New Zealand shares fell, with Warehouse Group and Mercury New Zealand ending down, while Air New Zealand rose.

The S&P/NZX50 Index dropped 30.93 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 7058.59. Within the index, 23 stocks fell, 14 were unchanged and 13 rose. Turnover was $127.5 million.

Warehouse Group led the index lower, down 2.6 per cent to $2.59. The retailer yesterday said it expected to shed a net 130 jobs, or about 1.1 per cent of its workforce, in an effort to save up to $20m a year after slimming down the structure of its retail model to try to strip out duplication.

Mercury New Zealand dropped 2.6 per cent to $3.05, while Trade Me Group fell 2.4 per cent to $4.92.


Metro Performance Glass fell 2.2 per cent to $1.36, while Fletcher Building fell 1 per cent to $9.70. Fletcher dropped 5.2 per cent on Wednesday after posting a 2 per cent gain in first-half profit that included unexpectedly weak earnings from its construction division, especially given its $2.7 billion backlog of work.

"It's [Metro Performance Glass] looking a bit underwhelming, it's had a rough few months - it was trading as high as $2.20 back in September/October, and it's fallen by close to $1," said Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners.

Vector dipped 0.3 per cent to $3.24. The Auckland-based electricity and gas distributor posted a 7 per cent gain in first-half profit to $107m, driven by stronger sales, lower finance costs and a one-time gain after a Court of Appeal ruling on a tax claim. Sales rose to $626m from $591m.

Vista Group International was unchanged at $5.40. The cinema analytics software developer will pay a bigger maiden dividend than analysts were picking after profit was bolstered by a gain on its Chinese joint venture and as underlying earnings increased 17 per cent.

Air New Zealand was the best performer in the index, up 1.3 per cent to $2.28, while Spark New Zealand gained 1 per cent to $3.565 and Skycity Entertainment Group rose 1 per cent to $4.09.

Outside the benchmark index, CBL Corp dropped 11 per cent to $3.30. Full-year profit was $30.7m, falling short of the $40.4m forecast in its prospectus, reflecting one-time costs including a foreign exchange adjustment, while operating earnings of $76.2m exceeded its prospectus forecast of $63.6m.