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Oakhill Group PLC (PACC)

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Monday 30 April, 2001

Oakhill Group PLC

Final Results

Oakhill Group PLC
30 April 2001


Unaudited Preliminary Results of Oakhill Group plc
for the year ended 31 December, 2000

Oakhill Group plc, the print group with activities in the United Kingdom, the
United States and Ireland, announces its preliminary results for the year
ended 31 December 2000.


                                                     Pro forma
                                 31 Dec 2000       31 Dec 1999       Change
                                     EUR'000           EUR'000            %
Print                                83,576            78,585           + 6
Packaging                            35,468            31,977          + 11
                                    119,044           110,562           + 8
Operating profit *       
Print                                 8,425            11,461          - 26
Packaging                             2,373             2,697          - 12
Centre costs                         (1,845)           (1,893) 
                                      8,953            12,265          - 27
Profit before taxation*               5,441             9,177          - 41
Exceptional operating costs          (1,513)             (570)       
Profit before taxation after 
exceptional operating costs **        3,928             8,607          - 54
(Loss)/Profit before tax ***         (4,805)            5,318       
Adjusted earnings per share 
(cents)*                               6.98             11.38          - 39

Net debt                             34,021            35,929       
Pro forma net debt ****              20,000                 -       
Shareholders' funds                  45,104            50,374       
Debt/equity ratio                       75%               71%       
Pro forma debt/equity ratio ****        44%                -       

*     before goodwill amortisation, exceptional operating costs and 
      impairment provision
**    before goodwill amortisation and impairment provision
***   after goodwill amortisation, exceptional operating costs and 
      impairment provision 
****  adjusted for the proceeds from the sale of the packaging division

'EUR'  refers to the euro. The euro is converted into IR£ at the rate of 
       EUR1  = IR£ 0.787564

Oakhill Group plc, the print Group with activities in Ireland, the United
Kingdom and the United States announces its preliminary results for the year
ended 31 December 2000.

Pro forma financial information in respect of OakHill for the twelve months to
31 December 1999 is included in this report. The basis of preparation of the
pro forma financial information is set out in Note 1 to the results. The
de-merger of Oakhill Group plc ('OakHill') from James Crean plc ('Crean') was
completed on 6 August 1999.

The overall results show a disappointing 27% fall off in operating profits and
a 39% fall off in adjusted earnings per share compared with last year (based
upon pro forma figures for full year ended 31 December 1999). When announcing
the interim results there was evidence of some recovery during Q3 2000. This
recovery was maintained during Q4 in the Cards and On-Demand print businesses
but not in the Commercial print business, which suffered further from weak
demand and aggressive pricing during Q4.

The printing division recorded a 6% increase in sales up to EUR83.6m from
EUR78.6m whilst operating profits dropped 26% from EUR11.5m to EUR8.4m with
margins declining from 14.6% to 10.1%. 

During the year the printing sector experienced very modest growth in demand,
which was outstripped by capacity increase from new equipment installations as
well as efficiency improvements. This overcapacity is contributing to ongoing
margin erosion across the industry. At the same time there is upward pricing
pressure on raw materials, which we have been able to offset to some extent
through improved group sourcing initiatives. Efficiency improvements are
generally offsetting wage inflation and other cost increases.

The investment in additional selling and administrative costs over the past
2-3 years aimed at growing revenue in conventional print sectors has not
delivered the expected revenue growth. This has been largely corrected and the
group is now focussing its investment on selling, administrative and systems
support to grow its presence in the Added Value areas of Print Management,
Direct Mail, On-Demand Print and Card Solutions. An e-trading capability is in
place to support this strategy.

The results include exceptional operating costs associated with the continuing
reorganisation of the Group's activities to improve efficiency and
productivity as well as costs associated with development initiatives
undertaken during the period

In the Packaging division sales increased by 11% up to EUR35.5m from EUR32.0m
and operating profits decreased 12% from EUR2.7m to EUR2.4m. This Division was
disposed of in January 2001 and further details are set out below. 

Operating cash flow was EUR11.6m with capital expenditure of EUR3.7m.

