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Yorkshire Group PLC (YOR)

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Monday 26 March, 2001

Yorkshire Group PLC

Final Results

Yorkshire Group PLC
26 March 2001

Monday 26th March 2001

                             YORKSHIRE GROUP PLC

                        2000 PRELIMINARY ANNOUNCEMENT


                                             Year to 31st December
                                                   2000         1999     Change
Turnover                                        £143.4m       £60.4m  up £83.0m
Operating profit/(loss)                           £9.6m      (£0.2m)   up £9.8m
Profit before taxation & exceptional items        £6.9m        £0.8m   up £6.1m
Exceptional income                                £7.5m            -
Exceptional re-organisation cost                      -     (£25.0m)
Earnings per share before exceptional items       9.0 p       (1.1)p   up 10.1p
Earnings per share                               21.2 p      (51.1)p
Operating profit/(loss) margin                     6.7%       (0.3%)
Net gearing                                         27%          30%

  * Acquisition of Crompton businesses in December 1999 creates leading
    global dyestuff supplier
  * Global restructuring successfully underway
  * Improved profitability in Asia Pacific
  * Ongoing erosion of North American markets
  * Resources increasingly focused on higher margin business

Sid Taylor, Chairman, commenting on prospects said:-

'Both in Europe and the US, the year has opened more slowly than the beginning
of 2000. In the US in particular, the general downturn in the economy is
putting additional pressure on our customer base which, in the apparel sector,
also continues to feel the impact of Asian imports.

Given the difficult trading conditions in the US, the Company's emphasis on
restructuring its operating cost base is of great importance. We believe that
the additional cost savings to be achieved from the continuing restructuring
programme will enable the group to offset some of the effects of the market

In summary, we are cautiously optimistic for the future. Whilst the US economy
causes concern in the short term, further out, we believe that the combination
of selective acquisitions, sales growth in Asia Pacific and substantial cost
savings in Europe and the US, will enable Yorkshire to succeed in a tough and
rapidly changing global industry'.


Andrew Dick, Chief Executive

Stevan Fowler, Finance Director

Yorkshire Group plc

Tel. 020 7282 8000 until 12pm

thereafter 0113 244 3111

Seb Hoyle

Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Tel. 020 7638 9571

                             CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT

                             PRELIMINARY RESULTS

                       YEAR ENDED - 31st DECEMBER, 2000


Following the difficulties of the previous two years, 2000 was the year in
which the Yorkshire group, transformed by its acquisition of the Crompton dyes
businesses in December 1999, emerged as one of the world's four major dyestuff
suppliers. With a much broader range of products, substantial assets outside
the UK and a wider geographic sales base, Yorkshire is now significantly less
vulnerable as a group to the forces which have so heavily undermined its
financial performance in recent years, notably the sharp appreciation of
sterling against European currencies and the large-scale installation of
disperse dyemaking capacity in Asia.

These fundamental changes in our market, product and asset mix, combined with
a modest improvement in market conditions, enabled the group to deliver its
best set of results since 1997. More importantly, Yorkshire has now created a
platform for growth, based on a combination of marketing potential and its
traditional strengths in driving operating efficiencies.


For the year ended 31st December 2000, group sales increased by 137% from £
60.4 m in 1999 to £143.4 m. Group operating profits of £9.6 m, compared with
an operating loss of £0.2 m for the previous year, clearly demonstrated the
new earnings potential of the enlarged group.

After interest charges of £2.7 m, profits before tax and exceptional items of
£6.9 m were over nine times higher than in 1999.

The exceptional profit of £7.5 m for the year ended 31st December 2000,
reflected the receipt from Berkeley Group plc in connection with a major
development project adjacent to the group's site at Hunslet Road, Leeds and
the sale of the group's office and warehouse in Spain.

Net borrowings at the year end were £20.1 m, with gearing at 27%.

Earnings per share before exceptional items were 9.0 pence compared with a
loss of 1.1 pence per share for the previous year.


