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UniFirst posts record results for fiscal 1997 third quarter and year-to-date.

WILMINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 1, 1997-- UniFirst Corp. (NYSE:UNF) announced today that its revenues and net income for the fiscal 1997 third quarter and thirty-nine weeks, which ended May 31, 1997, were the highest of any comparable periods in the company's 61 year history.

For the fiscal 1997 third quarter, revenues rose 8.7 percent to a record $107.1 million from $98.6 million for the comparable period last year. Net income for the third quarter increased 11.8 percent to $7.4 million, or $0.36 per share, from the year-ago quarter's $6.6 million, or $0.32 per share.

"We are pleased with our financial performance for the first quarter and year-to-date," commented Ronald D. Croatti, UniFirst's president and chief executive officer. "A lower level of operating income in our nuclear garment services segment and higher garment costs overall narrowed our operating cost margin for the quarter somewhat, but the higher level of business as a whole and a decrease in selling and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenues helped us achieve record earnings. Our new business development efforts are working, and we are keeping our costs well controlled as we maintain the superior service practices that ensure customer loyalty."

For the first thirty-nine weeks of fiscal 1997, revenues increased 6.2 percent to $313.2 million from $294.8 million for last year's comparable forty week reporting period. Net income of $20.8 million, or $1.01 per share, was up 13.4 percent from net income of $18.3 million, or $0.89 per share, recorded a year ago.

"So far this year, our performance has been in keeping with our expectations," said Croatti. "We anticipate that fiscal 1997 will be our 29th year of consecutive revenue growth and our sixth year of growth in earnings."

A pioneer in the growing garment service industry, UniFirst Corp. services over 100,000 customers through its more than 100 facilities in the United States and Canada. The company employs over 6,600 people.

UNIFIRST CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(unaudited)

 Thirty-nine Forty Thirteen Thirteen
 weeks ended weeks ended weeks ended weeks ended
 May 31, June 1, May 31, June 1,
 1997 1996 1997 1996

Revenues $313,164,000 $294,792,000 $107,124,000 $98,554,000

Costs and
 expenses:
 Operating costs 192,243,000 180,520,000 65,905,000 59,339,000
 Selling and
 administrative
 expenses 69,676,000 68,528,000 23,123,000 22,868,000
 Depreciation and
 amortization 17,161,000 15,339,000 5,969,000 5,340,000
 ----- ----- ----- -----
 279,080,000 264,387,000 94,997,000 87,547,000

Income from
 operations 34,084,000 30,405,000 12,127,000 11,007,000

Interest expense
 (income):
 Interest expense 1,792,000 1,995,000 641,000 755,000
 Interest income (155,000) (193,000) (49,000) (61,000)
 ----- ----- ----- -----
 1,637,000 1,802,000 592,000 694,000

Income before
 income taxes 32,447,000 28,603,000 11,535,000 10,313,000
Provision for
 income taxes 11,681,000 10,297,000 4,153,000 3,713,000

Net income $20,766,000 $18,306,000 $7,382,000 $6,600,000

Weighted average
 number of shares
 outstanding 20,510,608 20,510,608 20,510,608 20,510,608

Net income per
 share $1.01 $0.89 $0.36 $0.32

-0-

UNIFIRST CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS
(Unaudited)

 May 31, Aug. 31, June 1,
 1997 1996(a) 1996

Assets
Current assets:
 Cash $ 5,936,000 $ 3,425,000 $ 5,533,000
 Receivables 39,855,000 36,634,000 38,750,000
 Inventories 20,192,000 17,053,000 16,350,000
 Rental merchandise
 in service 39,362,000 37,973,000 35,611,000
 Prepaid expenses 140,000 127,000 117,000
 Total current
 assets 105,485,000 95,212,000 96,361,000
Property and equipment:
 Land, buildings and
 leasehold improvements 133,489,000 119,346,000 118,101,000
 Machinery and equipment 136,060,000 120,671,000 119,204,000
 Motor vehicles 36,690,000 33,278,000 33,379,000
 306,239,000 273,295,000 270,684,000
 Less - accumulated
 depreciation 124,252,000 113,191,000 111,408,000
 181,987,000 160,104,000 159,276,000
Other assets 48,767,000 47,062,000 43,520,000
 $ 336,239,000 $ 302,378,000 $ 299,157,000

Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity
Current liabilities:
 Current maturities of
 long-term obligations $ 1,037,000 $ 1,058,000 $ 1,050,000
 Notes Payable 3,340,000 2,757,000 --
 Accounts Payable 13,075,000 11,697,000 13,261,000
 Accrued liabilities 46,167,000 37,371,000 38,639,000
 Accrued and deferred
 income taxes 2,679,000 3,679,000 4,380,000
 Total current
 liabilities 66,298,000 56,562,000 57,330,000
Long-term obligations,
 net of current maturities 42,745,000 38,307,000 41,287,000
Deferred income taxes 17,213,000 16,400,000 15,201,000
Shareholders' equity:
 Preferred stock, $1.00 par
 value; 2,000,000 shares
 authorized; none issued --- --- ---
 Common stock, $.10 par
 value; 30,000,000 shares
 authorized; issued and
 outstanding 7,893,864
 shares 789,000 789,000 789,000
 Class B Common stock,
 $.10 par value; 20,000,000
 shares authorized; issued
 and outstanding 12,616,744
 shares 1,262,000 1,262,000 1,262,000
 Capital surplus 7,078,000 7,078,000 7,078,000
 Retained earnings 201,531,000 182,384,000 176,568,000
 Cumulative translation
 adjustment (677,000) (404,000) (358,000)
 Total shareholders'
 equity 209,983,000 191,109,000 185,339,000
 $ 336,239,000 $ 302,378,000 $ 299,157,000

(a) Condensed from audited financial statements





CONTACT: UniFirst Corp.

John Bartlett, (508) 658-8888
COPYRIGHT 1997 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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