The New Trend: FSC Tropical Hardwood from Plantations

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Prime Forestry Group combines Business and Nature The new trend: FSC tropical hardwood from plantations Prime Forestry Group with head Office in Zurich Switzerland.

Active in the field of sustainable tropical hardwood cultivation, the Prime Forestry Group achieved sales of € 6m and a net profit of € 421,015 in the 2003 financial year. The market for FSC-certified tropical hardwood is growing at an incredible rate. Approximately 1,000 tree partners or customers are already participating in Prime Forestry’s commercially advantageous and ecologically sustainable business model. The new Vice President of the Board of Directors is Dr. Carol Franklin Engler.

On April 23, 2004, during the Annual General Meeting of Prime Forestry Switzerland AG, the shareholders gave their unanimous approval of the Prime Forestry Group’s 2003 consolidated financial statements. With sales of € 5.974m and a net profit of € 421,015, the 2003 financial year concluded on a very successful note.

The Prime Forestry Group is active in the sustainable cultivation of FSC-certified hardwood plantations in Central America. On two of its plantations in Panama, 700 hectares of previously deforested rainforest were reforested with teak trees and certified with the internationally recognized FSC label. This certification label is given to companies which managed forests according to environmentally and socially responsible principles.

FSC tropical hardwood reduces any over-exploitation of the rainforests

The growing demand for FSC-certified tropical hardwood is a sure sign of the large-scale market potential. Timber sourced from sustainable and professionally managed plantations helps to meet this demand while simultaneously preventing illegally felled timber from entering the market. The Prime Forestry Group is pursuing a clear expansion strategy with its philosophy of “Business and Nature in Harmony”. Over the course of the next ten years, it intends to cultivate more than 30,000 hectares of land with FSC-certified tropical hardwood.

Make a lasting investment - become a tree owner

The current commitment shown by each of our approximately 1,000 tree partners – mainly people with an affinity for timber as a raw material - contributes towards reducing the over-exploitation of the last remaining natural rainforests. Anyone willing to purchase a modest 1/10 hectare or approximately 111 trees at a price of € 3,200 can participate in Prime Forestry Switzerland AG’s business model. A harvest of approximately 40 cubic meters of timber can be expected from this area over the course of 20 years. The Prime Forestry Group anticipates the rate of return on timber sales to range from 8% to 14% depending on the teak market price development. (FSC and SmartWood are not responsible for any financial claims on returns on tree purchases).

Dr. Carol Franklin Engler now on the Board of Directors

Dr. Carol Franklin Engler is the new Vice President of Prime Forestry Switzerland AG’s Board of Directors. With her personality and her expertise in ecological and sustainability issues as well as her close connections within the business world, she is in a strategic position to provide valuable support to the company. On April 1, 2004, Juerg Ratkovic took up the position as Head of Investment Marketing and Member of the Board of Management. He is responsible for the development of sustainable timber products for institutional investors.

For further information, please contact:

Kurt E. Meier, CEO Prime Forestry Switzerland    Tel. 01 – 511 20 20

Peter Moeckli, CFO Prime Forestry Switzerland    Tel. 01 – 511 20 20

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Kurt E. Meier