Sharemarket operator boosts profit as chief says up to six more firms could float this year.

A flurry of new listings helped boost sharemarket operator NZX's interim profit and chief executive Tim Bennett says up to six more companies could go public this year, although rising geopolitical tensions or uncertainty around the outcome of next month's general election could throw a spanner in the works.

Cinema software operator Vista Group yesterday became the eighth company to go public on the local exchange this year.

New Zealand's initial public offering pipeline has experienced some hiccups in recent weeks, with shares in several newly listed firms - including software developers Gentrack, Serko and ikeGPS - falling below their issue prices amid challenging market conditions and a downturn in investor appetite for growth-focused technology stocks.

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"You've got to remember that these companies have been listing against a backdrop of decline in global markets, and indeed the NZX50, so there's a bit of market sentiment that has had an impact," Bennett said.

However, he said companies that had been planning to list in the third and fourth quarters of this year were still pushing ahead with those plans.

"There's probably half a dozen that could list in Q3 and Q4," he said, adding there was a good chance the number could end up being "a bit lower than that".

Bennett wasn't naming potential issuers, but firms tipped to list this year include Auckland-based software developers Orion Health and Wherescape, as well as jetpack developer Martin Aircraft Company.

Mobile technology developer Pushpay is expected to carry out its NZAX compliance listing on Thursday, while transport software firm Eroad will float on Friday and another NZAX compliance listing, Lateral Corporation, is scheduled for next week.

Bennett said geopolitical tensions, such as in Ukraine, or protracted coalition discussions after the September 20 election could cause a blip in the IPO market.

NZX yesterday reported an 8.3 per cent rise in net profit to $7 million for the six months to June 30, while revenue lifted 2.8 per cent to $31.2 million.


Shares in NZX, which declared an interim dividend of 3c a share, closed up 1c at $1.28 yesterday.