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UNIVAR ANNOUNCES FOURTH-QUARTER EARNINGS

 UNIVAR ANNOUNCES FOURTH-QUARTER EARNINGS
 KIRKLAND, Wash., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Univar Corp.


(NYSE: UVX; PSE), North America's leading chemical distributor, today reported its results of operations for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Feb. 29, 1992.
 Net earnings for the quarter were $1,312,000, or 7 cents per share, on sales of $409,901,000. This compares with earnings of $3,601,000, or 20 cents per share, on sales of $318,962,000 for the same quarter of the prior year.
 For the year, the corporation is reporting a loss of $5,626,000, or 29 cents per share, on sales of $1,558,496,000. This compares with earnings of $19,648,000, or $1.10 per share, on sales of $1,396,229,000 in the prior year.
 The loss for the year includes a previously announced non- recurring pre-tax charge of $9,870,000 related to an early retirement program which was implemented during the second quarter.
 Sales and operating expenses reflect the corporation's acquisitions during the year of a 51-percent interest in Univar Europe N.V., and substantially all of the operating assets of the Canadian chemical distribution business of Harcros Chemicals Canada Inc. European operations, which were acquired in a two-step transaction on June 28 and Aug. 30, 1991, contributed sales of approximately $77,400,000 and $132,235,000 for for the fourth quarter and for the year, respectively. The fourth quarter was the first period which included the full effect of the European operations. Univar Europe operates from offices in Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Italy.
 The Harcros Chemical acquisition, which was finalized in late December 1991, contributed approximately $13,000,000 in sales for the fourth quarter and is expected to add approximately $90,000,000(U.S.) to the corporation's next year's sales in Canada.
 James W. Bernard, president and chief executive officer, noted, "Performance during the fourth quarter continued to be relatively weak, with per-share earnings of 7 cents. This compares with per- share earnings of 3 cents for the third quarter of this year.
 "Gross margin percentage was 15.7 percent in the fourth quarter of the current year, as compared to 16.6 percent for the similar period a year ago. Gross margin percentage continues to be weak relative to historical levels as a result of competitive pressures and the continuing weak global economic climate."
 Operating expenses for the fourth quarter were $58,017,000. This represents an increase of 34 percent over the similar period of a year ago, most of which is associated with the newly acquired European and Canadian operations. Excluding the effects of acquired business, North American operating expenses increased by 3.5 percent.
 "The corporation is continuing to incur expenses relating to the installation of the new UVX2000(TM) computer system and in the areas of environmental and regulatory compliance," Bernard said. "The benefits of restructuring initiated during the second quarter of this fiscal year as well as major company-wide cost containment efforts, aimed at reducing all non-essential expenditures, are beginning to contribute to operating cost savings.
 "We remain guardedly optimistic about the faint signs of economic recovery that we are beginning to see and continue to implement plans which we expect will produce improved results, regardless of the timing of the recovery."
 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
 (In thousands, except share data)
 Three Months Year
 Ended: Feb. 29, Feb. 28, Feb. 29, Feb. 28,
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Sales $409,901 $318,962 $1,558,496 $1,396,229
 Cost of sales 345,358 265,914 1,334,123 1,185,576
 Gross margin 64,543 53,048 224,373 210,653
 Operating expenses 58,017 43,357 212,783 168,848
 Income from operations 6,526 9,691 11,590 41,805
 Other Income (Expense):
 Interest expense (3,584) (2,780) (11,358) (10,832)
 Non-Recurring Charge -
 Early retirement
 program costs 0 0 (9,870) 0
 Other income - net 502 (942) 1,835 2,672
 Minority interest 404 0 392 0
 Income (loss) before
 taxes 3,848 5,969 (7,411) 33,645
 Tax provision (benefit) 2,536 2,368 (1,785) 13,997
 Net income (loss) $ 1,312 $ 3,601 $ (5,626) $ 19,648
 Net income (loss)
 per share $ 0.07 $ 0.20 $ (0.29) $ 1.10
 Weighted average
 number of shares
 outstanding 19,695,728 17,777,593 19,247,260 17,795,911
 -0- 4/27/92
 /CONTACT: Gary E. Pruitt of Univar, 206-889-3400/
 (UVX) CO: Univar Corp. ST: Washington IN: CHM SU: ERN


SC-LM -- SE004 -- 2925 04/27/92 08:06 EDT
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Date:Apr 27, 1992
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