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Steady Profit And Share Buyback Programme

22 August 2001

Evergreen Announces Steady Profit And Share Buyback Programme

Evergreen Forests Limited has reported a consolidated net profit of $5.044m for the 12 months ended 30th June 2001 (2000: $5.152m). The company's independently assessed year-end forest value increased to $157.4m (2000: $148.6m). Net asset value per share was $0.85 at year-end (2000: $0.86).

Chief Executive Mark Bogle said that the profit and valuation increase represented a very satisfactory result in what has been a difficult year for the sector.

Evergreen's operating surplus for the year increased to $6.508m (2000: $5.159m) on a harvest volume of 163,039m3 (2000: 141,458m3). The net profit of $5.044m incorporates a $1.465m write down in the Company's investment in the Nuhaka Forestry Fund.

Mr Bogle said that prices for high-quality pruned logs had been firm throughout the year and that this had been a key factor in the company's ability to deliver an increased operating surplus. Strength in the pruned log market had also helped to underpin the year-end forest valuation.

Evergreen's Chairman Peter Wilson announced that the company would not be paying a dividend for year ended June 30 2001 but it intends, during the next twelve months, to conduct an on market buy back of up to 2,814,687 (2%) of its ordinary shares. Mr Wilson said that the Board had determined that an on market share buy back programme would enhance shareholder value given the difference between the company's share price and underlying asset value.

Evergreen expects to continue its growth strategy as opportunities become available.

Evergreen is a public company listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and the Australian Stock Exchange. The company owns or has cutting rights over 21,000 stocked hectares (52,000 acres) planted in fast-growing radiata pine. Its forest properties are principally located in Northland, South Auckland, the East Coast and the West Coast of the South Island.

Ends


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