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Johnston Group PLC (JHT)

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Wednesday 29 March, 2000

Johnston Group PLC

Final Results - Year Ended 31 December 1999

Johnston Group PLC
29 March 2000

                        PRELIMINARY RESULTS
                                                   29th March 2000
                                 
                                 
*    Group operating profit increased to £5.9 million (1998  £5.7
     million)

*    Excluding  disposal gains, profit before tax at £6.3  million
     increased by 11%

*    Final dividend of 8.25p per ordinary share (1998 8.0p) making
     a  total  dividend for the year of 13.25p (1998  12.75p),  an
     increase of 3.9%

*    Strong balance sheet with gearing of 13.4% and interest cover
     of 9.2 times

*    Net assets per ordinary share 409p (1998 390p)

'Our  markets  are not getting easier; our businesses  have  major
opportunities for improvement.  We have a lot to do, but  we  face
the  future  with confidence.  The Board joins me in  anticipating
another year of progress in 2000.'



                                                     Roger Holland
                                                          Chairman
                                                                  
                                 
For further information:

Roger Holland,  Chairman               Lulu Bridges/Peter Willetts
Marcus Jordan, Managing Director       Tavistock Communications Limited
Johnston Group PLC                     Tel:  0171 600 2288
Tel:  01737 242466                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                       CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

Overview

1999  was  another year of progress for the Group.  Profit  before
taxation at £6.3 million was an improvement on 1998 excluding  the
gains  on disposals in that year.  Allowing for these gains,  pre-
tax  profits  increased  by  11%.  The Board  is  recommending  an
increased  final  dividend of 8.25p per ordinary share,  making  a
total dividend for the year of 13.25p per ordinary share.

Within  the  total  result, the construction  materials  companies
performed  well.   The quarrying companies, as reliable  as  ever,
reported  profits  similar  to  those  of  last  year  despite  an
increasingly  competitive environment.  The concrete  division  of
Johnston  Pipes  enjoyed an exceptional  year  and,  with  a  much
improved  second half, the GRP pipe division has made  encouraging
progress.

The  engineering activities produced mixed results.   In  the  UK,
Johnston Engineering performed well with profits slightly ahead of
the previous year.  This was no mean achievement in an environment
where  the continuing strength of sterling has hit export  margins
and  has  made  imports  more  competitive.   It  is  particularly
gratifying  to  see  the Sittingbourne factory  now  beginning  to
contribute  good  results  from the  new  compact  sweeper  range.
Elsewhere  in  Europe,  Johnston Beam  in  Denmark  increased  its
profits,  but  there  is still some way to go to  establish  Pfau-
Johnston  as  a  profitable  business in  Germany.   The  two-year
intensive programme, announced last year, to put Johnston  Sweeper
Company in the USA on a sounder footing, is on track.  Losses were
further  reduced  and,  with  new product  developments  and  much
improved marketing, the company is gaining share of the US market.
I  am  confident that the underlying strength of the business will
soon bear fruit.  In Australia, MacDonald Johnston Engineering had
a disappointing year.  While the hand-dryer and washroom equipment
business  performed  well, severe competition  eroded  margins  on
vehicles.  Disappointing too was the loss at Saxon Sanbec.  Recent
senior  management  changes are expected  to  turn  this  business
around  and  produce results more in line with its  strong  market
position.


Financial Review

Overall,  Group companies performed well against a  background  of
challenging market conditions.

Group turnover at £127.7 million showed a marginal increase of  3%
over  1998.  Turnover from continuing operations increased by  16%
reflecting  higher  turnover  in  the  engineering  division,   in
particular at Johnston Sweeper Company.

Profit before taxation of £6.3 million was fractionally lower than
the  profits  for  1998 which included £0.7  million  of  disposal
gains.  Group operating profit at £5.9 million was a little higher
than   the   previous  year  and  the  net  interest  charge   was
significantly  reduced  reflecting lower  average  borrowings  and
interest rates.

The operating profit from continuing operations was below that for
1998  and  reflects an increase in central costs arising from  the
triennial  valuation of the UK pension scheme and  the  consequent
increase in actuarial cost.

