Monday, 17 December 2001

Dean Foods Second Quarter Earnings Up 21 Percent To $0.80 Per Share

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Monday, 17 December 2001

FRANKLIN PARK, Ill., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ — Dean Foods Company
(NYSE: DF) today announced record results for its second quarter.

Sales increased 4.3% to a record $1,144.6 million in the second quarter of
fiscal 2002. Diluted earnings per share before merger-related costs were a
record $0.80 per share compared to $0.66 per share in the second quarter of
fiscal 2001. Driven by a significant improvement in National Refrigerated
Products Group results, second quarter operating earnings before merger-
related costs were $62.7 million compared to $56.7 million last year. The
company incurred $3.7 million pre-tax for costs related to the previously
announced merger transaction with Suiza Foods Corporation ($2.3 million after-
tax, or $0.06 per share).

“We are extremely pleased with our second quarter results given the
difficult economic environment,” said Mr. Howard Dean, Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer. “Our focus on improving profitability and our technology
investments over the past two years are paying off.”

The Dairy Group’s second quarter sales increased 6.1% to $864 million, as
a result of higher ice cream sales from the previously announced national
alliance with Baskin-Robbins and higher fluid milk sales resulting from the
pass-through of higher raw milk costs. Operating earnings were $41.3 million
compared to $43.6 million last year. Raw milk costs increased 33% and
butterfat costs increased 35% compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2001.
While price increases were taken on milk and ice cream products, all of the
cost increases could not be recovered through price increases.

The Specialty Food Group’s second quarter sales were $179.2 million,
compared to $185.3 million last year. Operating earnings were $21.6 million
compared to $20.4 million last year, as lower foodservice sales were offset by
price increases as well as ongoing cost control initiatives.

The National Refrigerated Product Group’s second quarter sales increased
approximately 4% to $101.4 million, reflecting increases in all major product
lines. Operating earnings increased $10.7 million, to $11 million, reflecting
lower new product launch costs, continued efficiency improvements in the
plants processing extended shelf life products, and higher sales.

Corporate expenses were $11.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2002
compared to $7.6 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2001. The increase
was due to additional expense for incentive compensation plans corresponding
to improved earnings in fiscal 2002.

Mr. Howard Dean concluded, “We continue to expect the merger with Suiza
Foods will close prior to the end of calendar 2001. The combined company will
have the national scope and scale to better serve our customers and, as a
result, create long-term value for the shareholders of the new Dean Foods
Company.”

Due to the pending merger with Suiza Foods, the Company will not hold a
quarterly earnings conference call.

About Dean Foods:
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.

Some of the statements in this press release are “forward looking” and are
made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the 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, butterfat, resin, and fuel costs, interest
rate fluctuations, the level of promotional spending, competitive pricing
pressures, the effectiveness of marketing and cost management programs, and
shifts in market demands.

                    DEAN FOODS COMPANY
                    CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF INCOME
                                   (Unaudited)
                    (In Mllions, Except for Per Share Amounts)

                                   Second Quarter Ended    Six Months Ended
                                   November   November   November   November
                                      25,        26,        25,        26,
                                     2001       2000 *     2001       2000 *

    Net sales                       $1,144.6   $1,097.6   $2,288.5   $2,145.4

    Costs of products sold             886.2      847.5    1,787.3    1,649.1

    Delivery, selling and
     administrative expenses           195.7      193.4      391.3      380.8

    Merger-related costs                 3.7          -       13.5          -

    Operating earnings                  59.0       56.7       96.4      115.5

    Interest expense, net               16.0       18.6       32.6       34.7

    Gain on sale of note                   -       10.0          -       10.0

    Income before income taxes          43.0       48.1       63.8       90.8

    Provision for income taxes          16.0       18.3       23.7       34.6

    Net income                         $27.0      $29.8      $40.1      $56.2


    Earnings per share:
       Basic                            $.75       $.84      $1.12      $1.58
       Diluted                          $.74       $.84      $1.10      $1.58


    Weighted average common
     shares:
       Basic                            35.9       35.5       35.8       35.5
       Diluted                          36.5       35.7       36.3       35.7


    * Restated for the adoption of EITF 00-14 "Accounting for Certain Sales
      Incentives" and EITF 00-25 "Vendor Income Statement Characterization of
      Consideration Paid to a Reseller of the Vendor's Products."  Upon
      adoption of the EITFs, during the first quarter of fiscal 2002, trade
      items, such as coupons, slotting fees, co-op advertising and other
      promotions, classified as Delivery, selling and administrative expenses
      were reclassified as a reduction of Net sales.  This reclassification
      did not affect the Company's financial position or results of
      operations.



