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GERBER FISCAL 1992 PROFIT UP 13 PERCENT

 GERBER FISCAL 1992 PROFIT UP 13 PERCENT
 FREMONT, Mich., May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Fiscal year 1992 earnings of


Gerber Products Company (NYSE: GEB) before restructuring charges rose 13 percent to $3.85 per share from $3.40 a year earlier.
 For the year ended March 31, 1992, revenue was $1.27 billion vs. $1.21 billion in fiscal 1991. Net earnings after restructuring charges increased to $128 million, or $3.42 per share, in fiscal 1992 from $113 million, or $3.00 per share, in the prior year. Fiscal 1992 results include a third-quarter after-tax charge of $0.43 per share from the restructuring of apparel operations. The disposition of Gerber's Weather Tamer business resulted in a fourth-quarter after-tax charge of $0.40 to fiscal 1991 earnings.
 Revenue for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 1992, was $339 million compared to $320 million in fiscal 1991. Net earnings rose to $43.8 million, or $1.18 per share, from $22.6 million, or $0.61 per share (after the Weather Tamer charge), reported in last year's fourth quarter. Net earnings in the fiscal 1992 fourth quarter included a $0.05 per share gain resulting from recognition of the favorable clarification and settlement of tax issues.
 "Earnings improvements by our North and South American baby food, Gerber Life Insurance and Buster Brown apparel businesses contributed to fiscal year 1992 performance, which exceeded our real earnings growth target of 6-8 percent," said Al Piergallini, Gerber chairman, president and chief executive officer.
 "Worldwide baby food unit volume for fiscal 1992 grew 4 percent over the previous year. In the U.S., we ended the year with the highest retail market share in our history, 72.6 percent of the total market. The average market share for fiscal 1992 was 71.0 percent compared to 70.4 percent a year earlier," he said.
 For the fourth quarter, the food and baby care segment's sales increased 12 percent to $224 million. Operating income increased by 7 percent to $52.5 million from the $49.1 million in last year's fourth quarter. Both volume growth and higher prices contributed to these increases though increased marketing and international investment lowered earnings growth.
 The apparel group had sales of $96 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1992 vs. $105 million in the prior year's fourth quarter. Operating income before restructuring charges declined to $14.7 million from $15.0 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1991. "The apparel group's fourth-quarter performance was negatively affected by continuing softness in the apparel market and lower cloth diaper sales," according to Piergallini.
 "We continued to invest in the development of our emerging international businesses during the fourth quarter which impeded earnings somewhat. Export volume continued to increase due to new shipments to France and a good demand in Latin America," Piergallini said.
 Gerber Life Insurance, which represents all of the company's "other" segment for the fourth quarter of fiscal 1992, had sales and operating income increases of 28 percent and 86 percent, respectively, over last year's fourth quarter. The larger increase in operating income was in part attributable to a capital gain from the sale of investments.
 "Looking forward, fiscal 1993 is shaping up to be another year of investing in the expansion of Gerber businesses as well as providing good sales and earnings growth," Piergallini said.
 GERBER PRODUCTS COMPANY
 RESULTS OF OPERATIONS(a)
 QUARTER ENDED MARCH 31
 PCT
 1992 1991 CHANGE
 Net Sales and Revenue $339,270 $320,470 5.9
 Interest, Royalties & Other
 Income 6,244 5,795 7.7
 Cost of Products Sold &
 Services Provided 189,499 181,778 4.2
 Mktg., Distribution, Admin.
 and General Expenses 87,521 80,420 8.8
 Restructuring Charges --- 19,000 (100.0)
 Interest Expense 3,165 4,216 (24.9)
 Income Before Taxes 65,329 40,851 59.9
 Provision for Income Taxes 21,499 18,228 17.9
 Net Earnings $ 43,830 $ 22,623 93.7
 Net Earnings Per Share $1.18 $.61 93.4
 Average Shares Outstanding 37,337 37,498 ---
 RESULTS BY SEGMENT(a)
 QUARTER ENDED MARCH 31
 Sales and Revenue Operating Profit (Loss)
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Food and Baby Care
 Food $199,565 $175,626 --- ---
 Baby Care 24,151 23,406 --- ---
 Total 223,716 199,032 $52,496 $49,065
 Apparel Group 96,094 105,302 14,651 (3,979)
 Other 19,460 16,136 1,875 1,213
 Total $339,270 $320,470 69,022 46,299
 Interest Expense (3,165) (4,216)
 Investment Income 2,733 2,653
 General Corp. Exp. (3,261) (3,885)
 65,329 40,851
 Income Taxes 21,499 18,228
 Net Earnings $43,830 $22,623
 (a) -- Unaudited. Amounts in thousands, except per-share data.
 RESULTS OF OPERATIONS(a)
 TWELVE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31
 PCT
 1992 1991 CHANGE
 Net Sales and Revenue $1,268,143 $1,211,932 4.6
 Interest, Royalties & Other
 Income 24,984 24,264 3.0
 Cost of Products Sold &
 Services Provided 711,298 691,527 2.9
 Mktg., Distribution, Admin.
 and General Expenses 346,255 324,776 6.6
 Restructuring Charges 22,000 19,000 15.8
 Interest Expense 15,517 17,543 (11.5)
 Income Before Taxes 198,057 183,350 8.0
 Provision for Income Taxes 70,488 70,532 (0.1)
 Net Earnings $ 127,569 $ 112,818 13.1
 Net Earnings Per Share $3.42 $3.00 14.0
 Average Shares Outstanding 37,387 37,660
 RESULTS BY SEGMENT(a)
 12 MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31
 Sales and Revenue Operating Profit
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Food and Baby Care
 Food $ 771,123 $ 693,986 --- ---
 Baby Care 95,175 89,870 --- ---
 Total 866,298 783,856 $198,350 $183,845
 Apparel Group 333,169 371,776 10,249 16,543
 Other 68,676 56,300 7,678 5,740
 Total $1,268,143 $1,211,932 216,277 206,128
 Interest Expense --- --- (15,517) (17,543)
 Investment Income --- --- 11,190 11,145
 General Corp. Exp. --- --- (13,893) (16,380)
 198,057 183,350
 Income Taxes --- --- 70,488 70,532
 Net Earnings $127,569 $112,818
 (a) -- Unaudited. Amounts in thousands, except per-share data.
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL POSITION(a)
 AS OF MARCH 31
 1992 1991
 Assets
 Cash and Short-Term Investments $104,582 $129,087
 Accounts Receivable 132,954 120,960
 Inventories 223,524 191,823
 Total Current Assets 461,060 441,870
 Other Assets 211,501 181,636
 Net Land, Buildings and Equipment 221,162 203,830
 Total $893,723 $827,336
 Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity
 Current Liabilities $215,436 $192,107
 Long-Term Debt 125,915 164,491
 Other Liabilities 97,329 76,181
 Shareholders' Equity 455,043 394,557
 Total $893,723 $827,336
 (a) -- Unaudited. Amounts in thousands.
 -0- 5/14/92
 /CONTACT: Tim Croasdaile, vice president, Investor Relations & Corporate Affairs, Gerber Products Company, 616-928-2718/
 (GEB) CO: Gerber Products Company ST: Michigan IN: FOD SU: ERN


SM -- DE017 -- 0208 05/14/92 12:03 EDT
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Date:May 14, 1992
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