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UNIVAR ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS

 UNIVAR ANNOUNCES THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS
 KIRKLAND, Wash., Dec. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Univar Corp.


(NYSE,PSE: UVX) North America's largest chemical distributor, today reported earnings for the third quarter ended Nov. 30, 1991.
 Sales for the quarter were $404,123,000, up 14.4 percent compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Earnings were $557,000, or three cent per share, compared to $4,569,000, or 26 cents per share in the similar period a year ago.
 Sales and operating expenses reflect the corporation's acquisition earlier this year of a 51 percent interest in Univar Europe N.V. Included in the third quarter are results of operations from the Scandinavian and United Kingdom entities owned by Univar Europe, which represents approximately 75 percent of its operating volume. The fourth quarter will be the first period in which the full effect of the European operations will be included.
 James W. Bernard, president and chief executive officer, noted that, "Performance during the third quarter was improved compared to the second quarter this year, with sales up about 10 percent and per share earnings increasing to three cents from a loss of 43 cents. However, the corporation continues to feel the effects of the weak global economic climate." Second quarter operations included the effects of a restructuring charge related to an early retirement program. Gross margin percentage increased to 14.4 percent in the third quarter from 14.0 percent in the second quarter, aided in part by the market's acceptance of a cleaning and waste disposal charge, which reflects the corporation's and its customers' commitment to the environment.
 Operating expenses for the three months ended Nov. 30, 1991, were $55,145,000, an increase of 33 percent over the similar period of a year ago. More than half of the increase was a result of costs associated with the newly acquired European operations. Increases in operating expenses attributable to North American operations were approximately 15 percent, reflecting the continued installation of the corporation's new computer system, UVX2000(TM), and ongoing costs in the areas of environmental and regulatory compliance.
 Compared with the second quarter of the current year, North American operating expenses declined about 12 percent. Bernard said, "The corporation is beginning to realize the benefits of a restructuring initiated during the second quarter as well as savings from major company-wide cost containment efforts aimed at reducing all non-essential expenditures. We continue to see no significant signs of change in the economic outlook, but remain guardedly optimistic."
 Univar Corp., headquartered in Kirkland, distributes chemicals to industry through three subsidiaries, Van Waters & Rogers Inc. in the United States, Van Waters & Rogers Ltd in Canada and Univar Europe N.V. in Europe.
 UNIVAR CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
 (Unaudited, in thousands except share data)
 Ended Nov. 30: Three months Nine months
 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Sales $404,123 $353,104 $1,148,595 $1,077,267
 Cost of sales 345,790 302,158 988,765 919,662
 Gross margin 58,333 50,946 159,830 157,605
 Operating expenses 55,145 41,306 154,766 125,491
 Income from operations 3,188 9,640 5,064 32,114
 Other income (expense):
 Restructuring charge -- -- (9,870) --
 Interest expense (2,724) (2,659) (7,774) (8,052)
 Other income -- net 442 948 1,333 3,614
 Minority interest (12) -- (12) --
 Income (loss)
 before taxes 894 7,929 (11,259) 27,676
 Provision (benefit)
 for taxes 337 3,360 (4,321) 11,629
 Net income (loss) $ 557 $ 4,569 $ (6,938) $ 16,047
 Net income (loss)
 per share $ 0.03 $ 0.26 $ (0.36) $ 0.90
 Weighted average
 number of shares
 outstanding 19,729,526 17,806,839 19,097,770 17,802,016
 -0- 12/23/91
 /CONTACT: Gary E. Pruitt of Univar Corp., 206-889-3400; or Valerie Winslow of Hill and Knowlton Inc., 206-682-6944, for Univar Corp./
 (UVX) CO: Univar Corp. ST: Washington IN: CHM SU: ERN


JH-TB -- SE003 -- 4709 12/23/91 08:30 EST
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Date:Dec 23, 1991
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