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New England Business Service, Inc. Updates Outlook for the Remainder of Fiscal Year 2001

Thursday, March 22, 2001

Press release from the issuing company

GROTON, Mass.-March 22, 2001--New England Business Service, Inc. (NYSE: NEB) today updated its outlook for the year ending June 30, 2001. Mr. Robert J. Murray, Chairman and CEO, stated, "Slower economic activity is adversely impacting demand for the Company's products across all of our distribution channels. Consequently, we are lowering our revenue and earnings expectations for the remaining two quarters of the fiscal year." Murray continued, "For the current quarter ending March 24, 2001, sales are expected to be approximately $124 million, with earnings per share of $.32 to $.34 without one-time items, or $.28 to $.30 as reported. For the fourth quarter ending June 30, 2001, sales are expected to be approximately $140 million, with earnings per share of $.55 to $.60 without one-time items, and $.53 to $.58 as reported. Sales for the year, benefiting substantially from the Premiumwear acquisition this past July, are expected to grow approximately 13% to $550 million, slightly lower than our earlier outlook for the year. Earnings per share, excluding one-time items, are anticipated to be in the range of $2.00 to $2.07, versus $2.07 last year. On a reported basis, we expect earnings per share to be in the $1.68 to $1.75 range." Murray added, "We continue to manage costs aggressively and are exploring opportunities to further increase our productivity. We must, however, balance any potential actions against marketing and other investments which support the long-term opportunities we see for the Company." The Company plans to release earnings for the third quarter after trading hours on Wednesday, April 18, 2001. A Company conference call to review results for the quarter, and to further discuss the outlook for the remainder of the current fiscal year, will be broadcast live on the investor relations section of the Company's Web site www.nebs.com at 11:00 AM EDT on Thursday, April 19, 2001. A replay will be available at the same location.




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