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Airwork lifts annual forecast profit on strong helicopter unit trading

Airwork Holdings [NZX: AWK], the aviation services specialist which listed last December, says annual profit will beat its offer document forecast by $1 million as its helicopter division operates ahead of expectations.

The Auckland-based company expects net profit of $9.4 million in the year ending June 30, up from the forecast $8.4 million in its initial public offer document, it said in a statement. The upgrade comes after Airwork affirmed the IPO forecast last month when reporting its first-half result.

The "helicopter division continues to perform strongly with trading and overhaul activity further improving ahead of expectations," it said.

The company's helicopter unit boosted first-half sales 23 percent to $31.4 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, even as flying hours dropped due to an ongoing dispute with a customer in the South Island.

Airwork said it had reached a satisfactory insurance settlement over an incident at Honiara Airport in the Solomon Islands in January, and has also signed a term sheet with lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia to refinance debt maturing in 2014 for another four years.

The shares rose 0.7 percent to $2.80 yesterday, and have gained 7.7 percent from their $2.60 offer price in December. First NZ Capital, which follows the stock, rates it a hold with a price target of $3.

(BusinessDesk)