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New Zealand is an island country located in the south-western Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses ‒ that of the North and South Islands ‒ and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometers (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometers (600 mi) south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans.
During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of both animal and plant life. Most notable are the large number of unique bird species, many of which became extinct after the arrival of humans and introduced mammals. With a mild maritime climate, the land was mostly covered in forest. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions caused by the Pacific and Indo-Australian Plates clashing beneath the earth's surface.
Polynesians settled New Zealand in 1250–1300 CE and developed a distinctive Maori culture, and Europeans first made contact in 1642 CE. The introduction of potatoes and muskets triggered upheaval among Maori early during the 19th century, which led to the inter-tribal Musket Wars. In 1840 the British and Maori signed a treaty making New Zealand a colony of the British Empire. Immigrant numbers increased sharply and conflicts escalated into the New Zealand Wars, which resulted in much Maori land being confiscated in the mid North Island. Economic depressions were followed by periods of political reform, with women gaining the vote during the 1890s, and a welfare state being established from the 1930s. After World War II, New Zealand joined Australia and the United States in the ANZUS security treaty, although the United States later, until 2010, suspended the treaty after New Zealand banned nuclear weapons. New Zealand is part of the intelligence sharing among the Anglosphere countries, the UKUSA Agreement. New Zealanders enjoyed one of the highest standards of living in the world in the 1950s, but the 1970s saw a deep recession, worsened by oil shocks and the United Kingdom's entry into the European Economic Community. The country underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy. Markets for New Zealand's agricultural exports have diversified greatly since the 1970s, with once-dominant exports of wool being overtaken by dairy products, meat, and recently wine.
The majority of New Zealand's population is of European descent; the indigenous Maori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and non-Maori Polynesians. English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language are the official languages, with English predominant. Much of New Zealand's culture is derived from Maori and early British settlers. Early European art was dominated by landscapes and to a lesser extent portraits of Maori. A recent resurgence of Maori culture has seen their traditional arts of carving, weaving and tattooing become more mainstream. Many artists now combine Maori and Western techniques to create unique art forms. The country's culture has also been broadened by globalisation and increased immigration from the Pacific Islands and Asia. New Zealand's diverse landscape provides many opportunities for outdoor pursuits and has provided the backdrop for a number of big budget movies.
New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; these have less autonomy than the country's long defunct provinces did. Nationally, executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. The Queen's Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing but in free association); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Commonwealth of Nations, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and the United Nations.
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I have a relatively large investment in Metro Performance Glass. I am not an investment advisor and you should perform your own due diligence on the company before considering making an investment. I have personally made a significant long term investment in this company and I look forward to receiving incremental dividend payments from Metro Performance Glass going forward. The share price on May 27th was 43 cents per share.
Metro listed on the New Zealand stock exchange at $1.70 per share. The share price then proceeded to exceed $2.0 per share. In 2016 Metro Glass purchased the Australian Glass Group for $43.1 million dollars. Metro Glass previously paid a dividend of approx. 7 cents per share per annum. Dividend payments ceased after 2018.
I believe it was a good sound decision to purchase AGG, thereby diversifying their business across the Tasman to Australia. My expectation is that the purchase of AGG will provide growth opportunities for the group in Australia.
Competitive pressure has increased for Metro Performance Glass in New Zealand and Covid has impacted their financials from 2020. On the positive side, Australian Glass Group's financial performance appears to be improving and Metro Performance Glass weathered the covid disruptions relatively well - all things being considered.
In May 2021, MPG announced the resumption of their dividend alongside the 2022 financial year interim results (my interpretation of this means the dividend will commence around October / November 2021 when interim results are announced) barring any significant impact from covid19. The company expects to pay fully imputed dividends of between 50% and 70% of net profit after tax before significant items. As is usual when declaring a dividend, the Board will consider a range of factors including group financial performance, one off or non-recurring events, prevailing and anticipated business and economic conditions.
Here is a video from a representative of the Australian Glass Group (formerly from Auckland) on the benefits of thermally efficient low-e and double glazing glass. Australia is lagging New Zealand in their adoption of thermally efficient low-e glass and double glazing. There have however recently been code changes in Australia that require higher performance glass. Metro Performance Glass has transitioned AGG to focus on high performance thermally efficient glass and double glazing so AGG is well positioned for these recent building code changes.
There had been an expectation that the building industry would contract because of Covid-19 and that would have had negative repercussions for Metro Performance Glass. In actual fact, the opposite has been true. The residential building industry has been booming along with rampant house price appreciation in New Zealand. Many Kiwi's are refurbishing their older homes as they see property prices heading to the literal moon.
There is a drive globally to reduce carbon emissions and New Zealand is proactively pursuing this goal. There is new legislation requiring rental properties to be well insulated. Many older homes have no insulation in their walls. Older style wooden joinery often allows wind to blow unabated into a room and you will often see curtains blowing in the wind. The R value of high performance glass options are R 0.2 to 0.48 (0.48 for high performance double glazed) vs minimum code wall insulation of R 2.1 in the North Island and R 2.4 in the South Island. Windows are by far the weakest link when it comes to insulating your home. Heat simply dissipates through old glass.
Metro Performance Glass and The Australian Glass Group specialise in thermally efficient low-e and double glazing glass that mitigate heat loss through your windows. These products will reduce carbon emissions because they are pivotal in insulating homes ‒ thereby reducing the amount of energy required to warm or cool a home. Low E is an abbreviation of "Low Emissivity", which is the ability to radiate absorbed energy. Low-e glass has a unique low emissivity coating designed to reflect long wave radiation from the glass itself and from inside or outside the house.
When the dividend is reinstated alongside the 2022 interim results (Oct / Nov 2021), MPG should have one of the highest dividend payment percentages of any company in NZ based on the current share price. For that reason, I believe the shares are undervalued at the current price. IMHO (in my humble opinion) there is scope for share price appreciation alongside a potentially very healthy dividend.