NZ's F&P Healthcare FY profit hits record high on strong demand

WELLINGTON Wed May 22, 2013 5:17pm EDT

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WELLINGTON May 23 (Reuters) - New Zealand medical equipment manufacturer Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd. reported a 20 percent rise in full-year net profit on Thursday, on higher sales and improved margins, and said it saw profits increasing in the current year.

F&P Healthcare, which makes products to treat breathing disorders, and patient warmers, reported a record net profit after tax of NZ$77.1 million ($62.28 million) for the year ended March 31, compared with NZ$64.1 million a year earlier.

This exceeded the company's profit forecast of about NZ$75 million, the same amount that analysts had been expecting.

The company declared a dividend of 7 cents a share, unchanged from last year.

Shares in the top-10 stock closed on Wednesday at NZ$3.03. It has risen nearly 22 percent so far this year, compared with a 13 percent rise for the benchmark index.

The company said it expected a 2014 profit of NZ$85 million to NZ$90 million, based on an exchange rate of $0.8000-$0.8500. It expects operating revenue to be in the range of NZ$610 million-NZ$630 million.

"We expect our underlying revenue growth to continue to be robust this year, driven by a broad range of new products and applications," Fisher & Paykel Healthcare CEO Michael Daniell said in a statement.

The company, created from the split of New Zealand manufacturing pioneer Fisher & Paykel Industries in 2001, is based in New Zealand, but derives around two-thirds of its revenue from the United States where it competes against rivals such as ResMed Inc.

It has shifted some of its manufacturing to Mexico. ($1 = 1.2380 New Zealand dollars) (Gyles Beckford)

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