The sharemarket fell as investors pummelled The a2 Milk Company for reporting a result at the bottom end of its guidance with an uncertain outlook.
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SUPPLIED A2 Milk’s key Chinese market has been disrupted over the past year.

The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index dropped 121.861 points, or 0.93 per cent, to 13,051.62 on Thursday.

A2’s profit fell to $80.7 million in the year to the end of June, from $385.8m the previous year. Revenue fell 30 per cent to $1.21 billion, at the bottom end of its May forecast for $1.2b to $1.25b. The company warned of a challenging and volatile year ahead as it grapples with disruption in its key Chinese market, and broke with tradition by not providing specific guidance.

“The result was disappointing,” said Fisher Funds senior portfolio manager Sam Dickie. “The outlook is very cloudy.”

A2 fell 11 per cent to $6.34 and its weakness spread to its manufacturing partner Synlait Milk, which dropped 6 per cent to $3.28.

Air New Zealand fell 2.3 per cent to $1.50. The national carrier reported a full-year loss of $289m, from a $454m loss the previous year. Border restrictions resulted in revenue falling 48 per cent to $2.5b and capacity fell 55 per cent on the prior year.

Tourism Holdings, which rents and sells campervans in New Zealand, Australia and the United States, edged up 0.9 per cent to $2.33, reversing an earlier decline. The company reported a $14.5m annual loss, as its business is hurt by Covid-19 border closures. The result was within its expectation from April for a loss of between $14m and $18m.

Genesis Energy slipped 0.4 per cent to $3.38. The company reported a 26 per cent fall in annual profit $34m. The company reported a 42 per cent rise in its “underlying” earnings to $75m and its operating profit edged up $2m to $358m.

NZX, the sharemarket operator, fell 2.1 per cent to $1.86 after reporting first-half profit fell 16 per cent to $7.6m. The company’s operating margin fell to 39.9 per cent from 45.7 per cent as the capital raised, trading and clearing fees were lower than their Covid-19 peaks the previous year and it stepped up investment in growth and technology.

Mānuka honey company Comvita rose 4.4 per cent to $3.57. Comvita turned to an annual profit of $9.5m, following a loss of $9.7m in 2020 and a $27.7m loss in 2019. The company is resuming dividend payments to shareholders, with a 4 cents per share payment scheduled for October 7. It last paid a dividend in its 2018 financial year.

Asian stocks slipped on Thursday following a charge on Wall Street that drove indices to all-time highs for the second straight day.

Over on Wall Street on Wednesday, financial and energy companies led the S&P 500 to another all-time high, edging up 0.2 per cent to close at 4,496.19.

– With AP

Victorian scientists in Australia will be working on methods to reduce the environmental footprint of the Australian dairy cow and to create a more profitable and sustainable dairy sector.

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