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Calan says dividends will be restricted

Wednesday 26th November 2003

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The new $53 million private hospital Calan Healthcare is building in Melbourne will generate an income stream of some A$4 million a year for New Zealand unit holders when the investment is completed (scheduled for October 2004).

Calan saysa the hospital is an excellent example of how the public and private sector can cooperate to bring better health care infrastructure to the community.

New Zealand investors are providing the funding and will own the land and hospital, and the Epworth Foundation will operate the hospital.

The hospital is strategically sited adjacent to the Box Hill Public Hospital and the two hospitals are jointly investigating linking their buildings with an airbridge.

The 186-bed hospital willhave eight operating theatres, an angiography suite of two cardiac catheter laboratories and two dedicated endoscopy suites.

To fund a substantial portion of the hospital Calan has sold unconditionally some $32.8 million worth of non-strategic and non-yielding assets in New Zealand and Australia. A further $12.8 million worth of assets has been sold conditionally. The remaining portion will be funded by debt raised in Australia.

While funds available for unit holder distribution are anticipated to be restricted during the construction of Epworth, Calan will seek to maintain its gross distribution to unit holders at 8 cents a unit for this and next year.

Calan is actively seeking new opportunities to grow its healthcare infrastructure, principally in New Zealand.

It says the opportunities as "encouraging" but noted it was determined growth will only be where quality property and benchmarks of return can be achieved.

The trust is currently marketing the opportunity for surgeons, specialists and physicians to secure consulting space in a new medical consulting building on land owned by Calan adjacent to the country's largest private hospital, the Ascot Hospital in Auckland.

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