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Improved half year result for Carter Holt Harvey

17 July 2002

Improved half year result for Carter Holt Harvey

Carter Holt Harvey today announced that its consolidated net earnings for the six months to 30 June 2002 was $73 million, compared to a loss of $15 million for the same period last year. Operating earnings (EBIT) increased by 74% to $143 million, compared to $82 million made a year earlier.

Consolidated net earnings of $56 million were made in the June Quarter, compared with $17 million in the March quarter and a loss of $34 million in the same quarter last year.

Carter Holt Harvey CEO Chris Liddell said he was pleased to see the improvement in the company’s results and attributed this equally to improving markets and a focus by management on several initiatives.

“We had sales of over $1billion for the last quarter – the result of developing new businesses, markets, products & services. Our exports continue to grow with New Zealand export sales for the first half up over 19% on the same period last year.

“We’ve also maintained our focus on working capital, reducing it by $202 million over the last 12 months. Capital expenditure as a percentage of depreciation and amortisation is at its lowest level since 1994. Selling and administration costs are decreasing as a percentage of sales. We are benefiting from the hedging position we put in place against the rising NZ dollar.

“In addition, our balance sheet remains especially strong with net interest bearing debt $420 million less than a year ago and the ratio of debt to total assets is now the lowest it has been in over a decade.”

Looking forward Mr Liddell said, “While the global outlook continues to be mixed, we expect over the remainder of the year to see a continuation of the solid operating performance experienced in the first half of 2002.”

- ends –

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