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H.B. FULLER COMPANY REPORTS RECORD FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR SALES AND EARNINGS

 ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- H.B. Fuller Company today reported record net sales of $243.5 million for the fourth quarter ended Nov. 30, 1992, an increase of 10 percent from $220.6 million for the same period in 1991. Net earnings were also a record in its fourth quarter at $9.2 million, up 5 percent from $8.8 million in 1991. Earnings per share increased 4 percent to $.66 compared to $.63 per share in fourth quarter 1991.
 Net sales for fiscal year 1992 were a record $933.7 million, up 9 percent from $852.9 million for fiscal 1991. Net earnings were $35.6 million, up 29 percent from $27.7 million. Earnings per share were $2.55, up 28 percent from $2 per share for fiscal 1991.
 U.S. sales were up 6 percent for the quarter and 10 percent for the year when compared to the same periods last year. Although operating earnings were down moderately for the quarter, total U.S. operations showed a substantial improvement in operating earnings for the year due to improved gross margins.
 Adhesives, Sealants and Coatings Division sales were up moderately for the quarter and the year compared to 1991 levels. Sales improved in all major markets in 1992. Gross margin improvement, cost containment and greater utilization of production facilities contributed to a moderate increase in the fourth quarter operating earnings and a substantially higher increase for the year.
 The Specialty Divisions experienced a strong increase in sales for both the quarter and the year compared to 1991. Although operating earnings were down slightly for the quarter, they increased substantially on a yearly basis as a result of improved gross margins.
 European sales and operating earnings were up significantly for the quarter when compared to 1991 due exclusively to the weakening of the U.S. dollar. For the year, sales and operating earnings were up moderately.
 Latin American operations showed significant sales and operating earnings increases for the quarter and year. Although sales were up for operations in Argentina and Brazil, losses continued in 1992.
 Combined sales in other geographic regions grew moderately with a decrease in operating earnings for the quarter and year when compared to the same periods in 1991. Continued investment in these regions and the ongoing weak economy in Canada had a negative impact on earnings.
 Interest expense decreased $1.1 million and $2.3 million for the quarter and year, respectively, compared to 1991 as debt continued to be reduced.
 "This was a very satisfying year for Fuller with earnings increasing 29 percent. Earnings are in line with our announced estimates for the quarter and the year," said Walter Kissling, president and chief operating officer. "We do have some challenges ahead of us in 1993 with the European economy experiencing its difficulties and now the Japanese economy showing signs of a slowdown. We will, of course, be watching the situation very closely and making adjustments when needed. We look forward to the challenges 1993 will bring."
 H.B. Fuller Company is a worldwide manufacturer and marketer of adhesives, sealants, coatings, paints and other specialty chemical products.
 H.B. FULLER COMPANY
 FINANCIAL INFORMATION
 (Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
 (Unaudited)
 Three Months Ended
 11/30/92 11/30/91
 Net sales $243,450 $220,559
 Cost of sales (162,392) (146,500)
 Gross profit 81,058 74,059
 Selling, administrative and
 other expenses (63,737) (56,036)
 Operating earnings 17,321 18,023
 Interest expense (2,867) (3,978)
 Other income/(expense), net 1,191 1,115
 Earnings before income taxes
 and minority interests 15,645 15,160
 Income taxes (6,369) (6,275)
 Net earnings of consolidated
 subsidiaries applicable to
 minority interests (78) (129)
 Net earnings $9,198 $8,756
 Earnings per common share(a) $.66 $.63
 Dividends per common share(a) $.12 $0.1033
 Average number of common and
 common equivalent shares
 outstanding(a) 14,002,245 13,921,539
 Working capital $130,821 $108,779
 Total assets 561,204 508,911
 Long-term debt 53,667 71,814
 Stockholders' equity $255,040 $219,050
 Year Ended
 11/30/92 11/30/91
 Net sales $933,720 $852,930
 Cost of sales (620,250) (574,178)
 Gross profit 313,470 278,752
 Selling, administrative and
 other expenses (242,064) (218,906)
 Operating earnings 71,406 59,846
 Interest expense (12,537) (14,788)
 Other income/(expense), net 2,078 2,370
 Earnings before income taxes
 and minority interests 60,947 47,428
 Income taxes (24,716) (19,173)
 Net earnings of consolidated
 subsidiaries applicable to
 minority interests (609) (568)
 Net earnings $35,622 $27,687
 Earnings per common share(a) $2.55 $2.00
 Dividends per common share(a) $0.4633 $0.4100
 Average number of common and
 common equivalent shares
 outstanding(a) 13,989,443 13,854,137
 (a) Adjusted for 3-for-2 split, effective June 1, 1992.
 -0- 1/7/93
 /CONTACT: Richard Edwards, investor relations, 612-647-3650, or Bill Belknap, 612-647-3604, both of H.B. Fuller/


CO: H.B. Fuller Company ST: Minnesota IN: SU: ERN

KH -- MN017 -- 2788 01/07/93 16:19 EST
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Date:Jan 7, 1993
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