Russ Berrie and Company, Inc. Previews First Quarter Results

Reaffirms Guidance for 2001 and Appoints New Chief Information Officer



Apr 02, 2001, 01:00 ET from Russ Berrie and Company, Inc.

    OAKLAND, N.J., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- RUSS BERRIE AND COMPANY, INC.
 (NYSE:   RUS) today announced expectations for its first quarter, which ended
 March 31, 2001.  In addition, the Company reaffirmed its guidance for 2001 and
 announced the appointment of Michael M. Saunders to the position of Vice
 President, Chief Information Officer.
 
     First Quarter 2001 Guidance
     Given the economy's uncertain environment and retailers' current "wait and
 see" attitude, sales in the first quarter of 2001 are anticipated to come in
 at the low end of the Company's prior expectations, slightly below sales
 reported in 2000 and earnings are also expected to be below the same quarter
 prior year.  First quarter earnings were largely impacted by the front-end
 loading of the Company's strategic investment in an expanded sales force as
 well as the unfavorable impact of a stock option repricing in 2000.  Bookings
 in the last eight weeks, however, are trending up over the prior year period
 and the Company is standing by its guidance of 10% to 12% top-line growth for
 the full year 2001.
 
     Appointment of Chief Information Officer
     The Company today also announced the appointment of Michael M. Saunders as
 Vice President -- Chief Information Officer.  Mr. Saunders, age 29, joined
 Russ Berrie and Company from Danskin, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board:   DANS) -- a
 manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of dance and active wear, where he was
 Chief Information Officer.
     Russ Berrie, Chairman, commented, "Thank God, we finally have a strong new
 person to fill this important role"."
     Russ Berrie and Company expects to report its first quarter results on
 Thursday, April 26, 2001.  The Company will hold a conference call at 4:15 PM
 ET the same day to discuss its financial results and continuing business
 plans.  Interested parties are invited to listen to the call live over the
 Internet at http://www.vcall.com .  A replay of the call will also be
 available.
     Russ Berrie and Company, Inc., "The Gift Company For Today's Lifestyle,"
 designs, develops, and distributes more than 6,000 seasonal and everyday gift
 products to retail stores in the United States and worldwide.  These products
 include stuffed animals, picture frames, candles, figurines and home decor
 gifts based on current fashions and trends.
 
     Note:  This news release contains forward-looking statements.  Additional
 written and oral forward-looking statements may be made by the Company from
 time to time.  The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a
 safe-harbor for forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified
 by the use of forward-looking words or phrases including, but not limited to,
 "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "intend", "may", "planned", "potential",
 "should", "will", or "would". The Company cautions readers that results
 predicted by forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, those
 relating to the Company's future business prospects, revenues, working
 capital, liquidity, capital needs, interest costs, and income are subject to
 certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
 materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements.  Specific
 risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the Company's ability
 to continue to manufacture its products in the Far East, the seasonality of
 revenues, the actions of competitors, ability to increase production capacity,
 price competition, the effects of government regulation, possible delays in
 the introduction of new products, customer acceptance of products, issues
 related to the start up of the Company's recently announced Russ Trading
 division, changes in foreign currency exchange rates, issues related to the
 Company's computer system and other factors.
 
 

SOURCE Russ Berrie and Company, Inc.
    OAKLAND, N.J., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- RUSS BERRIE AND COMPANY, INC.
 (NYSE:   RUS) today announced expectations for its first quarter, which ended
 March 31, 2001.  In addition, the Company reaffirmed its guidance for 2001 and
 announced the appointment of Michael M. Saunders to the position of Vice
 President, Chief Information Officer.
 
     First Quarter 2001 Guidance
     Given the economy's uncertain environment and retailers' current "wait and
 see" attitude, sales in the first quarter of 2001 are anticipated to come in
 at the low end of the Company's prior expectations, slightly below sales
 reported in 2000 and earnings are also expected to be below the same quarter
 prior year.  First quarter earnings were largely impacted by the front-end
 loading of the Company's strategic investment in an expanded sales force as
 well as the unfavorable impact of a stock option repricing in 2000.  Bookings
 in the last eight weeks, however, are trending up over the prior year period
 and the Company is standing by its guidance of 10% to 12% top-line growth for
 the full year 2001.
 
     Appointment of Chief Information Officer
     The Company today also announced the appointment of Michael M. Saunders as
 Vice President -- Chief Information Officer.  Mr. Saunders, age 29, joined
 Russ Berrie and Company from Danskin, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board:   DANS) -- a
 manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of dance and active wear, where he was
 Chief Information Officer.
     Russ Berrie, Chairman, commented, "Thank God, we finally have a strong new
 person to fill this important role"."
     Russ Berrie and Company expects to report its first quarter results on
 Thursday, April 26, 2001.  The Company will hold a conference call at 4:15 PM
 ET the same day to discuss its financial results and continuing business
 plans.  Interested parties are invited to listen to the call live over the
 Internet at http://www.vcall.com .  A replay of the call will also be
 available.
     Russ Berrie and Company, Inc., "The Gift Company For Today's Lifestyle,"
 designs, develops, and distributes more than 6,000 seasonal and everyday gift
 products to retail stores in the United States and worldwide.  These products
 include stuffed animals, picture frames, candles, figurines and home decor
 gifts based on current fashions and trends.
 
     Note:  This news release contains forward-looking statements.  Additional
 written and oral forward-looking statements may be made by the Company from
 time to time.  The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a
 safe-harbor for forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified
 by the use of forward-looking words or phrases including, but not limited to,
 "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "intend", "may", "planned", "potential",
 "should", "will", or "would". The Company cautions readers that results
 predicted by forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, those
 relating to the Company's future business prospects, revenues, working
 capital, liquidity, capital needs, interest costs, and income are subject to
 certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
 materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements.  Specific
 risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the Company's ability
 to continue to manufacture its products in the Far East, the seasonality of
 revenues, the actions of competitors, ability to increase production capacity,
 price competition, the effects of government regulation, possible delays in
 the introduction of new products, customer acceptance of products, issues
 related to the start up of the Company's recently announced Russ Trading
 division, changes in foreign currency exchange rates, issues related to the
 Company's computer system and other factors.
 
 SOURCE  Russ Berrie and Company, Inc.