Strong showings by southern operations

The market capitalisation of listed companies with South Island operations grew 35% during the past year, underpinned by Ryman Healthcare and Meridian Energy's post-float growth.

The Deloitte South Island index posted a 35.3% growth for year to June, headed up by Ryman, Meridian and Ebos Group, but trailing in the index was Bathurst Resources, Scott Technology and Moa Group brewers.

Deloitte's corporate finance partner at its Christchurch office, Scott McClay, said the index gain during the past year reflected consistently strong performances from industry leaders.

''The index ... gained a remarkable $2.92 billion, 35.3%, in the year ended June 30. This growth comes despite a modest decline of 3% in the most recent quarter to June 2014, the index's first quarterly decline in two years,'' he said.

The index tracks the quarterly performance of 32 listed companies, whose activities include operations in the South Island.

Mr McClay said since September 2012, the index had grown quite rapidly, largely through the continued success of top performers, such as Ryman and Ebos Group.

Ryman was again the year's standout performer, with an ''impressive'' $1.09 billion increase, or 34.2%, in market capitalisation; following its 12th successive year of record underlying profits, he said.

Ebos Group was knocked down from second place by Meridian Energy advancing up, the former gaining $871.4 million, or 138.5%, in market capitalisation, while Meridian increased market cap since listing by $300.8 million, or 24%.

Mr McClay said it was a ''disappointing'' year for Scott Technology, and Moa Group also had a disappointing 12 months; Scott down $23.7 million, or 25.1%, and Moa down $21.2 million, or 61.8%.

However, West Coast coal mine developer Bathurst Resources posted the largest market cap decline, down $43.7 million, or 48.1%, for the year, after having to postpone the start-up of export coal operations because of weak global prices.

Mr McClay said half of the 32 index companies grew during the past year, with the 35.3% annual growth was more than double the growth of the nearest comparable index.

The NZX 50 achieved growth of 15.8%, the Dow Jones 12.9% and the ASX All Ords 12.7% during the year to June, he said Mr McClay said the index outlook for the next year was ''mixed'', given the quarterly growth rate of the index reduced in each of the last three quarters, culminating in a modest decline recorded in the quarter to June.

However, it was ''very heartening'' that growth was spread across all index sectors.

While manufacturing and distribution led the way during the past 12 months, it has been ''ably supported'' by 53.1% growth in the bio-technology sector, led by Dunedin's Pacific Edge and Blis Technologies, and 37.2% growth in the primary sector, led by Synlait Milk and PGG Wrightson.

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