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FLEMING REPORTS RECORD SALES AND EARNINGS

 FLEMING REPORTS RECORD SALES AND EARNINGS
 OKLAHOMA CITY, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Fleming Companies Inc.


(NYSE: FLM) today reported record sales and earnings for the first quarter of 1992. Sales for the 16-week quarter ended April 18 were $3.92 billion compared with $3.86 billion the prior year, an increase of 1.6 percent.
 Earnings rose 14.4 percent to $37.3 million versus $32.6 million (before an accounting change) a year ago. In late 1991, the company adopted the new accounting rule for retiree medical benefits, and net earnings for the first quarter of 1991 have been restated accordingly.
 Fully diluted earnings per share were $1.01 for the first quarter of 1992 versus 98 cents the prior year, before the accounting change. This is a gain of 3.1 percent based on average shares outstanding of 35.4 million compared with 30.6 million shares a year ago.
 "We are pleased with the company's performance against a strong quarter last year," said Dean Werries, chairman and chief executive officer. "The double-digit increase in earnings reflects our continuing efforts to control costs and increase operating efficiency."
 Fleming recorded a 3.7 percent increase in warehousing productivity during the first quarter. Selling and administrative expenses were reduced by $9.7 million from the prior year. Interest expense was reduced by $4.7 million reflecting lower rates and lower levels of borrowing.
 The company's net margin (net earnings as a percent of sales) rose to .95 percent for the 1992 first quarter. "This is near the top of our established target range of .85 percent to 1 percent," Werries said.
 Fleming is in a sound financial position with total assets of $2.9 billion. Long-term debt of $653 million is $155 million below the level of a year ago. Shareholders' equity of $986 million is $145 million greater than a year ago.
 "This makes the company's debt-to-capital ratio 49 percent compared with 56 percent last year, a substantial improvement and in line with our target ratio of 50 percent," Werries said.
 Fleming is the nation's largest wholesale food distributor, serving more than 4,800 stores in 36 states.
 FLEMING COMPANIES INC.
 Consolidated Condensed Statements of Earnings
 For the 16 weeks ended April 18, 1992 and April 20, 1991
 (In thousands, except per share amounts)
 Percent
 First Interim Period 1992 1991 Change
 Net sales $3,917,253 $3,855,354 1.6
 Costs and expenses:
 Cost of sales 3,678,598 3,608,818 1.9
 Selling and
 administrative 151,033 160,688 (6.0)
 Interest 26,332 30,988 (15.0)
 Total costs and
 expenses 3,855,963 3,800,494 1.5
 Earnings before taxes 61,290 54,860 11.7
 Taxes on income 23,964 22,224 7.8
 Earnings before cumulative
 effect of accounting change 37,326 32,636 14.4
 Cumulative effect of change
 in accounting for
 postretirement health
 care benefits --- 9,270 ---
 Net earnings $37,326 $23,366 ---
 Net earnings available to
 common shareholders $37,326 $22,225 ---
 Net earnings per common
 share:
 Primary before accounting
 change $1.05 $1.03 1.9
 Accounting change --- .30 ---
 Primary $1.05 $.73 ---
 Fully diluted before
 accounting change $1.01 $.98 3.1
 Accounting change --- .27 ---
 Fully diluted $1.01 $.71 ---
 Dividends paid per common
 share $.30 $.28 7.1
 Weighted average common
 shares outstanding 35,449 30,585 15.9
 1991 has been restated to reflect the cumulative effect of change in accounting for postretirement health care benefits.
 -0- 4/29/92
 /CONTACT: Ron Frost of Fleming Companies Inc., 405-840-7200/
 (FLM) CO: Fleming Companies Inc. ST: Oklahoma IN: FOD SU: ERN


MC -- DV008 -- 4318 04/29/92 11:25 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 29, 1992
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