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Macfarlane Group PLC (MACF)

Macfarlane Group PLC

Final Results
Macfarlane Group PLC
8 March 2001


Underlying profit from continuing operations increases by 11% from £14.1m to £

              Final dividend increased by 5% to 3.15p per share

   Earnings per share from continuing operations up 21% from 7.48p to 9.03p

Annual benefits of £1.5m expected from 2002 in restructured Packaging Division

              Costs of attempted acquisition confirmed at £1.9m

   Provision of £2.5m against valuation of BPI shareholding at the year-end

                 Strong balance sheet and good interest cover

        Proposed increase of at least 10% in interim dividend for 2001


John Ward, Chairman of Macfarlane Group PLC today said:

'The underlying results achieved by Macfarlane Group in 2000 are in line with
the Board's stated objective to achieve double-digit earnings growth from our
existing operations. The benefits from last year's restructuring, together
with further initiatives outlined in this announcement, underpin our
aspirations to achieve growth in future years in competitive trading markets.

The aims of the consolidation of the Labels, Packaging and Merchanting
businesses into a new stronger Packaging Division are to provide opportunities
by focusing our offering on a wider range of packaging-related solutions to
our customers. Whilst restructuring charges and benefits from this
consolidation will be broadly neutral in 2001, the move will increase
operating efficiencies still further and reduce costs by an estimated £1.5m
from 2002 enabling Macfarlane Group to be a competitive player in its key
markets and an attractive profit generator.

Our executive team has already delivered on a number of tough commitments set
by the Board and demonstrated its ability to meet new challenges and achieve
improved earnings growth. We continue to investigate innovative ways to serve
our customers better and our e-business initiative is progressing well.
Macfarlane Group is currently demonstrating top-line growth in competitive
markets, which continues to be supported by carefully targeted value creating
incremental acquisitions to enhance our capability and reduce capital
expenditure requirements. A number of initiatives, targeted to develop new
business for the Group, are already under way, supported by a new business
initiative team. We have made a solid start to 2001.

During 2000, the company took a number of actions to realign the asset base,
utilising any gains realised in the process to accelerate actions designed to
stimulate future growth.

At our AGM in 2000, the Board obtained shareholder approval to buy back up to
10% of the shares in the company. The Board intends to use this facility to
make tactical share buy-backs.

Your Board constantly reviews activities and is considering a range of
strategic options to determine the most appropriate directions for growth and
shareholder return. Your Board expects to make further progress in 2001 and
shall not shirk from tough decisions to deliver additional shareholder value'

Further information: John M. Ward         Chairman             0141 333 9666
                     Iain D. Duffin       Chief Executive      0141 333 9666
                     John Love            Finance Director     0141 333 9666

Press and Media:     Gordon Beattie       Beattie Media        01698 787878
                     Ann-marie Wilkinson  Beattie Media        020 7398 3301

Financial Headlines

The underlying profit before tax for the year ended 31 December 2000, prior to
the gain of £0.5 million recorded on the disposal of Flo-pak (UK) Ltd and
charges and provisions in connection with the attempted acquisition of BPI of
£4.5 million, increased by 11% to £15.6 million, from £14.1 million in 1999
(before exceptional restructuring charges and the loss on disposal of
business). Earnings per share, before disposals and exceptional charges and
provisions, amounted to 9.03p compared with 7.48p for 1999 an increase of
nearly 21%. Despite the sale of businesses, which generated £11.3m sales in
1999, turnover from recurring operations increased by 7% to £197.7m, with
encouraging increases achieved across all activities.

