The latest from Agriculture Editor Rebecca Howard

Rebecca is a business journalist with more than 25 years’ experience, including more than a decade in Peru covering everything from politics, terrorism, human rights, and the war on drugs. She has worked for the Associated Press, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters. Her work in NZ has included macroeconomics, listed companies and extensive coverage of the dairy sector. You can follow her on Twitter @FarroHoward or connect with her on LinkedIn here.

Fairfax NZ's 1H revenues and earnings down as advertising revenue falls
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 21 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 22 (BusinessDesk) -  Sydney-based publisher Fairfax Media says its New Zealand unit's revenue and earnings fell in the first half on the back of ongoing weakness in print advertising revenue. In New Zealand, where Fairfax's assets have been packaged f...

NZ dollar little changed as dairy prices fall, Fed speakers keep March 'live'
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 21 Feb 2017

By Jonathan Underhill Feb. 22 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar was little changed, retracing an earlier decline, after dairy prices fell as expected and comments by Federal Reserve officials kept alive the possibility of a US rate hike as soon as next month. The kiwi...

Former Ministry of Transport senior manager sentenced to jail for fraud
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 21 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 21 (BusinessDesk) - A former senior manager at the Ministry of Transport has been sentenced to three years and seven months imprisonment in relation to a fraud committed during her employment at the ministry, the Serious Fraud Office said. Joanne Harr...

Colonial Motor Co reports a 5.2% dip in 1H profit
Rebecca Howard | Mon, 20 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 21 (BusinessDesk) -  Colonial Motor Co reported a 5.2 percent drop in first half profit and while it was guardedly positive about the immediate future it signaled several risks. The company said profit fell to $10.5 million in the six months to Dec. 3...

UPDATE: Mercury reports 53% jump in 1H net profit, lifts FY guidance
Rebecca Howard | Mon, 20 Feb 2017

(Adds detail throughout) By Rebecca Howard Feb. 21 (BusinessDesk) - Mercury NZ increased first-half profit 53 percent, bolstered by favourable North Island hydro conditions and lifted its full year guidance.  The electricity generator and distributor, formerly known as M...

FIRST CUT: Mercury 1H profit jumps 53%, lifts full year guidance
Rebecca Howard | Mon, 20 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 21 (BusinessDesk) - Mercury NZ increased first-half profit 53 percent, bolstered by favourable North Island hydro conditions and lifted its full year guidance.  The electricity generator and distributor, formerly known as MightyRiverPower said net pro...

NZ dollar slips in tussle between NZ economy, Fed rates outlook
Rebecca Howard | Mon, 20 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 20 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar fell in subdued trading as traders looked ahead to the GlobalDairyTrade auction this week and the release of minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting. The kiwi traded at 71.75 US cents as at 5 pm in Well...

NZ High Court rules Dotcom, co-accused eligible for extradition
Rebecca Howard | Mon, 20 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 20 (BusinessDesk) - Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the USnited States, New Zealand's High Court ruled in a judgment published today. Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Co...

Nib New Zealand 1H underlying profit up 40% as OnePath acquisition benefits mount
Rebecca Howard | Sun, 19 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 20 (BusinessDesk) - Nib Holdings, the ASX-listed company that's New Zealand's second-largest health insurer, reported a strong first-half underlying operating profit and updated its guidance for the full year. Nib New Zealand is part of one of Austral...

NZ producer input, output prices still lifted by milk prices
Rebecca Howard | Sun, 19 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 20 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand producer input and output prices rose in the fourth quarter once again lifted largely by rising milk prices.  Prices paid by producers - input prices - rose 1 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31, while output pric...

ASB to offer up to $100 million of five-year fixed rate notes
Rebecca Howard | Sun, 19 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 20 (BusinessDesk) - ASB Bank is offering up to $100 million of listed fixed rate notes with a maturity date of Feb. 24, 2022 and it can accept unlimited oversubscriptions at its discretion. The notes have an indicative margin of 1.15-to-1.25 percent p...

NZ dollar ekes out weekly gain as greenback falls
Rebecca Howard | Fri, 17 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 17 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar eked out a 0.2 percent gain against the US dollar over the week, largely on the back of a softer greenback as markets remain jittery about US President Donald Trump's policies. The kiwi was trading at 72.04 U...

New Zealand's manufacturing activity slips in January
Rebecca Howard | Thu, 16 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 17 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's manufacturing activity slipped in January from December and there may be further headwinds to come as the building sector's momentum loses some of its 'oomph'.  The Bank of New Zealand-BusinessNZ performance of manufa...

Cavalier reports sharply lower 1H net profit, reiterates FY breakeven forecast
Rebecca Howard | Thu, 16 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 17 (BusinessDesk) - Cavalier Corp posted a sharply lower first-half profit and the carpet maker and wool scourer continues to forecast no earnings growth for the full year, although it expects improvement further down the track.   The  Auckland-based...

Steel & Tube 1H profit down 33% but upbeat about second half
Rebecca Howard | Thu, 16 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 17 (BusinessDesk) - Steel & Tube Holdings, the NZX-listed steel products distributor, reported a 33 percent drop in first-half profit, hurt by a decline in non-residential construction, but expects things to pick up in the second half.  The company sa...

NZ dollar recovers from Fed's Yellen talking up early rate hike
Rebecca Howard | Wed, 15 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 15 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar was little changed, recovering from an earlier decline as the country's robust economic outlook trumped heightened expectations for an early US rate hike following comments by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen....

Pushpay inks R&D funding agreement with Callaghan Innovation
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 14 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 15 (BusinessDesk) - Mobile app developer Pushpay Holdings has entered a funding agreement for a research and development grant from Callaghan Innovation. The deal allows for the funding by Callaghan Innovation of up to $5 million (GST exclusive) per a...

Australia's Wesfarmers says 1H result partly lifted by Bunnings
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 14 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 15 (BusinessDesk) - ASX-listed conglomerate Wesfarmers today reported strong earnings growth in the first half, bolstered by results in Bunnings Australia and New Zealand, Kmart and Officeworks. The company reported a net profit of A$1.58 billion in t...

Pacific Edge undertakes $8 million share placement
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 14 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 15 (BusinessDesk) - Cancer diagnostics company Pacific Edge has undertaken an $8 million share placement to institutional and other select investors in New Zealand in order to shore up its balance sheet.  The placement was undertaken at no discount to...

NZ dollar falls vs Aussie on China data, upbeat business across theTasman
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 14 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 14 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar fell against the Australian dollar after a strong business survey across the Tasman and better-than-expected data out of China. The kiwi declined to 93.52 Australian cents as at 5 pm in Wellington from 93.92 ...

Second attempt at seabed iron sands mining permit kicks off
Rebecca Howard | Tue, 14 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 14 (BusinessDesk) - Trans Tasman Resource will try again in hearings starting this week to get permission to mine iron sands from the ocean floor in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone. The hearings, which start in Wellington on Feb. 16 and are sche...

Targeted building assessments reveal no threat to public safety, says Wellington City Council
Rebecca Howard | Mon, 13 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 14 (BusinessDesk) - Engineering reports into a raft of Wellington buildings in the wake of the massive November earthquake have uncovered some damage but no threat to public safety, Wellington City Council officials said today. Mayor Justin Lester sai...

New Zealand dollar rises from 4-month low vs Aussie, sticks to tight range
Rebecca Howard | Mon, 13 Feb 2017

By Rebecca Howard Feb. 13 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar bounced from a four-month low against the Australian dollar as some investors found the levels attractive after a sharp sell-off last week. The kiwi rose to 93.92 Australian cents as at 5pm in Wellington from...


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