Pumpkin Patch Still Won’t Patch Losses Any Time Soon

Pumpkin Patch appears to be facing even worse conditions as the end of the financial year approaches, The Auckland based childrenswear retailer has warned shareholders to brace themselves.

According to NZ Herald, Shares of Pumpkin Patch dropped 12 per cent to a more than two decade-low of 30 cents, and have tumbled 62 per cent this year.

“The outcome of this trading period will materially affect our financial result and the outlook for the remainder of the year,” Schuyt said in speech notes published on the NZX. “Should trading not deliver to expectations over this period, or worsen over the first half of next year, then there is a risk that the company may breach banking covenants in the latter part of this financial year noting that the seasonal trading results will become clearer over the next three to four weeks.

Under the new covenants Pumpkin Patch has to meet a guaranteeing group coverage ratio, and remain within 20 per cent of forecast earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation on a rolling 12-month basis. The retailer also told the bank it doesn’t intend on paying a dividend in the 2015 financial year, and will have to get the lender’s permission if that position changes.

Spark Boasts of the Rebrand’s Success

Earlier this year, Telecom made a much contested decision to rebrand the company to Spark. A lot of arguments were made about whether the Telecommunications giant would recover the $20 million efforts of rebranding.

However at an annual meeting, the company boasted that the rebranding was well worth it. Stuff.co.nz said, “Taking into account dividends and Spark’s rising share price, shareholders would have seen a 53 per cent return on their investment since it embarked on its “transformation strategy” in June last year, Verbiest said. Spark shares broke through $3 last month for the first time since 2008.”

Online Brands claimed, “Although Spark was attempting to cut costs quickly, sales were falling faster.Operating earnings were down by 5.8% and net earnings from ongoing business fell by 12.5%. Although rebranding is potentially a risky venture amidst financial uncertainty, It has been largely successful. Following rebranding, Spark’s annual profit almost doubled. “

Company Puts Their Brains Together to Put Your Brain Together

New Zealand based Brainform have found an innovative way to use 3D printing: make replicas of people’s brains. The company accepts worldwide orders to send out multiple replica’s formed on each users unique brain.

Geek Tamin explained the technology best saying,

“MRI scans are used to map out contours of your grey matter. This map is then used to created a plastic nylon replica of your brain. So in layman terms, advanced photocopying your brain.”

The Wellington company didn’t initially start out to make money. Rather Will Brown started by making models for friends at Victoria University. Brown realised the potential for this product and it blossomed into a business.

However this isn’t for the mass market like building fiber optic cables for Christchurch is. Rather this is targeted to a very niche market. Although some would see a replica of a brain as art or intriguing, others would find it a bit bizarre.

Brainform has higher hopes for their company. In their mission they claim “We believe that science education is crucial for the continuing development of our global society… we want to play our part in helping create the scientific wonder that drives sustained science education. We want to add brain replicas to the list of iconic science models that help spark such wonder alongside models of the space shuttle, tesla coils, planets, and fossils.”

Watch this space: Christchurch’s Future Cash Cow

A Christchurch City-Council owned company is showing great potential as a future cash cow. Enable Services is an ambitious company building a fiber optic broadband network in Christchurch in partnership with the Crown.

Steve Fuller runs the company and is no stranger to fiber optics. Fuller has been working with telecommunications for 31 years at Spark. He started the company from scratch in 2007 with very few staff. These staff managed the building of a 350 kilometer network providing fast internet connections for local businesses, the heath sector and schools.

The Council are not the only ones seeing potential in Fuller’s work. Christchurch City Holdings will contribute between $300 million to $440 million worth of debt and equity.

This project is not just for financial gain. At a presentation it was stated, “”Our city will be transformed – ultrafast broadband is a key enabler to transform economic and social development.”

Stuff.co.nz summarised the Council’s estimates for pay-off:

  • $1.7 billion in dividends from Enable in 50 years if the council owns just over half of the company.
  • $2.5b of dividends if the council owns 100 per cent.
  • 48 per cent of households connected by 10 years.
  • 74 per cent connected by 20 years.
  • Enable’s revenue should reach $200m a year in year 40, the year to June 2051.

For further information, read the whole article here.

Z Energy Enters Price War

Z Energy has been struggling in the last quarter. In an attempt to regain market share, Z Energy has entered a price war matching competitors discounted prices.

This is due to Z’s poor economic performance over the first half of the year. They recorded an after-tax profit for the six months to September 30 of $22 million, down from $56m in the same period last year.

Z Chief Executive Mike Bennett discussed this with Stuff.co.nz. He stated,

“Percentage wise it might be something like 35-40 per cent of our volume is subject to a margin less than the one you would otherwise get at the main port price.