The Directors have declared a final dividend of 3.15p, a 5% increase on the
3.00p paid in 1999, reflecting the Group's positive cash flow from operating
activities. The dividend will be paid on Thursday 24 May 2001 to those
shareholders on the register at the close of business on Tuesday 17 April
2001. In 2001, the company will increase the proportion of the interim
dividend as a percentage of the total dividend for the year. As a result it is
proposed that the interim dividend in 2001 will be increased by not less than

Trading performance                      Year ended            Year ended
                                      31 December 2000      31 December 1999
                                          Sales    Profit   Sales Profit/(loss)
Profit before interest                     £000      £000    £000          £000
     Merchanting                         56,425     3,717  51,653         3,664
     Packaging                           63,801     4,192  57,587         3,301
     Labels                              16,312     2,696  17,084         3,622
Packaging                               136,538    10,605 126,324        10,587
Plastics                                 61,198     5,988  58,681         5,163
                                        197,736    16,593 185,005        15,750
Under strategic review                      191        17  11,336         (814)
Profit before interest                  197,927    16,610 196,341        14,936
Interest payable                              -     (981)       -         (821)
Profit from ongoing operations          197,927    15,629 196,341        14,115

From 2001 onwards, to reflect the creation of our new Packaging Division we
shall no longer disclose separate results in respect of our Merchanting,
Packaging and Labels businesses.

Trading Activities

The performances achieved in Merchanting and Packaging were particularly
encouraging whilst the Plastics Division responded well to tough trading
conditions and successfully integrated two acquisitions made in the first half
of 2000. Following the renegotiation of a number of long-term contracts at
reduced margins in the final quarter of 1999, our Labels business took
advantage of two opportunities to conclude acquisitions at the start of the
third quarter, which secured new technology with the potential to stimulate
top-line growth with major new customers. Our management teams responded well
to the pressure on margins evident in a competitive market and have maintained
strict control of overheads to achieve our target of double-digit earnings
growth in 2000.

Packaging Division (New)

Trading in our Merchanting business remained strong in 2000 with a clear focus
on sales growth. The business continues to outperform its competitors and
provides a secure distribution channel for products manufactured in the Group.
During 2000 a number of sites were consolidated, with surplus or unsuitable
sites being sold and this process will continue in our new Packaging Division.

During the second half of 2000 the regular liaison between the management
teams in the Merchanting and Packaging businesses identified a number of
opportunities to share sites and reduce costs still further. The opportunities
identified through this close association advanced the rationale to bring the
divisions closer together. During 2001 the new management team for the
combined division will consolidate a number of operations into fewer, larger
sites where improved telesales operations and other Group-wide support
operations will be introduced.

The Merchanting business has agreements with a number of premium brand
partners to distribute their products on an exclusive or preferred basis. A
number of other potential partners have proposed similar arrangements and
these are being considered as a means of extending the product offering to
customers. E-business initiatives are being pursued to develop a
customer-focused solution to provide the range of products required, whilst at
the same time ensuring that more general e-commerce solutions are also made
available for customers with less specialist requirements.

Packaging Division (continued)

Our aim is to build on a long-standing reputation for customer service in the
nation-wide distribution of packaging materials, whilst maximising
profitability from our branch network. The high levels of service in this
business and the clear expertise in distribution and supply chain logistics
are considered vital to the Group's future development.

Our Packaging business produced excellent results in 2000 with the benefits of
restructuring and efficiency improvements combined with continued strong
demand from new and existing customers in the electronics sector. Despite
continuing raw material price pressures, margins were maintained. The
restructuring programme resulted in the closure of the premises at Brackley
and the transfer of selected business to other locations in the Division. The
closure of Brackley enabled the business to withdraw from the manufacture of
commodity products and concentrate on more value-added applications. Our
American subsidiary Macfarlane Western Foam continues to trade well.

The strategy and focus has now changed from primarily selling what the
business traditionally manufactured to serving customers' total packaging
needs, manufacturing and assembling only what is determined to be a key
customer requirement. Therefore we shall only make further investments in
manufacturing capacity where we determine a specific customer requirement. Our
business has become more focused on the need to be a full-service packaging
provider for businesses, with the opportunity to liaise closely with
customers' supply chains to manage their requirements more efficiently and

Recent developments included opening a unit in Hungary, working closely with a
range of top-name local suppliers, to service one of our major customers. This
is an effective, low-risk method of expanding alongside major customers
overseas. Initial results from this operation are encouraging and this
business model is likely to be used in other countries to support major
customers, whilst broadening our customer base in each country where we
establish a new presence. In the UK, two significant new customers appointed
our Packaging business to manage all their packaging requirements on specific

