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Nuplex Delivers On Bottom Line And Forecasts More

February 20, 2004
Media statement

Nuplex Delivers On Bottom Line And Forecasts More

Statement made by Fred Holland, Chairman, Nuplex Industries Limited

A strong performance by Nuplex’s Australian operations played a key part in lifting unaudited after tax profit by 64% to $15.5 million for the six months ending 31 December 2003.

Coupled with gains from abnormal items and lower provisions for depreciation, interest and goodwill amortization, the company lifted earnings per share by 9.4 cents to 25.1 cents.

On the strength of the result the resin, construction materials, specialty products and environmental services company has declared an interim fully imputed dividend of 11.5 cents, up 2 cents

This excellent start to the year will provide a solid foundation for the full year, and the company is forecasting an end of year result more than 30% above the $20.6 million in the prior year.

The initiatives taken in Australia and Vietnam are delivering sound revenue and profit growth. The company continues to build a platform outside New Zealand that will deliver on the bottom line in future years.

Overall, the strength of the New Zealand dollar, and to a lesser extent the Australian dollar, worked against the company.

Total revenue increased by 4% to $329 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 5% to $37 million.

Australian operations remain the backbone of the company’s performance, contributing 74% of total sales and 68% of EBITDA. While Australian revenue increased 5%, the strength of its dollar had a negative impact on exports.

New Zealand’s contribution to EBITDA declined 13% on static sales of $75 million. While the strength of the New Zealand dollar assisted in holding raw material costs, its negative impact on exports was far more significant.

Unusual items consisting of write backs associated with the sale and acquisition of operating companies was a positive $525,000, compared with a write down of $2.9 million the previous year. On an operating surplus basis before abnormal items, the profit was $15 million, up 22%.

The dividend payout represents 48% of net surplus before abnormal items and will be paid on 2 April 2004 on shares registered on 19 March 2004. The dividend is fully imputed for New Zealand and Australian tax residents, and a supplementary dividend of 2.029 cents will be paid to non residential shareholders.

Directors have taken into consideration the strong cash position of the Group and have decided to suspend the Dividend Reinvestment Plan for this dividend payment.

ENDS

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