The  operating profit and interest charge from Hobas Pipe USA Inc.
has  been  classified as discontinued following the  sale  of  the
Group's  45%  shareholding on 24th January 2000.  The results  for
the  prior  year have been restated as discontinued in  accordance
with FRS 3.  The substantial gain on disposal of £2.4 million will
be reported in the 2000 results.

Cash  inflow from operating activities amounted to £10.4  million.
Major  contributors to this improvement over 1998  were  the  more
efficient  utilisation  of  working  capital  in  the  engineering
division  and debtor collection in the discontinued road surfacing
operations.   Capital expenditure at £2.7 million  remained  lower
than   depreciation,  reflecting  the  absence  of  major  capital
projects.  Cash inflow before financing was £3.3 million  and  net
debt  fell to £6.0 million.  Gearing was 13.4% and interest  cover
9.2 times.

The  overall tax rate was 33.9%.  This is higher than the standard
UK  rate  of 30.25% because of the combination of higher  overseas
tax   rates  and  permanent  timing  differences  arising  on  the
depreciation of mineral revaluation reserves.  Basic earnings  per
ordinary share were 29.95p.  This is below the prior year earnings
of 33.53p which benefited from a lower tax rate on disposal gains.


Board Changes

There have been some changes to the Board during the year with the
appointment  of  two non-executive directors.  In  June,  we  were
delighted  to  welcome  David Tree.   With  more  than  20  years'
association with the Group through his City roles, we will benefit
from  his  knowledge  and  experience.   More  recently,  we  have
appointed  Chris  Woodwark  who brings  experience  that  will  be
particularly  relevant  for  our growing  engineering  activities.
Among  other  board-level appointments, he has held the  posts  of
managing  director at Land Rover, Rover International, Rolls-Royce
Motor Cars and Cosworth Engineering.


Operating Review

Engineering

The sweeper division, which comprises Johnston Engineering and its
operations in the USA, Australia, Denmark and Germany, is a  world
leader  in the manufacture and distribution of road, precinct  and
airport  sweepers.   The  interchange  between  the  companies  of
design, engineering and manufacturing expertise is fundamental  to
the international nature of the division's operations.

Johnston  Engineering  made  good progress  in  1999,  maintaining
profit  levels  despite  the  further appreciation  of  the  pound
against  the Euro.  Production of truck mounted sweepers rose  for
the third year in succession and the company has started 2000 with
a strong order book.  Demand is growing strongly for the new range
of  compact sweepers produced at Sittingbourne where production is
at full stretch.  In Denmark, Johnston Beam reported its best year
since  joining the Group in 1996 due in part to a substantial  MOD
order  for  rapid  runway sweepers.  Although  Pfau-Johnston,  the
German  joint  venture company, increased sales,  it  nevertheless
incurred losses in a highly competitive market.

Johnston  Sweeper  Company continued to make progress  and  losses
were  further  reduced.  New models were launched as  the  company
continues   to   attack  new  sectors  within   the   US   market.
Considerable  engineering  effort has  been  devoted  to  tackling
environment  and  legislation  driven  issues  as  well   as   the
improvement of machine sweeping efficiency.  Management  has  been
strengthened   and  the  outlook  for  Johnston  Sweeper   Company
continues  to  improve as the company enters 2000  with  a  strong
order book.

In  Australia,  the performance of MacDonald Johnston  Engineering
did  not  quite  reach  expectations.  The sweeper  market  became
increasingly  competitive  whilst  the  demand  for   refuse   and
recycling  collection  vehicles  declined  during  the  year,  due
largely  to a slow down in vehicle replacement cycles and  reduced
Government emphasis on recycling.


Saxon Sanbec Limited

The   company  had  a  very  poor  year  with  a  loss  that   was
unacceptable.   A joint managing director has been appointed  with
the  specific  brief to raise manufacturing efficiencies,  improve
margins  and restore profitability.   Saxon Sanbec is expected  to
report much better results for 2000.


Construction materials

Johnston  Pipes  produced a fine result with  another  outstanding
performance from the concrete products division.  The GRP division
recovered well from a poor start.

Increased production efficiencies, good selling prices and margins
all contributed to the record profits from concrete products.  The
market  was consistently strong throughout 1999 and this  buoyancy
has continued into 2000.

