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WATERFORD WEDGWOOD PLC ANNOUNCES INTERIM RESULTS

 WATERFORD WEDGWOOD PLC ANNOUNCES INTERIM RESULTS
 LONDON, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Waterford Wedgwood plc today


announced its interim results for the six months to June 30, 1992. The main points are:
 -- Sales maintained at Irish punt 130.6 million (1991: punt 130.7 million to June 30, 1991, punt 292.1 million for 12 months to Dec. 31, 1991).
 -- Operating loss of punt 1.8 million (1991: profit of punt 1.1 million at half year, punt 9.1 million profit for year to Dec. 31, 1991).
 -- Net borrowings punt 63.0 million (1991: punt 59.6 million).
 -- Sales at Waterford Crystal up to punt 31.3 million (1991: punt 27.1 million).
 -- Sales in Wedgwood Group at punt 99.2 million (1991: punt 103.7 million), reflecting impact of the recession. Gross margins maintained.
 Donald Brennan, chairman of Waterford Wedgwood said: "Despite the difficult trading conditions which will persist throughout 1992, we are determined to continue the strategy of strengthening our brand names and achieving acceptable levels of profitability.
 "Our brands have shown resilience throughout the prolonged recession and we are confident that extending our brands together with planned cost reductions will restore profitability to the Group."
 In his statement, Donald Brennan commented: "The extremely difficult trading conditions which have prevailed in all our major markets since the end of 1990 continued throughout the first half of 1992.
 "Sales in the six months to 30 June were punt 130.6 million (1991: punt 130.7 million).
 "An operating loss of punt 1.8 million has been incurred compared with a profit of punt 1.1 million for the first six months of 1991. After net interest costs of punt 4.0 million (1991: punt 3.1 million) and taxation of punt 0.7 million (1991: punt 1.1 million) the loss for the period was punt 6.5 million (1991: punt 3.2 million loss).
 "Net borrowings at June 30, 1992 were punt 63.0 million (1991: punt 59.6 million). The increase of punt 12.8 million over the Dec. 31, 1991 level (punt 50.2 million) reflected seasonal factors traditional in the Group's businesses, compounded by redundancy costs in both businesses.
 "The board is not recommending payment of an interim dividend.
 Wedgwood Group
 "The Wedgwood Group produced an operating profit of punt 1.5 million (1991: punt 3.2 million) on sales of punt 99.2 million (1991: punt 103.7 million). Lower sales within the Wedgwood Group were the key reason for the reduction in operating profit. Percentage gross margins have been maintained.
 "The absence of any sustained sign of overall improvement in worldwide business conditions confirms that the initiatives which management have been implementing over the past year -- new product development targeted at responding to market mix changes, and ongoing cost reduction measures, coupled with tight cash management -- are correct.
 Waterford Crystal
 "Waterford Crystal incurred an operating loss of punt 3.2 million before net interest costs (1991: punt 2.1 million operating loss) on sales of punt 31.3 million (1991: punt 27.1 million). Higher sales in the first half of 1992 reflected a recovery in the Irish tourist market and the introduction of the Marquis range into the U.S. market.
 "The increased first half operating loss in 1992 mainly reflects unabsorbed overheads as short-time working levels have increased to reduce production volumes and inventory levels.
 "The special study conducted by Waterford Crystal management since February has identified a range of measures for cost reduction and other steps necessary to ensure the viability of the Waterford Crystal business. The board and management are now actively pursuing these initiatives.
 "As announced recently, a number of cost improvement initiatives were put to the unions. These measures include a reduction in manning levels by approximately 500 jobs, a revised piece rate system and a reduction of pay at all levels of the company with a pay freeze until February 1994. The strengthened organization structure recently announced shortens communication lines to the Group board.
 The Future
 "Despite the difficult trading conditions which will persist throughout 1992, we are determined to continue the strategy of strengthening our brand names and achieving acceptable levels of profitability. This will entail continued short-time working and restructuring in both the Wedgwood and Waterford Crystal businesses during the second half of the year. The cost of these continuing restructuring actions will be reflected in the full year results.
