31 May 2011

Methven expects tough NZ conditions

7:49 am on 31 May 2011

Showerhead and tap maker Methven isn't expecting any improvement in the New Zealand market until the rebuilding of Christchurch gets underway.

The listed company's full year profit fell by 40% in the year to the end of March after its largest UK customer was placed into voluntary administration.

The Australian market performed strongly, but the Canterbury earthquakes dented domestic sales, which fell almost 9% in the year.

Methven chief executive Rick Fala says New Zealand's building and renovation activity is at record low levels, and he's expecting the market could remain tough this year.

He says the Christchurch region accounts for 40% of the company's revenue, and although there will be growth opportunities once the rebuilding is fully underway, this could be 12 months away.

Mr Fala says there are opportunities in the Asian area for supplying hotels and is expecting the UK market to return to profit this year.

Methven expects the current financial year's profit to be 25% higher than last year's underlying profit of $6.7 million.