Gerry Harvey's NZ horse breeding business narrows loss

People wait outside of Harvey Norman in Hastings for them to open at 8am on Boxing day. Photo / Glenn Taylor
People wait outside of Harvey Norman in Hastings for them to open at 8am on Boxing day. Photo / Glenn Taylor

NZ Thoroughbred Holdings, the horse breeding business owned by Australian retailing billionaire Gerry Harvey, narrowed its full-year loss after recognising a gain on the value of its animals.

The net loss was $3.97 million in the 12 months ended June 30, 2013, from a loss of $5.28 million a year earlier, according to the company's annual report. Revenue fell to $3.8 million from $3.99 million, while other income jumped to $3.3 million from $1.56 million, mainly reflecting a gain on biological assets.

The company, whose assets include the upscale Westbury Stud established by Eric Watson, has chalked up losses every year since Harvey bought out property developer Michael Tololi in 2009. While Harvey made much of his A$1.4 billion fortune via the Harvey Norman chain, he is also one of Australia's largest race horse breeders and owns thoroughbred auction house Magic Millions. He ranked 24th in the 2013 BRW Rich List.

NZ Thoroughbred's other income includes horse prize money of $51,386, from a deficit of $1,438 a year earlier. Operating expenses include $2.4 million on wages and salaries, up from $2.3 million a year earlier, and agistment, which is the cost of feeding and pasture, jumped to $1.65 million from $258,177.

The company's auditor included an emphasis of matter in its report, noting that its ability to be a going concern depended on the continued financial support of its shareholder.

Net liabilities rose to $19 million in the latest year from $15.7 million in 2012 though the Harvey, who is also the company's director, says he is confident about "the pledge of continued financial support from the shareholder (also Harvey)."

- BusinessDesk

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