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F&P Appliances Forecasts Earnings Rebound on New Products

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Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings Ltd., New Zealand’s largest maker of refrigerators, forecasts operating earnings will rebound as much as 59 percent this year on new products and sales in China.

Earnings before interest and tax will be between NZ$70 million ($57 million) and NZ$78 million in the year ending March 31, compared with NZ$49.1 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Profit slumped 16 percent last year because of weak demand.

F&P is developing new washing machines, refrigerators and ovens, and is adapting its DishDrawer washer for the China market in association with 20 percent shareholder Haier Corp., Chief Executive Officer Stuart Broadhurst said in notes for a speech to shareholders today. The company is targeting as much as 4 percent-a-year revenue growth from its appliances unit by 2016.

The company hasn’t paid a dividend since 2009, but intends to resume distributions this year, it said.

The stock rose 2.5 cents, or 3.8 percent, to 68 cents at the 5 p.m. market close in Wellington. The stock has gained 12 percent in the past five days, the second-best performer in the NZX 50 index.

F&P forecasts earnings at its appliances unit will rise to between NZ$35 million and NZ$40 million from NZ$11.3 million last year. Earnings for the four months ended July 31 were NZ$9.1 million and second-half trading is usually the strongest period, the company said.

Earnings at the finance unit, which provides loans to consumers, will be between NZ$35 million and NZ$40 million compared with NZ$37.8 million a year earlier, F&P said.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Bourke at cbourke4@bloomberg.net

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