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Nuplex Restores Profit To Historical Levels

22 August 2002

Nuplex Restores Profit To Historical Levels And Increases Dividend

Statement made by Fred Holland, Chairman, Nuplex Industries Limited

Nuplex Industries made record earnings of $52.9 million for the year ending 30 June 2002, an increase of 12% over last year’s result before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

Nuplex Industries lifted its audited, after tax net operating surplus by $11.3 million to $12.6 million for the year, representing earnings per share of 21.2 cents (2.2 cents for the previous year).

Directors have approved an increase in the final, fully imputed dividend payment to 9 cents a share (up 2 cents) bringing the total, fully imputed dividend for the year to 17 cents (15 cents).

The result was after an abnormal write down of $1.2 million ($1.8 million) in unproductive assets and $5.6 million ($11.9 million) in goodwill, and provisioning for taxation of $8.9 million ($8.2 million).

The company is soundly based, trading strongly and we recently completed the acquisition of Asia Pacific Specialty Chemicals, which is forecast to add an additional $10 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the current financial year.

The strength of the Company’s balance sheet, coupled with strong cash flows, has given directors the confidence to reward shareholders for their loyalty with a record dividend payment.

Group sales were up 4% to $420 million, generating an operating surplus before unusual items of $28.6 million, up 26%.

This result gives a clear perspective of the underlying strength of the company and the progress we are making.

The drivers behind the improved performance were favourable trading conditions in Australia and lower petrochemical raw material costs. Had it not been for the strengthening New Zealand exchange rate against the Australian dollar, our result would have been even better.

Trading conditions in New Zealand saw sales remain static, although we did achieve small increases in market share.

Our business in Vietnam made an excellent contribution to the overall result, increasing sales and its EBITDA contribution. Our plant expansion in Ho Chi Minh is on target for commissioning in April 2003, and at that time it will increase its production capacity by 300%.

Trading conditions for the current financial year are expected to remain demanding but firm. We are looking for greater productivity from our businesses, and combined with the additional contribution from our latest acquisition, we anticipate an improved performance and earnings per share.

The final dividend will be paid to shareholders on the register at 5pm on September 27, 2002, with the dividend being paid on 11 October, 2002.

The dividend reinvestment plan will apply and a supplementary dividend of 1.59 cents per share will be paid to non resident shareholders.

Ends.

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