Finance

Kiwi jetpack company secures $50 million investment; Speciality Fashion Group earnings float down the Rivers: Midday Roundup

Kye White /

The company that hopes to be the first corporation to have a commercial jetpack on the market has announced a $50 million investment ahead of its plans to finally list on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Martin Aircraft has signed an agreement with KuangChi Science, which will see the Chinese investment firm subscribe for 52.5 million shares at 40 cents a share ahead of the company’s expected IPO in February.

As part of the deal, Martin Aircraft will also receive a cash injection of between $23-29 million and a separate joint venture company will be formed for the purpose of research and development.

Managing director and chief executive of Martin Aircraft, Peter Coker, said in a statement the investment will be used for simulation testing for a product he believes “is well beyond the capabilities of even some of the world’s best aircraft manufacturers”.

The New Zealand company previously announced its intentions to list on the ASX late last year.

Speciality Fashion Group earnings float down the Rivers

Clothing retailer Specialty Fashion Group has warned shareholders of an earnings dip of up to 32%, due to its losses from its Rivers clothing brand.

The company, which also owns fashion brands Katies, Millers and Autograph, expects its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation for the six months to December 31 to be between $21m and $23m, down from $31.2m last year.

The group purchased the struggling Rivers brand for $4.6 million in November 2013, but admitted in the statement to shareholders, “several legacy issues still need to be addressed before the Rivers integration process is completed and the brand contributes to the Company’s profitability”.

But it is a brighter picture for the group if Rivers is taken out of the equation. Specialty Fashion Group recorded comparable sales growth of 5.7% during the six months to December 31, with total sales up 27.4% to $413m during the period.

Shares down on open

The Australian sharemarket opened half a per cent lower this morning, after the Swiss central bank stunned markets and commodities continued to remain volatile.

Andrew West, director of Quay Equities, said in a statement the Australian share market has continued its negative momentum for the week on the back of sluggish US markets.

“The surprise move by the Swiss to remove its currency peg, mixed reporting’s by the Bank of America and Citigroup and continued volatility in the commodities markets all combine to continue the negative sentiment and see local investors not prepared to make moves ahead of the weekend,” West said.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 28.9 points, falling 0.55% to 5302.5 points at 11.45am AEDT. On Thursday, the Dow Jones closed down 0.61%, falling 106.38 points to 17,320.71 points.

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Kye White

Kye began his career at a Fairfax daily on the North-West Coast of Tasmania. He has since taken his belongings, and keen interest in technology, to Melbourne. He has a bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science from the University of Tasmania and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism from RMIT University.

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