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Chorus increased its full-year earnings guidance and hinted at big dividend increases ahead as the network operator delivered its interim result. Full-year Ebitda guidance was raised from $625 million to $645m to $640m to $655m. An interim dividend of 10 cents per share was declared, and full-year guidance of 24cps confirmed.
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Steel & Tube Holdings reported a net loss of $37 million for the six months ended December compared with a net profit of $5.6 million in the same six months a year earlier. Excluding the one-offs, earnings before interest and tax were $5.7 million, down from $9.8 million in the previous first half and sales were down 9.8 per cent to $232 million.
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Freightways said revenue rose 1 per cent to $318.9 million in the six months to December 31 from a year earlier, while net profit fell 13 per cent to $29.2m. Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation declined 3.8 per cent to $50.1m. CEO Mark Troughear said better margins and recovering economic activity make him guardedly optimistic about the rest of the financial year, notwithstanding the potential disruption of the covid-19 outbreak.
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Auckland Airport's half-year profit came in flat at $147.2 million but the company forecasts that its full-year result will be hit by the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The 12-month result could be affected by as much as $10m. The company said it will pay an interim dividend of 11 cents, unchanged from a year ago, on April 3 to shareholders registered at March 20.
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Fletcher Building made $82 million net profit after tax for the latest half-year, down on the $89m it made previously, but in line with the company's expectations and those set at the November AGM. Fletcher attributed the drop to a decline in revenue as the construction division finished big projects as well as a downturn in the Australian market. The company reconfirmed its $515m to $565m full-year earnings guidance range.
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Spark reported healthy first-half financials, but declined to highlight key sports streaming numbers - bar the snippet that Spark Sport fell within a $19m "other" category. That's not insubstantial revenue for a new subscriber service, if only 1 per cent of the telco's total revenue for the six-month period. The telco's net profit jumped 9.2 per cent to $167m in the six months to December 31. Revenue increased 4 per cent to $1.82b, billed as the fastest revenue growth in three years.
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Power generator and retailer Genesis Energy said higher fuel costs drove its first half net profit down by $40 million to just $9 million in the first half to December 31, but that it expected an improved second half. At the operating level, the company's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and financial instruments (EBITDAF) came to $167m, down from 15 per cent from $197.5m in the previous corresponding period. Underlying earnings fell by $26m to $16m. The company announced a slightly improved interim dividend of 8.525c, up from 8.45c.
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Precinct Properties pushed up revenue and more than doubled net profit after tax following leasing successes in its first half-year. Chief executive Scott Pritchard chief described how revenue rose from $64.6m to $77.8m and net profit after tax rocketed from $24.6m to $53.3m in the half-year to December 31, 2019, compared to the previous half-year. Net property income was $49.2m, up on the previous $47.3m. But Precinct revealed how liquidated damages for Fletcher Construction delays finishing Commercial Bay now stood at $50m.
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Vital Healthcare Property Trust's manager said first-half net profit rose 22.2 per cent and normalised distributable income was up 14.6 per cent as the value of its properties increased, rents rose and interest costs fell. Net profit for the six months ended December rose to $57.2 million from $46.8m in the same six months a year earlier.
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Heartland Group Holdings lifted first-half net profit 20.4 per cent, although that was boosted by accounting changes and fair value gains and the underlying increase was closer to 7 per cent. The company, which operates Heartland Bank in New Zealand and a reverse mortgage business in Australia, also increased its first-half dividend to 4.5 cents per share from 3.5 cents last year. Full story here.

ASB's first-half net profit fell 5 per cent, mostly reflecting a loss on the sale of its funds administration business and a flat underlying result. The bank reported a net profit of $599 million for the six months ended December, including a $28m loss from selling Aegis last year, compared with $630m in the same six months a year earlier. Full story here.

SkyCity Entertainment Group reported a 7.9 per cent decline in underlying earnings, although the result was overshadowed by its insurance claim for the international convention centre fire. The company reported net profit of $328 million for the six months to December 31, more than triple that in the same period last year. This was mainly due to recognising income for the insurance claim and from the car park sale. Full story here.

Sky Network Television reported a net profit of $11.7m in the six months ended December 31, tumbling 78 per cent from $53.4m a year earlier. Revenue fell 4.5 per cent to $384.8m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation sank 30 per cent to $89.7m. However, the company reported a jump in total subscriber numbers in the first-half from 779,000 (or the year-ago 750,000) to 795,000, driven by a 74 per cent increase in subs to its various streaming services. Full story here.

Contact Energy's first-half operating earnings fell 21 per cent amid tight gas supplies and reduced sales volumes to the firm's commercial and industrial customers. The company said it is in active talks on a revised electricity supply for the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. Full story here.

Skellerup Holdings

reported a 10 per cent decline in first-half profit as the United States-China trade war dulled demand for its rubber industrial components. Net profit fell to $12.1m in the six months ended December 31, from $13.4m a year earlier. Revenue edged up 2 per cent to $122.9m, while earnings before interest and tax fell 7 per cent to $18m. Full story