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UNIVAR ANNOUNCES FIRST-QUARTER EARNINGS

 UNIVAR ANNOUNCES FIRST-QUARTER EARNINGS
 KIRKLAND, Wash., June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Univar Corp.


(NYSE: UVX; PSE), North America's leading chemical distributor, today reported improved results of operations for the first quarter ended May 31.
 Net earnings for the quarter were $2,455,000, or 13 cents per share, on sales of $468,432,000. This compares with earnings of $1,073,000, or 6 cents per share, on sales of $377,030,000 for the same quarter of the prior year. The overall sales increase was largely attributable to acquisitions in Europe and Canada, but the increased earnings primarily reflect higher profitability from U.S. operations on similar sales volume there.
 James W. Bernard, president and chief executive officer, noted, "Performance during the first quarter reflects the beginning signs of improvement in the U.S. economy. The corporation has benefitted from both the restructuring initiated last year and successful efforts to reduce non-essential expenditures. In North America, these cost- containment efforts have resulted in reducing operating costs as a percentage of sales over the past several quarters."
 Gross margin percentage increased to 14.6 percent, compared to 13.3 percent for the same period a year ago. The increase is due in part to a combination of higher margins on European sales and improved margins in North America.
 Operating expenses for the first quarter were $60,371,000, or 12.9 percent of sales, compared with $45,854,000, or 12.1 percent of sales, for the prior-year quarter. The increase is primarily attributable to acquisitions in Europe and Canada, which were completed during the second half of last year.
 During the quarter, the corporation completed installation of its new computer system, UVX2000(TM). The system is now fully functional in all U.S. facilities and will allow the corporation to continue taking full advantage of enhanced operating efficiencies.
 Interest expense increased by 31 percent, compared with the first quarter of the prior year. The increase is attributable to the addition of Univar Europe.
 "We expect that the beginning economic recovery and programs such as the Quality Process and installation of the UVX2000 will continue to produce improved results, regardless of the timing and extent of the recovery," Bernard said.
 Univar Corp., headquartered in Kirkland, distributes chemicals to industry through three subsidiaries, Van Waters & Rogers Inc. in the United States, Van Waters & Rogers Ltd. in Canada and Univar Europe N.V. in Europe.
 UNIVAR CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
 (Unaudited, in thousands, except per-share data)
 Three Months Ended May 31: 1992 1991
 Sales $468,432 $377,030
 Cost of sales 400,133 327,026
 Gross margin 68,299 50,004
 Operating expenses 60,371 45,854
 Income from operations 7,928 4,150
 Interest expense (3,521) (2,681)
 Other income - net 452 494
 Income before taxes and minority interest 4,859 1,963
 Income taxes 2,222 890
 Income before minority interest 2,637 1,073
 Minority interest 182 0
 Net income $ 2,455 $ 1,073
 Net income per share $ 0.13 $ 0.06
 Weighted average number of shares outstanding 19,700 17,835
 -0- 6/22/92
 /CONTACT: Gary E. Pruitt of Univar, 206-889-3440/
 (UVX) CO: Univar Corp. ST: Washington IN: CHM SU: ERN


SC-JH -- SE004 -- 2222 06/22/92 08:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 22, 1992
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