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WORTHINGTON FOODS ANNOUNCES HIGHER THIRD QUARTER SALES

 WORTHINGTON, Ohio, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Worthington Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ: WFDS) today reported net sales of $59,323,000 for the nine months ended Oct. 1, 1993, compared to $55,327,000 a year ago, an increase of 7.2 percent. For the third quarter of 1993, net sales rose 8.3 percent from $18,866,000 to $20,436,000. Sales continue to benefit from solid growth in Morningstar Farms' meat alternative and Refrigerated Better'n Eggs products.
 Net income for the first nine months of 1993 decreased from $2,469,000 to $1,985,000 for the comparable period last year. Net income for the three months ended Oct. 1, 1993, was $654,000 versus $871,000 for the similar period in 1992. Higher interest expense and a decrease in gross margin, as a percentage of sales, impacted third quarter 1993 results. Liquid and dried egg white prices declined during the third quarter of 1993, but remained higher than the comparable period a year ago.
 Earnings per share totaled $0.39 for the nine months ended Oct. 1, 1993, compared to $0.54 a year ago. For the third quarter of 1993, earnings per share declined to $0.13 from $0.17 in 1992.
 Continued growth in sales of established meat alternative products, combined with broader distribution of four new items in this category, resulted in an 11.2 percent increase in Morningstar Farms' sales for the third quarter of 1993 compared to a year ago. National magazine advertising, combined with a higher level of consumer support in select markets, contributed to the improved results. The number of distribution points for Morningstar Farms' products increased significantly during the third quarter of 1993.
 Sales in the egg substitute category increased 2.2 percent for the three months ended Oct. 1, 1993, compared to the similar period last year. Sharply higher Refrigerated Better'n Eggs sales more than offset the weakness in the frozen egg substitute category. Expanded distribution should continue to favorably impact future sales of these products.
 Specialty markets sales of Worthington, La Loma and Natural Touch brands improved 6.4 percent for the third quarter of 1993 versus a year ago, contributing to solid gains for the first nine months of this year. Specific categories which benefited from higher sales were the Seventh Day Adventist, Natural Foods and Food Service markets.
 Worthington Foods, Inc. is the world's largest company solely dedicated to producing and marketing meatless and other healthful branded food products.
 WORTHINGTON FOODS, INC.
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF INCOME
 Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
 Oct. 1, Oct. 2, Oct. 1, Oct. 2,
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Net sales 20,436,000 18,866,000 59,323,000 55,327,000
 (percent) 100 100 100 100
 Cost of goods
 sold 12,653,000 11,407,000 37,475,000 33,147,000
 (percent) 61.92 60.46 63.17 59.91
 Gross profit 7,783,000 7,459,000 21,848,000 22,180,000
 (percent) 38.08 39.54 36.83 40.09
 SG&A expense 6,336,000 5,958,000 18,018,000 17,158,000
 (percent) 31.00 31.58 30.37 31.01
 Income from
 operations 1,447,000 1,501,000 3,830,000 5,022,000
 (percent) 7.08 7.96 6.46 9.08
 Interest expense 397,000 64,000 561,000 947,000
 (percent) 1.94 .34 .95 1.71
 Income before
 taxes 1,050,000 1,437,000 3,269,000 4,075,000
 (percent) 5.14 7.62 5.51 7.37
 Net income 654,000 871,000 1,985,000 2,469,000
 (percent) 3.20 4.62 3.35 4.46
 Net income per share $0.13 $0.17 $0.39 $0.54
 Weighted average
 shares
 outstanding 5,033,015 5,062,321 5,051,719 4,528,485
 -0- 10/19/93
 /CONTACT: William T. Kirkwood, vice president and chief financial officer, of Worthington Foods, 614-885-9511/
 (WFDS)


CO: Worthington Foods ST: Ohio IN: FOD SU: ERN

KL-DA -- CL008 -- 3793 10/19/93 09:19 EDT
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Date:Oct 19, 1993
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