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FABRI-CENTERS ANNOUNCES 33 PERCENT SALES INCREASE; 34 PERCENT GROWTH IN NET EARNINGS IN FISCAL FIRST QUARTER

 FABRI-CENTERS ANNOUNCES 33 PERCENT SALES INCREASE;
 34 PERCENT GROWTH IN NET EARNINGS IN FISCAL FIRST QUARTER
 CLEVELAND, May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Fabri-Centers of America, Inc., (NYSE: FCA) today announced a 33 percent sales increase for the fiscal first quarter ended May 2, 1992. Net sales increased to a record $131,569,000 compared to the first quarter a year ago of $99,291,000. Alan Rosskamm, president and chief executive officer, said the maturation of existing superstores, as well as the increasing number of these larger stores, played an important role in the quarterly sales gains.
 "Consumers are continuing to respond favorably to our superstores, which offer a much larger selection of quality products at very competitive prices," stated Rosskamm. "At the end of the fiscal first quarter, there were 376 superstores, compared with 233 at the end of the first quarter a year ago, while total square footage increased 32 percent over the prior year. Comparable-store sales increased 8.4 percent in the fiscal first quarter, compared with the same period a year ago."
 To help finance new store openings, Fabri-Centers issued $74,750,000 of 6-1/4 percent Convertible Subordinated Debentures, due 2002, in a March 1992 public offering.
 Net earnings in the fiscal 1993 first quarter were $1,918,000, up 34 percent from $1,428,000 a year ago. Net profitability improved while gross margin remained stable. The growth in net income was achieved despite higher costs resulting from the company's aggressive superstore conversion program, as well as start-up and renovation costs associated with the December 1991 acquisitions of New York Fabrics and Gilberg's Fabrics (a total of 28 stores).
 Quarterly earnings per share were $0.20 in fiscal 1993, up 11 percent from $0.18 per share in the same quarter a year ago. In the fiscal 1993 first quarter, average shares outstanding increased by 23 percent, to 9,761,000, primarily as a result of a successful 1,400,000 common-share public offering in May 1991.
 "Sales growth from continued market expansion should more than offset a possible narrowing of gross margin brought about by a very competitive retailing environment. By accelerating the superstore conversion process, we will be well positioned to take advantage of sales opportunities in the seasonally stronger second half of the fiscal year," concluded Rosskamm.
 In this fiscal year Fabri-Centers will continue the conversion process by opening 150 to 175 superstores while closing 100 smaller stores. Fabri-Centers operates 674 fabric stores in 38 states, primarily under the name of Jo-Ann Fabrics, and 29 Cargo Express housewares stores in Ohio and Michigan.
 FABRI-CENTERS OF AMERICA, INC.
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (Unaudited)
 (Dollars in thousands except per share data)
 Thirteen Weeks Ended
 May 2, May 4,
 1992 1991
 Net Sales $131,569 $99,291
 Costs and Expenses
 Cost of goods sold 73,417 55,365
 Selling, general and
 administrative expenses 54,015 40,394
 Interest expense, net 1,069 1,247
 Total 128,501 97,006
 Earnings before income taxes 3,068 2,285
 Income taxes 1,150 857
 Net earnings $1,918 $1,428
 Earnings per common share $0.20 $0.18
 Average shares and equivalents
 outstanding 9,760,537 7,930,221
 FABRI-CENTERS OF AMERICA, INC.
 Consolidated Balance Sheet
 (Dollars in thousands)
 May 2, Feb. 1,
 1992 1992
 (Unaudited) (Audited)
 ASSETS
 Current Assets
 Cash $ 14,099 $ 8,573
 Merchandise inventories 217,519 191,889
 Prepaid expenses and other current
 assets 9,904 8,446
 Deferred federal income taxes 1,779 1,779
 Assets held for sale 10,100 10,053
 Total current assets 253,401 220,740
 Property and equipment, at cost
 Land 1,056 1,056
 Buildings 16,557 15,498
 Furniture and fixtures 56,641 53,774
 Leasehold improvements 21,713 18,281
 Total 95,967 88,609
 Less accumulated depreciation and
 amortization 34,825 33,519
 Total 61,142 55,090
 Other assets 11,128 9,705
 Total assets $325,671 $285,535
 LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY
 Current Liabilities
 Accounts payable $ 90,981 $ 81,393
 Accrued expenses 9,383 11,786
 Accrued income taxes 1,748 5,818
 Total current liabilities 102,112 98,997
 Long-term debt --- 40,100
 Convertible Subordinated Debentures 74,750 ---
 Deferred income taxes 3,618 3,618
 Other long-term liabilities 210 297
 Shareholders' Equity
 Common Stock 966 962
 Additional paid - in capital 69,692 67,976
 Other capital (4,788) (3,606)
 Retained earnings 83,131 81,213
 Total 149,001 146,545
 Treasury stock, at cost (4,020) (4,022)
 Total shareholder's equity 144,981 142,523
 Total liabilities and shareholders'
 equity $325,671 $285,535
 -0- 5/18/92
 /CONTACT: Robert Norton or Alan Rosskamm of Fabri-Centers of America, 216-656-2600/
 (FCA) CO: Fabri-Centers of America, Inc. ST: Ohio IN: REA SU: ERN


BM -- CL005 -- 1244 05/18/92 10:50 EDT
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