F&P Healthcare Lowers Profit Forecast on New Zealand Currency's Strength

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp., a New Zealand maker of breathing masks and hospital equipment, lowered its full-year earnings forecast on a rising currency.

Trading profit after tax and excluding one-time items is expected to be between NZ$65 million ($46 million) and NZ$70 million in the year ending March 31, Chief Executive Officer Mike Daniell said today at the company’s annual meeting in Auckland. In May, he forecast it would be between NZ$70 million and NZ$75 million. The New Zealand dollar climbed 3.1 percent against the U.S. currency over the past three months.

“Exchange rates have moved unfavorably compared to last year and compared to rates prevailing when we provided guidance in May,” Daniell said in notes for his speech, which were sent to the stock exchange.

Fisher & Paykel gets about 78 percent of its sales in Europe and North America. In May, the company assumed the New Zealand dollar averaged 67 U.S. cents in the year to March 31 next year. The currency rose as high as 73.97 cents last month and bought 70.5 cents today.

Fisher & Paykel shares fell 2 cents, or 0.7 percent, to NZ$2.81 at the 5 p.m. market close in Wellington.

Full-year sales are expected to be NZ$530 million, allowing for current exchange rates, Daniell said.

First-half trading profit is expected to be NZ$27 million as the company cuts costs and benefits from favorable product sales and prices, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tracy Withers in Wellington at twithers@bloomberg.net.

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