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SPIEGEL, INC. REPORTS STRONG FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR 1992 RESULTS

 DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Spiegel, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: SPGLA) today reported that its net earnings for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 1992, rose to $36.1 million from $13.0 million, and earnings per share increased to $0.69 per share from $0.25 per share in the fourth quarter of last year. Total revenues for the quarter increased 22 percent to $869.1 million compared to $713.1 million in the fourth quarter of 1991.
 For the year ended Dec. 31, 1992, the company reported net earnings of $43.2 million, or $0.83 per share, up from $16.9 million or $0.33 per share, in 1991. The current year's operating income includes a nonrecurring charge and the current year's effect of accounting changes. Total revenues for the year increased 12 percent to $2.219 billion compared to $1.976 billion last year.
 Spiegel's fourth quarter gross profit margin on net sales improved to 36.5 percent from 34.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 1991, reflecting strong sell-through of merchandise and a lower volume of markdowns. Inventories at Dec. 31, 1992, were $410.8 million compared to $307.0 million last year. This increase is due to additional Eddie Bauer stores, higher inventories planned to support first quarter sales, and the inventory overhead capitalization.
 The company reported that selling, general and administrative expenses remained well controlled, decreasing in the fourth quarter as a percent of total revenues to 29.3 percent from 32.7 percent in the same period last year. For 1992, these expenses declined as a percent of total revenues to 32.2 percent from 34.4 percent in 1991.
 Spiegel's 1992 earnings include a net credit of $0.08 per share for the cumulative effect of accounting changes. These changes include a charge to earnings of $0.06 per share to account for post retirement benefits in accordance with statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 106, and a credit to earnings of $0.14 per share for the capitalization of inventory overhead. Earnings for the first quarter of 1992 have been restated to $5.1 million or $0.10 per share, to reflect the cumulative effect of these accounting changes.
 Spiegel's fourth quarter 1992 results include a one-time charge of $0.15 per share to write off the goodwill associated with the catalog division of its Honeybee subsidiary. The company previously reported a nonrecurring charge of $0.10 per share in the fourth quarter of 1991 in connection with the closing of Honeybee's retail division.
 John J. Shea, Spiegel vice chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "I'm very proud of our accomplishments in 1992. Sales and earnings rebounded in all divisions. Our catalog customer base is well positioned to gain sales, and Eddie Bauer's specialty-retail store base has been strengthened by refocused merchandise assortments, the opening of 27 new stores, and the execution of a new store prototype program which will continue this year."
 The company's Spiegel and Eddie Bauer catalog operations distributed 68 catalogs in 1992, with a total circulation of over 277 million, generating $1.322 billion in net sales. The specialty-retail stores produced $650 million in net sales, with Eddie Bauer's comparable stores sales up 26 percent for the quarter and 17 percent for the year.
 "In 1992, we recommitted ourselves to the basics of providing real value to our customers. We launched an all-out effort to maintain or improve our price points, while continuing to ensure the high quality, fashion and service levels that our customers have come to expect," stated Shea. "To increase our market share in 1993 and the years ahead, we will continue to concentrate on niche marketing. We will stay close to our customers, respond to their changing needs, and deliver real value as we analyze new niches in which to grow."
 Spiegel, Inc. is the dominant multi-channel specialty retailer marketing fashionable apparel and home furnishings to discerning customers through catalogs and more than 260 specialty retail stores. Spiegel's other businesses include Eddie Bauer, Eddie Bauer Home Collection, All Week Long, Crayola Kids and For You from Spiegel. Spiegel's Class A non-voting common stock trades on the NASDAQ National Market System under the ticker symbol SPGLA.
 SPIEGEL, INC.
 Financial Highlights
 (In thousands, except per share amounts)
 Periods ended Three Months Twelve Months
 Dec. 31 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net Sales and
 Other Revenues:
 Net sales $ 814,153 $652,896 $ 1,972,283 $ 1,733,521
 Finance revenue 38,030 45,091 174,025 183,505
 Other revenue 16,902 15,150 72,424 59,282
 Total 869,085 713,137 2,218,732 1,976,308
 Cost of Sales and
 Operating Expenses:
 Cost of sales, including
 buying and
 occupancy 517,302 426,867 1,344,711 1,174,459
 SG&A expenses 254,324 233,085 714,132 680,642
 Nonrecurring
 charge 14,156 9,600 14,467 10,800
 Total 785,782 669,552 2,073,310 1,865,901
 Operating income 83,303 43,585 145,422 110,407
 Interest expense 19,371 19,527 76,055 79,614
 Earnings before income
 taxes and cumulative
 effect of accounting
 changes 63,932 24,058 69,367 30,793
 Income taxes 27,839 11,095 30,244 13,872
 Earnings before cumulative
 effect of
 acct. changes 36,093 12,963 39,123 16,921
 Cumulative Effect of
 Accounting Changes:
 Postretirement health
 care benefits,
 net of income taxes
 of $2,554 -- -- (3,304) --
 Inventory overhead capitalization,
 net of income taxes
 of ($5,725) -- -- 7,405 --
 Net earnings 36,093 12,963 43,224 16,921
 Earnings per common share before
 cumulative effect of
 acct. changes $0.69 0.25 0.75 0.33
 Cumulative Effect of Accounting Changes:
 Postretirement health
 care benefits -- -- (0.06) --
 Inventory overhead
 capitalization -- -- 0.14 --
 Net earnings per
 common share 0.69 0.25 0.83 0.33
 Avg. number of
 com. shares
 outstanding 51,991,358 51,979,998 51,987,035 51,970,199
 Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform to current presentation.
 -0- 2/17/93
 /CONTACT: Debbie Koopman of Spiegel, 708-769-2596/
 (SPGLA)


CO: Spiegel, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: REA SU: ERN

AH -- NY043 -- 7248 02/17/93 10:57 EST
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Date:Feb 17, 1993
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