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LITTELFUSE REPORTS $1.1 MILLION NET ON 3RD QUARTER SALES GAIN; LOOKS TO PROFITABLE 'FIRST YEAR'

 LITTELFUSE REPORTS $1.1 MILLION NET ON 3RD QUARTER SALES GAIN;
 LOOKS TO PROFITABLE 'FIRST YEAR'
 DES PLAINES, Ill., Oct. 21 -- Littelfuse Inc., the world's technological leader in advanced circuit protection devices for the electronic, automotive and power fuse industries, today reported $1.1 million net income for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, as sales continued to top year-ago levels despite the lingering global recession.
 Net sales increased more than 7.1 percent to $38.8 million in the third quarter, from $36.2 million a year ago. The third-quarter volume was nearly equal to the second quarter's all-time record high, thus supplanting last year's third quarter as the second highest of any quarter in the company's 65-year history. The third-quarter gain also lifted nine-months' net sales to more than $115 million, up $11.6 million or 11.2 percent from the year-ago level.
 Year-ago earnings comparisons are not applicable in this first year as an independent, publicly owned corporation following its former parent company's reorganization, but Littelfuse's third quarter net income was consistent with the second quarter's. The two latest quarters' combined net income of $2.25 million also has erased all but $432,000 of the first quarter's $2.7 million loss resulting from the amortization of a one-time inventory writeup of approximately $5 million and other non-cash charges from reorganization accounting.
 Howard B. Witt, president and chief executive officer, said: "Given the company's strong performance in all three quarters, we can now look to turning the corner in this first year and coming through in the black for the year as a whole. That's better than we thought we would be able to do four months ago, but volume gains going forward will probably be closer to seven percent until business conditions improve."
 Witt said sales of electronic, power equipment and automotive aftermarket products all showed better-than-seven percent increases in the third quarter, but those gains were partly offset by a falloff from the first half's strong gains in U.S. original equipment automotive volume as manufacturer's car build schedules were decreased. A declining market in U.S. automotive product sales was partially offset by rising export volume with European automakers' adoption of Littelfuse's new ''MAXI'' Fuse line to upgrade under-the-hood electrical systems in that market. Far East electric sales continued strong, with Singapore sales showing significant volume gains.
 "These are the kind of crosscurrents we can expect to see in the fourth quarter and early next year, as we and our customers adjust to changing business conditions," Witt said. "The third-quarter turmoil in world currency markets resulted in a $180,000 translation gain on our strong foreign operations."
 James F. Brace, vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer, said gross profit increased to $14.4 million or 37.2 percent of sales in the third quarter, compared with $14.2 million or 36.2 percent in the second quarter, and appears likely to continue strong in the current period. Sales typically taper


off somewhat in the fourth quarter, he noted, but appear likely to surpass last year's $32.9 million fourth-quarter volume for a record year.
 Littelfuse repaid another $5.6 million in the bank debt during the third quarter, bringing the total nine months' repayment to $18.6 million. That is well ahead of the $1.5 million bank debt paydown required for the nine-month period, thanks to good operating results as well as the cash-flow benefit of the first quarter's amortization of the non-cash inventory writeup and other fresh-start accounting adjustments.
 The company plans to continue aggressive debt repayments, but at a more normal pace as the fresh-start effects on cash flow moderate. Repayments will likely be some $3 million in the fourth quarter and $4 million per quarter going forward, Brace indicated, noting that interest expense has declined with prepayments and lower interest rates.
 The 10 million shares of Littelfuse common stock outstanding began trading Sept. 22 under the symbol LFUS. The 2.8 million 10-year warrants to purchase common shares at an exercise price of $8.36 per share trade under the symbol LFUSW.
 Littelfuse is the leading producer of electronic and automotive fuses worldwide, and is extending its technological leadership to innovative new fuses for the power equipment industry. In addition to its Des Plaines world headquarters, the company has manufacturing facilities in England, Switzerland and Mexico, as well as in Centralia, Arcola and Watseka, Ill. It also has sales, engineering and distribution facilities in The Netherlands, Singapore, and Farmington Hills, Mich., near Detroit.
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 (in thousands except per share data)
 STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS
 (UNAUDITED)
 For the three For the nine
 months ended months ended
 Sept. 30, 1992 Sept.30,1992
 Net sales $ 38,811 $ 115,057
 Cost of Sales (Note) 24,388 78,327
 Gross Profit 14,423 36,730
 Selling, administrative, and general
 expenses 8,419 23,730
 Amortization of reorganization value
 and other intangibles 1,768 5,304
 Operating income 4,236 7,696
 Interest expense 1,761 5,862
 Other (income) expense 238 278
 Income (loss) before income taxes 2,237 1,556
 Income taxes 1,117 1,988
 Net income (loss) $ 1,120 $ (432)
 Net income (loss) per share primary: $ .11 $ (.04)
 Net income (loss) per share fully
 diluted: $ .10 $ (.04)
 NOTE: Cost of sales for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1992 includes amortization of the one time ''fresh start'' inventory write up of $5,110.
 -0- 10/21/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Brace, VP, treasurer & CFO, or Art Skwerski, director of communications, 708/824-1188, both of Littelfuse/ CO: Littelfuse Inc. ST: Illinois IN: AUT SU: ERN


KD -- NY065 -- 2869 10/21/92 12:04 EDT
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Date:Oct 21, 1992
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