17 Aug 2009

F and P dividend unlikely, shareholders warned

10:03 pm on 17 August 2009

Fisher and Paykel Appliances investors are unlikely to see a dividend payout this financial year as the company looks to reduce debt.

Chairman Gary Paykel told shareholders at its annual meeting that the company's debt reduction programme is ahead of target, and net debt stands at $308 million.

Mr Paykel says F & P Appliances needs to pay down bank debt as part of its deal to secure extra funding.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances says sales in North America have been slower than expected, but this has been balanced by stronger earnings in other markets and the company says it is on target to make a full-year profit of $32.8 million.

Meanwhile, John Bongard will step down as chief executive at the end of this year after 36 years with the company, including five at the helm. Mr Bongard is leaving for health reasons.

Fisher & Paykel Appliances shares were down 5 cents to $5.50 on Monday.