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Quebecor World CEO Resigns, Issues Weak Outlook For Q1

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Press release from the issuing company

March 18, 2003--Quebecor World Inc. announces that Michel Desbiens has resigned as President and CEO for personal reasons. Jean Neveu will replace him on an interim basis, effective immediately. Mr. Neveu has a long and successful history with the Company having served as President and CEO from 1989 until 1997 and as Chairman of the Board from 1989 until 2002. Mr. Desbiens joined Quebecor World as CEO of International Operations in November, 2002. He was appointed President and CEO of Quebecor World Inc. in February of this year. "I was very pleased to take on this responsibility and looked forward to contributing to the future success of the world's largest commercial printer," said Mr. Desbiens. "However in recent weeks certain family issues have come to light that make it impossible for me to provide the required level of focus in this role." Mr. Neveu has more than 30 years of experience in the printing and media industry and was one of the main forces behind the development of Quebecor World. As a former CEO and Chairman of the Board, Mr. Neveu has been involved in all of the Company's major decisions during the last decade. He will serve on an interim basis until a new CEO is chosen. First Quarter Outlook Quebecor World Inc. expects net income for the first quarter to be in the range of $24 million to $29 million or between $0.12 and $0.15 per diluted share. This compares with $0.28 in the first quarter of 2002. Management's expectation for first quarter results reflects a continuing weakness and decrease price in print market conditions in North America and Europe, combined with a significant increase in energy prices, and increased employee medical and retirement benefits in North America. In addition, the Company's French operations continue to underperform. Therefore the Company will continue to aggressively reduce its cost base to face this uncertain environment. Advertising demand in North America continues to be adversely affected by fragile economic conditions, and geopolitical uncertainties. Printed advertising pages as reported by the U.S. Publisher's Information Bureau remain at levels which are resulting in overcapacity and price weakness in all industry segments. This situation has negatively impacted virtually all companies in our industry. On February 3rd, 2003 Quebecor World announced restructuring initiatives aimed at reducing its cost structure, primarily in France. The Company's first quarter results will not yet reflect the savings expected to be realized under these initiatives. The underperforming French operations are expected to have a negative impact on the Company's first quarter operating earnings compared to the same period last year. The first quarter is traditionally the seasonal low-point for Quebecor World, and we expect that this quarter's relative shortfall versus last year is unlikely to be as pronounced in subsequent quarters. Quebecor World will release its first quarter results on April 24th, 2003.

 

 

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