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BELL SPORTS CORP. THIRD-QUARTER NET INCOME FROM CONTINUING OPERATIONS UP 31 PERCENT ON 8-PERCENT SALES GAIN

 Higher Number of Shares Outstanding in 1993 Periods
 RANTOUL, Ill., April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Bell Sports Corp.


(NASDAQ-NMS: BSPT) today reported third-quarter income from continuing operations was up 31 percent on an 8-percent sales gain.
 Net sales for the third quarter ended March 27, 1993, rose to $19,314,000 from $17,939,000 in the fiscal 1992 period.
 Income from continuing operations in the fiscal 1993 third quarter increased to $1,691,000 from $1,289,000 a year earlier. Per-share income from continuing operations amounted to 21 cents, on a 63-percent increase in shares outstanding, versus 26 cents in the 1992 quarter. Net income for the 1993 third quarter was $1,691,000, or 21 cents per share, down from $1,932,000, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier. Net income year-to-year comparisons were affected by an extraordinary gain of 13 cents per share from the utilization of tax loss carryforwards in the 1992 third quarter as well as the higher number of shares outstanding in the fiscal 1993 quarter.
 Net sales for the first nine months of fiscal 1993 increased 19 percent to $54,218,000 from $45,468,000 in the prior year.
 Year-to-date income from continuing operations rose 79 percent to $3,908,000, or 54 cents per share, from $2,186,000, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier. In the first nine months of fiscal 1993, net income was up 23 percent to $4,310,000 from $3,500,000 a year earlier. Reflecting a 46-percent increase in the number of shares outstanding, the per-share figure for the 1993 nine months was 59 cents compared to 70 cents. 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 principle. The fiscal 1992 amounts include an extraordinary gain of 26 cents per share from the utilization of tax loss carryforwards.
 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 G. Lee said the third-quarter sales increase was driven primarily by the Blackburn acquisition and continued strong European sales.
 "We continue to be pleased with our success in the European market and the progress made at our French factory," he said.
 The company noted that its recent decision to sell Bell brand bicycle helmets directly to retailers has resulted in lower domestic sales and operating income during the transition period. "However, we are confident that the new marketing strategy will have a favorable long-term impact on sales and operating results," Lee said.
 Headquartered in Rantoul, Bell Sports Corp. is a leading manufacturer and marketer of bicycle helmets in the United States. The company also manufactures and markets other bicycle accessories and 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)
 Nine months ended Three months ended
 3/27/93 3/28/92 3/27/93 3/28/92
 Net sales $54,218 $45,468 $19,314 $17,939
 Cost of sales 31,125 25,795 11,039 10,152
 Gross profit 23,093 19,673 8,275 7,787
 Selling, general and
 administrative expenses 15,250 12,315 5,594 4,546
 Consolidation costs 950 --- --- ---
 Amortization 556 1,202 203 402
 Interest, net (31) 2,521 (273) 845
 Income from continuing operations
 before income taxes 6,368 3,635 2,751 1,994
 Provision for income taxes 2,460 1,449 1,060 705
 Net income before extraordinary
 items and cumulative effect of
 change in accounting principle 3,908 2,186 1,691 1,289
 Extraordinary items (1) (2) 298 (1,314) --- (643)
 Net income before cumulative
 effect of change in accounting
 principle 3,610 3,500 1,691 1,932
 Cumulative effect of change in
 accounting principle (3) 700 --- --- ---
 Net income $4,310 $3,500 $1,691 $1,932
 Per share:
 Net income before extra-
 ordinary item and change in
 accounting principle $0.54 $0.44 $0.21 $0.26
 Extraordinary items (0.04) 0.26 --- 0.13
 Cumulative effect of change
 in accounting principle 0.09 --- --- ---
 Net income $0.59 $0.70 $0.21 $0.39
 Average shares and
 equivalents outstanding 7,287 4,984 8,141 5,001
 (1) Extraordinary item in the nine months ended March 27, 1993, reflects losses on the early extinguishment of debt.
 (2) Extraordinary item in the 1992 periods reflects the benefit of tax loss carryforwards.
 (3) Reflects the one-time benefit from the company's initial implementation of SFAS 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes."
 -0- 4/22/93
 /CONTACT: Howard A. Kosick, chief financial officer, Bell Sports Corp., 217-893-9300, Ext. 288/
 (BSPT)


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

JG-KE -- DE038 -- 9774 04/22/93 17:22 EDT
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Date:Apr 22, 1993
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