Le Riche Group Limited – Trading Statement for the 12 Weeks ended 30 December 2000

Group turnover for the twelve week period was £32.9 million, an increase of 2.9% over the comparable period last year, which enjoyed the benefit of the Millennium celebrations.

Le Riche’s Stores businesses increased turnover by 6.9% overall. Like-for-like increases in Checkers of 8.2% and Stampers of 8.1% were off-set by a small decline in Le Riche Foodhalls, in part reflecting the difficulty of trading from temporary premises at Admiral Park, Guernsey. Turnover at Wine Warehouse was 14.5% down like-for-like on last year’s exceptional performance over the Millennium but this was off-set by an improvement of 20% in like-for-like turnover in our Garage Forecourts business, reflecting much higher oil prices. Grocery selling prices continued to be maintained at or below last year’s level overall. Gross margins have improved slightly on the equivalent period last year.

Marks & Spencer Franchise Jersey like-for-like sales declined by 2.7% compared with the equivalent twelve week period last year, with an improvement in food sales of 4.3% like-for-like at stable prices being more than off-set by a decline in general merchandise of 10.7%, largely explained by lower selling prices. The Franchise had an exceptionally low level of general merchandise items to be marked down for clearance in January 2001. Gross margins are improved on last year, particularly in the four week period to Christmas and the New Year holiday period during which overall sales at the Franchise were higher than the equivalent period last year.

LR.Trading sales improved by almost 3% like-for-like over the equivalent period last year, after adjusting for the loss of the Rothmans tobacco sales agency. Good improvements in G Orange & Co, Trade Saver and Russell Meats were off-set by a small decline at C.I. Bakery. Gross margins have been maintained or improved in all LR.Trading businesses.

Le Riche Property had no major changes in its property portfolio during the period and the development of new retail sites continues on schedule, particularly the new Checkers at Admiral Park due to open in October 2001.

For the remaining quarter of the year to March 2001, the Board does not foresee any material divergence from the usual pattern for turnover and operating profits. Higher average borrowing levels than last year are expected to give rise to a slightly increased interest charge for the last quarter, although the charge for the year should remain below last year, particularly if short-term interest rates decline in the near future. The Company has not purchased any of its Ordinary Shares for cancellation since September 2000.

For further information contact:

Martin Bralsford, Chief Executive or Donal Duff, Director of Finance at Le Riche Group – telephone 01534 508400