Key Points:

Ngai Tahu Holdings, the commercial arm of South Island tribe Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, has lifted performance in the first half of its financial year.

"After a tough 2005/06 financial year we are extremely pleased with the significant improvement for the commercial arm of Te Runanga o Ngoi Tahu," said Ngai Tahu Holdings board chairman Wally Stone.

Ngai Tahu Seafood has experienced a strong first half year performance resulting in an operating EBIT of $4.6m - an improvement of $3.4m on the same period last year.

"Current forecasts for the Seafood business should see a full year operating EBIT of $8m an overall improvement on last year of $12m, however we are still cautious about the future as the seafood business is impacted by a number of industry realities including high costs, low margins and increased pressure from a high exchange rate," he said.

Ngai Tahu Tourism has also shown strong improvement with a half year operating EBIT of $2.1m - an overall improvement of $800,000 on the same period last year.

"We continue to be positive about the tourism sector and as a result have committed just under $10m in tourism investments in the financial year to date," said Stone

The organisations property business has continued to perform strongly with an operating EBIT of $6m for the six month period.

We are forecasting a solid full year financial result for Ng?i Tahu Property, however some of the benefits of our current property investments and developments will be realised in the first half of the next financial year, says Stone.

We have some very exciting new property opportunities that will further strengthen our involvement in this sector.

Ngai Tahu Holdings also announced it had sold just under half of its 12.5 per cent stake in Ryman, equating to 6 per cent of Rymans total shares, for $63m, to the global investment firm Babcock & Brown.

"The Holdings Board is satisfied with the Groups performance for the first six months of the year. Our current forecasts are for a strong end of year result and we expect to make announcements on further investments for the Group in the next six months," said Stone.

- NZ HERALD STAFF