As previously indicated, our Labels business traded below 1999 levels of
profitability, but at levels still representing an excellent performance for
the UK labels industry. This reflected the renegotiation of long-term
contracts with major customers at reduced margins in the final quarter of

During the second half of 2000 we acquired Reseal-It Sweden AB, a Swedish
company owning intellectual property for resealable labels and related
machinery and Abbot Labels Limited, a top quality label printer based in
Ireland specialising in the manufacture of Reseal-It's resealable labels for
the food industry. The combined consideration was nearly £5.0m and will
maintain the Labels business's position at the forefront of technology in
labels-based solutions for major customers with branded products, thereby
providing a solid base for future growth. Both businesses have performed to
our expectations since being acquired.

Our Labels business will develop by a mixture of organic growth and
acquisitions to build on the strengths of its excellent operations. The
business continues to provide highest quality self-adhesive labels to major
customers throughout the UK particularly in the beauty-care, healthcare and
pharmaceutical industries. The opportunity to develop sales of other products
in the new Packaging Division will be actively pursued. New market sectors are
also being targeted to broaden the sales base in the business.

Consolidation of activities

In January 2001, we combined our Merchanting, Packaging and Labels businesses
into one new Division. The newly formed Packaging Division will focus
primarily on offering complete packaging solutions to its customers, aiming to
achieve pre-eminent levels of customer service. The main operational
objectives for the new Division will be to meet the differing buying habits of
our existing and target customers and to dramatically improve our capability
by streamlining delivery systems by building an integrated procurement,
manufacturing and logistics function. New marketing and sales channels will be
developed, supported by customer initiatives and investments in information
systems and e-business capability.

Our new management team has reviewed all sites and operations in the newly
created Division. Costs to vacate properties and reduce the headcount by over
120 staff are expected to total £2.0m, of which £1.0m will be the cash cost to
be incurred in 2001, the balance relating to asset write-downs in 2001 and
cash costs in 2002. Resultant benefits will reach £1.5m on an annualised
basis, from the middle of 2002, however as previously indicated restructuring
charges and benefits from consolidation will be broadly neutral in 2001.

Plastics Division

Throughout 2000 there remained strong competition for business, reflecting a
trading environment with high material costs and overcapacity in the UK
market. Whilst this had an impact on profitability, the Division performed
creditably and remains well placed to reap further benefits when raw material
prices move in our favour. The hardening of raw material prices in the first
half of 2000 continued to be a feature and despite particularly tough trading
conditions, the Division responded well and achieved the excellent levels of
profitability that we would expect from its strong and experienced management

Macfarlane Plastics is now recognised as one of the market leaders in the UK
plastics industry. All six of the previously self-standing subsidiaries have
been fully integrated under the Macfarlane Plastics brand. Following our
strategy of incremental acquisitions in place of capital expenditure, the
Division acquired Marpak Polythene Supplies Limited, a profitable extruder and
converter based in Leeds, and Monospec Limited an extruder and printer based
in Wrexham, for an aggregate consideration of £2.3m in the second quarter of
2000. Both companies have traded well and above our expectations since

Similar incremental acquisitions continue to be targeted as an alternative to
capital expenditure driven organic growth. Our management team has
consistently bought good quality capacity and integrated it quickly, achieving
overhead savings and leveraging benefits through scale. Further opportunities
are being sought to increase the product and service offering to customers. A
key focus in 2001 will be to press forward with the integration of existing
businesses to fewer sites of significant scale, enabling the Division to
realise the benefits of even more efficient production and a continuing
reduction in its overhead base.

New business initiatives

A new business team has been established, reporting directly to our Chief
Executive, Iain Duffin. This team will be responsible for a number of
initiatives to create and develop new business across the range of the Group's
existing activities as well as in new markets, with a particular emphasis on
delivering a successful e-business capability and replicating our success in
Hungary with other customers in different locations.

