Summerset result boosts sharemarket

New Zealand shares edged higher in modest morning trade, buoyed by a strong result from retirement village operator Summerset Group.

The NZX 50 Index rose 9.2 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 4,223.80 in the first 30 minutes of trade. Summerset Group led gainers, and Chorus fell.

The New Zealand dollar recently traded at US83.65 cents, up from US83.53c at 8am this morning but down from US83.75c at 5pm on Friday.

The third week of company reporting season kicked off with a strong result from the Wellington-based Summerset Group, which saw its shares rise 2.8 per cent to $2.55.

The retirement village operator reported a 243 per cent earnings jump, driven by a second year of record occupation-right sales and care-fee growth.

Lines company Chorus also reported a "pleasing" $84 million interim net profit, achieved on a 2 per cent rise in revenue.

However, investors punished the company's stock after it warned it would cost $300m more than expected to build its share of the ultrafast broadband network.

Other stocks on the local bourse opened broadly higher, with four rising for every one that fell.

Port of Tauranga was the next biggest gainer behind Summerset, up 1.2 per cent to $14. The country's busiest export hub booked another record half-year profit last week as its container traffic and bulk volumes continue to increase.
OceanaGold, the operator of the Reefton and Macraes goldfields, rose 1.1 per cent to $2.85.

Sky Network TV and Telecom both continued to see further upside after posting lukewarm results on Friday.

The pay TV operator rose 1 per cent to $5.25, while the country's biggest phone company rose 0.9 per cent to $2.31.

Chorus led decliners, down 2.6 per cent to $2.96.

Vector, the Auckland electricity and gas supplier, fell 0.7 per cent to $2.90.

Retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare fell 0.2 per cent to $4.61.

Software firm Diligent Board Member Services shed 1c to $5.35, following the lifting of a trading halt on Friday.