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VANGUARD CELLULAR REPORTS RECORD FIRST QUARTER RESULTS

 GREENSBORO, N.C., May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Vanguard Cellular Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: VCELA) today reported record service revenues and operating cash flow (income from operations before depreciation and amortization) combined with record first quarter subscriber growth for the quarter ended March 31, 1993. Operating cash flow as $4.6 million, an increase of 211 percent over the first quarter of 1992. This marks the company's eighth consecutive quarter of positive operating cash flow. Service revenues for the first quarter of 1993 reached an all time high of $23.0 million as compared to $17.2 million in 1992. This was an increase of 34 percent from the first quarter of 1992.
 The company's subscriber base grew by 7,200 for the quarter, an increase of 76 percent over the number of net subscribers added in the same quarter of 1992 and is the second highest quarterly subscriber gain in the company's history. The total number of subscribers at the end of the first quarter of 1993 was 99,500 in the company's majority-owned markets, a 36 percent increase over the total at March 31, 1992. Despite this substantial growth, the company was able to maintain its average service revenue per subscriber at $80 per month, the same as the first quarter of 1992.
 Total operating costs and expenses (excluding depreciation and amortization) were $19.9 million, an increase of 17 percent from the first quarter of 1992. Cost of service declined from 26 percent of service revenue in the first quarter of 1992 to 25 percent in 1993. General and administrative expenses, as a percentage of service revenues, dropped from 41 percent in the first quarter of 1992 to 34 percent in the current period. Marketing and selling expenses declined from 23 percent of service revenues for the first quarter of 1992 to 19 percent for the same period in 1993. Sales and marketing expenses were $604 per net subscriber addition, down 36 percent from $943 in the first quarter of 1992.
 Vanguard's President and Chief Executive Officer Haynes G. Griffin commented: "We are pleased with the record growth of our key financial results. In addition, the near record increase in subscribers in the traditionally slow first quarter is a very positive indicator for the company."
 "These first quarter results are further evidence that our focus on profitable growth is paying off," noted Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Stephen R. Leeolou. "We are particularly proud of an improvement in net subscriber growth while maintaining steady subscriber revenue, especially since these results have not been boosted by substantial acquisitions or new market start-ups."
 The company's 1993 first quarter net loss improved 34 percent and was $5.4 million, or ($0.22) per share, as compared to a net loss of $8.2 million, or ($0.33) per share, for the same period of 1992.
 Vanguard Cellular Systems, Inc., headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., owns and operates cellular telephone systems in the Eastern United States. Based on its 6.2 million "pops," including pops under contract, Vanguard is the nation's third largest independent operator of solely nonwireline cellular systems. Vanguard stock is traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol VCELA.
 VANGUARD CELLULAR SYSTEMS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
 THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31, 1993 AND 1992
 (Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share data)
 1993 1992
 (Unaudited) (Unaudited)
 Revenues:
 Service fees $ 22,986 $ 17,154
 Cellular telephone equipment revenues 1,446 1,311
 24,432 18,465
 Costs and Expenses:
 Cost of service 5,818 4,468
 Cost of cellular telephone equipment 1,935 1,545
 Marketing and selling 4,351 3,867
 General and administrative 7,753 7,114
 19,857 16,994
 Income from operations before depreciation
 and amortization 4,575 1,471
 Depreciation and amortization (6,228) (5,087)
 Loss From Operations (1,653) (3,616)
 Net losses on dispositions (6) (441)
 Interest expense (3,789) (4,155)
 Other, net 42 (168)
 Loss Before Minority Interests (5,406) (8,380)
 Minority Interests (30) 175
 Net Loss $ (5,436) $ (8,205)
 Net Loss Per Share $ (0.22) $ (0.33)
 Weighted Average Number of Common
 Shares Outstanding 25,219,422 24,579,853
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
 March 31, Dec. 31,
 1993 1992
 (Unaudited) (See Note)
 Current Assets $ 25,692 $ 19,556
 Investments in Cellular Entities 152,041 153,996
 Property and Equipment, net of accumulated
 depreciation of $49,812 and $48,442 71,766 72,026
 Other Assets, net of accumulated amortization
 of $5,054 and $4,541 5,928 6,242
 $ 255,427 $ 251,820
 Current Liabilities $ 14,835 $ 20,741
 Long-Term Debt, net of current portion 209,652 195,005
 Minority Interests 5,839 5,809
 Shareholders' Equity 25,101 30,265
 Total liabilities and shareholders'
 equity $ 255,427 $ 251,820
 Note: The balance sheet information at Dec. 31, 1992, has been
 derived from the audited financial statements at that date.
 -0- 5/3/93
 /CONTACT: Rich Preyer, 919-545-2203, or Stan Haines, 919-545-2100, both of Vanguard Cellular Systems/
 (VCELA)


CO: Vanguard Cellular Systems, Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: TLS SU: ERN

CM-SB -- CH007 -- 3885 05/03/93 14:47 EDT
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Date:May 3, 1993
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