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Evergreen Annnounces Steady Profit


Evergreen Annnounces Steady Profit

Evergreen Forests Limited announced today an operating profit of $4.270 million for the six months ended December 2002 (December 2001: $3.540 million). Chief Executive Mark Bogle said that increased production during this period and satisfactory market conditions (particularly during the first quarter) contributed to this improved result.

Current trading conditions are less favourable with the combination of a firmer New Zealand dollar and lower US dollar log prices resulting in softening NZ dollar returns. Mr Bogle said that while this may lower production and lead to a lower profit for the second half of the year, the company still expects the full year operating profit to compare favourably with the year ended 30th June 2002.

Mr Bogle stated that forward cover was in place for expected export receipts at an average of US$0.4425 for the next 6 months providing some protection to the company's operating profit. However, he also said that should pricing and currency trends continue to be unfavourable it would impact negatively on forest values. Evergreen's forest estate is independently valued each year at 30 June and any adjustments necessary will be made at this time.

The Forest Stewardship Council audit has been completed and the company expects FSC certification confirming its sustainable forest management practices will be received for its North Island forests prior to June 30 2003.

Evergreen also advised that it has been informed that UBS Timber Investors has been appointed as the new manager of Xylem Fund I. Xylem Fund I holds 43.33% of Evergreen ordinary shares. The company understands that over the next three months UBS is to undertake a review of the Fund's investment in Evergreen. UBS Timber Investors is a division of UBS Global Asset Management New York, Inc. part of UBS AG.

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