Proposed acquisition of British Polythene Industries plc

During 2000, the Board of Macfarlane Group sought to combine its interests
with British Polythene Industries plc ('BPI') to create a business of
significant scale and capability in European terms. We believed strongly that
this would be to the benefit of shareholders and customers. Macfarlane Group
shareholders gave significant support to our Board throughout the offer period
and we acknowledge that support with gratitude. Shareholders recognised our
commitment that we would not overpay and therefore not consider raising our
offer beyond 310p. Whilst we were disappointed not to receive sufficient
support from BPI shareholders at this level, we are grateful to 35% who did
support us, either by accepting our offer or selling us shares. As the largest
shareholder in BPI, our interest is now aligned with the interests of all
other shareholders and we look to the Board of BPI to demonstrate that they
will deliver value to all their shareholders.

The costs in relation to the proposed acquisition are now confirmed at £1.95
million, below the £2 million highlighted in our December statement, and are
included within administrative expenses. A provision of £2.52 million has been
made to reduce the carrying value of our investment in BPI, purchased in the
later stages of the offer period, which is held within current asset
investments, to the directors' valuation of the investment at the end of the
year. The Directors have considered a full range of values and have determined
a valuation, which reflects the Directors' assessment of the net realisable
value, whilst taking into account the benefits of the tender offer undertaken
by BPI in January 2001. Macfarlane Group tendered its full entitlement in
respect of BPI's tender offer and received £6.32m in respect of the shares

Completion of initial strategic review

Flo-pak (UK) Limited was sold on 11 February 2000 for a consideration of £3.6m
net of expenses of sale, with the purchaser assuming debt of £0.5m on
acquisition. A profit on disposal of £0.5m has been recorded in the results
for 2000.


We have continued to invest where there are key needs to meet future growth
plans. Capital expenditure in 2000 was restricted to £4.1m, reflecting our
objectives to generate returns from the significant capital expenditure
incurred in previous years. Our Plastics Division continues to pursue
incremental acquisitions as a means of combining new capacity to the Group,
with a ready-made customer base, as an alternative to capital expenditure
driven growth.

The Group acquired two Plastics' companies, Marpak Limited and Monospec
Limited in the second quarter of 2000 and two Labels' companies Reseal-It
Sweden AB and Abbot Labels Limited in the third quarter of 2000, at a cash
cost of £6.6m with inherited borrowings of £0.6m. In addition the Group's
investment in BPI during the later stages of the offer period cost £14.8m in
December 2000 of which £6.3m was received in January 2001 from the tender
offer. Despite these significant investments, net debt remains modest at £
23.3m at December 2000 reflecting Macfarlane Group's traditionally strong cash
generation. The effect on profits is a net interest charge just under £1.0m
compared to £0.8 million in 1999 and interest cover at over fifteen times
remains strong.

Whilst the strength of sterling currently disadvantages many UK manufacturing
companies, there is no doubt that proximity to customers who relocate overseas
will be a requirement in the medium term. Macfarlane Group will seek to
service our customers on a global basis if it creates shareholder value. Any
such expansion will be financed from our existing borrowing facilities.

At our Annual General Meeting on 22 May 2000, the Board obtained shareholder
approval to buy back up to 10% of the shares in the company. The Board intends
to use this facility to make tactical share buy-backs. It is the Directors'
intention to seek shareholder approval to renew this authority at the AGM in
May 2001 to continue to have the flexibility to buy back shares.

Macfarlane Group currently faces a number of significant investments to
establish an appropriate base for future growth. Our Executive is currently
examining a number of options to finance these investments and is confident
that, by a significant realignment of the asset base from manufacturing
capacity to intellectual property based assets, the necessary investments can
be funded in a cash neutral manner.

