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St Laurence Produces Record $31 Million Profit


St Laurence Produces Record $31 Million Profit

St Laurence Property & Finance Limited (SLPF) today announced a record result with a consolidated net surplus after tax of $31.09 million for the financial year ended 31 March 2006, up 72% on the $18.06 million surplus achieved the previous year. The earnings per security were 29.6 cents, up from 17.6 cents for the previous year.

SLPF had total consolidated operating revenue of $48.4 million compared with $35.7 million for the 31 March 2005 year. Revenue included the realised gain, of approximately $12 million, on SLPF’s investment in Elrond Group Holdings Limited, which was sold in December 2005. A total profit of $15.3 million was achieved on this investment, with $3.3 million accounted for in previous years.

There were also revaluation gains of $25.7 million on the group’s property portfolio, representing capital growth in excess of 10% on the portfolio. This growth reflects the continued strong performance of the portfolio and the robust New Zealand property market.

John Mallon, chief executive said SLPF had performed strongly during the year producing another record result. “We continue to focus on active property investment and achieving profitable growth from the existing asset base, as well as through new investments.”

“The last year has seen continued growth in assets and equity. The company remains in a sound financial position and well placed to take advantage of future opportunities. Total consolidated assets were up 38% to $381 million as at 31 March 2006 (on top of 18% growth the previous year) and group equity increased significantly to $105.5 million, from $74.5 million.”

The growth in equity has resulted in a 24% increase in the net asset backing per security to $1.39, from $1.12 as at 31 March 2005.

SLPF undertook a number of new acquisitions and investments during the year. These included Central Park, an industrial property complex located in Porirua purchased in July 2005 for $14.2 million. Further leasing of space within the existing warehouse and an increase in demand for quality industrial space and development land in the Wellington region has seen the valuation of this property increase to $20.5 million as at 31 March 2006.
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SLPF also acquired the office building (formally HP House) located at 131 Quay Street on the Auckland waterfront, in November 2005 for $24.75 million. It has also bought two residential land subdivision projects located in New South Wales, Australia for a total of A$14 million.

SLPF also holds a 50% interest in two joint ventures which together own 5 hectares of prime development land on Lunn Avenue, Mt Wellington, Auckland. The investment delivered $1.43 million of combined earnings to SLPF for the year to 31 March 2006.

One of these joint ventures has conditionally acquired an adjacent property comprising a further 2.5 hectares of land which will be available for future development.

“The Lunn Avenue land has been earmarked for a substantial retail and commercial development. Our plans for the development are well advanced with significant leasing pre-commitment, and construction is likely to commence in early 2007,” Mr Mallon said.

Since 31 March 2006, SLPF has remained active with a number of investment opportunities currently under consideration.

“We will target further investment opportunities in line with the company’s investment strategy. We have strong liquidity and our recent successful $50 million bond issue has further enhanced our funding base. The company is well positioned to take advantage of further investment opportunities,” Mr Mallon said.

ENDS

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