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Nuplex Posts Record Profit And Increases Dividend

Nuplex Posts Record Profit And Increases Dividend

Statement made by Fred Holland, Chairman, Nuplex Industries Limited

Strong market demand for its products in Australia, Asia and New Zealand underpinned Nuplex Industries increase in net surplus of 63% to $20.7 million for the year ending 30 June 2003.

Earnings per share increased by 12.7 cents to 34.1 cents, and directors have increased the final dividend to 10.5 cents (9 cents last year), bringing the full 12 months’ dividend to 20 cents (17 cents).

Sales during the year increased by 51% to $632 million, achieved through a combination of our acquisition of Asia Pacific Specialty Chemicals Limited (APS) and strong demand from most market segments.

Profit, dividend and sales are at record levels, and the company is well positioned to build on the year’s extremely sound performance.

The profit result is after taking into consideration an abnormal write down of $3.85 million arising from the sale of loss making Australian medical waste processor, Medihold and a gain of $2 million for a discount on acquisition of APS treated as income in accordance with accounting standards.

EBITDA before abnormal items was a record $65.3 million, up 23%.

Total shareholders’ equity at year end was $157 million (up 24%) and total assets $447 million (up 32%).

The significance of Australia to the group’s performance this year and in the future is now apparent, with it accounting for 74% of sales revenue ($470 million) and 61% of EBITDA ($40.1 million). With the acquisition of APS and growth in our resin capacity, we can continue to look to Australia for solid contributions.

Sales in Vietnam, which are undertaken in US dollars, showed sound growth with EBITDA being at a similar level to last year. However, when these figures are converted into New Zealand currency, which has appreciated some 20% against the US dollar, sales were up only 6% at $15 million and EBITDA declined by 23% to $3.4 million. With increased capacity now successfully completed, our Vietnam operations are positioned to make a substantially increased contribution to group performance in the future.

New Zealand businesses continued to make good progress, contributing $147 million to sales (up 32%) and $21.9 million to EBITDA (up 27%).

With the distraction of the sale of Medihold behind us, the integration of APS within the group and with additional resin capacity now in place in Australia and Vietnam, the company is in a strong position to continue its historic growth in the current financial year.

The final dividend will be paid on 3 October 2003 to shareholders on the register at 5pm on 19 September 2003.

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