New Zealand shares fell as some investors took advantage of the S&P/NZX 50 index opening at a record to sell stocks and lock in profits. SkyCity Entertainment Group extended its decline on its chief executive's resignation. Kathmandu and Orion Health gained.

The S&P/NZX 50 shed 24.94 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 6730.29. Within the index, 23 stocks fell, 23 rose and four were unchanged. Turnover was $212.8 million. The benchmark index has gained 6.8 per cent this year to reach Thursday's record.

Shane Solly, director at Harbour Asset Management said a little bit of profit taking was "not surprising after a really strong rally."

SkyCity, which has been the subject of takeover speculation, led declines for a second straight session after chief executive Nigel Morrison announced on Thursday he had resigned after an eight-year tenure. The stock had rallied 14.3 per cent this year, with that gain now shaved to 7.5 per cent.

Advertisement

Sky Network Television dropped 2.3 per cent to $4.65, having gained 3.7 per cent this year. ANZ lost 1.6 per cent to $24.90 and Westpac dropped 1.4 per cent to $31.69.

Kathmandu Holdings was the biggest gainer, up 3 per cent to $1.70. It has risen 5.8 per cent this year, after a first-half profit of $9.4 million, meeting guidance and affirming full-year forecast profit of $30.2 million.

Orion Health Group advanced 2.9 per cent to $3.95, an eight-month high. On Wednesday, the health systems software company announced its second large contract in a fortnight, this time with the largest health service provider in Queensland, Metro North. The shares have risen from $3.12 before the US announcement on March 30, having fallen to an all-time low of $2.53 in late February from a listing price in November 2014 of $5.70.

Kiwi Property Group dropped 1 per cent to $1.45. New Zealand's biggest listed property investor by market value has agreed to buy 50 per cent of Hamilton's The Base shopping centre from Tainui Group Holdings for $192.5 million and offered $197.5 million for the balance.

Outside the main index, Michael Hill International was unchanged at $1 and has gained 1 per cent this year. The jewellery retailer said revenue rose 9.1 per cent in the first nine months of its financial year. Vista Group International gained 0.6 per cent to $5.38. The cinema software and analytics firm bought movie website Flicks for an undisclosed sum.