28 May 2019

Today's business news: What you need to know

3:49 pm on 28 May 2019

Latest - The horticulture industry expects to become a $10 billion a year industry next year.

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Kiwifruit and wine exports have helped the horticulture industry continue to grow Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

It says the increase in value is being driven by strong growth in exports.

The industry was valued at $9.2 billion at June last year, which is $400m more than the year before.

Kiwifruit and wine are the main drivers of export growth.

Vocus future unclear

The New Zealand operation of Australian telecommunications company Vocus is unclear as a Swedish company has made a concrete offer.

Vocus operates the Slingshot and Orcon brands in New Zealand.

The parent company, which is Australia's fourth-largest telco, has received a full takeover offer from Swedish private equity company EQT Infrastructure - it's offer price is up more than a third on the Vocus closing price on Friday.

Vocus New Zealand's chief executive has not returned calls.

There has been talk of multiple offers in the wings, but the Swedish interest is the only confirmed one.

Vocus has about 200,000 customers in this country with earnings of more than $60 million.

Vend expanding

The retail software company is moving into the North American market with a large increase in the number of sales and marketing staff.

The privately-owned company offers point-of-sale technology and is expanding staff numbers around the world by nearly 50 percent, bringing 125 new jobs overseas and more than 50 in Auckland.

Vend chief executive Alex Fala says the company is scaling up to meet the untapped potential in North America.

Blis Technologies delivers first profit

The biotech company has delivered a maiden profit, slightly ahead of expectations.

The Dunedin based company made a net profit of $381,000 for the March year compared with last year's million dollar loss.

Revenue was up by more than half with growth in all its markets, particularly in Australia, for oral health probiotic products.

The company expects to build on the growth with an expanded product range, but warns there are challenges from the time taken to develop new products, getting official approval, and coping on a limited budget.

E-Road posts bigger loss on previous year

The Transport software company said the loss is because of increased product investment and accounting changes.

It's reported a loss of $4.9 million for the March year compared with the previous year's $3.5m loss.

The company has software which tracks vehicle use and driver hours for trucking firms.

Revenue was up by 40 percent, just ahead of the growth in expenses.