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Fisher & Paykel Healthcare [NZX: FPH] raised its annual profit forecast by 3 percent, saying the New Zealand dollar is boosting the value of respiratory and breathing apparatus sold overseas. The shares rose to the highest in at least two decades.
Profit is now expected to be $100 million in the year ended March, 31, 2015, based on an exchange range of the kiwi at 84 US cents, from its May guidance of flat earnings of $97 million, with the currency calculated at 86 US cents, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Revenue would be $650 million, up from its May forecast of $640 million, and 4.3 percent above 2014 sales.
The lift to its profit forecast is still at a slower pace of growth than the previous year, when annual profit rose 26 percent to $97.1 million, on a 12 percent gain in sales to $623.4 million.
The medical device manufacturer exports 98 percent of its product and blames the historically high kiwi/US dollar cross with crimping earnings growth. The local currency climbed to 88.35 US cents in July, close to its post-float high of 88.40 cents, but has since fallen some 4 US cents, to trade recently at 84.16 US cents.
At current exchange rates the company forecast revenue to be up about 14 percent to $315 million in the six months ending Sept. 30, for a 60 percent profit increase to $45 million.
The company's shares rose 1.5 percent to $4.90.