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BELL SPORTS CORP. FOURTH-QUARTER EARNINGS FROM CONTINUING OPERATIONS UP 38 PERCENT ON 50-PERCENT SALES GAIN

 RANTOUL, Ill., Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Bell Sports Corp. (NASDAQ-NMS: BSPT) today reported fourth-quarter income from continuing operations was up 38 percent on a 50-percent sales gain.
 Net sales for the fourth quarter, ended July 3, 1993, rose 50 percent to $28.4 million from $19.0 million in the fiscal 1992 period. Income from continuing operations increased to $2.7 million, or 33 cents per share, from $1.9 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier. Shares outstanding increased 25 percent over the prior-year period.
 Net sales for the fiscal year, ended July 3, 1993, advanced 28 percent to $82.6 million from $64.5 million in the prior year. Income from continuing operations for fiscal 1993 rose 60 percent to $6.6 million, or 88 cents per share, from $4.1 million, or 77 cents per share, in fiscal 1992. Year-to-year earnings per share comparisons were affected by a 40-percent increase in shares outstanding as well as a charge of 7 cents per share for consolidating the company's U.S. operations in the 1993 fiscal year.
 Net income for fiscal 1993 increased to $7.0 million from $5.4 million a year earlier. Net income per share amounted to 93 cents vs. $1.01 a year earlier. Fiscal 1993 results include an extraordinary charge of 4 cents per share on early extinguishment of debt and a gain of 9 cents per share on a change in accounting for income taxes. In comparison, the fiscal 1992 amounts include an extraordinary gain of 45 cents per share from the utilization of tax loss carryforwards and an extraordinary charge of 21 cents per share on early extinguishment of debt.
 The increased number of shares outstanding in the 1993 periods are the result of the company's stock offerings in April and December of 1992.
 Chief Executive Officer Terry Lee said the fourth-quarter sales increase was attributed primarily to the Blackburn acquisition, higher European sales and improved domestic mass merchant sales.
 The increase in operating income was not consistent with the increase in sales because of lower gross margins and costs associated with the company's decision to consolidate its U.S. sales organization and sell its Bell, Rhode Gear and Blackburn products directly to independent bicycle dealers and sporting goods outlets. Although product returns from distributors adversely impacted gross margins, the company is confident that the new marketing strategy will have a favorable long-term effect. Lee said, "The transition from a distributor-based sales method to a direct selling effort is beginning to show positive results and should improve helmet sales in the independent bike dealer channel during the coming year."
 Headquartered in Rantoul, Bell Sports Corp. is a leading manufacturer and marketer of bicycle helmets and accessories as well as auto racing helmets.
 The company's shares are traded on the NASDAQ National Market System under the symbol BSPT.
 BELL SPORTS CORP.
 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 (In thousands, except per-share data, unaudited)
 Year Ended Three Months Ended
 7/3/93 6/27/92 7/3/93 6/27/92
 Net sales $82,611 $64,459 $28,393 $18,991
 Cost of sales 47,969 36,500 16,844 10,705
 Gross profit 34,642 27,959 11,549 8,286
 Selling, general and
 administrative expenses 22,632 16,764 7,382 4,449
 Consolidation costs 950 --- --- ---
 Amortization of intangibles 769 1,510 213 308
 Interest (income) expense,
 net (376) 2,818 (345) 297
 Income from continuing
 operations before income
 taxes 10,667 6,867 4,299 3,232
 Provision for income taxes 4,085 2,742 1,625 1,293
 Net income before extraordinary
 items and cumulative effect
 of change in accounting
 principle 6,582 4,125 2,674 1,939
 Extraordinary items (1) (2) (298) 1,318 --- 4
 Net income before cumulative
 effect of change in
 accounting principle 6,284 5,443 2,674 1,943
 Cumulative effect of change
 in accounting principle (3) 700 --- --- ---
 Net income $6,984 $5,443 $2,674 $1,943
 Per share:
 Net income before extra-
 ordinary item and change
 in accounting principle $0.88 $0.77 $0.33 $0.30
 Extraordinary items (0.04) (0.24) --- ---
 Cumulative effect of change
 in accounting principle 0.09 --- --- ---
 Net income $0.93 $1.01 $0.33 $0.30
 Average shares and
 equivalents outstanding 7,523 5,375 8,158 6,550
 (1) Extraordinary items in the year ended July 3, 1993, reflect loss on the early extinguishment of debt.
 (2) Extraordinary items in the 1992 periods reflect the benefit of tax loss carryforwards, partially offset by loss on the early extinguishment of debt.
 (3) Reflects the one-time benefit from the company's initial implementation of SFAS 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes."
 -0- 8/10/93
 /CONTACT: Howard A. Kosick, chief financial officer, Bell Sports Corp., 217-893-9300/
 (BSPT)


CO: Bell Sports Corp. ST: Illinois IN: SU: ERN

JG-KE -- DE021 -- 1390 08/10/93 17:26 EDT
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Date:Aug 10, 1993
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