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Growth stocks pump NZX to new high | Updated: 8:11:49 PM, Thursday April 25, 2013

New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 Index rose to a record close on Wednesday, as investors were lured to companies with growth stories such as A2 Corp, Diligent Board Member Services and Xero.

Warehouse Group rose to a two-and-a-half-year high after selling a shopping centre at a profit.

The NZX 50 rose 22.48 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4538.98. Within the index, 26 stocks rose, 16 fell and eight were unchanged. Turnover was $214 million.

A2 Corp, the alternative milk marketer that joined the NZX 50 on March 18, rose 6.8 per cent to 63 cents.

The company this week launched its Platinum infant formula brand which is targeting the Chinese market.

Diligent, whose software helps directors manage corporate governance information flows, rose 3.5 per cent to a record close of $7.12. This month it posted an 84 per cent jump in first-quarter sales.

Xero, the cloud-based accounting company, rose 5.3 per cent to $13, also a record close. Earlier this month it announced a doubling in annual sales.

James Lindsay, equities manager at Tyndall Investment Management, said new investors in the stock market have been heartened by the strong performance of recent arrivals to the market including the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund.

‘The optimism is out there,’ he said.

The New Zealand market has ‘companies with reasonable balance sheets, good growth stories and sustainable yields’.

Warehouse rose 2.6 per cent to $3.98, the highest close since November 2010, after announcing the $78 million sale of Auckland’s Silverdale Centre to DNZ Property Fund for a pretax gain of between $14 million and $15 million.

DNZ slipped 0.8 per cent to $1.78.

Air New Zealand, the state-owned airline, rose 5.6 per cent to $1.52 after saying annual earnings will more than double this year.

Fletcher Building, the biggest company on the NZX 50, rose 0.6 per cent to $8.71 and Telecom fell 1.5 per cent to $2.61.

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