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GERBER REPORTS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS OF $0.36 PER SHARE

 FREMONT, Mich., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Earnings of the Gerber Products Company (NYSE: GEB) for the three months ended Dec. 31, 1992, were $0.36 per share versus $0.19 per share in the prior year quarter.
 For the third quarter of fiscal 1993, Gerber net sales and revenue were $299 million compared to $308 million in the third quarter of fiscal 1992. Net earnings for the fiscal 1993 third quarter were $26.5 million versus $14.5 million in last year's third quarter. Fiscal 1992's third quarter included an after-tax charge of $16 million, or $0.21 per share for the restructuring of the company's apparel operations.
 Gerber net sales and revenue for the first nine months of fiscal 1993 were $959 million compared to $929 million last year. Net earnings were $95.5 million, or $1.29 per share, compared to $83.7 million, or $1.12 per share, after the aforementioned restructuring charge in the first nine months of fiscal 1992.
 "Excluding the effects of last year's apparel charge, this year's third quarter earnings per share declined by 10 percent, primarily because of lower sales of baby food in the U.S.," said Al Piergallini, Gerber chairman of the board and chief executive officer.
 "As we previously reported, this poorer performance by our U.S. baby food business was the result of significantly increased competitive activity coupled with a slightly declining U.S. birth rate. The competitive activity appears to have subsided and we entered the fourth quarter with an improving order rate for baby food," he said.
 "The remainder of our continuing businesses -- International, Gerber Childrenswear and Gerber Life met or exceeded our expectations in the third quarter," Piergallini said.
 The food and baby care segment's sales declined by 6.6 percent to $200 million. Operating income declined by 20.2 percent to $37.2 million from the $46.6 million in last year's third quarter. Worldwide baby food volume declined by 5 percent in the third quarter compared to last year's third quarter.
 Apparel segment sales of $78 million were flat compared to last year's third quarter. Excluding the $22 million pre-tax charge in the prior year for restructuring of apparel operations, the segment's operating income of $3.6 million declined by 13 percent compared to last year's third quarter.
 "Gerber Childrenswear slightly exceeded our earnings expectations in the third quarter," Piergallini said. "Buster Brown, as expected, had lower earnings in the third quarter compared to the prior year. We recently announced that we expected to close on the sale of Buster Brown Apparel in the fourth quarter.
 "Gerber Life Insurance had another excellent quarter with revenue increasing to $21 million and operating income to $3.5 million," said Piergallini. Gerber Life comprises the results of the Other segment.
 "We believe that our U.S. baby food business is on the rebound. This combined with the continued excellent results of our international, childrenswear and life insurance businesses give us confidence that Gerber's results for fiscal 1993 will be in line with current securities analysts' earnings expectations of $1.80-$1.90 per share," Piergallini said.
 GERBER PRODUCTS COMPANY
 RESULTS OF OPERATIONS(a)
 QUARTER ENDED DECEMBER 31
 PCT
 1992 1991 CHANGE
 Net Sales and Revenue $299,235 $308,489 (3.0)
 Interest, Royalties & Other
 Income 6,963 6,764 2.9
 Cost of Products Sold &
 Services Provided 172,116 174,446 (1.3)
 Mktg., Distribution, Admin.
 and General Expenses 90,374 89,741 0.7
 Restructuring Charges 22,000 (100.0)
 Interest Expense 3,210 3,788 (15.3)
 Income Before Taxes 40,498 25,278 60.2
 Provision for Income Taxes 13,996 10,757 30.1
 Net Earnings $ 26,502 $ 14,521 82.5
 ======== ========
 Net Earnings Per Share $.36 $.19
 Average Shares Outstanding 74,163 74,759
 RESULTS BY SEGMENT(a)
 QUARTER ENDED DECEMBER 31
 Sales and Revenue Operating Profit (Loss)
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Food and Baby Care
 Food $179,415 $192,589
 Baby Care 20,987 22,082
 Total 200,402 214,671 $37,160 $46,572
 Apparel Group 77,630 77,516 3,605 (17,858)
 Other 21,203 16,302 3,467 1,372
 Total $299,235 $308,489 44,232 30,086
 ======== ========
 Interest Expense (3,210) (3,788)
 Investment Income 1,775 3,033
 General Corp. Exp. (2,299) (4,053)
 40,498 25,278
 Income Taxes 13,996 10,757
 Net Earnings $26,502 $14,521
 ======= =======
 (a) Unaudited. Amounts in thousands, except per share data.
 RESULTS OF OPERATIONS(a)
 NINE MONTHS ENDED DECEMBER 31
 PCT
 1992 1991 CHANGE
 Net Sales and Revenue $959,435 $928,873 3.3
 Interest, Royalties & Other
 Income 17,508 18,740 (6.6)
 Cost of Products Sold &
 Services Provided 543,303 521,799 4.1
 Mktg., Distribution, Admin.
 and General Expenses 276,788 258,734 7.0
 Restructuring Charges 22,000 (100.0)
 Interest Expense 9,824 12,352 (20.5)
 Income Before Taxes 147,028 132,728 10.8
 Provision for Income Taxes 51,568 48,989 5.3
 Net Earnings $ 95,460 $ 83,739 14.0
 ======== ========
 Net Earnings Per Share $1.29 $1.12
 Average Shares Outstanding 74,183 74,808
 RESULTS BY SEGMENT(a)
 NINE MONTHS ENDED DECEMBER 31
 Sales and Revenue Operating Profit (Loss)
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Food and Baby Care
 Food $597,347 $571,558
 Baby Care 72,009 71,024
 Total 669,356 642,582 $138,437 $145,854
 Apparel Group 226,763 237,075 11,163 (4,402)
 Other 63,316 49,216 8,134 5,803
 Total $959,435 $928,873 157,734 147,255
 ======== ========
 Interest Expense (9,824) (12,352)
 Investment Income 5,666 8,457
 General Corp. Exp. (6,548) (10,632)
 147,028 132,728
 Income Taxes 51,568 48,989
 Net Earnings $ 95,460 $ 83,739
 ======== ========
 (a) Unaudited. Amounts in thousands, except per share data.
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL POSITION(a)
 AS OF DECEMBER 31
 1992 1991
 Assets
 Cash and Short-Term Investments $ 67,817 $105,620
 Accounts Receivable 101,337 109,496
 Inventories 240,466 217,915
 Total Current Assets 409,620 433,031
 Other Assets 249,765 199,422
 Net Land, Buildings and Equipment 245,750 205,826
 Total $905,135 $838,279
 ======== ========
 Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity
 Current Liabilities $195,128 $193,529
 Long-Term Debt 122,437 126,299
 Other Liabilities 107,423 79,445
 Shareholders' Equity 480,147 39,006
 Total $905,135 $838,279
 ======== ========
 (a) Unaudited. Amounts in thousands.
 -0- 1/25/93
 /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

DH -- DE009 -- 8333 01/25/93 09:51 EST
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Date:Jan 25, 1993
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