Nov 22, 2017 - Scott Technology outbid an overseas buyer when it bought Dunedin-based engineering firm DC Ross out of receivership, a six-monthly report from the receivers shows. DC Ross, which supplies precision metal formed parts, was tipped into receivership in September 2016 and in June this year Scott Technology said it had entered an unconditional agreement to purchase all the assets of the company for a total purchase price expected to be less than $500,000.
In its annual report, Scott Technology, also based in Dunedin, said it paid $375,000 for DC Ross, and its tool room and tool design capability has already enabled it to undertake significant work for an appliance manufacturer in Australia.
It also noted the inventories, plant and equipment of the DC Ross business were purchased from DC Ross’ receivers for an agreed total value which was less than market value, resulting in a fair-value gain on acquisition.
In today's report, DC Ross's receiver Malcolm Hollis of PwC said they had corresponded with multiple interested parties and attracted an overseas buyer. He did not identify the company and was not immediately available for comment. However, prior to settlement, it received a "large offer from a third party," he said in the report. "We consulted with our appointer, who agreed this was the best possible offer received to date and retained employment for all staff," said Hollis.
Hollis also said the receivers are in negotiations with third secured creditor Fletcher Steel regarding the quantum of its purchase money security interest claim - which gives it the right to receive debtor proceeds up to the value of steel contained in the part sold. According to the report, Fletcher Steel is owed $609,670.
"Once we have undertaken a review of the calculations we intend to make a final distribution to Fletcher Steel," said Hollis.
The first secured creditor is Bank of New Zealand, which is owed $4.3 million while the second secured creditor is Aorangi Laboratories, owed $13.8 million. According to Hollis' report "based on the realisations to date there will be a significant shortfall to the secured creditor and therefore no funds available for a distribution to unsecured creditors."
Scott Technology shares last traded up 1.4 percent at $3.70 and have gained 70 percent this year.
Nov 22, 2017 - The number of online job advertisements rose slightly with an increase of 0.1 per cent in October 2017 and 8.2 per cent over the year, according to the latest Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Jobs Online report. “Job vacancies increased in five out of eight of the industry groups, with the largest contributor being the medical and healthcare industry, with an increase of 1.1 per cent. Other significant increases were a 2.2 per cent increase for machinery drivers and a 1.6 per cent rise for labourers,” says Stuart King, MBIE’s acting Labour Market Trends manager.
“In October, low-skilled occupations grew the fastest with a 1.0 per cent increase, with semi-skilled and highly-skilled occupations also increasing 0.5 per cent.”
Over the month, the strongest regional growth was in Otago/Southland with a 1.5 per cent increase, followed by Waikato and Nelson/Tasman/Marlborough/West Coast which all increased by 1.2 per cent.
“Over the year, the number of vacancies increased in all ten regions,” says Mr King.
Nov 22, 2017 - A five-year growth pattern could see alternative proteins lead the way for consumer choice. The growth of alternative proteins is becoming a contender for sought after analogue products in its rise to rival that of traditional meat products.
A recently-released global research paper suggested growth of alternative proteins, including plant-based meat substitutes, emerging insect or algae-based products and lab-grown meat products, had started to compete for the ‘centre of the plate’ and was stealing growth from its traditional counterparts.
Authors of the Rabobank report ‘Watch out…or they will steal your growth’ warned a five-year trend could offer the chance for alternative proteins to capture a material share of animal protein demand growth in the EU and an increased market share in the US and Canada.
Report author, Rabobank global sector strategist for animal protein Justin Sherrard also said increasing momentum of the trend would see a move towards a growth in other established markets, such as Australia and New Zealand.
He said: “Three of the strongest demand drivers for alternative protein products are essentially those that are ‘pushing’ consumers away from regular animal protein consumption, namely concerns around health, animal welfare and sustainability. “That said, there is also a number of ‘pull drivers’, such as curiosity to try new products, convenience and personal nutrition.
