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SPI PHARMACEUTICALS: SEVEN YEARS OF RECORD PERFORMANCE

 COSTA MESA, Calif., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- SPI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AMEX: SPI) reported its seventh straight year of record sales and net income in 1992, Milan Panic, chairman and chief executive officer, today told shareholders at the company's annual meeting.
 SPI reported record 1992 worldwide sales of $476 million, up 31 percent from $364 million in 1991. Net income for SPI increased 15 percent to $34.5 million, or $1.90 a share, compared to $30.1 million, or $1.69 a share, in 1991, Panic told the annual meeting. SPI accounted for approximately 86 percent of the 1992 sales of ICN Pharmaceuticals.
 During the seven-year record performance for SPI, its sales grew at a compounded rate of 41 percent, compared to an industry average of approximately 12 percent. SPI's net income rose at a compounded rate of 28 percent, compared to an industry average of 18 percent and its earnings per share increased at a compounded rate of 25 percent, compared to the industry average of 17 percent.
 Panic said SPI sales in Yugoslavia totaled $326 million in 1992, up from $225 million in 1991, despite United Nations imposed sanctions against Yugoslavia and hyperinflation and devaluation in that country, where SPI has had a joint venture since May 1991.
 Panic told the shareholders that sales in Yugoslavia slowed in the last part of 1992 and the first quarter of 1993. He said that the United Nations Sanction Committee and other governmental agencies "have been painfully and tediously slow in granting licenses to send badly needed pharmaceutical raw materials into Yugoslavia."
 SPI's chairman and chief executive officer warned that "we could see further slowdown in Yugoslavia until the current civil war and the economic unsettlement associated with it are resolved. This means that SPI's succeeding quarters in 1993 may continue to reflect the deteriorating economic conditions in Yugoslavia and may not be representative of the results for SPI that we have seen to date," Panic said.
 He stressed that "despite the considerable economic and political change in Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe, we believe we are positioned to benefit over the long term from the major fundamental transformation that is taking place in this part of the world.
 "Performance for SPI, which manufactures, markets and distributes more than 600 prescription and non-prescription products in over 60 countries, was led by its international operations," Panic said. Subsidiaries in Spain and Mexico benefited from the launch of new products in 1992.
 Among other activities in 1992, Panic noted that SPI signed a definitive agreement to form a pharmaceutical joint venture company with Leningrad Industrial Chemical and Pharmaceutical Association (Oktyabr) in St. Petersburg, Russia. The venture, ICN Oktyabr, was finalized in March of 1993, and will begin operations in the second half of this year.
 SPI has not recognized any sales or profits from the venture. SPI expects to reinvest any profits from Russia over the near term. SPI continues to explore the possibilities of other joint ventures in Eastern Europe, Panic told the company's shareholders.
 Panic said research and development investment had been increased behind Virazole, the company's proprietary, patented antiviral to evaluate effectiveness and tolerance in patients with chronic active hepatitis C in Phase III double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials in the United States and Europe.
 Sales of Virazole, which is marketed in more than 40 countries, principally for herpes, influenza and hepatitis, increased 30 percent in 1992 to $27 million. In the United States and 22 other countries, Virazole is authorized for the aerosol treatment of infants hospitalized with severe lower respiratory track infection caused by respiratory syncytial virus.
 -0- 5/12/93
 /CONTACT: Paul Knopick of SPI Pharmaceuticals, 714-545-0100, ext. 2465/
 (SPI)


CO: SPI Pharmaceuticals Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU:

JL-MS -- LA040 -- 7831 05/12/93 18:45 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 12, 1993
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