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UNIVAR ANNOUNCES RESULTS FOR THIRD QUARTER

 KIRKLAND, Wash., Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Univar Corp. (NYSE: UVX; PSE), a multinational leader in distribution services, today reported a net quarterly loss from operations for the third quarter ended Nov. 30, 1992, of $747,000, or 4 cents per share, on sales of $452,907,000. This compares with net income of $557,000, or 3 cents per share, on sales of $404,123,000 for the same quarter of the prior year.
 According to James W. Bernard, president and chief executive officer, the quarterly loss reflects the effects of a continuing sluggish world economy on the corporation's business activities.
 The current period operating results include the corporation's Canadian acquisition made during the fourth quarter of the prior year. Also included are certain European businesses acquired earlier last year, but not reflected in the financial results of the corporation until last year's fourth quarter. Approximately 71 percent of the increase in sales was attributable to these combined acquisitions.
 Gross margin percentage for the third quarter was 14.3 percent, compared with 14.4 percent for the same quarter last year. Margins increased on European sales, while margins on North American sales decreased resulting from larger than normal product cost elements which have not yet been passed on to the marketplace.
 As a result of a restructuring in the prior year, other cost control programs, and implementation of the corporation's new UVX2000(TM) computer system, Univar has continued to reduce operating expenses as a percentage of sales in its U.S. operations. During the current quarter, U.S. operating expenses were 13.7 percent of sales, compared with 13.9 percent of sales for the same quarter last year.
 Combined European and Canadian operating expenses increased by $6.3 million to 14.2 percent of sales for the current quarter, compared with 12.8 percent for the prior-year quarter. The increased expense is due to acquisitions completed last year and includes the cost of operating certain duplicate facilities which are expected to be closed and liquidated during the upcoming year.
 Interest expense was $3.7 million for the third quarter, compared with $2.7 million in last year's third quarter. The increase is primarily due to the fact that with completion and installation of the UVX2000 computer system, interest expense attributable to this project is no longer being capitalized. The increase also includes interest attributable to acquisition financing.
 "While we are disappointed with our results for the quarter, our operating cash flows continue at near-record levels," said Bernard. "We are continuing to focus on long-term programs that will allow us to improve profitability throughout all phases of an economic cycle."
 Univar Corp., headquartered in Kirkland, is a service business engaged in the distribution of a broad range of chemicals to industry throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
 UNIVAR CORP. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
 (In thousands, except share data)
 Three Months Nine Months
 Ended Nov. 30: 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Sales $452,907 $404,123 $1,385,433 $1,148,595
 Cost of sales 388,003 345,790 1,183,984 988,765
 Gross margin 64,904 58,333 201,449 159,830
 Gross margin percentage 14.3 14.4 14.5 13.9
 Operating expenses 62,676 55,145 184,157 154,766
 Restructuring charges -- -- -- 9,870
 Income (loss) from
 operations 2,228 3,188 17,292 (4,806)
 Other Income (Expense):
 Interest expense (3,701) (2,724) (11,252) (7,774)
 Other income - net 357 430 2,063 1,321
 Income (loss) before
 provision for taxes
 on income and minority
 interest (1,116) 894 8,103 (11,259)
 Provision (benefit) for
 taxes on income (167) 337 3,315 (4,321)
 Income (loss) before
 minority interest (949) 557 4,788 (6,938)
 Minority interest in
 Univar Europe 202 -- 140 --
 Net income (loss) $ (747) $ 557 $ 4,648 $ (6,938)
 Net income (loss)
 per share $ (0.04) $ 0.03 $ 0.24 $ (0.36)
 Weighted average number
 of shares outstanding 19,692,267 19,729,526 19,699,193 19,097,770
 -0- 12/21/92
 /CONTACT: Gary E. Pruitt, vice president-Finance and treasurer, 206-889-3440, or Karen Weber-Millstein, corporate communications, 206-889-3475, both of Univar/
 (UVX)


CO: Univar Corp. ST: Washington IN: CHM SU: ERN

SW-LM -- SE002 -- 8658 12/21/92 09:27 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 21, 1992
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