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APOGEE EARNINGS IMPROVE VERSUS CHARGE-LADEN YEAR AGO QUARTER; BACKLOG UP SHARPLY; ADDITIONAL ASIAN ORDER RECEIVED

 MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: APOG) today reported earnings for its third quarter ended Nov. 28 of $2.0 million, or 15 cents per share. In last year's third quarter, Apogee earned $260,000, or 2 cents per share, after absorbing a $4.1 million (30 cents per share) restructuring charge related primarily to closing its West Coast glass fabricating operations. Due to weak nonresidential construction markets, quarterly sales declined 9 percent, to $147 million.
 For the first nine months of fiscal 1993, Apogee recorded net earnings of $4.3 million, or 32 cents per share, down as expected from $6.9 million, or 51 cents per share, a year earlier. Net sales declined 7 percent to $423 million from $454 million.
 Apogee's backlog at Nov. 28 stood at $290 million, up 44 percent from the previous year. Following the close of the quarter, the company received a letter of intent for a $16 million curtainwall project in Singapore.
 "By historical standards, fiscal 1993 continues to be relatively weak," said Donald W. Goldfus, chairman and chief executive office. "But when you consider the markets we address, Apogee's performance is quite respectable. And we are encouraged by the growth of our backlog, including the success we are starting to see in Asia -- a new and important market for our commercial construction division."
 Division Performance Varies
 Revenues declined 18 percent at Apogee's commercial construction division, which designs and installs curtainwall on high-rise buildings. Despite competitive bidding pressure, the division was able to maintain its gross margin, but the volume loss, together with development costs related to the European and Asian thrusts and the division's year-old detention/security unit, led to a loss for the quarter. Although the fourth quarter is expected to be profitable, full-year results will likely be negative.
 Similarly, the window fabrication division reported a volume-related loss, as sales declined 10 percent. Competition for smaller, institutional window orders has forced margins down. A recent influx of orders, although priced very competitively, should help restore shipping levels in the fourth quarter and into fiscal 1994.
 The glass fabrication division overcame weak demand and competitive pricing for both architectural and automotive glass to contribute a solid profit for the quarter, compared with a loss a year earlier. Sales declined 7 percent, reflecting the closure of the West Coast facility in January of 1992. A substantial improvement at the division's Tru Vue picture framing glass operation and a strong contribution from its Marcon Coatings joint venture, along with productivity improvements throughout the division, were responsible for the operating income gain.
 The installation and distribution division also turned in a solid profit for the quarter, compared with a loss in the prior year. Sales increased 12 percent, despite consolidation that led to about 10 percent fewer retail locations than a year ago, and lackluster demand for replacement auto glass. "The division has responded admirably to the challenges of severe price competition and soft demand," Goldfus said.
 Viratec Thin Films, Apogee's optical-grade glass coating joint venture, posted another solid advance, with sharply increased profits and a rapidly building backlog of orders for its sophisticated coated glass used primarily for contrast enhancement on computer screens.
 Strong Finances
 With shareholders' equity of $113 million and long-term debt of $25.9 million, Apogee's capital structure is virtually identical to a year ago, despite share repurchases earlier this year. Over the year, book value per share has risen from $8.41 to $8.58.
 Apogee Enterprises is an industry leader in the fabrication, installation and distribution of glass and aluminum. Its products and services include glass, windows and curtainwall for commercial and institutional construction and remodeling markets; curtainwall installation at major high-rise construction sites; design, manufacture and installation of institutional and government security systems; metal and glass coating services; fabrication, sale and installation of automotive glass; and such consumer-oriented products as venetian blinds, shutters, picture frame glass and computer anti-glare screens. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company's stock is traded on NASDAQ's National Market System under the symbol APOG.
 For more information on Apogee Enterprises, Inc. via facsimile at no cost, simply dial 1-800-PRO-INFO and enter the company code number 014.
 APOGEE ENTERPRISES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Condensed Statement of Income
 (Unaudited)
 (In thousands, except per share amounts)
 13 Weeks Ended Percent 39 Weeks Ended Percent
 11/28/92 11/30/91 Change 11/28/92 11/30/91 Change
 Net sales $146,723 $161,374 (9) $423,403 $453,927 (7)
 Earnings before
 income taxes 2,800 1,280 119 6,400 12,774 (50)
 Income taxes 780 1,020 (24) 2,112 5,876 (64)
 Net earnings $2,020 $260 677 $4,288 $6,898 (38)
 Earnings per share:
 Average common &
 common equivalent
 shares (000s) 13,182 13,511 -- 13,329 13,521 --
 Earnings per
 common & common
 equivalent share $0.15 $0.02 650 $0.32 $0.51 (37)
 Cash dividends
 per common
 share $0.07 $0.065 8 $0.200 $0.195 3
 -0- 12/22/92
 /CONTACT: Donald W. Goldfus, chairman & CEO, or William G. Gardner, treasurer, 612-835-1874, both of Apogee; Michael Rosenbaum or Janet Denefe, 312-266-7800, both of the Financial Relations Board, for Apogee/
 (APOG)


CO: Apogee Enterprises, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: SU: ERN

AL -- MN006 -- 9114 12/22/92 11:32 EST
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