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Shares dip as Orion suffers on strong kiwi

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/09/2016 Sophie Boot

Orion Health led the index lower, down 5.2 per cent to $3.50. © Getty Images Orion Health led the index lower, down 5.2 per cent to $3.50. New Zealand shares fell, led by Orion Health Group as the export-focused software developer contends with a strong kiwi dollar, while Warehouse Group and Hallensteins Glasson Holdings gained on their earnings.

The S&P/NZX 50 Index dropped 14.98 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7,296.73. Within the index, 24 stocks fell, 18 rose and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $154.6 million.

"Even offshore strength is not having any effect on investors continuing to take profits on the local market," said Grant Williamson, director at Hamilton Hindin Green.

"We're entering a phase where prices are starting to drift off a bit - we had a few days where the Nuplex proceeds were getting reinvested in the marketplace, but right at the moment investors are being pretty cautious and continuing to take some profits."

Orion Health led the index lower, down 5.2 per cent to $3.50, having risen 2.5 per cent on Thursday after the company's annual meeting.

The health software developer is on track to return to profit in 2018, though the strength of the kiwi is crimping revenue in local currency terms and drained more cash than anticipated, the chairman said.

Air New Zealand fell 2.9 per cent to $1.82, Heartland Bank dropped 1.9 per cent to $1.54, and Chorus fell 1.6 per cent to $3.73.

The biggest gained was Kathmandu Holdings, up 2 per cent to $2.04, while ANZ rose 1.6 per cent to $28.99 and Tower gained 1.5 per cent to $1.

Warehouse Group rose 1.4 per cent to $2.94.

Adjusted profit rose to $64.1 million in the 52 weeks ended July 31 from $57.1 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said in a statement.

Revenue increased 5.6 per cent to $2.92 billion with sales growth across all of the retailer's brands.

Outside the benchmark index, Hallenstein Glasson gained 4.3 per cent to $3.14.

Intueri Education Group was placed in a trading halt on the NZX and ASX. After the market closed, it announced the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) will either cancel the registration of its Australian organisations - or impose sanctions of lesser severity, following audits done in July 2016.

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