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GERBER 2ND QUARTER EPS IS $0.47 VS. $0.48 LAST YEAR

 GERBER 2ND QUARTER EPS IS $0.47 VS. $0.48 LAST YEAR
 FREMONT, Mich., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Gerber Products Company


(GEB: NYSE) net earnings for the second quarter ended September 30, 1992, decreased to $34.6 million from $35.6 million in the previous year. Earnings per share decreased to $0.47 from $0.48.
 Net sales and revenue for the quarter were $345 million, up from the $327 million reported for the second quarter last year.
 For the first six months of the current fiscal year, Gerber net sales and revenue increased to $660 million from $620 million last year. Net earnings were $69.0 million, or $0.93 per share, compared to $69.2 million, or $0.93 per share a year ago.
 "Three factors contributed to the slightly lower earnings in the second quarter -- less than anticipated income from the Buster Brown apparel business, reduced license income from Bristol Myers for Gerber- branded baby formula and lower than expected baby food income," said Gerber Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Al Piergallini.
 The Food and Baby Care Segment sales for the second quarter rose to $237 million from $214 million last year. Operating income rose at a slower rate to $48.9 million compared with $46.1 million in last year's second quarter. "The major contributors to the sales increase were worldwide baby food and baby care sales," said Piergallini. "Lower earnings growth was the result of reduced formula license income as well as increased marketing spending for both the domestic and international baby food businesses."
 Worldwide baby food volume was up 3 percent in the second quarter compared to that reported in the prior year period.
 The Apparel Segment second quarter sales decreased to $86.2 million from $95.8 million last year. Operating income was $5.9 million vs. $9.4 million in last year's second quarter. "We were anticipating lower apparel sales and income levels because the previous year's second quarter still had the favorable impact of a strong cloth diaper business. This business deteriorated sharply in the second half of the last fiscal year. What we didn't anticipate was the less than expected income from the Buster Brown apparel business. Unit volume for Buster Brown is up vs. last year. However, customers in the children's fashion market are looking for the more value-priced segments of Buster Brown's line because of the recessionary retail environment. As a result, Buster Brown's margins in the second quarter and for the remainder of the fiscal year were, and will be lower than a year ago," Piergallini said.
 "Our Gerber Childrenswear business, on the other hand, had a second quarter in line with our expectations, and we are anticipating continued progress from this unit," he said.
 The Other Segment second quarter revenue rose to $21.8 million from $17.1 in the prior year, while operating income decreased to $2.4 million compared to $2.9 million a year earlier. "The continued strong earnings performance of Gerber Life Insurance -- which now accounts for all of the revenue of this segment -- were masked by the fact that last year's second quarter results included a gain of approximately $800,000 from the sale of the Spartan Graphics printing business," Piergallini said.
 "Looking to the future, our North American baby food and care business continues to grow. The Gerber Childrenswear business is improving in line with our expectations. The international business growth is strongly ahead of last year. Gerber Life continues its excellent performance. This is why I'm optimistic that Gerber can continue its growth in the current fiscal year and beyond," he said.
 GERBER PRODUCTS COMPANY
 RESULTS OF OPERATIONS(A)
 QUARTER ENDED SEPTEMBER 30
 PCT
 1992 1991 CHANGE
 Net Sales and Revenue $344,729 $327,300 5.3
 Interest, Royalties & Other
 Income 5,006 5,976 (16.2)
 Cost of Products Sold &
 Services Provided 197,518 188,898 4.6
 Mktg., Distribution, Admin.
 and General Expenses 95,787 86,294 11.0
 Interest Expense 3,269 4,330 (24.5)
 Income Before Taxes 53,161 53,754 (1.1)
 Provision for Income Taxes 18,611 18,189 2.3
 Net Earnings $ 34,550 $ 35,565 (2.9)
 -------- --------
 Net Earnings Per Share $.47 $.48 (2.1)
 Average Shares Outstanding 74,108 74,844
 RESULTS BY SEGMENT*
 QUARTER ENDED SEPTEMBER 30
 Sales and Revenue Operating Profit
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Food and Baby Care
 Food $208,543 $189,515
 Baby Care 28,160 24,962
 Total 236,703 214,477 $48,947 $46,126
 Apparel Group 86,228 95,772 5,907 9,377
 Other 21,798 17,051 2,416 2,943
 Total $344,729 $327,300 57,270 58,446
 -------- --------
 Interest Expense (3,269) (4,330)
 Investment Income 1,700 2,761
 General Corp. Exp. (2,540) (3,123)
 53,161 53,754
 Income Taxes 18,611 18,189
 Net Earnings $34,550 $35,565
 ------- -------
 (A) Unaudited. Amounts in thousands, except per share data.
 RESULTS OF OPERATIONS(A)
 SIX MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30
 PCT
 1992 1991 CHANGE
 Net Sales and Revenue $660,200 $620,384 6.4
 Interest, Royalties & Other
 Income 10,545 11,976 (11.9)
 Cost of Products Sold &
 Services Provided 371,187 347,353 6.9
 Mktg., Distribution, Admin.
 and General Expenses 186,414 168,993 10.3
 Interest Expense 6,614 8,564 (22.8)
 Income Before Taxes 106,530 107,450 (0.9)
 Provision for Income Taxes 37,572 38,232 (1.7)
 Net Earnings $ 68,958 $ 69,218 (0.4)
 -------- --------
 Net Earnings Per Share $.93 $.93
 Average Shares Outstanding 74,193 74,833
 RESULTS BY SEGMENT(A)
 SIX MONTHS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30
 Sales and Revenue Operating Profit
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Food and Baby Care
 Food $417,932 $378,969
 Baby Care 51,022 48,942
 Total 468,954 427,911 $101,277 $ 99,282
 Apparel Group 149,133 159,559 7,558 13,456
 Other 42,113 32,914 4,667 4,431
 Total $660,200 $620,384 113,502 117,169
 -------- --------
 Interest Expense (6,614) (8,564
 Investment Income 3,891 5,424
 General Corp. Exp. (4,249) (6,579
 106,530 107,450
 Income Taxes 37,572 38,232
 Net Earnings $ 68,958 $ 69,218
 -------- --------
 (A) Unaudited. Amounts in thousands, except per share data.
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL POSITION*
 AS OF SEPTEMBER 30
 1992 1991
 Assets
 Cash and Short-Term Investments $ 88,511 $131,371
 Accounts Receivable 134,792 118,117
 Inventories 220,428 212,563
 Total Current Assets 443,731 462,051
 Other Assets 243,514 204,182
 Net Land, Buildings and Equipment 238,975 204,762
 Total $926,220 $870,995
 -------- --------
 Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity
 Current Liabilities $209,366 $222,516
 Long-Term Debt 122,458 126,345
 Other Liabilities 105,857 84,145
 Shareholders' Equity 488,539 437,989
 Total $926,220 $870,995
 -------- --------
 (A) Unaudited. Amounts in thousands.
 -0- 10/23/92
 /CONTACT: Tim Croasdaile, vice president - Investor Relations & Corp. Affairs, Gerber Products Company, 616-928-2718/
 (GEB) CO: Gerber Products Company ST: Michigan IN: FOD SU: ERN


JG -- DE018 -- 4111 10/23/92 11:29 EDT
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