Strong Metlifecare result buoys index

Trade Me Group was up 4.1 per cent at $5.12. Photo / NZME
Trade Me Group was up 4.1 per cent at $5.12. Photo / NZME

New Zealand shares rose after Metlifecare posted a 31 per cent jump in first-half profit and said people were queuing up to enter its retirement villages. Summerset Group also rose while Ryman Healthcare and Fletcher Building fell.

The S&P/NZX50 Index gained 20.60 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 7079.19. Within the index, 21 stocks gained, 20 fell and nine were unchanged. Turnover was $95.6 million.

Metlifecare rose 4.5 per cent to $5.85 after stronger first-half profit that was aided by a gain in the value of its property, while chief executive Glen Sowry cited strong demand for its units and an occupancy rate that has edged up to 97 per cent.

Summerset, which last week posted a 50 per cent gain in annual earnings after opening more villages and fattening its margins, gained 1.8 per cent to $5.17. Ryman, the largest of the four listed retirement village operators but with a March 31 balance date, fell 2.3 per cent to $8.60.

Metro Performance Glass advanced 5.9 per cent to $1.44, having fallen last week on concern about demand in the construction industry. Fletcher dropped 1.3 per cent to $9.57.

CBL Corp dropped 8.8 per cent to $3.01, adding to the 11 per cent decline on Friday.

Spark New Zealand fell 1.5 per cent to $3.51, even after announcing an exclusive deal with Netflix to offer bundled packages of broadband and programming. The deal comes just days after the Commerce Commission rejected Sky Network Television's proposed merger with Vodafone New Zealand on the basis it would stifle competition.

Sky TV gained 0.3 per cent to $3.78, having tumbled to its lowest level since mid-2009 last week, following the regulator's ruling. Chorus, the telecommunications network operator, rose 1.8 per cent to $4.01.

Vital Healthcare Property Trust was unchanged at $2.075.

Trade Me Group, the auction website, rose 4.1 per cent to $5.12, Mercury NZ gained 2.6 per cent to $3.13 and Auckland International Airport rose 3.6 per cent to $7.20.

New Zealand Refining, which reports its full-year results tomorrow, gained 1.5 per cent to $2.78.

Delegat Group, New Zealand's largest listed winemaker, rose 0.8 per cent to $6.20 after announcing a 17 per cent gain in first-half operating profit and predicting annual profit to be in line with last year.

Airwork Holdings, the Auckland-based aircraft services business, was unchanged at $5.

Marsden Maritime, which owns half of the Marsden Point-based Northport along with a marina, commercial facilities and land, gained 1.3 per cent to $3.95.

- BusinessDesk

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