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Public Trust produces positive result

News Release 7 October 2003

Public Trust produces positive result

Public Trust today reported a net profit of $90,000 for its first full year since being established as a Crown Owned Entity on 1 March 2002.

Public Trust Chief Executive Pat Waite said, “This is an $8.5 million turnaround on the previous combined full year’s performance of Public Trust and its predecessor.”

“We forecast a marginally better than break-even result of $67,000 for the 2002/2003 financial year ended 30 June 2003, and have bettered that forecast. Looking forward, we plan to improve on this result in 2003/2004 and will re-invest a significant portion of this year’s profit in the business to strengthen our core competencies and service delivery.”

The turnaround is attributed to a heightened management focus on expense management, and Public Trust’s core business of wills, estate administration and trusts.

Total funds under management increased during the period to $1000m from $961m for the previous financial year, with net assets employed rising to $38.891m from $38.801m. The return on assets for the period, 0.023%, was ahead of the budgeted 0.018%, and marked a significant improvement on the 2001/2002 of negative 3.540%.

During the period Public Trust prepared over 20,000 Wills, administered more than 2,500 estates, and has a home lending book of $155m. Public Trust is also responsible for the ongoing management of some 300 charitable trusts with cumulative total assets of around $200m and its Corporate Trustee Services division, which serves the corporate and business market, has $9.9bn funds under supervision.

Corporate Trustee Services represents investors in collective schemes such as managed funds, debt issues, and other group projects such as retirement villages. Most of these schemes are required by law to appoint a trustee whose role is to protect investors’ interests. The trustee makes sure such ventures are set up properly, monitors ongoing operations, and works to prevent and resolve issues that could affect investors’ interests.

“Our customers tell us they want to have more contact with us and we plan to focus particularly on developing deeper relationships with existing customers and beneficiaries of estates. Our high customer satisfaction ratings, measured quarterly by our independently conducted research monitor, are testament to the expertise and professionalism of our staff, and create the platform for future business growth.

“The rebranding of Public Trust, beginning in 1999, has successfully moved our image from an old style public service to a modern and dynamic organisation. The challenge for Public Trust is now to translate this into increased business volumes,” Mr Waite said.


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