It was apparent from the outset that the acquisition of the Crompton
businesses was a watershed for the Yorkshire group, the culmination of several
years of intensive effort dedicated to refocusing the business.

The current phase of strategic development is concentrated on maximising the
operating potential of the enlarged group. In marketing terms, this will be
spearheaded by targeted promotion of systems selling and by the establishment
of directly owned sales and service operations in the world's key textile
markets. In terms of production, dyestuff manufacturing will be concentrated
in those areas where the group believes it will have long term competitive
advantage. Excess capacity will be taken out and the trend to outsourcing
commodity dyes accelerated.

In parallel, the group will continue to seek opportunities to enhance
shareholder value through acquisitions in its chosen sector of dyes and
textile speciality products.


Having established a solid platform for profitable growth, the group made a
number of moves at board level in 2000 which are intended to accelerate the
momentum of change within the business, whilst ensuring that suitable
opportunities for growth by acquisition can be pursued in a global industry
which continues to consolidate.

After 'four interesting and challenging years', Stuart Wallis stepped down as
Chairman at the end of September. The Company would like to express its
gratitude for the transformation of the group which was effected under his
determined and clear-sighted leadership. Having been a non-executive director
since 1st October, 1999, I welcome the opportunity now to chair the group as
it maximises its new-found potential.

At the year end, after more than five years as Chief Executive, during one of
the most challenging periods in the history of the group and the industry,
Michael Greenhalgh handed over the reins to Andrew Dick. We are very grateful
to Michael for the part he played in transforming the group and pleased that
his abilities will still be available to us in his new role as Business
Development Director with special responsibility for strategic planning and
mergers and acquisitions.

Andrew Dick joined us from Dynacast International Limited on 20th November,
2000 with a successful track record as an international business manager. He
became Chief Executive on 1st January, 2001, and I anticipate that, in
addition to his management expertise, he will bring a high level of energy and
drive to the management of Yorkshire's enlarged and growing business.

On 23rd March, 2001 Frank Holt, Managing Director of Eurasia left the Company.
The board of directors would like to thank Frank for his contribution during
the last four years in building up the Asian business and developing
Yorkshire's activities in Europe. We wish him every success in his future
career. Michael Greenhalgh will assume Frank's responsibilities on a temporary
basis in addition to his new role.

The number of employees at the year end was 1,181, similar to those at the end
of 1999. Sadly however, a number of employees were released at Viochrom in
2000 and today the legal consultation process with its employees commenced
regarding its full closure as a manufacturing site. This is a result of the
ongoing reorganisation of European manufacturing. For the same reason, we
launched the closure of the dye manufacturing operations at Tertre in Belgium
by the end of 2001, together with the administration office in Brussels the
following year. We have now reached agreement on severance terms with the
employees concerned and are actively engaged in transferring products to other
group sites.

These are very painful decisions, especially for those directly affected, and
we are grateful for the understanding shown by everyone involved in these
necessary, but difficult restructuring exercises.

Rapid strides were made in integrating the old Crompton and Yorkshire
businesses and in forging a common sense of identity and purpose.

We would also like to welcome the colleagues who have recently joined the
Yorkshire family through the acquisitions of new subsidiaries in Portugal and


The directors propose to pay a final dividend of 3.0 pence per share, making
the total dividend for the year 4.5 pence. The dividend is twice covered and
compares with a total dividend of 6.1 pence for 1999, which reflected the
significant cash resources then available to the group, rather than its
underlying profitability. The final dividend will be paid on 25th May, 2001 to
shareholders on the register at the close of business on 11th May, 2001.


Both in Europe and the US, the year has opened more slowly than the beginning
of 2000. In the US in particular, the general downturn in the economy is
putting additional pressure on our customer base which, in the apparel sector,
also continues to feel the impact of Asian imports.

