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Swallowfield PLC (BAR)

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Friday 22 November, 2002

Swallowfield PLC

Trading Statement

Swallowfield PLC
22 November 2002

Swallowfield plc announces today that, despite high order books and an increased
level of sales, it is not achieving the level of profits expected in the current
trading period.  A combination of severe pressure on margins and some erosion
due to increases in our natural cost base, coupled with the delayed 'ramp up' of
production output due to labour unavailability, have combined to hold back the
levels of profit levels.

It is likely that profits on the Wellington site will finish the current half
year on or around last year's performance levels.  Our cosmetics business at
Bideford however has been particularly hit by competition from the Far East,
severely reducing margin expectations on our Christmas gift packing.  Our very
high gift packing programme this year, on both sites, required a high labour
content and we have found ourselves facing a severe shortage of trained
personnel over the first few months of the period, requiring us to use core
labour on gift pack production to avoid penalties, thereby incurring delays on
our main business.  Against this background it is unlikely that the cosmetics
business will break even in our first trading half.

At this time both sites are very busy and we still have relatively high order
books, particularly for our core products on the Wellington site.  We have a
detailed profit improvement plan in place but feel, this will be insufficient on
a Group basis to make up for the weak margins in our cosmetics business which do
not look like improving until the last quarter of this financial year.  Our
overall expectation against this weak cosmetics performance and a very tough
trading background, is for the Group to finish this financial year at a better
running rate in terms of production levels and order book than in previous

When measured against current industry performance we believe that our order
levels, margin mix and overall profitability are better than industry
expectations and we do not anticipate any changes to our dividend policy.


Tony Wardell, Chief Executive                            Tel: 0182 366 2241

Barrie Newton, Rowan Dartington & Co. Limited            Tel: 0117 925 3377

                      This information is provided by RNS
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