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SARA LEE REPORTS RECORD EARNINGS FOR THIRD QUARTER 1992

 SARA LEE REPORTS RECORD EARNINGS FOR THIRD QUARTER 1992
 CHICAGO, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Sara Lee Corporation (NYSE: SLE)


today announced record sales and earnings for the third quarter ended March 28.
 Net income for the quarter rose 13.9 percent to $137.6 million from $120.8 million reported for the same period last year. Primary earnings per share increased 12.5 percent to $.54, compared with $.48 a year ago. Net sales for the quarter were $3.14 billion, up 8.0 percent over last year's $2.91 billion.
 For the first nine months of fiscal 1992, net income rose to $590.4 million, a 49.9 percent increase over the $393.9 million reported for the same period last year. Primary earnings per share increased 51.9 percent to $2.40 from $1.58 per share a year earlier. Net sales increased 5.4 percent to $9.84 billion from last year's $9.34 billion. Results for the nine months include a previously announced non-recurring benefit of $.60 per share that occurred in the first quarter, reflecting the gain from the sale of the corporation's European-based over-the- counter pharmaceutical business, net of restructuring charges. Excluding the non-recurring gain, primary earnings per share for the first nine months increased 13.9 percent to $1.80 per share.
 "Margins continue to improve in our packaged foods operations while our personal products businesses are benefiting from the international scope of our acquisition activity," said John H. Bryan, chairman and chief executive officer.
 A performance review for each business segment follows (dollars in millions):
 SARA LEE PACKAGED FOODS
 Third Quarter Pct. Nine Months Pct.
 1992 1991 Change 1992 1991 Change
 SALES
 Packaged meats
 & bakery $1,100.0 $1,212.0 (9.2) $3,503.0 $3,846.0 (8.9)
 Coffee & grocery 478.2 487.3 (1.9) 1,420.1 1,461.1 (2.8)
 Total 1,578.2 1,699.3 (7.1) 4,923.1 5,307.1 (7.2)
 OPERATING INCOME
 Packaged meats
 & bakery 54.0 51.1 5.8 176.6 161.9 9.1
 Coffee & grocery 72.6 62.9 15.3 193.2 179.7 7.5
 Total 126.6 114.0 11.1 369.8 341.6 8.3
 Sales for packaged meats and bakery declined during the third quarter and through the first nine months, while operating income increased in both periods. The higher margins are due to more favorable hog and poultry costs, a better product mix at the U.S. bakery operations and operating efficiencies. Unit volume for packaged meats in the quarter increased 1 percent, with strength in luncheon meat, bacon and hot dog sales partially offset by weakness in ham volume. Sara Lee bakery unit volume rose 5 percent in the quarter, with increased sales in all three geographic regions -- North America, the United Kingdom and Australia. For the first nine months of fiscal 1992, unit volume for packaged meats increased 1 percent while unit volume for bakery declined 1 percent.
 The coffee and grocery line of business reported a slight decrease in sales during both the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 1992; operating efficiencies and strong cost controls coupled with lower green coffee prices led to increases in operating income of 15.3 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively. An 8 percent decline in unit volume for European coffee this quarter reflected the fact that unit sales last year rose an above-average 6 percent as consumers hoarded coffee in reaction to the war in the Middle East. Coffee volume fell 5 percent through the first nine months of 1992.
 SARA LEE PACKAGED CONSUMER PRODUCTS
 Third Quarter Pct. Nine Months Pct.
 1992 1991 Change 1992 1991 Change
 SALES
 Personal products $1,274.1 $ 884.9 44.0 $4,032.3 $3,056.7 31.9
 Household and
 personal care 293.9 326.7(10.0) 892.0 978.5 (8.8)
 Total 1,568.0 1,211.6 29.4 4,924.3 4,035.2 22.0
 OPERATING INCOME
 Personal products 130.4 95.7 36.1 432.9 346.7 24.8
 Household and
 personal care 23.2 38.9(40.4) 73.7 106.9(31.1)
 Total 153.6 134.6 14.0 506.6 453.6 11.7
 Personal products sales and profits enjoyed strong growth in the third quarter and through nine months. Results reflect good continuing operations as well as contributions from acquisitions completed within the last 12 months. Worldwide hosiery, knit products and foundations reported sales and profit gains for both periods. Worldwide hosiery volume fell 1 percent in the quarter, with comparable reo?th in the United States and abroad. Knit products volume grew 8 percent, with both the underwear and activewear segments registering unit gains. Foundations unit volume increased 3 percent. Through nine months, worldwide hosiery unit volume rose 2 percent, knit products unit volume increased 10 percent and foundations unit sales grew 9 percent.
