Moa shares jump on good sales news

JOHN ANTHONY
Last updated 16:31 04/04/2014

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Shares in boutique brewery Moa jumped nearly 20 per cent today after it said it had met revised sales targets by selling 136,000 cases of beer in the year to March 31.

Late this afternoon, Moa shares were trading up 10 cents at 63c.

The price remains well below Moa's float price of $1.25 after its announcement last August that it would not meet its 2014 prospectus sales target of 195,000 cases.

This was largely blamed on its underperforming New Zealand distribution model through Treasury Wine Estates, so Moa took it in-house.

Moa chief executive Geoff Ross said today's sales update was in line with the reviewed sales guidance it set late last year.

"The good thing about it is we're directly running it, controlling it, and it's fantastic to be in charge of your own destiny with that model," he said.

The new target of 136,000 is equivalent to 3.67 million bottles.

The in-house sales model was working well and Moa had regained sales momentum in New Zealand, with good growth in Australia and the United States, Ross said.

"It gives us confidence that we've got the right model now," he said.

Today's share price jump was on low volume, with just six trades, worth about $15,000.

Moa's share rally comes a week after it was issued a "please explain" letter from the NZX after its share price dropped 22 per cent in six weeks.

Ross said the NZX was doing its job in delivering the notice, but Moa had met all its obligations in disclosing the necessary information.

Moa was given resource consent last year for a $6.1 million expansion of its brewery in Jacksons Rd, near Blenheim, but the decision has been appealed by opponents, including Marlborough winemaker Cloudy Bay.

Ross said a resolution on this was expected by mid-year.

Moa will issue its full-year financial result on May 27.

The company also announced this afternoon that chief financial officer Kelvin Ovington has resigned.

Ovington is leaving to work for Moa's 23 per cent shareholder, The Business Bakery, where he was before his secondment to Moa.

Ken Bugden has taken over from Ovington as chief financial officer, having contracted briefly to Moa late last year.

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- Fairfax Media

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