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CONTEL CELLULAR REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER, YEAR END RESULTS FOR 1991

 CONTEL CELLULAR REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER, YEAR END RESULTS FOR 1991
 ATLANTA, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Contel Cellular Inc. (NASDAQ: CCXLA) today reported revenue and subscriber growth for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991.
 Revenues increased to $235 million compared with $167 million reported in 1990. Subscribers increased to 236,300, a 52 percent increase over the 155,300 reported at the end of 1990. The company's operating cash flow (operating loss before depreciation and amortization and exclusive of the one-time merger integration costs) was $31.5 million, an improvement of $18.5 million from the corresponding 1990 period. Net loss for the year was $119 million or $1.19 per share as compared to $103 million, or $1.03 per share in 1990. The increased net loss for 1991 is primarily attributed to a full year of financing expenses and amortization associated with the acquisition of the 13 Southeast property markets acquired at the end of February 1990, as well as merger integration costs. Partially offsetting these increases were gains on sales of interests in certain non-strategic rural service areas (RSAs).
 Fourth Quarter Results Reviewed
 The company reported fourth quarter revenues of $66.4 million, compared with $51.7 million for the corresponding 1990 period. The company also reported a fourth quarter net loss of $23.6 million or $.24 per share, compared with $31.3 million or $.31 per share reported for the same 1990 period. Fourth quarter 1991 results reflect the gains on sales of interests in non-strategic RSAs, which contributed $10.6 million to pre-tax income.
 Service revenues, which exclude equipment sales, were $57.6 million in the fourth 1991 quarter, a 29 percent increase over the $44.7 million reported in the prior year. Average monthly service revenue per subscriber declined in the fourth 1991 quarter to $87, compared with $104 for the same period in 1990. The decrease in usage is attributed to the impact of the sluggish economy and fourth quarter promotional programs that provided usage concessions for new subscribers.
 At the end of the fourth quarter, subscribers in company-controlled markets totaled 236,300, an increase of 31,200 during the quarter, as compared to subscriber additions of 22,100 in the fourth quarter of 1990. Total subscribers, including the company's proportional share of subscribers in non-controlled markets, were approximately 350,000 at Dec. 31, 1991.
 1991 Results Reviewed
 For the year ended Dec. 31, 1991, the company reported service revenues of $209.8 million, compared with $145.0 million for the corresponding 1990 period. Average monthly service revenue per subscriber declined from $108 in 1990, to $92 for 1991. The decline in usage is attributed to the year-long recession in 1991 and the impact of an increasing percentage of lower usage customers.
 Average monthly churn for 1991 was 2.4 percent, as compared to 2.2 percent in 1990. This slight increase is an indication of the impact of the recession but also indicates that subscribers were more likely to reduce their usage, as reflected in the decline in average revenue per subscriber, than to terminate their service.
 Contel Cellular President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Whipple said that he was very pleased with the strong growth in subscribers and overall performance for 1991. "Despite the sustained recession, we were able to add subscribers at record levels as a result of implementing aggressive marketing promotions and sales incentive programs in the fourth quarter," said Whipple. With respect to operating results, Whipple said, "The growth in revenues and subscribers, expansion of our network, initiation of service in RSAs and increased operating cash flow are especially significant when considering they were achieved during a year of sustained economic recession." With respect to the decline in average revenue per subscriber, Whipple said: "Lower average revenue per subscriber reflects the impact of reduced business activity directly related to the recession. Our existing subscribers continue to control their usage and greater numbers of casual users are being added as our market penetration increases."
 Contel Cellular provides mobile and portable telephone services in 36 metropolitan markets in the United States. The company is a limited partner in 29 additional metropolitan markets and has ownership interests in 83 rural service areas. Based on total market population or POPs, Contel Cellular is the sixth-largest cellular company in the U.S., 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 Corporation (NYSE: GTE).
 GTE is a worldwide leader in telecommunications, with combined revenues and sales in 1991 of $19.6 billion and net income of $1.6 billion. It is the largest U.S.-based local telephone company and second-largest cellular-service provider in the United States. Other GTE subsidiaries are leaders in government and defense communication systems and equipment, satellite-based telecommunications, information services, lighting products and precision materials.
 CONTEL CELLULAR INC.
 Consolidated Statements of Operations
 (Thousands, except per-share data)
 Unaudited
 3 mos. ended 12 mos. ended
 12/31/91 12/31/90 12/31/91 12/31/90
 Revenues & sales:
 Service revenues $ 57,624 $ 44,656 $ 209,794 $ 145,008
 Equipment sales 8,807 7,026 25,313 22,170
 Total 66,431 51,682 235,107 167,178
 Costs and expenses:
 Cost of services 11,121 8,653 37,165 29,223
 Cost of equipment sales 15,416 10,739 37,669 32,474
 Selling, general & admin. 34,502 27,398 128,754 92,509
 Depreciation 10,731 5,674 42,060 24,150
 Amortization of intangibles 10,373 8,260 46,368 26,965
 Merger integration costs --- --- 11,668 ---
 Total 82,143 60,724 303,684 205,321
 Operating loss (15,712) (9,042) (68,577) (38,143)
 Interest expense, net 37,034 38,863 157,119 123,408
 Other expense, net 328 --- 328 ---
 Loss before minority ints. (53,074) (47,905) (226,024) (161,551)
 Minority interests 799 587 2,298 2,686
 Loss from consol. opers. (52,275) (47,318) (223,726) (158,865)
 Equity in earnings of unconsolidated
 partnerships 3,691 4,908 15,687 19,069
 Gain on sales of partnership
 interests 10,561 --- 18,387 ---
 Loss before income taxes (38,023) (42,410) (189,652) (139,796)
 Benefit from income taxes (14,426) (11,141) (70,752) (37,002)
 Net loss $(23,597)$(31,269)$(118,900)$(102,794)
 Net loss per share $ (0.24)$ (0.31)$ (1.19)$ (1.03)
 Wtd. avg. shares outst. 99,944 99,933 99,942 99,931
 NOTE: The results above include the operations of the Southeast properties from the date of acquisition at the end of February 1990.
 -0- 2/10/92
 /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


BR-BN -- AT002 -- 8161 02/10/92 09:33 EST
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