 The household and personal care line of business reported a decline in sales and operating income for both the quarter and the first nine months of fiscal 1992 primarily reflecting the divestiture of the over- the-counter pharmaceutical business and the negative effect of the stronger dollar.
 Net interest expense for the quarter increased to $27.1 million from $24.0 million one year ago as a result of acquisitions in the last 12 months. The effective tax rate in the current quarter was 34.8 percent versus 35.5 percent for the third quarter of fiscal 1991. For the first nine months, net interest expense was $77.2 million versus $90.3 million, and the effective tax rate was 35.3 percent versus 35.5 percent for the comparable period one year ago.
 Sara Lee Corporation, an international food and consumer products company, markets a variety of products under leading brand names, including Hanes, Hanes Her Way, L'eggs, Dim, Champion, Bali, Playtex, Kiwi, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, Jimmy Dean, Douwe Egberts and Sara Lee.
 SARA LEE CORPORATION
 Consolidated Statements of Income
 (In millions, except per share amounts)
 Periods Third Quarter Pct. Nine Months Pct.
 Ended 3/28/92 3/30/91 Chng. 3/28/92 3/30/91 Chng.
 Net sales $3,143.4 $2,910.9 8.0 $9,843.9 $9,342.3 5.4
 Cost of sales 1,948.2 1,891.4 6,234.7 6,123.7
 SG&A expenses 957.0 808.2 2,841.1 2,517.6
 Interest expense 44.1 40.9 131.5 143.5
 Interest income (17.0) (16.9) (54.3) (53.2)
 Unusual item(A) -- -- (221.7) --
 Total 2,932.3 2,723.6 8,931.3 8,731.6
 Inc. bef. inc. taxes 211.1 187.3 12.7 912.6 610.7 49.4
 Income taxes 73.5 66.5 322.2 216.8
 Net income 137.6 120.8 13.9 590.4 393.9 49.9
 Preferred divs. -
 net of tax 7.0 8.9 22.2 27.8
 Net available for
 common 130.6 111.9 568.2 366.1
 Net inc. per com.
 share - primary $0.54 $0.48 12.5 $2.40 $1.58 51.9
 Avg. shrs. outstdg. 240.3 233.0 237.0 231.7
 Net inc. per com.
 shr. - fully diluted $0.53 $0.47 12.8 $2.34 $1.54 51.9
 Avg. shrs. outstdg. 249.9 243.0 247.5 242.6
 (A) -- During the first quarter of fiscal 1992, the corporation sold its over-the-counter pharmaceutical business for a total pre-tax gain of $412 million (equivalent to $1.12 per share). During the same quarter, the board of directors approved a series of plans to restructure principally the U.S. food operations. The restructuring will consist primarily of the sale of assets, consolidation and reconfiguration of facilities, and certain employee costs. The provision for such restructuring was $190 million. The above transactions resulted in a net pre-tax gain of $222 million or $0.60 per share.
 SARA LEE CORPORATION
 Operating Results by Industry Segment
 (In millions)
 Third Quarter Ended
 Sales Pct. Operating Income Pct.
 3/28/92 3/30/91 Change 3/28/92 3/30/91 Change
 PACKAGED
 FOODS
 Packaged
 meats &
 bakery $1,100.0 $1,212.0 (9.2) $54.0 $51.1 5.8
 Coffee &
 grocery 478.2 487.3 (1.9) 72.6 62.9 15.3
 Total
 packaged
 foods 1,578.2 1,699.3 (7.1) 126.6 114.0 11.1
 PACKAGED
 CONSUMER
 PRODUCTS
 Personal
 products 1,274.1 884.9 44.0 130.4 95.7 36.1
 Household
 & personal
 care 293.9 326.7 (10.0) 23.2 38.9 (40.4)
 Total packaged
 consumer
 products 1,568.0 1,211.6 29.4 153.6 134.6 14.0
 Total sales
 & oper.
 income 3,146.2 2,910.9 8.1 280.2 248.6 12.7
 Intersegment
 sales (2.8) -- NM -- -- --
 Interest, net -- -- -- (27.1) (24.0) (12.8)
 Unallocated
 corp. exp. -- -- -- (42.0) (37.3) (12.6)
 Net sales
 & pre-tax
 income 3,143.4 2,910.9 8.0 211.1 187.3 12.7
 Nine Months Ended
 Sales Pct. Operating Income Pct.
