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NALCO REPORTS HIGHER FIRST QUARTER SALES/EARNINGS

 NALCO REPORTS HIGHER FIRST QUARTER SALES/EARNINGS
 NAPERVILLE, Ill., April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Nalco Chemical Company


(NYSE: NLC) reported higher sales and earnings today at its annual shareholders' meeting.
 Sales from continuing operations during the first quarter were up 22 percent to $326.4 million over restated sales of $267.7 million from a year ago. This increase included sales from the acquisition of five former affiliated companies.
 Net earnings for the first quarter were $33.0 million, or 41 cents a share fully diluted, 5 percent higher than the $31.4 million or 39 cents a share last year.
 The Water and Waste Treatment Division's performance was especially gratifying. All of the units reported improved sales with some groups approaching double-digit sales increases. Other U.S. operations also recorded improved sales paced by a strong increase by the Absorbent Chemicals Group. The Petroleum Chemicals Division turned in a double digit sales gain which included solid performances by the Additives, RPC Chemicals, and Visco Chemicals Groups. The company's Pulp and Paper Chemicals Group also recorded a near double-digit sales gain during the quarter. International Operations continued to lead all business units with a 44 percent sales increase mainly resulting from including sales from the acquisition.
 Commenting on operations, W. H. Clark, chairman and chief executive officer said, "We are very encouraged by the results considering the slow economy and difficult worldwide economic conditions. We took several very meaningful steps during 1991 to strategically improve shareholder value. We acquired our former partner Imperial Chemical Industries' share in five joint venture companies, and our first quarter results reflect the continuing impact of this unification. We also made the decision to sell our domestic subsidiaries: Day-Glo Color Corp., Adco Products, Inc., and The Penray Companies. We invested internally in our core businesses by adding to the various sales forces. Each of these steps will help Nalco continue its tradition of excellence.
 "We look forward to a good year as all our business units have set realistic, manageable goals. They have strategies in place that are designed to improve our customers' return on investment and provide the best chemical programs and services in the chemical industry."
 The board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 21 cents a share, payable June 10, 1992 to shareholders of record May 20, 1992.
 NALCO CHEMICAL COMPANY
 Summaries of Consolidated Earnings
 (In thousands except per share figures)
 Three months ended March 31 1992 1991
 Net sales 326,415 267,710
 Operating costs and expenses
 CPS 146,757 120,760
 SG&A 118,782 100,377
 Total 265,539 221,137
 Operating earnings 60,876 46,573
 Other income (expense)
 Interest income 4,658 4,481
 Interest expense (10,346) (3,659)
 Earnings before taxes 55,188 47,395
 Income taxes 21,730 19,010
 Earnings from consolidated operations 33,458 28,385
 Equity in earnings -
 Affiliated companies (415) 2,880
 Earnings from continuing operations 33,043 31,265
 Discontinued operations, net of taxes -- 155
 Net earnings 33,043 31,420
 Per common share
 Earnings - primary
 Continuing operations $.43 $.41
 Discontinued operations -- --
 Net earnings .43 .41
 Earnings - fully diluted
 Continuing operations .41 .39
 Discontinued operations -- --
 Net earnings $.41 $.39
 Cash dividends $.21 $.20
 Average primary shares outstanding 70,966 70,031
 Average fully diluted shares outstanding 79,243 78,404
 -0- 4/23/92
 /CONTACT: Andrew A. Rauwerda, 708-305-1275 or Charles A. Goding, 708-305-1276, both of Nalco Chemical/
 (NLC) CO: Nalco Chemical Corp. ST: Illinois IN: CHM SU: ERN


TS -- NY088 -- 6410 04/23/92 12:38 EDT
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Date:Apr 23, 1992
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