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DuPont Reports 4Q Earnings, Up 6%

Press release from the issuing company

Summary, Fourth quarter underlying earnings per share were $.47, bringing full-year underlying earnings to $2.73 per share, 6 percent higher than 1999.  For the year, six segments had higher sales and five improved earnings.   * Fourth quarter underlying after-tax operating income (ATOI) was $693 million.  ATOI for the quarter was $91 million lower than 1999 reflecting approximately $250 million in higher after-tax costs for raw materials, principally oil, natural gas and their derivatives.   * Segment sales in the fourth quarter of $7.2 billion decreased 8 percent versus 1999.  Volumes, including portfolio changes, declined 5 percent and selling prices declined 3 percent.  Two percent volume growth outside the United States partly offset an 11 percent U. S. decline.    * Fourth quarter U.S. dollar selling prices declined 3 percent reflecting the impact of a stronger dollar.  Globally, local currency selling prices were 2 percent higher in the fourth quarter versus the fourth quarter 1999, the third consecutive quarter of higher prices versus prior year.   * Adverse currency effects, principally from the weak euro, reduced fourth quarter worldwide sales by 5 percent, the largest quarterly impact in seven years.  The full-year impact on earnings was $.15 per share, and $.05 per share for the quarter.   * The company anticipates that the challenging macroeconomic conditions experienced in the second half of 2000 will continue into the first half of 2001.  See the Outlook section of this news release. DuPont reported earnings from continuing operations, before one-time items, of $.47 per share for the fourth quarter compared to $.55 per share earned last year.  For the full year 2000, earnings before one-time items totaled $2.73 per share versus $2.58 last year. "Aggressive pricing initiatives and improved productivity delivered underlying EPS growth in 2000, in the face of $1.3 billion in higher raw material costs and negative currency effects," said Charles O. Holliday, Jr., DuPont chairman and chief executive officer.  "Our employees worldwide have done a tremendous job countering some of the worst conditions in our industry in a decade.  Six segments had higher revenue and five improved earnings versus last year, a very solid performance." For the full year, consolidated sales totaled $28.3 billion compared to $26.9 billion in 1999.  Segment sales, including transfers and a pro rata share of equity affiliates, were $31.8 billion, up 7 percent from $29.7 billion in 1999.  Including one-time items totaling a net charge of $564 million after-tax, income from continuing operations was $2,314 million versus $219 million in 1999, resulting in earnings per share of $2.19 compared to $.19 last year.