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SCHERING-PLOUGH REPORTS SALES AND EARNINGS FOR FIRST QUARTER 1993

 MADISON, N.J., April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Schering-Plough Corporation (NYSE: SGP) today reported that 1993 first quarter earnings per share, before taking a charge associated with an accounting change, increased 18 percent to $1.13 on net income of $223.5 million. Earnings per share in the comparable 1992 period were 96 cents per share on net income of $192.9 million.
 First quarter 1993 sales of $1.09 billion increased 7 percent over last year's $1.02 billion. Excluding the effect of foreign currency exchange, sales would have increased 9 percent in the quarter.
 Robert P. Luciano, chairman and chief executive officer, said the quarter's solid performance was led by Schering-Plough's worldwide pharmaceutical business, whose sales rose 10 percent. Excluding foreign currency exchange, sales would have risen 12 percent. International pharmaceutical sales were particularly strong, increasing 17 percent with currency exchange and 23 percent when excluding currency exchange.
 INTRON A, the company's alpha interferon, was a major contributor to the higher international sales. The product continued to record strong sales in Japan, where it was approved in March 1992 for treating hepatitis C. Also posting increased sales were CLARITIN, a non-sedating antihistamine, and EULEXIN, a therapy for advanced prostate cancer.
 Domestic sales of prescription pharmaceuticals rose 5 percent in the first quarter, with higher sales for the company's NITRO-DUR and K-DUR cardiovascular products, EULEXIN and INTRON A. Sales were lower for the PROVENTIL line of asthma products primarily as a result of increased generic competition.
 Sales for the Wesley-Jessen vision care business declined compared with the 1992 first quarter, due to lower sales of colored contact lenses and the sale in May 1992 of its domestic contact lens solutions business.
 Sales for Schering-Plough HealthCare Products decreased 4 percent compared with the 1992 first quarter. Sales of over-the-counter products were lower due to increasingly competitive markets for vaginal antifungal and cold/allergy products. Sales of foot care products were higher, helped by strong trade purchases of the upgraded and repackaged `Dr. Scholl's' insole line. Sales for sun care products were flat versus 1992.
 As reported on March 12, the company adopted, effective Jan. 1, 1993, Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 106, "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other than Pensions." The company fully funded its accumulated pretax obligation by contributing $146 million to two irrevocable trusts. Adoption of the new rule resulted in a one-time, after-tax charge of $94.2 million, reflected as an accounting change in 1993 first quarter results. As a consequence of this funding, the annual expense for employees' post-retirement medical and life insurance benefits, estimated at approximately $6 million, will not be significantly different than in prior years. Earnings per share in the 1993 first quarter, after taking the charge of $94.2 million, or 48 cents per share, totaled 65 cents on net income of $129.3 million.
 In reviewing 1993 first quarter results, Luciano said, "Despite an increasingly difficult business environment, Schering-Plough is performing extremely well, building on successful research programs and extending cost-containment efforts in order to improve margins and levels of efficiency."
 He noted that the company also has continued to exercise price restraints for its prescription pharmaceuticals. He said average U.S. net prescription price increases were held to 2 percent -- below the increase in the Consumer Price Index -- in both 1991 and 1992. In 1993, the average price increase again is expected to be below the CPI, he added.
 Citing the U.S. approval earlier this month of CLARITIN, Luciano observed, "With our aggressive worldwide marketing organization and broad mix of pharmaceutical and consumer products, we expect continued solid growth for Schering-Plough in 1993."
 Schering-Plough is a research-based company engaged in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical and health care products worldwide.
 SCHERING-PLOUGH CORPORATION
 Summary Unaudited Results
 (Dollars in millions, except per share figures)
 First Quarter
 1993 1992
 Sales $ 1,089.6 $1,021.9
 Income before extraordinary item and
 Cumulative effect of accounting change 223.5 192.9
 Extraordinary item -- (26.7)
 Cumulative effect of accounting change (94.2) 27.1
 Net income 129.3 193.3
 Earnings per common share before
 extraordinary item and cumulative
 effect of accounting change 1.13 .96
 Extraordinary item -- (.13)
 Cumulative effect of accounting change (.48) .13
 Earnings per common share .65 .96
 Average number of common shares
 outstanding (in millions) 198.0 201.5
 Actual number of common shares
 outstanding (in millions) 194.9 201.4
 Income before income taxes for the first quarter of 1993 and 1992 were $292.1 and $257.2, respectively.
 -0- 4/23/93
 /CONTACT: Steve Galpin, Jr. of Schering-Plough, 201-822-7415/
 (SGP)


CO: Schering-Plough Corporation ST: New Jersey IN: MTC SU: ERN

TS -- NY010 -- 9892 04/23/93 08:47 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 23, 1993
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