Management and employees

During the year the Board set a number of important objectives for the
Executive team and the employees of the company. All our management teams and
employees deserve our gratitude for their commitment in meeting the
considerable challenges we faced during 2000, another challenging year for the

Future prospects

John Ward concluded: -

'It continues to be an exciting time within Macfarlane Group. The Board draws
considerable encouragement from the depth of capability in the Group. The
combination of key quality manufacturing processes and a significant
distribution and fulfilment capability is a key strength, which should enable
the company to continue to produce good top-line and earnings growth. Our key
objective in reshaping Macfarlane Group is to produce a Company, which will
continue to provide shareholder value by meeting targets to achieve
double-digit earnings growth.

Our Executive Team has demonstrated its ability to effectively absorb
incremental acquisitions into our existing activities, as a means of
supplementing organic growth and as an alternative to capital expenditure. The
balance sheet and cash flow position of the Group remains strong, allowing
further investment to support plans for organic growth and take advantage of
acquisition opportunities.

The reshaped Macfarlane Group will provide leadership in selected markets
through the innovative delivery of cost effective products and services to our
customers. Macfarlane Group intends to be a competitive player and an
attractive profit generator capable of delivering superior shareholder
returns. Your Board expects to make further progress in 2001 in meeting its
objectives and shall not shirk from tough decisions to deliver shareholder

                             Macfarlane Group PLC

                         Year ended 31 December 2000

                     Consolidated profit and loss account
                                       Year ended 31 December     Year ended
                                                               31 December 1999
                                             £000 £000            £000     £000

Turnover Continuing operations                    190,814                196,341

Acquisitions                                      7,113                       -

                                                  197,927                196,341
Cost of sales                                     130,026                127,058

Gross profit                                      67,901                 69,283
Net overheads Recurring                    52,682               54,347
Exceptional                                4,471                4,917
                                                  57,153                 59,264

Operating profit                                  10,748                 10,019

Operating profit Continuing opeartions            9,637                  10,019

Acquisitions                                      1,111                       -

                                                  10,748                 10,019
Gain on disposal of fixed assets                  1,391                       -

                                                  12,139                 10,019
Gain/(loss) on disposal of business               500                    (6,580)

Profit before interest                            12,639                 3,439
Interest receivable                               46                     62
Interest payable                                  (1,027)                (883)

Profit before taxation                            11,658                 2,618
Tax on profit on ordinary activities              3,926                  3,016

Profit/(loss) for the financial year              7,732                  (398)
Dividends on equity shares                        6,024                  5,809

Retained profit/(loss) for the year               1,708                  (6,207)

Earnings/(loss) per ordinary share of                    6.10p           (0.31p)

Diluted earnings/(loss) per ordinary                     6.09p          (0.31p)
share of 25p

Earnings per ordinary share                              9.03p            7.48p
before exceptional expenses and
gain/(loss) on disposal of business

Diluted earnings per ordinary                            9.02p            7.48p
share before exceptional expenses
and gain/(loss) on disposal of

Dividends per share                                      4.75p            4.58p

Corporation tax rate excluding                           26.7%            29.6%
exceptional items


    1.     Earnings per share are calculated on the basis of the weighted
    average of 126,828,240 shares in issue (31 December 1999 - 126,828,240).
    Diluted earnings per share are calculated on the weighted average on a
    diluted basis in accordance with FRS 14 'Earnings Per Share' of
    126,907,178 shares. (31 December 1999 - 126,828,240).

 2. The figures for 2000 are extracted from those shown in the statutory
    accounts on which the auditors will issue an unqualified report today and
    which will not contain a statement under s237(2) or (3) of the Companies
    Act 1985. The figures for 1999 are taken from the published accounts. A
    copy of the full accounts for that year on which the auditors have also
    issued an unqualified report, has been filed with the Registrar of

                             Macfarlane Group PLC

                               31 December 2000

                          Consolidated balance sheet
                                                       As at 31        As at 31
                                                       December        December

                                                           2000            1999

                                                           £000            £000
Fixed assets
Intangible assets                                        10,316          5,542

Tangible assets                                          55,404          61,615

                                                         65,720          67,157

Current assets
Current asset investments                                12,279          -

