In the wake of the emotionally draining sagas that have dominated the mainstream media for the past week or so — -first the allegations of bullying within Parliament and by parliamentarians, and then the All Blacks’ triumph and turmoil over the coach’s future employment — can any relief be found?
Is any good news looming for a nation battered by the Covid pandemic and frustrated by a government that makes grand announcements but often fails to deliver?
Well, yes, there is.
Point of Order believes we don’t have to look far. It will come from the business sector which has been beavering away, despite the pressures on staff from Covid and within the supply chain to and from overseas markets.
Some of it is already emerging as the big electricity gentailer, Contact Energy, reported today. Contact did its bit for the country by limiting price increases in the year to 1.2%, announcing a new renewable energy project, and indicating it will be negotiating with Rio Tinto which wants to keep the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter open beyond 2024. (More of what Contact CEO Mike Fuge had to say below). Continue reading “Yes, there is good news for a Covid-weary NZ – and it has started to flow from our energy companies”
Who has done what in the pioneering of the oat milk industry in this country – and whether state funding is needed by industry players – are questions raised by a perusal of newspaper and magazine headlines on the development of the milk.
Point of Order found this report in October last year –
Boring approach: NZ’s first commercially mass-produced ‘local oat milk firm targets APAC expansion
New Zealand’s first locally mass-produced oat milk brand Boring Oat Milk has its eye on the discerning APAC-wide coffee crowd after a successful domestic supermarket launch, and is confident that its ‘whisper, not shout’ strategy will stand out on shelves.
Great. But then we found this headline on a report published several months earlier:
New Zealand’s First Oat Milk Factory to Open in Southland
A new plant-based milk processing facility is to open in the province of Southland, New Zealand. The facility is being built by New Zealand Functional Foods in collaboration with Great South.
But even earlier was a report published in January 2020 under the headline:
Oat milk company plans purpose-built factory to meet surging demand
Nine months after Otis Oat Milk launched, the company has announced plans for a purpose-built factory capable of producing 25 million litres a year.
New Zealand’s first locally produced oat milk, Otis is made with Southland and Otago oats, processed at Food South’s Canterbury factory. Continue reading “Stopping the grain drain: govt pumps $6m into plans to make more oat milk in NZ (and eliminate need to ship to Sweden)”
A report that an Australian outfit, the aptly named Bubs company, is planning to ship at least 1.25m cans of its baby formula to the US to help ease a nationwide shortage saw a spike in the a2 Milk company’s shareprice on Monday this week.
US president Joe Biden announced the deal in a tweet at the weekend, saying the company would deliver 27.5m bottles, the equivalent of the 1.25m cans reported by Bubs.
“We’re doing everything in our power to get more formula on shelves as soon as possible,” he said.
The NZ Herald reported the news that Bubs had found a way to enter the notoriously difficult American market “was well received” by dual-listed infant formula exporter a2 Milk investors who bid the stock up 10.2%.
The Herald explained that both Fonterra and a2 Milk have also applied to the US Food and Drug Administration for approval to supply infant formula to the nation. Continue reading “Bubs breaks into the US baby-formula market – here’s hoping a2 Milk and Fonterra can latch on to the opportunities”
New Zealand’s biggest company by capitalisation on the NZX, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare which sells its products in 120 countries, has supplied $880 million of hospital hardware over the past two years. That’s the equivalent of about 10 years’ hardware sales before COVID-19.
This remarkable performance deserves the plaudits of all New Zealanders.
And as a company which spends nearly 10% of its revenue on research it has new products coming on the market.
CEO Lewis Gradon (surely he deserves a knighthood) says the growing body of evidence supporting the use of nasal high flow and other respiratory therapies shows that its products have a clear role to play in improving care and outcomes beyond COVID-19 patients.
“We have a proven fifty-year track record of changing clinical practice and now we have the additional benefit of customers already having our hardware and clinical experience with its use.” Continue reading “Fisher & Paykel Healthcare’s $880m sales of hospital hardware over the past two years deserves NZ’s plaudits”
Stuff business writer John Anthony was still focused on businessman Simon Henry’s widely reported remarks about My Food Bag co-founder Nadia Lim, a day after the company posted its latest annual results.
His report on Saturday began with news that – according to its chief executive – My Food Bag’s contact centre had been “inundated” with thousands of messages of support for Nadia Lim after “rich lister” Simon Henry made “insulting” comments about her.
Anthony mentioned an earlier Stuff report that the meal kit company had reported a $20 million after tax profit for the year to March 30, up from $2.4m a year earlier.
