Riviana Foods Inc. (Nasdaq: RVFD) reported a 10% increase in per share earnings for the first quarter ended October 1, 2000, to $0.34 per diluted share from $0.31 per diluted share for last year. Net income rose 3%, to $4.8 million, on sales of $101.5 million, compared to net income of $4.6 million, on sales of $105.6 million, for the first quarter last year.

Riviana's domestic rice business reported a 5% increase in unit volume sales during the first quarter of fiscal 2001. Operating profit increased 15% due to lower rice costs and higher unit volume sales for the retail regular rice, foodservice, industrial and commodity and export categories. These increases were offset somewhat by lower volumes in the highly competitive value-added instant and prepared mix categories.

In Central America, sales of cookies, crackers, processed fruits and vegetables increased 10%, while operating profit declined 13% due to intensified competitive activity as well as higher plant energy expenses, start-up costs associated with new product introductions and government- mandated wage increases. The Company's popular line of Chiky® cookies was expanded with the addition of strawberry and vanilla coated cookies.

The Company's European operations reported lower sales and operating profits due to the continuing effects of increased competition and the loss of two distributorships in the United Kingdom. Sales were down $6.0 million, resulting in a $0.3 million decline in operating profit.

"We are pleased that Riviana continued to show solid results in the face of intense competitive pressures in many of our businesses," said Joseph A. Hafner, Jr., president and chief executive officer.

During the first quarter, the Company completed the purchase of 9,500 shares of common stock under its repurchase program. To date, Riviana has purchased 1,917,596 shares of the total 3,000,000 shares authorized for repurchase.

As previously reported, Riviana paid a quarterly cash dividend of $0.14 per common share on October 10, 2000, to stockholders of record September 5, 2000.

Based in Houston, Texas, Riviana Foods Inc. is one of the largest processors, marketers and distributors of branded and private-label rice products in the United States. Principal brands include Mahatma®, Carolina® and Success®. The Company has additional food operations in Central America and Europe.

This press release includes forward-looking statements under the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in these statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, Riviana can give no assurance that these expectations will be achieved.

                     RIVIANA FOODS INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In Thousands)

October 1, 2000 July 2, 2000
(Unaudited) (Audited)
ASSETS

CURRENT ASSETS:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 10,701 $ 13,528
Marketable securities 1,226 1,582
Accounts receivable 44,075 40,826
Inventories 53,308 48,923
Prepaid expenses 3,322 2,366
Total current assets 112,632 107,225

PROPERTY, PLANT AND EQUIPMENT, net 86,362 86,124

INVESTMENTS IN UNCONSOLIDATED AFFILIATES 8,738 9,402

OTHER ASSETS 6,681 6,364

Total assets $214,413 $209,115


LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

CURRENT LIABILITIES:
Current maturities and short-term debt $ 4,828 $ 5,900
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 50,497 46,016
Income taxes payable 7,690 5,876
Total current liabilities 63,015 57,792

LONG-TERM DEBT, net of current maturities 1,565 1,462

DEFERRED INCOME TAXES AND OTHER LIABILITIES 13,235 14,930

STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY 136,598 134,931

Total liabilities
and stockholders' equity $214,413 $209,115



RIVIANA FOODS INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)

Three Months Ended
(Unaudited)


October 1, 2000 September 26, 1999
NET SALES $101,528 $105,607

COST OF SALES 69,695 74,999
Gross profit 31,833 30,608

COSTS AND EXPENSES:
Advertising, selling and warehousing 19,525 18,906
Administrative and general 5,668 5,486
Total costs and expenses 25,193 24,392
Income from operations 6,640 6,216

OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE):
Interest income (expense), net (21) 164
Other income, net 369 331
Income before income taxes and
minority interests 6,988 6,711

INCOME TAX EXPENSE 2,096 2,013

MINORITY INTERESTS IN EARNINGS OF
CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES 104 54
NET INCOME $4,788 $4,644


Earnings per share:
Basic $0.34 $0.32
Diluted $0.34 $0.31


Dividends paid per share $0.14 $0.125

Weighted average common shares outstanding:
Basic 14,125 14,627
Diluted 14,197 14,783