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 CHICAGO, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Whitman Corp. (NYSE: WH) reported records for sales and income from continuing operations for the fourth quarter and the full year in 1993.
 For the year, the company earned $106.4 million, or 99 cents a share, from continuing operations, up over 15 percent from $92.1 million, or 86 cents a share in 1992.
 Net income for 1993 was $78.2 million, or 73 cents a share, up 31 percent from $59.8 million, or 56 cents a share in 1992. Net income results for 1993 reflect the impact of a charge of $24 million in the first quarter for the adoption of SFAS 106 relating to post retirement benefits, and an extraordinary charge of $4.2 million for debt retirement in the third quarter. The 1992 results include a charge of $32.3 million against discontinued operations.
 Sales for 1993 totaled $2.5 billion, up nearly 6 percent from 1992.
 Bruce S. Chelberg, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "This was the best year in Whitman's history, with record sales and record earnings. As a result of very strong performances by two of our three businesses, Pepsi General and Hussman, our total operating income increased 11.3 percent to a record $305.3 million for 1993. With net income from continuing operations up more than 15 percent, we more than met our long term earnings growth objectives in 1993.
 "In addition, we were very pleased that we made significant progress on our other long term objectives by reducing our long term debt as a percent of total capital from 55 percent to 52 percent, while at the same time providing for increased capital investments by our businesses."
 Fourth Quarter Results
 In the fourth quarter, Whitman had record income from continuing operations of $29.1 million, or 27 cents a share, up over 10 percent from $26.4 million, or 25 cents a share, in 1992.
 Sales for the fourth quarter of 1993 totaled $668.8 million, up 8 percent from sales of $618.4 million in the fourth quarter of 1992.
 Pepsi-Cola General Bottlers
 Pepsi-Cola General Bottlers reported the best year in its history, with earnings of $170.5 million, up 22.7 percent over 1992. Sales totaled nearly $1.2 billion, up 6.2 percent. Pepsi General's record performance was driven by a number of factors, including the strong demand for new products introduced during the year, lower costs, and improved pricing in the second half of the year.
 In the fourth quarter, Pepsi General had record earnings of $41.2 million, up 49.8 percent over the fourth quarter of 1992. Sales were $287.3 million, up 9.6 percent over the fourth quarter of 1992.
 Midas International
 Midas International earned $67.1 million in 1993, down 8 percent from 1992. Sales totaled $503.6 million for the year, up nearly 4 percent from 1992.
 Midas' results for the year reflect a combination of negative factors including a restructuring charge and five fewer selling days in the first quarter, and the write-off of excess brake caliper inventory, as well as costs associated with the closing of several unprofitable shops in Australia in the fourth quarter.
 However, retail sales in the U.S increased steadily through the year as a result of an improving economy and new marketing programs. Midas' operating profit, adjusted for one-time items, was up modestly in 1993.
 In the fourth quarter of 1993, the one-time charges for the inventory write-offs and for Australia accounted for the 16.5 percent decline in operating profit to $10.6 million, from $12.7 million in the fourth quarter of 1992. Fourth quarter sales, however, totaled $118.8 million, up nearly 7 percent from $111.1 million in the fourth quarter of 1992.
 Hussman Corp.
 Hussman Corp. reported record operating profit of $83.6 million for 1993, up nearly 9 percent from $76.8 million earned in 1992. Sales for the year totaled $846.5 million, up seven percent from sales of $791.2 million reported in 1992. Margins increased to 9.9 percent, from 9.7 percent in 1992.
 Hussman's results for the year reflect the strong demand for supermarket equipment, especially in the first half of 1993, another record performance by its Mexican operations, and the benefit of its ongoing program to improve productivity.
 In the fourth quarter, Hussman had operating profit of $31.4 million, down 7 percent from record fourth quarter operating profit of $33.7 million in 1992. Sales for the quarter were up 7 percent to $262.7 million, but reflected a less favorable product mix than in the previous year.
 -0- 1/17/94
 /CONTACT: Whitman corporate communications, 708-818-5000/

CO: Whitman Corp. ST: Illinois IN: FOD SU: ERN

CK -- NY063 -- 1350 01/17/94 13:04 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 17, 1994

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