“Alternative proteins are not the only answer to the question the market is asking right now. But right now they are the answer that is attracting the most attention.”
Based on a prediction of annual growth rates of about 8 per cent in the EU – and the outlook for a relatively flat consumption growth of traditional meat products – Mr Sherrard said alternative proteins could represent one-third of total EU protein demand growth in the next five years.
But Rabobank’s general manager of Food and Agribusiness Research in Australia and New Zealand Tim Hunt said domestic market penetration of alternative proteins would lag that in the EU and US because local food industries were ‘not at the pointy end of the trend towards substitute food’.
“That said, the trends in Australia and NZ often eventually follow what unfolds in the EU and US, and it would be a waste not to learn from the experiences of producers in these markets,” he added.
“In line with their processing partners, meat producers need to recognise what is driving these substitutes, and do what they can to tap into the desire for healthy, sustainable and novel products delivered through a supply chain that consumers trust.”
| A Farmers Guardian release || November 22, 2017 |||
Nov 21, 2017 - CALHOUN, Georgia, Nov. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Mohawk Industries, Inc. (NYSE: MHK) today announced that the Company has agreed to acquire Godfrey Hirst Group, the leading flooring company in Australia and New Zealand, further extending Mohawk's global position. Mohawk presently operates a comprehensive warehouse and sales network in Australia and New Zealand to distribute the company's wood, laminate, LVT, vinyl and carpet products.
Godfrey Hirst is the most vertically integrated flooring operation in Australia and New Zealand, providing broadloom, modular carpet and hard surface products for both residential and commercial applications. Godfrey Hirst's sales were about US$334 million in their most recent fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2017. The transaction is expected to be completed during the first half of 2018, pending customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Mohawk anticipates that the transaction will be accretive to EPS in the first twelve months.
Established in 1865, Godfrey Hirst is the premier flooring manufacturer in Australia and New Zealand as well as the market leader in design and innovation. The company has been owned and operated by the McKendrick family for the last 50 years and will continue to be led by R.G. (Kim) McKendrick, the CEO and Chairman.
"This is a great opportunity for Godfrey Hirst, our employees, customers and suppliers," said McKendrick. "Mohawk and Godfrey Hirst share a long history as flooring industry leaders and a commitment to product innovation, design, and superior customer service. This common heritage in our cultures, performance expectations and focus on excellence will enhance our growth opportunities in both soft and hard flooring."
After decades of strong growth in Australia, Godfrey Hirst acquired Feltex, which was the leading carpet manufacturer in New Zealand in 2006. Today, Godfrey Hirst's state-of-the-art operations and distribution assets are the most vertically integrated in the region. The company produces premium carpets of wool, nylon, polypropylene and triexta to satisfy all channels and price points. Its products are sold under the well-known Godfrey Hirst, Feltex and Hycraft brands through specialty retailers, home centers, architects and designers. In recent years, Godfrey Hirst has expanded its product offering to provide a wide range of globally-sourced hard surface products, including LVT, wood and laminate.
Jeffrey S. Lorberbaum, Mohawk's chairman and chief executive officer, stated, "Mohawk's strategy in Australia and New Zealand has been to build a leading position in the flooring market. Godfrey Hirst's marketing, manufacturing and distribution leadership will complement our current hard surface distribution and strengthen our portfolio. We will leverage our global flooring resources and talent to support Godfrey Hirst's outstanding management and accelerate their growth strategies."
Lorberbaum added, "Mohawk is using its strong management team and balance sheet to increase its participation in the global flooring market. With Godfrey Hirst, Mohawk will become the leader in flooring products in both Australia and New Zealand with a platform for significant growth."
