25 May 2012

Fisher and Paykel's profit almost halves

11:53 am on 25 May 2012

Profit for Fisher & Paykel Appliances fell by 45.1% to $18.4 million in the year to the end of March as consumers remained cautious about spending.

Revenue fell 7.4%, to $1,037,958, compared to the same period a year earlier.

Managing director Stuart Broadhurst says the company's finance arm performed strongly, but the appliances division was hit by hedging losses.

Mr Broadhurst says consumers remain cautious about opening their wallets, especially in Australia.

"Everybody at retail is seeing the consumers have a reduced propensity to spend. They have their own books to balance; their own costs are going up, utility bills and cost of carbon. I think people are nervous; they don't have the confidence. House prices aren't moving up and it will be some time before they will move back into spending more at the storefront."

But Mr Broadhurst says Fisher & Paykel Appliances will launch new products this year and the company has debt levels at record lows and working capital and overheads are under control.

The company did not declare a dividend. Shares in Fisher & Paykel Appliances rose by 1.5 cents to 55.5 cents.