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ARMSTRONG WORLD INDUSTRIES PROJECTS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS

 ARMSTRONG WORLD INDUSTRIES PROJECTS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS
 LANCASTER, Pa., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Armstrong World Industries, Inc., said today that its third-quarter 1992 earnings will be adversely affected by non-recurring pre-tax charges totaling "around $125 million." The company also said that its third-quarter earnings from continuing businesses -- exclusive of these non-recurring charges -- will not reach the 1991 level of 47 cents per share on a fully diluted basis.
 On an optimistic note, Armstrong said that it expects its profitability and cash flow to improve over time as the net result of actions that required the one-time charges.
 These actions include the closing of three plants -- at Quakertown, Pa. (ceramic tile), Gatineau, Quebec (building products), and Pleasant Garden, N.C. (furniture) -- and the scaling back of operations in certain other plants in the United States and abroad. Also included were accruals for costs associated with the expected elimination of positions throughout the rest of the company, and write-downs of land, buildings, equipment and intangible assets of the company. Two of the plants -- Thomasville Furniture Industries' manufacturing facility at Pleasant Garden and American Olean Tile Company's facility at Quakertown -- had announced their closings in September, and Armstrong's affiliated company in Canada issued an announcement today about its plant at Gatineau.
 While more details will not be available until third-quarter earnings are released on Oct. 26, Armstrong said that about one-fourth of the estimated pre-tax charges would involve cash outlays over the next year to year and a half, with the write-down of assets accounting for the majority of the non-cash charges. Also, more than half of the total pre-tax charges relate to the company's ceramic tile business.
 On an after-tax basis, the charge to earnings is expected to exceed $90 million, approaching $2.50 per share on both a primary and a fully diluted basis, causing a reported loss not only in the third quarter but "almost certainly for all of 1992 as well," Armstrong announced.
 Armstrong's Chairman and President, William W. Adams, said, "Because the jobs of more than a thousand men and women are involved -- in our domestic subsidiaries, our foreign subsidiaries, and our parent company -- these were not easy decisions to make. However, the fact is that we had to take action to shape several of our operations and our overall cost structure to the realities of the continuing disappointing picture in certain of our end-use market segments.
 "Nonetheless, there are reasons for a positive outlook. Several of our businesses, large and small, are doing quite well. And we are confident about our ability to quickly recover the cash outlays required by these actions. Not only do we expect to recover them in fairly short order, but also our profits will reflect these cash and non-cash savings year after year. That's why I'm able to say emphatically that, although the up-front charge to our profits and equity is not insignificant, the company's financial condition will emerge on a sounder footing than had we not taken these actions."
 The company said that it was making this announcement today for two reasons. First, it can now see the full dimensions of the non-recurring charges in the third quarter. Second, it has also determined that September earnings, while not final, will be below its earlier expectations, due in part to the adverse impact from hedges of foreign currency transactions related to its ongoing businesses.
 -0- 10/6/92
 /CONTACT: Armstrong Public Relations, 717-396-3313/ CO: Armstrong World Industries, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU: ERP


MJ-JS -- PH043 -- 7238 10/06/92 16:46 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 6, 1992
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