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AMERICAN GREETINGS REPORTS RECORD REVENUES AND EARNINGS FOR FISCAL 1993

 CLEVELAND, April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Increasing sales of everyday and seasonal greeting cards resulted in a record-setting performance in Fiscal 1993, American Greetings announced today.
 Total revenue, pre-tax income, net income and earnings per share for the 12-month period ended February 28, 1993, were all at historic highs.
 Total revenue increased to $1.688 billion, up 7.3 percent from the previous year's $1.573 billion. This marked the 87th consecutive year that revenue has increased since the Company's founding in 1906.
 Pre-tax income increased to $181.1 million, up 18.4 percent, over year ago levels.
 Net income for the year jumped 15.2 percent to $112.3 million, up from $97.5 million the year before. This was the first time in the Company's history that net income exceeded $100 million.
 Earnings per share increased 10.7 percent to $3.10, up from $2.80 a year ago.
 "It was a superb year for American Greetings," said Morry Weiss, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Considering that the worldwide economy has been sluggish over the past 12 months, our performance was exceptional.
 "Consumers continue to purchase social expression products in record numbers, which proves the resiliency of our business in good and poor economic times. We are pleased with the past year and we are confident that Fiscal 1994 will be another record year."
 Full-year results were boosted by a strong fourth quarter, in which revenue increased 6.0 percent to $448.5 million. Pre-tax income increased 29.5 percent to $55.2 million, and net income increased 26.6 percent to $34.0 million.
 Earnings per share for the quarter increased to $0.94, up from $0.75 a share a year ago.
 Manufacturing, labor and other production costs as a percentage of net sales were 39.6 percent for the year, down from 41.6 percent in Fiscal 1992.
 Inventories were reduced dramatically to 13.6 percent of net sales, down from 17.8 percent the prior year. This reduction resulted in the elimination of lower-cost LIFO inventory layers which added approximately 8 cents per share to earnings for the quarter and the year.
 "We continue to make improvements in our Just-In-Time manufacturing methods and inventory management. This is a key to our solid performance," said Ed Fruchtenbaum, President and Chief Operating Officer.
 "Also, a re-engineering in our Creative department to develop better products and deliver them to the marketplace more quickly, and solid sell-through of our products to various segments of the market contributed to the record results," Fruchtenbaum said.
 Early results from CreataCard indicate that the business is performing better than expected. The worldwide rollout of CreataCard is on schedule, as more than 2,500 units have been placed in the marketplace across the United States and in Canada and the United Kingdom.
 "As previously announced, we expect CreataCard to contribute between $25 million and $35 million in revenue during Fiscal 1994," said Fruchtenbaum. "Consumer acceptance of CreataCard is outstanding and retailers are very pleased with its performance."
 Looking forward, the primary contributor to the Company's growth will be increasing sales of core products - greeting cards, gift wrap and accessories - as emerging demographic and societal trends expand the demand for social expression products.
 Aging baby boomers are entering their peak years for purchasing greeting cards and women are purchasing personal communication products more often in mass retail stores where American Greetings is the leading player.
 In addition, spectacular seasonal merchandising, effective store planning and unique store promotions offered exclusively by American Greetings are helping the Company build closer relationships with retailers and boosting sales.
 The company is also maximizing the productivity of greeting card departments for retailers with research, thorough pre-testing of products and the best service in the industry.
 Beyond its core business lines, the Company is pursuing a strategy to accelerate growth by acquiring selected businesses that can be strengthened and grown by utilizing the Company's strengths in creativity, merchandising, distribution and customer service.
 Just within the past 30 days, American Greetings has announced its intent to acquire a 49.9 percent stake in the John Sands Group, the largest greeting card company in Australia and New Zealand.
 American Greetings has also reached an agreement in principle to acquire Magnivision, the leading manufacturer and distributor of non- prescription reading glasses in the U.S. and 15 other countries.
 American Greetings is the world's largest publicly owned manufacturer and distributor of greeting cards and related products, and a Fortune 300 company.
 AMERICAN GREETINGS CORPORATION
 FOURTH QUARTER REPORT OF CONSOLIDATED REVENUE AND INCOME
 FISCAL YEAR ENDING FEBRUARY 28, 1993
 (In thousands of dollars except per share amounts)
 (Unaudited)
 Three Months Ended Percent
 February 28 or 29 Increase
 1993 1992
 Total revenue $ 448,523 $ 423,185 6.0
 Income before income taxes 55,203 42,636 29.5
 Income taxes 21,229 15,808 34.3
 Net income 33,974 26,828 26.6
 Per share .94 0.75 25.3
 Average number of common
 shares outstanding during
 each period 36,440,506 35,785,977
 Twelve Months Ended Percent
 February 28 or 29 Increase
 1993 1992
 Total revenue $1,688,184 $1,573,061 7.3
 Income before income taxes 181,110 153,001 18.4
 Income taxes 68,822 55,539 23.9
 Net income 112,288 97,462 15.2
 Per share 3.10 2.80 10.7
 Average number of common
 shares outstanding during
 each period 36,220,057 34,757,218
 -0- 4/1/93
 /CONTACT: John D. Barker, corporate communications, American Greetings Corporation, 216-252-4864/
 (AGREA)


CO: American Greetings Corporation ST: Ohio IN: HOU SU: ERN

LC -- CL009 -- 2027 04/01/93 12:34 EST
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Date:Apr 1, 1993
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