Certain of the statements in the immediately preceding paragraphs, particularly anticipating future performance, business prospects, growth and operating strategies and similar matters and those that include the words "could," "should," "believes," "anticipates," "expects," and "estimates," or similar expressions constitute "forward-looking statements." For those statements, Mohawk claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. There can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements will be accurate because they are based on many assumptions, which involve risks and uncertainties. The following important factors could cause future results to differ: changes in economic or industry conditions; competition; inflation in raw material prices and other input costs; energy costs and supply; timing and level of capital expenditures; timing and implementation of price increases for the Company's products; impairment charges; integration of acquisitions; international operations; introduction of new products; rationalization of operations; tax, product and other claims; litigation; and other risks identified in Mohawk's SEC reports and public announcements.
ABOUT MOHAWK INDUSTRIESMohawk Industries is the leading global flooring manufacturer, which creates products to enhance residential and commercial spaces around the world. Mohawk's vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution processes provide competitive advantages in the production of carpet, rugs, ceramic tile, laminate, wood, stone and vinyl flooring. Our industry-leading innovation has yielded products and technologies that differentiate our brands in the marketplace and satisfy all remodeling and new construction requirements. Our brands are among the most recognized in the industry and include American Olean, Daltile, Durkan, IVC, Karastan, Marazzi, Mohawk, Mohawk Group, Pergo, Quick-Step and Unilin. During the past decade, Mohawk has transformed its business from an American carpet manufacturer into the world's largest flooring company with operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, India, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.
| released by PRPresswire || November 20, 2017 |||
Nov 21, 2017 - MBIE commissioned Market Economics to evaluate the potential economic impact of an Auckland-based 36th America’s Cup. In summary it estimated the following: · From 2018-2021 provides between $0.6 - $1.0 billion in value add to New Zealand’s economy and an employment boost of between 4,700 and 8,300. The range reflects different assumptions around the number of syndicates competing, visiting super yachts, international tourists and the cost of hosting. · Impacts positively on sectors like services, manufacturing (mainly around boat building and super yacht refits) and tourism, including food, retailing and accommodation. · The cost-benefit analysis for the period of the 36th America’s Cup (excluding any future benefits associated with any new infrastructure, or ongoing benefits to the marine industry) is positive, ranging from 1.2 to 1.8. This cost-benefit ratio is for the economy as a whole; the costs included relate to all parties, including for example the Crown, Auckland Council, syndicates, Emirates Team New Zealand, retailers and tourism providers.
The economic evaluation does not capture any of the broader benefits associated with hosting an event of this scale, including showcasing New Zealand to international audiences (and associated reputation impacts), high performance sport outcomes, and participation and engagement of New Zealanders that may have “feel good” effects (increasing national identity and pride).
The study makes no assumptions around location or whether there are any incursions into the harbour or not. It does not, therefore, take account of any loss of value from reducing the available harbour space. At the time of commissioning, the location was undetermined.
The study is consistent with Treasury guidelines for studies of this kind. This is one input into the discussions between government, Auckland Council and ETNZ. Any decision needs to stack up for ETNZ, and the New Zealand ratepayers and taxpayers. A full copy of the evaluation is available on MBIE’s website: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/infrastructure-growth/americas-cup
Nov 21 2017 - The valuable role played by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) in supporting women in construction for the past 20 years has been recognised with a President’s Award from the New Zealand Institute of Architects at their recent awards. NAWIC’s immediate past president, Donna Howell, who accepted this award on behalf of the organisation, says the award is a testament to the increased profile of women in construction resulting from decades of hard work by a dedicated team of volunteers and supporters.
“It is such an honour to receive recognition from the NZIA, as NAWIC is run by a team of volunteers with everyone from committee members right through to the board donating their time for this important cause.
“We run businesses, hold down demanding jobs and strive for a work-life balance but still find the energy and passion to honour our strong commitment to improving the construction industry, not just for women, but for everyone. Our focus on diversity will continue to drive improvements which will benefit everyone involved in construction.”
NAWIC has over 600 members throughout New Zealand. It has chapters in Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury, along with a satellite group in Taranaki which was formed last year following requests from women working in the local construction sector.
