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NOLAND COMPANY REPORTS RESULTS

 NOLAND COMPANY REPORTS RESULTS
 NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Noland Company


(NASDAQ-NMS: NOLD) today reported a net loss of $725,000, or 20 cents per share, for 1991 -- the wholesale distribution firms's first unprofitable year since the Great Depression. In 1990, Noland had net income of $3,726,000, or $1.01 per share.
 As previously reported, Noland's sales in 1991 totaled $384,535,000, 10.3 percent below 1990's $428,473,000.
 "Given the kind of business environment we were operating in," said Chairman and President Lloyd U. Noland III, "it should be no surprise that our sales fell by 10.3 percent. The construction industry suffered its sharpest decline in 47 years, and industrial production fell for the first time since 1982. With dismal conditions dominating both construction and manufacturing, demand for our products and services aimed at these key markets plummeted."
 Of the company's four product departments, only Air Conditioning/Refrigeration, which reported brisk sales of replacement air conditioning equipment last summer, matched year-earlier sales levels ($64.2 million versus $63.7 million in 1990).
 Noland said the crucial factor in the company's unprofitable year was "a disastrous first quarter, which resulted from our mistaken belief that the economy would begin to improve early last year." The company suffered a first-quarter 1991 net loss of $839,000, prompting severe cost-cutting measures, including the closing of several unprofitable operations and reductions in manpower. "These reductions allowed us to make a small profit in the second and third quarters," he said.
 For the fourth quarter, the company suffered a $93,000, or three cents per share, net loss, versus fourth-quarter 1990 net income of $533,000, or 15 cents per share. Noland said the fourth-quarter loss reflects a bad-debt experience of $1.6 million, giving the company a record-high $3.7 million in net bad debts for the year.
 "Bankruptcies brought on by the prolonged recession hit the construction industry especially hard," said Noland, "and we were victims of several involving our customers. But we entered 1992 with a cleaner, better-quality accounts receivable than we have had in many years, and believe that our credit losses will return to more historical levels -- provided the current modest recovery in residential construction continues."
 Noland said the company's gross margin of profit declined slightly in 1991, producing a gross profit that was 11.2 percent less than in 1990. "We're not happy with this decline in our rate of profitability," said Noland. "But considering the severe downward pressure on margins throughout the distribution industry, holding our decline to only modest proportions was something of an accomplishment."
 He said 1991 operating expenses were down by nearly two percent, despite the unusually high credit-related charges. But the company still suffered a $3,355,000 loss in operating profit for the year, compared to a $4,341,000 profit in 1990.
 Lower investments in 1991 accounts receivable and inventory, along with lower interest rates on borrowings, led to a 21.5 percent, or $1 million, reduction in interest expense for the year. Total borrowings at the end of 1991 were $1.8 million less than the year-earlier period, despite a $7.1 million investment in buildings, land, and equipment during the year as part of the company's ongoing capital improvement program.
 "Our company remains in excellent financial condition," said Noland. "We continued to have a positive cash flow from operations in 1991; and our debt-to-equity ratio remains very strong."
 Noland said he is "guardedly optimistic" about 1992. "The housing industry is experiencing a modest upturn in activity, and the pent-up demand for housing, along with low mortgage rates and election-year political maneuvering, makes it likely that we will see an increase in business conditions in 1992."
 Noland operates 92 branches in 13 southeastern states, and distributes products in the plumbing, heating, electrical, air conditioning, refrigeration and industrial fields, as well as domestic water systems. The company's stock is traded over the counter, as part of NASDAQ's National Market System. Its trading symbol is NOLD.
 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 Year ended Dec. 31 1991(A) 1990
 Merchandise Sales $384,535,000 $428,473,000
 Net Income (loss) (725,000)(B) $ 3,726,000
 Earnings (loss) Per Share(C) ($.20)(B) $ 1.01
 For the Three Months Ended Dec. 31
 Merchandise Sales $94,113,000 $98,448,000
 Net Income (loss) (93,000)(B) 533,000
 Earnings (loss) per share(C) ($.03)(B) $ .15
 (A) 1991 results have not been audited and are subject to year-end adjustments.
 (B) Changes in the company's retirement plan affected net pension costs in 1991. These changes had the effect of decreasing net earnings in the fourth quarter and the year by $268,000, or 7 cents per share, and $790,000, or 21 cents per share, respectively.
 (C) Based on 3,700,876 shares outstanding in both 1990 and 1991.
 -0- 2/19/92
 /CONTACT: John E. Gullett, Noland Company, 804-928-9000/
 (NOLD) CO: Noland Company ST: Virginia IN: SU: ERN


CM -- CH005 -- 0622 02/19/92 16:30 EST
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Date:Feb 19, 1992
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