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NEWCALL Result In Line With Expectations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


NEWCALL Result In Line With Expectations

Telco On Target to Reach Profitability Before Year’s End

AUCKLAND, 15 March, 2000 - NEWCALL Group Ltd have announced a consolidated loss of $2.665 million on a gross turnover of $3.031 million for the period 1 October 1998 to 31 December 1999. The result represents a loss of 7.05 cents per share on a weighted average basis. There will be no dividend declared.

The 15 month period reflects the change in the annual balance date from 30 September to 31 December following the transition from the former New Zealand Salmon Company Limited to NEWCALL Group Ltd, approved by shareholders at the extraordinary general meeting in September 1999.

According to NEWCALL’s Managing Director Norman Nicholls, the result from the first year of full operations contains no real surprises. “The loss is slightly greater than that projected in 1999,” he says. “This is largely a result of reductions in the gross margin experienced throughout the telecommunications industry, a trend the market had long anticipated. In addition, there were one-off transaction costs arising from our rights issue as well as the amortisation of goodwill from the reverse takeover of New Zealand Salmon.”

“This is a satisfying result from our point of view as it represents a huge gain in the value of shareholder funds over the same period, from $1.660 million to $12.670 million. This substantial increase is due to the acquisition of NEWCALL Communications Ltd and the successful completion of the rights issue, reflecting tremendous market confidence in our long-term direction.”

“Our rapid growth is also reflected in the $3 million plus gross turnover achieved in the short time since September 1999,” says Nicholls. “When we last reported to shareholders in March 1999 under New Zealand Salmon, the company was not trading and the only asset was the $1.2 million cash arising from the sale of New Zealand Salmon interests in Chile for which we were awaiting authorisation for transfer to New Zealand. Following the subsequent repatriation in September, the $1.2 million was used to fund our operations during a time of dynamic transformation in the group.”

Nicholls explains, “with our recent acquisition of Internet service provider IproLink as well as the purchase of 75 per cent of Auckland-based energy reseller Energy Options Limited, NEWCALL is uniquely placed to leverage these complementary services in building our core target market of small and medium businesses. These strategic interests will assist us in reaching profitability on a monthly basis by the fourth quarter of this year, which is well on schedule.”

Other details announced in the NEWCALL result include current assets worth $4.6 million, of which $2.8 million are debtors. There are fixed assets of $2.5 million as well as an intangible asset of goodwill valued at $8.8 million relating to the acquisition of NEWCALL Communications Ltd. The liabilities carried amount to $3.1 million of which $2.9 million are trade creditors.

Company Background
NEWCALL Group Ltd is the newly listed parent company of NEWCALL Communications Ltd. Other companies in the group include IproLink NZ Ltd, Energy Options Limited, NEWCALL Communications U.S.A., Inc., NEWCALL Communications Pty Ltd (Australia), and NEWCALL Communications International Ltd, which is based in Singapore.

A New Zealand registered Alternate Service Provider, NEWCALL Communications Ltd is one of the country’s fastest growing ‘new generation’ telecommunications companies. Officially launched in June 1998, NEWCALL carries both national and international telecommunications traffic.

Focusing primarily on small to medium-sized organisations, the company specialises in providing high quality cost-effective telecommunications services, including national and international tolls and faxes, land to mobile services and Internet access. State-of-the-art billing and management applications allow NEWCALL to simplify telecommunications for the end-user, while maintaining an innovative, price competitive service.

NEWCALL Communications Ltd is currently installing strategically placed switching nodes throughout New Zealand to facilitate leading edge telecommunications solutions. Delivered through a combination of networks which include Telecom New Zealand and other network providers, NEWCALL’s services are supported by a non-coded access agreement offering transparent access to the user. International services are facilitated through wholesale relationships with a range of international carriers.

NEWCALL’s senior management team is led by Managing Director Norman Nicholls, one of the most experienced senior executives in the telecommunications industry today. The company’s principal shareholder is CTW Beta Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Asia Pacific Wire and Cable Corporation, a US company which is traded on the NASDAQ Exchange.

More information on NEWCALL Communications Ltd is available on the Web at http://www.newcall.co.nz
END
For further information, please call:
 Guy Pierce, Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary, NEWCALL Communications Ltd, Ph: 09 366-1199, 021 343-301
 Nicholas O’Flaherty, Senior Account Manager, Botica Conroy & Associates, Ph: 09 303-3862, 021 403 505


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