Year-end net debt was EUR34m. The disposal of the Packaging division reduces
this to EUR20 million after collection of the outstanding debtors and payment
of costs.
Packaging Disposal
The sale of the Packaging Division to Brodr. Sunde for a consideration of
Stg£10.475m, for net assets, excluding goodwill and net debt, of Stg£6.5m, was
approved by shareholders at an EGM on 23 December. The transaction was
completed on 9 January 2001. On completion Stg£6.25m was receivable and the
balance is receivable on collection of the debtors in Foam Plus and Lochaber
Box.  The consideration represented a gain on net asset value with the
proceeds reducing year-end net debt to EUR20m, representing, on a pro-forma
basis, gearing of 44%.  

Keytech & Stinehour
Following a review of the businesses within the group, a write-down of
EUR5.09m is included in the accounts as the performance of the US businesses
of Keytech and Stinehour continue to be behind expectations despite
significant re-engineering and restructuring.  We are continuing to operate
the businesses whilst considering the strategic options and future of these

An interim dividend of EUR0.5 cents per share was paid on 15 December 2000. As
a result of the impairment provision, exceptional operating costs and poor
performance in 2000 referred to above, a final dividend will not be paid in
respect of the year ended 31 December 2000. Furthermore based upon the poor
performance YTD in 2001, the board expects that it is unlikely that it will
declare any dividend for H1 2001.

Trading Commentary and Outlook
Following the disposal of the packaging companies the group will not have any
profit contribution from these businesses in 2001.

The group's printing companies experienced difficult trading conditions in
2000 resulting in a significantly reduced performance for these companies
versus 1999.  These conditions are continuing into 2001 with a very weak
performance in Q1. Margins continue to be under pressure.  The group is
budgeting for an improved performance for the remainder of the year but is
not, based upon current market conditions and predictions, expecting a
significant recovery and therefore the outcome for the year as a whole is
likely to be well down on the full year 2000.

Accordingly, the group is adopting an aggressive programme on purchasing cost
reductions, efficiency improvements, cross group synergy optimisation, across
the board overhead cost reduction and cash flow maximisation through tight
control on spending, capital investment and working capital requirements.


                                     Consolidated       forma Consolidated*
                               Notes         2000         1999         1999
                                          EUR'000      EUR'000      EUR'000
Print                                     83,576       78,585       34,657
Packaging - discontinued                  35,468       31,977       14,384
                                         119,044      110,562       49,041
Operating profit before 
goodwill amortisation, exceptional 
operating costs and impairment 
Print                                      8,425       11,461        4,951
Packaging - discontinued                   2,373        2,697        1,579
Centre costs                              (1,845)      (1,893)        (827) 
                                           8,953       12,265        5,703

Exceptional operating costs       2       (1,513)        (570)        (570)

Impairment provision              3       (5,090)           -            -

Goodwill amortisation             4       (3,643)      (3,289)      (1,398) 
Operating (loss)/profit on 
ordinary activities 
before interest                           (1,293)       8,406        3,735

Interest (net)                            (3,512)      (3,088)      (1,277) 
(Loss)/Profit on ordinary 
activities before taxation                (4,805)       5,318        2,458

Taxation                                  (1,208)      (2,582)      (1,191) 

(Loss)/Profit on ordinary 
activities after taxation                 (6,013)       2,736        1,267

Dividends                                   (282)        (452)        (452) 
(Loss)/Profit for the period              (6,295)       2,284          815

(Loss)/earnings per share         5
- Basic and diluted (cents)               (10.65)        4.85         2.24

Adjusted earnings per share       5
- Basic and diluted (cents)                 6.98        11.38         5.43

* The consolidated accounts for 1999 include the results of subsidiaries from
6 August 1999, the date of the de-merger. 

                                              31 Dec 2000       31 Dec 1999
                                                  EUR'000           EUR'000

Fixed assets
Tangible fixed assets                             34,300            36,850
Intangible assets                                 41,189            47,892
                                                  75,489            84,742

Current assets
Stocks                                             5,027             5,617
Debtors                                           27,753            25,672
Cash and bank balances                             9,209            11,153
                                                  41,989            42,442

Creditors (amounts falling due within one year)
Trade and other creditors                         23,350            24,042
Bank and other loans                              14,713             7,382
Taxation                                           2,157             2,132
Dividends                                              -               452
                                                  40,220            34,008
Net current assets                                 1,769             8,434

