29 Nov 2013

Comvita confident full-year will improve on half-year results

7:07 am on 29 November 2013

Comvita is confident it will exceed the sales and profit it made last year in its full 2014 year financial results.

The listed natural health and beauty products company reported a loss of $790,000 in the six months to the end of September, compared with a profit of $2.3 million for the same period last year. Sales fell 4.6% to $43.4 million.

The company says trading conditions were tough in Australia, Britain and Hong Kong, with the latter market being hit by the botulism scare.

Because of the issues about food security, the company has invested in additional in-house laboratory testing facilities.

In the 2013 financial year the company made $103.5 million of sales and a net profit of $7.4 million.

Comvita chief executive Brett Hewlett says the company typically makes 60% of its earnings and sales in the second half of the year.

He says the product range is seasonal in the sense a lot more is sold in the winter months.

"So as we enter a Northern Hemisphere winter, we start to see a peak through that period. Now that is overlapping with another peak we get in New Zealand in particular, but also in other markets even in Australia, through the Christmas and Chinese New Year gifting period."

Mr Hewlett says that creates a peak in sales from December through to February or March.

The company will pay an interim dividend of 4 cents a share.