7 Nov 2014

Business Briefs

1:49 pm on 7 November 2014

Alliance Group boosts profit

The Alliance Group says annual net profit rose 10.6 percent, reflecting rising consumer confidence, the gradual recovery of the global economy and improving market prices for red meat.

The meat co-operative's annual net profit of $6.2 million was struck on a 5.5 percent rise in sales to $1.46 billion.

For the first time in three years, Alliance will pay a distribution to its farmers totalling $7 million.

The chairman, Murray Taggart, said the outlook for the current year was positive with good international demand and the development of new markets.

Major jump for Augusta Capital profit

Augusta Capital's net profit after tax jumped 76 percent to $3.85 million in the six months ended September, compared to the same months last year.

Income from its directly-owned property portfolio fell due to vacancies previously indicated to the market.

But it said it has had notable leasing success and the benefits would flow-through during the second half of the financial year.

Work safety breach at Roy Hill

Documents reveal workers at Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill project in Western Australia laughed at safety inspectors during an audit that found clear breaches of safe work practice.

Roy Hill has 4000 construction workers.

Inspectors reported there was a lack of understanding of legal obligations and requirements.

The audit in April prompted the sacking of one senior worker, and Roy Hill later issued a warning to contractors to follow the rules or risk being dumped.

Precinct's plan to repay debt

Precinct chairman Craig Stobo has told the company's annual shareholders' meeting that selling assets in the short-term will reduce rental income as the company repays debt.

The office tower landlord owns buildings valued at more than $1.7 billion, such as the AMP Centre, PwC Tower and Downtown Shopping Centre in Auckland and Number 1, The Terrace, and the State Insurance Building in Wellington.

Mr Stobo said Auckland's strong office market would help maintain portfolio earnings and Precinct would work to keep occupancy high in tight markets where it was enjoying strong demand.

He said the 2015 first quarter dividend of 1.35 cents per share was in line with guidance and would be paid on 11 December.

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