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UNITED NEWSPAPERS PLC REPORTS PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR 1991

 UNITED NEWSPAPERS PLC REPORTS PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR 1991
 LONDON, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- United Newspapers plc


(ADRs NASDAQ-NMS: UNEWY) today announced preliminary pre-tax profits of 85.2 million pounds sterling ($1,438 million) for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991, as compared with 95.7 million pounds in 1990.
 Earnings per ordinary share were 27.1 pence ($.96 per ADR) against 31.7 pence last year. Revenues from continuing activities were 805.8 million pounds ($1.43 billion), a gain of 1 percent over 799.1 million pounds in 1990, while total revenues declined 2 percent to 812.6 million pounds ($1.44 billion) as compared with 829.1 million pounds in 1990.
 Lord Stevens, chairman of United Newspapers, said, "Despite lower 1991 results, the leading market positions held by many of the company's titles and activities well positions us to participate in any economic recovery as it develops. For these reasons, the board is recommending maintenance of the final dividend at 13.5 pence per share ($.47 per ADR), making a total for the year of 21.0 pence per share ($.77 per ADR).
 Subject to the approval of shareholders at the annual general meeting to be held on May 12, 1992, the final dividend will be paid on June 15, 1992, to shareholders of record on May 15, 1992.
 He further commented: "Our results for 1991 illustrate the depth and extent of the recession and are not unreasonable in the circumstances. The publishing sector in the UK and U.S. has experienced the most severe cutback in advertising expenditures since 1974-75 which, combined with the effects of the Gulf War, resulted in lower advertising revenues and reduced operating margins in many of our businesses.
 "I am, of course, disappointed to be reporting a lower profit before taxes. However, I am greatly encouraged by the way in which our management controlled costs in 1991. Closures of under-performing titles and sales of others helped reposition our magazine businesses for future growth.
 "It is particularly pleasing that, despite the adverse trading conditions of 1991, Advertising Periodicals in the U.S. and Extel Financial and Express Newspapers in the UK all improved their performances over last year.
 "We continued throughout 1991 to support our market positions by both internal development and acquisition which resulted in the regional newspapers division expanding its free newspaper interests around London and in Wales. A number of business magazines titles and directories were acquired, together with further advertising periodical titles in the U.S. The Scottish regional newspapers were sold in July."
 Financial Results
 Lord Stevens further added: "Capital expenditures of 28.5 million pounds ($50.4 million) were in line with previous estimates, while the company's net indebtedness increased 9.8 million pounds ($17.3 million) to 275.8 million pounds ($488.2 million), including 20.9 million pounds ($37.0 million) spent on acquisitions. Our average cost of funding for the year was 9.1 percent.
 "The extraordinary provision relates principally to the disposal of subsidiaries."
 The revenue and trading profit split was (in millions of pounds):
 Revenue Pct. Trading Profit Pct.
 UK 647.3 80 74.3 67
 U.S. 165.3 20 36.8 33
 Total 812.6 111.1
 Divisional Performance
 Regarding United Newspapers' operating divisions, Lord Stevens said: "National newspapers recorded marginally increased profits assisted by price increases on daily titles and slightly improved advertising volumes over the previous year. Increased pagination and further use of color has contributed to improved circulations for our Express titles in the latter part of the year.
 "The continuing fall in classified advertising continued to affect regional newspapers where situations vacant advertising declined by 31 percent, but strict cost control resulted in profit of only 6.2 percent lower than last year.
