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FLEMING ANNOUNCES 1992 RESULTS

 OKLAHOMA CITY, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Fleming Companies Inc. (NYSE: FLM) reported today 1992 sales of $12.93 billion, net earnings of $108.6 million and fully diluted earnings per share of $2.95, net of a previously announced debt retirement charge. Excluding this charge, fully diluted earnings per share were $3.10, in line with previously announced expectations.
 "1992 was a very challenging year for our company," said Dean Werries, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "While sales and earnings were records, the difficult economic environment kept us from meeting all the operating expectations that we set at the beginning of the year."
 Net earnings for 1992 and 1991 were affected by one-time charges, Werries said. Fully diluted earnings per share were reduced in 1992 by 15 cents due to a fourth-quarter, after-tax charge of $5.9 million to redeem all the company's $172.5 million of outstanding 6 1/2 percent convertible notes and certain other debt.
 After the charge, net earnings for 1992 totaled $108.6 million, or $2.95 per fully diluted share, compared with $63 million, or $1.78 per fully diluted share, after charges, for 1991.
 Fleming took an after-tax charge of $41.4 million for facilities consolidation in 1991. In addition, an after-tax $9.3 million extraordinary charge was taken in 1991 to adopt a new accounting rule for retiree medical benefits.
 Before the effects of charges in both years, net operating earnings were $114.5 million in 1992, a .7 percent increase over $113.7 million for the previous year. Before charges, a net margin was .89 percent, compared with .88 percent for the previous year.
 Sales for the 12 weeks ended Dec. 26 were $3.11 billion, up 1.3 percent from the previous year. Before the one-time charges in both years, fourth quarter earnings were $29.9 million, or 81 cents per share, compared with $29 million or 77 cents per share for 1991. Net earnings were $24 million in 1992, after the charge for early retirement of debt, versus a loss of $12.4 million in 1991 after the facilities consolidation charge. Results from current year operations included the unfavorable impact of an increase in the company's provision for credit losses. The favorable resolution of litigation resulted in income of $3 million after tax.
 "Major factors in the unusually low sales increase were product price deflation of 1 percent for the year and intensified retail competition. The increase in the provision for credit losses was a direct result of the difficult retail environment," Werries said. "In addition, we invested in a new marketing and modernization program to reposition many of our corporate-owned Sentry Markets."
 Hurricane Andrew affected several of the company's operations in the Southeast. The Miami and Lafayette divisions received structural damage, and the Lafayette grocery facility was closed for several weeks, creating a need for nearby divisions to serve those retailers.
 Fleming began serving many new customers in 1992, including 56 retailers in Southern California, 26 Nob Hill supermarkets in Northern California, 14 IGA SuperCenters in the Northwest, and 22 David's supermarkets in northeast Texas. Fleming also agreed to supply 66 Albertson's supermarkets in Florida for two years.
 Through the acquisition of Baker's Supermarkets of Omaha, Fleming penetrated an important market. Baker's features 10 large, high-volume superstores that average more than 50,000 square feet. Fleming paid $50 million, consisting of 1.074 million shares of common stock, cash and notes, for Baker's equity.
 In February of 1993 Fleming signed a letter of intent with Randall's Food Markets Inc. Under terms of the proposed transaction, Fleming will purchase certain of Randall's distribution assets, including a one million square foot distribution center in Garland, Texas, for $28 million, plus an additional amount for inventories. Fleming now serves Randall's 47 Houston stores, but a new long-term supply agreement covering all 109 Randall's stores is part of the proposed transaction. Fleming will realize approximately $250 million in new sales. The transaction is expected to close in May or June and is subject to the approval of both boards of directors and certain regulatory approvals.