 "Our brands have shown resilience throughout the prolonged recession and we are confident that extending our brands together with planned cost reductions will restore profitability to the Group, and thereby enhance shareholder value."
 WATERFORD WEDGWOOD PLC
 Consolidated Profit and Loss Account
 (Unaudited, in thousands of Irish punt)
 Six months ended June 30: 1992 1991
 Sales
 Wedgwood Group:
 Wedgwood and Johnson Brothers 87,867 92,731
 Waterford Crystal Distribution 4,695 4,743
 Non-Group 6,680 6,208
 Total Wedgwood Group 99,242 103,682
 Waterford Crystal 31,314 27,050
 Total Group Sales 130,556 130,732
 (Loss)/profit before interest
 and taxation
 Wedgwood Group:
 Wedgwood and Johnson Brothers 3,066 5,001
 Waterford Crystal Distribution (757) (649)
 Non-Group (839) (1,152)
 Total Wedgwood Group 1,470 3,200
 Waterford Crystal (3,232) (2,101)
 Group (loss)/profit before
 interest and taxation (1,762) 1,099
 Net interest expense (4,012) (3,135)
 Loss before taxation (5,774) (2,036)
 Taxation (684) (1,129)
 Loss for period (6,458) (3,165)
 Loss per ordinary share(B) (0.91p) (0.45p)
 Fixed assets 108,477 117,840
 Net current assets 120,662 124,827
 Total assets less
 current liabilities 229,139 242,667
 Long-term debt and
 other liabilities (96,411) (97,668)
 Capital and reserves 132,728 144,999
 Notes to the Financial Statements
 (A) -- Basis of financial statements
 The accounting policies applied in the financial statements are consistent with those applied in previous years and are as set out in the audited financial statements for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991.
 (B) -- Loss per Ordinary Share
 The calculation of loss per Ordinary Share is based on the loss after taxation and on 708,780,904 shares being the weighted average number of shares in issue during the six months ended June 30, 1992 (1991: 708,758,144).
 If all shares which may be issued under share option schemes were to be included the loss per share would not be materially affected.
 (C) -- Net debt
 Net debt at 30 June 1992 comprising short- and long-term borrowings less cash and deposits amounted to punt 62.961 million (1991: punt 59.626 million).
 Information for U.S. Investors
 The Group prepares its financial statements using generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) applicable in the Irish Republic. The principal differences between U.S. GAAP and Irish GAAP affecting the Group are the treatment of foreign currency hedging transactions and the amortization of goodwill.
 (Unaudited, in thousands of Irish punt)
 Six months ended June 30: 1992 1991
 Under U.S. GAAP
 Sales from
 continuing operations 130,556 130,732
 Net loss from
 continuing operations (8,392) (14,341)
 Principal adjustments -
 hedging transactions (A)
 and amortization of
 goodwill (B)
 Loss per ADS from continuing
 operations (11.8p) (20.2p)
 Shareholders' equity (including
 amortized goodwill) 241,055 248,910
 Each ADS represents 10 ordinary shares of 5 pence each
 (A) -- Under U.S. GAAP, gains or losses on foreign exchange contracts yet to mature are measured at each balance sheet date and are included in the results of operations for the period then ended. Under Irish GAAP, the Group does not recognize gains or losses on foreign exchange contracts until the contracts mature. The effect of the adjustments for forward contracts at June 30, 1992 was to increase profits (under U.S. GAAP) by punt 0.5 million (1991: reduce profits by punt 8.7 million).
 (B) -- Under Irish GAAP, following approval from the High Court of the Irish Republic granted in July 1988, goodwill of punt 156.9 million has been offset against the share premium account. Under U.S. GAAP accounting for goodwill in this manner is not permitted: rather goodwill must be amortized over the period of its expected useful life, subject to a maximum write-off period of 40 years, through the income statement. The effect of the adjustment for amortization of goodwill at June 30, 1992 was to reduce profits (under U.S. GAAP) by punt 2.0 million (1991: punt 2.0 million).
 Management plans and assesses the performance of its operations on the basis of Irish GAAP.
 Reconciliation of U.S. and Irish GAAP
 (Unaudited, in Irish punt)
 Six months ended June 30: 1992 1991
 Net loss per ADS -
 U.S. GAAP from cont. opers. (0.12) (0.20)
 Unrealized income from
 hedging transactions (0.01) 0.12
 Amortization of goodwill 0.03 0.03
 Other 0.01 0.01
 Net loss per ADS -
 Irish GAAP (0.09) (0.04)
 -0- 9/3/92
 /CONTACT: Richard Barnes, chief financial officer, or Paddy Galvin of Waterford Crystal, or Kneale Ashwell, Waterford Wedgwood plc, in Dublin: 353-1-781855, or Richard Pearson of College Hill Associates, in London: 44-71-236-2020, for Waterford Wedgwood plc/ CO: Waterford Wedgwood plc ST: IN: HOU SU: ERN


TS -- NY011 -- 6229 09/03/92 08:11 EDT
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