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IMC FERTILIZER REPORTS THIRD QUARTER LOSS, ANNOUNCES DIVIDEND SUSPENDED

 NORTHBROOK, Ill., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- IMC Fertilizer Group, Inc. (NYSE: IFL) today reported a net loss of $113.7 million, or $5.15 per share, for the third quarter ended March 31, 1993.
 The loss includes a previously reported charge of $108.5 million, or $4.91 per share, attributable to the recent settlement of all claims brought against the company by Angus Chemical Company, its insurance carriers and personal injury claims. These matters stem from the May 1991 explosion at a nitroparaffin plant owned by Angus but operated by IMC Fertilizer.
 As a result of the third quarter's sizeable loss, the company's board of directors today voted to suspend the dividend for the quarter ending June 30.
 The net loss compares with net earnings of $38.5 million, or $1.74 per share, for the same period last year. Net earnings for the year-ago quarter included $18.2 million, or 82 cents per share, from the sale of the company's ammonia production facility at Sterlington, La.
 For the first nine months of fiscal 1993, excluding the settlement charge, the company reported net earnings of $18.4 million, or 83 cents per share. For the same period a year ago the company reported net earnings of $83.3 million, or $3.77 per share, before a previously announced accounting change.
 Sales for the third quarter and nine months were $222.8 million and $641.2 million, respectively, compared with $267.5 million and $778.8 million for the comparable periods in fiscal 1992.
 "The sizeable financial impact of the lawsuit settlement can obscure its stabilizing effect on IMC Fertilizer," emphasized Wendell F. Bueche, president and chief executive officer. "By settling this matter we overcame a major impediment to proceeding with our operating strategies. We can once again focus more completely on serving our customers and managing our resources."
 Past and ongoing efforts to reduce costs through work force reductions and other corporate-wide cash conservation measures continue to be beneficial, noted Bueche. "Nonetheless, the settlement's financial demands, coupled with continued weakness in fertilizer prices, made it necessary to suspend the dividend," he said.
 Commenting on market conditions, Bueche said that phosphate chemical prices, already at unsatisfactory levels at the beginning of the quarter, continued to erode and added to the company's loss for the period.
 "Our previously announced shutdowns of some mining and processing operations will both reduce our inventories and our costs," said Bueche. "However, we will continue to take the aggressive steps needed to accelerate a return to more satisfactory pricing levels."
 IMC Fertilizer is one of the world's leading producers of phosphate rock and potash, two basic crop nutrients. It also is the world's largest manufacturer of concentrated phosphates, and a producer of sulphur, oil and natural gas.
 IMC FERTILIZER GROUP, INC.
 (in millions except per share amounts)
 Periods ended Three Months Nine Months
 March 31 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Net sales $ 222.8 $ 267.5 $ 641.2 $ 778.8
 Cost of goods sold 201.9 208.6 536.1 597.7
 Gross margins 20.9 58.9 105.1 181.1
 Selling, administrative
 and general expenses 14.0 15.9 44.0 43.4
 Other operating (income)
 and expense, net (A) 170.1 (35.1) 155.7 (36.6)
 Operating earnings (loss) (163.2) 78.1 (94.6) 174.3
 Interest earned and other
 non-operating (income)
 and expense, net .3 3.7 6.8 7.4
 Interest charges 10.3 12.0 31.0 34.3
 Earnings (loss) before
 income taxes (173.8) 62.4 (132.4) 132.6
 Provision for income taxes (60.1) 23.9 (42.3) 49.3
 Earnings (loss) before
 cumulative effect of
 accounting change (113.7) 38.5 (90.1) 83.3
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting change (C) -- -- -- (165.5)
 Net earnings (loss) $(113.7) $ 38.5 $ (90.1) $ (82.2)
 Earns. (loss) per share (B):
 Earns. before cum. effect
 of accounting change $(5.15) $ 1.74 $(4.08) $ 3.77
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting change (C) -- -- -- (7.50)
 Net earnings (loss) $(5.15) $ 1.74 $(4.08) $(3.73)
 (A) -- Included a charge of $169.1 million attributable to a recent settlement of all claims brought against the company by Angus Chemical Company, its insurance carriers and personal injury claims. Partially offsetting this charge was a gain of $8.1 million from the settlement of a uranium contract dispute in August 1992. The third quarter of 1992 included a gain of $34.2 million from the sale of the company's ammonia production facility.
 (B) -- Earnings per share were based on the weighted average number of shares and equivalent shares outstanding. Shares used in the computations totaled 22.1 million shares for the quarter and nine months ended March 31, 1993, and 22.2 and 22.1 million shares for the quarter and nine months ended March 31, 1992.
 (C) -- Reflected the cumulative effect of an accounting change for periods prior to July 1, 1991, resulting from the adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes."
 -0- 4/15/93
 /CONTACT: John E. Galvin (financial), 708-205-4814, or Thomas C. Pasztor (media), 708-205-4801, both of IMC Fertilizer/
 (IFL)


CO: IMC Fertilizer Group, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: CHM SU: ERN

GK-KW -- NY070 -- 0874 04/15/93 13:29 EDT
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