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IMC FERTILIZER SAYS SECOND QUARTER EARNINGS HURT BY WEAK PRICES AND HARVEST DELAYS

 NORTHBROOK, Ill., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- IMC Fertilizer Group, Inc. (NYSE: IFL) today reported net earnings of $3.9 million, or 18 cents per share for the second quarter of fiscal 1992/93 ended Dec. 31.
 That result compares with net earnings of $23.6 million, or $1.07 per share for the same period last year.
 Net earnings for the company's first six months of fiscal 1993 were $23.6 million, or $1.07 per share, compared with net earnings, before a previously announced accounting change, or $44.8 million, or $2.03 per share for the same period a year ago.
 Sales for the second quarter and six months were $197.5 million and $418.4 million respectively, compared with $252.6 million and $511.3 million respectively in 1991/92.
 "Clearly, the second quarter results are very disappointing, and reflect the continued depressed pricing of major products, especially concentrated phosphates, that has frustrated our entire industry for nearly a year," according to Billie B. Turner, IMC Fertilizer chairman and chief executive officer.
 "While depressed prices remain our most significant challenge, another key factor contributing to the poor results reported today was the adverse weather conditions throughout much of the major U.S. farming regions," Turner explained. "Late harvests and unseasonable weather combined to severely reduce normal fall fertilizer applications.
 "Our company has some of the most efficient operations in the industry, but lower production rates usually mean higher costs. That's why cost-containment programs remain a key part of our corporate strategy."
 IMC fertilizer is one of the world's leading producers of two basic crop nutrients, phosphate rock and potash. 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 Six Months
 Dec. 31 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net sales $197.5 $252.6 $418.4 $511.3
 Cost of goods sold 165.1 187.4 334.2 389.1
 Gross margins 32.4 65.2 84.2 122.2
 Selling, administrative
 and general expenses 13.8 13.9 30.0 27.5
 Other operating (income)
 and expense, net(A) (1.3) (1.0) (14.4) (1.5)
 Operating earnings 19.9 52.3 68.6 96.2
 Interest earned and other
 non-operating (income)
 and expense, net 3.0 4.1 6.5 3.7
 Interest charges 10.0 11.4 20.7 22.3
 Earnings before
 income taxes 6.9 36.8 41.4 70.2
 Provision for income taxes 3.0 13.2 17.8 25.4
 Earnings before
 cumulative effect of
 accounting change 3.9 23.6 23.6 44.8
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting change (C) -- -- -- (165.5)
 Net earnings (loss) 3.9 23.6 23.6 (120.7)
 Earnings (Loss) Per Share: (B)
 Earnings before cumulative
 effect of accounting change $.18 $1.07 $1.07 $2.03
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting change (C) -- -- -- (7.51)
 Net earnings (loss) $.18 $1.07 $1.07 $(5.48)
 (A) Included a gain of $8.1 million from the settlement of a contract dispute in August 1992.
 (B) Earnings per share were based in the weighted average number of shares and equivalent share outstanding. Shares used in the computations totaled 22.1 million shares for the quarters and six months ended Dec. 31, 1992 and 1991.
 (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- 1/14/92
 /CONTACT: Financial, John Galvin, 708-205-4814, or press, Tom Pasztor, 708-205-4801, of IMC Fertilizer/
 (IFL)


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

KD-SM -- NY014 -- 4756 01/14/93 09:59 EST
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Date:Jan 14, 1993
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