Smith&Smith sells building glass business

CLAIRE ROGERS
Last updated 14:25 30/11/2012

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Smith&Smith has sold its building glass company to focus on its core business of fixing car windows.

Managing director Wayne Carter said Building Glass Limited had bought its building glass installation and repair business for an undisclosed sum, with the deal effective today.

The building glass company was not part of its core business, accounting for about 10 per cent of its revenues, he said.

"We're a global business, we're in 33 countries and building glass is almost unique to New Zealand. We're far better to stick to our knitting."

The building glass operation had seven branded branches around the country, including in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. It employed about 45 people. Two staff had lost their jobs as a result of the sale.

The company had decided to focus on vehicle glass about 12 months ago.

The building glass division was "a good business", but had been affected by the downturn in construction during the global financial crisis, Carter said.

"The amount of work around just shrank."

Building Glass Ltd would continue to trade under the Smith&Smith name for a short while to ease the transition, he said.

A few of Smith&Smith's former employees were involved in Building Glass Ltd. "So it's a really good story".

Smith&Smith's vehicle glass business has 70 outlets around New Zealand and employs about 450 people.

It is ultimately owned by listed Belgian firm D'Ieteren.

Smith&Smith, registered with the Companies Office as CarGlass NZ, reported a net profit of $819,212 for the 2011 calendar year for its vehicle and building glass businesses. That was a 50 per cent increase on 2010 despite revenues slipping 4 per cent last year to $69.3 million.

Building Glass Ltd is a Dunedin company owned by Christopher Swan, according to Companies Office records.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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