31 Aug 2009

Dollar's strength hinders recovery, says investment firm

8:48 am on 31 August 2009

Rubicon has taken a swipe at the Government and the Reserve Bank over the strength of the New Zealand dollar against the US currency, saying it needs to be addressed if it wants the export sector to lead a sustainable recovery.

The investment company posted a $US2 million loss in the year to June, double the loss in the previous year, due to reduced earnings at its US-focused wood products company, Tenon.

The company's revenue fell 15% to $US322 million.

Rubicon has one-third stake in forestry biotechnology group ArborGen and is expanding its business to enter the biofuels sector. It has a 58% percent stake in Tenon, whose profit dropped in the year to June from $US3 million to zero.

Along with its partners, Rubicon is considering spending more to commercialise its ArborGen business and establish a credit line to fund ArborGen's Australasian treestock operations.