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RHONE-POULENC RORER REPORTS STRONG FIRST QUARTER GROWTH

 COLLEGEVILLE, Pa., and PARIS, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (NYSE: RPR) reported net income of $94.2 million ($.68 per share) in the first quarter compared with $83.7 million ($.61 per share) in 1992. Earnings per share increased by 26 percent over the prior year, excluding in 1993 an asset gain of $.05 per share and in 1992 the $.11 per share cumulative effect of an accounting change. Higher sales, improved gross margin, lower selling, delivery and administrative expenses, and the continued reduction of interest expense contributed to increased profitability.
 Sales reached $916 million in the first quarter of 1993, a 7 percent increase from the first quarter of 1992 excluding the effects of currency fluctuations and product divestitures. Including such effects, sales increased 2 percent on an as-reported basis. Sales of the company's key strategic products as a group increased by 15 percent excluding the effects of currency fluctuations.
 Sales growth in the U.S. was driven by a strong performance in the OTC division and continued growth of cardiovascular products (Dilacor XR(R) and Lozol(R)) and respiratory products (Nasacort(R) and Azmacort(R)). Armour's plasma derivatives, led by Mononine(TM) in the U.S. and Albuminar(R) in Japan, also performed well in the quarter. Sales growth of anti-infectives (Josacine(R), Rovamycine(R), Oroken(R) and Peflacine(R)) and analgesics (Doliprane(R)) was strong in France, due to a higher incidence of flu this year than last year. This growth in France offset sales declines in Germany and Italy due to legislative actions. As anticipated, with the January 1 implementation of government-imposed price reductions and prescribing guidelines in Germany, sales there declined as did the total market.
 To mitigate the effects of legislation in European countries and to continue the company's manufacturing optimization strategy, RPR's management is finalizing additional cost-control programs that supplement initiatives already in process. Details of specific programs, including any associated costs and benefits, are expected to be approved by mid-1993.
 "RPR has delivered another quarter of strong earnings growth, despite increasing pressure, particularly on prices, on our industry worldwide," said Robert E. Cawthorn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "On higher sales, cost of products sold and selling, delivery and administrative expenses were lower than last year; research and development expenditures grew by 12 percent and operating and net income grew as expected. Our objective remains to increase earnings at a pace higher than the industry average while continuing to increase our investment in R&D. That investment is yielding positive results. For example, Lovenox(R) was approved in the U.S. and Canada, making it the first low molecular weight heparin for prevention of deep vein thrombosis available in North America."
 Rhone-Poulenc Rorer is a global pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of human pharmaceuticals. The Company reported sales of $4.1 billion and invested over $500 million in research and development in 1992.
 RHONE-POULENC RORER INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
 (Unaudited; amounts in millions except per share data)
 Three months ended March 31 1993 1992
 Net sales $916.3 $ 897.8
 Cost of products sold 308.8 311.9
 Selling, delivery and
 administrative expenses 326.5 334.2
 Research and development expenses 127.8 114.3
 OPERATING INCOME 153.2 137.4
 Interest expense - net 20.5 27.1
 Other (income) expense - net(A) (3.4) 4.5
 INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES 136.1 105.8
 Provision for income taxes 39.7 34.1
 Net income before accounting change 96.4 71.7
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting change(B) --- 15.0
 Dividend on preferred stock (2.2) (3.0)
 NET INCOME AVAILABLE TO
 COMMON SHAREHOLDERS $ 94.2 $ 83.7
 EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE:
 Before accounting change $.68 $.50
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting change(B) --- $.11
 Total $.68 $.61
 (A) Other income in 1993 includes a $10.2 million pretax gain ($.05 per share aftertax) on the sale of certain U.S. product rights.
 (B) Earnings per common share for the quarter ended March 31, 1992, includes $.11 per share cumulative effect of adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes," effective January 1, 1992.
 /delval/
 -0- 4/21/93
 /CONTACT: Rhone-Poulenc Rorer media relations, 215-454-3871, or investor relations, 215-454-3851/
 (RPR)


CO: Rhone-Poulenc Rorer ST: Pennsylvania IN: MTC SU: ERN

CC -- PH002 -- 8434 04/21/93 07:06 EDT
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Date:Apr 21, 1993
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