Total assets less current liabilities             77,258            93,176

Creditors (amounts falling due after one year)
Bank and other loans                              28,517            39,700
Provision for liabilities and charges              3,637             3,102
Shareholders' funds                               45,104            50,374

Share Capital                                      5,644             5,644
Share Premium                                     41,346            41,346
Other Reserves                                     3,594             2,569
Retained (Loss)/Profit                            (5,480)              815
                                                  45,104            50,374


                                                                  Pro forma
                                                            2000       1999
                                                         EUR'000    EUR'000

Operating profit before goodwill amortisation,
exceptional operating costs and impairment provision      8,953     12,265

Depreciation                                              6,301      5,413

Net working assets                                       (2,135)       560

Exceptional operating costs                              (1,513)      (570) 
Operating cash flow                                      11,606     17,668

Net interest                                             (3,512)    (3,088)

Taxation                                                   (680)    (1,439)

Capital expenditure                                      (3,672)    (4,604)

Other                                                         -       (655)

Dividends                                                  (734)         -
                                                          3,008      7,882

Acquisitions                                               (473)    (2,186) 
                                                          2,535      5,696

Currency                                                   (627)    (5,132)

Opening net debt                                        (35,929)   (36,493) 
Closing net debt                                        (34,021)   (35,929) 


1.   Basis of Preparation
The preliminary financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2000 have
been prepared in accordance with the accounting policies set out in the
financial statements for the period ended 31 December 1999. Comparative
amounts have been regrouped and restated, where necessary, on the same basis
as the amounts for the current period.  

OakHill acquired the print and packaging subsidiaries of Crean on 6 August
1999, the date of the de-merger. The pro forma financial information in
respect of 1999 has been prepared as if the companies comprising the OakHill
Group had been part of the group for the period from 1 January 1999, or in the
case of those acquired during the period, from the date of acquisition.

2.  Exceptional Operating Costs

                                                          2000         1999
                                                       EUR'000      EUR'000

Reorganisation costs (see a below)                       (841)        (570)

Development costs (see b below)                          (672)           -
                                                       (1,513)        (570) 

(a)  These costs were incurred in respect of the ongoing reorganisation of 
     the Group's activities.

(b)  These relate to costs in respect of the Group's development strategy 
     to move its activities into higher value added areas including print 
     management and include costs in respect of market research and 
     discontinued acquisition activities.    

3.  Impairment Provision

                                                          2000         1999
                                                       EUR'000      EUR'000

Provision in respect of impairment of goodwill
and fixed assets       in Stinehour Press and Keytech       (5,090)          

4.  Goodwill Amortisation

                                                          2000         1999
                                                       EUR'000      EUR'000

Print                                                  (3,235)      (2,940)

Packaging                                                (408)        (349) 
                                                       (3,643)      (3,289) 
5.  (Loss)/Earnings Per Share

                                                          2000         1999
                                                       EUR'000      EUR'000

(Loss) / profit after taxation                         (6,013)       2,736

Exceptional items - net of tax                          1,217          399

Goodwill amortisation                                   3,643        3,289

Impairment provision                                    5,090            -
Adjusted profit after taxation                          3,937        6,424

Basic and diluted earnings per share

(Loss) / earnings per share (cents)                    (10.65)        4.85

Adjusted earnings per share (cents)                      6.98        11.38

Weighed average number of shares ('000)                56,439       56,439

6.  Exchange Rates

                                                          2000         1999

Average rate for the year (profit and loss and cash flow)
     US$                                                0.9240      1.0668
     Stg£                                               0.6094      0.6592

Year-end rate (balance sheet)
     US$                                                0.9305      1.0046
     Stg£                                               0.6241      0.6217

7.  Preliminary Statement
The financial information set out in the announcement does not constitute full
accounts and is unaudited. Full accounts for the period ended 31 December
1999, which received an unqualified audit report, have been filed with the
Irish Registrar of Companies.

Contacts :  Oakhill Group plc
            Donnacha Hurley            353 1 240 1400

            Fleishman-Hillard Saunders
            James Morrissey            353 1 618 8444

Copies of the Preliminary announcement are available from the Company at
OakHill House, Rowan Avenue, Stillorgan Industrial Park, Blackrock, Co Dublin,

Telephone: 353 1 240 1400

30 April, 2001


a d v e r t i s e m e n t