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A&W BRANDS, INC. REPORTS FIRST QUARTER OPERATING RESULTS

 WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- A&W Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ: SODA) today announced net earnings of $3,905,000 or $0.28 per share, on net sales of $25,799,000 for the three-month period ended March 31, 1993. In the first quarter of 1992, A&W reported net earnings of $3,946,000 or $0.28 per share on net sales of $26,864,000.
 "Our first quarter sales volumes were disappointing," said M.L. Lowenkron, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, "with our domestic core brands sales volume down 5 percent and total domestic sales volume, which includes Tetley and Everlast, down 2 percent. However, the Company's ability to reduce costs with a continued focus on the bottom line resulted in net earnings comparatively the same as the prior year."
 Lowenkron added, "Even though our brands have a solid market niche, they will on occasion suffer whenever the major beverage companies intensely promote their products or seek to establish a market presence with a new brand. We believe our first quarter volume results can be attributed to such situations."
 "Our first quarter strategy on our Tetley and Everlast businesses," Lowenkron added, "was to continue to strengthen distribution channels by adding new markets. As a result we are achieving additional distribution for Tetley approaching 80 percent of the U.S. market. As we are still in the roll-out process with Everlast, we anticipate achieving distribution levels of between 30 percent and 40 percent by the summer selling season. This provides us with a solid position to meet the market demand for these products which are typically consumed in warmer weather. However, considering the seasonality and introductory stage of these businesses, they incurred a first quarter investment loss of $0.02 per share."
 Lowenkron also reported the following: -- the introduction of Ruby Red Squirt, a flavor extension of
 the popular Squirt brand; concentrate shipments began in
 mid-April and the product will be introduced this year into
 15 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. market. -- the Company completed the first phase of its stock
 repurchase program by acquiring 300,000 shares of its common
 stock in the open market; the Board of Directors has
 authorized the repurchase of up to 750,000 shares; the
 Company expects to continue making repurchases under the
 program, but reserves the right of postponement in light of
 the prevailing market conditions or better use of cash. -- a 9 percent increase in the quarterly dividend, raising the
 dividend, on a post-split basis, from $0.073 to $0.08 per
 common share;
 Lowenkron concluded, "The Company's core brands remain our primary focus as we continue to seek distribution and brand strength. We also recognize the opportunities in our new business areas and we are confident that we will successfully establish Tetley and Everlast as profitable businesses within the Company. Our outlook for the balance of the year remains solid and we expect to show growth in both volume and earnings."
 A&W Brands, Inc., based in White Plains, New York, is a leading marketer of soft drinks in niche flavor segments.
 A&W BRANDS, INC.
 ACTUAL OPERATING RESULTS
 (IN THOUSANDS, EXCEPT PER SHARE DATA)
 (UNAUDITED)
 January 1 to
 March 31
 First Quarter
 1993 1992(A)
 Net Sales $25,799 $26,864
 Cost of Sales 4,346 4,914
 Gross Profit 21,453 21,950
 Marketing Expenses 11,064 11,168
 General & Administrative 3,298 3,532
 Amortization of Intangibles 709 708
 Total Operating Expenses 15,071 15,408
 Operating Income 6,382 6,542
 Interest Expense 9 112
 Other (Income) Expense (29) (37)
 Earnings Before Taxes 6,402 6,467
 Income Taxes 2,497 2,521
 Net Earnings $3,905 $3,946
 Net Income per Common Share $0.28 $0.28
 Average Common Shares Outstanding
 13,854 13,859
 (A) -- Restated to reflect change in accounting principles -
 Accounting for Income Taxes.
 -0- 4/20/93
 /CONTACT: Ernest J. Cavallo of A&W Brands, Inc., 914-397-1700/
 (SODA)


CO: A&W Brands, Inc. ST: New York IN: FOD SU: ERN

SB -- NY026 -- 7798 04/20/93 08:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 20, 1993
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