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HELENE CURTIS REPORTS RECORD SALES OF $1.17 BILLION AND RECORD EARNINGS PER SHARE OF $2.33 FOR FISCAL YEAR 1993

 CHICAGO, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Helene Curtis Industries, Inc. (NYSE: HC) today announced record net sales of $1.17 billion for the period ended Feb. 28, 1993. Sales increased 15 percent from $1.02 billion the prior year. Record net earnings were $22.1 million, or $2.33 per share, compared with $19.2 million, or $2.04 per share, for the prior year.
 For the fourth quarter, net sales of $334.2 million set a record for any quarter in the company's history and were up 14 percent from $294.3 million the prior year. Net earnings from continuing operations were $7.2 million, or 76 cents per share, compared with $6.5 million, or 69 cents per share, for the prior year.
 Commenting on the fourth quarter and year-end results, Ronald J. Gidwitz, president and chief executive officer of Helene Curtis, said, "We are extremely pleased with our sales and profit growth for both the quarter and the year, especially considering the economic and competitive climate. Our business in all of our product categories, domestically and internationally, grew significantly over both prior year periods."
 In fiscal 1993, Helene Curtis became the market leader in the hair care category in the United States. The company manufactures three of the top four daily hair care brands in the U.S. -- Suave is the country's number one total hair care brand, Salon Selectives is the nation's second and Finesse is the fourth. Helene Curtis also manufactures the world's leading permanent wave brand, Quantum.
 "The major sources for our growth in hair care were the continued strength of our Suave brand, the introduction of Vibrance -- the company's newest brand of shampoos and conditioners which was launched in December 1991 -- and the strength of Salon Selectives, which is up worldwide," Gidwitz added. "Sales for the company's professional products also showed strong increases for the quarter and fiscal year."
 "Fiscal 1993 was also particularly notable because of the continued growth of our antiperspirant/deodorant business," Gidwitz continued, "with our Suave and Degree brands, we dramatically increased our sales for both the quarter and the year and now are the fourth largest company in this category in the U.S."
 Helene Curtis' international operations posted strong sales gains for the fourth quarter and the fiscal years, primarily attributable to increases in Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Sales in international markets grew by approximately 18 percent for the year, accounting for 29 percent of the company's sales.
 Helene Curtis Industries, Inc. is one of the nation's major producers of brand-name personal care products and is the leader in the daily hair care category. The company markets its products to consumers through supermarkets, mass merchandisers and drug stores, and to beauty salons through distributors. Helene Curtis products are sold in more than 100 countries.
 HELENE CURTIS INDUSTRIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Statements of Earnings
 (Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share data)
 Three Months 12 Months
 Periods ended 2/28/93 2/29/92 2/28/93 2/29/92
 Net sales $334,157 $294,268 $1,167,819 $1,019,911
 Costs and Expenses:
 Cost of goods sold 145,132 130,879 518,443 462,757
 Advertising, promotion,
 selling &
 administrative 173,799 148,752 601,117 511,272
 Interest 1,778 2,531 7,767 10,260
 Total 320,709 282,162 1,127,327 984,289
 Earnings before
 income taxes 13,448 12,106 40,492 35,622
 Provision for income
 taxes 6,213 5,569 18,383 16,386
 Net earnings $ 7,235 $ 6,537 $ 22,109 $ 19,236
 Net earnings per share $.76 $.69 $2.33 $2.04
 Weighted average
 number of shares
 outstanding 9,582,170 9,496,482 9,506,541 9,439,493
 Cash dividends per share:
 Common stock $.06 $.05 $.24 $.20
 Class B common stock $.06 $.05 $.19 $.15
 -0- 3/29/93
 /CONTACT: Diane Falanga of Helene Curtis, 312-661-2056; or Keith Owens of Lesnik Public Relations, 312-755-3588, for Helene Curtis/
 (HC)


CO: Helene Curtis Industries, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: HOU SU: ERN

WB -- NY047 -- 0467 03/29/93 11:26 EST
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Date:Mar 29, 1993
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