18 Feb 2013

Fletcher Building half year results awaited

7:01 am on 18 February 2013

Fletcher Building, the biggest company on the NZX, reports its half year results on Wednesday.

Craigs Investment Partners analyst Mark Lister expects the company's earnings to be slightly stronger than expected, as building activity picked up strongly in the final quarter of last year, especially in Christchurch and Auckland.

At its shareholder meeting last year, Fletcher Building signalled that it was expecting flat half year earnings of around $278 million.

Mr Lister, the head of private wealth research at Craigs, said there are several reasons why the company's earnings should come in higher than that.

He said the key one is the rebuilding of Christchurch which finally appears to be gaining momentum, but also the Auckland housing market has had a rebound over the last 12 months.

Mr Lister said more of Fletcher Building's earnings come from Australia than New Zealand.

But he said the New Zealand dollar has picked up against the Australian dollar, which is a negative if Fletchers brings its profit back to New Zealand.

Mr Lister said there is also still a subdued economy in Australia, but the Australian Reserve Bank has made some aggressive interest rate cuts.