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St Laurence Property & Finance

30 November 2005

St Laurence Property & Finance Produces $0.92 million half year surplus

St Laurence Property & Finance Limited (SLP&F) has announced a consolidated net surplus after tax of $0.92 million for the half year to 30 September 2005. This compares to the net surplus of $3.37 million for the previous half year.

Total group operating revenue for the half year was $20.2 million compared with $16.9 million for the previous half year. There were increases in interest income and rental income generated by the group, and gains of $1.9 million were also recognised on investments over the half year. Operating expenses were maintained in line with expectations; however a bad debt expense of $3.5 million was recognised for the half year.

"Our investments in Elrond Group Holdings Limited and the Lunn Avenue joint venture continue to perform strongly, contributing a total of $1.8 million of earnings to the group for the half year," said John Mallon, Chief Executive of SLP&F.

Total group assets increased by 14% over the half year, from $275 million as at 31 March 2005 to $314 million as at 30 September 2005.

Subsequent to 30 September 2005, SLP&F has conditionally sold its shareholding in Elrond Group Holdings Limited, the aged care investment, for a price of in excess of $16.5 million. The book value of the shareholding as at 30 September 2005 was $4.8 million.

"We expect the sale to go unconditional over the next 2 weeks and be settled during December 2005. The profit of approximately $11.7 million realised on a sale of the shareholding in Elrond Group Holdings Limited would be recognised in full year results to 31 March 2006."

The net surplus for the half year does not include any gains in the book values of the group's property portfolio. The properties held through the 12 property syndicate companies in which SLP&F is the majority shareholder were revalued as at 30 September 2005 for the purposes of an amalgamation proposal (involving 8 of the companies). The combined increase in valuations was $8.7 million. It is anticipated that these gains, along with any further gains on the properties directly owned by SLP&F would flow through to the full year results.

John Mallon said, "The group is on track to produce another satisfactory result for the full year, particularly with the profits we anticipate on the sale of our Elrond shareholding and any further gains from the group property portfolio. We expect the full year profit to exceed last year's net profit result of $18.06 million."

Since 30 September 2005, St Laurence Property & Finance has continued to be active in the market. It has recently announced the purchase of HP House in Auckland for $24.75 million and has also acquired a residential subdivision project in the Hunter Valley, NSW Australia for A$10.7 million.


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