15 Aug 2008

Jeweller improves profits worldwide

6:24 pm on 15 August 2008

Michael Hill International's annual profits have risen by a fifth to $25.2 million in the year to June, through extra stores in Australia and keeping a lid on costs.

Revenue rose 8% to $377m, as it added a net 10 stores in Australia, another two in New Zealand, and a further six in Canada.

But the tougher economic environment is taking its toll, as sales at stores open for at least a year fell in New Zealand and Canada, while it barely rose in Australia, where Michael Hill makes most of its revenue.

Dunedin company's in danger

The future of agri-tech company Botry-zen is uncertain after its shareholders rejected a capital raising plan.

The Dunedin-based company makes two sprays used to combat fungal infections in grapes and was trying to raise $1.8m.

At a special meeting on Friday, shareholders approved three of the four resolutions put forward, which meant the plan could not proceed.

Chairman, Dr Max Shepherd, says it needs $1m to $3m of capital to stay within its existing credit facilities at the Bank of New Zealand.

NZF optimistic

New Zealand Finance is picking the slowdown in the housing market and the global credit crunch will have an impact on its profitability for the current financial year.

The residential property financier expects its full year profit to be about $2 to $2.5m for the March year, down from this year's $3.8m.