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DESPITE STEADY PROFITS, 1992 R&D SPENDING WILL REMAIN SLIM, MIDSIZED MANUFACTURERS TELL GRANT THORNTON, CPA FIRM

DESPITE STEADY PROFITS, 1992 R&D SPENDING WILL REMAIN SLIM, MIDSIZED
    MANUFACTURERS TELL GRANT THORNTON, CPA FIRM
    CHICAGO, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Midsized U.S. manufacturers will keep investment in research and development (R&D) levels constant this year, even though most expect 1992 profits to equal or surpass last year's earnings, according a study released yesterday by Grant Thornton.
    In telephone interviews with a random sample of 250 top executives representing American manufacturing companies with annual sales from $10 million to $500 million, the Chicago-based accounting and management consulting firm found the following:
    -- Although 43 percent of all midsized manufacturers expect 1992 profits to increase and another 44 percent believe that 1992 earnings will equal 1991 levels, R&D investment as a percentage of sales will remain at 3 percent, the same as last year.
    -- Only 9 percent of all surveyed companies will invest 10 percent of sales or more in R&D in 1992.
    -- One-fifth (21 percent) of all manufacturers will spend nothing on R&D this year.
    According to Michael N. Cantwell, Grant Thornton's national director for manufacturing and partner in charge of the study, these survey results suggest that many midsized companies still maintain a cautious view of growth prospects for the near future.
    "While the percentage of manufacturing companies that think profits will decline has dropped considerably since last spring, from 29 percent to 12 percent, few are ready to make a substantially greater commitment to the kind of research and development activities that could enhance their long-term prospects for growth," Cantwell said.
    Interviews on R&D investment and profit outlook were conducted for Grant Thornton by The Wirthlin Group, an independent research organization, from Nov. 4 to Nov. 22, 1991, and are part of the Grant Thornton Survey of American Manufacturers, an ongoing study.
    Because this survey employs a national probability sample, its results are representative of the more than 20,000 U.S. manufacturers within the stated sales range.  The sampling margin of error is + 6 percent.
    -0-                      2/14/92
    CONTACT:  Liz DeIuliis or John Koegel, 212-599-0100, or Michael N. Cantwell, 612-332-0001, all of Grant Thornton
CO:    GRANT THORNTON
ST:           ILLINOIS (IL)


-- NY019 -- 9074 02/14/92
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Date:Feb 14, 1992
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