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VENTURE STORES, INC. REPORTS FISCAL 1992 EARNINGS PER SHARE BEFORE EXTRAORDINARY ITEM OF $2.82 AND FEBRUARY 1993 SALES RESULTS

 O'FALLON, Mo., March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Venture Stores, Inc. (NYSE: VEN) reported earnings per share, before extraordinary item, of $2.82 for fiscal 1992 (52 weeks ended Jan. 30, 1993), an increase of 13.7 percent from $2.48 for fiscal 1991 (52 weeks ended Feb. 1, 1992). During the third quarter of 1992, an extraordinary charge of $0.13 per share resulted from accelerated amortization of deferred financing costs related to a revolving credit agreement which was replaced with a new agreement. Net earnings available to common shareowners for 1992 were $47.5 million, before the $2.2 million extraordinary charge, compared with $41.5 million a year ago. Sales for 1992 were $1,718.4 million versus $1,523.8 million in 1991, an increase of 12.8 percent. Comparable store sales increased 3.4 percent.
 Venture's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Julian Seeherman said, "We
are quite pleased with our results for 1992. We made good progress towards the goals we set for ourselves last year and we believe that we are well positioned for 1993, which will be both exciting and challenging, as we begin our expansion into Texas."
 Fourth quarter earnings per share for 1992 (13 weeks ended Jan. 30, 1993) were $1.86, up 9.4 percent from $1.70 per share last year (13 weeks ended Feb. 1, 1992). Fourth quarter 1992 net earnings available to common shareowners were $31.3 million compared with $28.4 million for the same period a year ago. Sales for the period were $575.5 million versus $521.9 million in 1991, a 10.3 percent increase. Comparable store sales were up 2.0 percent.
 Cost of merchandise sold included a LIFO credit of $1.7 million ($0.06 per share) in 1992 versus a LIFO charge of $2.1 million, or $0.08 per share, in 1991. The fourth quarter LIFO credits were $5.2 million and $2.4 million in 1992 and 1991, respectively.
 Sales for February 1993 (4 weeks ended Feb. 27, 1993) were $98.4 million, up 4.6 percent from $94.1 million in February 1992 (4 weeks ended Feb. 29, 1992). Comparable store sales decreased by 2.4 percent. Commenting on February sales, Seeherman said, "February sales were negatively affected by snow in most of our markets in each of the last two weeks of the month. Sales for the first two weeks of the month were on plan."
 Venture operates 92 quality discount retail stores in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Iowa and Kentucky. Venture's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol VEN.
 VENTURE STORES, INC.
 CONDENSED BALANCE SHEET
 (thousands)
 Jan. 30, Feb. 1,
 1993 1992
 ASSETS
 Current Assets:
 Cash and cash equivalents $ 77,106 $ 75,685
 Accounts receivable, net 8,542 5,614
 Receivable from May 7,561 3,493
 Merchandise inventories 252,452 227,932
 Other current assets 5,190 5,115
 Prepaid income taxes 120 1,104
 Total Current Assets 350,971 318,943
 Property and equipment, at cost 347,051 282,634
 Accumulated depreciation (109,943) (103,708)
 Property and equipment, net 237,108 178,926
 Other assets 7,144 10,622
 TOTAL ASSETS $595,223 $508,491
 LIABILITIES AND SHAREOWNERS' INVESTMENT
 Current Liabilities:
 Current maturities of long-term debt $ 928 $ 848
 Accounts payable 175,994 169,519
 Accrued expenses 68,406 57,094
 Income taxes payable 12,848 16,846
 Total Current Liabilities 258,176 244,307
 Long-term debt 91,592 92,517
 Deferred income taxes 13,745 13,919
 Deferred investment tax credit 1,365 2,101
 Other liabilities 3,921 5,294
 Deferred gain on sale/leaseback 24,818 26,255
 Shareowners' investment:
 Common stock, par value $1.00; 50,000,000 shares
 authorized, 16,896,837 and 16,782,689 outstanding
 for 1992 and 1991, respectively 16,897 16,783
 Preferred stock, par value $1.00; 2,500,000 shares
 authorized, 76,930 outstanding for 1992 77 --
 Contributed capital 83,578 42,268
 Retained earnings 101,054 65,047
 201,606 124,098
 TOTAL LIABILITIES AND SHAREOWNERS'
 INVESTMENT $595,223 $508,491
 See accompanying Notes to Condensed Financial Statements
 VENTURE STORES, INC.
 CONDENSED STATEMENT OF EARNINGS
