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FLEMING ANNOUNCES FIRST QUARTER RESULTS

 OKLAHOMA CITY, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Fleming Companies (NYSE: FLM) today reported that sales increased during the first quarter (16 weeks) by 3.6 percent to $4.04 billion, compared with $3.91 billion for the same period in 1992.
 Net earnings were $37.4 million, down 3.4 percent from $38.7 million in the first quarter of 1992. Fully diluted earnings per share were $1.02, down 1.9 percent from $1.04 for 1992. Fully diluted earnings per share on a FIFO basis increased from 87 cents in 1992 to 92 cents in 1993. This increase was more than offset by a reduction in LIFO income from 17 cents per share in 1992 to 10 cents per share in 1993.
 "We're pleased with the sales results, particularly in this difficult economic environment," said Dean Werries, chairman and chief executive officer. "The increase was attributable in part to aggressive customer development in late 1992 and in 1993."
 Gross margin and selling and administrative expenses both increased as a percentage of net sales, principally as a result of the acquisition of Baker's Supermarkets, Inc., a grocery retailer with the leading market position in Omaha. Retailers typically have substantially higher ratios in these categories than wholesalers. Gross margin also benefited from a $2.1 million gain on the sale of an investment in a retailer.
 Other factors affecting selling and administrative expenses were an increase of $2.9 million in provisions for credit losses and a reduction in expenses caused by the tight expense controls and the company's facilities consolidation program.
 The company also enjoyed a decrease of $4.4 million, or 47 percent, in net interest expense as a result of its refinancing program executed in the fourth quarter of last year as well as increased retailer lending activity.
 Results from equity investments in certain retailers improved from a loss of $3.5 million in 1992 to a loss of $2 million in 1993, principally because of improved financial performance by some of the company's business development ventures.
 "Although our performance during the first quarter was commendable in view of the continuing difficult market conditions faced by the company and its retailers, we were not able to exceed last year's record first quarter performance. We remain confident, however, in our ability to achieve a meaningful improvement in earnings per share for the full year," Mr. Werries said.
 Fleming supplies food and related products to more than 4,800 retailers in 36 states.
 FLEMING COMPANIES, INC.
 Consolidated Condensed Statements of Earnings
 For the 16 weeks ended April 17, 1993, and April 18, 1992
 (In thousands, except per-share amounts)
 First Interim Period 1993 1992 Pct. Change
 Net sales $4,044,894 $3,905,861 3.6
 Costs and expenses:
 Cost of sales 3,803,545 3,678,598 3.4
 Selling and administrative 170,893 151,033 13.1
 Interest expense 23,481 26,332 (10.8)
 Interest income (18,548) (17,032) 8.9
 Equity investment results 2,067 3,486 (40.7)
 Total costs and expenses 3,981,438 3,842,417 3.6
 Earnings before taxes 63,456 63,444 --
 Taxes on income 26,081 24,749 5.4
 Net earnings 37,375 38,695 (3.4)
 Net earnings per share:
 Primary $1.02 $1.09 (6.4)
 Fully diluted 1.02 1.04 (1.9)
 Dividends paid per share .30 .30 --
 Weighted average shares outstanding 36,722 35,449 3.6
 Cost of sales includes income of $6.5 million and $11 million in 1993 and 1992, respectively, resulting from the LIFO method of inventory valuation.
 Certain reclassifications have been made to prior years' amounts to conform to current-year classifications.
 -0- 4/28/93
 /CONTACT: Ron Frost, director-corporate communications of Fleming Companies, Inc., 405-841-8125/
 (FLM)


CO: Fleming Companies ST: Oklahoma IN: FOD SU: ERN

CK-OS -- NY033 -- 1942 04/28/93 11:15 EDT
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Date:Apr 28, 1993
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