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$155 dividend payout soon to be on the way

$155 dividend payout soon to be on the way to AECT beneficiaries

AUCKLAND, September 15, 2003 – Nearly 285,000 Auckland households and businesses can look forward to a $155.00 credit on their power bill this month, the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust (AECT) announced today.

Trust chair Karen Sherry said Auckland consumers are continuing to benefit from the strong commercial performance of electricity infrastructure company VECTOR, which is wholly owned by the Trust.

The bulk of this year’s dividend comes from the earnings of VECTOR, which recently reported a profit of $49.7 million for the 15 months to the end of June.

The credit per consumer in 2002 was $145 compared with $155 this year. This is mainly because the Trust is now able to distribute to all of its income beneficiaries a surplus from money it had put aside to pay some former customers of VECTOR who were entitled to dividends from 1999 and 2000. The claims on that payment were not as high as had been budgeted for.

AECT chair Karen Sherry said the strong dividends were particularly pleasing, given that VECTOR had doubled the size of its assets in the 15-month period, following the takeover of UnitedNetworks Ltd.

“We said at the time of that transaction that income beneficiaries of the AECT could look forward to strong and growing dividends over time, and that continues to be the case,” Ms Sherry said.

The credit will progressively appear from this month on accounts mailed to customers of VECTOR within the AECT beneficiary area, and the rest over the following month.

For many people, the distribution will be tax-free. Full details of the distribution, including tax information, will accompany the power bills.

For details regarding eligibility please visit www.aect.co.nz.

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