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Postie Plus First Half Year Results

Postie Plus Group Ltd First Half Year Results

Operating Revenue $52.4M Net Profit Before Tax $3.1M Net Profit After Tax $2.0M

A fully imputed dividend of 3.00 cents per share (4.48 cents Gross) will be paid on April 22nd based on Shareholders as at 5pm April 8th. The Company expects to pay the balance of the projected full year dividend of 7.06 cents (10.54 Gross) in October 2004.

Before restructuring costs of $294,000, Group Net Operating Profit is ahead of prospectus projections. After restructuring costs, Group Net Operating Profit is $150,000 below prospectus projections.

The restructuring refers to the previously announced intention to more closely integrate the businesses, including standardizing computer system platforms and centralizing of some support functions. Restructuring costs are expected to be approximately $600,000 with benefits in the vicinity of $400,000 per annum, from the next financial year. The Directors believe the initiatives taken will provide a stronger foundation for the business and ensure improvement in Operating Profitability, in future years.

Refer attached for further details.
Extract from Half Year Report to Shareholders

Review Of Business First Six Months Year Ending 31 July 2004

Half Year Performance Against Full Year Projections

Prospectus Half Year Full Year Actual Projections
Half Year (000’s) (000’s)
Operating Revenue 107,226 52,422
EBITDA 9,369 4,990
Depreciation (2,150) (1,209)

Goodwill Amortisation (387) (161)
Earnings Before Interest And Tax (EBIT) 6,832 3,620
Interest (277) (250)
Restructuring Costs - (294)
Net Profit Before Tax 6,555 3,076
Tax (2,208) (1,047)
Net Profit After Tax $4,347 $2,029
Dividends per Share
Gross 10.54 4.48 Net 7.06 3.00

Comments On Financial Performance For The Six Months Operating Revenue is slightly below projections. Christmas sales were in line with projections, but boxing day sales for Arbuckles were a little disappointing. Margins are slightly above projection. Depreciation charges are higher due to additional IT investment related to standardizing systems platform and higher depreciation rates on such equipment. Interest costs are higher due to IT investment and higher stock levels with an increase in direct importing. Operating profit (EBIT) is ahead of projections. Unbudgeted restructuring costs of $294,000 were incurred (refer separate comment). Group profitability, after restructuring costs, is $150,000 below projections.

Revised Outlook For Full Year The second six month’s sales are projected to be similar to the first six months with a strong Winter program associated with the clothing sector. Traditionally, sales for May have been as high as December. Operating profitability (EBIT), before restructuring costs, is expected to be slightly ahead of the prospectus dependent on a continuation of current trading performance. This outlook is based on the assumptions and risks set out in the Prospectus. Restructuring costs expected to be approximately $600,000 for the full year ($294,076 in first six months). Benefits from restructuring costs expected to be approximately $400,000 per annum, from the next financial year.

Comment On Individual Businesses Postie+ sales and margins are tracking ahead of Budget. Baby City, a relatively small business, will continue to strengthen through clustering with Postie+. Margins will improve with some direct importing. Arbuckles is tracking well, a gradual modernizing of branches is being rolled out, building on the specialty aspect and broadening the appeal. Rendells has traded below expectations, but will benefit from the current restructuring program.

Restructuring Postie Plus Group Limited (PPGL) was set up with separate legal entities for each business. Each business had different back office computer systems, with Rendells Point of Sales system different to the other businesses in the Group. Each had their own accounting function. There was also a difference in employment conditions in the businesses. Since taking ownership of these businesses we have successfully trialed several different cluster concepts. A cluster is a grouping of the different businesses (Brands) beside each other. While the intention is to introduce more clusters, this is inhibited by availability of sites and existing lease commitments. The expansion will be gradual. A greater level of synergies between Postie+ and Rendells has become apparent since acquisition. As a result the decision was made to move as soon as practically possible to a common systems platform and to centralize some support functions. The benefits will include lower management, accounting, buying, and support costs, and simplified management of the Group. The restructuring costs include redundancies, systems, integration and related professional costs.

Dividend A fully imputed dividend of 3.00 cents per share (4.48 cents Gross) will be paid April 22nd, based on shareholders as at 5pm April 8th. The Company expects to pay the balance of the projected full year dividend of 7.06 cents (10.54 cents Gross) in October 2004.

Outlook We believe initiatives taken will provide a stronger foundation for the business and ensure improvement in Operating Profitability in future years.

Closing Comment

The Directors and Executives are appreciative of the support of shareholders and are committed to adding value to the business for shareholders.

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