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Strong rise in farm property values

New Zealand Rural Property Trust gains from strong rise in farm property values.

The Directors of New Zealand Rural Property Trust Management Limited are pleased to announce an after tax surplus for the New Zealand Rural Property Trust of $17,602,296 for the year ended 30 June 2003. This is a 50% increase on the $11,754,318 achieved last year.

Chairman Sir Selwyn Cushing said that Directors were satisfied with the overall performance which has seen the Trust’s Net Asset Value increase to $2.26 per unit from $1.91 as at 30 June 2002.

The Trust will make a distribution of 3.00 cents per unit (not imputed) on 29 September 2003. The register closes for entitlement to this distribution on 19 September 2003.

Strong demand for rural properties has pushed property values higher again this year despite weaker farm product prices and declining farm profitability. The overall value of properties owned by the Trust increased by 26%.

Difficult climatic conditions and the reduced milk solids payout affected the performance of the Trust’s six dairy farms.

Harvesting at the Ngaruawahia forest continued over an area of 170 hectares. Production from the forest was pleasing but forestry returns were affected by the high $NZ. The value of the forest was written down by $1.5 million due to the combined effect of lower log prices, higher shipping costs for export logs and the high value of our currency on the forest crop valuation.

Directors expect the year ahead will be a challenging one for the Trust. The strong capital base as well as the spread of sector representation across forestry, dairy, sheep, beef, deer and arable properties will ensure the Trust remains financially stable and well positioned to benefit from any improvement in the rural economy.

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