 (thousands, except per share)
 FISCAL YEAR ENDED
 Jan. 30, Feb. 1,
 1993 1992
 Net Sales $1,718,369 $1,523,809
 Costs and Expenses:
 Cost of merchandise sold $1,258,134 $1,110,064
 Selling, general, admin. and other
 expenses 372,836 337,940
 Net interest expense 7,734 10,012
 Earnings before income taxes and
 extraordinary item 79,665 65,793
 Provision for income taxes 30,259 24,251
 NET EARNINGS BEFORE EXTRAORDINARY
 ITEM 49,406 41,542
 EXTRAORDINARY ITEM (NET OF TAX) (2,188) -
 NET EARNINGS 47,218 41,542
 Dividends on preferred stock 1,930 -
 NET EARNINGS AVAILABLE TO COMMON $ 45,288 $ 41,542
 EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE:
 Before Extraordinary Item $ 2.82 $ 2.48
 Extraordinary Item (net of tax) (0.13) -
 Net Earnings $ 2.69 $ 2.48
 AVERAGE COMMON SHARES OUTSTANDING 16,856 16,762
 Components of Earnings as a Percent of Sales:
 Net sales 100.0 100.0
 Cost of merchandise sold
 (before LIFO provision) 73.3 72.7
 LIFO provision (0.1) 0.1
 Selling, general, admin. and
 other expenses 21.7 22.2
 Net interest expense 0.5 0.7
 Earnings before income taxes and
 extraordinary item 4.6 4.3
 Provision for income taxes 1.7 1.6
 NET EARNINGS BEFORE EXTRAORDINARY
 ITEM 2.9 2.7
 See accompanying Notes To Condensed Financial Statements
 VENTURE STORES, INC.
 CONDENSED STATEMENT OF EARNINGS
 (UNAUDITED -- thousands, except per share)
 QUARTER ENDED
 Jan. 30, Feb. 1,
 1993 1992
 Net Sales $575,532 $521,948
 Costs and Expenses:
 Cost of merchandise sold 422,300 384,202
 Selling, general, admin. and other
 expenses 99,739 90,679
 Net interest expense 1,526 1,948
 Earnings before income taxes and
 extraordinary item 51,967 45,119
 Provision for income taxes 20,009 16,678
 NET EARNINGS BEFORE EXTRAORDINARY
 ITEM 31,958 28,441
 EXTRAORDINARY ITEM (NET OF TAX) - -
 NET EARNINGS 31,958 28,441
 Dividends on preferred stock 621 0
 NET EARNINGS AVAILABLE TO COMMON $ 31,337 $ 28,441
 EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE:
 Before Extraordinary Item $ 1.86 $ 1.70
 Extraordinary Item (net of tax) - -
 Net Earnings $ 1.86 $ 1.70
 AVERAGE COMMON SHARES OUTSTANDING 16,885 16,771
 Components of Earnings as a Percent of Sales:
 Net sales 100.0 100.0
 Cost of merchandise sold
 (before LIFO provision) 74.3 74.1
 LIFO provision (0.9) (0.5)
 Selling, general, admin. and
 other expenses 17.3 17.4
 Net interest expense 0.3 0.4
 Earnings before income taxes and
 extraordinary item 9.0 8.6
 Provision for income taxes 3.5 3.2
 NET EARNINGS BEFORE EXTRAORDINARY
 ITEM 5.5 5.4
 See accompanying Notes To Condensed Financial Statements
 NOTES TO CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 CUMULATIVE CONVERTIBLE PREFERRED STOCK
 During May 1992, the company completed a public offering of 769,300 Depositary Shares, each representing one-tenth of a share of Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock. The offering was priced at $50 per Depositary Share, with an annual dividend rate of $3.25 per Depositary Share. The Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock is convertible at the option of the holder into the common stock of the company at an initial conversion price of $38 per common share. The proceeds are being used for general corporate purposes and to provide financial flexibility for the company's accelerated new store opening plans.
 EXTRAORDINARY ITEM
 On Sept. 4, 1992, the company terminated the existing Credit Agreement with Citibank, N.A., as agent and lead bank and entered into a new Credit Agreement with First Chicago Bank, as agent and lead bank. The new agreement includes reduced borrowing costs and other fees, and provides for increased operating flexibility. As a result of terminating the old agreement, certain deferred financing costs, which were incurred when the old agreement was entered into and were being amortized over the life of that agreement, were taken as an extraordinary expense of $2,188 (after tax), or $0.13 per common share, during the third quarter of 1992.
 -0- 3/3/93
 /CONTACT: Jack Burtelow of Venture Department Stores, 314-281-7800/
 (VEN)


CO: Venture Stores, Inc. ST: Missouri IN: REA SU: ERN

SH -- NY009 -- 2292 03/03/93 08:52 EST
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