26 Aug 2010

GPG to sell most NZ assets

1:20 pm on 26 August 2010

Guinness Peat Group has made a half year profit and says it will sell all its New Zealand interests except for Turners and Growers, and Tower.

The investment concern made £12 million in the six months to June, a turnaround from a restated loss of £24 million in the same period a year ago.

That included a strong rebound from its threads business Coats, where sales rose and costs fell - partly because jobs were axed and plants closed.

The company has been in turmoil in recent times, facing institutional investor resistance to its plans to split off its Australian arm into a separate business.

It removed New Zealand director Tony Gibbs for publicly opposing its plans.

GPG has closed its New Zealand office and says there are little or no opportunities in this country.

It says it has decided to focus on investments elsewhere, apart from its 66% interest in Turners and Growers and 35% stake in Tower.