Tuesday, 27 June 2000

Dean Foods Reports Record Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year Earnings

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Tuesday, 27 June 2000

FRANKLIN PARK, Ill., June 27 /PRNewswire/ — Dean Foods Company
(NYSE: DF) today announced record earnings for the fourth quarter and full
year, driven by a solid performance in its Dairy segment and continued focus
on new product initiatives.

Fourth quarter income from continuing operations grew 10.3 percent to
$29.9 million before plant closure costs, compared with $27.1 million in the
fourth quarter of 1999, and earnings per share grew 22.1 percent to $.83, up
from $.68 a year ago. Sales increased 2.0 percent to a record
$1,020.5 million, up from $1,000.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal
1999.

Fiscal 2000 income from continuing operations advanced 35.2 percent to
$109.9 million before plant closure costs, from $81.3 million in fiscal 1999,
and earnings per share increased 42.8 percent to $2.87 from $2.01 in 1999.
Sales increased 8.3 percent to $4,065.6 million in fiscal 2000, compared to
$3,755.1 million in fiscal 1999.

“Our record fourth quarter earnings, with a greater than 10 percent
increase from 1999, are the result of the strong performance of the Dairy
segment,” stated Howard Dean, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Dairy
operating earnings before plant closure charges increased more than 36 percent
in the fourth quarter and nearly 56 percent for fiscal 2000, primarily due to
continued improvements in operating performance and favorable commodities
pricing.”

“The performance by the Dairy segment offset difficulties experienced in
the Pickles segment,” continued Mr. Dean. “Continued market pressure by the
branded market leader and incremental costs due to poor crop conditions
negatively impacted the performance in Pickles. The Specialty segment was
impacted by one-time costs associated with integration of systems and
processes with an outside warehouse.”

Dean Foods’ fourth quarter results included the following highlights:

  • Fluid milk operations benefited from improved margins, increased plant
    efficiencies, plant rationalization, and improved commodity costs.
  • Ice cream earnings improved due to improved plant performance, plant
    rationalization, continued focus on brand position, and the ability to
    maintain margins.
  • ESL, the Extended Shelf Life business, continued to grow through
    increased volumes, by providing consumers with a product advantage for
    key dairy products.
  • The Milk Chug product continued to expand in California, positively
    impacting the entire fluid milk category in the nation’s largest dairy
    market.
  • The innovative Dips-for-One product was successfully launched, the
    first individually packaged, single-serve refrigerated dip.
  • The Company announced the acquisition of the Land O’Lakes upper
    midwest fluid milk operations and a joint venture to further expand
    and leverage the highly respected Land O’Lakes brand name on a
    nationwide basis.

The Company’s effective tax rate decreased from 39% to 38% in the fourth
quarter as a result of a more effective tax structure following the
integration of acquisitions. The impact of the change in tax rate on fourth
quarter and full year earnings per share was approximately $.01 per share.
Absent any major changes in the business, this rate is sustainable for the
foreseeable future.

Dean Foods’ fourth quarter 2000 net income included an after-tax charge of
$3.8 million, or $.11 per share, for costs associated with the closure of
Dairy plants in Sacramento, California and Mobile, Alabama. Including these
charges, fourth quarter earnings per share were $.72 per share and net income
was $26.1 million. Fourth quarter 1999 net income of $20.8 million, or $.52
per share, included $6.3 million after-tax, or $.16 per share, for plant
closure costs. Fiscal 2000 net income including the plant closure costs was
$106.1 million, or $2.77 per share. Fiscal 1999 net income of $151.2 million,
or $3.74 per share, included plant closure costs of $.27 per share, a gain of
$2.07 per share on disposition of the Company’s vegetables business and a loss
of $.07 per share from discontinued operations.

“We are pleased with fourth quarter and full year performance of the Dairy
segment and see improvements in the market and crop conditions in the Pickles
segment for fiscal 2001,” concluded Mr. Dean. “We are also excited with the
successful launch of Dips-for-One in our Specialty segment, although increased
advertising and trade spending costs associated with Dips-for-One will affect
the segment’s performance in the first and second quarters.”