Given the difficult trading conditions in the US, the Company's emphasis on
restructuring its operating cost base is of great importance. We believe that
the additional cost savings to be achieved from the continuing restructuring
programme will enable the group to offset some of the effects of the market

In summary, we are cautiously optimistic for the future. Whilst the US economy
causes concern in the short term, further out, we believe that the combination
of selective acquisitions, sales growth in Asia Pacific and substantial cost
savings in Europe and the US, will enable Yorkshire to succeed in a tough and
rapidly changing global industry.

        Sid Taylor


        26th March, 2001

                           CHIEF EXECUTIVE'S REVIEW

                             PRELIMINARY RESULTS

                       YEAR ENDED - 31st DECEMBER, 2000


2000 was another challenging year but one of an altogether more positive
nature than in recent years. The agenda was set by the acquisition of the
Crompton businesses at the end of 1999, calling for a major programme of
integration, a fundamental review of the new group's manufacturing capacity
and investment of resource in growth areas of the business. The outcome, in
terms of profitability achieved and progress in re-shaping the business,
reinforced our belief that the Yorkshire group has been fundamentally
transformed for the better.


Group sales from operations during the year of £143.4 m were more than double
those of 1999. The businesses acquired from Crompton enabled the Company to
increase sales by 300% in the Americas, 73% in Europe and 69% in Asia Pacific.
One of the most encouraging aspects of the year was the extension of the
group's selling ranges beyond disperse and basic dyes into acids, reactives
and directs. This had two major advantages: it reinforced the group's
increasing concentration on niche markets and provided better utilization of
the Company's selling subsidiaries, especially in continental Europe.

The more comprehensive dyestuff ranges both require and justify the
development of the group's own sales and service operations in key textile
markets. In September therefore, we acquired a 50% interest in Bruncolor,
Yorkshire's long-standing distributor in Portugal. We intend this to be the
first of several such moves.

Group operating profits of £9.6 m showed a return on sales of 6.7%, which at
this stage, before most of the benefits of restructuring have come through, is
considered very satisfactory.

The increase of £6.6 m in group inventories to £52.4 m had three main causes:
the appreciation of the dollar produced an increase in US inventories of £1.8
m; within the US, the programme of transferring manufactured products away
from the Crompton supply agreements and into Lowell has inevitably produced a
temporary increase in levels of raw materials and work-in-progress; and, in
Europe we have increased stocks of key products in order to protect customer
service levels against potential problems arising from the Company's
restructuring of production capacity. It is our intention to bring inventory
levels down substantially within the group during 2001.

Capital expenditure of £4.1 m was slightly above the depreciation charge in
2000. We anticipate an increase in capital expenditure during 2001 as the
expansion of Lowell and the European manufacturing reorganisation projects are
implemented, before falling in subsequent years.


In 2000, the group's European and Asia Pacific businesses were managed as a
single entity in order to control the process of integration more effectively
during the first twelve months following the acquisition. During 2001 however,
given the widely differing market dynamics, we plan to split the region to be
managed as two separate profit centres.

Divisional sales for the twelve months increased by £31.1 m to £79.1 m.
Significant advances were made in improving profitability as low margin
commodity business was progressively eliminated in favour of package sales and
niche products. The acquisition of the Crompton product ranges has also helped
to accelerate this shift.

The main focus of attention in 2000 was on the restructuring of the commercial
and manufacturing operations. Not the least of the benefits of the Crompton
acquisition was the opportunity to increase significantly the volume of sales
through Yorkshire's four long established European subsidiaries, to which was
added a fifth in Portugal, as noted, in September. By the end of the year, the
rationalisation of the European sales network was substantially complete with
the acquisition of Crompton's former French agents with effect from 31st
December, 2000.

