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WICOR ANNOUNCES FIRST-QUARTER RESULTS, INVESTMENT IN EUROPEAN PUMP COMPANY

 WICOR ANNOUNCES FIRST-QUARTER RESULTS,
 INVESTMENT IN EUROPEAN PUMP COMPANY
 MILWAUKEE, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- WICOR, Inc. (NYSE: WIC), the Milwaukee-based parent of Wisconsin Gas Company and Sta-Rite Industries, Inc., reported first-quarter earnings of $17.4 million, down from $20 million for the same period last year.
 The financial results were announced today by Stuart W. Tisdale, president and chief executive officer, at WICOR's annual meeting of shareholders.
 Quarterly earnings per share were $1.20, compared with $1.45 for the first quarter of 1991.
 WICOR's first-quarter operating revenues were $233.3 million, compared with $246.2 million for the same period last year.
 As part of a strategy to expand its international operations, Tisdale announced that Sta-Rite has purchased a 60-percent interest in Nocchi Pompe s.p.a., a leading manufacturer of water pumps headquartered near Pisa, Italy. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
 "Nocchi Pompe is a rapidly growing, profitable company with excellent prospects," Tisdale said. "Its location and market strength will give Sta-Rite a greater stake in the growing European Economic Community, and a foothold in developing markets in eastern Europe."
 He added that product development at Sta-Rite also will benefit from innovative design and production techniques used by Nocchi Pompe.
 The Italian firm manufactures and sells a line of small, value- priced pumps for the residential market. Its 1991 sales were about $20 million, Tisdale said.
 Sta-Rite's international sales have been increasing steadily since 1985, and accounted for 33 percent of total sales last year. The company sells its products in 100 countries and has manufacturing operations in Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Canada.
 Reporting first-quarter results for WICOR's two subsidiaries, Tisdale said Sta-Rite posted first-quarter earnings of $1.2 million on operating revenues of $49.5 million. Results for the same period in 1991 were earnings of $1.6 million and operating revenues of $52.4 million.
 Tisdale attributed the decline to continuing recessionary conditions, which hampered Sta-Rite's markets. However, he noted that the lower sales for the quarter were partially offset by the recovery of expenses incurred in prior years. Cost-cutting measures have strengthened the company and results are expected to improve when the economy picks up, Tisdale said.
 At Wisconsin Gas, first-quarter earnings were $16.5 million on operating revenues of $183.5 million, compared with earnings of $18.3 million and operating revenues of $193.2 million for the period in 1991.
 Tisdale said the lower earnings were due to unseasonably warm weather during the first quarter, which is typically Wisconsin Gas Company's strongest sales period. Temperatures were 14 percent warmer than normal and 6 percent warmer than the first quarter last year.
 At the annual meeting, details of the 1991 performances of WICOR's two subsidiaries and the outlook for 1992 were discussed by Thomas F. Schrader, president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin Gas Company, and Joseph P. Wenzler, president and chief executive officer of Sta-Rite Industries.
 Schrader described growth opportunities for Wisconsin Gas, citing an aggressive program to provide natural gas service to an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 potential customers over the next five years. He also identified natural gas-fired cogeneration, natural gas cooling and compressed natural gas for vehicles as three key growth markets for Wisconsin Gas.
 Wenzler discussed Sta-Rite's strategy to develop the company into a world leader in pumps and water processing equipment. He indicated that new product development, international expansion and acquisitions are key elements of the plan.
 At the meeting, shareholders re-elected three incumbent members of the board of directors: Wendell F. Bueche, Daniel McKeithan Jr., and Joseph P. Wenzler.
 WICOR is a Milwaukee-based holding company. Its primary subsidiaries are Wisconsin Gas Company, the state's largest distributor of natural gas, and Sta-Rite Industries, Inc., a leading manufacturer of pumps and water processing equipment for markets throughout the world.
 WICOR, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 PRELIMINARY
 UNAUDITED QUARTERLY RESULTS
 (Figures in millions except for per-share amounts)
 QUARTER ENDED
 March 31
 Operating Revenues 1992 1991
 Wisconsin Gas Co. 183.5 193.2
 Sta-Rite Industries, Inc. 49.5 52.4
 Other 0.3 0.6
 WICOR 233.3 246.2
 Net Income 1992 1991
 Wisconsin Gas Co. 16.5 18.3
 Sta-Rite Industries, Inc. 1.2 1.6
 Other (0.3) 0.1
 WICOR 17.4 20.0
 Average Shares Outstanding (thousands) 14,499 13,840
 WICOR Earnings per Common Share $1.20 $1.45
 -0- 4/23/92
 /CONTACT: Kathleen S. Sieja (media), 414-291-6950, or John P. Hoy (analysts), 414-291-6568, both of WICOR/
 (WIC) CO: WICOR, Inc. ST: Wisconsin IN: UTI SU: ERN


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Date:Apr 23, 1992
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