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IMC FERTILIZER REPORTS PER-SHARE GAIN OF 6 PERCENT, SEES FAVORABLE SECOND HALF OUTLOOK

 IMC FERTILIZER REPORTS PER-SHARE GAIN OF 6 PERCENT,
 SEES FAVORABLE SECOND HALF OUTLOOK
 NORTHBROOK, Ill., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- IMC Fertilizer Group, Inc. (NYSE: IFL), today reported net earnings of $22.1 million, or $1.00 per share, for the second quarter of fiscal 1991/92 ended Dec. 31.
 That result represents a 6 percent improvement over the 94 cents per share reported for the same period a year ago. Second quarter net earnings last year were $24.9 million.
 Net earnings for the company's first six months of fiscal 1991/92 were $42.1 million, or $1.91 per share, compared with $47.9 million, or $1.81 per share, reported for the first half a year ago.
 Sales for the second quarter and six months were $252.6 million and $511.3 million, respectively, compared with $276.4 million and $542.5 million in 1990/91.
 "The performance reported for the second quarter reflects a continuation of some of the same market conditions which impacted the company's first quarter...flat sales volumes, softening prices and a combination of pluses and minuses in the cost area," according to Billie B. Turner, IMCF chairman and chief executive officer.
 "Phosphate rock and potash contributed to the results achieved during the period. Concentrated phosphate volumes showed some improvement from a year ago; lower sulphur costs were offset by weaker prices."
 Turner said that, despite a disappointing first half, conditions remain favorable for a good spring season in the U.S. fertilizer market and renewed activity in the international area.
 "Near-record U.S. farm income and very tight domestic and world grain stocks (lowest in more than 15 years) are expected to encourage increased plantings of corn, feedgrains and wheat in the U.S. this year. Those factors are expected to contribute to an increase in domestic fertilizer usage in 1992," Turner explained. "Most of that gain must come in the traditional spring season. With system inventories lower than usual, the industry will be tested to deliver that tonnage in a short period.
 "Fertilizer companies such as IMC Fertilizer, with proven distribution capabilities, would benefit under such market conditions."
 The IMC Fertilizer chief executive also reported the company's Main Pass sulphur joint venture off the Louisiana Gulf Coast continues on schedule, with startup of sulphur production expected this spring.
 "Oil and natural gas production began during the recent quarter, and initial operating performance has been encouraging," Turner said.
 IMC Fertilizer Group, Inc., is one of the world's leading private enterprise producers of two basic fertilizer materials, phosphate rock and potash, and a manufacturer of concentrated phosphates and ammonia. The company also produces oil and natural gas, and recovers uranium oxide for upgrading by electric utilities for use in nuclear power plants.
 IMC FERTILIZER GROUP, INC.
 (In millions except per share amounts)
 Periods ended Quarter Six Months
 Dec. 31 1991 1990 1991 1990
 Net sales $252.6 $276.4 $511.3 $542.5
 Cost of goods sold 187.4 209.0 389.1 414.9
 Gross margins 65.2 67.4 122.2 127.6
 SG&A expenses 13.9 15.8 27.5 28.8
 Other operating (income)
 and expense, net (1.0) (.2) (1.5) (.4)
 Operating earnings 52.3 51.8 96.2 99.2
 Interest earned and other
 non-operating (income) and
 expense, net 4.1 .9 3.7 1.0
 Interest charges 11.4 9.4 22.3 18.8
 Earnings from operations
 before income taxes 36.8 41.5 70.2 79.4
 Provision for income taxes 14.7 16.6 28.1 31.5
 Net earnings 22.1 24.9 42.1 47.9
 Earnings per share (A) $1.00 $.94 $1.91 $1.81
 (A) -- Earnings per share were based on the weighted average number of shares and equivalent shares outstanding. Shares used in the calculations were 22.1 million shares for the quarter and six months ended Dec. 31, 1991, and 26.4 million shares for the quarter and six months ended Dec. 31, 1990.
 -0- 1/14/92
 /CONTACT: Tom Unzicker (media), 708-205-4839, or John E. Galvin (financial), 708-205-4814, both of IMC Fertilizer/
 (IFL) CO: IMC Fertilizer Group, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: CHM SU: ERN


GK-TS -- NY014 -- 9449 01/14/92 10:06 EST
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Date:Jan 14, 1992
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