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Solid Nathans Finance result

Attention Business Editors
For Immediate Release
Tuesday September 19, 2006

Solid Nathans Finance result

NZX-listed VTL Group Ltd’s subsidiary Nathans Finance NZ Ltd today announced an audited 47.3% higher record net profit of $4.97 million for the year to June 30, 2006.

VTL Group’s chairman Gary Stevens says the result highlights the contribution of Nathans to the wider VTL Group, which recently announced that its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation, equity earnings and unusual items (EBITDA) jumped to $17.699 million in the latest June 30 year.

“We said last month that the Directors believed that Nathans Finance ‘alone (was) worth a lot more than the (then) market capitalisation of the VTL Group’ and was part of the value hidden within our company at that time,” Mr Stevens said.

“We believe that releasing this latest profit figure will help the market make its own assessment of the underlying value of Nathans, and all of VTL’s businesses, in comparison with its current market capitalisation of approx $30million.”

Mr Stevens said one of Nathans Finance’s original roles was to support VTL Group’s expansion in Australia, Europe and the United States.

“It is achieving that. For example, the US now accounts for more than 85% of VTL’s business and in the current financial year our 24seven brand is expecting to sell around 80 vending machine franchises there at an average value of US$250,000 each.”

Nathans Finance recently announced that it intended to develop finance operations in the US and Australia in order to match borrowing with lending in those regions and to better manage the loans made there.

Nathans Finance chairman Roger Moses said that in addition Banco Popular North America, through its small business capital division, had now agreed to refinance existing loans and to lend to qualifying new franchisees, on terms aligned with the US small business market.

“This new arrangement will allow Nathans Finance to fulfil the objective of broadening its lending book outside of VTL-related activities. In addition, the company is keen to look at buying existing books of loans, which complement its lending profile.”

Mr Moses said Nathans had never lent on cars, or for retail purposes, and does not plan to change that policy.

During the latest year Nathans Finance’s total assets increased by 26% from $137 million to $172.2 million.

Mr Moses said that Nathans Finance had continued its unblemished record of no bad debts.

“Nathans Finance is in a unique position in that VTL Group’s franchise operators have their business performance monitored electronically on a daily basis. This means that any business difficulties they are experiencing are picked up early, so immediate remedial action can be taken.”

He said Nathans Finance was well placed for significant growth.


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