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ALBERTO-CULVER REPORTS THIRD QUARTER SALES, EARNINGS INCREASES; BOARD AUTHORIZES STOCK REPURCHASE, DECLARES DIVIDEND

 MELROSE PARK, Ill., July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Alberto-Culver Company (NYSE: ACV) today said it was pleased to announce record sales and a 10 per cent net earnings increase for its third quarter, overcoming what Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Leonard H. Lavin characterized as "the toughest retail environment I have seen since the company has been in business." For the nine-month period, the company reported record sales and earnings, up modestly from last year.
 Sales for the quarter ended June 30, 1993, increased 3.7 percent to $289.6 million, compared to $279.3 million for the same period in 1992. Net earnings for the quarter increased 10.3 percent to $10.1 million or 35 cents per share versus $9.1 million or 32 cents per share in the year ago period.
 Nine month sales increased 5.9 percent to $847.5 million from $800.1 million. Net earnings increased 4.2 percent to $29.9 million or $1.04 per share compared with $28.7 million or $1.01 per share for the nine month period in 1992.
 Lavin said that continuing currency devaluations in several of the company's overseas markets, plus ongoing marketing investment spending, had kept dollar-reported international sales and earnings relatively flat. "In local currencies our international sales are showing strong double-digit increases," Lavin commented, "and corporate sales would have been up by eight to ten percent both in the quarter and for the nine months had currency rates remained stable."
 Lavin said that while U.S. retailers were reporting a much slower than expected sales rebound, Alberto-Culver had shown strength in a number of areas. He cited the company's Professional Division and its Sally Beauty Company subsidiary as having led the company's sales growth. Lavin also reported that specific toiletries lines, and items such as the company's Alberto VO5 Conditioning Hairdressing which has been number one in market share since 1960, continued to show growth.
 "We have been, and in the fourth quarter will continue, investing aggressively in advertising and promotion," said Lavin. "We believe that, in this difficult economy worldwide, this kind of investment spending is more necessary than ever before to help a company grow."
 "Our philosophy of building for the long term remains the same and continues to serve us well," Lavin concluded.
 The company's board of directors today authorized the repurchase by the company of up to 1 million shares of its common stock over the next 24 months. The authorized purchases may be open market or privately- negotiated transactions in either the company's Class A or Class B stock, or a combination of the two classes. "While we have no immediate purchase plans," Lavin commented, "we believe that our stock is currently undervalued. Given our strong cash position, the board's action permits us to take advantage of the potential that the stock at this price represents should we choose to do so."
 The board also declared the company's regular quarterly dividend of 6.5 cents per share on its Class A and Class B common stock, payable Aug. 20 to shareholders of record Aug. 3.
 ALBERTO-CULVER COMPANY
 Three Months Ended June 30 1993 1992
 Net sales $289,568,000 279,312,000
 Earnings before income taxes $ 15,598,000 15,000,000
 Provision for income taxes 5,542,000 5,883,000
 Net earnings $ 10,056,000 9,117,000
 Earnings per share $.35 .32
 Weighted average shares outstanding 28,754,000 28,332,000
 Nine Months Ended June 30 1993 1992
 Net sales $847,517,000 800,126,000
 Earnings before income taxes $ 46,726,000 45,992,000
 Provision for income taxes 16,821,000 17,284,000
 Net earnings $ 29,905,000 28,708,000
 Earnings per share $1.04 1.01
 Weighted average shares outstanding 28,702,000 28,302,000
 -0- 7/27/93
 /CONTACT: Daniel Stone, 708-450-3005, or Nancy Shields, 708-450-3142, both of Alberto-Culver/
 (ACV)


CO: Alberto-Culver Company ST: Illinois IN: HOU SU: ERN

MP -- NY051 -- 6232 07/27/93 12:31 EDT
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Date:Jul 27, 1993
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