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GENERAL NUTRITION, INCORPORATED, ISSUES EARNINGS

 GENERAL NUTRITION, INCORPORATED, ISSUES EARNINGS
 PITTSBURGH, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- General Nutrition,


Incorporated, the nation's largest specialty retailer of vitamins, sports nutrition and other food supplement products, today reported that for the year ended Feb. 1, 1992, operating earnings (earnings before interest, income taxes and extraordinary items) increased by 44 percent on a net revenue increase of 14 percent over last year.
 Giving effect to interest, income taxes and extraordinary items, General Nutrition's net loss was $7,232,000 on consolidated revenues of $393,568,000 in 1991, as compared with an $11,631,000 net loss on consolidated revenues of $346,818,000 in 1990.
 The company's operating earnings were $33,265,000 in 1991, or 8.5 percent of net revenue as compared with $23,079,000 or 6.7 percent in 1990. The improved operating earnings were generated from growth in each of its operating divisions; retail, franchising, and manufacturing. In a depressed economic environment, the retail division had comparative store sales increase of 10.4 percent in 1991 as compared with 0.7 percent in 1990. Franchising, which began in 1987, opened 86 franchised GNC stores in 1991 and has grown to 151 operating stores at the end of 1991, with 46 additional stores awarded but not yet open. Manufacturing increased its third party revenue from approximately $11 million in 1990, to $19 million in 1991.
 On March 12, 1992, General Nutrition issued $135 million of 11-3/8 percent senior subordinated notes due March 1, 2000. The net proceeds of this offering were used to repurchase or redeem all of the company's $61.6 million in aggregate principal amount outstanding increasing rate notes, to repay $45.6 million of the company's junior subordinated indebtedness and to repay $16 million of outstanding bank term indebtedness. In addition, the remaining 15 percent junior subordinated indebtedness of $34.4 million was converted to senior preferred stock with no cash dividend for one year. As a result of this transaction, interest expense for 1992 is expected to decrease to approximately $27,000,000 from $38,153,000 in 1991.
 General Nutrition, Incorporated, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Nutrition Companies, Inc. Substantially all of the outstanding capital stock of General Nutrition Companies, Incorporated, is held by the Thomas H. Lee Company (a private investment firm), its affiliates and General Nutrition's management.
 GENERAL NUTRITION, INCORPORATED, AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Statements of Operations
 (in thousands)
 Year Ended Feb. 2, 1991 Feb. 1, 1992
 Net revenue $346,818 $393,568
 Cost of sales, including
 costs of warehousing,
 distribution & occupancy 229,118 254,794
 117,700 138,774
 Selling, general and admin. 88,258 98,725
 Amortization of goodwill 6,763 6,784
 Gain on sale of mail order (400) --
 Non-recurring acquisition costs -- --
 Operating earnings 23,079 33,265
 Interest expense (income) 43,582 38,153
 Earnings (loss) before
 taxes on income (20,503) (4,888)
 Income taxes (tax benefits) (4,137) 2,471
 Earnings (loss) from
 cont. oper. before
 extraordinary item (16,366) (7,359)
 Loss from opers. of
 discontinued WLC subsidiary,
 net of income tax benefits
 of $(428) and $0 (1,640) (55)
 Extraord. gain from early
 retirement of debt, net of
 inc. taxes of $3,284 and $94 6,375 182
 Net earnings (loss) $(11,631) $(7,232)
 -0- 3/26/92
 /CONTACT: Edwin J. Kozlowski, senior vice president & CFO, General Nutrition, Incorporated, 412-288-4661/ CO: General Nutrition, Incorporated ST: Pennsylvania IN: REA SU: ERN


CD -- PG011 -- 2096 03/26/92 15:48 EST
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Date:Mar 26, 1992
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