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Sovereign Achieves Modest Growth

Sovereign Achieves Modest Growth In Difficult Environment

Statement made by Simon Swanson, Managing Director, Sovereign Group

Sovereign's appraisal value grew 6.7% (by $32 million) during the six months ended 31 December 2002.

Given the difficult environment for investment related products and services that currently exists internationally and in New Zealand, this modest increase in performance represents a sound six months.

The continued support of independent brokers and financial advisers, and the broad nature of our products and services, is assisting the Group to grow as uncertainties about returns and world stability distract investors.

The contributions from home mortgage lending and insurance to our overall performance were significantly ahead of where they were at the same time last year.

Home mortgage lending during the six months was $551 million, up 68% on the same period last year.

Total home mortgage lending now exceeds $2.3 billion, up 15% on the position six months ago. Sovereign has consolidated its position as the country's largest non bank provider of home mortgage finance.

Annual premium income from life, health and other specialist insurance products was $520 million, up 4% on the position six months ago.

Sovereign wrote extensive new life insurance business during the six months, up 8% to $29m. Regular premium investment business for the period was $14 million (down 16%) and for single premium business was $71 million (down 34%).

Sovereign maintained its position as the country's largest writer of life insurance with a market share of 30%.

At period end total funds under management was $5.1 billion, 4% down on the position six months ago. Of these funds, $3.2 billion was invested in Sovereign managed funds (down 9%) and $1.9 billion in Aegis wrap accounts (up 1%) on the totals six months previously.

Our market share of funds under management remained at 8%.

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