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CONTEL CELLULAR REPORTS FIRST QUARTER RESULTS FOR 1993

 ATLANTA, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Contel Cellular Inc. (NASDAQ: CCXLA) today reported a net loss of $33.5 million or $.34 per share for the first 1993 quarter, as compared with a net loss of $30.3 million or $.30 per share for the first 1992 quarter.
 The 1992 results have been restated to reflect the adoption of FAS 106, "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other than Pensions," which resulted in a cumulative, non-cash, after-tax charge of $2.1 million, or $.02 per share, in the first quarter of 1992.
 First quarter revenues increased 25 percent to $77.7 million, compared with $62.4 million reported in the first quarter of 1992. Subscriber adds during the quarter totaled 24,400, a 41 percent increase over the first quarter 1992 subscriber gain, bringing total first quarter ending subscribers to 352,000, a 39 percent increase over the same period in 1992. First quarter operating cash flow (operating income before depreciation and amortization) increased 84 percent to $16.2 million, as compared to $8.8 million for the corresponding 1992 period.
 Contel Cellular President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Whipple said, "We are pleased with the improvement in operating cash flow, which reflects strong net subscriber gains, as well as our efforts in controlling acquisition costs through targeted and diversified distribution channels. The first quarter results continue our trend of maximizing revenues while focusing on controlling overall marketing and overhead costs, which has resulted in a marked improvement in operating cash flow."
 FIRST QUARTER RESULTS REVIEWED
 Service revenues, which exclude equipment sales, increased 26 percent to $72.9 million for the first quarter as compared to $57.7 million reported in the corresponding 1992 period. The increase is attributed to a 39 percent increase in average first quarter subscribers, partially offset by lower usage per subscriber. Average monthly service revenue per subscriber declined to $70, compared with $77 for the same period in 1992. The 1993 revenue per subscriber reflects a 7 percent decline from fourth quarter 1992 and is primarily a result of the increased number of casual users in the subscriber base. Average monthly churn remains low at 2.0 percent, as compared with 2.2 percent for the corresponding period in 1992.
 The $9.6 million operating loss for the quarter was $1.9 million lower than the loss for the corresponding 1992 period. The lower 1993 operating loss is primarily attributable to the increase in revenues, partially offset by higher expenses primarily associated with the higher net subscriber additions, and an increase in depreciation due to higher average plant balances.
 Net loss of $33.5 million for the first 1993 quarter was $3.2 million greater than the corresponding 1992 period. The higher net loss is primarily attributable to the interest expense increase of $7.3 million due to higher average debt and higher rates driven by a conversion from short- to long-term debt.
 Contel Cellular provides cellular services in 34 metropolitan markets in the United States. The company is a limited partner in 29 additional metropolitan markets and has ownership interests in 82 rural service areas. Based on total-market population or POPs, Contel Cellular is the sixth-largest cellular company in the United States, with interests in cellular systems representing 24.2 million POPs.
 Contel Cellular is a publicly traded company, of which 90 percent of the outstanding shares are indirectly owned by GTE Corp. (NYSE: GTE).
 CONTEL CELLULAR INC.
 Consolidated Statements of Operations
 (Thousands, except per-share data)
 Unaudited
 Three mos. ended 3/31/93 3/31/92 Change Pct.
 Revenues & sales: Chg.
 Service revenues $ 72,850 $ 57,730 $ 15,120 26.2
 Equipment sales 4,846 4,676 170 3.6
 Total 77,696 62,406 15,290 24.5
 Costs and expenses:
 Cost of services 10,603 8,748 (1,855) 21.2
 Cost of equipment sales 7,819 6,948 (871) 12.5
 Selling, general & admin. 43,075 37,913 (5,162) 13.6
 Depreciation 15,440 9,895 (5,545) 56.0
 Amortization of intangibles 10,311 10,336 25 (0.2)
 Total 87,248 73,840 (13,408) 18.2
 Operating loss (9,552) (11,434) 1,882 (16.5)
 Interest expense, net 42,986 35,696 (7,290) 20.4
 Loss before minority interests (52,538) (47,130) (5,408) 11.5
 Minority interests 268 770 (502)(65.2)
 Loss from consolidated opers. (52,270) (46,360) (5,910) 12.7
 Equity in earnings of unconsolidated
 partnerships 4,475 4,757 (282) (5.9)
 Loss before income taxes (47,795) (41,603) (6,192) 14.9
 Benefit from income taxes (14,308) (13,349) 959 7.2
 Net loss before cumulative effect
 of change in acctg. principles (33,487) (28,254) (5,233) 18.5
 Cumulative effect of change in
 accounting principles --- (2,080) 2,080(100.0)
 Net income (loss) $(33,487) $(30,334) $(3,153) 10.4
 Net loss per share before
 cumulative effect of change in
 accounting principles $ (0.34) $ (0.28) $ (0.06) 18.5
 Net loss per share $ (0.34) $ (0.30) $ (0.04) 10.4
 Wtd. avg. shares outstanding 99,947 99,941 6 ---
 -0- 4/29/93
 /CONTACT: Ted Carrier, 404-804-3549, or Jeff Keller, 404-391-8358, both of Contel Cellular/
 (CCXLA GTE)


CO: Contel Cellular Inc.; GTE Corporation ST: Georgia IN: TLS SU: ERN

BN-RA -- AT003 -- 2486 04/29/93 09:29 EDT
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Date:Apr 29, 1993
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