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MIDWEST GRAIN REPORTS SOLID THIRD QUARTER PRODUCTION; PROFITS AFFECTED BY INCREASED WHEAT COSTS

 MIDWEST GRAIN REPORTS SOLID THIRD QUARTER PRODUCTION;
 PROFITS AFFECTED BY INCREASED WHEAT COSTS
 ATCHISON, Kan., May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Ladd Seaberg, president and CEO of Midwest Grain Products, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: MWGP), today reported strong production and sales during the company's third quarter, which ended March 31. However, he said, third quarter profitability was weakened by a large increase in raw material costs for wheat, which averaged 35 percent more per bushel than during the same period a year ago.
 "We are very encouraged by the increased production our company experienced in the third quarter and by current indications that this situation is continuing," Seaberg said. More encouragement, he added, "is provided by recent declines in wheat prices and possibilities for a good wheat harvest this summer."
 Net income for the company's third quarter was $2,293,000, or 45 cents per share on sales of $55,687,000. This was down slightly from last year's third quarter net income of $3,025,000, or 46 cents per share on sales of $48,352,000, and included non-recurring, non- operating income from an energy refund and from the sale of the company's carbon dioxide processing equipment in Atchison to Liquid Air Corp., Walnut Creek, Calif.
 For the first nine months of fiscal 1992, Midwest's net income was $9,709,000, or $1.49 per share on sales of $165,166,000. That represents a considerable increase above results for the first nine months of last year, when the company posted net income of $8,021,000, or $1.23 per share on sales of $141,314,000.
 Seaberg expressed optimism about the steady increase the company has been experiencing in demand for its vital wheat gluten. Unit sales of wheat gluten climbed 30 percent above last year's third quarter and 5 percent above this year's second quarter. The price for gluten also increased, but not at the rate of the higher raw material costs.
 "Our priority continues to be to keep costs to our customers as low as reasonably possible while building our market presence as the most efficient and reliable supplier," Seaberg said. "Our ability to place even more emphasis on this priority has been strengthened with the recently completed expansion of our wheat gluten plant in Pekin, Ill."
 The expansion at the Pekin plant, combined with one that is expected to be completed this month at the company's Atchison plant, will increase Midwest's total gluten production capacity by 50 percent.
 Seaberg also announced that the company has begun improvements to its flour mill, including the installation of new equipment "that will better serve our needs for flour for internal use in the production of gluten."
 Unit sales of the company's premium wheat starch in the third quarter were even with those for the same period a year ago, Seaberg said. The price for wheat starch was up just slightly compared to last year's third quarter and consistent with this year's second quarter.
 Midwest's total alcohol unit sales increased 14 percent above fiscal 1991's third quarter and 3 percent above fiscal 1992's second quarter. According to Seaberg, the largest increases occurred in the fuel and high grade industrial alcohol categories. Beverage alcohol unit sales, he said, were up considerably over last year's third quarter and almost equal to this year's second quarter sales. Prices for beverage and high grade industrial alcohol were down compared to a year ago, while the fuel alcohol price rose slightly.
 -0- 5/6/92
 /CONTACT: Steve Pickman of Midwest Grain Products, 913-367-1480/
 (MWGP) CO: Midwest Grain Products, Inc. ST: Kansas IN: SU:


MH-DC -- DC021 -- 7046 05/06/92 11:34 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 6, 1992
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