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The Andersons, Inc. Reports 1st Qtr. Loss of $0.8 Million Total Revenues of $220.2 Million; Up 7.6%
EPS (11) cents vs. 16 cents Last Year

The Andersons, Inc. , today announced a net loss of $815,000, or $0.11 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2001. In the comparable period last year, the company earned $1.2 million net income, or $0.16 per diluted share. Total revenues of $220.2 million were $15.6 million, or 7.6%, higher than the $204.6 million generated in the first quarter of 2000.

Included in these first quarter 2001 results were the impact of a $338,000 non-recurring pretax gain resulting from an insurance settlement and the cumulative $(185,000) after-tax effect of an accounting change. Income in the comparable three-month period in 2000 included a $907,000 one-time pretax gain on the sale of the company's interest in a subsidiary.


The company's Agriculture Group operates grain elevators, fertilizer distribution terminals and farm centers in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. Collectively, these facilities handle more than 150 million bushels of grain and 1.3 million tons of dry and liquid agricultural fertilizer products annually.

U.S. grain inventories remain relatively high, enabling the group's grain business to continue to generate significant earnings from its storage capacity. The unit's elevators also experienced higher inbound and outbound shipments during the first quarter of 2001 vs. the comparable period of 2000. Protracted cold weather during the first three months this year curtailed wholesale fertilizer shipments slightly. However, margins were somewhat stronger than year-earlier levels. The bottom line for the wholesale fertilizer business and also for the group's farm centers was relatively unchanged from the prior year. Because of the strong performance in the grain business, however, the total group achieved significant growth in revenues and income for the quarter.


The Rail Group leases and markets railroad cars and locomotives. It also repairs railcars and operates a custom steel fabrication business. The group's railcar marketing segment has grown significantly in the past few years and now controls a fleet of more than 4,900 railcars and 30 locomotives that are leased to shippers, railroads and fleet owners in a wide range of industries in the U.S. and Canada.

Because of a slowdown in demand for many types of rail equipment throughout the past year, this group has primarily pursued short-term leasing opportunities rather than making car sales or entering into long-term leasing commitments. While there are signs that the cyclical downturn may be easing, the group incurred a slight operating loss for the quarter.


The Processing Group manufactures turf and ornamental plant fertilizer and control products. With a national production and logistics infrastructure, it serves major retailers throughout the country and is the industry leader in premium fertilizer products for golf courses and other professional turf care markets. The group also produces chemical and feed-ingredient carriers, animal bedding, cat litter and ice-melter products.

Revenues were significantly higher during the period because of an acquisition made last year. The group's operating results for the quarter were below the prior year, however, in part due to continued cold weather throughout much of the country that delayed the start of turf care activities by golf course superintendents as well as by homeowners. In addition, margins were hurt by increases in fuel and nitrogen-based ingredient costs that the group was unable to pass on to its customers.


This group operates six large stores in Ohio. With a theme of More For Your Home™, these stores offer traditional home center merchandise including hardware, plumbing, electrical and building supplies, but also feature indoor and outdoor garden centers, extensive lines of housewares and domestics, automotive supplies, pet supplies, sporting goods and a unique specialty food offering.

A year ago, daytime temperatures reached the seventies in our region during March. This year the month was much more like winter. Consequently, sales of warm weather goods failed to take off, and the group experienced a decline in revenue for the first quarter when compared to the same three months of 2000. Although gross margins increased slightly, the group's first quarter operating loss this year was wider than that incurred a year earlier.


According to President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Anderson, "Many companies are experiencing an economic slowdown at the present time, and The Andersons is no exception. While our Agriculture Group more than doubled operating income for the period, the other three businesses all experienced a decline in operating results. Given our first quarter experience and the uncertain economic outlook, I anticipate that our full year performance may fall short of last year's results from continuing operations -- $1.15 per share before a non-recurring insurance gain. Although we're currently going through these cycles, I continue to feel bullish about the longer-term outlook."

Recently, the company paid a quarterly cash dividend of 6.5 cents per share to shareholders of record as of April 2, 2001. The company is authorized by its board of directors to continue to repurchase shares from time to time.

