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CLARK EQUIPMENT ANNOUNCES 1991 NET LOSS OF $337.5 MILLION, ESTABLISHES $245 MILLION RETIREE HEALTH CARE RESERVE

 CLARK EQUIPMENT ANNOUNCES 1991 NET LOSS OF $337.5 MILLION,
 ESTABLISHES $245 MILLION RETIREE HEALTH CARE RESERVE
 SOUTH BEND, Ind., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Clark Equipment Co. (NYSE: CKL) today reported a net loss of $337.5 million, or $19.52 per share, for 1991. Year-end results include a non-cash reserve of $245 million, or $14.16 per share, to cover retiree benefits in accordance with Financial Accounting Standard 106. In 1990, net income was $60.3 million, or $3.50 per share. Sales in 1991 were $1,190.2 million, down 17.7 percent from 1990 sales of $1,445.4 million. The announcement was made by Leo J. McKernan, Clark chairman and chief executive officer.
 For fourth quarter 1991, Clark recorded a loss of $32.6 million, or $1.89 per share, on sales of $294.2 million, compared to earnings of $9.1 million, or $0.53 per share, on sales of $366.8 million in the prior-year period. Included in fourth quarter 1991 results are special reserves of approximately $17 million, the major portion of which relates to workforce reductions and plant consolidations. LIFO income was $6.7 million compared to $4.8 million in fourth quarter 1990.
 In announcing results, McKernan said, "We see little evidence of an economic recovery emerging in Clark's traditional markets. We continue to reduce costs and achieve new levels of efficiency, but we don't expect to return to operating profitability during the first quarter 1992."
 The pre-tax health care reserve of $245 million will appear in restated first quarter 1991 results. A tax benefit of as much as $85 million will be available in 1992 if currently proposed accounting changes are adopted.
 New orders in fourth quarter 1991 increased to $301 million from $275 million in third quarter. Order declines at Clark Automotive were offset by gains at all other business units. Backlog at year-end 1991 was $242 million, $7 million higher than the third quarter and approximately $23 million below year-end 1990 on a comparable basis.
 In discussing the factors contributing to Clark's fourth quarter results, McKernan said, "Our 50-percent investment in VME produced a loss of $10 million during the fourth quarter. Soft worldwide demand for construction equipment reduced sales volume. Further, VME performance was adversely affected by increased competitive discounting. Costs of $2.7 million associated with the permanent shutdown of a plant in Sweden are included in VME's fourth quarter results. Similar additional capacity restructuring is expected to continue through 1992, with the heaviest activity in the first six months." Clark's full-year 1991 loss for VME was $23.1 million. In 1990, Clark's share of VME net income was $2.4 million in the fourth quarter and $21.6 million for the full year.
 Reviewing the performance of the company's business units, McKernan said, "Clark Automotive remained profitable in the fourth quarter, despite a sales decline. Actions by the Brazilian government to control inflation, including interest rate increases and government spending cuts, caused a sharp drop in consumer demand and business investment." He added that exports were adversely affected by the continuing weak demand in the North American truck market.
 "At Melore, fourth quarter sales increased slightly over the third quarter following the normal seasonal pattern," said McKernan, adding that the skid-steer market in the fourth quarter remained below the prior year level. "Full-year industry retail sales for North America in 1991 were 14 percent below 1990. Margins were not materially affected by a 10-day work stoppage in December at the Gwinner, N.D., plant. During the fourth quarter, Melroe sold the assets of its trencher business." Trenchers represented less than 2 percent of Melroe's 1991 sales.
 Commenting on the performance of Clark Material Handling, McKernan said, "Lift truck industry shipments for 1991 declined by 17 percent in North America compared to 1990. Demn to third quarter 1991, but remained below 1990 levels." On Nov. 4, 1991, Clark announced that it had retained the First Boston Corp. to assist it in exploring strategic ownership alternatives, including a possible sale for its worldwide forklift truck business. McKernan indicated that the process is continuing.
 Reviewing the results of the company's off-highway components business, McKernan said, "The severe decline in the North American and European construction equipment businesses continues to affect Clark- Hurth performance. Fourth quarter sales were up slightly over the third quarter, but remained 22 percent below fourth quarter 1990. Order rates in North America rose slightly in the fourth quarter, but do not appear to be signalling a sustained market upturn. The European construction equipment market remains weak." He added that Clark-Hurth continues to integrate its European operations and reduce manpower worldwide.
 Clark Equipment Company's business is the design, manufacture and sale of forklift trucks, skid-steer loaders, construction machinery, transmissions for on-highway vehicles, and axles and transmissions for off-highway equipment.
 -0- 1/29/92
 /CONTACT: Joseph Fimbianti of Clark Equipment, 219-239-0176/
 /FIRST ADD -- TABULAR MATERIAL -- TO FOLLOW/
 (CKL) CO: Clark Equipment Co. ST: Indiana IN: MAC SU: ERN


JT -- NY039 -- 4703 01/29/92 11:46 EST
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Date:Jan 29, 1992
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