As coronavirus continues to impact businesses around the world, a number of local firms issued updates on the NZX this morning.

These come after the announcement of a massive rescue package from the Government to support businesses affected by coronavirus.

A general theme across the business community at the moment centres on keeping both staff and customers safe through a number of social distancing measures.

Here's a rundown of some of the announcements this morning.


Air NZ trading halt continues

The regulatory arm of the NZX informed the market this morning that the Air New Zealand trading halt would continue.

The halt was first put in place on March 16.

Air New Zealand has been hit particularly hard by the travel restrictions imposed by the government.

The halt will stay in place until March 20 unless the airline makes an announcement before then.

The airline has been forced to cut many routes in the face of diminished demand for international travel.

This is in line with similar impacts on airlines around the world.

Sky TV drops guidance

Sky has announced it is withdrawing its revenue and ebitda guidance for the year ended 30 June 2020.

Broad cancellations of national and international sporting events has had a major impact on the business.


While several sports such as the NRL, the A-League and the ANZ Premiership Netball are currently adapting by playing without fan attendance, and New Zealand Rugby is looking at innovative ideas for a short-term local derby, Sky sees the potential for further disruption.

"In these unprecedented times, our focus remains on working with our sport partners and the wider network of rights holders and suppliers to deliver on our promise of connecting New Zealanders with the sport and entertainment content they love in ways that work for them," said chief executive Martin Stewart.

"The Sky team is working hard to deliver content our customers value to keep them connected, entertained and inspired during this challenging period."

While the impact of the cancellations has hit the business hard, Stewart said he fully supported the steps being taken by the Government to keep New Zealanders safe.

To counter some of the immediate losses, Sky is looking to reduce operating expenses by deferring non-essential capital projects and implementing a travel and hiring freeze.

Sky expects to host an Investor Day when the Covid-19 impacts are better understood.


Asset Plus pulls out of capital raising

Asset Plus has pulled out of a $100 million capital raising plan due to market volatility and a slide in the company's share price.

The company had planned to sell shares at 50c apiece in an underwritten rights offer to help fund two developments and overhaul its property portfolio. That was at a discount to the 58 cents the shares were trading at 10 days ago.

The shares have since sunk to 43c amid the general sell-off since coronavirus fears engulfed global share markets. Asset Plus has terminated the underwriting agreement with Jarden.

The shareholder meeting scheduled for March 31, 2020 will also no longer occur.
Cornerstone shareholder and manager Augusta Capital had previously committed to subscribe to $5m of the capital raising.

Asset Plus said an agreement to develop and lease with Auckland Council in relation to the proposed development at Munroe Lane, Albany is still in place and remains subject to the funding and shareholder approval condition and the resource consent condition.

"Asset Plus intends to meet with Auckland Council to discuss a potential extension to the funding and shareholder approval condition satisfaction date, which is currently 15 April 2020."


Kathmandu hiring and travel freeze

The retail firm announced this morning it was taking a number of steps in the face of ongoing impact of coronavirus.

"In response to trading conditions the Group is taking decisive actions, specifically in reducing operating expenses, deferring non-essential capital projects, optimising labour costs, managing inventory levels and implementing a travel and hiring freeze," the firm said in a statement this morning.

The firm said there had been a recent significant reduction in footfall in Australian and New Zealand stores, impacting sales performance.

"Due to the uncertainty around the spread of Covid-19 globally and impacts on demand, at this time, the Group cannot forecast the extent to which Covid-19 will impact the business in the second half of this fiscal year. However, there is likely to be a material adverse impact to earnings."

The firm has been hit particularly hard in Europe, where movement restrictions have hit the retail industry hard.

Kathmandu Holdings' managing director and CEO Xavier Simonet said the company had been monitoring developments daily to ensure the company is taking the best approach to protect the wellbeing of staff and customers.


"Our channel-agnostic approach, and especially our online fulfilment capabilities, should assist our ability to continue servicing customer needs despite growing government restrictions on the operation of retail outlets in many countries."

Kathmandu Holdings will release its results for the half-year ended January 31, 2020 on Monday March 30, 2020.

NZX Companies that have withdrawn guidance

• Air NZ - in trading halt until Friday morning, shares down 42 per cent year-to-date (YTD), dividend cancelled
• Tourism Holdings - shares down 63 per cent YTD
• Serko - shares down 66 per cent YTD
• Vista Group - shares down 57 per cent YTD, dividend cancelled
• Gentrack - shares down 64 per cent YTD
• Millennium & Copthorne Hotels - shartes down 11 per cent YTD
• Sky TV - shares down 60 per cent YTD