He noted that this result came two weeks after Henry, the boss of chemical company DGL Group, criticised My Food Bag for including a photo of Lim in its prospectus. Continue reading “Investors are digesting My Food Bag’s performance data – but Stuff is still feeding off Simon Henry’s remarks about Nadia Lim”
Following up on a daily flow of news about some corporate how’s-your-father that brought the heads of the DGL Group and My Food Bag into a series of articles last week, Point of Order initially was led astray by information on the NZX website. The company which the NZX records as “DGL” happens to be Delegat Limited, which (its website says) is aiming to be a global Super Premium wine company.
Delegate has invested in state-of-the-art wineries and world class vineyards in the prime grape growing regions of New Zealand and Australia and focuses exclusively on making “the world’s most sought-after Super Premium wines and brands”.
My Food Bag describes itself as an online food delivery business and New Zealand’s longest- standing meal-kit provider, operating in the $37 billion New Zealand retail food sector.
So why aren’t they in bed together?
But no – the corporate contretemps to which we were drawn involves My Food Bag and a chemical company which, although it is named DGL, has been given the code letters DGC for NZX purposes
Having latched on to the DGL which was at the centre of the controversy, Point of Order checked out the bizarre market consequences of the media’s urge to make a meal of its chief executive’s ill-considered choice of words. Continue reading “Celebrity chef and a chemical company boss – investors choked on the headline outrage during media feeding frenzy”
ANZ reports widespread autumn rain has devastated many arable and fruit crops, but has been welcomed by pastoral farmers.
Food commodities are in short supply globally. New Zealand will export less produce than normal this season as production of most export commodities is impacted for varying reasons including delays with the processing of livestock and the impacts of labour shortages.
So it was something of a surprise, but a welcome one, when Synlait Milk reported its net profit (excluding the sale of an Auckland property) had risen 128% to $14.5m in the first half.
The dairy processing company said it was also on the way to reporting previous levels of profitability in the 2023 financial year after posting a $28.5m loss in 2021.
And as ANZ reported, the wet weather in some regions will not have worried dairy farmers. Continue reading “Synlait is confident it is back on the path to pre-2021 profitability levels”
Meridian Energy issued a terse statement earlier this month on the future of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter.
This followed speculation that with the price of aluminium soaring to US$3000 a tonne (it used to vary between US$1400 and US$1800) the smelter’s majority owner, international giant Rio Tinto, would want to extend its contract for cheap electricity (some say the cheapest in the world) beyond its current contract date of 2024.
The price of aluminium on world markets is now just on $US3300.
The Meridian statement on February 8 simply said:
“Meridian Energy notes today’s media coverage on the future of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. Meridian confirms it is not in discussions with the smelter’s owner, NZAS, about a new electricity contract. The existing contract between Meridian and NZAS ends on 31 December 2024.” Continue reading “Meridian gets thin pickings as aluminium prices soar but door is left open for future negotiations on powering the smelter”
Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash reckons it’s a game-changer: the government is putting taxpayers’ money into a company extracting the valuable mineral lithium from geothermal brine at Ohaaki near Taupo.
The government’s aim is to help scale up the project to produce lithium which is in strong international demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.. EVs are expected to account for more than half of new car sales in the northern hemisphere by 2030.
Overseas, traditional ways of mining lithium leave a heavy carbon footprint, Nash said.
“In contrast, the Geo40 programme involves new technology to recover lithium sustainably from geothermal brine, and return the water to the geothermal field. The brine is a watery residue containing mineral compounds, and is a by-product of geothermal electricity generation.
“If we can successfully build up Geo40’s green technology to commercial scale, New Zealand could become an international leader in technology for the sustainable supply of lithium, and help to build lasting action on climate change. It could also help meet New Zealand’s 2050 carbon neutral target and create jobs to support the economic recovery.
“Expanding geothermal energy and advanced manufacturing opportunities in Taupō will be significant to diversify its local economy,” Nash says. Continue reading “Govt invests $2m to lift its stake in Geo40 and encourage venture to extract lithium from geothermal brine”
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare startled the sharemarket out of its lethargy this week when it reported a half-year profit of $221.8m on revenue of over $900m. The company again dazzled market analysts, who had been expecting revenue to fall after the record achieved in the previous 12 months, largely through the provision of medical equipment for hospitals to combat Covid.
The Auckland-based company has become the flag-bearer for the hi-tech sector in NZ and has signalled further growth, announcing that over the next five years it expects to invest $700m in land and buildings. This includes a fifth building, completing its Auckland campus, and acquiring land for a second NZ campus.
Over the next five years the company expects to add an additional three manufacturing facilities located outside NZ, the first of which is currently under construction in Tijuana, Mexico.
What sets F&P Healthcare apart from most NZ firms is its investment in R&D which in this half year was 8% of revenue, or $75.7m.
The half-year announcement sent investors piling back into the stock, which bounced up 5%.
The company’s market capitalisation is creeping back close to $20 billion. Continue reading “Fisher and Paykel Healthcare puts pep back into the sharemarket”