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WOODHEAD INDUSTRIES COUNTERS RECESSION; FIRST QUARTER GAINS REFLECT BENEFITS FROM INVESTMENT PROGRAMS BEGUN A YEAR AGO

 WOODHEAD INDUSTRIES COUNTERS RECESSION; FIRST QUARTER GAINS
 REFLECT BENEFITS FROM INVESTMENT PROGRAMS BEGUN A YEAR AGO
 NORTHBROOK, Ill., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Woodhead Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: WDHD), today reported that higher sales and earnings for its first fiscal quarter ended Dec. 28 benefited substantially from investments made last year during the recession, particularly in the areas of new product development and marketing.
 "We outlined our growth plan at last year's annual meeting, and we made those things happen despite the recession," said Alan Reed, chairman and CEO. "Our commitment to develop high-growth products with value-added content that support strong margins and to market these products aggressively is paying off already. Despite a decline in international volume resulting from weak economic conditions in those regions, domestic sales of core electrical products rose substantially for the period and produced an overall increase in revenues," he added.
 For the 13 weeks ended Dec. 28, 1991, net income rose 15.2 percent to $950,000, or 29 cents per share, from $825,000, or 26 cents per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 1991. Sales rose 4.0 percent to $18,256,000 from $17,556,000.
 Reed pointed out that pretax profits reflected the improvement in sales. This, together with an improved tax rate, resulted in the 15.2 percent increase in net income. He cited increased operating expenses in the recent quarter, particularly for engineering and marketing, as representative of management's commitment to growth objectives that will stabilize Woodhead's performance during the current worldwide economic slowdown and position the company to substantially increase its results once the industrial climate improves both here and abroad.
 The company's financial condition continued to strengthen. Shareholders' investment rose 4.3 percent during the last 12 months. Working capital rose to $12.1 million from $10.7 million a year ago, improving the company's current ratio to 2.2 from 2.0 at Dec. 29, 1990. Inventories were reduced 25 percent reflecting more efficient material management and improved factory throughput.
 "Although we see little change, near-term, in the economic climate," Reed said, "we continue to pursue our competitive advantages in new products and innovative marketing, and we therefore look forward to reasonable growth in both revenue and income for the balance of the year."
 Woodhead Industries, Inc., develops, manufactures and markets specialty electrical devices, custom cable assemblies, motion control products, and ergonomic workstations for a broad range of industrial applications.
 WOODHEAD INDUSTRIES, INC.
 (In thousands, except per share numbers)
 Quarter ended 12/28/91 12/29/90 Pct. Change
 Net sales $18,256 $17,556 4.0
 Net income $ 950 $ 825 15.2
 Avg. shares outstanding 3,237 3,192 1.4
 Earnings per share $.29 $.26 11.5
 -0- 1/20/92
 /CONTACT: Robert G. Jennings, vice president-finance and CFO of Woodhead, 708-272-8181/
 (WDHD) CO: Woodhead Industries, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: SU: ERN


GK -- NY021 -- 1357 01/20/92 10:33 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 20, 1992
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