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Carter Holt Harvey Eyes Asian Growth


12 December 2002
For Immediate Release

Carter Holt Harvey Eyes Asian Growth Following Acquisition of Tasmanian Panels Plant

Carter Holt Harvey is set for significant growth in its Asian wood panel exports following the completion of an agreement with Starwood Australia to purchase the Tasmanian company’s Bell Bay Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) plant for $A50m.

“This acquisition will enable us to achieve stronger volumes and margins from Asian markets,” says Carter Holt Harvey Chief Operating Officer Ian Unwin.

Carter Holt Harvey’s exports of MDF to Asia have grown by 60% over the last twelve months to 260,000m3 per annum. Bell Bay delivers an additional 180,000m3, increasing the company’s total MDF capacity by 36%. Carter Holt Harvey’s other MDF facilities are in Oberon, NSW and Rangiora, New Zealand.

The Bell Bay facility was built in 1998 as a greenfields investment and employs 112 staff. It will enable Carter Holt Harvey to produce ‘thick’ board closer to markets in Australia’s southern states, freeing up capacity at the Oberon and Rangiora facilities to increase production of high value ‘thin’ MDF – most of which will be destined for Asian markets.

“China is a particularly exciting market for us,” says Mr Unwin. “Strong economic growth, entry to the WTO and the 2008 Beijing Olympics have resulted in exceptionally strong demand for quality wood products. In greater Shanghai alone, around 200,000 homes and units are built each year, while China’s furniture industry is growing by over 40% per annum.”

China is currently Carter Holt Harvey’s third largest Asian market for MDF behind Japan and Korea. The company has over a decade’s experience in the Chinese market. As well as offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong, Carter Holt Harvey has a marketing agreement with International Paper Pacific Millennium, a leading forest products distributor in China, to market MDF and other panel products in five of China’s Northern provinces.

Carter Holt Harvey’s MDF products are primarily used for furniture and joinery, as well as more than 200 products as diverse as shoes, fans, flooring, veneer overlays, mouldings, melamine and printed circuit boards.

- ENDS -


Carter Holt Harvey (www.chh.com) is a leading Australasian company, with diverse interests in wood products, tissue, forestry,
manufacturing, pulp and paper, information technology and venture capital. With a head office based in Auckland,
New Zealand, the company employs 10,000 people directly. Leading Carter Holt Harvey brands include Sorbent, Deeko, Treasures,
Libra, Customwood, Pinex and Bestwood.


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