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Bowne Reports Q4 Loss On 6% Revenue Increase

Press release from the issuing company

NEW YORK, Feb. 11 -- Bowne & Co., Inc., a global leader in delivering high-value document management solutions, today reported fourth quarter 2003 revenues of $251.4 million, a 6% increase as compared to $236.2 million for the same period last year. Net loss for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2003 was $3,327,000-or $0.10 per share- including restructuring charges, net of tax, of $5,767,000 or $0.17 per share. These results are comparable to a loss of $18,903,000-or $0.56 per share-that included one-time items, primarily restructuring charges, totaling $12.7 million, net of tax, or $0.37 per share. Excluding such one-time items and restructuring charges, net of tax, resulted in pro forma earnings per share of $0.07 in 2003 as compared to a pro forma loss per share of $0.19 in 2002. (See Pro Forma Supplemental Income Information attached hereto for a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to our consolidated statements of operations). In the fourth quarter of 2003, restructuring charges principally relate to the further rationalization of the Financial Print operating model, other cost reductions, as well as continuing integration costs associated with the company's Globalization unit. Revenue for 2003 was $1.065 billion, up 6% from $1.003 billion reported for 2002. For the year ended December 31, 2003, net loss was $9,127,000-or $0.27 per share-including restructuring charges, net of tax, of $18,708,000 or $0.55 per share. Excluding these restructuring charges, net of tax, results in pro forma earnings per share of $0.27 in 2003 as compared to $0.11 in 2002. (see Pro Forma Income Information). "Bowne's fourth quarter and full-year results met our expectations and demonstrate our continued commitment to creating, in each of our businesses, a more efficient and effective operating model," said Chairman and CEO Robert M. Johnson. Johnson continued, "I'd like to highlight Bowne Global Solutions significant turnaround in 2003 as indicative of the results we are achieving as the outcome of our integration efforts, the acceptance in the market of our localization services and our strategy to diversify our client base as we continued our quarter-over-quarter improvement and exit the year on a strong note. We are optimistic about what lies ahead in 2004 because we are well positioned in each of our segments. The strong improvement in the results of our Financial Print segment in the second half of 2003, and newly awarded contracts in our Business Solutions group complement the top-line growth and bottom line improvement in Bowne Global Solutions." Johnson reported the following regarding each of Bowne's business segments: Financial Print - "Financial Print reported a $6.4 million, or 5%, increase in revenues in the fourth quarter of 2003 and segment profit increased $9.9 million, or 225%, as compared to the year earlier period -- a direct result of the changes that have been made to increase operating efficiency. While the 2003 revenues of $590.9 million are down $47.4 million, or 7%, compared with 2002, the second half revenues increased $12.3 million, or 5%, with segment profits increasing $15.6 million, or 121%-further underscoring the leverage and cost savings in our more efficient Financial Print model." "Looking ahead to 2004 we are optimistic due to the leverage in our model and the apparent momentum in the capital markets. In the IPO market, 84 companies came to market in 2003 -- down from 94 companies in 2002 -- however 53 came to market in the second half of the year, with 24 coming in December. In Asia, particularly, China, the new issues market appears to remain active. In the M&A market, we have a couple of significant transactions in process, but we also see a number of middle market transactions pending, something woefully lacking the last two years. We also see positive signs in Europe, which is expected to contribute in 2004." Business Solutions - "Total revenues increased year-over-year by $20.8 million, or 8.9%, to $254.7 million in 2003. Bowne DecisionQuest accounted for an increase of $33.2 million, which was offset by declining volumes within our investment banking clients, downsizing of key clients and the dissolution of several law firm clients in the first half of 2003. However, we are encouraged by the increase in volumes in investment banking activity in the fourth quarter as compared to prior quarters and are optimistic concerning the continuing growth in our outsourcing business. During the fourth quarter BBS added seven new outsourcing contracts; five within the legal sector, one Investment Banking client, and one in the consulting industry. As a result, we have added $22 million in total new contract revenue to our solid base of existing business." "In 2004, we expect to see a continued resurgence tied to capital market growth. We also have recently been awarded two new three-year desktop publishing agreements in the financial services sector with a total value of an additional $34 million. Our litigation support business, Bowne DecisionQuest, performed well in 2003 and is poised to further leverage significant Bowne channel opportunities. We expect BBS to grow segment profit in 2004 through: existing client growth, expansion of new services, penetration into new market verticals, continued expense management and the growth of Digital Litigation Services." Global Solutions - "Fourth quarter 2003 revenue for Bowne Global Solutions (BGS) rose approximately $2.5 million, or 5% over the same period of 2002, importantly, segment profit increased $3.9 million-despite currency volatility. Our strategy to extend our services to a more diversified client base to capture broader market opportunities served us well in 2003 as we realized gains in the Medical Devices, Government, Education, Automotive, Aerospace, Pharmaceutical and Transportation industries. Fourth quarter successes bode well for 2004 results as we recently renewed our contract with the US Department of Justice for Interpretations services, which should provide $100.0 million in revenue over a 5-year period, renewed a 5-year, $4.5 million Technical Writing contract with the European division of a Big 3 auto manufacturer, and secured a 2-year 'preferred vendor' localization contract with a leading US medical products company estimated at $2.0 million annually."