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Sovereign Delivers $33.9 Million Profit

Sovereign Delivers $33.9 Million Profit In Fulfilling Potential

[Statement made by Mr Ralph Norris, Chairman, Sovereign Limited]

Financial services company Sovereign Limited made an audited after tax profit of $33.9 million for the year ended 30 June 2000.

This was the Company’s first full year of trading as a wholly owned subsidiary of the ASB Group and, following changes in its financial year, no meaningful comparisons with previous periods are available.

Sovereign maintained its position as the country’s fastest growing risk and savings insurance company, increasing new business premiums by 30% with total premiums at year end reaching $226.2 million.

New annual premiums during the year were $35.9 million and single premiums $123.9 million.

In addition to its life insurance operations, Sovereign provides a broad range of financial products and services to its clients through its relationships with financial intermediaries.

Sovereign is now well established as a significant lender on residential property, with advances for the year increasing by 78% to $722 million, with all mortgages being written through brokers.

Aegis, Sovereign’s wrap account that enables financial planners to manage their clients’ portfolios, has quickly established itself as a market leader and more than tripled funds under administration to $797 million.

Investment funds under management stayed constant at $524.4 million, with the weighted average return after tax and charges across our 19 funds being 16.68%.

The performance of Sovereign during its inaugural year as a member company of the ASB Group demonstrates the potential seen in the Company when it listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange in 1998.

As a new generation of financial services company, utilising leading edge technology, Sovereign has established itself as a market leader in a number of market segments that complement its sister company, ASB Bank.

Note: Sovereign’s result was not included in ASB Bank’s financial result released on Wednesday, 30 August 2000.

- ends -

For further information please contact

Mr Ian Hendry
Group Managing Director
Sovereign Limited
Tel 0-9-486 9500

Issued on behalf of Sovereign by
Dennis Lynch, Network Communications
Tel 0-9-379 3154


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