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MULTIFOODS POSTS EARNINGS INCREASE IN THIRD QUARTER

 MULTIFOODS POSTS EARNINGS INCREASE IN THIRD QUARTER


Net earnings up 10 percent for quarter; 14 percent for nine months.
 MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- International Multifoods Corp. (NYSE: IMC) today reported third quarter net earnings of $15.4 million, or $.79 per common share, up 10 percent over a strong third quarter a year ago. Net sales for the quarter ended Nov. 30, 1991, were up 10 percent to $635 million.
 For the nine months, net earnings rose 14 percent to $30.7 million, or $1.57 per share. Net sales improved 5 percent to $1.7 billion.
 "We are pleased with the overall results we have been able to achieve in this sluggish economy," said Tony Luiso, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "In this environment, we have concentrated on improving efficiencies and are taking a more aggressive approach to marketing our products and services. We also benefited during the quarter from the expansion of our specialty distribution and Canadian Foods businesses."
 For the quarter, sales in U.S. Foodservice increased 9 percent to $432.3 million due to expansion in new and existing markets in specialty distribution. Earnings were up 4 percent to $13.6 million despite higher ingredient costs in surimi seafood and volume declines in meat products related mainly to the recession. The earnings improvement came from the growth in specialty distribution and lower selling, general and administrative costs.
 In Canadian Foods, sales rose 14 percent to $79.9 million, and earnings increased 8 percent to $9.4 million. Strong volume growth was achieved in consumer foods as a result of aggressive marketing programs and the acquisition this summer of Habitant, the leading brand of pickles and relishes in Quebec. Margins in industrial foods were unfavorably impacted by competitive pricing pressures in the industrial flour market.
 Venezuelan Foods posted a 12 percent improvement in sales to $53.2 million with volume growth in most product categories. Earnings were down 10 percent to $5.8 million due to higher selling, general and administrative costs and lower margins due in part to competitive pricing principally in wheat flour. For the first nine months, earnings in Venezuelan Foods were $16.2 million, about even with a year ago, and are expected to be up slightly for the year.
 As expected, the company's results for the third quarter also benefited from a lower effective tax rate.
 After the close of the third quarter, Multifoods completed the sale of its North American Agriculture businesses. For the third quarter, this segment reported a 10 percent increase in sales to $69.6 million. Earnings were up 11 percent to $5.3 million.
 As reported in early December, the sale of the agribusinesses for $146 million in cash will result in a gain for Multifoods in the fourth quarter. The company is reviewing potential charges which could reduce or offset the impact of the gain on this year's earnings, and which could lessen the effect of the divestiture on future results. Proceeds from the sale were used to reduce debt.
 "The sale of our agribusinesses was an important strategic move," said Luiso, "and one that provides us with greater opportunity to invest in and develop our core food businesses."
 Minneapolis-based International Multifoods is a diversified food company with major operations in the United States, Canada and Venezuela.
 INTERNATIONAL MULTIFOODS CORPORATION EARNINGS DIGEST
 (Unaudited)
 (Dollar amounts in millions, except E.P.S.)
 Third Quarter Ended PERCENT
 11/30/91 11/30/90 CHANGE
 NET SALES:
 U.S. Foodservice $432.3 $396.2 9
 Canadian Foods 79.9 70.2 14
 North American Agriculture 69.6 63.3 10
 Venezuelan Foods 53.2 47.6 12
 Consolidated Net Sales $635.0 $577.3 10
 OPERATING EARNINGS:
 U.S. Foodservice $13.6 $13.1 4
 Canadian Foods 9.4 8.7 8
 North American Agriculture 5.3 4.7 11
 Venezuelan Foods 5.8 6.5 -10
 Total Operating Earnings 34.1 33.0 3
 Amortization of Intangibles -2.2 -2.1 -
 Interest, Net -4.5 -4.4 2
 Corporate and Other -0.5 -0.2 -
 Earnings Before Income Taxes 26.9 26.3 2
 Income Taxes -11.5 -12.3 -7
 Net Earnings $15.4 $14.0 10
 Earnings Per Common Share $0.79 $0.72 10
 Average Common Shares
 Outstanding 19,465,888 19,372,689 1
 INTERNATIONAL MULTIFOODS CORPORATION EARNINGS DIGEST
 (Unaudited)
 (Dollar amounts in millions, except E.P.S.)
 Nine Months Ended PERCENT
 11/30/91 11/30/90 CHANGE
 NET SALES:
 U.S. Foodservice $1,186.9 $1,132.0 5
 Canadian Foods 194.4 184.8 5
 North American Agriculture 192.1 185.0 4
 Venezuelan Foods 156.3 148.3 5
 Consolidated Net Sales $1,729.7 $1,650.1 5
 OPERATING EARNINGS:
 U.S. Foodservice $32.7 $30.5 7
 Canadian Foods 17.5 15.8 11
 North American Agriculture 10.9 9.9 10
 Venezuelan Foods 16.2 16.4 -2
 Total Operating Earnings 77.3 72.6 6
 Amortization of Intangibles -6.3 -6.7 -7
 Interest, Net -15.1 -16.1 -6
 Corporate and Other -1.9 1.1 (1) -
 Earnings Before Income Taxes 54.0 50.9 6
 Income Taxes -23.3 -24.1 -3
 Net Earnings $30.7 $26.8 14
 Earnings Per Common Share $1.57 $1.38 14
 Average Common Shares
 Outstanding 19,507,728 19,354,350 1
 (1) Fiscal 1991 includes $5.5 million gain from sale of Mister Donut, partially offset by $4.5 million in consolidation costs for U.S. specialty meat operations. There is no net after-tax impact of these items on net earnings and earnings per share.
 -0- 12/19/91
 /CONTACT: Linda K. Berg (media), 612-340-3755, or Yolanda M. Scharton (investors), 612/340-3621, both of International Multifoods/
 (IMC) CO: International Multifoods ST: Minnesota IN: FOD SU: ERN


KH -- MN001 -- 3715 12/19/91 08:50 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 19, 1991
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