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Auckland Airport shares flying high

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/02/2017 Sophie Boot

© Shutterstock New Zealand shares were mixed on Monday with Auckland International Airport and Spark gaining while Chorus and Sky Television dropped.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index gained 5.96 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 7,099.49. Within the index, 27 stocks fell, 16 rose and seven were unchanged. Turnover was $98.4 million.

Auckland Airport led the index, up 2.3 per cent to $6.945. On Friday, it posted a 19 per cent gain in first-half profit to $123.5 million, a period when New Zealand's busiest gateway added airlines with increased capacity and new services and routes, and the country enjoyed record tourist numbers.

"It's a surprise of the day, the result was behind expectations last week particularly out of the retail business, which wasn't getting the same growth as in passenger throughput. It's light volumes, flow driven rather than telling the story about the business," said Matt Goodson, managing director at Salt Funds Management.

Mercury rose 1.9 per cent to $3.02 and Ryman Healthcare gained 1.3 per cent to $8.83.

Chorus was the worst performer, down 1.9 per cent to $4.07. The telecommunications network operator beat first-half profit expectations, rising to to $66m, and raised its forecast for annual earnings as it benefited from the increase in regulated prices on its copper lines, even as connection numbers fell in an increasingly competitive environment.

Spark rose 0.3 per cent to $3.49. It has been granted an emergency High Court hearing on Wednesday where it will seek to delay a merger between rival Vodafone New Zealand and pay-TV operator Sky Television if the regulator signs off on the deal this week.

Sky TV dropped 0.9 per cent to $4.37.

"The market doesn't know what to expect out of the Commerce Commission to be honest," Mr Goodson said. "The basic thought process is it would make more sense to allow the merger, there's still plenty of competition around.''

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