Riviana Foods Inc. (Nasdaq: RVFD), today reported higher earnings for fiscal 2000 of $25.1 million, or $1.73 per diluted share, on sales of $435.9 million. This compares to earnings of $24.3 million, or $1.60 per diluted share, on sales of $462.8 million for fiscal 1999. Income from operations increased 5% to $33.9 million.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2000, Riviana recorded earnings of $6.2 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, on sales of $102.0 million, compared to net income of $6.5 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, on sales of $114.5 million for the same period last year. Income from operations of $8.9 million was even with the prior year. The strength of the dollar against currencies in Central America and Europe reduced sales for the full year and the fourth quarter by $11.6 million and $2.1 million, respectively.

Riviana reported a 13% increase in domestic rice operating profits for fiscal 2000, primarily due to unit volume growth in the domestic retail regular rice, food service and industrial segments and lower raw material costs. Overall, unit volumes declined 1% due to a significant decline of low margin commodity sales. In the fourth quarter domestic rice operating profit increased 5% primarily due to lower processing costs and increased food service sales.

The Company's results in Central America were impacted by difficult economic conditions in the region and higher costs associated with market expansion efforts. In processed fruits and vegetables and nectars and juices, Riviana reported a 7% increase in volumes for both the fourth quarter and the year. Volumes in cookies and crackers were up 2% for the year and 1% for the quarter. Operating profit in Central America for fiscal 2000 declined by 6% on a 1% decline in sales. For the fourth quarter, operating profits were down 6% on a 1% sales increase.

In Europe, income from operations for the year declined $1.0 million on a 21% decline in sales. This decrease was primarily due to competitive pressures and the loss of representation of a dried fruit brand and a line of chilled meats. Results for the fourth quarter were comparable to those for the year.

The Company reported other income of $2.0 million, down from $2.5 million for fiscal 1999. Equity in the earnings of unconsolidated affiliates increased by $0.5 million due primarily to record volumes at the Company's rice flour joint venture. Gains from the sale of marketable securities decreased $0.2 million from the prior year. Additionally, fiscal 1999 results included a $0.8 million one-time gain from the settlement of litigation. For the quarter, other income declined $0.4 million primarily because of lower gains from marketable securities.

"We are pleased that Riviana has continued its record of growth for the fifth consecutive year," said Joseph A. Hafner, Jr., president and chief executive officer. "Over the past year, we continued to strengthen our core rice business through acquisitions, and we increased market share in the domestic retail rice market despite significant competitive activity. We continue to undertake projects that will maintain our position as the largest and lowest cost producer of value-added rice products."

During the fourth quarter, the Company repurchased 105,696 shares of its outstanding common stock. Since the repurchase program began in 1995, Riviana has repurchased 1,908,096 shares under its announced plan to repurchase 3,000,000 shares authorized.

As previously reported, Riviana paid a quarterly cash dividend of $0.14 per common share on July 6, 2000, to stockholders of record June 8, 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 STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)

Three Months Ended Years Ended
(Unaudited)
July 2, June 27, July 2, June 27,
2000 1999 2000 1999
NET SALES $102,018 $114,468 $435,885 $462,761

COST OF SALES 67,161 80,689 292,780 328,395
Gross profit 34,857 33,779 143,105 134,366

COSTS AND EXPENSES:
Advertising, selling
and warehousing 20,886 19,815 87,718 81,184
Administrative and general 5,100 5,100 21,442 20,772
Total costs and expenses 25,986 24,915 109,160 101,956
Income from operations 8,871 8,864 33,945 32,410

OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE):
Interest income, net 21 141 331 349
Other income, net 174 543 1,977 2,464
Income before income taxes
and minority interests 9,066 9,548 36,253 35,223

INCOME TAX EXPENSE 2,715 2,863 10,855 10,592

MINORITY INTERESTS IN
EARNINGS OF CONSOLIDATED
SUBSIDIARIES 105 178 297 376
NET INCOME $6,246 $6,507 $25,101 $24,255


Earnings per share:
Basic $0.44 $0.44 $1.74 $1.62
Diluted 0.44 0.44 1.73 1.60

Dividends paid per share $0.14 $0.125 $0.53 $0.47

Weighted average common
shares outstanding:
Basic 14,181 14,706 14,438 14,987
Diluted 14,245 14,883 14,541 15,187


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

July 2, 2000 June 27, 1999

ASSETS
CURRENT ASSETS:
Cash and cash equivalents $13,528 $11,334
Marketable securities 1,582 3,366
Accounts receivable 40,826 42,079
Inventories 48,923 46,570
Prepaid expenses 2,366 2,247
Total current assets 107,225 105,596

PROPERTY, PLANT AND EQUIPMENT, net 86,124 77,335

INVESTMENTS IN UNCONSOLIDATED AFFILIATES 9,402 9,958

OTHER ASSETS 6,364 7,315

Total assets $209,115 $200,204


LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

CURRENT LIABILITIES:
Current maturities and short-term debt $5,900 $1,973
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 46,016 43,763
Income taxes payable 5,876 6,938
Total current liabilities 57,792 52,674

LONG-TERM DEBT, net of current maturities 1,462 1,390

DEFERRED INCOME TAXES AND OTHER
LIABILITIES 14,930 15,763

STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY 134,931 130,377

Total liabilities and stockholders'
equity $209,115 $200,204