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NALCO REPORTS RECORD FOURTH QUARTER SALES AND EARNINGS

 NAPERVILLE, Ill., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Nalco Chemical Company (NYSE: NLC) reported that fourth quarter sales increased 7 percent, while earnings from continuing operations increased 10 percent from year-earlier results.
 Sales from continuing operations were up 7 percent to $358.2 million versus sales of $334.6 million from the year-ago quarter. For the year, sales increased 11 percent to a record $1.37 billion compared to 1991 sales of $1.24 billion.
 Earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter were $40.8 million, or 50 cents a share on a fully diluted basis, an increase of 10 percent over earnings of $36.9 million or 45 cents per share a year ago. For the year, earnings from continuing operations were $145.0 million, or $1.79 a share fully diluted, an increase of 8 percent over 1991 earnings of $134.6 million, or $1.67 a share.
 Net earnings for the fourth quarter were also $40.8 million, or 50 cents a share fully diluted, 9 percent higher than the $37.4 million, or 46 cents a share reported a year ago. Net earnings for the year were also $145.0 million, or $1.79 a share on a fully diluted basis, up 5 percent over the $137.8 million, or $1.71 a share last year.
 In the U.S., double-digit sales increases for the fourth quarter were turned in by the Pulp and Paper Chemicals, Utility Chemicals, Mining and Mineral Processing Chemicals, WATERGYR, UNISOLVR and Polymer Groups. Solid performances were also reported by most other domestic groups. Internationally, Nalco Pacific led the way with a strong 21 percent increase in fourth quarter sales. Operations in Indonesia, Singapore, Korea, Japan and Australia had strong double-digit increases. Nalco Latin America recorded a 19 percent jump in fourth quarter sales, with Nalco Produtos Quimicos, Ltd.-Brazil and Nalco de Argentina reporting outstanding increases.
 W. H. Clark, chairman and chief executive officer, said: It appears that the American economy is strengthening and our U.S. operations reflected that in December. Nalco operations in Latin America and the Pacific Rim had strong performances in 1992 and we expect that to continue this year. In Europe, we expect to do well in what may be a weakening economy.
 We are optimistic that 1993 will provide us with many opportunities to expand our business. We are very enthusiastic about our core water treatment business. We believe that the economy will continue to improve in 1993. This improvement should be very good for Nalco. Nalco environmental programs which help in the worldwide recycling and reuse of paper, water, oil and plant waste streams are growing very well.
 Our commitment to the quality improvement process has been further enhanced by the recent ISO 9002 certification of all our major U.S. manufacturing facilities. Twenty-two Nalco sites worldwide are currently certified by this internationally recognized standard of quality assurance, and we are aggressively pursuing this process for our remaining locations in 1993.''
 NALCO CHEMICAL COMPANY
 Summaries of Consolidated Earnings
 (Dollars in thousands, except per share figures)
 Periods ended Dec. 31 Three months ended Year ended
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net sales 358,245 334,623 1,374,529 1,237,291
 Operating costs
 and expenses
 CPS 156,592 148,420 611,476 556,968
 GS and A 131,224 122,481 502,741 453,352
 287,816 270,901 1,114,217 1,010,320
 Operating earnings 70,429 63,722 260,312 226,971
 Other income
 (expense)
 Interest & other income 5,693 3,520 17,954 15,408
 Interest expense (9,333) (8,865) (40,273) (27,140)
 Earnings before taxes 66,789 58,377 237,993 215,239
 Income taxes 25,910 22,000 93,340 84,230
 Earnings from
 consolidated operations 40,879 36,377 144,653 131,009
 Affiliates earnings (126) 549 336 3,577
 Earnings from
 continuing operations 40,753 36,926 144,989 134,586
 Discontinued operations 0 487 0 3,205
 Net earnings 40,753 37,413 144,989 137,791
 Per common share
 Earnings - primary
 Continuing operations .54 .49 1.90 1.78
 Discontinued operations .00 .01 .00 .04
 Net earnings .54 .50 1.90 1.82
 Earnings - fully diluted
 Continuing operations .50 .45 1.79 1.67
 Discontinued operations .00 .01 .00 .04
 Net earnings .50 .46 1.79 1.71
 Cash dividends .21 .21 .84 .83
 Average primary
 shares outstanding 70,944 70,575 70,980 70,377
 Average fully diluted
 shares outstanding 79,211 79,015 79,254 78,937
 -0- 1/26/93
 /CONTACT: Paul Cholette of Nalco Chemical Company, 708-305-1147/
 (NLC)


CO: Nalco Chemical Company ST: Illinois IN: CHM SU: ERN

TM -- NY104 -- 9252 01/26/93 16:13 EST
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Date:Jan 26, 1993
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