New Zealand shares gained, led by A2 Milk Co and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, while Metro Performance Glass plunged after disappointing investors.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index advanced 40.85 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 7094.39. Within the index, 25 stocks rose, 14 fell and 11 were unchanged. Turnover was $145 million.

Metro Glass was the worst performer, down 18.5 per cent to $1.54. The Auckland-based company, which has more than half the country's glass processing market, said annual net profit was likely to be similar or even lower than the year before's $20.5 million as local sales lagged behind expectations and costs were higher than expected.

"It released a pretty disappointing update," said Greg Easton, an adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. "It achieved very well on the revenue growth front. However, it's had to spend a lot on some of its expansion plans and that spending hasn't yet been offset by increased revenue. It did note the slowdown in the Christchurch residential build, and the earthquakes in Wellington stalling activity for a while. It's still pretty upbeat generally about the future."


A2 Milk led the index, up 3.9 per cent to $2.38, continuing Thursday's gains when it was reported that UK consumer giant Reckitt Benckiser is in talks to buy Mead Johnson Nutrition, the US-based baby-food maker, for US$90 per share, nearly a 30 per cent premium.

The negotiations value Mead Johnson's entire share capital at approximately US$16.7 billion, according to Reuters.

"It's an interesting sector. There are a whole bunch of companies that move depending on what the others do," Easton said. "We're also seeing other exporters up. "

F&P Healthcare rose 2.3 per cent to $9, Fletcher Building gained 1.8 per cent to $10.32, and Argosy Property advanced 1.5 per cent to $1.04.

Sky Network Television dropped 2.6 per cent to $4.43, SkyCity fell 1.9 per cent to $3.72 and Comvita declined 1.4 per cent to $7.

NZX dipped 0.9 per cent to $1.10. Cash trading volumes on the NZX slowed 12 per cent in January, while the value of trading rose 2.3 per cent to $2.2 billion despite fewer small trades.

Outside the benchmark index, Intueri Education Group plummeted 50 per cent to 1.5c. The Auckland-based private education provider will quit Australia by the end of the year.

Hallenstein Glasson gained 3 per cent to $3.40. The clothing retailer said first-half profit rose about 34 per cent to between $9 million and $9.2 million after it enjoyed a stronger Christmas.