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Johnson Fry Holdings (JFH)

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Thursday 15 July, 1999

Johnson Fry Holdings

Trading Statement

15 July 1999

Following the end of its interim period, the board of Johnson Fry Holdings PLC
('Johnson Fry') considers it appropriate to comment on trading for its half
year ended 30 June 1999.

Trading Statement

The first six months of Johnson Fry's current financial year have included the
changeover from PEPs to ISAs.  PEP sales in the period up to 31 March 1999
were broadly similar to those in the corresponding period last year.  Whilst
the company was in a strong position to benefit from the outstanding
investment performance in many of its key retail funds, this was
counter-balanced by the intense competition within the industry for the final
round of PEP investment before the introduction of ISAs on 6 April 1999.

In common with the rest of the fund management industry, sales of equity ISAs
since their introduction in April have been subdued.  The recently published
data by AUTIF (the Association of Unit Trusts and Investment Funds) showed
that sales of equity ISAs in May were 47% down on the sale of PEPs for the
same period in the previous year.

Although Johnson Fry has experienced an accelerating trend in ISA sales during
the month of June, the end of the PEP regime and the slower than expected
start to ISAs have resulted in lower than expected aggregate sales in the
first half of the financial year.

The board of Johnson Fry has made considerable progress in reducing the fixed
cost base of the company.  In March 1999 the board reported that Johnson Fry's
fixed overhead for 1998 had fallen to £8.1 million on a continuing basis from
£13.7 million in December 1996.  This has risen by approximately 10% in the
current year as the Group has invested in new distribution and customer
service initiatives.  Recurring revenues, principally from fund management
fees, net of direct costs, are currently equivalent to approximately 70% of
the fixed cost base and this proportion is expected to increase with growth in
funds under management.  However, the lower than expected sales in the first
half of the financial year together with expenditure on marketing and sales on
a similar basis to last year inevitably have had a material impact on
profitability.  Accordingly, the Group is likely to report a loss before
taxation for the six months ended 30 June 1999 of approximately £1.6 million.

Absent a significant fall in stock market levels, the result for the second
half of the current financial year will be influenced significantly by the
level of sales achieved.  Whilst it is too early to be able to forecast with
any certainty, the board is encouraged by the accelerating trend in ISA sales
in June.

Review of strategic options

Over the last three years Johnson Fry has resolutely followed its strategy of
becoming a focused retail fund management company.  Non core activities,
notably Healthsave, Johnson Fry Financial Services, Johnson Fry Housing and
Johnson Fry Insurance Services have been disposed of, while funds under
management have increased from £647 million in December 1996 to £1.3 billion
in July 1999.

The board of Johnson Fry has concluded that following completion of the
restructuring of the Group, and in order for the business to develop to its
full potential, it would now be beneficial to examine strategic opportunities
to grow assets under management and to exploit the operational leverage
available within the Group's business.  The board of Johnson Fry has therefore
appointed Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette International to advise it in this
process which is at an early stage.  The board of Johnson Fry will keep
shareholders informed of any material developments.

Chief Executive
Johnson Fry Holdings PLC                      Telephone:       0171 451 1000

Press Office                                   
Johnson Fry Holdings PLC                      Telephone:       0171 451 1180


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