Monday, November 16, 2015
'Challenging Market' Prompts HNZ Dividend Cut
HNZ Group will suspend monthly dividend payments following an $8 million net loss in the quarter that ended Sept. 30. The Montreal-based company said that payments would stop after the December dividend is paid on Jan. 15. The company’s third quarter is “normally a seasonally strong” one, said HNZ President/CEO Don Wall. (The company reported a net income of $9.58 million in 2014’s third quarter). But the most recent period’s earnings were hurt by the completion of U.S. military contracts in Afghanistan “and challenging market conditions” that include a decline in oil and gas and other natural-resources activities that show “no signs of a recovery in the short-term,” said Wall. Cutting dividend payments will save HNZ Group $14.4 million a year “and safeguard our strong balance sheet,” which combined with the company’s positive cash flow “will provide us with the ability to withstand ongoing economic challenges,” Wall said. Formerly Canadian Helicopters Group, HNZ Group is the parent company of Helicopters (NZ) and Canadian Helicopters and an international provider of helicopter transportation and related support services. It has operations in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Southeast Asia and Antarctica and flies more than 120 helicopters to support offshore and onshore charter activities through both its own operations and with partner Norsk Helikopterservice. HNZ Group also provides third-party repair and maintenance services and flight training and has about 700 personnel working from 34 locations around the world.