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CIRCON 1991 ANNOUNCES NET INCOME UP 96 PERCENT

 CIRCON 1991 ANNOUNCES NET INCOME UP 96 PERCENT
 SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Richard A. Auhll,


president and chairman, today announced that Circon's (NASDAQ-NMS: CCON) preliminary financial results show that 1991 net income increased 96 percent over the prior year. Circon achieved in 1991 record-setting results for sales, gross profit, operating income and net income, over any year in the company's history.
 Circon's 1991 sales totalled $69.0 million, a solid $14.3 million, or 26 percent, increase over 1990. The 40 percent and 38 percent medical sales increases achieved by the USA Direct Sales Force and by the international network respectively, were the most significant factors. By comparison, Circon sales increased 11 percent in 1990 over 1989.
 Fourth quarter 1991 sales rose to $20.1 million, up $5.3 million, or 36 percent, over the fourth quarter 1990. The 45 percent increase in Circon's worldwide medical sales was the major factor.
 Gross profit for 1991 increased $9.3 million or 34 percent over last year to $36.5 million, a new Circon high. The improvement in Circon's manufacturing efficiency is evident with gross profit as a percentage of sales growing to 52.9 percent, up from 49.8 percent in 1990. Fourth quarter gross profit increased 47 percent.
 1991 R & D expenditures increased 17 percent to $6.1 million as product development efforts accelerated to expand the laparoscopic product line introduced in 1990. These new products enable Circon to complete the product lines for the rapidly growing general surgery and gynecology fields. R & D investments were a solid 8.8 percent of total sales.
 1991 operating income was $5.8 million, a 116 percent increase over 1990. Fourth quarter 1991 operating income rose to $2.0 million, up 159 percent over the comparable 1990 period. This was due to the combination of substantial sales growth, improving manufacturing efficiencies, and expense control.
 Income after tax and before extraordinary items in 1991 reached $3.0 million, up 820 percent over last year. For the fourth quarter this was $1.3 million, up 680 percent over the comparable 1990 period.
 Circon's 1991 net income grew to $3.5 million, up 96 percent from 1990. Fourth quarter net income increased 223 percent to $1.5 million.
 Full-year 1991 earnings are $0.53, a 75 percent increase over the $0.31 reported for 1990. Fourth quarter EPS was $0.20, up 161 percent from the $0.08 of the same quarter last year.
 Circon was able to eliminate all of its $16.0 million of debt, increase its working capital by 155 percent, and have $25.3 million in cash equivalents at year-end largely as a result of equity sales during 1991.
 Circon develops, manufactures and markets endoscope systems and ultraminiature color video systems for medical and industrial applications and is the largest United States producer of medical endoscopes and video systems.
 CIRCON CORP.
 Comparative Summary of Income
 (In millions, except per share data)
 (Unaudited)
 Full year Fourth quarter
 1991 1990 1991 1990 Change
 Sales $69.0 $54.7 $20.1 $14.8 + 36 pct.
 Gross profit 36.5 27.2 10.7 7.3 + 47 pct.
 Operating
 income 5.8 2.7 2.0 0.8 +159 pct.
 Income before
 taxes and
 extraordinary
 items 4.9 1.1 2.0 0.5 +335 pct.
 Net taxes (net
 of NOL) 1.4 (0.2) 0.5 0 +$0.5
 Extraordinary
 item, debt
 extinguishment
 (net of tax) 0 0.5 0 0 0 pct.
 Net income $3.5 $1.8 $1.5 $0.5 +223 pct.
 Shares outstanding
 (weighted average,
 fully diluted) 6,600 5,861 7,350 5,950 +24 pct.
 EPS: Before
 extraordinary
 items (net of
 tax, fully
 diluted) $0.46 $0.06 $0.18 $0.03 +532 pct.
 Net earnings
 per share $0.53 $0.31 $0.20 $0.08 +161 pct.
 CIRCON CORP.
 Condensed Balance Sheet
 (In millions)
 (Unaudited)
 Dec. 31, Dec. 31,
 1991 1990
 Total current assets $56.8 $24.8
 All other assets, net 18.5 17.1
 Total assets $75.3 $41.9
 Short-term debt $0 $1.2
 Total current liabilities 10.3 7.8
 Long-term debt 0 14.8
 Shareholders equity $65.0 $19.3
 Total liabilities and
 shareholders equity $75.3 $41.9
 -0- 1/6/92
 /CONTACT: R. Bruce Thompson, executive VP and CFO of Circon, 805-967-0404/
 (CCON) CO: Circon Corp. ST: California IN: MTC SU: ERN


AL-KJ -- LA021 -- 6995 01/06/92 15:17 EST
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Date:Jan 6, 1992
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