The  GRP  division had a better year than 1998 despite  increasing
competition  in  this specialist pipe market.  Vigorous  marketing
and  sales  approaches to consultants, specialist contractors  and
the  national water companies are producing results.  The  company
is now well placed to exploit the changing UK water market and has
identified in particular opportunities for its products in schemes
arising from the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.

Hobas  Pipe  USA  Inc.  enjoyed another good year  with  increased
profits.  As has been announced, the Group's stake in this company
was  sold  during  January 2000 as our minority interest  gave  us
insufficient  control and because there was no immediate  prospect
of dividends.


Johnston Roadstone Limited

Local  Authority  expenditure  on  highway  maintenance  and  road
construction in the areas served by the Group's quarries continues
to  decline  at  an  annual  rate  of  around  4%.   Against  this
background Johnston Roadstone did well to achieve profits  similar
to  those  of  the  previous year.  There were no major  contracts
during  1999  and volumes of dry stone and coated  materials  were
reduced.   The  management  continued a rigorous  policy  of  cost
reduction  at  both  Leaton and Leinthall quarries  and  this  led
directly to improved margins on all products.

The  outlook for 2000 is similar to that of 1999.  Despite intense
competition the company is well placed to retain its share of  the
market.


Future Prospects

Looking  ahead,  we will continue to follow the  strategy  that  I
outlined  in  my  statement  last year.   We  plan  to  invest  in
businesses where there are good prospects both for growth and  for
a  group of our size to achieve leading market positions.  In line
with  this  policy, and having disposed of our minority  stake  in
Hobas  Pipe  USA Inc. earlier this year, we are actively  pursuing
acquisition opportunities.

Our  markets  are  not getting easier; our businesses  have  major
opportunities for improvement.  We have a lot to do, but  we  face
the  future  with confidence.  The Board joins me in  anticipating
another  year  of progress in 2000 and in thanking  our  employees
throughout  the Group for the contribution that they make  to  our
success.

                                                     Roger Holland
                                                          Chairman


JOHNSTON GROUP PLC
UNAUDITED GROUP PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT
For the year ended 31st December 1999

                                                     1999             1998
                                                     £000             £000
                                                                          
Turnover                                                                  
  Continuing operations                           127,668          109,901
  Discontinued operations                               -           13,851
                                                  -------          -------
                                                  127,668          123,752
Operating costs less other income                 121,748          118,061
                                                  -------          -------
Group operating profit                              5,920            5,691
                                                  -------          -------
Comprising:                                                               
Operating profit/(loss)                                                   
  Continuing operations - Group                     5,920            6,158
  Discontinued operations - Group                       -             (467)
                                                  -------          -------
Group operating profit                              5,920            5,691
  Discontinued operations - share of                                      
     associate's operating profit                   1,154            1,118
                                                  -------          -------
                                                    7,074            6,809
Profit on disposal of fixed assets                      -              341
Profit on disposal of discontinued                                        
  operations                                            -              385
                                                  -------          -------
Profit before interest                              7,074            7,535
Net interest payable and similar charges              772            1,136
                                                  -------          -------
Profit on ordinary activities                                             
  before taxation                                   6,302            6,399
Taxation                                            2,135            1,842
                                                  -------          -------
Profit on ordinary activities                                             
  after taxation                                    4,167            4,557
Minority equity interest                              847              854
                                                  -------          -------
Profit attributable to shareholders                 3,320            3,703
Dividends (ordinary and preference)                 1,525            1,471
                                                  -------          -------
Retained profit for the year                        1,795            2,232
                                                    =====            =====
Earnings per ordinary share                                               
  Basic                                            29.95p           33.53p
  Diluted                                          29.91p           33.49p
                                                    =====            =====




JOHNSTON GROUP PLC
UNAUDITED GROUP BALANCE SHEET
At 31st December 1999

                                                     1999            1998
                                                     £000            £000
                                                                         