Dean Foods is one of the nation’s leading dairy processors and
distributors producing a full line of branded and private label products,
including fluid milk, ice cream and extended shelf life products, which are
sold under the Dean’s and other strong regional brand names. Dean Foods is
the industry leader in other food products including pickles, powdered non-
dairy coffee creamers, aseptically packaged foodservice products, and
refrigerated dips and salad dressings.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking as defined by
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements
involve certain risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to
differ materially from expectations as of the date of this press release.
These risks include, but are not limited to, the ability to integrate
acquisitions, adverse weather conditions resulting in poor harvest conditions,
raw milk and resin costs, interest rate fluctuations, competitive pricing
pressures, the effectiveness of marketing and cost-management programs and
shifts in market demand.

The Company’s quarterly earnings conference call will be held today at
10:00 a.m. Central Time. The call may be heard live at the Company’s web
site, https://www.deanfoods.com , using RealPlayer7 Basic software. The basic version
of RealPlayer7 may be downloaded at no charge from
http://www.real.com/products/player/index.html prior to the call. Please allow
approximately 15 minutes to download the software. Replays will be available
at the same internet address for a limited time period.


                              DEAN FOODS COMPANY

                    CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

                                 (Unaudited)

                                (In Millions)


                                                    May 28,         May 30,
                                                     2000            1999
    ASSETS
      Current Assets:
      Cash and temporary cash investments              $26.7          $16.0
      Accounts and notes receivable, net of
       allowance for doubtful accounts                 302.6          303.3
      Inventories                                      178.4          168.8
      Other current assets                              92.6           94.1

       Total current assets                           $600.3         $582.2

    Property, Plant and Equipment, net                 815.3          764.9

    Other Assets                                       587.9          564.8

      Total Assets                                  $2,003.5       $1,911.9


        LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY
    Current Liabilities:
      Current installments of long-term obligations     $3.6           $2.7
      Accounts payable and accrued expenses            396.4          398.1
      Dividends payable                                  7.9            8.4
      Federal and state income taxes                    41.2           30.3

        Total current liabilities                    $ 449.1        $ 439.5

    Long-Term Obligations                              758.7          631.3

    Deferred Liabilities                               138.0          124.7

    Shareholders' Equity                               657.7          716.4

        Total Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity  $2,003.5       $1,911.9


                              DEAN FOODS COMPANY
                 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF EARNINGS
                            FOR THE PERIODS ENDED
                        MAY 28, 2000 AND MAY 30, 1999
                                 (Unaudited)
    Fourth Quarter Ended
                                                May 28,   May 30,   Change
                                                 2000      1999        %

    Net sales                                  $1,020.5  $1,000.5      2.0%

    Costs of products sold                        770.9     768.2      0.4%

    Delivery, selling administrative expenses     188.6     177.0      6.6%

    Plant closure charges                           6.1      10.4    -41.3%

      Operating earnings                          $54.9     $44.9     22.3%

    Interest expense, net of interest income       12.8      10.8     18.5%

      Income from continuing operations
       before income taxes                        $42.1     $34.1     23.5%

    Provision for income taxes                     16.0      13.3     20.3%

      Income from continuing operations           $26.1     $20.8     25.5%

    Discontinued operations, net of taxes:
      Loss from discontinued operations               -         -         -
      Gain on sale of discontinued operations         -         -         -
      Total discontinued operations, net of taxes    $-        $-         -

      Net income                                  $26.1     $20.8     25.5%

    Basic earnings (loss) per share:
      Income from continuing operations
       before plant closure charges                $.83      $.69     20.3%
      Plant closure charges                         .11       .16    -31.3%
      Income from continuing operations            $.72      $.53     35.8%
      Loss from discontinued operations               -         -         -
      Gain on sale of discontinued operations         -         -         -
        Net income                                 $.72      $.53     35.8%

    Diluted earnings (loss) per share:
      Income from continuing operations
       before plant closure charges                $.83      $.68     22.1%
      Plant closure charges                         .11       .16    -31.3%
       Income from continuing operations           $.72      $.52     38.5%
      Loss from discontinued operations               -         -         -
      Gain on sale of discontinued operations         -         -         -
        Net income                                 $.72      $.52     38.5%

    Weighted average common shares:
      Basic                                        36.1      39.4     -8.4%
      Diluted                                      36.1      39.7     -9.1%

