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Von Hoffmann Corp. Announces Improved First Quarter Results

May 2003
St. Louis, MO--Von Hoffmann Corp., a leading North American education and commercial printer, today announced results for the quarter ended March 31, 2003.

Net sales for the first quarter of 2003 were $93.8 million, representing 13.4% increase over prior year's quarter of $82.7 million. Net loss for the first quarter of 2003 was $0.4 million compared to a loss of $5.8 million in the first quarter of 2002. Prior year results include a loss on debt extinguishment of $3.1 million (After - tax impact of $2.0 million) as a result of the write-off of debt issuance costs during our debt refinancing completed in March 2002. Earnings before income taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $15.1 million for the first quarter of 2003 compared to $8.3 million, or $12.4 million excluding the loss on debt extinguishment and non-recurring special consulting expenses incurred in the first quarter of 2002. The EBITDA performance represents a 21.8% improvement over adjusted 2002 results.

In spite of challenging market conditions across all segments of the print industry, the Company increased net sales with significant growth in both the supplementary education and four-color non-education markets. Net sales levels were supported further by stable performance in our four-color elementary and college markets. The substantial EBITDA improvement in 2003 resulted from the increased sales volume and was strengthened further by operating cost reduction initiatives throughout the organization. The Company's net loss position improved during the quarter as a result of the above factors as well as reduced depreciation expense of $4.0 million as a significant level of assets became fully depreciated in the third quarter of 2002 .

Robert Mathews, President and Chief Executive Officer, noted, "The Company's operating performance in the first quarter provides momentum for the entire organization as we enter the upcoming two quarters, which historically have been more active production periods. While we remain cautiously optimistic about 2003, the economy and associated state tax revenues which fund educational products remain a concern."

Von Hoffmann Corporation is a leading North American manufacturer of printed products for the educational and commercial markets. From design and prepress through manufacturing and distribution and fulfillment, Von Hoffmann is committed to offering its core customers in the instructional materials markets and in the commercial market sector a full range of products and services. Von Hoffmann is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. For more information, visit www.vonhoffmann.com.

Certain statements constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical facts, but rather reflect current expectations concerning future events and results. The Company generally uses the words "believes," "expects," "intends," "plans," "anticipates," "likely," "will" and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements, including those concerning the Company's expectations, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond the Company's control, which may cause the Company's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include statements we make regarding future prospects of growth in the educational textbook market, the level of future activity of the public school textbook adoption process, demographic and other trends in the instructional materials market, our ability to maintain or increase our market share and our future capital expenditure levels. In evaluating such statements as well as the future prospects of the Company, refer to the "Risk Factors" section of the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a complete description of such factors.
 

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