AWF to buy back shares in preparation for incentive scheme   28 May 2012

AWF Group, the contract labour company whose shares have soared 47 percent in the past year, will buy back 1.9 percent of its stock over the next 10 months so that it has a source of equity available to offer an executive incentive scheme.

The Auckland-based company will buy back as many as 500,000 shares by March 31, 2013, it said in a statement to the NZX today. The shares last traded at $2.50, having reached a record $2.70 during trading on April 27.

AWF expects to announce details of the senior management share scheme within the next month, said chief executive Mike Huddleston, adding that he would participate in the plan.

“We don’t have anything of that nature at this time,” he told BusinessDesk. The scheme would encourage senior managers and provide a “golden handcuff situation”. The details haven’t yet been approved but it was likely to be a share loan scheme rather than an offer of options, he said.

The company has been on an acquisition spree this year, buying Nursing NZ and Tradeforce NZ. Earlier this month, it reported annual sales jumped by 25 percent to $119 million and underlying earnings growth of 27 percent.

Net profit fell 18 percent reflecting a “significant write down of non cash items as required under NZIFRS standards.”

(BusinessDesk)

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