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Veritas says earnings drop not unexpected

NZN 28/07/2016 Paul McBeth

Veritas Investments says annual earnings declined as expected and it will provide more detail of how its three food and beverage businesses are tracking when it formally reports next month.

Underlying net profit was between $3 million and $3.5 million in the year ended June 30, meeting its April forecast when the Auckland-based company said its three divisions were showing signs of improvement. Veritas posted a first-half loss of $4.8 million when it took impairment charges and other write-downs totalling $5.3 million.

"Veritas Investments' preliminary results announcement, which will be made at the end of August 2016, will provide further detail on the group's performance for FY2016," it said in a statement.

The food investor reviewed and restructured its operations after cutting its earnings outlook and dropping a first-half dividend payment as it faced difficulties integrating its Nosh supermarkets, Mad Butcher franchise, and Better Bar Co under one umbrella.

Veritas was formed in December 2011 through a reverse sharemarket listing with the aim of acquiring high-quality New Zealand retail and consumer businesses.

It said it sought established businesses with strong, sustainable cash flows and considerable future growth opportunities.

It bought the Mad Butcher franchisor business in May 2013, took a half share in Kiwi Pacific Foods in December 2013, acquired Nosh Food Market in September 2014 and The Better Bar Co in November that year.

It's winding down the Kiwi Pacific Foods joint venture with partner Antares Restaurant Group after their beef pattie supply deal broke down last year.

Veritas shares were unchanged at 43 cents, having dropped 10 per cent so far this year.

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