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Ports of Auckland credit rating

Wednesday 27 October 2004

Ports of Auckland credit rating

Standard & Poor's has completed its annual review of Ports of Auckland's long-term and short-term credit ratings, which remain unchanged at A and A-1 respectively.

These ratings continue to maintain the Company's investment grade status for the purposes of institutional investors. Ports of Auckland has the highest Standard & Poor's rating among New Zealand port companies.

The future outlook has been adjusted to stable for both ratings. Standard & Poor's said that the outlook revision reflected the increased competitive environment for container throughput in New Zealand's North Island.

"POAL continues to enjoy a strong market position as New Zealand's major marine transport facility, and its conservative financial profile does enable POAL to absorb some unforeseeable shocks," Standard & Poor's said in its review release.

Ports of Auckland Chief Executive Geoff Vazey said: "Ports of Auckland is in a very sound financial position, underpinned by strong fundamentals. The Company's debt to debt-plus-equity ratio is currently 23%.

"Looking ahead, we are in good shape. Our strategy is clear and we are continuing to achieve against it. As reported at the Annual Meeting on 21 October, after the first three months of the new financial year the Company is trading to expectation. Net profit after tax including unusual items is slightly up. We are trading soundly," Mr Vazey said.

ENDS

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