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FMG Achieves Excellent Results

For Immediate Release
13 August 2004

FMG ACHIEVES EXCELLENT RESULTS

Leading rural financial services company FMG has posted a profit before tax of $12.6 million in the 2003/2004 year.

Chief Executive Gordon Smith says the result was extremely pleasing as the company was also able to increase equity in reserves by 15.7%, pushing total reserves to a healthy $63.5 million.

"FMG has achieved excellent results this year, following three years of repositioning. Our concentration on core business activity that we know best has enhanced our general insurance products, policy wording and service delivery."

Mr Smith says the strong profit result is based on a better underwriting result, better investment return and an increase in market share and premium income.

"Our results represent excellent progress for the group and further strengthen our ability to provide the product and security that will continue to meet the needs of customers in rural New Zealand and Australia."

Mr Smith says other highlights from the year included a 10.4% growth in general insurance premium income, a 21.4% increase in total operating revenue and the maintenance of the company's A- (Excellent) rating from the international rating agency, AM Best Company.

He says the company also experienced exceptional growth in its Australian operation.

"We are unique in our unwavering support of the rural market as a manufacturer and distributor of financial services."

FMG now has 36% market share of rural general insurance in New Zealand and is the undisputed market leader.

"The total concentration on selected core business functions is enabling us to better support customer needs and exceed service expectation."

Mr Smith says as a mutual, FMG's ethos is to support communities throughout the year and in times of need.

To this end, the company donated $200,000 to the Manawatu, Wanganui, Rangitikei and surrounding districts flood relief fund following the devastating floods experienced in February 2004 and donated $15,000 to assist farmers with fencing replacement following the Mount Somers fires in Mid-Canterbury.

Based in Palmerston North and formerly Farmers' Mutual Group, FMG offers a select range of financial services covering:

* Rural, commercial and domestic general insurance in support of rural communities

* A total package of life insurance products

* A full service finance company

* A quality financial advisory service.

"Our future aim is to achieve a greater focus on enhancing client relationships, further business growth and profitability to ensure the future of the business for all customers, existing and potential," Mr Smith says.

FMG holds its 99th annual meeting at Rongotea on August 19.

Visit www.fmg.co.nz for more information on FMG and its products and services.


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