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JOSTENS ANNOUNCES PRELIMINARY FISCAL YEAR AND FOURTH QUARTER EARNINGS TAKES RESTRUCTURING CHARGES; DECLARES DIVIDEND

 MINNEAPOLIS, July 29 /PRNewswire -- Jostens Inc. (NYSE: JOS) today reported unaudited sales and earnings for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1993, and announced that the board of directors had declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $.22 per common share. The dividend is payable September 1, 1993 to shareholders of record August 13, 1993.
 The company reported a loss of $.27 per share for the year after restructuring charges, and the implementation of post-retirement benefit cost accounting standard, FAS 106. These special charges reduced earnings per share by $1.14.
 In the fourth quarter of fiscal 1993 the company recorded a $70.6 million pre-tax provision to cover the restructuring of its U.S. photography and sportswear businesses, realignment of the School Products sales force and planned headcount reductions and related costs in several of its operations.
 In addition, the company recorded, effective as of the beginning of the year, a $6.7 million pre-tax charge related to the early adoption of FAS 106 concerning retiree medical benefits.
 For the fiscal year ended June 30, sales decreased 1 percent to $915 million, compared to $924 million the prior year. The net loss after the above noted special charges was $12.1 million, compared with $62.0 million income last year restated for the Wicat acquisition.
 "We are disappointed that Jostens fell short of its April earnings estimates before the special charges," said H. William Lurton, chairman and chief executive officer. "However, we believe that our restructuring actions will substantially improve the efficiency of our businesses and will help Jostens more quickly return to its historical performance levels."
 The company's lower sales and earnings level was the result of a substantial shortfall in JLC orders booked in June after a strong April and May, continuing the pattern of variability encountered all year. For the full year, Jostens Learning's sales were 8 percent below the prior year level. Budget pressures in the schools and uncertainty regarding future federal education programs and funding made attaining fiscal year commitments particularly difficult.
 In the School Products Group both the printing and the graduation products areas posted gains. Unit sales of high school and college rings approximated last year's levels, reversing the decline of the past several years and delivering profit gains. Overall the group performance declined slightly relative to last year due to the impact of U.S. photography.
 In looking to Fiscal 1994, the company expects all units to achieve earnings growth. Two key priorities for Jostens management will be profit improvement and more effective asset management. "My first priority is to take costs out," said Robert C. Buhrmaster, president and chief operating officer. "We are re-engineering many of our business systems and eliminating redundancies between units. We also expect to reduce selling, general and administrative expenses significantly in the next two years."
 "We also will be much more focused on asset management in fiscal 1994. We will drive the productivity of our assets both in manufacturing and working capital. We have already simplified our class ring product offering by over 30 percent which improves productivity. Our ring plant consolidation completed a year ago will generate more than the $2 million of annual savings originally forecast, and we are examining the potential for additional gains at our other facilities.
 "The steps we are currently taking are painful and the restructuring charges are significant. We must, however, move decisively if we are to quickly return our company to its historical profitability level. Jostens has an unusually strong franchise in its traditional markets, a leading share of the integrated learning system market as well as a dedicated group of employees and sales agents. Demographic data indicates that our markets will expand in the 90's to levels not seen since the early 1980's. Successful implementation of our cost reduction and asset utilization goals, and improved growth at Jostens Learning will result in substantially improved results for our company in the next few years."
 Jostens Inc. is a leading provider of products and services for the youth, education, sports award and recognition markets. The Fortune 500 company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "JOS."
 JOSTENS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED INCOME
 (In Thousands, Except Per Share Data)
 Year Ended June 30,
 (Unaudited)
 1993 1992
 NET SALES $914,848 $924,167
 Operating Expenses 843,356 817,451
 Restructuring Charges 70,581 --
 Interest Expense 5,652 8,449
 -- (4,741) 98,267
 Income Taxes 3,206 36,293
 NET INCOME (LOSS) BEFORE CHANGE
 IN ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLE (7,947) 61,974
 Cumulative Effect of Change in
 Accounting Principle, Net of Taxes (4,150) --
 NET INCOME (LOSS) $(12,097) $61,974
 EARNINGS (LOSS) PER SHARE
 Before Change in Accounting Principle $(0.18) $1.38
 Cumulative Effect of Change in
 Accounting Principle (0.09) --
 Net Income (Loss) $(0.27) $1.38
 Average Shares Outstanding 45,328 44,918
 Three Months Ended June 30,
 (Unaudited)
 1993 1992
 NET SALES $353,753 $348,389
 Operating Expenses 314,702 294,127
 Restructuring Charges 70,581 --
 Interest Expense 346 1,685
 -- (31,876) 52,577
 Income Taxes (7,740) 19,399
 NET INCOME (LOSS) $(24,136) $33,178
 EARNINGS (LOSS) PER SHARE $(0.53) $0.74
 Average Shares Outstanding 45,423 45,027
 Note: Amounts have been restated to reflect the August 1992 merger with Wicat Systems, Inc. which was accounted for as a pooling of interests.
 -0- 7/29/93
 /CONTACT: Robb Prince of Jostens Inc., 612-830-3262/
 (JOS)


CO: Jostens Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: CPR SU: ERN

DS -- MN006 -- 7090 07/29/93 08:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 29, 1993
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