The Andersons will host a webcast on April 26, 2001 at 11:00 A.M. EST, to discuss these first quarter results and the full-year earnings outlook. The webcast can be accessed through the company's website under the heading "Financial Information" or at

The Andersons, Inc. is a respected leader and prominent regional player in grain merchandising. Its strong position in this basic business has allowed the company to diversify into other agribusiness operations, railcar leasing, turf care product manufacturing and general merchandise retailing. The company has been in operation since 1947.

This release contains forward-looking statements. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including, without limitation, economic, weather and regulatory conditions, competition, and the risk factors set forth from time to time in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  The Andersons, Inc. is located on the Internet at .

                           The Andersons, Inc.
                  Consolidated Statements of Operations

                                                Three Months ended March 31
  (in thousands, except for per share amounts)    2001              2000

  Sales and merchandising revenues              $220,232          $204,607
  Cost of sales and merchandising revenues       185,117           169,553
  Gross profit                                    35,115            35,054

  Operating, administrative
    and general expenses                          33,351            32,457
  Interest expense                                 3,614             2,676
  Other income / gains:
    Other income                                     584             1,011
    Gain on insurance settlement                     338                 -
    Gain on sale of business                           -               907
  Income (loss) before income taxes and
    cumulative effect of accounting change          (928)            1,839
  Income taxes (credit)                             (298)              617
  Net income (loss) before cumulative
    effect of accounting change                     (630)            1,222
  Cumulative effect of accounting
    change, net of income tax benefit               (185)                -
  Net income (loss)                                $(815)           $1,222

  Per common share:
    Basic earnings (loss)                         $(0.11)            $0.16
    Diluted earnings (loss)                       $(0.11)            $0.16
    Dividends paid                                $0.065            $0.060

  Weighted average shares outstanding - basic      7,371             7,670
  Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted    7,371             7,674

                            The Andersons, Inc.
                         Consolidated Balance Sheets

                                           March 31  December 31   March 31
             (in thousands)                  2001        2000        2000

    Cash and cash equivalents               $6,246     $13,138      $6,047
    Accounts receivable and
      margin deposits                       63,610      55,475      75,637
    Inventories                            213,424     209,706     179,447
    Other current assets                    28,727      24,505      27,369
  Total current assets                     312,007     302,824     288,500

  Other assets:                              7,882      10,020       5,959
  Railcar assets leased to others (net)     26,690      22,281      18,929
  Property, plant and equipment (net)       96,945      98,071      95,852
                                          $443,524    $433,196    $409,240

  Liabilities and owners' equity
  Current liabilities:
    Notes payable                         $114,600     $71,300     $88,800
    Other current liabilities              147,315     176,264     148,423
  Total current liabilities                261,915     247,564     237,223

  Deferred items, long-term liabilities
    and minority interest                   15,800      15,637      14,379
  Long-term debt                            78,251      80,159      73,003
  Shareholders' equity                      87,558      89,836      84,635
    Total                                 $443,524    $433,196    $409,240

                                 Segment Data
                                (in thousands)

   Quarter ended
     March 31, 2001   Agriculture Processing Rail   Retail  Other   Total

  Revenues from
   external customers  $137,512   $42,246  $7,971  $32,503     $-  $220,232
  Other income              188        97      10      135    154       584
  Gain on insurance
   settlement               338         -       -        -      -       338
    Total              $138,038   $42,343  $7,981  $32,638   $154  $221,154

  Operating income
   (loss)                $3,329     $(243)  $(295) $(2,993) $(726)    $(928)

  Quarter ended
    March 31, 2000
  Revenues from
   external customers  $125,046   $35,409  $6,473  $35,190  $2,489 $204,607
  Other income              266        92     136      106     411    1,011
  Gain on sale of
   business                   -         -       -        -     907      907
    Total              $125,312   $35,501  $6,609  $35,296  $3,807 $206,525
  Operating income
     (loss)              $1,415    $1,701    $481  $(2,169)   $411   $1,839


SOURCE: The Andersons, Inc.

Contact: Gary Smith of The Andersons, Inc., 419-891-6417