 Fleming and its joint venture partner, Grupo Gigante, opened their first price impact store, which was developed by Fleming, in Mexico last December. Format expertise and high-volume sourcing have been combined for maximum impact.
 As part of the company's long-term strategy of moving to larger, more efficient distribution centers, operations in Lexington, Ky.; Monroe, La.; Springfield, Mo.; and Milpitas, Calif., were assimilated into nearby distribution centers.
 "Challenging conditions are expected to continue during 1993," Werries said. "We anticipate increases in sales and earnings for the full year. The amount of the earnings increase will depend on the strength of the economic recovery and the robustness of the food retailing environment. However, due to a variety of factors, it may be difficult during the first quarter of 1993 to exceed the record performance achieved during the first quarter of 1992."
 Fleming supplies food and related products to more than 4,800 stores in 36 states, Mexico, the Caribbean and South and Central America.
 FLEMING COMPANIES INC.
 Consolidated Statements of Earnings
 For the years ended Dec. 26, 1992 and Dec. 28, 1991
 (In thousands, except per share amounts)
 Percent
 Year Ended 1992 1991 Change
 Net sales $12,930,884 $12,901,589 .2
 Costs and expenses:
 Cost of sales 12,166,858 12,103,080 .5
 Selling and
 administrative 494,983 521,173 (5.0)
 Interest 81,102 93,353 (13.1)
 Facilities consolidation --- 67,000 ---
 Total costs and
 expenses 12,742,943 12,784,606 (.3)
 Earnings before taxes 187,941 116,983 60.7
 Taxes on income 73,485 44,687 64.4
 Earnings before extraordinary
 loss and cumulative effect of
 of accounting change 114,456 72,296 58.3
 Extraordinary loss from early
 retirement of debt 5,864 --- ---
 Cumulative effect of change
 in accounting for postretirement
 health care benefits --- 9,270 ---
 Net earnings $108,592 $63,026 72.3
 Net earnings available to
 common shareholders $108,592 $59,886 81.3
 Net earnings per common
 share:
 Primary before
 extraordinary loss and
 accounting change $3.20 $2.06 55.3
 Extraordinary loss .16 --- ---
 Accounting change --- .28 ---
 Primary $3.04 $1.78 70.8
 Fully diluted before
 extraordinary loss and
 accounting change $3.10 $2.06 50.5
 Extraordinary loss .15 --- ---
 Accounting change --- .28 ---
 Fully diluted $2.95 $1.78 65.7
 Dividends paid per common
 share $1.20 $1.14 5.3
 Weighted average common
 shares outstanding 35,759 33,651 6.3
 NOTE: Cost of sales includes income of $9.3 million in 1992 and
 $4.8 million in 1991 resulting from the LIFO method of
 inventory valuation.
 Consolidated Statements of Earnings
 For the 12 weeks ended Dec. 26, 1992 and Dec. 28, 1991
 (In thousands, except per share amounts)
 Percent
 Fourth Interim Period 1992 1991 Change
 Net sales $3,113,958 $3,075,204 1.3
 Costs and expenses:
 Cost of sales 2,918,164 2,889,411 1.0
 Selling and
 administrative 129,163 117,732 9.7
 Interest 17,567 21,091 (16.7)
 Facilities consolidation --- 67,000 ---
 Total costs and
 expenses 3,064,894 3,095,234 (1.0)
 Earnings (loss) before
 taxes 49,064 (20,030) ---
 Taxes on income (tax benefit) 19,183 (7,652) ---
 Earnings (loss) before
 extraordinary loss 29,881 (12,378) ---
 Extraordinary loss from early
 retirement of debt 5,864 --- ---
 Net earnings (loss) $24,017 $(12,378) ---
 Net earnings (loss) applicable
 to common shareholders $24,017 $(13,000) ---
 Net earnings (loss) per
 common share:
 Primary before
 extraordinary loss $.82 $(.37) ---
 Extraordinary loss .16 --- ---
 Primary $.66 $(.37) ---
 Fully diluted before
 extraordinary loss $.81 $(.37) ---
 Extraordinary loss .16 --- ---
 Fully diluted $.65 $(.37) ---
 Dividends paid per common
 share $.30 $.30 ---
 Weighted average common
 shares outstanding 36,657 35,392 3.6
 NOTE: Cost of sales includes a charge $1 million in 1992 and
 $4.3 million in 1991 resulting from the LIFO method of
 inventory valuation.
 The 1991 fourth quarter charge related to the cumulative
 effect of change in accounting for postretirement health care
 benefits has been retroactively restated to the first quarter
 of 1991.
 -0- 2/9/93
 /CONTACT: Ron Frost of Fleming Companies, 405-841-8125/
 (FLM)


CO: Fleming Companies Inc. ST: Oklahoma IN: FOD SU: ERN

BB -- DV001 -- 4443 02/09/93 08:03 EST
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Date:Feb 9, 1993
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