                                                       Fiscal Year Ended
                                                 May 28,   May 30,    Change
                                                   2000      1999       %

    Net sales                                   $4,065.6  $3,755.1     8.3%

    Costs of products sold                       3,104.2   2,941.2     5.5%

    Delivery, selling and administrative expenses  732.7     642.5    14.0%

    Plant closure charges                            6.1      18.1   -66.3%

      Operating earnings                          $222.6    $153.3    45.2%

    Interest expense, net of interest income        49.3      38.0    29.7%

      Income from continuing operations
       before income taxes                        $173.3    $115.3    50.3%

    Provision for income taxes                      67.2      45.0    49.3%

      Income from continuing operations           $106.1     $70.3    50.9%

    Discontinued operations, net of taxes:
      Loss from discontinued operations                -      (2.9)       -
      Gain on sale of discontinued operations          -      83.8        -
      Total discontinued operations, net of taxes     $-     $80.9        -

      Net income                                  $106.1    $151.2   -29.8%

    Basic earnings (loss) per share:
      Income from continuing operations
       before plant closure charges                $2.89     $2.04    41.7%
      Plant closure charges                         -.10       .27   -63.0%
      Income from continuing operations            $2.79      1.77    57.6%
      Loss from discontinued operations                -      (.07)       -
      Gain on sale of discontinued operations          -      2.10        -
       Net income                                  $2.79     $3.80   -26.6%

    Diluted earnings (loss) per share:
      Income from continuing operations
       before plant closure charges                $2.87     $2.01    42.8%
      Plant closure charges                         -.10       .27   -63.0%
       Income from continuing operations           $2.77     $1.74    59.2%
      Loss from discontinued operations                -      (.07)       -
      Gain on sale of discontinued operations          -      2.07        -
       Net income                                  $2.77     $3.74   -25.9%

    Weighted average common shares:
      Basic                                         38.0      39.8    -4.5%
      Diluted                                       38.3      40.5    -5.4%

                                DEAN FOODS COMPANY
                           BUSINESS SEGMENT INFORMATION
                              FOR THE PERIODS ENDED
                          MAY 28, 2000 AND MAY 30, 1999
                                   (Unaudited)
                                  (In Millions)

                    Dairy      Pickles    Specialty    Corporate
Consolidated
    FOURTH QUARTER ENDED

    May 28, 2000

    Net sales      $805.6      $ 106.5       $108.4           $-    $1,020.5

    Operating
     earnings
     before
     plant
     closure
     charges        $48.1         $8.5        $15.4        $(11.0)     $61.0
    Plant closure
     charges          6.1            -            -            -         6.1
    Operating
     earnings       $42.0         $8.5        $15.4        $(11.0)     $54.9

    May 30, 1999

    Net sales      $787.7       $102.0       $110.8           $-    $1,000.5

    Operating
     earnings
     before
     plant
     closure
     charges        $35.2        $13.7        $17.4        $(11.0)     $55.3
    Plant
     closure
     charges          8.9          0.8          0.7            -        10.4
    Operating
     earnings       $26.3        $12.9        $16.7        $(11.0)     $44.9

    FISCAL YEAR ENDED

    May 28, 2000

    Net sales    $3,255.0       $378.6       $432.0           $-    $4,065.6

    Operating
     earnings
     before
     plant
     closure
     charges       $162.5        $34.2        $71.0       $(39.0)     $228.7
    Plant
     closure
     charges          6.1            -            -            -         6.1
    Operating
     earnings      $156.4        $34.2        $71.0       $(39.0)     $222.6

    May 30, 1999

    Net sales    $2,984.6       $363.7       $406.8           $-    $3,755.1

    Operating
     earnings
     before
     plant
     closure
     charges       $104.4        $42.8        $59.9       $(35.7)     $171.4
    Plant
     closure
     charges          8.9          8.5          0.7            -        18.1
    Operating
     earnings       $95.5        $34.3        $59.2        $(35.7)    $153.3


SOURCE Dean Foods Company

Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/109161.htmlor fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 109161

CONTACT: Richard Bailey, President & Chief Operating Officer, orBarbara Klein, Chief Financial Officer, both of Dean Foods,847-678-1680

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