Buhrmann Reports Improvement of Results in Third Quarter

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, November 10 (ots/PRNewswire) - Buhrmann (NYSE: BUH Amsterdam:BUHR.AS), one of the world's largest global suppliers of office products and graphic systems for the business market, announced its third quarter 2004 results today.

Buhrmann's three Office Products Divisions operate primarily under the name of Corporate Express. Corporate Express is the only contract stationer with a global proprietary distribution network spanning 16 nations across North America, Europe and Australia/New Zealand, and distribution partnerships in other countries. Buhrmann's graphic systems distribution companies are the largest re-sellers of industry-leading Heidelberg equipment in six European countries.

A full version of the company's first quarter 2004 earnings release can be found on its corporate website: www.buhrmann.com . The following paragraphs are a summary extracted from the original press release:

- Operating profit (EBITAE) from ongoing operations increased 33% at constant exchange rates; up 23.5% at actual rates including negative currency effects

- Positive trend in added value growth fuelled by continued successful execution of key strategic initiatives regarding private brands, facility products and preferred suppliers

- Total organic sales up 1%; Global office products organic sales up 2%

- Net profit(Ref 1) per share (fully diluted) increased to EUR 0.14; net profit(Ref 1) up to EUR 29.4 million

(Ref 1) Net profit before amortisation of goodwill and exceptional items in 2003 (see also remarks under Accounting Policies)


Commenting on third quarter performance, Buhrmann President and CEO Frans Koffrie said: "We are pleased with the results we have delivered in the third quarter of 2004. Our sustained and strong competitive position as a single-source supplier with a clear focus on business-to-business distribution has allowed us to expand our business, especially in the large accounts market segment. It is encouraging to see a gradual improvement in office products sales in North America. Furthermore, the overall positive trend in added value growth has been boosted by the continuing implementation of our strategic initiatives. We are confident that the implementation of these initiatives will allow us to continue growing sales and earnings."


Profitable sales growth remains our key priority. We believe that our strategic initiatives are making an important difference in this respect and we are encouraged by the successes we have already achieved this year.

We see continued, steady improvement in market conditions in North America, while in Europe we expect to see the positive results of measures to enhance the performance of our organisation over time.

We expect continued available positive cash flow in the fourth quarter of 2004 and we accordingly reiterate our forecast that full year 2004 available cash flow will be positive.

At the current exchange rates, we expect amortisation of goodwill of about EUR 45 million, and depreciation of about EUR 85 million for the full year. The effective tax rate for 2004 on earnings before tax, amortisation of goodwill and exceptional items (EBTAE) is expected to be below 10%. Capital expenditure will be around EUR 70 million for 2004.

Full version of the press release on: www.buhrmann.com

Rückfragen & Kontakt:

Buhrmann Corporate Communications, Ewold de Bruijne, Tel
+31-(0)20-651-10-34, e-mail: ewold.de.bruijne@buhrmann.com.
Analysts/investors can contact: Buhrmann Investor Relations, Carl
Hoyer, Tel +31-(0)20-651-10-42, e-mail: carl.hoyer@buhrmann.com