Donna says that further satellite groups are likely to be established during the coming year in response to demand from the regions. She encourages women and men in all sectors of the construction industry from students and apprentices through to trades people and business owners to connect with NAWIC.
“We are keen to continue our fast pace of expansion. A number of men have approached our organisation following our recent successful women in construction panel event at Auckland Build, and are keen to get involved. We already have a number of male members and are keen for more to get on board as the only way we can achieve real progress in New Zealand’s construction industry is through everyone working together to build a better future.”
Nov 21 2017 - The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Agriculture today announced that the New Zealand Government has nominated Dr John Barker for the position of Director General of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). The successful candidate will take up the position in January 2019. The OIV is an intergovernmental organisation which issues recommendations on viticulture and winemaking practices. It has 46 Member States and 13 Observers.
“Dr Barker understands the challenges and opportunities that face the organisation and the wine sector, and he has both the vision and the competence to ensure that the OIV can fulfil its role as the trusted vine and wine reference body for a rapidly changing market,” said Mr Peters.
“New Zealand’s membership in the OIV gives us the opportunity to identify and influence strategic global debates in areas affecting one of New Zealand’s most successful and fastest growing export industries,” he said.
Wine is New Zealand’s fifth largest goods export, worth approximately NZ$1.7 billion in the year ended June 2017. Global exports are growing at approximately 10 percent per annum, and are expected to reach NZ$2 billion by 2020.
“New Zealand’s nomination of Dr Barker for the role of OIV Director-General signals our commitment to an organisation that is critical to the way wine is regulated in our key export markets,” said Mr O’Connor.
“The OIV plays an important role in helping to facilitate ongoing trade through establishing relevant technical standards for wine and wine products,”
Dr Barker is currently a Principal at John Barker Law. He has long-standing experience as New Zealand Winegrowers’ General Counsel, and has held several roles in the OIV – including the Presidency of the OIV’s Law and Economy Commission. He knows the people and the issues within the OIV, and also has positive and longstanding wine sector relationships with the countries and organisations outside the OIV.
Nov 21 2017 - New Zealand hopes to be exporting fresh avocados to China soon after talks to meet regulatory requirements. A protocol has been signed between the Ministry for Primary Industries and China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
AQSIQ will audit New Zealand's system for exporting avocados in mid-December.
New Zealand already exports fresh apples, kiwifruit, cherries, plums, citrus and persimmons to China and it's hoped a significant market can be built for avocados.
In the 2016/17 season, New Zealand produced a record 7.9 million trays of avocados worth more than $200 million.
About $155.5m worth of avocados were exported to markets such as Australia, Japan, Singapore, Korea and Thailand.
"China is very aware of the significant global increase in avocado consumption, the associated health benefits and the strong growth and huge potential in the avocado category," says New Zealand Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular.
Nov 20 2017 -- A major technological breakthrough by a Kiwi company makes it simple for New Zealanders to be tested for vitamin C blood levels. Newly released data from a University of Otago study shows more than two thirds of Kiwis over 50 are low in vitamin C, more than one in 10 severely so. The Otago researchers say it is time blood is routinely checked for vitamin C levels, as it is now for cholesterol and iron. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy and other illnesses.
To date, existing technology using a blood sample extracted in a laboratory is only available in some parts of the country and not often utilised.
That is why Auckland company Feedback Research Limited spent five years developing its Feedback C Meter, a more accessible, easier point of care test for vitamin C.
CEO for Feedback Research Jackson Perry says the company believes its patented test for vitamin C is a world first. The company hopes to market the Kiwi-developed product locally next year and worldwide within two years.
Mr Perry is confident the finger prick test would allow vitamin C testing to become as commonly used as blood glucose or cholesterol finger prick tests.
“We are very close to the finish line, and the last piece of the puzzle is finding a local company that can help with vacuum packing the electrodes in foil, which is commonly used for glucose test strips. Our goal is to keep the design and manufacturing of the meter in New Zealand.” If the company can’t find a local partner for this step, it would have to be shipped offshore, Mr Perry says.
