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 BURNABY, British Columbia, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Loewen Group Inc. (NASDAQ: LWNGF; Toronto: LWN) announced today that during the nine months which ended Sept. 30, 1993, revenue and earnings showed continued growth compared with the same period in 1992. Revenue increased 36.3 percent to $288.5 million from $211.7 million and earnings increased 46.0 percent to $25.7 million from $17.6 million. Basic earnings per share increased 35.8 percent to $0.72 per share from $0.53 per share while fully diluted earnings per share rose 34 percent to $0.71 per share from $0.53 per share.
 During the three months which ended Sept. 30, 1993, in comparison to the same period in 1992, revenue increased 37.0 percent to $98.5 million from $71.9 million and earnings increased 32.7 percent to $7.3 million from $5.5 million. Basic earnings per share and fully diluted earnings per share increased 25.0 percent to $0.20 per share from $0.16 per share.
 During the third quarter of 1992, earnings of $0.16 per share included $1.0 million other income ($0.017 per share) from the sale of a small ambulance company. Excluding this sale, earnings per share for the third quarter on a comparable basis increased 39.9 percent from $0.143 per share to $0.20 per share.
 "We have had a tremendous third quarter during which we've met our goals both in terms of our financial and operational targets, as well as our succession planning program which is apparent through the more than $215 million we've signed in acquisitions so far this year," said Chief Executive Officer Ray Loewen.
 In October, Standard & Poor's assigned a triple "B" implied senior debt rating to The Loewen Group, stating that "the rating reflects (the company's) leading position in the stable and profitable funeral service industry." The rating is an indication of the company's general credit strength, and is not being assigned to a specific debt issue. In a news release, S&P said the "outlook is positive" and indicated the rating may be upgraded within the next few years.
 "The company continues to manage growth well and is pleased with the Standard and Poor's recommendation and assessment of our leadership position in funeral service," said President Tim Hogenkamp.
 During the first nine months of 1993, the company expended a total of $118.4 million on the purchase of 73 funeral homes, 11 cemeteries and six crematoria in 18 states and one province.
 Since the end of the third quarter, the company has expended or committed to the expenditure of $96.8 million on the purchase of 34 funeral homes, 22 cemeteries and two crematoria in seven states. These are expected to close later this year, and during the first quarter of 1994.
 The Loewen Group Inc. is the fastest-growing funeral service corporation in North America. The number of locations belonging to the company grew more than twice as fast as the combined growth of all publicly traded funeral service companies over the past three years. The company currently owns and operates 519 funeral homes, 56 cemeteries and 27 crematoria across Canada and the United States.
 -0- 11/8/93
 /CONTACT: Bob Garnett, senior VP-Finance and Corporate Treasurer, 604-299-9321/

CO: The Loewen Group Inc. ST: British Columbia IN: SU: ERN

JL -- LA044 -- 1909 11/08/93 16:49 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 8, 1993

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