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OVERSUPPLIED MARKETS CONTINUE TO OVERSHADOW OPERATING IMPROVEMENTS AT ABITIBI-PRICE

              OVERSUPPLIED MARKETS CONTINUE TO OVERSHADOW
                OPERATING IMPROVEMENTS AT ABITIBI-PRICE
    TORONTO, April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Abitibi-Price Inc. (NYSE: ABY) today reported a net loss for the three months ended March 31, 1992 of $41.6 million or 61 cents per common share on sales of $650 million, compared to its 1991 same quarter loss of $5.5 million or 9 cents per share on sales of $726 million.
    Excess industry capacity continues to plague newsprint, uncoated groundwood and coated papers markets throughout North America.  New production facilities built during the last two years combined with continuing weak demand to produce severe pricing pressures, damaging the industry's sales, operating profits and cash flows.
    Ron Oberlander, president and chief executive officer of the company expressed frustration with the continuing deterioration in the markets for the company's paper products. "Our significant, continuing operating improvements ($43 million in 1991) weren't good enough to offset market deterioration. We expect to improve costs by a further $30 million this year in order to be more competitive in these tough markets, and achieve much healthier returns when demand and supply are in better balance. Industry restructuring and capacity consolidation will play a critical role in attaining that balance."
    Oversupply of about one million tons of newsprint in North American markets continues in 1992 and severe pricing pressures are now occurring in offshore markets. In order to balance newsprint supply and demand, and to manage our inventories efficiently, Abitibi-Price took 85,000 tons of production downtime in the first quarter; it expects to take a total of 300,000 tons for the full year.
    Despite price erosion, the company's uncoated groundwood specialty papers are close to breaking even as demand for its forms, directory and commercial printing products is growing.  Operating improvements have also made a positive contribution.
    At Provincial Papers, the company's coated paper mill in Thunder Bay, Ontario, the quantity and quality of production have improved substantially since the first quarter of 1991.  These improvements have helped to reduce losses this quarter, despite the continuation of very poor demand and pricing.
    The company's paper and office products distribution and converted products businesses suffered their least profitable quarter as a result of tough general economic conditions.  As demand for its products increases, this group is expected to continue to operate profitably.
    The building products division was able to make a small operating profit during the quarter primarily on the strength of its operational improvements and increased sales in most of its operations.
    "We anticipate that the oversupply in paper markets will continue," added Oberlander. "Weak demand in global paper markets will negatively affect the company's core newsprint, groundwood paper and distribution operations, with the result that 1992 will be a difficult year."
    Abitibi-Price, a world-class competitor in the forest products industry, is a producer of newsprint, uncoated groundwood papers, coated papers and building products.  The company is a major converter and distributor of paper and other information-related products.
                           ABITIBI-PRICE INC.
                         CONSOLIDATED EARNINGS
              (Unaudited, in millions of Canadian dollars)

      Three months ended March 31        1992                1991
    Net sales                          $ 650.0             $ 726.4
    Cost of sales                        610.1               641.8
    Selling and administrative expenses   54.9                61.1
    Depreciation and depletion            27.6                28.0
    Total                                692.6               730.9
    Operating loss                       (42.6)               (4.5)
    Income (loss) from newsprint
     joint ventures, before
     income taxes                        (10.7)                4.6
    Interest expense - long term          (8.8)               (8.0)
                     - short term         (1.8)               (3.9)
    Other income and expense - net        (2.1)                3.2
                                         (66.0)               (8.6)
    Income taxes                          24.4                 3.1
    Loss for the period                $ (41.6)           $   (5.5)
    Provision for dividends
     on preferred shares                  (0.4)               (0.4)
    Loss attributable to
     common shareholders               $ (42.0)           $   (5.9)
    Per common share:
     Loss                              $ (0.61)           $  (0.09)
     Dividends declared                   0.125               0.125
    Weighted average number of
     common shares outstanding
     (millions)                          69.3                69.3
                   Consolidated Segmented Information
              (Unaudited, in millions of Canadian dollars)
      Three months ended March 31               1992          1991
      Sales:
    Newsprint                                 $184.0        $245.3
    Groundwood papers                           77.5          83.3
    Coated papers                               23.2          26.0
    Distribution, office products
     and converted products                    287.9         330.4
    Building products                           51.5          43.2
    Other                                       31.4           2.6
    Intersegment eliminations                   (5.5)         (4.4)
    Net sales                                 $650.0        $726.4
    Operating profit (loss)
    Newsprint                                 $(33.2)        $(2.2)
    Groundwood papers                           (1.7)          0.7
    Coated papers                               (7.8)         (9.8)
    Distribution, office products
     and converted products                      0.1           7.4
    Building products                            1.4          (0.3)
    Other                                       (1.4)         (0.3)
    Operating loss                            $ 42.6        $ (4.5)
                              Primary production
                            (Figures in thousands)
      Three months ended March 31             1992             1991
    Newsprint (tons)                           386              444
    Groundwood papers (tons)                   106              105
    Coated papers (tons)                        27               18
    Hardboard (msf-equivalent)                 285              288
    Lumber (mfbm)                               19               10
    -0-                      4/20/92
    /CONTACT:  Robert G. Lawrie, senior vice president-counsel, compliance and communication, 416-369-6761, or Eileen Mercier, senior vice president-finance, 416-369-6718, or Robert J. Tait, manager-investor relations, 416-369-6789, all of Abitibi-Price/
    (ABY) CO:  Abitibi-Price Inc. ST:  Ontario IN:  PAP SU:  ERN TS -- NY053 -- 0077 04/20/92 12:53 EDT
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Date:Apr 20, 1992
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