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APG Deal Boosts Conduit's Australian Business

AUCKLAND, 14 May 2002 - Supply chain Internet application specialist Conduit has expanded its Trans-Tasman business, signing leading automotive parts and accessories distributor, Automotive Parts Group (APG) as a customer in Australia.

Conduit Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joanne Hodgson said the deal will see Conduit providing APG's Australian operating divisions with fully hosted and managed electronic data interchange (EDI) services to streamline its purchasing from suppliers. The agreement will also help APG grow cost-efficiencies across its business.

"Conduit will be responsible for APG's data translation, distribution and management, eliminating the need for additional internal software tools, resources and management. This will enable APG's IT team to focus on internal systems delivery," said Ms Hodgson.

Formally a subsidiary of Pacific Dunlop, APG became a standalone business in August 2001, following a management buyout of Pacific Automotive Australia and New Zealand.

APG's Gary West, General Manager Information Technology, said the change in company structure provided an opportunity to review APG's technology infrastructure requirements.

"A critical success factor for our business is being able to confidently expect delivery of product from suppliers," said Mr West.

"We reviewed a number of EDI product solutions and services, and concluded that Conduit would best provide the high level of transaction delivery service, including validation and management of data issues, required by APG," he said.

APG's four key operating divisions; Repco Australia, Repco/Appco New Zealand, Motospecs and Ashdown, operate from 400 locations, have around 4000 employees and manage thousands of orders each week.

Ms Hodgson said the APG deal, combined with Conduit's work for Australian wholesale foods distributor Bidvest and Australian frozen foods manufacturer Simplot, has significantly increased Conduit's business across the Tasman which she said was on track to grow to 30 per cent of Conduit's total revenue by the end of the year.

"There are significant ongoing opportunities for Conduit in Australia targeting companies in the mid-tier distribution and supply chain businesses," she said.

"Conduit will continue to focus on targeted acquisition of new business and profitable growth and we are pleased to show ongoing success where so many NZ and Australian companies have struggled."

Conduit Background

Conduit is a supply chain specialist organisation. The company's primary goal is to use Internet technology to make clients' business transactions more efficient. Its core business is supplying and hosting Internet-based supply chain applications, developed in-house or in partnership with other leading software application providers.

These applications take business-to-business supply chains and distribution to an electronic environment, creating cost-efficiencies for clients. Conduit's applications are provided in a hosted environment allowing clients to focus on their core revenue-generating business.

Conduit International Limited ( www.thewebconduit.com ) is a subsidiary of Renaissance Corporation, a technology company listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, with a 17% holding by the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) Conduit was formed in 1997 as a solutions group to support Renaissance Corporation. The company's core intellectual property was originally developed in response to Renaissance's need to identify a strategy for cost-reduction and competitive advantage in the New Zealand Information Technology market.

-ENDS-


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