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UNIVAR CORP. ANNOUNCES SECOND QUARTER EARNINGS

 KIRKLAND, Wash., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Univar Corp. (NYSE: UVX; PSE), the multinational leader in distribution services, today reported earnings for its second quarter ended Aug. 31, 1993.
 Net earnings for the quarter were $2.0 million or 10 cents per share, on sales of $474.1 million. This compares with earnings of $2.9 million or 15 cents per share, on sales of $464.1 million in the same quarter last year. Results of last year's second quarter benefited from non recurring gains totaling slightly less than four cents per share, primarily the result of selling a small business unit in Europe and a tax settlement in the state of California.
 According to James W. Bernard, president and chief executive officer, "The corporation continued to experience sales growth in both its U.S. and foreign markets. However, due to unfavorable currency exchange rates, which dropped approximately eight percent for the Canadian dollar and 22 percent for the combination of European currencies in the markets served by Univar, foreign sales expressed in U.S. dollars declined."
 Gross margin percentage was 14.8 percent for the quarter, up slightly from 14.7 percent in the second quarter last year. An increase in gross margin percentage in the United States was offset by decreased margins in both Canada and Europe as a result of increased sales of lower margin products.
 Operating expenses for the second quarter were $63.1 million or 13.3 percent of sales, compared with $61.1 million, or 13.2 percent of sales for the second quarter of the prior year.
 Operating expenses as a percentage of sales decreased in Univar's foreign operations but increased in the United States in support of the corporation's new re-engineering and strategic planning programs. Bernard noted, "We are very encouraged by the preliminary results of the comprehensive re-engineering study currently underway in our U.S. operations."
 Univar Corp., headquartered in Kirkland, serves 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
 (In thousands, except per share data)
 Three months ended Six months ended
 Aug. 31 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Sales $474,118 $464,094 $962,069 $932,526
 Cost of sales 404,096 395,848 821,649 795,981
 Gross margin 70,022 68,246 140,420 136,545
 Operating expenses 63,088 61,110 125,068 121,481
 Income from operations 6,934 7,136 15,352 15,064
 Interest expense (3,367) (4,030) (6,887) (7,551)
 Other income -- net 156 1,255 447 1,707
 Income before taxes and
 minority interest 3,723 4,361 8,912 9,220
 Tax provision 1,670 1,260 3,390 3,482
 Income before minority
 interest 2,053 3,101 5,522 5,738
 Minority interest in
 Univar Europe (96) (161) (292) (343)
 Net income $ 1,957 $ 2,940 $ 5,230 $ 5,395
 Net income per share $ 0.10 $ 0.15 $ 0.27 $ 0.27
 Weighted average number
 of shares
 outstanding 19,695 19,705 19,682 19,703
 -0- 9/22/93
 /CONTACT: Gary E. Pruitt, vice president -- finance and treasurer, 206-889-3400/
 (UVX; PSE)


CO: Univar Corp. ST: Washington IN: CHM SU: ERN

RB-JH -- SE003 -- 4503 09/22/93 07:50 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 22, 1993
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