“It is very common in New Zealand to test for vitamin B12 and D, but for reasons unknown to us, vitamin C is not routinely tested.”
Scurvy risk identified
In the University of Otago study 400 Christchurch people’s blood was tested for vitamin C.
Only 7% had optimal levels and 13% had very low levels showing pre-clinical signs of scurvy.
“Vitamin C plays a significant role in health, as a wide range of bodily functions depend on optimal levels,” Mr Perry says.
“Dietary changes are effective in overcoming most basic deficiencies. Where appropriate there are a multitude of dietary supplements available, some of which are government subsidised.”
Mr Perry believes low vitamin C levels are largely due to our modern diet and lifestyle.
“Processed, over cooked foods contain very little vitamin C. Stress, chronic and acute illnesses all increase the need for vitamin C, which can only be replaced by eating enough vitamin C rich foods and or supplementation.”
| A Feedback Research Limited release || november 20, 2017 |||
Nov 20 2017 - The biggest and most important international tech conference to be staged in New Zealand will be held in Auckland early next year which may pave the way for faster advances for the Kiwi economy. NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says changes and tech developments are happening globally at a phenomenal and unprecedented rate. “This year alone we have seen the launch of a self-driving vehicle firm in New Zealand, face-detecting systems to authorise payments, the creation of new solar devices that could create cheap and continuous power and the relentless push to add connectivity to home gadgets. “As self-driving cars become common in this country, we need to gauge if New Zealand’s is living up to its reputation as a standout digital nation. The Digital Nations 2030 Global Future summit, organised by NZTech and Conferenz bringing together the tech sector and the government, will put the spotlight on Kiwi tech advances.” The Digital Nations conference on 19 and 20 February 2018 will be a forerunner to the D5 summit to be held later that week in Wellington. The D5 is a network of the world’s most advanced digital nations, with a shared goal of strengthening the digital economy. It was founded in London in 2014 by the United Kingdom, Estonia, Israel, New Zealand and South Korea. Among the 10+ international speakers and panellists at the Digital Nation 2030 summit are South African futurist Graeme Codrington, chief executive of TomorrowToday; Singapore’s Sandra Ng, group vice president Asia Pacific, for IDC; Siim Sikkut, Government chief information officer, Estonia; Martin Lundqvist, partner at McKinsey & Co, Sweden; and Shai-lee Spigelman, chief executive of Digital Israel. Technology, business, social and government leaders from across New Zealand are also on the agenda including Simon Moutter, chief executive, Spark; Carolyn Tremain, chief executive, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment; IanTaylor, chief executive of Animation Research; Te Aroha Moreehu, general manager for digital transformation, Ngati Whatua Orakei Whai Maia. Muller says the conference will cover every aspect of how a digital economy is shaping. His comments come hard on the heels of the 2017 Digital Planet report by the Fletcher School at Tufts University that shows New Zealand is one of the world’s leading digital nations. “The Digital Nations conference offers a great moment to bring together New Zealand’s digital leaders, with international experts, business leaders, societal change agents and policy makers to envision what New Zealand could look like as a digital nation by 2030, and then agree on investments and policy to help us get there. “By listening to the plans of other leading nations and then working on what it could mean for New Zealand’s education, health and financial systems, our productive sectors and the society, this should help us move together as a country towards a more prosperous future during a period of profound change. “NZTech is pleased with the close and proactive partnership with in the Department of Internal Affairs and the Government Chief Digital Office as industry and government work together to prepare New Zealand for a tech focused future. “New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem and institutional environment are both noted as strengths for New Zealand in the 2017 Digital Planet report and this Digital Nations conference partnership between industry and government is a great example of why we are seen as a leading country,” Muller says. The Digital Nations conference is expected to attract more than 450 people including D5 Ministers and their delegations, invited international experts and New Zealand digital leaders and influencers representing all sectors.