“We are sending a very strong message to our competitors that we will be price competitive at all of our locations relative to their alternative.”

This heavy price slashing is great for consumers and businesses relying on transport – which is almost every business in some form. However one has to wonder whether Z Energy will survive it.

Local Heat Pump Specialist Claims Big Title

A local heat pump installer has won an impressive title; distributors of New Zealand’s favourite air! Goldstar Heat Pumps have been deemed the #1 Fujitsu Heat Pump Dealer in Hamilton!

But Goldstar Heat pumps don’t only deliver to Hamilton. They also install heat pumps in Auckland and Tauranga.


Goldstar Heat Pumps also offer Mitsubishi heat pumps. When small and medium sized businesses offer products from recognised brands, it improves their own brand’s standing.

Very Kiwi bookshop in the heart of Hong Kong

The heart of one of Hong Kong’s main shopping districts is not a place you would assume would have a demand for kiwi books. Surprisingly there is an ample market there!

Garry Colely discovered while in Hong Kong that there was a lack of English-language education resources. Since he and his wife loved the city, they didn’t hesitate in filling that gap.

Demand was initially from schools needing the resources for primary children. Once Kiwik International opened a physical store, Kiwi and Australian teachers would visit because it reminded them of home. When Kiwis and Australians were sent to teach in schools, this allowed Kiwik International to break into mainstream schools.

However now Colely is selling up and moving back home. He told Stuff.co.nz he will miss the energy of Hong Kong – “there would be more people walk past my building here in an afternoon than walk up Queen Street in a month” – but sees moving back to New Zealand as “one door closing and another about to open”.

“I’ve never been the sort of guy that sits and lets the grass grow around my feet.”


Builders Put Customers Ten Steps Ahead

Waikato renovations experts Roger Ramsey Building has taken the initiative in putting customers a step ahead. Or more like ten steps ahead! They have compiled a free e-book detailing ten critical steps to take before beginning a building project.

Roger Ramsey Building likely deals with customers all the time who want to rush into projects. They must see a lot of time and money wasted. And so they decided to take the initiative by proving information free of charge.

This shows how much the rural and building specialists value their customers. They could have easily sold the e-book at an additional charge. They could just have easily not produced an e-book and allowed customers to make costly mistakes.

If you are beginning a building project, consult the free building e book to make sure your project runs to plan!

Small Businesses Hard Work Pays Off

Small to medium sized businesses are being well rewarded for their hard work says the latest MYOB Business Monitor Report. The ghosts of the global financial crisis are no longer affecting small to medium New Zealand businesses.

Stuff.co.nz claims, “The latest MYOB Business Monitor Report, which analysed more than 1000 small and medium enterprises since July 2009, found 39 per cent of SMEs reported an increase in revenue in the past 12 months compared to 19 per cent that reported a drop in revenue.

By contrast, in 2009 just 22 per cent of SMEs reported an increase in revenue compared to 35 per cent reporting a decrease in revenue.

MYOB chief executive Tim Reed said New Zealand SMEs had worked hard to climb back to growth since 2009, particularly in the past two years, which was largely a result of improved productivity.”

Reed also claimed that our SME’s are outperforming Australia’s, which have been relatively static. Reed said, “New Zealand’s SMEs have really shown how it’s done, in terms of building growth and making the most of their resources in often challenging circumstances.”

This doesn’t mean New Zealand businesses wanting to jump the ditch should plan otherwise. Here are some great tips for succeeding as a Kiwi brand in Australia.

Building a Great Kiwi Brand in Australia

The answer to building a great kiwi brand in Australia may surprise you. Kiwi’s and Aussie’s are supposedly sworn enemies – well at least on the field! Many New Zealand businesses jump to ditch to get a share of Australia’s large market.

According to Stuff business writer Bella Katz, Australian businesses make a lot of noise but are slow to react to competition. She recommends New Zealander’s use this to their advantage. But Katz’s final conclusion about Aussie success is more surprising.

Imagine how well New Zealand companies can do here in combination with the right locals? A meeting of minds, if you will. The Aussie ruthlessness matched with the Kiwi perseverance. It’s a beauty.

With that professional cooperation in mind, last month I interviewed twelve Australian and Australia-based CEOs of New Zealand companies and asked them what it was like to work for Kiwi brands over here. I wanted to know if there was a magic formula to building a great Kiwi brand in Australia.

What came out clearly from those interviews, and from previous conversations I’ve had on the topic, is that New Zealand businesses thrive in Australia with great locals on board. Even more so when the cords are not cut – but handed over.

Information sourced from Stuff.co.nz.