The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

Cinema software firm to enter NZX 50

Vista CEO Murray Holdaway (centre) pictured with NZX boss Tim Bennett and Vista chairman Kirk Senior at the firm's 2014 listing ceremony.
Vista CEO Murray Holdaway (centre) pictured with NZX boss Tim Bennett and Vista chairman Kirk Senior at the firm's 2014 listing ceremony.

Cinema software developer Vista Group is heading for the S&P/NZX 50, only two years after its sharemarket debut.

The Auckland-based company, whose technology is used to manage movie theatre operations in more than 60 countries, will enter the benchmark index after the close of trading on Friday, September 16.

Vista, which floated on the NZX and Australia's ASX in August 2014, will also enter the NZX 50 Portfolio Index and NZX 50 MidCap Index.

Fruit marketer Scales Corporation, which also went public in 2014, will enter the NZX 50 alongside Vista on September 16.

Skellerup Holdings and Steel & Tube Holdings will leave the index.

Vista chief executive Murray Holdaway said the entry into the indices could boost the company's profile, while also getting the firm on the radar of index-tracking fund managers.

"The media tends to cover the NZX 50 companies a lot more," he said.

Holdaway said Vista's market capitalisation - which is sitting at just over $530 million today - had been large enough to enter the NZX 50 for some time.

But the firm's tightly-held share register had made it difficult for the company to meet the index's liquidity requirements.

A management sell-down in March - when 20 major shareholders, including Holdaway, sold almost 26 per cent of the company - had helped Vista pass the liquidity test, Holdaway said.

He said the shares were still tightly held by a number of fund managers.

"But there has been a reasonable amount of trading by retail investors [since the sell-down]."

Vista posted an interim profit of $2.3m last month, more than double the figure it reported for the same period a year earlier.

That was despite its bottom-line being impacted by a $782,000 foreign exchange loss that resulted from post-Brexit currency market volatility.

The company has made a number of acquisitions since its sharemarket float, including a 50 per cent stake in UK-based marketing firm Powster and a half-share in Dutch software provider Share Dimension.

Holdaway said the company was currently working on major software installations in South Africa and Denmark.

Vista's management software is used for a range of applications including online ticket booking, food and beverage sales and staff rostering.

Its shares, which have gained 27 per cent over the past year, recently traded at $6.61.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 01 May 2017 14:47:07 Processing Time: 384ms