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HELENE CURTIS REPORTS RECORD SALES OF $322 MILLION AND RECORD EARNINGS PER SHARE OF 87 CENTS FOR SECOND QUARTER

 HELENE CURTIS REPORTS RECORD SALES OF $322 MILLION AND
 RECORD EARNINGS PER SHARE OF 87 CENTS FOR SECOND QUARTER
 CHICAGO, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Helene Curtis Industries, Inc. (NYSE: HC) today announced second quarter sales from continuing operations of $322.1 million for the period ended Aug. 31, an 18 percent increase over $273.2 million for the prior-year period and a record for any quarter in the company's history.
 The company reported record quarterly net earnings from continuing operations of $8.2 million, or 87 cents per share, compared with net earnings of $7 million, or 75 cents per share in the second quarter last year, also a record for any quarter in the company's history.
 For the first six months of the current fiscal year, net sales rose 14 percent to $567.2 million from $497.1 million in last year's period. Earnings from continuing operations advanced to $10.7 million, or $1.13 per share, compared with $9.3 million, or 99 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
 Commenting on the second quarter and first half results, Ronald J. Gidwitz, president and chief executive officer of Helene Curtis, said, "Sales have grown significantly -- 18 percent for the quarter and 14 percent for the first half of fiscal 1993. Our sales increase in the second quarter is primarily attributable to the successful introduction of Vibrance -- our newest brand of shampoos and conditioners -- which is on target with our expectations; strong gains for Suave in all categories in which it competes; and substantial sales increases for Degree antiperspirant/deodorant worldwide. For the year, we expect sales will increase by approximately 15 percent. Earnings should also grow, driven by top-line growth.
 "Our Consumer Products Division achieved solid sales growth through the first two quarters," Gidwitz said. "Sales for the company's Professional Division are in line with the company's expectations for the fiscal year."
 Additionally, Helene Curtis' international operations posted strong sales gains for the second quarter and first half of the fiscal year. Sales in international markets grew by approximately 25 percent for the quarter, accounting for 27 percent of the company's total sales.
 During the second quarter, Helene Curtis became the first leading personal care company in the United States to use recycled plastic in its shampoo and conditioner packaging. The company's Salon Selectives brand shampoos and conditioners are now being shipped in new bottles made with post-consumer recycled plastic.
 The company manufactures the top three daily hair care brands in the United States -- Suave is the country's number-one total hair care brand, Salon Selectives is the nation's second and Finesse is the third.
 Helene Curtis Industries, Inc. is one of the nation's major producers of brand-name personal care products. The company markets its products to consumers through supermarkets, mass merchandisers and drug stores, and to beauty salons through distributors across the United States. Helene Curtis products are sold in more than 100 countries.
 HELENE CURTIS INDUSTRIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Statements of Earnings (Unaudited)
 (Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share data)
 Periods ended Three Months Six Months
 Aug. 31 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net sales $322,069 $273,224 $567,212 $497,079
 Costs and expenses:
 Cost of goods sold 143,985 124,509 255,280 228,121
 Advertising, pro-
 motion, selling &
 administrative 161,044 133,204 287,972 246,485
 Interest 2,129 2,529 4,524 5,299
 Total 307,158 260,242 547,776 479,905
 Earnings from cont.
 operations before
 income taxes 14,911 12,982 19,436 17,174
 Provision for
 income taxes 6,710 5,972 8,746 7,900
 Earnings from cont.
 operations 8,201 7,010 10,690 9,274
 Loss from discontinued
 operations, net of
 income taxes -- -- -- --
 Net earnings 8,201 7,010 10,690 9,274
 Net earnings per share:
 Continuing operations $.87 $.75 $1.13 $.99
 Discontinued operations -- -- -- --
 Net earnings per share $.87 $.75 $1.13 $.99
 Weighted average
 number of shares
 outstanding 9,446,607 9,400,147 9,471,533 9,387,633
 Cash dividends per share
 Common stock $.06 $.05 $.12 $.10
 Class B Common stock $.06 $.05 $.07 $.05
 Twelve months ended Aug. 31 1992 1991
 Net sales $1,090,044 $951,794
 Costs and expenses:
 Cost of goods sold 489,916 428,691
 Advertising, promotion,
 selling & administrative 552,759 481,758
 Interest 9,485 11,078
 Total 1,052,160 921,527
 Earnings from cont. operat from continuing opers. 20,652 13,303
 Loss from discontinued
 operations, net of
 income taxes -- (3,292)
 Net earnings 20,652 10,672
 Net earnings per share:
 Continuing operations $2.18 $1.50
 Discontinued operations -- (.36)
 Net earnings per share $2.18 $1.14
 Weighted average number of
 shares outstanding 9,481,443 9,362,021
 Cash dividends per share
 Common stock $.22 $.20
 Class B Common stock $.17 $.15
 -0- 9/29/92
 /CONTACT: Diane Falanga of Helene Curtis, 312-661-2056, or Keith Owens of Lesnik Public Relations, 708-291-1080, for Helene Curtis/
 (HC) CO: Helene Curtis Industries, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: HOU SU: ERN


CK -- NY037 -- 4330 09/29/92 11:04 EDT
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Date:Sep 29, 1992
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