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GRACE REPORTS 16 PERCENT RISE IN FIRST QUARTER OPERATING EARNINGS

 BOCA RATON, Fla., April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA) reported net income of $28.3 million or 31 cents per share for the first quarter of 1993 compared to a net loss of $187.1 million or $2.10 per share in the first quarter of 1992. The 1992 net loss included charges of $211.6 million relating to adoption of FAS 106 and the treatment of certain businesses as discontinued operations. Excluding those one-time charges, the company earned $24.5 million or 27 cents per share in the year ago quarter. On a comparable basis, first quarter 1993 net earnings were 16 percent above the 1992 period.
 Sales for the quarter ended March 31, 1993 increased to $1.24 billion, an improvement of 7 percent over the 1992 first quarter, excluding 1992 sales from units subsequently divested.
 "Our restructuring efforts continue to pay off in improved results," said J. P. Bolduc, president and chief executive officer. "Operating income from our six core businesses was up 22 percent. Strong increases from health care, packaging and catalysts were partly offset by continuing weakness in Europe. While lower earnings were registered in noncore businesses, particularly cocoa products, we exceeded our overall target for the first quarter."
 Operating income after taxes from Grace's specialty chemicals businesses rose to $43.1 million in the 1993 first quarter, an increase of 11 percent over the prior year's quarter, based on strong performances from packaging and catalysts. Packaging earnings were up in North America in shrink bags and films and across the product line in Latin America and Asia Pacific. European results in packaging were flat. Fluid cracking catalyst earnings rose sharply due to both higher volume and improved pricing. In the remaining core specialty chemicals businesses -- construction products, water treatment and paper process chemicals, and container products -- lower earnings in European markets more than offset improved results in North America.
 Grace's health care business showed unabated growth.
 First quarter operating income rose 35 percent to $27.9 million compared to $20.6 million a year ago on the strength of a 17 percent increase in sales. Consistent with the trend, all health care sectors -- dialysis services, disposable medical products and home infusion and respiratory therapy services -- contributed to the exceptional increase in earnings.
 Grace's other businesses incurred a modest loss of $1.6 million compared to earnings of $3.6 million a year ago, primarily due to a drop in cocoa results.
 "Our strategic plan continues to unfold," Bolduc stated. "With completion of the sale of most of our oil and gas businesses in the last four months, the divestiture program has passed the $1.3 billion mark in gross proceeds and is well on its way to exceeding our $1.5 billion goal in a timely manner. Further, in keeping with our strategy to redeploy resources into our core operations, we have completed or announced more than $225 million of strategic acquisitions in 1993 in our health care, water treatment and catalyst businesses. These will strengthen these areas and enhance our earnings base as we look ahead."
 Grace is the world's largest specialty chemicals company and holds a leadership position in specialized health care.
 W. R. GRACE & CO.
 COMPARATIVE RESULTS
 (Dollars in Millions Except Per Share)
 Percent
 1993 1992 Change
 QUARTER ENDED MARCH 31
 Sales $ 1,240.9 $ 1,211.3 2.4
 Income Before Taxes $ 54.3 $ 39.5 37.5
 Income Taxes 22.8 17.2 32.6
 Income Before Min. Interests $ 31.5 $ 22.3 41.3
 Minority Interests 3.2 --- ND
 Income From Continuing Ops $ 28.3 $ 22.3 26.9
 Loss From Discontinued Ops --- (19.4) 100.0
 Accounting Change - FAS 106 --- (190.0) 100.0
 Net Income/(Loss) $ 28.3 $ (187.1) ND
 Primary Earnings/(Loss) Per Share:
 Continuing Operations $ .31 $ .25 (A) 24.0
 Discontinued Operations --- (.23) 100.0
 Accounting Change-FAS 106 --- (2.12) 100.0
 Total $ .31 $ (2.10) ND
 Fully Diluted Earnings Per Share:
 Continuing Operations $ .30 --- (B) ND
 Total $ .30 --- (B) ND
 (A) -- Excluding FAS 106 current year period costs, operating
 income was $24.5 or $.27 per share.
 (B) -- Not presented as the effect is anti-dilutive.
 W. R. GRACE & CO.
 OPERATING RESULTS
 QUARTER ENDED MARCH 31
 (Dollars in Millions Except Per Share)
 Percent
 1993 1992 Change
 Sales
 Specialty Chemicals $ 741.9 $ 696.0 6.6
 Health Care 338.1 289.0 17.0
 Other Businesses 160.9 174.7 (7.9)
 Total Before D/V Units $ 1,240.9 $ 1,159.7 7.0
 Divested Units --- 51.6 (B) (100.0)
 Total $ 1,240.9 $ 1,211.3 2.4
 Net Income/(Loss)
 Specialty Chemicals $ 43.1 $ 38.8 11.1
 Health Care 27.9 20.6 35.4
 Other Businesses (1.6) 3.6 (144.4)
 Total Before D/V Units $ 69.4 $ 63.0 10.2
 Divested Units --- 2.0 (B) (100.0)
 Total Operating Income $ 69.4 $ 65.0 6.8
 Other Expenses (A)
 Corporate Interest $ (12.3) $ (14.5) (15.2)
 Corporate Overhead (9.3) (9.9) (6.1)
 Corporate R&D and Technical (10.2) (9.3) 9.7
 Other (9.3) (6.8) 36.8
 Total Other Expenses $ (41.1) $ (40.5) 1.5
 Operating Earnings $ 28.3 $ 24.5 15.5
 Special Items
 Loss From Discontinued Op's --- $ (19.4) 100.0
 Accounting Change - FAS 106 --- $ (192.2) 100.0
 Net Income/(Loss) $ 28.3 $ (187.1) ND
 Primary Earnings/(Loss)
 Per Share:
 Operating Earnings $ .31 $ .27 14.8
 Net Earnings/(Loss) $ .31 $ (2.10) ND
 Average Number of Shares
 (Millions) 90.0 89.2 0.9
 (A) -- Expenses not allocated to operating groups.
 (B) -- Represents sales and net income of divested Specialty
 Chemicals units.
 -0- 4/29/93
 /CONTACT: Chuck Suits of W. R. Grace & Co., 407-362-2600 or 800-GRACE99/
 (GRA)


CO: W. R. Grace & Co. ST: Florida IN: CHM SU: ERN

JJ-AW -- FL005 -- 2536 04/29/93 10:15 EDT
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