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Solid start to the year for Carter Holt Harvey

Solid start to the year for Carter Holt Harvey

Carter Holt Harvey today announced earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $77 million for the three months ended 31 March 2003, up 51% on the same quarter last year. Net earnings were $51 million compared to $17 million for the March quarter last year.

Chief Executive Officer, Peter Springford, said, ” We’ve made a solid start to the year with the underlying operating performance continuing to improve in almost all our businesses.

The strong housing market has continued in Australia and New Zealand. We have also stayed focused on controlling costs and prices have generally improved.”

“We are committed to our drive to be world class. International competition is fierce in our markets and we will continue to make moves to improve all areas of our business through our focus on the productivity of our assets, markets and staff.

“This is why we are committed to seeing the changes at Kinleith through. Our aim is to get past historical issues at this site and move forward on a positive footing with our staff. We are committed to achieving the changes necessary to ensure a future for New Zealand’s largest wood processing asset.”

Mr Springford also commented that the company was working closely with the Government in New Zealand to find solutions to the current energy crisis that large industrial users face.

“While we produce 27% of our own energy, we are still vulnerable to the spot market and the spikes have cost us approximately $3 million this quarter. Long term planning and capacity growth has been inhibited by the current market structure. This must be resolved, and quickly, if manufacturing is to have a future in this country.”

“We’ve consolidated the good progress made in 2002 in this first quarter. Our balance sheet remains strong and we have nearly 100% of our $US exposure covered favourably for the year. While the world is an uncertain place at present, we are in a relatively strong position.”

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