Given Yorkshire's excess dye production capacity, it was recognised from the
outset that considerable restructuring of the group's four European
manufacturing operations would be necessary. The first step was the
rationalisation of Viochrom by the transfer of all non-automotive and
non-solvent dyes to Leeds in the first half of 2000. Next, following detailed
preparation, the process of closing the former Crompton dyemaking plant in
Tertre, Belgium and the administration and computer centre in Brussels, was
launched in mid-November and confirmed in mid-January, 2001. The closure of
the plant and the transfer of products to the sister plants in Oissel, France
and Leeds is now proceeding apace with a view to completion by the end of
2001. These moves, though disruptive and painful in human terms, are an
unavoidable response to the problem of global overcapacity in dyemaking and
will go a long way towards aligning the group's European manufacturing
capacity with its long term requirements. The substantial benefits of the
consequent reduction in the European cost base, which will come through in the
results for 2002, are in line with original expectations.

The outsourcing of greater volumes of finished and semi-finished product has
been a cornerstone of Yorkshire's drive to improve margins and of
manufacturing rationalisation for the past two years. More progress was made
during 2000 and is becoming an ever-increasing focus of management attention
in 2001 as the group's production capacity is scaled down.

For Asia Pacific, as for Europe, 2000 was a year of restructuring and
integration. In trading terms, the highlights were the performance of the Hong
Kong sales team and the steadily improving performance of the Indonesian
company which had its best ever year. Following the consolidation, one of the
group's key objectives during 2001 is to increase its sales and service
resources in the strategic markets of Asia, where our existing market shares
are still low in relation to the potential of the group and the dynamic nature
of the markets in that region.

In summary, 2000 was essentially a year of restructuring and integration.
Given the substantial cost reductions in the pipeline within Europe and the
opportunities for market growth in Asia Pacific, once the appropriate
resources are in place, we regard the Eurasian trading operating profits of £
2.9 m and return on sales of 3.7% as encouraging.


Sales in the US were $105.4 m compared with $23.7 m in 1999.

The majority of the Crompton dyes businesses acquired in December, 1999 was in
the US and it came as no surprise therefore that 79% of the group's operating
profits came from the US.

The steady erosion of the apparel customer base in the face of a growing tide
of imports continued during 2000, but was compensated by other markets such as
carpets and home furnishings. Also, pricing pressure in 2000 was less intense,
with more percentage reductions in single digits rather than the double digits
characteristic of the two previous years.

To compensate in part for the ongoing erosion of North American markets,
increasing efforts were made to sell into South and Central America. During
2000 sales in Brazil were particularly encouraging.

One of the key benefits of the Crompton deal was that only one of Crompton's
five US dye manufacturing plants was acquired. During 2000 and 2001 the single
biggest project for the group's US business is to scale down purchases under
the supply agreements with Crompton by transferring the manufacture of
products to Lowell and to Europe, or to replace them where appropriate by
outsourcing. Towards the end of 2000, Lowell was operating at full capacity
with the further investment required to increase capacity ready to proceed as
soon as the necessary environmental permits are received in the second quarter
of 2001. The project remains on track but in view of the downturn in US
markets, the intention is to terminate the supply agreements as early as
possible during the second half of 2001. At the same time we have reduced the
original investment of $6 m by some 20%.

The part of Crompton's US dye operations which Yorkshire did not buy was the
industrial dyes business. In consequence, a number of service agreements were
put in place to give each party time to make its own arrangements. By the end
of 2000, Yorkshire had ended all such service agreements, gaining significant
improvements in both costs and management control.


The group's strategic priorities are clear: to trim back resources in the
mature markets of the US and Europe whilst building them up in growth markets;
to reduce its European manufacturing capacity to a level at which the products
the group chooses to manufacture can be sold profitably; to concentrate
marketing and technical resources increasingly on higher margin niche
products, package sales and key customers; and to enhance the group's presence
in textile speciality chemicals. With the exception of the last, good progress
has been made in all areas during 2000.

In conclusion, 2000 was a year of substantial achievement for Yorkshire, in
the course of which the group was transformed and a new team created to drive
it forward. The market place though remains extremely challenging particularly
in the US, and there is a great deal of work still to be done in 2001 on the
restructuring of manufacturing both in Europe and the US. We believe however,
that the progress made in the twelve months following the acquisition of the
Crompton businesses justifies our confidence that in a rapidly changing global
market place the new Yorkshire has no lack of profitable opportunities and has
both the management resources and - crucially - the will to exploit them.

