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J.M. Smucker Announces First Quarter Results

ORRVILLE, Ohio, Aug. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The J. M. Smucker Company, (NYSE: SJMA and SJMB), announced today that earnings for the first quarter ending July 31, 1997, were $9,973,000, up 33% over the $7,489,000 earned during the same period last year. Sales for the three-month period were $147,389,000, versus $129,629,000 in the first quarter last year, an increase of approximately 14%. Earnings per share were $.34 compared to $.26 per share last year.

The Company reported sales increases in each of its Consumer, Industrial, Foodservice, Beverage, and Specialty business areas, with Consumer and Industrial contributing the majority of the overall increase. In the Consumer area, all markets were up over the prior year and the grocery and mass retail markets reported the largest dollar gains. The Company attributed much of the growth in the Consumer area to improved sales of fruit spreads, particularly traditional preserve and jelly products. The addition of the Kraft retail fruit spreads business, acquired during the fourth quarter of fiscal 1997, also contributed. Sales of dessert toppings, natural peanut butter, and Goober products also were up over the previous year. In the Industrial area, the sales growth came from a combination of new and existing products in the bakery and yogurt filling categories.

The Company stated that volume growth and a more profitable mix of products sold contributed substantially to the earnings increase. Lower raw material costs and a decrease in interest expense also made a favorable impact on earnings.

The J. M. Smucker Company is the nation's leading producer of branded preserves, jams, jellies, and other fruit spread products, health and natural foods beverages, ice cream toppings, and natural peanut butter.

                      THE J. M. SMUCKER COMPANY

                                            Three Months Ended
                                                  July 31,
                                            1997           1996
                                          (Dollars in thousands,
                                          except per share data)

    Net sales                             $147,389       $129,629
    Cost of products sold                   95,993         85,883
    Gross profit                            51,396         43,746
    Selling, distribution, and
      administrative expenses               35,390         30,517
    Operating income                        16,006         13,229

    Interest income                            698            437
    Interest expense                             5            750
    Other income (expense) - net               126            (85)

    Income before income taxes              16,825         12,831
    Income taxes                             6,852          5,342

    Net income                              $9,973         $7,489

    Net income per Common Share(A)            $.34           $.26

    Dividends declared per share:
    Class A                                  $0.13          $0.13
    Class B                                  $0.13          $0.13

    (A) Computed on the weighted average
        number of Class A Common Shares
        and Class B Common Shares
        outstanding namely:             29,167,890     29,165,770

                           The J. M. Smucker Company

                                                         July 31,
                                                    1997         1996
    ASSETS                                        (Dollars in thousands)
    Current Assets:
      Cash and cash equivalents                    $14,954      $12,243
      Trade receivables                             51,417       45,614
      Inventories                                  115,347      113,679
      Assets of discontinued operations, net            --       22,131
      Other current assets                          10,660       18,569
          Total Current Assets                     192,378      212,236

    Property, Plant & Equipment, Net               144,822      140,833

    Noncurrent Assets                               66,733       65,993
      Total                                       $403,933     $419,062

    Current Liabilities:
      Accounts payable                             $46,899      $40,388
      Other current liabilities                     41,605       36,183
          Total Current Liabilities                 88,504       76,571

    Long-term Debt                                      --       43,100
    Other Noncurrent Liabilities                    21,260       20,475
    Shareholders' Equity, Net                      294,169      278,916
      Total                                       $403,933     $419,062
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