NZ's F&P Healthcare posts record profit on strong demand

WELLINGTON Thu May 22, 2014 5:19pm EDT

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WELLINGTON May 23 (Reuters) - New Zealand medical equipment manufacturer Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd. reported a 26 percent rise in full-year net profit on Friday, on higher sales and improved margins, but said a high exchange rate would weigh on earnings in the current year.

F&P Healthcare, which makes products to treat breathing disorders, and patient warmers, reported a net profit after tax of NZ$97.1 million ($83.23 million)for the year ended March 31, compared with NZ$77.1 million a year earlier, and in line with guidance give in February.

The top-10 company declared an unchanged dividend of 7 cents a share.

It said it expected a 2015 net profit to be around the current level, based on an exchange rate of $0.8600. It expects operating revenue of about NZ$640 million, but said the exchange rate at current levels would be a "headwind" of about NZ$32 million.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which has a manufacturing plant in Mexico, earns roughly two-thirds of its revenue from the United States and competes against rivals such as ResMed Inc . ($1 = 1.1667 New Zealand Dollars) (Gyles Beckford)