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BELL INDUSTRIES MAKES ANNOUNCEMENTS

 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Bell Industries Inc. (NYSE: BI) today announced that it expects to report a nominal loss for the second fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31, 1992, of approximately $100,000, or $.02 a share. In the corresponding prior-year period, the company earned $647,000, or $.11 a share.
 Theodore Williams, president and chief executive officer, said current second quarter sales of the Electronics Distribution Group (EDG) of $60 million approximated those of the corresponding period last year. He noted that this was a significant accomplishment since EDG replaced almost $7 million in sales volume represented by the Motorola franchise, which was not renewed at the end of fiscal 1992. However, he stated that operating expense levels had been budgeted on the basis of a significant sales increase, a goal which was not achieved. Williams also announced that Bruce M. Jaffe, executive vice president and chief operating officer, has assumed additional responsibilities as president of the Electronics Distribution Group, succeeding John S. Abram, who has left the company by mutual agreement. Abram previously reported to Jaffe.
 Second quarter results were also impacted by the results of the Building Products Group which experienced a 25 percent reduction in sales caused by continued recessionary conditions in the construction market throughout California.
 On the positive side, stronger performances were achieved by the company's Electronics Manufacturing, Graphic Arts and Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories groups. Operating income for these groups improved significantly over the prior-year second quarter due to increased sales and the benefits of efficiency programs.
 Williams also announced that the board of directors has decided to suspend the $.10 per share quarterly dividend in view of the first half results and that continued payments could have resulted in the company not being in compliance with certain financial covenants in its senior note agreement. "While the company's financial condition, including cash flow, remains strong, the board believes it necessary to suspend dividend payments until earnings are back on track," he stated. The recently declared $.10 quarterly dividend will be paid on Feb. 16, 1993.
 "Second half results will benefit from reductions in payroll and other expenses initiated in December and early January, which should amount to approximately $300,000 a month and management is actively pursuing additional opportunities for cost savings," Williams said. In addition, he noted that the EDG book-to-bill ratio in the second quarter was 1.2-to-1, indicating positive shipping trends in the third quarter.
 "The economies already in place and those in process, along with programs to improve our sales efficiency, should produce positive results within the next few months," Williams concluded.
 Bell Industries distributes and manufactures products for the electronics, computer, building and other industrial markets.
 -0- 1/18/93
 /CONTACT: Bruce M. Jaffe, executive VP and COO, or Tracy A. Edwards, VP and CFO of Bell Industries, 310-826-2355; or Melvyn S. Rifkind, 818-783-8323, for Bell Industries/
 (BI)


CO: Bell Industries Inc. ST: California IN: CPR SU: ERP DIV

JB-KJ -- LA005 -- 5785 01/18/93 09:32 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 18, 1993
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