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BERGEN BRUNSWIG CORP. ANNOUNCES PRELIMINARY EARNINGS AND RESTRUCTURING OF DRUG DISTRIBUTION BUSINESS

 ORANGE, Calif., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Bergen Brunswig Corp. (AMEX: BBC) announced today that it expects to report earnings from continuing operations of between $27.5 million and $28.6 million for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 1993, and fully diluted earning per share from continuing operations in the range of 76 cents to 79 cents. For the fourth quarter, it expects to report a net loss of approximately $13.1 million to $14.3 million which includes an after-tax restructuring charge of $20.8 million and after-tax costs of approximately $1.5 million associated with the termination in June of the bid for Office Commercial Pharmaceutique (OCP). Absent the restructuring charges, and costs associated with OCP, earnings from continuing operations for the quarter and year would have been between $8 million and $9.2 million and between $49.8 million and $50.9 million, respectively.
 For the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 1993, net sales and other revenues are expected to be approximately $6.8 billion compared to $5.0 billion last year. Net sales and other revenues for the fourth quarter are expected to be $1.8 billion compared to $1.3 billion for the prior year's quarter.
 Robert E. Martini, chairman and chief executive officer, commented: "The reduced earnings for the year and the quarter, other than the restructuring and OCP charges, are the result of adverse trends that have affected the wholesale drug industry's gross profit margins. These include lower manufacturers' price increases and a highly competitive business environment. Internal sales growth has slowed to approximately 7 percent which compares to an average 13 percent during the past five years. This appears to be an industry trend, evidenced by the slower sales growth being reported by drug manufacturers."
 Martini also noted that, "The company experienced rapid growth during fiscal 1993 with acquisitions totaling over $1.4 billion in annual sales. The plan to restructure consists of an accelerated consolidation of distribution facilities into larger, more efficient regional distribution centers; the merging of duplicate operating systems; the reduction of administrative support in areas not affecting valued services to customers; and the discontinuance of services and programs that do not meet our strategic and economic return objectives.
 "The restructuring process, which has already started with the consolidation of three divisions this year, is the top priority of the company and is planned to be completed within 18 months. The restructuring will enable us to fulfill our objectives of providing high quality service and increasing our financial strength and operating efficiency. The majority of the charge is a non-cash, one-time charge to our fourth quarter of fiscal 1993."
 Bergen Brunswig Corp. is one of the largest distributors of pharmaceuticals and health care products in the United States.
 -0- 9/20/93
 /CONTACT: Neil F. Dimick, executive VP, CFO, 714-385-4000/
 (BBC)


CO: Bergen Brunswig Corp. ST: California IN: MTC SU: ERP

SM-LS -- LA013 -- 3495 09/20/93 09:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 20, 1993
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