March 1-15, 2004 Edition

Quarto Poised to Buy

Larger Publishers Following

Increase in Pre-Tax Profits

LONDON/2/23/04 —Quarto, a co-edition publisher and packager, plans to double its size within the next few years by acquiring larger publishers.

Chairman Laurence Orbach announced a 12.2 percent increase in pre-tax profit to £5.7m for the year ended 31 December, 2003. While sales were flat at £74.6m, real growth was at about 6 percent, allowing for the weaker dollar. A significant portion of the company’s business lies in the U.S.

Orbach said Quarto would transform into a much larger publishing group with new acquisitions in publishing businesses. He said the company is looking at larger businesses, as well as small ones, and is investigating some significant opportunities.

Quarto’s international co-edition publishing division showed a 21 percent increase in operating profit to £5.5m.

The publishing division’s sales suffered a decline of 11.2 percent to £29.2m due to the lingering effects of the loss of a major customer in 2002. Operating profit declined 23 percent to £2.2m.