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UNITED STATIONERS INC. REPORTS SALES UP 1%, NET INCOME UP 16%

 DES PLAINES, Ill., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- United Stationers Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: USTR) reported sales of $371 million in its first quarter ended Nov. 30, 1993, a 1% increase from the $365 million in the comparable year-ago quarter. Net income was $5.9 million, up 16% from the $5.1 million in the year-ago quarter. Earnings per share were $.32 for the first quarter of fiscal 1994, compared to $.28 for the first quarter of fiscal 1993 on 18,582,939 and 18,539,129 weighted average shares outstanding, respectively.
 "While overall sales increased slightly, all of our geographic regions showed sales gains with the exception of our Southwest and Western regions. Our California facilities were impacted by regional economic conditions as well as operating inefficiencies resulting from consolidations related to our merger with Stationers Distributing in June 1992. We expect to see improvements in our operating performance in these areas throughout the year," said Joel D. Spungin, chairman of the board.
 "Gross margin improved to 22.9% in the first quarter of fiscal 1994, compared to 22.4% in the first quarter of fiscal 1993 reflecting a favorable product mix. At the same time, operating expenses as a percent of sales remained flat compared to the prior year's quarter. This expense level continues to reflect the costs associated with our free-freight marketing program and costs of managing 37,000 stockkeeping units. By the end of the second quarter, the number of stockkeeping units will be reduced to our norm of 25,000 items," added Spungin.
 "We continue to be confidence that we will attain additional benefits from the merger as we move forward," Spungin concluded.
 United Stationers Inc. is North America's largest wholesaler of office products to resellers. Through its computer-based physical distribution system, more than 25,000 items are delivered to customers substantially within 24 hours of order placement through distribution points in 61 major hub cities.
 The common stock of United Stationers is reported through the NASDAQ system (Symbol: USTR) and is quoted in its national market system listings.
 UNITED STATIONERS INC.
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
 (in thousands of dollars, except per share data)
 (unaudited)
 FOR THE THREE MONTHS FOR THE THREE MONTHS
 ENDED NOV. 30, 1993 ENDED NOV. 30, 1992
 NET SALES $ 370,597 $ 365,321
 COST OF SALES 285,823 283,497
 Gross profit on sales $ 84,774 $ 81,824
 WAREHOUSING, MARKETING
 AND ADMINISTRATIVE
 EXPENSES 72,401 71,241
 Income from operations $ 12,373 $ 10,583
 OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE),
 NET (2,160) (1,673)
 Income before
 income taxes $ 10,213 $ 8,910
 INCOME TAXES 4,289 3,799
 NET INCOME $ 5,924 $ 5,111
 WEIGHTED AVERAGE NUMBER
 OF COMMON SHARES
 OUTSTANDING 18,582,939 18,539,129
 NET INCOME PER
 COMMON SHARE $0.32 $0.28
 UNITED STATIONERS INC.
 BALANCE SHEET HIGHLIGHTS
 (IN THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS)
 NOV. 30, 1993 AUG. 31, 1993
 (unaudited) (audited)
 Accounts receivable (net) $161,576 $162,844
 Inventories (LIFO) 267,474 229,760
 Current assets 455,783 416,919
 Goodwill, net 43,205 43,484
 Current liabilities 170,772 200,845
 Working capital 285,011 216,074
 Long-term obligations 218,258 156,208
 Stockholders' investment $241,857 $237,697
 -0- 1/6/94
 /CONTACT: Allen B. Kravis, CFO, or Kathleen S. Dvorak, director, investor relations, 708-699-5000 both of United Stationers/


CO: United Stationers Inc. ST: Illinois IN: SU: ERN

TM-SP -- NY043 -- 9719 01/06/94 11:23 EST
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Date:Jan 6, 1994
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