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RHONE-POULENC THIRD QUARTER 1991 RESULTS CONFIRM COMPANY'S CONTINUED PROGRESS DESPITE PERSISTENTLY POOR ECONOMIC CLIMATE

RHONE-POULENC THIRD QUARTER 1991 RESULTS CONFIRM COMPANY'S CONTINUED
          PROGRESS DESPITE PERSISTENTLY POOR ECONOMIC CLIMATE
    COURBEVOIE, France, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rhone-Poulenc Group (NYSE: RP PrC, RP PrA, RPU, RPWS) generated consolidated sales of 20.6 billion French francs (FF), an increase of 11.2 percent as against the third quarter of 1990.
    The operating income totaled FF 1.49 billion, an increase of 38.6 percent, compared to the same period in 1990.
    Income after tax and before preferred remunerations was FF 731 million, compared to a loss of FF 208 million in the third quarter of 1990.
    Overall, this evolution results from a continued progression of all the businesses in the health sector and especially Rhone-Poulenc Rorer. In a continually depressed international climate, the organic & inorganic intermediates sector was particularly affected, the fibers and polymers sector maintained its income.  The specialty chemicals sector progressed having integrated their acquisitions.  The agro sector's results, which are dependent on seasonal factors, are higher than they were in the third quarter of 1990.  The Rhodia business in Brazil which has improved since April has once again become positive.
    In the first nine months of 1991, sales reached FF 62.8 billion (up 7.5 percent as against the same period in 1990.  On a comparable reporting basis the progression is up 2.4 percent).  Operating income totalled FF 4.89 billion compared to FF 4.52 billion in 1990 (up 8.1 percent).  Gains on sales of assets were FF 766 as against FF 799 in 1990.
    Income after tax and before preferred remunerations was FF 1.72 billion as against FF 1.97 billion in 1990.  Net income per share, diluted by an increase in capital in July 1990, was FF 19.35 as against FF 25.29 in the first nine months of 1990.  The earnings per share were FF 4.08 in the first quarter 1991, FF 6.35 in the second quarter and reached FF 8.92 in the third.
    The quarterly improvements in Rhone-Poulenc's results confirms its substantial growth objective for its 1991 operating income.  Despite the unfavorable economic climate which shall continue to weigh heavily on the chemicals and fibers area, the group should benefit from the continued good performance of the health sector which generates an important part of its income in the fourth quarter, the rise in the dollar rate (A) probably higher in the last quarter as against the previous year and the effects of the productivity programs undertaken by all the group's sectors.
    (A) -- During the first nine months of 1991, the average dollar rate stood at FF 5.67 against FF 5.57 for the same period in 1990.
                             RHONE-POULENC
                 Summary Consolidated Income Statement
                      (Unaudited, in FF millions)
     Third Quarter                      1991     1990  Percent variation
    Net sales                          20,559   18,486      11.2
    Depreciation                       (1,625)  (1,357)
    Provision for restructuration         (35)     (30)
    Operating income(A)                 1,498    1,081      38.6
    Interest expense, net                (804)  (1,008)
    Gains (losses) on sales
     of assets, net                       565       (5)
    Other income (expense), net           195       35
    Income before taxes and minority
     interests                          1,454      103    1311.7
    Income taxes                         (338)     (38)
    Minority interests                   (385)    (273)
    Net income before preferred
     remunerations                        731     (208)   (451.4)
     First nine months:                 1991     1990  Percent variation
    Net sales                          62,843   58,484       7.5
    Depreciation                       (4,897)  (4,110)
    Provision for restructuration        (133)    (244)
    Operating margin                    4,584    4,295       6.7
    Equity in net earnings of S.N.C       303      227
    Operating income(A)                 4,887    4,522       8.1
    Interest expense, net              (3,006)  (2,672)
    Gains (losses) on sales
     of assets, net                       766      799
    Other income (expense), net           904      656
    Income before taxes and minority
     interests                          3,551    3,305       7.4
    Income taxes                         (969)    (885)
    Minority interests                   (860)    (453)
    Net income before preferred
     remunerations                      1,722    1,967     (12.5)
    Net income per share                19.35    25.29
    Net income per P.I.C.               23.10    29.04
    Number of shares outstanding   45,183,250 37,355,034
    Number of P.I.C. outstanding   11,720,675 11,720,675
    (A) -- Since the first half of 1991, operating income is calculated after amortization of intangible assets.  The figure for 1990 has been recalculated on a comparable basis.
    -0-        11/13/91
    /CONTACT:  Aisling Mullen, 011-33-1-4768-0979, or investors, Brigitte Roeser, 011-33-1-4768-2936, both of Rhone-Poulenc in Courbevoie, France; or Fern Lazar or John McInerney of Dewe Rogerson Inc., 212-688-6840, for Rhone-Poulenc/
    (RP) CO:  Rhone-Poulenc Group ST: IN:  CHM SU:  ERN FC-TS -- NY014 -- 3877 11/13/91 11:03 EST
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Date:Nov 13, 1991
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