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GERBER REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER EARNINGS

 FREMONT, Mich., May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Fiscal year 1993 earnings of Gerber Products Company (NYSE: GEB) before accounting changes and a gain declined to $1.74 per share from $1.92 a year earlier.
 For the year ended March 31, 1993, revenue was $1.27 billion, virtually the same as in fiscal 1992. Net earnings after one-time charges and a gain declined to $42.5 million, or $0.58 per share, in fiscal 1993 from $127.6 million, or $1.71 per share, in the prior year after a restructuring charge.
 Fiscal 1993 results include a one-time, after tax charge of $1.22 per share which results from the cumulative impact of the fourth quarter adoption of new accounting rules for retiree medical and post- employment benefits, and income taxes. The incremental effect of the adoption of these new accounting rules was an additional $0.10 per share expense to fiscal 1993 results.
 Included in the fiscal 1993 fourth quarter is a $0.16 per share gain on the sale of Buster Brown Apparel. Fiscal 1992 had a third quarter charge of $0.21 per share from the restructuring of apparel operations.
 Revenue for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 1993 was $310 million compared to $339 million in fiscal 1992. Net earnings, including the previously mentioned gain, declined to $43.1 million, or $0.59 per share, from $43.8 million, or $0.59 per share reported in last year's fourth quarter.
 "Lower earnings from our North American baby food and Buster Brown Apparel businesses were the primary reasons for the fiscal year 1993 performance," said Al Piergallini, Gerber chairman, president and chief executive officer. "The results from these two businesses more than offset improved performances by our international, basic childrenswear and life insurance operations."
 "Worldwide baby food unit volume for fiscal 1993 grew 5 percent over the previous year; U.S. baby food unit volume declined 5 percent. Gerber ended the year with a 72.0 percent U.S. retail market share. compared to 72.6 percent a year earlier," he said.
 For the fourth quarter of fiscal 1993, the food and baby care revenue rose to $230 million from $224 million a year earlier. Operating income was $49.9 million versus $52.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1992. "Lower U.S. baby food volumes and increased international investment contributed to the lower income in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1993," Piergallini said.
 "In the fourth quarter of fiscal 1993, the U.S. baby food business began to recover from the extreme volume decline experienced in this year's third quarter. We expect this recovery to continue so that for full year fiscal 1994 Gerber will have a year over year volume increase in the U.S. baby food business."
 "The international business had an excellent year and met or exceeded nearly all of its goals for the year. Latin America recorded solid double digit increases in revenue and income. Poland exceeded expectations. France continued to expand its retail distribution during fiscal 1993. Our export revenue and income had solid gains for the year," he said.
 The apparel group had sales of $57.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1993 compared to the $96.1 million in the prior year's fourth quarter. Operating income declined to $3.6 million from $14.7 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1992. "The prime contributor to this decline was the fact that we sold Buster Brown Apparel early in the fourth quarter of 1993. Buster Brown made a full quarter's income contribution in the previous year's period. Gerber Childrenswear, the remaining apparel business, had a good fourth quarter and full-year results," Piergallini said.
 Gerber Life Insurance, which represents the "other" segment, had sales and operating income increases of 19 percent over last year's fourth quarter. "Gerber Life continues to benefit from innovative new product offerings and sales and marketing programs," he said.
 "We entered Fiscal 1994 with reasonable expectations for single digit earnings growth as we continue to invest in the development of our international business and the Gerber Graduates line of products for toddlers. We expect these investments to pay off in accelerated earnings growth in Fiscal 1995 and beyond," Piergallini said.
