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HECHINGER COMPANY REPORTS SECOND QUARTER EARNINGS

 HECHINGER COMPANY REPORTS SECOND QUARTER EARNINGS
 LANDOVER, Md., Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Hechinger Company


(NASDAQ: HECHA, HECHB) today announced that net earnings for the second quarter ended Aug. 1, 1992, rose to $15.5 million, 36 cents per share, compared to $13.9 million, 35 cents per share last year, an increase of 12 percent. Sales for the second quarter were also up from last year, gaining 20 percent to $549.7 million from $458.1 million. Comparable store sales rose 10 percent for the quarter.
 For the first half of fiscal 1992, the company reported a net loss of $35.6 million, 85 cents per share, compared to net earnings of $21.0 million, 55 cents per share in fiscal 1991. Before the $57.3 million after-tax Strategic Reserve which was reporlast year's $849.5 million. Comparable store sales were up 9 percent for the first half of 1992.
 Commenting on the quarter, John Hechinger Jr., president and chief executive officer, stated: "We are pleased with our results for the second quarter. Our two-pronged strategy is on target. The repositioning program in our Hechinger division remains on course. Our Home Quarters Warehouse division, our primary growth vehicle, continues to perform well. In addition, the customer response in our new markets has been very favorable."
 Hechinger continued, "In the second quarter, earnings for the Home Quarters Warehouse division were reduced by $2.9 million for pre-opening expenses associated with the opening of five Home Quarters Warehouse stores, and $.8 million to cover charges associated with the closing of the undersized HQ Tallahassee, Fla., store."
 During the quarter, the company opened five Home Quarters Warehouse stores: two stores in the Cincinnati market; two stores in the St. Louis market; and a second store in the Memphis, Tenn., market. The first Home Quarters Warehouse store in Louisville, Ky., is scheduled to open early next month.
 The company also announced plans to open Home Quarters Warehouse stores in Jackson, Miss., and Bangor, Maine, early next year. Also, the company recently announced plans to enter the greater Detroit area with four to six Home Quarters Warehouse stores to open in 1993. Ultimately the company intends to operate 10 stores in greater Detroit and approximately 10 additional stores in various markets in Michigan. In addition, as previously announced, an HQ warehouse store will open in Albany, N.Y., early next year. As part of the company's ongoing strategy to roll-out the Home Project Center format, the Hechinger division plans the conversion of five additional stores in the Washington metropolitan area by the end of the year. The company also announced that the Hechinger division will open a new 85,000 square foot Home Project Center in Fair Lakes Center, Fairfax, Va., and relocate its 60,000 square foot Columbia, Md., store to a new 85,000 square foot facility in mid-1993.
 Hechinger Company is a leading specialty retailer, currently operating 122 do-it-yourself home centers. The company serves the growing home improvement industry through its three divisions: Hechinger, Home Quarters Warehouse, and Triangle Building Centers.
 HECHINGER COMPANY
 Consolidated Statements of Earnings
 (in thousands except per share data)
 13 Weeks Ended 26 Weeks Ended
 Aug. 1, Aug. 3, Aug. 1, Aug. 3,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Revenues
 Net sales $549,673 $458,120 $989,549 $849,485
 Other (principally
 interest) 2,820 1,505 5,911 2,649
 Total Revenues 552,493 459,625 995,460 852,134
 Costs and Expenses
 Cost of sales 417,571 342,565 753,246 635,704
 Selling, general and
 administrative expenses 108,520 93,197 202,774 178,456
 Interest expense 4,000 3,614 8,010 7,244
 Unusual charges 0 0 83,000 0
 Total Costs and
 Expenses 530,091 439,376 1,047,030 821,404
 Earnings (Loss) Before
 Income Taxes 22,402 20,249 (51,570) 30,730
 Income Taxes (Benefit) 6,945 6,399 (15,986) 9,711
 Net Earnings (Loss) $ 15,457 $ 13,850 $(35,584) $ 21,019
 Primary and Fully
 Diluted Earnings
 (Loss) Per Common
 Share $0.36 $0.35 $(0.85) $0.55
 -0- 8/24/92
 /CONTACT: W. Clark McClelland, senior vice president-finance, Hechinger, 301-925-3105/
 (HECH) CO: Hechinger Company ST: Maryland IN: RET SU: ERN


KD -- DC016 -- 2646 08/24/92 14:35 EDT
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Date:Aug 24, 1992
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