AMP Capital halves its stake in Skellerup

AMP reduced its holding in the Auckland-based company to 5.89 percent, from a previous 11.2%.

Fund manager AMP Capital Investors (New Zealand) has halved its stake in Skellerup Holdings [NZX: SKL], while remaining a substantial shareholder of the industrial rubber goods firm.

The Wellington-based fund manager reduced its holding in the Auckland-based company to 5.89 percent, from a previous 11.2 percent, selling 10.2 million shares between Nov. 3 and Feb. 19, according to a shareholder notice lodged with the NZX. Yesterday the rubber goods firmed revised its full-year guidance, saying annual profit would be in line with last year's $20.7 million, below its forecast in October for profit to fall between $21 million and $24.5 million.

Skellerup reported its first-half profit fell 10 percent to $9.7 million in the six-months ended Dec. 31, as deferred investment in the Australian mining industry weighed on sales. Across the Tasman a drop in the iron ore price, Australia's largest export, and a wind down in the mining sector has slowed that economy and investment in large-scale infrastructure activity is abating, hurting earnings at companies such as Skellerup.

Meanwhile, sales in its agricultural operations, which makes dairy rubberware, animal hygiene products and gumboots, rose, as an increase in revenue from Australian, European and US-based markets offset a drop in its New Zealand sales, where a drop in global dairy prices has weighed on the local industry.

Shares of Skellerup were unchanged at $1.35 and have dropped 4.9 percent this year. The stock is rated an average 'buy' according to the consensus of three analysts surveyed by Reuters, with a median price target of $1.55.

(BusinessDesk)

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