 3/28/92 3/30/91 Change 3/28/92 3/30/91 Change
 PACKAGED
 FOODS
 Packaged
 meats &
 bakery $3,503.0 $3,846.0 (8.9) $176.6 $161.9 9.1
 Coffee &
 grocery 1,420.1 1,461.1 (2.8) 193.2 179.7 7.5
 Total
 packaged
 foods 4,923.1 5,307.1 (7.2) 369.8 341.6 8.3
 PACKAGED
 CONSUMER
 PRODUCTS
 Personal
 products 4,032.3 3,056.7 31.9 432.9 346.7 24.8
 Household
 & personal
 care 892.0 978.5 (8.8) 73.7 106.9 (31.1)
 Total packaged
 consumer
 products 4,924.3 4,035.2 22.0 506.6 453.6 11.7
 Total sales
 & oper.
 income 9,847.4 9,342.3 5.4 876.4 795.2 10.2
 Intersegment
 sales (3.5) -- NM -- -- --
 Interest, net -- -- -- (77.2) (90.3) 14.4
 Unallocated
 corporate
 expense (A) -- -- -- 113.4 (94.2) NM
 Net sales
 & pre-tax
 income 9,843.9 9,342.3 5.4 912.6 610.7 49.4
 (A) -- During the first quarter of fiscal 1992, the corporation sold its over-the-counter pharmaceutical business for a total pre-tax gain of $412 million (equivalent to $1.12 per share). During the same quarter, the board of directors approved a series of plans to restructure principally the U.S. food operations. The restructuring will consist primarily of the sale of assets, consolidation and reconfiguration of facilities, and certain employee costs. The provision for such restructuring was $190 million. The above transactions resulted in a net pre-tax gain of $222 million or $0.60 per share. The net pre-tax gain is included in unallocated corporate expense in the Operating Results by Industry Segment for the nine months ended March 28, 1992.
 SARA LEE CORPORATION
 Consolidated Balance Sheets
 (In millions)
 3/28/92 6/29/91 3/30/91
 ASSETS
 Cash and equivalents $236.7 $124.9 $136.0
 Trade accounts receivable 1,112.0 946.0 933.0
 Inventories 2,002.6 1,706.9 1,577.3
 Other current assets 163.4 142.1 152.6
 Total current assets 3,514.7 2,919.9 2,798.9
 Investments in associated
 companies 172.6 110.1 177.7
 Trademarks and other assets 536.1 359.6 292.2
 Property, net 2,526.5 2,389.1 2,298.0
 Intangible assets 2,928.4 2,343.3 2,299.2
 Total 9,678.3 8,122.0 7,866.0
 LIABILITIES AND EQUITY
 Notes payable $414.2 $321.5 $410.0
 Accounts payable 825.4 863.7 647.7
 Accrued liabilities 1,715.5 1,237.7 1,205.5
 Accrued income taxes 11.7 52.2 115.0
 Current maturities of
 long-term debt 199.6 51.4 38.9
 Total current liabilities 3,166.4 2,526.5 2,417.1
 Long-term debt 1,326.0 1,399.1 1,460.2
 Deferred income taxes 520.2 533.1 425.6
 Other liabilities 766.0 421.9 440.4
 Minority interest in subsidiaries 366.4 346.7 259.3
 Preferred stock 347.4 344.4 341.1
 Common stockholders' equity 3,185.9 2,550.3 2,522.3
 Total $9,678.3 $8,122.0 $7,866.0
 -0- 4/23/92
 /CONTACT: E. Denise Stovell (media), 312-558-8691, or Janet E. Bergman (analysts), 312-558-8651, both of Sara Lee/
 (SLE) CO: Sara Lee Corporation ST: Illinois IN: FOD SU: ERN


GK-TP -- NY009 -- 1680 04/23/92 09:16 EDT
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Date:Apr 23, 1992
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