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JOSTENS REPORTS SALES AND EARNINGS

 MINNEAPOLIS, April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Jostens, Inc. (NYSE: JOS) today reported sales and earnings for the quarter and nine months ended March 31, 1993. For the quarter ended March 31, net sales were $185.0 million, an increase of 5 percent from last year's level of $176.1 million.
 Net income was $5.5 million, down from $10.0 million reported a year ago. Earnings per share were $.12 versus $.22 cents for last year. Previously reported amounts have been restated to include the results of Wicat Systems, Inc. acquired in August, 1992, and accounted for on a pooling of interests basis.
 H. William Lurton, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "The 5 percent sales increase for the quarter reflects gains in our School Products, Jostens Learning and Sportswear divisions, but our overall sales and earnings performance is clearly unacceptable."
 Two problems impacted performance during the quarter. Sales at Jostens Learning were up 6 percent for the quarter, considerably better than the first six months, but still less than anticipated. Integration of Wicat Systems into Jostens Learning affected sales performance in the first half of the fiscal year and school funding uncertainties are significantly impacting current sales activity. Many school districts are postponing or reducing the size of their commitments pending clarification of funding from local, state and national sources. Quarterly results were also affected by continuing consolidation problems and high operating costs at Jostens' new school photography plant in Clinton, Mississippi.
 Lurton added, "Fiscal 1993 has been a difficult year for Jostens and the continuing sluggishness in Jostens Learning's order flow will have a further negative impact on this year's results. I am pleased to report, however, that our high school class ring unit trend is on plan and our sportswear division is on track to return to profitability and double- digit sales growth.
 "With almost half of Jostens Learning's annual sales volume occurring in the June quarter and with many of its costs fixed in nature, the funding uncertainties make us cautious about forecasting year-end results. Recent sales trends at Jostens Learning, however, suggest that our overall fiscal 1993 sales will be up only slightly from a year ago and earnings per share could be in the $1.00 range.
 "Beyond fiscal 1993 we are committed to returning Jostens to its historical performance levels. Our problems in school photography are operational in nature and we are working on a turnaround strategy for that business. During the fourth quarter we also will be carefully evaluating conditions in the Jostens Learning marketplace and determining appropriate strategies for that business for FY 1994 and beyond. We are committed to developing plans which will permit Jostens to return to strong profitability and a solid long-term growth rate. We continue to have strong confidence that the concept of utilizing technology to aid in education will provide significant long-term rewards for Jostens and for our nation."
 Jostens, Inc. is a leading provider of products and services for the youth, education, sportswear and recognition markets. The Fortune 500 company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "JOS" and last year reported sales of $924 million.
 JOSTENS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 STATEMENTS OF CONSOLIDATED INCOME
 (In Thousands, Except Per Share Data)
 (Unaudited)
 Nine Months Ended March 31,
 1993 1992
 NET SALES $561,095 $575,778
 Operating Expenses 528,654 523,324
 INCOME BEFORE INTEREST AND TAXES 32,441 52,454
 Interest Expense 5,306 6,764
 Income Before Taxes 27,135 45,690
 Income Taxes 10,946 16,894
 NET INCOME $ 16,189 $ 28,796
 EARNINGS PER SHARE $ .36 $ .64
 Average Shares Outstanding 45,297 44,882
 Three Months Ended March 31,
 1993 1992
 NET SALES $184,964 $176,087
 Operating Expenses 174,287 158,008
 INCOME BEFORE INTEREST AND TAXES 10,677 18,079
 Interest Expense 1,659 1,942
 Income Before Taxes 9,018 16,137
 Income Taxes 3,560 6,096
 NET INCOME $ 5,458 $ 10,041
 EARNINGS PER SHARE $ .12 $ .22
 Average Shares Outstanding 45,364 44,986
 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- 4/20/93
 /CONTACT: Robb Prince of Jostens, 612-830-3262/
 (JOS)


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

KH -- MN029 -- 8265 04/20/93 16:21 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 20, 1993
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