(Corrects name of chairman in second paragraph.)
Tower Ltd. (TWR), New Zealand's third- biggest fund manager for individuals, may resume dividend payments after spinning off its Australian unit last year.
Tower will start paying dividends ``as soon as is possible and efficient,'' Chairman Tony Gibbs told shareholders at their annual meeting in Auckland today.
The Auckland-based company spun off its Australian arm to allow the two unit to focus on their own markets. Tower's second- half profit rose 56 percent excluding profit on the sale of Tower Australia. It stopped dividend payments in the second half of 2002 after posting a full-year loss of NZ$75 million ($51 million).
``Growth across the New Zealand businesses has been steady and we are confident that it will improve in 2007,'' Barton said. Tower is assessing dividend payments ``as a matter of urgency.''
Notes for his speech were released to the New Zealand stock exchange.
Shares of Tower fell 12 cent, or 4.7 percent, to NZ$2.45 at 12:44 p.m. in Wellington.
Tower Australia Group Ltd. began trading on the S&P/ASX 200 Index in September.
-- Editor: Underhill.
To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Emma O'Brien in Wellington on firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Vercoe email@example.com