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THE ARES SERONO GROUP REPORTS THIRD QUARTER AND NINE MONTHS SALES AND EARNINGS

 BOSTON~GENEVA, Switzerland, Nov. 20 ~PRNewswire~ -- The Ares Serono Group today reported worldwide sales of US $214.4 million for the third quarter ending Sept. 30, 1992, compared with $165.7 million for the same period last year, an increase of 29.4 percent. Income from continued operations increased by 34.2 percent to $21.1 million or $5.63 per share, compared with $15.7 million or $4.20 per share in 1991.
 For the nine months ending Sept. 30, 1992, worldwide sales rose 21.1 percent to $629.4 million, compared with $519.9 million during the same period in 1991. Excluding favorable currency fluctuations, actual sales growth for the nine months was 16.9 percent.
 Income from continued operations rose 28.3 percent to $59.7 million or $15.94 per share, compared with $46.5 million or $12.42 per share for the first nine months of 1991. Net income for the first nine months of 1992, including the gain from the sale of the group's over-the-counter division, totalled $87.8 million or $23.44 per share compared with $47.4 million or $12.64 per share in 1991.
 Year-to-date prescription pharmaceutical sales worldwide increased by 24.6 percent to $552.5 million from $443.4 million during the same period last year. After adjusting for favorable currency effects, the growth in sales of pharmaceutical products was 20.4 percent.
 Pharmaceutical sales in each of the three main therapeutic fields, including human infertility, immunology~oncology and pediatric endocrinology, increased by more than 20 percent. The pediatric endocrinology product group was especially strong as it achieved a 40 percent sales increase during the first nine months 1992.
 For the first nine months of 1992, sales of the group's diagnostic products were $77 million compared with $76.5 million in 1991. Excluding clinical chemistry sales which have been discontinued in order to improve the division's gross margin, diagnostic sales increased 11.8 percent over the previous period. Sales of both the hematology and SR- 1(R) instruments and reagents accounted for the majority of this increase.
 "Although third quarter sales and earnings reflect a strong performance in the United States, Italy, France and Germany, we have observed a certain weakening in key European markets at the end of the quarter due to strains on governmental reimbursement schemes," said Fabio Bertarelli, chief executive officer of The Ares-Serono Group.


Major developments in the third quarter of 1992 include:
 -- The approval of 26 additional registrations worldwide, bringing
 the total number to 68 in the first nine months of 1992.
 -- First sales for Frone(R), a native beta interferon, in Spain.
 -- First sales of Curosurf(R), a natural pulmonary surfactant, in
 several European countries, where it is marketed under an
 exclusive licensing agreement on behalf of Chiesi Farmaceutici,
 Parma, Italy.
 -- First sales of Saizen(R), Ares-Serono's recombinant growth
 hormone, in Japan.
 -- The announcement of the first birth in the world after
 infertility treatment with Gonal-F(R), Ares-Serono's recombinant
 human follicle stimulating hormone.
 -- A ruling by the President of the District Court of The Hague that
 although violating Ares-Serono's patent, Organon's current
 activities for the development of recombinant human follicle
 stimulating hormone (rFSH) are of an experimental nature and that
 the company, at this stage, cannot be ordered to stop these
 activities. Ares-Serono has appealed this decision. The appeal
 will be heard in The Hague before three judges and has been
 scheduled for early December 1992.
 -- The completion of the 1:5 stock split resulting in a share
 capital of 2,753,260 registered shares of SFr. 20.-par value
 each and 2,645,285 bearer shares of SFr. 50.-par value each.
 The Ares-Serono Group is a leading international developer and marketer of pharmaceutical and diagnostic products with executive headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and operating headquarters in Boston. The Group operates subsidiaries and manufacturing facilities in more than 20 countries. Shares of Ares-Serono S.A., the parent company of the Group, are listed on the major Swiss stock exchanges.
 The following is a summary of unaudited comparative results prepared in accordance with International Accounting Standards (I.A.S.).
 THE ARES-SERONO GROUP
 Summary of Unaudited Comparative Results
 (all amounts in thousands U.S. dollars except per share data)
 Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
 Sept. 30, Sept. 30,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net sales:
 Ethical pharmaceuticals $188,678 $142,727 $552,451 $443,357
 Diagnostics 25,705 23,003 76,965 76,536
 Total sales 214,383 165,730 629,416 519,893
 Operating income 43,402 33,826 127,186 102,018
 Pre-tax income from
 continuing operations
 before minority interests 32,865 23,293 93,413 73,030
 Income from continuing
 operations 21,086 15,717 59,721 46,536
 Discontinued operations --- 109 28,099 819
 Net income 21,086 15,826 87,820 47,355
 Earnings per share from-(a):
 -continuing operations $5.63 $4.20 $15.94 $12.42
 -discontinued operations --- 0.02 $7.50 0.22
 Total EPS $5.63 $4.22 $23.44 $12.64
 Numbering of shares 5,398,545 for all periods listed
 ---
 NOTE (a)-Data per share are based upon the assumption that the number of shares outstanding after the June 22, 1992, capital increases and Sept. 17, 1992, share split were outstanding during all the periods presented: 2,645,285 Bearer Shares and 2,753,260 Registered Shares (total equivalent number of Bearer Shares: 3,746,589).
 -0- 11~20~92
 ~CONTACT: Gina Cella of The Ares-Serono Group, 617-982-9000~


CO: The Ares-Serono Group ST: Massachusetts IN: MTC SU: ERN

TM -- NE001 -- 3310 11~20~92 11:06 EST
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Date:Nov 20, 1992
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