‘It’s certainly a positive opportunity’

New Zealand shares rose after Tegel Group said it had been cleared to export raw poultry to Australia, Trade Me Group reported stronger annual revenue and investors cheered Spark New Zealand's promise of further special dividends in 2017.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 30.10 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 7385.12. Within the index, 27 stocks rose, 22 fell and two were unchanged. Turnover was $169 million.

Tegel rose 5.5 per cent to a record $1.73 after New Zealand's largest poultry company said it had worked alongside the Ministry for Primary Industries to secure improved access to the Australian market, where it had previously only been permitted to export fully cooked chicken. The Australian poultry market is estimated to be worth A$7.1 billion.

"It's certainly a positive opportunity," said Rickey Ward, NZ equity manager at JBWere.


"Whether it turns into any material earnings upgrade it's far too early to predict. It's a much bigger market."

Trade Me rose 5.1 per cent to $5.40. The auction website reported a 9.2 per cent gain in full-year revenue to $218m, although net profit fell 6.5 per cent to $74.9m including an impairment charge against its online dating business FindSomeone and its share of losses from lending platform Harmoney.

Spark gained 2.9 per cent to $3.865 after the telecommunications retailer confirmed a final dividend of 11c per share and a special dividend of 1.5c, taking the total payment to 25c in the year.

The results "show how good management is at controlling costs", Ward said. The results also showed Spark has gained mobile market share, he said.

Port of Tauranga rose 0.1 per cent to $19.34 after the nation's busiest port company announced plans to return $140m to shareholders over four years, starting with a special dividend of 25c, fully imputed, in addition to a final ordinary dividend of 30c a share. The port company also plans a five-for-one share split to boost liquidity.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell 3.2 per cent to $10.15 after rival Resmed filed a patent infringement complaint in the Southern District of California, as well as lawsuits in Germany and New Zealand, and to the US International Trade Commission against Fisher & Paykel Healthcare.

TrustPower fell 1.7 per cent to $8 after a report into its plans to carve out its windfarms and renewable development pipeline into Tilt Renewables said it will give the new entity freedom to chase opportunities which should outweigh the cost of the transaction.

Precinct Properties New Zealand rose 0.8 per cent to $1.285 after the listed commercial property investor increased annual profit 13 per cent and lifted its guidance as it shifted its weighting to Auckland, where it sees long-term growth.

Fletcher Building rose 2.2 per cent to $10.38, adding to a 4.9 per cent gain on Wednesday when the building and construction company posted a 71 per cent gain in full-year profit and met its earnings guidance.

Skellerup Holdings rose 4.3 per cent to $1.46 after the company posted a 6 per cent decline in annual profit. Profit fell to $20.5 million, in line with the company's guidance, and chairman Sir Selwyn Cushing said earnings are expected to improve.