 GERBER PRODUCTS COMPANY
 RESULTS OF OPERATIONS(a)
 QUARTER ENDED MARCH 31
 PCT
 1993 1992 CHANGE
 Net Sales and Revenue $310,049 $339,270 (8.6)
 Interest, Royalties & Other
 Income 6,413 6,244 2.7
 Cost of Products Sold &
 Services Provided 171,861 189,499 (9.3)
 Mktg., Distribution, Admin.
 and General Expenses 92,299 87,521 5.5
 Gain on Sale of Subsidiary (11,850) 0
 Restructuring Charges 0 0
 Interest Expense 2,537 3,165 (19.8)
 Earnings Before Taxes 61,615 65,329 (5.7)
 Income Taxes 18,563 21,499 (13.7)
 Net Earnings $ 43,052 $ 43,830 (1.8)
 ------- -------
 Net Earnings Per Share $0.59 $0.59
 Average Shares Outstanding 73,184 74,674
 RESULTS BY SEGMENT(a)
 QUARTER ENDED MARCH 31
 Sales and Revenue Operating Profit
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Food and Baby Care
 Food $205,209 $199,565
 Baby Care 24,504 24,151
 Total 229,713 223,716 $49,948 $52,496
 Apparel Group 57,165 96,094 3,552 14,651
 Other 23,171 19,460 2,239 1,875
 Total $310,049 $339,270 55,739 69,022
 ------- -------
 Interest Expense (2,537) (3,165)
 Gain on Sale of Subsidiary 11,850
 Investment Income 2,465 2,733
 General Corp. Exp. (5,902) (3,261)
 Earnings Before Taxes 61,615 65,329
 Income Taxes 18,563 21,499
 Net Earnings $43,052 $43,830
 ------ ------
 (a) -- Unaudited. Amounts in thousands, except per share data.
 RESULTS OF OPERATIONS(a)
 TWELVE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31
 PCT
 1993 1992 CHANGE
 Net Sales and Revenue $1,269,484 $1,268,143 0.1
 Interest, Royalties & Other
 Income 23,921 24,984 (4.3)
 Cost of Products Sold &
 Services Provided 716,621 711,298 0.7
 Mktg., Distribution, Admin.
 and General Expenses 376,625 346,255 8.8
 Gain on Sale of Subsidiary (11,850)
 Restructuring Charges 22,000
 Interest Expense 12,361 15,517 (20.3)
 Earnings Before Taxes 199,648 198,057 0.8
 Income Taxes 66,803 70,488 (5.2)
 Earnings Before Cumulative
 Effect of Accounting Changes 132,845 127,569 4.1
 Cumulative Effect of
 Accounting Changes (90,390)
 Net Earnings $ 42,455 $ 127,569
 -------- --------
 Earnings Per Share:
 Before Cumulative Effect of
 Accounting Changes $1.80 $1.71
 Cumulative Effect of
 Accounting Changes (1.22)
 Net Earnings Per Share $0.58 $1.71
 ----- -----
 Average Shares Outstanding 73,933 74,774
 (a) -- Unaudited. Amounts in thousands, except per share data.
 RESULTS BY SEGMENT(a)
 TWELVE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31
 Sales and Revenue Operating Profit
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Food and Baby Care
 Food $ 802,556 $ 771,123
 Baby Care 96,513 95,175
 Total 899,069 866,298 $186,459 $198,350
 Apparel Group 283,928 333,169 14,294 10,249
 Other 86,487 68,676 10,181 7,678
 Total $1,269,484 $1,268,143 210,934 216,277
 ---------- ----------
 Interest Expense (12,361) (15,517)
 Gain on Sale of Subsidiary 11,850 0
 Investment Income 8,131 11,190
 General Corp. Exp. (18,906) (13,893)
 Earnings Before Taxes 199,648 198,057
 Income Taxes 66,803 70,488
 Earnings Before Cumulative Effect
 of Accounting Changes 132,845 127,569
 Cumulative Effect of Accounting Changes (90,390)
 Net Earnings $ 42,455 $127,569
 -------- --------
 (a) -- Unaudited. Amounts in thousands, except per share data.
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL POSITION(a)
 AS OF MARCH 31
 1993 1992
 Assets
 Cash and Short-Term Investments $120,328 $104,582
 Accounts Receivable 103,073 132,954
 Inventories 194,769 223,524
 Other Current Assets 36,510 29,622
 Total Current Assets 454,680 490,682
 Other Assets 263,790 211,501
 Net Land, Buildings and Equipment 235,844 221,162
 Total $954,314 $923,345
 -------- --------
 Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity
 Current Liabilities $229,294 $215,436
 Long-Term Debt 116,831 125,915
 Postretirement Benefits Obligation 150,138
 Other Liabilities 91,584 126,951
 Shareholders' Equity 366,467 455,043
 Total $954,314 $923,345
 -------- --------
 (a) -- Unaudited. Amounts in thousands.
 -0- 5/17/93
 /CONTACT: Tim Croasdaile, vice president - Investor Relations & Corp. Affairs, Gerber Products Company, 616-928-2178/
 (GEB)


CO: Gerber Products Company ST: Michigan IN: FOD SU: ERN

ML-SB -- DE013 -- 9125 05/17/93 10:53 EDT
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Date:May 17, 1993
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