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PLM Group reports strong first quarter performance

Press release from the issuing company

MARKHAM, ON, May 14 - PLM Group today reported its financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2004, including a 29% increase in net income on 12% growth in sales. Net income grew to $0.9 million (3 cents per share basic and diluted) from $0.7 million (2 cents per share basic and diluted) in the first quarter of 2003, while sales increased to $28.8 million compared to $25.7 million a year ago. Operating cash flow for the quarter of $2.9 million was marginally ahead of the $2.7 million generated for the same period last year. Higher profitability was driven by sales growth, a 6% improvement in value added and a 1.4 percentage point increase in gross margin, reflecting the Company's continuing efforts to add higher value added components to its product mix and improve its overall operating efficiency. In addition, PLM benefited from contributions made by two acquired businesses. Mailer Magic was acquired February 1, 2003, while Optium was acquired June 16, 2003. Management Commentary "PLM opened 2004 with outstanding results," said Barry Pike, PLM's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "What's particularly gratifying about this performance is that it was achieved in the context of very difficult market conditions. During a period when the commercial printing industry is hurting and pulling back, PLM continues to grow and grow profitably. That's testimony to our people." "Their ability to provide excellent service and to anticipate the needs of our customers has made a huge difference to our business. It's put PLM at the forefront of printing and digital printing technology. It's helped us to develop deep and lasting relationships with leading customers and has allowed us to provide a product offering which continues to attract new customers away from competitors." Added Dave Stuart, President and Chief Operating Officer: "After a very slow start to the year, PLM enjoyed a record month in March, and that was enough to allow us to record an excellent quarter. This shows the power of perseverance on the part of our sales team and excellent execution in manufacturing. We are particularly pleased to report that we have now completed the relocation of our Mailer Magic and PLM 1:1 operations to a new purpose-built facility within our Markham manufacturing campus. This move was completed in flawless fashion and enables us to continue to grow our digital capabilities to better serve customers." Looking Ahead "During the past few weeks, PLM has made a series of announcements relating to new equipment purchases totaling over $7 million," said Mr. Pike. "This is a strong affirmation of our commitment to provide customers with the latest in technology and to expand our operations in print related areas which provide solutions for our customers and solid returns to our shareholders. Our challenge going forward will be to seamlessly integrate this new technology and equipment and maximize the use of our capacity. We believe we can meet this challenge very successfully. Our team's knowledge of the commercial print market and our ability to attract the best people in the industry should allow PLM to continue to grow and prosper in the months ahead while others pull back." Said Peter Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer: "Month to month, our first quarter was unpredictable, starting with a soft performance in the typically slow January and February period followed by a record March. We anticipate that this unpredictability will continue as we move into the second and third quarters. However, we are confident that the investments made over the past 24 months, together with those announced in our first quarter position PLM to take advantage of the opportunities inherent in this period of industry turmoil."