F&P Appliances forecasts recovery in FY operating earnings

The 2012 result includes transactional hedging losses of $25.6 million.

BUSINESSDESK: Fisher & Paykel Appliances, the manufacturer of dishwashers, ovens and fridges, forecasts a recovery in earnings from its appliances business this year because it doesn't expect a repeat of last year's hedging losses.

Operating earnings before interest and tax for the appliances division would be $35 million to $40 million in the year ending March 31, 2013, from an adjusted $11.3 million last year, a statement accompanying the Auckland-based company's annual meeting says.

The 2012 result included transactional hedging losses of $25.6 million.

F&P Finance, the company's consumer credit arm, would report operating ebit of $35 million to $$38 million from $37.8 million last year. The figures may not be directly comparable because the earnings measures are not defined under NZX reporting rules.

Group ebit is forecast at $70 million to $78 million, assuming no change to current trading conditions. The company made the forecasts after noting net profit in the first four months of the year climbed to $12.3 million from $4.7 million.

"The board is encouraged by the solid start to the financial year so far. However, we remain acutely aware of the potential for economic conditions to change suddenly in our key markets, especially in Australia and the US," the company says.

F&P Appliances intends to resume dividend payments this year.

The company's shares rose 0.8% to 66 cents and have soared 83% this year. The stock is rated "outperform" based on the consensus of five recommendations compiled by Reuters, with a price target of 66 cents.