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UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL ANNOUNCES RESULTS, NEW PRESIDENT AND SALES

 MINNEAPOLIS, March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Universal International, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: UNIV) today announced its fourth quarter results, the addition of a new president of Universal International, Inc., and comparable store sales for January and February 1993.
 Revenues in the fourth quarter were $18,447,000 versus $16,306,000 in the quarter last year while the net loss was $2,000,000 compared to earnings of $396,000. The company lost $.41 per share in the 1992 quarter versus a profit of $.10 per share in 1991. Net earnings for the fourth quarter were significantly impacted by an increase in inventory reserves of approximately $1,700,000, charges related the doubtful accounts receivable of $350,000, and the establishment of a reserve of $1,100,000 for closing four retail stores.
 Year-end revenues in 1992 were $64,782,000 versus $61,601,000 in 1991 while a net loss of $3,398,000 was reported in 1992 compared to a net profit of $1,992,000 in 1991. The loss per share for 1992 was $.71 compared to earnings of $.54 per share during 1991. The loss for 1992 was primarily the result of: 1) lower wholesale margins and the expenses associated with the increase in the level of inventory that resulted from poor buying decisions made during 1992; 2) an unusually large amount of accounts receivable problems reflecting the continued retail recession; and 3) the continued development costs relating to the company's Only Deals chain.
 The company also announced that it has added to its management team Wesley Laseski who will become the president of Universal International, Inc., and a member of its board of directors. His primary responsibility will be the overall management of the company's wholesale business. Laseski comes to Universal after a 15-year career as CEO and chairman of Spearhead Industries, a manufacturer and importer of seasonal toy products which was sold to Paper Magic in December 1991. Prior to that Laseski was treasurer of International Multifoods, an international food company based in Minneapolis.
 Comparable store sales for the company's Only Deals subsidiary increased 35 percent for the two month-period ended Feb. 28, 1993, compared to the same period in 1992. This is based on the operation of 7 stores which were open during both periods. The company believes that the increase in comparable store sales primarily reflects the change in the mix of merchandise available in the Only Deals stores and an improvement in store operations. The stores have successfully made the transition from emphasizing higher priced toys and gifts during the holiday season to lower priced basics and consumables during the first quarter.
 As a result of the costs involved in reducing inventory levels and corporate expenses, and a projected loss typical of retail operations during the first quarter, the company is projecting a pre-tax loss in the range of $1,250,000 to $1,500,000 for the first quarter of 1993. The company's goal is to significantly improve its financial performance during the second and third quarters and to achieve profitability in the fourth quarter.
 The company has established a goal of opening an additional 15 to 30 new Only Deals stores during 1993. The new stores will be principally in strip shopping centers which will reduce the total investment per store below $200,000 including inventory, and lower the store's breakeven point.
 Mark Ravich, chief executive officer, in announcing these changes commented: "We feel that the reserves taken in the fourth quarter will allow us to move ahead aggressively with our inventory and expense reduction programs which we started in the fourth quarter. With these changes, in addition to providing for the closing of four unprofitable Only Deals stores, we feel well positioned to return to profitability by the end of 1993.
 "While the company's financial performance for 1992 was disappointing, we are very optimistic about the addition of Mr. Laseski to manage our wholesale business and the recent performance of our Only Deals stores."
 Universal International, Inc., buys and sells quality "close-out" merchandise in its wholesale business and is developing a chain of Only Deals retail stores that offer merchandise priced from $1 to $10. Universal's shares are traded on the NASDAQ National Market System under the symbol UNIV.
 UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL, INC.
 SELECTED CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS AND
 BALANCE SHEET INFORMATION
 (in thousands, except earnings and book value per share)
 Three Months Ended Years Ended
 12/31/92 12/31/91 12/31/92 12/31/91
 Revenues $18,447 $16,306 $64,782 $61,601
 Gross margin 3,142 3,632 11,312 12,584
 Net income (loss) $(2,000) $396 $(3,398) $1,992
 Earnings (loss)
 per share $(.41) $.10 $(.71) $.54
 Weighted average
 shares outstanding 4,893 4,045 4,819 3,691
 At 12/31/92 At 12/31/91
 Working capital $19,849 $21,045
 Total assets 35,780 29,326
 Shareholders' equity 24,369 15,877
 Book value per share $4.98 $4.08
 -0- 3/1/93
 /CONTACT: Mark Bartholomay of Universal International, Inc., 612-531-7286/
 (UNIV)


CO: Universal International, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: REA SU: ERN PER

DS -- MN015 -- 1610 03/01/93 16:53 EST
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Date:Mar 1, 1993
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