Comvita predicts 500+% lift in profit, shares rise 10%

Comvita is forecasting a big lift in full year net profit after tax, with the manuka honey producer confirming today that it expects a bottom line result of $4.9 million.

That unaudited net profit forecast for the year ended March is up 512.5% on the previous year, when it recorded a net profit after tax of $0.77 million.

Last year’s result did include almost $800,000 in one-off non-cash impairments and fair value movements of financial instruments, but this year’s profit will still be more than three times the 2008 result when these factors are not considered.

The listed honey company attributed the earnings improvement to “a continuing strong trend in sales growth and ongoing improvements in overall operating efficiencies”.

Sales for the year have been estimated at about $85 million, up 19% on the previous year and ebitdaf is expected to be up 80.3%to about $11 million.

The full year result has built on the gains made at the half-way mark, when Comvita reported an interim profit lift of $1.4 million to $1.62 million

A progressive reduction in inventory, the sale of global licensing rights of Medihoney to Derma Sciences in February and the improved operating performance have seen the company cut its debt by 61.7% over the past year to currently sit at $11.6 million.

The company will release its full audited results on May 21.

Its share price (NZX:CVT) broke through the $2 mark earlier this month and today's news saw it rise another 9.76% to reach an annual high of $2.25 this afternoon, a range it has not been in for two years.

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