 "Advertising Periodicals in the UK suffered a 19-percent decline in overall advertising volumes, caused principally by a depressed automobile market. In the U.S., on the other hand, excellent gains made in the revenues and profits of the For Rent titles outweighed recession- affected classified titles in the Northeast.
 "Business magazines were the most severely affected of all categories with declines in advertising revenue of 14 percent in the UK and 8 percent in the U.S. However, Morgan-Grampian and Miller Freeman should substantially benefit from any economic recovery. Exhibitions in the U.S. continued to perform well. In Europe, however, the first signs of exhibitor and visitor reluctance were seen.
 "PR Newswire's business suffered from the issuance of fewer corporate releases, but benefited significantly from its new facsimile services. Extel Financial, which launched the Extel Workstation and its new investment accounting service, had an excellent year with trading profits up by 14.5 percent on revenues from continuing operations. IDD Inc., based in New York, was sold in September.
 "1992 has started somewhat better than we expected, both in the UK and the U.S. The outlook in the UK is heavily dependent on the result of the general election and its effect on economic recovery. I do not propose at this stage therefore to make any indication of how our business will develop during the rest of the year. In the U.S., the recession seems to have bottomed out."
 United Newspapers is an international publishing company with extensive holdings in the United Kingdom and in the United States (including PR Newswire, Gralla Publications and Miller Freeman Publications in the U.S.)
 United Newspapers ADRs (equivalent to two UK ordinary shares) are traded on the NASDAQ National Market System.
 Exchange rate is 1 pound equals $1.7702.
 UNITED NEWSPAPERS plc
 Preliminary Statement of Results (unaudited)
 (Amounts in thousands, except per share)
 1991 1991 1990 Pct. Chng.
 US$ (Pounds)
 Revenues $1,438,461 812,598 829,120 (2.0)
 Group profit
 before taxation 150,771 85,172 95,746 (11.0)
 Taxation(A) 40,808 23,053 25,033 (7.9)
 Group profit
 after taxation 109,963 62,119 70,713 (12.2)
 Minority interests (15,025) (8,488) (8,489) --
 Extraordinary items (6,382) (3,605) 21,907 n/m
 Group profit for
 the financial year 88,556 50,026 84,131 (40.5)
 Earnings per UN ordinary
 share (before extraord.
 items) $.480 27.1p 31.7p (14.5)
 Dividend paid or proposed:
 On UN ordinary shares
 Interim 7.5p (1990: 7.5p) 26,353 14,887 14,757
 Final 13.5p (1990: 13.5p) 47,448 26,804 26,571
 1990 final dividend for
 shares issued Jan. 1, 1991
 to May 17, 1991 345 195 684
 74,147 41,886 42,012
 Transferred to reserves 14,409 8,140 42,119
 (A) -- Of the 23,053,000 pounds ($40,808,420) in taxes, 7,578,000 pounds relates to taxation of overseas profits.
 Exchange rate is 1 pound equals $1.7702.
 UNITED NEWSPAPERS plc
 Revenue and Profit Analysis (Unaudited)
 (In thousands of pounds sterling)
 12 Months ended Revenue Profit
 Dec. 31 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Newspapers - national 280,963 267,720 24,256 23,754
 - regional 158,608 154,990 27,068 28,871
 Advertising periodicals 88,114 89,599 30,055 32,081
 Magazines and exhibitions 227,624 236,091 21,437 29,571
 Information services 50,517 50,693 10,074 9,952
 Other activities -- -- (22) --
 Discontinued businesses 6,772 30,027 (1,789) (4,500)
 Total 812,598 829,120 111,079 119,891
 U.K. activities 647,306 659,786 74,270 84,103
 U.S. activities 165,292 169,334 36,809 35,788
 Trading profit 812,598 829,120 111,079 119,891
 Share of (losses) profits
 of associated undertakings (1,235) 404
 Income from fixed asset
 investments 2,656 2,562
 Interest (net) (27,328) (27,111)
 Profit on ordinary activities
 before taxation 85,172 95,746
 -0- 3/26/92
 /CONTACT: Graham Wilson of United Newspapers, in London, 071-921-5002; or Philip L. Thomas of the P.L. Thomas Group, 312-906-8060, for United Newspapers/
 (UNEWY) CO: United Newspapers plc ST: IN: PUB SU: ERN


GK-OK -- NY028 -- 1888 03/26/92 10:37 EST
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