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NORTHERN TELECOM REPORTS RECORD 1991 RESULTS

              NORTHERN TELECOM REPORTS RECORD 1991 RESULTS
    TORONTO, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Northern Telecom Limited (NYSE: NT)


today reported preliminary record results for earnings, revenues and orders for the fourth quarter and for 1991.
    Northern Telecom, a leading telecommunications research and manufacturing firm, reported earnings per common share for the fourth quarter of 1991 of US$.83, up 11 percent over the US$.75 per common share earned in the fourth quarter of 1990. Net earnings applicable to common shares in the fourth quarter of 1991 were US$204 million as compared with US$182 million in the fourth quarter of 1990.
    Fourth quarter revenues of US$2.31 billion increased 23 percent over the US$1.88 billion reported for the same quarter in 1990.
    Order input for the 1991 fourth quarter was US$2.31 billion, an increase of 21 percent from US$1.90 billion reported for the fourth quarter of 1990. Orders on hand at Dec. 31, 1991 were US$3.02 billion, an increase of 42 percent from year end 1990.
    Revenues for 1991 were US$8.18 billion, up 21 percent from the US$6.77 billion reported for 1990. Order input for 1991 of US$8.05 billion increased 17 percent from US$6.91 billion in 1990. Earnings per common share were US$2.03, up 13 percent from US$1.80 in 1990. Net earnings applicable to common shares for 1991 were US$497 million, up 14 percent from the US$436 million reported in 1990.
    Dr. Paul G. Stern, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Northern Telecom, said, "Given the difficult global economic environment and increasing international competition, we are pleased with our 1991 performance. We managed the reorganization of the company into geographic marketing, sales and service entities and global product organizations without any measurable negative financial impact on the business. Additionally, the acquisition of STC PLC of the United Kingdom, effective in March 1991, and its subsequent integration into Northern Telecom's operations progressed smoothly. The increasing global acceptance of our products and continued network modernization in many countries were keys to our success."
    Revenues from all geographic areas increased in the fourth quarter of 1991 as compared with 1990. For the total year 1991, United States and international revenues increased with Canadian revenues lower due to the recession and a Canadian tax law change, effective Jan. 1, 1991, that resulted in the exclusion of federal sales tax from reported revenues. International revenues contributed the largest dollar increase and percentage gain in the fourth quarter and 1991 as compared with 1990.
    Revenues from all product lines recorded growth for both the fourth quarter and total year 1991. Business communication systems recorded the largest dollar increase for the fourth quarter of 1991 driven by international growth, and the cable product line recorded the largest percentage gain with strong performance from the submarine systems group. For total year 1991, central office switching recorded the largest dollar increase, while the cable product line recorded a strong percentage increase as a result of including STC's submarine systems group.
    Selling, general and administrative expenses in the fourth quarter of 1991 increased to US$459 million compared with US$321 million a year earlier. These expenses increased as a percentage of revenue to 19.9 percent from 17.1 percent in 1990. For total year 1991, selling, general and administrative expenses were US$1.60 billion compared to US$1.25 billion in 1990 and represented 19.5 percent of revenue as compared with 18.4 percent in 1990. These expenses increased mainly due to planned growth in worldwide sales and marketing organizations.
    Spending on research and development in the fourth quarter of 1991 increased to US$246 million from US$212 million in 1990 and was 10.7 percent of revenue as compared with 11.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 1990. For total year 1991, research and development spending increased to US$948 million from US$774 million in 1990 and represented 11.6 percent of 1991 revenue as compared with 11.4 percent in 1990.
    Commenting on the outlook for the coming year, Dr. Stern said, "We see the global recession continuing through at least the first half of 1992 with the potential of modest growth later in the year. Nevertheless, our achievements in 1991 support our goal of continued improved performance in 1992, even though we expect lower revenues in Canada."
    Northern Telecom common shares are listed on the New York, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, London and Tokyo stock exchanges.
                        NORTHERN TELECOM LIMITED
            Fourth Quarter Consolidated Results (unaudited)
           (U.S. dollars, millions except per share figures)
    Periods ended                 Three months             Year
     Dec. 31,                 1991          1990     1991       1990
    Revenues                $2,306.5     $1,881.1  $8,182.5   $6,768.7
    Cost of revenues         1,300.7      1,088.6   4,760.8    4,081.9
    Gross profit             1,005.8        792.5   3,421.7    2,686.8
    Selling, general and
     administrative expense    458.7        321.3   1,596.2    1,248.4
    Research and development
     expense                   246.1        211.5     948.3      773.7
    Goodwill amortization       14.8           --      43.2         --
    Operating earnings         286.2        259.7     834.0      664.7
    Investment and other
     income (net)               35.0          1.9      98.9       44.6
    Interest charges
      Long-term debt           (33.8)       (13.3)   (140.7)     (51.7)
      Other                    (18.5)        (7.2)    (80.3)     (28.3)
    Currency exchange
     gains (losses)             14.1          3.4      (1.7)     (10.7)
    Earnings before
     income taxes              283.0        244.5     710.2      618.6
    Provision for income
     taxes                      75.0         56.8     195.3      158.4
    Net earnings               208.0        187.7     514.9      460.2
    Dividends on preferred
     shares                      3.8          6.1      18.4       24.2
    Net earnings applicable
     to common shares        $ 204.2     $  181.6   $ 496.5    $ 436.0
    Earnings per common
     share(A)                 $  .83      $  .75     $ 2.03     $ 1.80
    Dividends declared per
     common share             $  .08      $  .08     $  .32     $  .30
    Effective tax
     rate (in percents)         26.5        23.2       27.5       25.6
    (A) Based on wtd. avg. no.
      of common shares
      outstanding (millions)   245.4       243.1      244.6      242.5
    -0-                   1/21/92
    /CONTACT:  Guy Gill or Gary Brandt of Northern Telecom Limited, 416-566-3098/
    (NT) CO:  Northern Telecom ST:  Ontario IN:  TLS SU:  ERN SH -- NY024 -- 1741 01/21/92 10:55 EST
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Date:Jan 21, 1992
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