Health product marketer New Image Group is to pay its first dividend since listing on the stock exchange nine years ago after more than doubling its revenue.
The group, which manufactures and exports immune-boosting tablets, capsules and powders made from cow's colostrum, will pay 0.5 cents per share in March. Its planned payout follows a projected half-year revenue of $40 million for the six months ending December 2008, up from $16.37 million for the same period in 2007.
Net profits after tax were also significantly up and were expected to be $5 million - up from $1.48 million, the company said in a forecast to the stock exchange yesterday.
Chief executive Stephen Lyttelton said growth had been driven by strong trading conditions in its Asian business and its largest market, Malaysia, had been particularly strong.
"We have been in Malaysia for a number of years but in the last three years we have put a lot of work into developing the distribution base."
The company's primary marketing channel is through person to person sales and hundreds of thousands of people had signed up to sell the products. Lyttelton said for many it was seen as a secondary income and because of this he believed the business would be relatively recession-proof.
While the drop in the New Zealand dollar had played a part in boosting profits its role was minor, Lyttelton said. "It's a great New Zealand story. It's been hard work and it's paying off."
The business has been operating in Asia for more than 24 years and exports 90 per cent of its products.
Lyttelton said it was exploring expansion into Indonesia and Thailand and would launch a new drink in October firstly in New Zealand and then Singapore and mainland China which would be sold through supermarkets.
Colostrum is the pre-milk fluid that female mammals provide to their new-born babies soon after birth.
New Image Group closed down 1.5 cents on 18 cents.