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RATNERS GROUP PLC REPORTS HOLIDAY SALES RESULTS AND TRADING OUTLOOK

 NEW YORK, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Ratners Group plc (NASDAQ: RATNY) announced today that pre-tax results (before exceptional charges) for the year ending January 30, 1993 are expected to be broadly comparable with those of the previous year despite a continuation of recessionary trading conditions in both the U.K. and the U.S. As in 1991/92, the U.S. operations are expected to show an operating profit and the U.K. an operating loss. The company has also operated within the requirements of the facilities agreement negotiated with its lenders.
 1992 has seen the stabilization of the business and the board has been encouraged by the progress made during the year towards the achievement of the objectives established in the business plan to restore profitability and reduce costs. It was to be expected that less discounting together with other actions taken on margins would reduce 1992 sales, and, accordingly, these were down 18 percent cumulatively for the 11 months to Dec. 31, 1992.
 Because of the particularly heavy discounting undertaken by the group in the U.K. during the run up to Christmas 1991, any sales comparison with that period is not meaningful. In December 1992, sales were 27 percent down in the U.K. and 8 percent down in the U.S. but the company's operating profits were up with the U.K. increase being over 20 percent.
 The company is currently assessing progress made in the reorganization program announced last year and it may be necessary to provide for some further limited rationalization.
 Commenting on trading in 1992, James McAdam, chairman, said: "The new direction set for the company has been validated by the 1992 performance, particularly in the month of December. For the year as a whole, over 50 million pounds sterling will have been taken out of costs and inventories have also been reduced.
 "In the U.K. the build up to Christmas was slower than expected but there was a relatively stronger sales performance in the final week. While in the U.S., the economy is showing signs of picking up, it would be premature at this stage to anticipate a sustainable recovery in consumer spending either there or in the U.K.. The business will continue to be managed on a very prudent basis with the emphasis on profit recovery and tight cash management."
 London-based Ratners is the largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry and fashion accessories in the U.K. and the second largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry in the U.S. In the U.S., the company operates approximately 950 jewelry stores in 43 states under the names Sterling Jewelers, Kay Jewelers, J.B. Robinson, Belden, Hudson Goodman Jewelers, Weisfield, LeRoy's Jewelers, Osterman, Shaw's Jewelers, Friedlander's Jewelers, Roger's Jewelers and Goodman.
 -0- 1/12/93
 /CONTACT: Michael H. Mitchell, investor relations director of Ratners Group plc, in London: 011-44-71-499-1000; or Eileen M. Halsch or Jeffrey G. Gibson of Broadgate Consultants, Inc., 212-229-2222, for Ratners Group plc/
 (RATNY)


CO: Ratners Group plc ST: New York IN: REA SU:

TS -- NY058 -- 3860 01/12/93 09:08 EST
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Date:Jan 12, 1993
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