Fixed assets                                                             
Tangible assets                                    31,451          31,868
Investments                                         2,960           2,293
                                                  -------         -------
                                                   34,411          34,161
                                                  -------         -------
Current assets                                                           
Stocks                                             23,649          23,587
Debtors                                            20,987          21,308
Cash at bank and in hand                            6,091           3,376
                                                  -------         -------
                                                   50,727          48,271
                                                  -------         -------
Creditors due within one year                      26,475          26,118
                                                  -------         -------
Net current assets                                 24,252          22,153
                                                  -------         -------
Total assets less current liabilities              58,663          56,314
Creditors due after one year                        9,585           9,373
Provisions for liabilities and charges              2,772           2,658
                                                  -------         -------
                                                   46,306          44,283
                                                    =====           =====
Capital and reserves                                                     
Called-up share capital                             2,075           2,075
Share premium account                               1,143           1,131
Revaluation reserve                                 7,695           7,937
Profit and loss account                            34,117          31,830
                                                  -------         -------
Shareholders' funds                                45,030          42,973
    
                                                                     
Equity interests                                   44,030          41,973
Non-equity interests                                1,000           1,000

                                                                         
Minority equity interest                            1,276           1,310
                                                  -------         -------
                                                   46,306          44,283
                                                    =====           =====



JOHNSTON GROUP PLC
UNAUDITED GROUP CASH FLOW STATEMENT
For the year ended 31st December 1999



                                                1999                  1998
                                     £000       £000      £000        £000
                                                                          
Cash flow from operating activities           10,439                 5,108
                                                                          
Returns on investment and servicing                                       
  of finance                                  (1,545)               (1,858)
                                                                          
Taxation                                      (1,461)                 (550)
                                                                          
Capital expenditure                           (2,719)               (1,823)
                                                                          
Disposals                                          -                 3,586
                                                                          
Equity dividends paid                         (1,398)               (1,317)
                                              -------               -------
Cash inflow before financing                   3,316                 3,146
                                                                          
Financing - issue of shares             12                   8            
         - decrease in debt           (320)             (2,225)           
                                   -------             -------            
                                                                          
                                               (308)               (2,217)
                                             -------               -------
                                                                          
Increase in cash in the period                3,008                   929
                                              =====                  =====




NOTES TO PRELIMINARY RESULTS

  1.   Divisional analysis of results of continuing operations  by
       activity
     
                                       Turnover               Operating
                                                             profit/(loss)
                                    1999       1998         1999       1998
                                    £000       £000         £000       £000
                                                                           
Engineering                       96,063     80,000        1,840      1,680
Construction materials            31,605     29,901        5,171      5,151
                                 -------    -------      -------    -------
                                 127,668    109,901        7,011      6,831
Central                                -          -      (1,091)       (673)
                                 -------    -------      -------    -------
                                 127,668    109,901        5,920      6,158
                                   =====      =====        =====      =====
     
     
2.   The  Board  is  recommending a final dividend  of  8.25p  per
     ordinary  share  (1998: 8.0p) payable on  7th  July  2000  to
     shareholders on the register as at 5th June 2000, which, with
     the  interim dividend of  5.0p (1998: 4.75p) makes 13.25p for
     the year (1998: 12.75p).

3.   The  calculation of the earnings per share is based on  Group
     profit for the year attributable to ordinary shareholders  of
     £3,220,000 (1998: £3,603,000) divided by the weighted average
     number  of  ordinary shares in issue.  The  weighted  average
     number  of  ordinary  shares in issue was  10,751,772  (1998:
     10,746,838).    Diluted   earnings   per   share   reflecting
     outstanding  share  options was based  on  10,764,705  (1998:
     10,756,199) ordinary shares, using an average share price for
     the year of 335p (1998:  309p).

4.   The  Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday  26th  May
     2000.

5.   The  preliminary  results  do not constitute  full  statutory
     accounts  and have not yet been reported on by the  auditors.
     Copies  of the full accounts for the year ended 31st December
     1999 will be posted to shareholders on 27th April 2000.   The
     preliminary  results  have  been  prepared  using  the   same
     accounting policies set out in the Group's statutory accounts
     for  the  year  ended  31st December  1998  which  have  been
     delivered  to  the Registrar of Companies  and  on  which  an
     unqualified  opinion  was issued under  section  235  of  the
     Companies  Act  1985.   The Group has now  adopted  Financial
     Reporting  Standard  12 - Provisions, Contingent  Liabilities
     and  Contingent  Assets (FRS 12) in the preliminary  results.
     There  has  been no need to adjust comparative figures  as  a
     result of adopting FRS 12.