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Jacks (William) PLC (JCKS)

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Friday 08 December, 2000

Jacks (William) PLC

Trading Announcement

Jacks(William) PLC
8 December 2000


WILLIAM JACKS PLC ('THE COMPANY')

TRADING ANNOUNCEMENT 

The Chairman's statement within the interim results, which was published on
15th September, referred to recently announced price reductions by the
manufacturers and our view, at that time, that these actions would assist our
trading performance in the second-half. However, during the last couple of
months, we have not yet seen a major return to the market-place by consumers.
Also, with pressure on margins resulting from the whole pricing issue, it is
now our view that the second-half will see little progress in terms of trading
performance.
A major factor this year has been the substantial losses sustained at our West
London Rover operation. As disclosed in the interim statement, our initial
plans had to be re-evaluated following the disposal of Rover by BMW. As a
result, we are in the process of closing our bodyshop at this location
although we intend to retain the Rover and MG franchises for the time being.
Whilst our trading opportunities have suffered from the dislocation caused by
the transfer of MINI from Rover to BMW, at least the opportunity of selling
this vehicle is not lost to us. Indeed, we have instead been awarded the MINI
franchise for each of our BMW operations in Ascot, Cobham and Wimbledon. We
continue to be optimistic about the prospects for the new MINI, which is
expected to be launched in July/August 2001, and we believe it will contribute
positively to future earnings.
We are also pleased to announce that we have taken the Honda franchise for the
Dorking and Reigate territories. This will operate alongside our existing
Chrysler Jeep and Rover franchises in Dorking and from a prime town centre
showroom in Reigate. We consider this opportunity fits well within our overall
strategy and provides an incremental benefit from an additional franchise with
low initial investment.
Contracts have been exchanged for the disposal of our Thomson and Taylor site
in Cobham. Whilst completion is subject to residential planning consent being
obtained, it is hoped that this will be within the current financial year,
which would enable us to report a significant profit on disposal in the second
half.


Contact:-

John Adair - William Jacks plc              01344 625007