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Hellaby gives profit guidance

HELLABY HOLDINGS LIMITED – NZX ANNOUNCEMENT 12 December 2008


Hellaby gives profit guidance

Investment company Hellaby Holdings Limited today provided market guidance for the financial year ending 30 June 2009, based on current trading conditions and the deteriorating New Zealand economic environment.

Hellaby Managing Director John Williamson said that the group’s performance in the five months year-to-date had been affected by the worsening economy across each of its four divisions: automotive, equipment, packaging and footwear retail.

As a consequence, unless there were a significant improvement in economic conditions during the first half of 2009, the company assesses that the Hellaby group trading surplus before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and before one-off transactions (EBITDA) could be between $30–36 million for the year to 30 June 2009. This compares to an EBITDA of $40.6 million in the previous financial year, including results from the discontinued operations of BBQ Factory.

Correspondingly, Hellaby group after tax profit (NPAT) may be within a range of $8-11 million for the year. This compares to an NPAT of $4.7 million in the previous year, which included the results of the BBQ Factory divestment.

Revenues for the automotive parts and packaging divisions experienced a slow start to the financial year due to lower demand.

Although same-store footwear sales through Hannahs and No 1 Shoes are approximately 2% ahead of the same period last year for the five months year-to-date, Mr Williamson said that overall margins have been lower due to increased competition for the consumer dollar. Results from the equipment division, which supplies the construction and materials handling sectors, are also expected to be behind those for last year reflecting a 20% lower demand for new equipment.

Mr Williamson said that Hellaby would continue to streamline the performance and balance sheet productivity of its subsidiaries during 2009. “We are still targeting bank debt to be below $70 million at 30 June 2009, compared to $85.5 million at the previous year end.

“Our key focus across the group remains on cashflow and return on investment, and we are expecting our working capital initiatives to deliver further improvements during the second half year. We will also continue to tighten financial disciplines and management processes irrespective of economic conditions, in order to take advantage of future growth opportunities when the economy improves.”

ENDS

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