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South Canterbury Finance Boosts Equity

9 November 2007
Media release

South Canterbury Finance Boosts Equity and Builds 'War Chest'

South Canterbury Finance today announced the sale of its 12.75% shareholding in Dairy Holdings Limited to Southbury Group for $42 million, realising a capital profit of $40 million. The transaction has been funded externally.

In addition, Southbury Group will inject a further $25 million of new capital into South Canterbury Finance Limited.

The sale and new capital transaction will take effect on 30 November 2007 and will result in a $65 million increase in shareholders’ equity in South Canterbury Finance, which now totals $262.6 million. This is based on shareholders’ funds of $197.6 million as at 30 June 2007 and includes perpetual preference share capital of $120 million.

Commenting on the sale, South Canterbury Finance CEO, Lachie McLeod, said South Canterbury Finance had held an interest in Dairy Holdings for many years and it was in a sector that Chairman, Allan Hubbard, had a strong interest in.

“With dairy prices at favourable levels this presents us with an opportunity to realise the value in this relatively unknown investment of ours and provides a significant boost to our equity capital and cash reserves. The sale places South Canterbury Finance in a very strong position to pursue the significant lending and funding opportunities that have become available to us in recent times. It also enables us to continue building up our war chest for future opportunities.”

South Canterbury Finance is also pleased to announce that, for the three months to 30 September 2007, unaudited net profit before tax was $15.6 million – 19% above budget for the period and 45.8% above that recorded for the prior corresponding period.

While South Canterbury Finance anticipates profits may ease from this level in the remaining nine months to 30 June 2008, based on current market conditions, it is expecting a Group net profit before tax of at least

$85 million for the full 12 months (including the $40 million capital profit on the sale of Dairy Holdings Limited).

Chairman, Allan Hubbard said, “With an increase in shareholders’ funds of $65 million, sound liquidity and strong ongoing levels of profitability South Canterbury Finance is in an excellent position to capitalise on the favourable lending opportunities currently existing in the sector. We are looking to consolidate our position over the next 12-18 months as one of the largest and most successful finance companies in New Zealand.”


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