                               DEAN FOODS COMPANY
                      SUPPLEMENTAL EARNINGS PER SHARE DATA
                                   (Unaudited)


                                            Second Quarter
                                                Ended        Six Months Ended
                                          November November November November
                                             25,      26,      25,      26,
                                            2001     2000     2001     2000

    Basic earnings (loss) per share:
       Net income before merger-related
        costs and gain on sale of note      $0.81    $0.66    $1.35    $1.40
       Merger-related costs                 (0.06)     -      (0.23)     -
       Gain on sale of note                   -       0.18      -       0.18
       Net income                           $0.75    $0.84    $1.12    $1.58


    Diluted earnings (loss) per share:
       Net income before merger-related
        costs and gain on sale of note      $0.80    $0.66    $1.33    $1.40
       Merger-related costs                 (0.06)     -      (0.23)     -
       Gain on sale of note                   -       0.18      -       0.18
       Net income                           $0.74    $0.84    $1.10    $1.58



                              DEAN FOODS COMPANY
                         BUSINESS SEGMENT INFORMATION
                                  (Unaudited)
                                 (In Millions)

    For the Second Quarter Ended November 25, 2001 and November 26, 2000

                                            National
                                             Refrig-
                                  Specialty  erated
                           Dairy     Foods  Products Corporate  Consolidated
    Fiscal 2002
    Net sales              $864.0   $179.2   $101.4     $-        $1,144.6
    Operating earnings      $41.3    $21.6    $11.0   $(14.9)(A)     $59.0 (A)


    Fiscal 2001
    Net sales (C)          $814.7   $185.3    $97.6     $-        $1,097.6
    Operating earnings      $43.6    $20.4     $0.3    $(7.6)        $56.7


    For the Six Months Ended November 25, 2001 and November 26, 2000

                                                                    National
                                                                  Refrigerated
                                                        Specialty
                                              Dairy       Foods     Products
    Fiscal 2002
    Net sales                                $1,737.2     $354.4     $196.9
    Operating earnings                          $75.6      $39.2      $16.9


    Fiscal 2001
    Net sales (C)                            $1,606.3     $361.7     $177.4
    Operating earnings                          $85.5      $43.4       $4.4


    (A)  Includes $3.7 million of merger-related costs.  Before merger-related
         costs, Corporate expenses were $11.2 million and consolidated
         operating earnings were $62.7 million.

    (B)  Includes $13.5 million of merger-related costs.  Before merger-
         related costs, Corporate expenses were $21.8 million and consolidated
         operating earnings were $109.9 million.

    (C)  Restated for the adoption of EITF 00-14 "Accounting for Certain Sales
         Incentives" and EITF 00-25 "Vendor Income Statement Characterization
         of Consideration Paid to a Reseller of the Vendor's Products."

    For the Six Months Ended November 25, 2001 and November 26, 2000



                                               Corporate       Consolidated
    Fiscal 2002
    Net sales                                     $-             $2,288.5
    Operating earnings                          $(35.3)(B)          $96.4 (B)


    Fiscal 2001
    Net sales (C)                                 $-             $2,145.4
    Operating earnings                          $(17.8)            $115.5


    (A)  Includes $3.7 million of merger-related costs.  Before merger-related
         costs, Corporate expenses were $11.2 million
         and consolidated operating earnings were $62.7 million.

    (B)  Includes $13.5 million of merger-related costs.  Before merger-
         related costs, Corporate expenses were $21.8 million and consolidated
         operating earnings were $109.9 million.

    (C)  Restated for the adoption of EITF 00-14 "Accounting for Certain Sales
         Incentives" and EITF 00-25 "Vendor Income Statement Characterization
         of Consideration Paid to a Reseller of the Vendor's Products."


                               DEAN FOODS COMPANY
                      CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET
                                   (Unaudited)
                                  (In millions)


                                                  November 25,        May 27,
                                                     2001              2001
                   ASSETS

    Current Assets:
         Cash and temporary cash
          investments                                $37.4             $22.6
         Accounts and notes receivable,
          net of allowance for doubtful
          accounts                                   353.3             363.1
         Inventories                                 261.1             220.1
         Other current assets                         78.9              89.2

              Total current assets                   730.7             695.0

    Property, Plant and Equipment, net               907.3             919.3

    Other Assets                                     700.3             703.1

              Total Assets                        $2,338.3          $2,317.4


    LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY

    Current Liabilities:
         Notes payable to banks                      $19.1              $-
         Current installments of long-
          term obligations                             1.0               4.4
         Accounts payable and accrued
          expenses                                   439.2             486.4
         Dividends payable                             8.3               8.2
         Federal and state income taxes               43.4              24.6

              Total current liabilities              511.0             523.6

    Long-Term Obligations                            936.0             940.2

    Deferred Liabilities                             150.6             149.0

    Shareholders' Equity                             740.7             704.6

              Total Liabilities and
               Shareholders' Equity               $2,338.3          $2,317.4

SOURCE  Dean Foods Company


Web site: http://www.deanfoods.com

Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/109161.html

CONTACT: Barbara Klein, Vice President, Finance and CFO, orWilliam Luegers, Vice President and Treasurer, both of Dean FoodsCompany, +1-847-678-1680

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