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DEXTER REPORTS EARNINGS INCREASE ON RECORD SALES

 DEXTER REPORTS EARNINGS INCREASE ON RECORD SALES
 WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn., April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dexter


Corporation (NYSE: DEX), a leading specialty materials producer, today reported that sales for the first quarter of 1992 were a record $243 million, a 3 percent increase over sales of $235 million in the first quarter of 1991.
 Earnings for the quarter were $8.9 million, or $.37 per share, a 28 percent increase compared with $6.9 million, or $.29 per share, in the same quarter last year. The first quarter of 1991 included a charge for the "Provision for Environmental Settlement Costs and Related Legal Fees" which reduced pretax earnings by $0.9 million, or $.02 per share. There was no such charge made in the first quarter of 1992.
 The 3 percent increase in sales for the first quarter of 1992 compared with the first quarter of 1991 comprises a 4 percent increase in unit volume and price increases averaging 1 percent, offset by a 2 percent decrease due to the effect of lower currency translation rates on international sales. There was no net impact due to the effect of acquired or divested businesses.
 Products with strong sales performance in the first quarter of 1992 included aerospace adhesives, acoustic materials serving the automotive market, electronic materials, and non-woven products in Europe. Sales of molecular biology and cell culture products at majority-owned Life Technologies, Inc. were also strong during the quarter.
 Consolidated gross margin of 33.9 percent for the first quarter of 1992, stated as a percentage of sales, increased from 32.7 percent for the first quarter of 1991. Higher average selling prices, increased volume in higher margin product lines and cost control programs accounted for the margin improvement.
 Marketing and administrative expense increased $1.2 million, or 2 percent, in the first quarter of 1992 compared with the same period last year due principally to higher marketing expenses at Life Technologies. Research and development expense in the first quarter of 1992 increased $0.4 million, or 4 percent, over the first quarter of 1991 mainly due to costs at Life Technologies related to the purchase of a new technology for molecular biology products.
 Other income decreased $1.5 million, or 60 percent, in the first quarter of 1992 principally due to lower interest income reflecting Life Technologies' special dividend distribution at the end of the first quarter of 1991 and increased losses from companies owned 50 percent or less. Interest expense increased $0.6 million, or 16 percent, in the first quarter of 1992 compared with the same period last year due to a higher level of long-term borrowings.
 K. Grahame Walker, president and chief executive officer, stated, "We believe the significant improvement in operating earnings, which was achieved without the benefit of any meaningful upturn in global economic conditions, marks the beginning of an upward trend resulting from our strategy for the 90s."
 The Dexter Corporation is a Fortune 500 company producing specialty materials and supporting services to customers in five strategic markets: aerospace, automotive, electronics, food packaging and medical. Founded in 1767, Dexter is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
 DEXTER CORPORATION
 (In thousands of dollars)
 Three months ended March 31 1992 1991 Pct. Change
 Net sales by market:
 Aerospace $12,853 $12,056 + 7
 Automotive 13,564 10,187 +33
 Electronics 33,824 28,701 +18
 Food packaging 56,721 57,870 - 2
 Medical 64,163 63,064 + 2
 Other 62,028 63,175 - 2
 Consolidated 243,153 235,053 + 3
 The net effect of businesses acquired or divested increased net sales of the aerospace market by $.7 million. The effect of acquired businesses increased net sales of the electronics market by $2.7 million. Business divestitures caused a decrease in net sales of $2.6 million in the "other" category.
 DEXTER CORPORATION
 Statement of Income
 (In thousands of dollars, except per-share amounts)
 Three months ended March 31 1992 1991 Pct. Change
 Revenues:
 Net sales $243,153 $235,053 + 3
 Other income 960 2,416 -60
 Total 244,113 237,469 + 3
 Expenses:
 Cost of sales 160,606 158,167 + 2
 Marketing and administrative 50,668 49,457 + 2
 Research and development 10,981 10,575 + 4
 Interest 4,762 4,121 +16
 Provision for environmental
 settlement costs and related
 legal fees -- 864 --
 Income before taxes 17,096 14,285 +20
 Income taxes 6,326 5,286 +20
 Income before minority interests 10,770 8,999 +20
 Minority interests 1,829 2,067 -12
 Net income 8,941 6,932 +29
 Net income per share $.37 $.29 +28
 Dividends declared per share .22 .22 --
 Average shares outstanding (000) 24,155 24,138 --
 DEXTER CORPORATION
 Statement of Financial Position
 (In thousands of dollars, except per-share amounts)
 3/31/92 12/31/91 3/31/91
 Assets:
 Cash and short-term investments $27,389 $39,734 $28,414
 Accounts receivable, net 165,703 152,169 147,708
 Inventories:
 Materials and supplies 59,960 63,324 62,405
 In process and finished 94,440 97,652 86,294
 LIFO reserve (23,778) (23,617) (24,769)
 Total 130,622 137,359 123,930
 Prepaid and deferred expenses 34,767 33,165 19,619
 Total current assets 358,481 362,427 319,671
 Prop., plant & equip., at cost, net 299,072 299,342 272,022
 Excess of cost over net assets
 of business acquired 53,350 54,021 56,818
 Other assets 66,458 68,681 64,877
 Total $777,361 $784,471 $713,388
 Liabilities & shareholders' equity:
 Short-term debt $150 -- $110
 Current installments of long-term debt 2,389 2,590 8,801
 Accounts payable 75,776 78,399 72,049
 Accrued liabilities and taxes 80,047 82,252 47,726
 Dividends payable 5,320 5,313 5,311
 Total current liabilities 163,682 168,554 133,997
 Long-term debt 188,019 188,702 140,604
 Deferred items 71,941 69,595 62,443
 Minority interests 43,610 43,838 38,936
 Shareholders' equity:
 Common stock and paid-in capital 33,207 33,320 33,335
 Retained earnings 295,899 292,278 322,268
 Currency translation effects (6,063) 1,845 (4,454)
 Treasury stock (12,934) (13,661) (13,741)
 Total shareholders' equity 310,109 313,782 337,408
 Total $777,361 $784,471 $713,388
 Equity per share $12.82 $12.99 $13.97
 -0- 4/13/92
 /CONTACT: Robert E. McGill III of Dexter, 203-627-9051, or Kevin Costello of Cameron Associates, 212-644-9560, for Dexter/
 (DEX) CO: Dexter Corporation ST: Connecticut IN: ARO SU: ERN


CK-OT -- NY041 -- 7758 04/13/92 12:20 EDT
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