Andrew Dick

Chief Executive

26th March, 2001


for the year ended 31st December 2000
                                                      Note      2000       1999
                                                               £'000      £'000
Current year acquisitions                                        293          -
Other continuing operations                                  143,148     60,365
Total turnover                                        2      143,441     60,365
Cost of Sales                                                (96,899)   (44,337)
Gross profit                                                  46,542     16,028
Other operating expenses                                     (36,942)   (16,194)
Operating profit/ (loss)                              3        9,600      (166)
Current year acquisitions                                       (21)          -
Other continuing operations                                    9,621      (166)
Total continuing operations                                    9,600      (166)
Exceptional items                                     4
Exceptional income                                             7,476          -
Fundamental reorganisation costs                                   -   (24,959)
Profit / (loss) on ordinary activities before                 17,076   (25,125)
Net interest                                                 (2,725)        916
Profit / (loss) on ordinary activities
before taxation                                               14,351   (24,209)
Tax on profit on ordinary activities                  5      (3,221)        541
Profit / (loss) on ordinary activities
after taxation                                                11,130   (23,668)
Minority interest - equity                                      (25)       (14)
Profit / (loss) for the financial year                        11,105   (23,682)
Dividends - on equity shares                                 (2,354)    (2,796)
Transfer to/ (from) reserves for the financial year            8,751   (26,478)
Basic & diluted earnings/ (loss) per ordinary share
before exceptional items                                         9.0 P   (1.1)P
exceptional items less attributable tax                         12.2 P  (50.0)P
Basic & diluted earnings/ (loss) per ordinary share   6         12.2 P  (51.0)P

at 31st December 2000
                                                              2000        1999
                                                             £'000       £'000
Fixed assets
Intangible assets                                            5,072       1,428
Tangible assets                                             47,662      46,400
Investments                                                     23          23
                                                            52,757      47,851
Current assets
Stocks                                                      52,446      45,832
Debtors                                                     32,517      37,862
Cash at bank and in hand                                     8,155       6,656
                                                            93,118      90,350
Current liabilities
Creditors-amounts falling due within one year             (37,381)    (34,345)
Net current assets                                          55,737      56,005
Total assets less current liabilities                      108,494     103,856
Creditors-amounts falling due after more than one year    (16,360)    (20,000)
Provision for liabilities and charges                     (16,214)    (18,392)
Net assets                                                  75,920      65,464
Capital and reserves
Called up share capital                                     13,076      13,076
Share premium account                                       26,760      26,760
Revaluation reserve                                            550         550
Capital redemption reserve                                     300         300
Profit and loss account                                     34,723      24,545
Equity shareholders' funds                                  75,409      65,231
Equity minority interest                                       511         233
Total capital employed                                      75,920      65,464


for the year ended 31st December 2000
                                                           2000            1999
                                            Note  £'000   £'000   £'000   £'000
Net cash inflow from operating activities   7(a)          6,573           7,320
Returns on investments and servicing of     7(b)        (2,431)           1,265
Taxation                                                (1,337)         (1,595)
Capital expenditure and financial           7(c)          3,633         (1,868)
Acquisitions and disposals
Purchase of subsidiary undertakings         7(d) (2,596)         (49,218)
Cash acquired with subsidiary undertakings  7(d)     23           2,227
                                                        (2,573)         (46,991)
Equity dividends paid                                   (2,182)         (4,400)
Net cash inflow/(outflow) before management
                                                          1,683         (46,269)
of liquid resources and financing
Management of liquid resources
Cash recalled from short term deposit                         -          30,238
New bank loans                                    5,378         25,000
Repayment of loans                               (5,279)         (4,603)
                                                             99          20,397
Increase in cash in the year                              1,782           4,366
Reconcilation of net cash flow

to movement in net debt
Increase in cash in the year                      1,782           4,366
Cash inflow from increase in debt                  (88)         (20,397)
Cash inflow from decrease in liquid resources         -         (30,238)
Change in net debt resulting from cash flows              1,694         (46,269)
Borrowings of businesses acquired                          (11)               -

