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AIRBORNE FREIGHT REPORTS FOURTH-QUARTER 1992 RESULTS

 SEATTLE, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Airborne Freight Corp. (NYSE: ABF), which operates under the trade name Airborne Express, today reported fourth-quarter and year-end 1992 earnings and revenues, reflecting earnings for the fourth quarter that showed improvement over the previous three quarters of 1992, but full-year results lower than in 1991.
 Year-end revenues increased 8.6 percent to $1,484,316,000, from $1,367,047,000 in 1991. Net earnings available to common shareholders were $2,397,000, or 12 cents per share, compared to $27,239,000, or $1.40 per share, last year. For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, earnings available to common shareholders were $4,832,000, or 25 cents per share, compared to $5,953,000, or 31 cents per share, reported for the fourth quarter of 1991.
 Fourth-quarter revenues climbed 9.4 percent to $392,887,000, over 1991 fourth-quarter revenues of $359,167,000. Domestic revenues were $336,192,000, up 12 percent from fourth quarter 1991, but international revenues fell 4 percent to $56,695,000 vs. $59,014,000 last year.
 Domestic shipments for the quarter increased 25.7 percent to 36,206,000, from 28,804,000, while international shipments rose 12.9 percent to 849,000 from 752,000 in 1991.
 For the full year, shipments grew 22.6 percent domestically to 130,186,000, while international shipments increased 18.9 percent to 3,302,000. The resulting revenue growth for the year showed domestic revenues up 10 percent to $1,259,792,000 and international revenues up 1 percent to $224,524,000.
 "Operating results for 1992 were very disappointing," said Airborne's Chief Financial Officer Roy Liljebeck. "A slow economy in the first half of the year and a very intense pricing environment that extended from mid-year 1991 through mid-year 1992 resulted in one of the most difficult years in the company's history. However, certain trends in the last half of 1992, including an improved business climate, a more stable pricing environment and a significant reduction in operating expenses, positions Airborne for a much-ip?roved year in 1993.
 "The improving trends experienced in domestic business in this year's third quarter continued in the fourth quarter. The improvement occurred in both the higher-yielding overnight shipments, which increased 12.8 percent in the fourth quarter, and the deferred Select Delivery Service (SDS) shipments, which were up 74 percent versus last year's fourth quarter. SDS shipments accounted for 29 percent of domestic shipments in this year's fourth quarter.
 Internationally, the shipment and revenue trends were not as favorable as they were domestically, however, the gross margin for international was strong. While international revenue was up only 1 percent for the year and was down 4 percent in the fourth quarter, the gross margin, revenue minus forwarding costs, increased 11 percent and 8 percent for the year and the fourth quarter respectively," said Liljebeck.
 "The company's continuing focus on the cost side of the business resulted in the operating cost per shipment handled decreasing 12.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 1992 vs. 1991, and for the year the decrease was 9 percent," concluded Liljebeck.
 Airborne Express serves the air express needs of corporate customers with the delivery of time-sensitive documents, letters, small packages and freight throughout the world. Airborne's wide range of products include next-morning, next-afternoon, second-day and same-day delivery services. In its fifth decade of international service, Airborne delivers to more than 200 countries worldwide.
 AIRBORNE FREIGHT CORP.
 CONDENSED STATEMENT OF EARNINGS
 Three Months Ended Dec. 31: 1992 1991
 Revenues $392,887,000 $359,167,000
 Earnings before income taxes 8,709,000 9,854,000
 Net earnings 5,526,000 6,649,000
 Net earnings available to
 common shareholders 4,832,000 5,953,000
 Net earnings per common share $ 0.25 $ 0.31
 Average common shares outstanding 19,403,000 19,484,000
 Year Ended Dec. 31: 1992 1991
 Revenues $1,484,316,000 $1,367,047,000
 Earnings before income taxes 9,087,000 48,415,000
 Net earnings 5,157,000 29,999,000
 Net earnings available to
 common shareholders 2,397,000 27,239,000
 Net earnings per common share $ 0.12 $ 1.40
 Average common shares outstanding 19,423,000 19,471,000
 AIRBORNE FREIGHT CORP.
 FINANCIAL RESULTS
 (In thousands, except per-share data)
 Three Months Year
 Ended Dec. 31: 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Domestic revenues $336,192 $300,153 $1,259,792 $1,144,791
 International revenues 56,695 59,014 224,524 222,256
 Total revenues 392,887 359,167 1,484,316 1,367,047
 Operating expenses 379,208 346,164 1,456,450 1,307,790
 Earnings from operations 13,679 13,003 27,866 59,257
 Interest, net 4,970 3,149 18,779 10,842
 Earnings before
 income taxes 8,709 9,854 9,087 48,415
 Income taxes 3,183 3,205 3,930 18,416
 Net earnings 5,526 6,649 5,157 29,999
 Preferred stock dividends 694 696 2,760 2,760
 Net earnings available
 to common stockholders $ 4,832 $ 5,953 $ 2,397 $ 27,239
 Net earnings per
 common share $ 0.25 $ 0.31 $ 0.12 $ 1.40
 Average common shares
 outstanding 19,403 19,484 19,423 19,471
 OPERATING STATISTICS
 Three Months Year
 Ended Dec. 31: 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Shipments (in thousands)
 Domestic:
 Overnight
 Letter 7,781 6,866 29,653 27,272
 0-2 lbs. 9,853 8,500 37,103 33,013
 3-99 lbs. 7,918 7,282 29,959 27,678
 Total 25,552 22,648 96,715 87,963
 Select Delivery Service
 0-2 lbs. 6,849 3,733 21,552 10,945
 3-99 lbs. 3,718 2,341 11,584 6,990
 Total 10,567 6,074 33,136 17,935
 6,219
 International:
 Express 745 650 2,886 2,390
 All Other 104 102 416 387
 Total International 849 752 3,302 2,777
 Total Shipments 37,055 29,556 133,488 108,996
 Average Pounds per Shipment:
 Domestic 4.7 4.9 4.8 5.0
 International 45.6 54.1 46.7 55.4
 Average Revenue per Pound:
 Domestic $1.96 $2.11 $2.04 $2.17
 International $1.46 $1.44 $1.46 $1.44
 -0- 2/2/93
 /CONTACT: Roy C. Liljebeck of Airborne Freight, 206-281-1003/
 (ABF)


CO: Airborne Freight Corp. ST: Washington IN: TRN SU: ERN

LM -- SE002 -- 1820 02/02/93 11:23 EST
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