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RHONE-POULENC REPORTS 1991 RESULTS: SALES UP 7 PERCENT TO FF 8.3B; OPERATING INCOME UP 37 PERCENT TO FF 6.3B INCOME UP 3 PERCENT TO FF 2B

RHONE-POULENC REPORTS 1991 RESULTS: SALES UP 7 PERCENT TO FF 8.3B; OPERATING INCOME UP 37 PERCENT TO FF 6.3B INCOME UP 3 PERCENT TO FF 2B
 PARIS, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Rhone-Poulenc (NYSE: RP) today announced the following 1991 results:
 Rhone-Poulenc's 1991 results were shaped by the worldwide economic recession, which had an adverse impact on all its business activities. Despite this unfavorable environment, the group achieved the priority business objectives established and announced in early 1991.
 Consolidated sales rose by 6.9 percent to 83.817 billion French francs (FF). Of this growth, change in consolidation of companies accounted for 3.7 percent, higher unit sales, 1.5 percent and the positive currency effect, 1.7 percent.
 Operating income increased by 37.5 percent over the year, to FF 6.272 billion from FF 4.562 billion in 1990.
 This income was after a total of FF 495 million in provisions for restructuring.
 Net income before preferred remunerations amounted to FF 2.004 billion, a 3.2 percent gain from FF 1.942 billion in 1990.
 Earnings per Preferred Investment Certificate (PIC) adjusted for the July 1990 new share issue, amounted to FF 25.53 compared to FF 25.15 in 1990. Actual growth was lower than announced in January 1992, primarily because part of the capital gains realized on the 1991 divestment of recently acquired assets was not booked as capital gains for the year, but directly charged to the goodwill on the same assets.
 The gross dividend per PIC (including tax credit), is unchanged at FF 23.25.
 The ratio of borrowings to equity was reduced to 0.80 at Dec. 31, 1991 from 0.92 a year earlier.
 Over 20 non-strategic operations were divested in 1991, for a total of FF 3.7 billion. These disposals generated pretax capital gains of 1.2 billion francs.
 These results were achieved even as the group maintained a substantial research and development commitment, which increased by 8.5 percent over the year to FF 5.736 billion from FF 5.289 billion in 1990, and a major capital investment program, which rose to FF 7.735 billion from FF 7.538 billion in 1990.
 In commenting on these results, Rhone-Poulenc Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jean-Rene Fourtou said that:
 "In five years, we have acquired or strengthened our positions among the world's five leading companies in each of our business sectors. Now we need to direct all of our energies to becoming the benchmark for industrial performance and profitability. The action programs that began to pay off in 1991 will be pursued in 1992 and 1993. Despite the fact that the global economy is expected to improve only very slowly between now and the end of the year, we believe that our operating income will increase by at least 20 percent in both 1992 and 1993.
 The continued improvement in cash flow and the further divestment of non-strategic assets should also enable us to reduce our debt-to-equity ratio to around 0.5 in 1993."
 NOTE: Having achieved the critical mass necessary for sustainable competitive advantage in all its business sectors, Rhone-Poulenc now enjoys considerable potential for future earnings growth. After the acquisitions in late 1989 and early 1990, the past year was entirely devoted to consolidating and enhancing the value of the groups new scope. Actions implemented in late 1990 to meet these goals contributed to the strong 37 percent increase in operating income last year. Implementation will be pursued in 1992 and 1993, thereby driving further earnings growth in the next two years.
 -0- 2/19/92
 /CONTACT: Aisling Mullen, in Paris: 011-331-47-68-0979, or Arthur Benedict 908-821-3316, or (investors) Brigitte Roeser, in Paris: 011-331-47-68-2936, all of Rhone-Poulenc; or Fern Lazar or John McInerney of Dewe Rogerson Inc., 212-688-6840, for Rhone-Poulenc/
 /FIRST AND FINAL ADD -- TABULAR MATERIAL -- TO FOLLOW/
 (RP) CO: Rhone-Poulenc ST: IN: SU: ERN SH-TS -- NY008 -- 0292 02/19/92 09:21 EST
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Date:Feb 19, 1992
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