Translation differences                                 (2,219)           (523)

Movement in net debt in the year                          (536)         (46,792)
Net(debt)/cash at 1st January                           (19,597)          27,195
Net debt at 31st December                               (20,133)        (19,597)

Preparation of financial statements
The financial statements for the year ended 31st December 2000 have been
prepared on the basis of the accounting policies as set out in the group's
annual report for 1999. The abridged financial information presented above is
based on the full accounts of the group for 2000 and 1999, on which the
auditors have given an unqualified report. The full accounts for 2000 have not
yet been filed with the registrar of companies.

Turnover represents sales by group companies after eliminating intra-group
                                           2000  Continuing Acquisitions   1999
                                          £'000       £'000        £'000  £'000
Geographical destination analysis of
group turnover
Continental Europe                       50,408      50,118          290 27,803
Asia                                     13,551      13,551            -  7,100
Australasia                               1,910       1,910            -  2,035
North and South America                  69,326      69,326            - 17,373
Africa                                    2,396       2,396            -  1,159
                                         137,591     137,301          290 55,470
U.K.                                      5,850       5,847            3  4,895
Total turnover                           143,441     143,148          293 60,365

                                                                    2000   1999
                                                                   £'000  £'000
   Divisional analysis of group turnover
Eurasia                                                           79,053 47,942
Americas                                                          69,334 14,636
                                                                 148,387 62,578
Inter-divisional elimination                                     (4,946) (2,213)
Total turnover                                                   143,441 60,365

The divisional analysis set out in note 2 and note 3 below reflects the new
management reporting structure of the group.

The results for Eurasia include Europe, Australia and Indonesia which were
previously shown separately.

Divisional analysis of group operating profit.
                                                              2000         1999

                                                             £'000        £'000
Eurasia                                                      2,929        (440)
Americas                                                     7,541          707
Group services                                             (1,159)        (877)
                                                             9,311        (610)
Other operating income                                         289          444
Group operating profit                                       9,600        (166)

Following the implementation of the new management reporting structure
mentioned in note 2 above, group services expense is now shown separately. The
expense was previously incorporated in the European results. Comparative
figures for 1999 have been restated accordingly.
                             2000      Continuing   Acquisitions           1999
                            £'000           £'000          £'000          £'000
Turnover                  143,441         143,148            293         60,365
Cost of sales             (96,899)        (96,687)          (212)       (44,337)
Gross margin               46,542          46,461             81         16,028
Other operating expenses  (36,942)        (36,840)          (102)       (16,194)
Operating profit            9,600           9,621           (21)          (166)

4. Exceptional items

In 1999 the group put in place a fundamental reorganisation programme for its
continuing operations. As a consequence of this restructuring exercise the
group's fixed assets were written down by £8.2m and provisions totalling £16.1m
established for the costs of restructuring. The balance of the £25m charge to
1999 profit and loss account related to costs incurred prior to the 1999 year
end in relation to the restructuring exercise.

                                                                     2000  1999
                                                                    £'000 £'000
Exceptional income credited in 2000 is analysed below:

Compensation ( net of costs) for restriction on the right to use    6,460     -

Profit on disposal of Spanish property                              1,016     -
                                                                    7,476     -
5. Tax on profit on ordinary activities
UK corporation tax
Current tax on income for the period                                  741     -
Adjustments in respect of prior periods                               129     -
                                                                      870     -
Overseas tax
Current tax charge/(credit) on income for the period                1,970 (541)
Adjustments in respect of prior periods                               381     -
                                                                    2,351 (541)

Tax on profit on ordinary activities                                3,221 (541)

The tax charge for 2000 includes a charge of £1,065,000 in respect of
exceptional items (1999 - £1,802,000 credit).