Stocks                                                   13,277          11,670

Debtors                                                  47,287          45,094

Cash at bank and in hand                                 2,230           1,674

                                                         75,073          58,438

Creditors: amounts falling due within one year           68,936          55,518

Net current assets                                       6,137           2,920

Total assets less current liabilities                    71,857          70,077

Creditors: amounts falling due after more than
one year                                                 880             95

Provisions for liabilities and charges                   2,140           2,295

Total net assets                                         68,837          67,687

Operating assets by division
Merchanting business                                     15,912          19,036

Packaging business                                       29,356          30,403

Labels business                                          8,839           3,580

Packaging                                                54,107          53,019

Plastics                                                 38,010          20,951

Under strategic review                                   -               3,383

Operating assets                                         92,117          77,353

Net debt                                                (23,280)        (9,666)

Net assets                                               68,837          67,687


 1. Audited accounts will be sent to shareholders on or about 5 April 2001 and
    will be available to members of the public at the Company's Registered
    Office, 21 Newton Place, Glasgow, G3 7PY from 9 April 2001.

 2. The Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 9 May 2001 and the
    final dividend payable to shareholders on the register at close of
    business on 17 April 2001 will be paid on 24 May 2001.

 3. Financial Reporting Standard 15 has been adopted in these accounts, with no
    effect on the current or preceding financial year.

 4. There have been no changes of accounting policies during the year.

                             Macfarlane Group PLC

                         Year ended 31 December 2000

                       Consolidated cash flow statement
                                                            Year          Year
                                                        ended 31      ended 31
                                                        December      December
                                                            2000          1999

                                                            £000          £000

Net cash flow from operating activities     (see          16,431        19,147
note 1 below)

Cash outflow from returns on investments and               (963)         (819)
servicing finance

Tax paid                                                 (4,593)       (4,469)

Net cash outflow from capital expenditure &             (14,083)         (980)
financial investment

Net cash outflow from acquisitions and disposals         (3,183)       (4,564)

Equity dividends paid                                    (5,834)       (5,745)

Net cash (outflow)/inflow before liquid resources       (12,225)         2,570
and financing

Management of liquid resources                                 -             -

Net cash outflow from financing                          (1,128)         (930)

(Decrease)/increase in cash in the period     (see      (13,353)         1,640
note 2 below)


                                                                    2000   1999
        1.     Reconciliation of operating profit to net cash
        flow from operating activities                              £000   £000

Operating profit before exceptional charges                       16,610 14,936
Exceptional costs                                                 (4,471)(4,917)

Operating profit                                                  12,139 10,019
Depreciation                                                       6,590  8,336
Amortisation of intangible assets                                    468    145
Provision against value of investment                              2,526      -
Gain on disposal of tangible assets                               (1,391)  (146)
(Increase)/decrease in stocks                                     (1,062)   447
(Increase)/decrease in debtors                                      (527)(2,578)
(Decrease)/increase in creditors                                  (2,312) 2,924

Net cash inflow from operating activities                         16,431 19,147

        2.     Reconciliation of movement in net debt

(Decrease)/increase in cash in the period                        (13,353) 1,640
Cash inflow from decrease in debt and lease financing              1,128    930
Cash inflow from decrease in liquid resources                          -      -

                                                                 (12,225) 2,570
Borrowings acquired with subsidiaries                             (1,389)  (199)
New finance leases and loan notes                                      -   (621)

Movement in net debt in the period                               (13,614) 1,750
Opening net debt                                                 (9,666)(11,416)

Closing net debt                                                (23,280) (9,666)

                             Macfarlane Group PLC

                         Year ended 31 December 2000

                 Analysis of turnover and profits by division

Year ended 31 December 2000
                 Merchanting Packaging Labels Plastics           review    2000
                        £000      £000   £000     £000             £000    £000
Turnover              56,425    63,801 14,123   56,274              191 190,814
acquisitions               -         -  2,189    4,924                -   7,113

                      56,425    63,801 16,312   61,198              191 197,927
Cost of sales         38,810    43,000  9,598   38,605               13 130,026

