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    INDUSTRIAL group Austrim Nylex has sold seven of its businesses for gross proceeds of $26.2 million, as part of a strategy to reduce the group's level of debt.

    Austrim Nylex also said its underlying sales and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were expected to post improvements in the 2003 financial year, before non-recurring items.

    As well as its strategy of reducing debt, the diversified manufacturer said other corporate strategies now in place included improving the performance of core businesses and maximising cash flows and productivity, plus changing the culture of the group to be more results orientated.

    Austrim Nylex sold its U-Neek Bending, Natra Radiators, National Radiators NZ and Air Radiators businesses from its engineered products division.

    It also sold Spurway Cooke (Singapore) from its building products division, Melba De Witte (Indian Textiles) and Henderson's Trim Plant (Adelaide).

    The sales of these non-core businesses continues our aggressive plan towards reducing group debt by $80 million by December 2003," Austrim Nylex managing director and chief executive Glen Casey said.

    "Total debt reduction for 2002 and 2003 will approximate $150 million taking the group debt down to around $250 million."

    Austrim Nylex said it would consider the appropriateness of current carrying values of non-current assets as part of the process of preparing accounts for the year ending June 2003.

    "Should assets, previously valued as continuing operations, be earmarked for divestment, their carrying values will be reduced, as divestment multiples are generally lower than multiples in continuing businesses," the company said.

    Austrim Nylex halved its first half loss to a $14.2 million net loss, compared to a $28.58 million net loss in the previous corresponding period.

    The result for the six months to December 31, 2002, included writedowns and provisions of $32.9 million.

    The company sold $70.2 million worth of non-core businesses to help offset debt during the first half.

    In terms of trading for the 2002/03 year, Austrim Nylex today said the sound performance of its ongoing operations had generally continued.







    Diversified industrials group Austrim Nylex has sold seven businesses for $26.2m, as part of its bid to reduce its mountain of debt.

    Austrim also said its underlying sales and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were expected to improve in the 2003 financial year, before non-recurring items.

    "The sales of these non-core businesses continues our aggressive plan towards reducing group debt by $80m by December 2003," Austrim managing director and chief executive Glen Casey said.

    "Total debt reduction for 2002 and 2003 will approximate $150m, taking the group debt down to around $250m."

    Austrim sold its U-Neek Bending, Natra Radiators, National Radiators NZ and Air Radiators businesses from its engineered products division.

    It also sold Spurway Cooke (Singapore) from its building products division, Melba De Witte (Indian Textiles) and Henderson's Trim Plant (Adelaide).

    In terms of trading for the 2002/03 year, Austrim said the sound performance of its ongoing operations had generally continued.

    "Prior to non-recurring items, underlying sales and EBITDA are expected to post improvements on the 2002 financial year result, following the winning of new contracts and the benefits of restructuring initiatives put in place by the board and management," the company said.

    Aside from reducing debt, other corporate strategies in place included improving the core business performance, maximising cash flows and productivity, and making the group more results-orientated.

    Austrim said it would consider the appropriateness of current carrying values of non-current assets as part of the process of preparing accounts for the year ending June 2003.

    "Should assets, previously valued as continuing operations, be earmarked for divestment, their carrying values will be reduced, as divestment multiples are generally lower than multiples in continuing businesses," the company said.

    "Provisions for the continuing, successful restructure of operations will also be reviewed at year end."

    Austrim booked a $14.2m net loss in the first half of 2003, compared to a $28.58m net loss in the previous corresponding period.

    The result for the six months to December 31, 2002, included writedowns and provisions of $32.9m. The company sold $70.2m worth of non-core businesses to help offset debt during the first half.


 
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