6. Earnings per ordinary share
These have been calculated on earnings before exceptional items of £4,694,000
(1999: £525,000 loss) and earnings after exceptional items of £11,105,000
(1999:£23,682,000 loss).

The weighted average number of shares used was 52,303,337 (1999:46,320,793).
Diluted earnings per share has been calculated for 2000 and 1999 under FRS14
and no dilution arises in either year.

7. Analysis of cash flow for headings netted in the cash flow statement
7(a)  Net cash flow from operating activities

    Operating profit / (loss) before        9,600       (166)
    exceptional items
    Fundamental reorganisation costs        (2,311)     (1,773)
    Depreciation of tangible fixed assets   3,935       2,630
    Amortisation of intangible assets       201         1
    Profit on sale of fixed assets          (25)        (59)
    (Increase)/decrease in stock            (6,375)     6,083
    Decrease/(Increase) in debtors          6,192       (637)
    (Decrease) /increase in creditors       (4,644)     1,241
    Net cash inflow from operating          6,573       7,320
                                            2000        1999
                                            £,000       £'000

7(B) Returns on investments and servicing of
    Interest received                          467     1,728
    Interest paid                           (2,898)     (463)
                                            (2,431)    1,265
7(c)Capital expenditure and financial
    Purchase of tangible fixed assets       (4,063)     (1,984)
    Sale of tangible fixed assets              220         116
    Exceptional income:
    Compensation received for       6,460               -
    restriction on the right
    to use land
    Cash received on disposal      1,106                -
    of Spanish property
                                             7,476           -
                                             3,663      (1,868)
 7(d)Purchase of subsidiary undertakings

    On 21st September 2000 the group acquired a 50% shareholding in its
    Portuguese distributor Bruncolor Sociedade de Representacoes e Comercio
    Lda. and effective 31st December 2000, the group acquired 100%
    shareholdings in its French agents M. Balas SA and Societe Commerciale de
    Fontbazy sarl. Bruncolor is treated as a subsidiary on the grounds of
    Yorkshire Group plc exercising a dominant influence over the operating and
    financial policies of the company.

    Net assets at date acquisition were:
                   Initial  Fair value            Accounting      Provisional
                      book                        policy          fair value
                     value  adjustments           alignment
                     £'000  £'000                 £'000           £'000
    Investments         44  (23)                  (21)            -
    Tangible fixed     281  -                     -               281
    Stock               94  (13)                  -               81
    Debtors            142  -                     -               142
    Creditors        (210)  -                     -               (210)
    Cash                23  -                     -               23
    Loans             (11)  -                     -               (11)
    Net assets         363  (36)                  (21)            306
    acquired in
    the year
    Goodwill                                                      591
    Consideration                                                 897
    Less expenses                                                 (20)
    accrued at the
    year end
    Cash paid in                                                  877
    the year

During 1999 the group acquired the worldwide textile dyes business and the
European industrial dyes business of the Crompton Corporation. Goodwill
adjustments and cash outflow during the year relating to this acquisition are
as follows:
                     Provisional fair  Fair value    Accounting policy     Fair
                    value at 31.12.99 adjustments            alignment    value
                                £'000       £'000                £'000    £'000

Tangible fixed                 20,346       (219)                    -   20,127
Stock                          28,897           -              (1,684)   27,213
Debtors                        19,745       (129)                    -   19,616
Creditors                    (16,810)        (89)                    - (16,899)
Cash                            2,227           -                    -    2,227

Net assets                     54,405       (437)              (1,684)   52,284

Additional goodwill arising from              437                1,684    2,121
adjustments in the year
Additional acquisition costs                                                337
Additional goodwill arising on                                            2,498
prior year acquisition

Cash outflow in the year :
Accrued expenses at 31st December 1999                                    1,342
Additional acquisition costs arising in the year                            377
Cash paid in the year                                                     1,719


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