25 May 2019

Today's business news: What you need to know

10:55 pm on 25 May 2019

In today's business news - New Zealand posts a second monthly trade surplus in a row and Veritas Investments is changing its name.

Latest - The country has posted a second monthly trade surplus in a row.

Exports topped imports by 433 million in April, bolstered by a solid lift in dairy, log and kiwifruit sales.

The annual trade deficit narrowed marginally to $5.48 billion.

Veritas Investments changes its name

The bar and restaurant company is changing its name to Good Spirits Hospitality.

The company used to own the Nosh supermarket franchise and the Mad Butcher chain.

It's just sold its Doolan Brothers Irish pub in Lynfield for $350,000.

The money will help grow Veritas' gastro pub portfolio.

Volpara Health Technologies named Wellington Exporter of the Year

The Wellington-based, ASX-listed medical analytics company makes breast imaging products and focuses on the early detection of breast cancer using artificial intelligence.

Wellington Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Milford says Volpara's win is well deserved and is an example of a company commercialising medical research.

Other winners at last night's awards include the outdoor gear manufacturer, Betacraft, which won Best Emerging Business and the petrol station automation provider, ITL, who won best medium to large business.

Ryman Healthcare posts $326m profit for year

Elderly man. Walking frame. Retirement home.

Photo: 123RF

Ryman Healthcare says it has had a solid year, despite challenging market conditions and flat sales.

The retirement village operator's full year net profit fell 16 percent to $326 million in the year to March, which included a valuation gain of $102.4m, versus $185.3m the year earlier.

Revenue rose nearly 12 percent to $382.3m, with strong development margins, particularly from Ryman's second village in Melbourne.

The underlying profit, which Ryman used as a measure of its performance rose 11.5 percent ot $227m, and matched an increase in the full year dividend to 22.7 cents a share.

Read here for more on this story.

Open banking aims to create competition in payments space

A new system launched by Payments NZ hopes to pave the way for competition in an industry dominated by the big banks and credit card companies.

Yesterday, Payments NZ - which governs New Zealand's payment systems on behalf of the banks - launched its API Centre, which banks and tech companies can join in order to develop innovative ways to do banking.

It is designed to give startups and smaller companies a shot at entering the payments market, and to give consumers more options for how they pay for goods and manage their money.

Payments NZ has two APIs - or Application Programming Interfaces - one to do with making payments and transferring money and another for the sharing of account information.

Read here for more on this story.