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WICOR ANNOUNCES FOURTH-QUARTER, YEAR-END RESULTS

 MILWAUKEE, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- WICOR, Inc., the Milwaukee-based parent of Wisconsin Gas Company and Sta-Rite Industries, Inc., reported fourth-quarter earnings of $12.6 million, up 17 percent from the same period in 1991. Per-share earnings increased from 75 cents to 85 cents.
 For the year, WICOR posted earnings before accounting changes of $20.5 million or $1.40 per share, compared with $21.5 million and $1.54 per share in 1991. The changes reduced WICOR's 1992 earnings to $12.5 million and 86 cents per share.
 Stuart W. Tisdale, WICOR's chairman and chief executive officer, said the adoption of new accounting rules related to retiree health benefits and income taxes resulted in a one-time $8 million charge against the earnings of WICOR's non-utility subsidiaries. He said companies affected by the new accounting rules are required to make the changes in 1993 and that WICOR chose to comply earlier.
 Revenues for the year were $704.9 million, up from $681.7 million in 1991.
 "WICOR's improved performance in the fourth quarter could not offset the overall effects of unseasonably warm weather during the heating season and lingering recessionary conditions in 1992," Tisdale said. He emphasized that WICOR remains financially sound and that both subsidiaries are positioned for improved earnings in 1993.
 Wisconsin Gas reported earnings of $18.1 million in 1992, up from $17.1 million in 1991. Tisdale attributed the improvement to increased natural gas sales in 1992, which were aided by temperatures that were 4 percent colder than in 1991. He noted that the utility's success in holding down operating expenses helped blunt the impact of weather, which still was more than 6 percent warmer than normal in 1992.
 Sta-Rite reported 1992 earnings before accounting changes of $2.5 million on sales of $207.2 million, compared with earnings of $4.2 million on sales of $205.2 million in 1991. International sales and exports, which accounted for 37 percent of the manufacturer's total 1992 revenue, remained strong but could not offset soft domestic markets.
 To lower its fixed costs and improve its competitive position, Sta-Rite reduced its salaried work force in North America by nearly 15 percent in 1992, Tisdale said. The company also moved its corporate headquarters from Milwaukee to Delavan, Wis., to be closer to its major manufacturing operations.
 "Sta-Rite is in a much stronger position to take advantage of a better economic climate," Tisdale said. "Orders have increased over the past several months, exports are up, and we're encouraged by reports that the economy is getting back on track."
 DIVIDEND DECLARED
 The WICOR Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of 38 cents per share of WICOR common stock. The annual rate is $1.52. The dividend is payable Feb. 26, 1993, to shareholders of record on Feb. 10, 1993.
 WICOR (NYSE: WIC) 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
 Unaudited Quarterly Results
 (Figures in millions except for per-share amounts)
 QUARTER ENDED YEAR-TO-DATE
 DECEMBER 31 DECEMBER 31
 Operating Revenues 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Wisconsin Gas Co. $ 168.3 $ 159.9 $ 495.4 $ 474.7
 Sta-Rite Industries, Inc. 44.9 40.7 207.2 205.2
 Other 0.9 0.6 2.3 1.8
 WICOR $ 214.1 $ 201.2 $ 704.9 $ 681.7
 Net Earnings before
 Accounting Changes 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Wisconsin Gas Co. $ 13.6 $ 11.4 $ 18.1 $ 17.1
 Sta-Rite Industries, Inc. (1.2) (0.8) 2.5 4.2
 Other 0.2 0.1 (0.1) 0.2
 WICOR $ 12.6 $ 10.7 $ 20.5 $ 21.5
 Accounting Changes 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Wisconsin Gas Co. $ - $ - $ - $ -
 Sta-Rite Industries, Inc. - - (8.6) -
 Other - - 0.6 -
 WICOR $ 0.0 $ 0.0 $ (8.0) $ 0.0
 Net Earnings after
 Accounting Changes 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Wisconsin Gas Co. $ 13.6 $ 11.4 $ 18.1 $ 17.1
 Sta-Rite Industries, Inc. (1.2) (0.8) (6.1) 4.2
 Other 0.2 0.1 0.5 0.2
 WICOR $ 12.6 $ 10.7 $ 12.5 $ 21.5
 Average Shares Outstanding
 (thousands) 14,712 14,282 14,589 13,988
 WICOR Earnings per
 Common Share
 Before Accounting Changes $ .85 $ .75 $ 1.40 $ 1.54
 Accounting Changes $ - $ - $ (.54) $ -
 After Accounting Changes $ .85 $ .75 $ .86 $ 1.54
 -0- 1/26/93
 /CONTACT: (Media) Kathleen S. Sieja, 414-291-6950, or (Analysts) John P. Hoy, 414-291-6568, both of WICOR/
 (WIC)


CO: WICOR, Inc. ST: Wisconsin IN: OIL UTI SU: ERN

ML -- DE023 -- 9245 01/26/93 16:07 EST
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Date:Jan 26, 1993
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