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NZ shares rise, A2 Milk at fresh high

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/06/2017

NZX signage  in Wellington.  (File photo) © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images NZX signage in Wellington. (File photo) New Zealand shares gained on Monday, led by A2 Milk's continued rise after an earnings upgrade, with Ebos Group and Comvita also up.

The S&P/NZX50 Index rose 39.28 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 7,592.03. Within the index, 28 stocks rose, 17 fell and five were unchanged. Turnover was $156.8 million.

Turnover was $279m on Friday as the NZX benchmark index was reshuffled, with Tegel Group Holdings replaced by CBL Corp, while changes to the FTSE Russell index pushed volumes higher.

A lot of Monday's activity has been left over from Friday, with volume pretty scant, said David Price, broker at Forsyth Barr.

A2 Milk Co continued its gains, rising 5.7 per cent to $4.07, a new record.

The milk marketer last week lifted annual sales guidance for the second time in as many months as it beefed up production to meet Chinese demand for infant formula.

It expects revenue to be $545m in the 12 months ending June 30, a $20m increase from its April update which was itself an upgrade. A2 reported annual revenue of $352.8m in 2016.

"It was quite a sizeable upgrade, I suppose the thing people are focussed on is the run rate increase in the quarter," Mr Price said.

"The quarter-on-quarter numbers are quite strong, it's continued on a happy roll for the holders."

Ebos Group gained 2.4 per cent to $17.64, Comvita rose 2.3 per cent to $5.38 and Vista Group International advanced 1.9 per cent to $5.86.

CBL Corp was the worst performer, down 2.6 per cent to $3.33, while Investore Property fell 2.2 per cent to $1.35 and Precinct Properties dropped 1.6 per cent to $1.225.

Kiwi Property Group was unchanged at $1.43 and has risen 3 per cent this year. The largest property company listed on the NZX plans to raise $161 million to fund expansion in Auckland where it sees strong growth continuing.

Spark was unchanged at $3.815 and has gained 12 per cent this year. The telecommunications provider is planning to buy back all its stores from external management.

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