254.5 million, up 9 per cent on the first half of the 2011 financial year. Underlying earnings for the six-month period increased by 14 per cent from $89.4 million to $101.7 million, but the company's net profit after tax of $17.6 million - down from $92.8 million in the previous corresponding period - is a result of non-cash fair value movements recognised under accounting rules during the half-year.

Mighty River produces more than 90 per cent of New Zealand's renewable generation from hydro and geothermal sources.

Heartland NZ, the financial services company with banking aspirations, is also expected to report its annual result, as is radio network company TeamTalk.

Wednesday

Wine company Delegat's is set to report its annual result. Delegat's 2012 harvest was 16 per cent below forecast yields, and down 20 per cent on the previous vintage.

The lower harvest is seen as a small positive for the company, given the sector's recent oversupply problems.

Port of Tauranga, New Zealand's biggest port by volume, is also set to report an after-tax earnings result in the region of $69 million to $72 million, up sharply from $57.9 million in the previous year.

Thursday

Aviation themes look set to dominate Thursday's corporate news day. Air New Zealand, which is three-quarters owned by the Government, is set to report a sharp decline in earnings to around $50 million to $60 million over the June year from the previous year's profit of $81 million. The first half was a shocker for Air New Zealand, with normalised earnings falling by 71 per cent to $33 million. High jet fuel prices have weighed heavily on Air New Zealand, but the company's earnings were expected to stabilise in the second half.

Auckland Airport is due to report, and Forsyth Barr is looking at a net profit for the company of around $138.4 million.

Forsyth Barr expects to see above-trend profit growth as Auckland Airport continues to grow passenger numbers and leverages its recent property and retail investments. First half revenue growth of 8.9 per cent, supported by the Rugby World Cup, was likely to slow in the second half.

"However, continued growth in international passenger numbers through new route development, further retail revenue per passenger upside and property rental income support robust top-line growth over the near-term outlook," Forsyth Barr said.

In economic news, building consents data for July is also due on Thursday.

- APNZ

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