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NZ's Largest Dental Network Spreads Its Wings

New Zealand’s Largest Dental Network Spreads Its Wings

Abano Dental, New Zealand’s largest dental network, today announced the signing of a conditional agreement to acquire two significant dental practices in Hamilton and Te Awarmutu. Following settlement (expected in early July), Excel Dental Care in Hamilton and Te Awamutu will operate under the new Lumino dental brand, launched by Abano Dental in May 2005.

The acquisition further expands the Abano Dental network outside of the greater Auckland region, with a growing number of additional investment and acquisition opportunities currently under investigation.

Abano Dental’s new network, Lumino, replaces the Geddes Dental Group, acquired by Abano Healthcare in November 2002. With a new look, leading edge business practices and targeted client marketing, Lumino is the only dental brand in New Zealand to reward its patients for their custom, by offering New Zealand’s most widely recognised and sophisticated loyalty programme – FlyBuys.

General manager of Abano Dental, Mr Frank Janssen, said: “Our aim is to make the Lumino brand a household name across the country. We started our expansion outside of Auckland with the acquisition of a dental practice in Dargaville earlier this year, and we are excited about the opportunity to take our brand further down the country.

“These two new Waikato practices will form the platform for our development in the region. We are also working on a number of opportunities in other regions, and our plan is to establish a nationwide network over the next two years.”

The two new dental practices will add revenues of $1.5 million to Abano Dental and provide a return on investment of greater than 25 percent on the practices’ contributing pre-tax profits. The two new practices both have a wide patient base in their communities, and both offer high end corrective and cosmetic dentistry. Currently, there are five full-time dentists and two dental hygienists, and no changes to staff or the current dental offerings are expected. New Zealand’s largest dental network spreads its wings Abano Dental is a wholly owned subsidiary of Abano Healthcare Group Limited.

Since November 2004, Abano Dental has invested in The Auckland Dental Group in Remuera Road, Victoria Avenue Dental Surgery and Dargaville Dental. All practices now operate either in association with or as a part of the Lumino brand.

Frank Janssen continued: “We are investing strongly in clinical and scheduling support software, as well as leading edge clinical technologies such as Serec, a specialist computer based topography software.

“In addition, we are committing to an advanced dental practice management process – The Prime Practice Management Programme - developed in Australia, which assists clinicians and surgery staff to ensure a full package of advice and procedures is offered to patients. The benefits of this programme have already been seen over the past two years at the Auckland Dental Group, now a part of Abano Dental, with many satisfied patients.”

Mr Alan Clarke, the managing director of Abano Healthcare Group commented: “The dental strategy is on target and we are happy with the interest shown by a number of practices across the country, in joining the Lumino group.

“In establishing our new national network, we have spent time and resource investing in our base support systems. This has meant ensuring our IT platform is performing to its potential and that we have appropriate long-term marketing and management systems in place.

“The result is that we now have the appropriate support in place to grow the network, and we are confident we will be able to generate sustainable long term rewards from our dental business, for our shareholders.”

- Ends -

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