Gross profit          17,615    20,801  6,714   22,593              178  67,901
Net overheads         13,898    16,609  4,018   16,605              161  51,291

                       3,717     4,192  2,696    5,988               17  16,610
Exceptional                -         -      -  (4,471)                - (4,471)
Gain on disposal           -         -      -        -              500     500

Profit before          3,717     4,192  2,696    1,517              517  12,639
Continuing             3,717     4,192  2,325      777              517  11,528
Acquisitions               -         -    371      740                -   1,111
Profit before          3,717     4,192  2,696    1,517              517  12,639
Net interest             209     (448)     25    (767)                -   (981)

Profit before          3,926     3,744  2,721      750              517  11,658

Year ended 31 December 1999
                   Merchanting Packaging Labels Plastics          review   1999
                          £000      £000   £000     £000            £000   £000
Turnover                51,653    57,587 17,084   58,681          11,336 196,341
Cost of sales           34,970    38,967  9,258   38,908           4,955 127,058

Gross profit            16,683    18,620  7,826   19,773           6,381  69,283
Net overheads           13,019    15,319  4,204   14,610           7,195  54,347

                         3,664     3,301  3,622    5,163           (814)  14,936
Restructuring            (718)   (3,799)      -    (400)               - (4,917)
Loss on disposal             -         -      -        -         (6,580) (6,580)

Profit/(loss)            2,946     (498)  3,622    4,763         (7,394)   3,439
before interest
Net interest                25     (382)    119    (428)           (155)   (821)

Profit/(loss)            2,971     (880)  3,741    4,335         (7,549)   2,618
before tax

                             Macfarlane Group PLC

                         Year ended 31 December 2000

            Segmental information on operating assets by division

31 December 2000

                       Merchanting Packaging   Labels     Sub  Plastics    2000
                              £000      £000     £000    £000     £000     £000

Fixed assets                11,222    24,580    8,885  44,687   21,033   65,720

Stocks                       3,512     3,907    1,174   8,593    4,684   13,277

Debtors                     12,617    14,645    4,158  31,420   15,867   47,287

Current asset                    -         -        -       -   12,279   12,279

Current assets              16,129    18,552    5,332  40,013   32,830   72,843

Creditors                   11,421    13,253    4,968  29,642   14,664   44,306

Net current assets           4,708     5,299      364  10,371   18,166   28,537

Total assets less
current liabilities         15,930    29,879    9,249  55,058   39,199   94,257

Deferred taxation               18       523      410     951    1,189    2,140

Operating assets            15,912    29,356    8,839  54,107   38,010   92,117

Net (debt)/funds             5,502    (3,027)  (2,485)    (10) (23,270) (23,280)

Total net assets            21,414    26,329    6,354  54,097   14,740   68,837

31 December 1999
                     Merchanting  Packaging   Labels    Plastics  review    1999
                            £000       £000      £000       £000    £000    £000
Fixed assets              12,417     27,402     4,098     20,033   3,207  67,157

Stocks                     3,506      2,994     1,120      3,750     300  11,670

Debtors                   12,798     13,203     3,523     14,865     705  45,094

Current assets            16,304     16,197     4,643     18,615   1,005  56,764

Creditors                  9,625     12,401     4,734     16,708     805  44,273

Net current assets         6,679      3,796       (91)     1,907     200  12,491

Total assets less
current liabilities       19,096     31,198     4,007     21,940   3,407  79,648

Deferred taxation             60        795       427        989      24   2,295

Operating assets          19,036     30,403     3,580     20,951   3,383  77,353

Net (debt)/funds           1,327     (7,178)    2,036     (6,107)    256 (9,666)

Total net assets          20,363     23,225     5,616     14,844   3,639  67,687

Data provided by FE fundinfo. Care has been taken to ensure that the information is correct, but FE fundinfo neither warrants, represents nor guarantees the contents of information, nor does it accept any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions or any inconsistencies herein. Past performance does not predict future performance, it should not be the main or sole reason for making an investment decision. The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise.

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