Universal Foods Corporation (NYSE:UFC) announced today that diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were $0.36 for the quarter ended September 30th compared with $0.40 for the same period last year. Earnings from continuing operations were $17.5 million versus $20.3 million for the same period last year. Revenue from continuing operations was $207.0 million compared to $210.2 million for the September quarter of 1999. Results from continuing operations include sales and earnings for all of the company's operations except the Yeast division. The company is now reporting financial results on a calendar year ending December 31.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2000, earnings from continuing operations were $54.6 million, up 4.2% from $52.4 million for the same period last year. Diluted earnings per share increased 7.8% to $1.11 from $1.03 last year. Nine-month revenue from continuing operations was $616.3 million, up 3.1% from $597.6 million for the same period last year.

Revenue for the Color segment rose 4.0% for the quarter and 16.6% for the nine months ended September 30. Ink-jet inks, natural color applications and specialty food colors have grown strongly during the nine months ended September 30th. Operating profit increased 9.2% for the quarter and 16.4% for the nine-month period, primarily due to higher volumes worldwide. Revenue and operating profit has increased in every geographic region of the Color segment during calendar 2000.

Revenue for the Flavor segment, which includes dehydrated products, was 2.3% and 1.8% below the prior year for the September 30th quarter and nine months, respectively. Higher volumes in every flavor and dehydrated product category during calendar 2000 were more than offset by unfavorable currency exchange rates and lower prices on dehydrated products. Operating profit declined 18.6% during the quarter and by 1.3% over the past nine months reflecting dehydrated product pricing, the negative impact of currency rates and the recognition of very favorable harvest and processing costs during the comparable quarter last year.

"We knew we had a challenge comparing this quarter with the phenomenal results reported last year," stated Kenneth P. Manning, Chairman and CEO. "We have successfully increased volumes during the year, positioning the company for additional growth in the next quarter and next year. Our strategy to expand into entirely new markets, particularly in Color, allows us to out-perform the competition with solid year-to-date gains in revenue and earnings despite difficult currency exchange rates. We expect to return to double-digit gains in earnings per share next quarter."

The company will host a conference call at 10:00 a.m. CST on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 to discuss financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2000. The call is accessible by dialing (800) 289-0579. Please refer to confirmation code number 787543.

"During calendar 2000 we completed two important acquisitions, merged two divisions and agreed to sell our Yeast business, simplified our segment reporting and moved to a fiscal year that compares better with other business-to-business companies," Manning stated. "We will continue to reshape this company during November when we announce a new corporate name. The future has never looked better for our business."

This release contains forward-looking statements that reflect management's current assumptions and estimates of future economic circumstances, industry conditions, company performance and financial results. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor for such forward-looking statements. A variety of factors, including general economic conditions affecting the company's worldwide business, could cause the company's actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results.

Universal Foods Corporation
(Dollars in thousands)

Results by Segment Quarters Ended

Revenue 09/30/2000 09/30/1999 % Change
------- ---------- ---------- --------

Flavor $ 131,451 $ 134,574 -2.3
Color 72,809 70,026 4.0
Corporate and other 15,673 13,050 20.1
Intersegment elimination (12,942) (7,494) 72.7
---------- ----------
Continuing Operations $ 206,991 $ 210,156 -1.5
========== ==========

Operating Income 09/30/2000 09/30/1999 % Change
---------------- ---------- ---------- --------

Flavor $ 20,449 $ 25,121 -18.6
Color 17,887 16,373 9.2
Corporate and other (5,546) (5,859) -5.3
---------- ----------
Continuing Operations $ 32,790 $ 35,635 -8.0
========== ==========

Results by Segment Year to Date

Revenue 09/30/2000 09/30/1999 % Change
------- ---------- ---------- --------

Flavor $ 388,414 $ 395,688 -1.8
Color 218,425 187,268 16.6
Corporate and other 41,925 36,042 16.3
Intersegment elimination (32,461) (21,442) 51.4
---------- ----------
Continuing Operations $ 616,303 $ 597,556 3.1
========== ==========

Operating Income 09/30/2000 09/30/1999 % Change
---------------- ---------- ---------- --------

Flavor $ 62,589 $ 63,411 -1.3
Color 53,094 45,626 16.4
Corporate and other (16,076) (12,679) 26.8
---------- ----------
Continuing Operations $ 99,607 $ 96,358 3.4
========== ==========

Note: In the quarter ended September 30, 2000, the Company decided to
change its fiscal year end from September 30 to December 31. The year
to date segment data presented is for the nine months ended September
30. In the quarter ended June 30, 2000 the Company decided to dispose
of its Yeast division and integrate its Dehydrated division with
Flavor. As a result of these actions, the Company's reportable
segments became Flavor and Color and all segment data has been
restated to reflect this change.

Universal Foods Corporation

(In thousands, except percentages and per share amounts)

Consolidated Earnings

Quarters Ended September 30, 2000 1999 % Change
Revenue $ 206,991 $210,156 -1.5
Cost of products sold 133,953 136,563 -1.9
Selling and
administrative expenses 40,248 37,958 6.0
Operating income 32,790 35,635 -8.0
Interest expense 8,579 6,868 24.9
Earnings before income taxes 24,211 28,767 -15.8
Income taxes 6,755 8,453 -20.1
Earnings from
continuing operations 17,456 20,314 -14.1
Earnings from
discontinued operations 929 3,192 -70.9
Net earnings $ 18,385 $ 23,506 -21.8
============ ==========

Earnings per common share:
Continuing operations
Basic $ 0.36 $ 0.40 -10.0
========== =========
Diluted $ 0.36 $ 0.40 -10.0
========== =========
Net Earnings
Basic $ 0.38 $ 0.47 -19.1
========== =========
Diluted $ 0.38 $ 0.46 -17.4
========== =========

Average common shares
outstanding:
Basic 48,481 50,219 -3.5
========== ========
Diluted 48,796 50,722 -3.8
========== ========
Dividends per share $ 0.1325 $ 0.1325 0.0
========== ========

Universal Foods Corporation
(In thousands, except percentages and per share amounts)

Consolidated Earnings
Nine Months Ended September 30, 2000 1999 % Change

Revenue $ 616,303 $597,556 3.1
Cost of products sold 398,458 394,228 1.1
Selling and
administrative expenses 118,238 106,970 10.5
Operating income 99,607 96,358 3.4
Interest expense 25,181 20,276 24.2
Earnings before income taxes 74,426 76,082 -2.2
Income taxes 19,848 23,695 -16.2
Earnings from
continuing operations 54,578 52,387 4.2
Earnings from
discontinued operations 2,006 10,877 -81.6
Net earnings $ 56,584 $ 63,264 -10.6
========== ========

Earnings per common share:
Continuing operations
Basic $ 1.11 $ 1.04 6.7
========== ========
Diluted $ 1.11 $ 1.03 7.8
========== ========
Net Earnings
Basic $ 1.15 $ 1.26 -8.7
========== ========
Diluted $ 1.15 $ 1.24 -7.3
========== ========
Average common
shares outstanding:
Basic 49,138 50,360 -2.4
========== ========
Diluted 49,384 50,901 -3.0
========== ========
Dividends per share $ 0.1325 $ 0.1325 0.0
========== ========

Universal Foods Corporation
(Dollars in thousands)

Consolidated Condensed Balance Sheets
September 30, 2000 1999
------------ ------------
Current Assets $ 390,252 $ 404,570
Intangibles 295,192 278,309
Property, plant and equipment
(net) 304,843 390,308
Other assets 63,449 69,521
Net assets held for sale 79,080 -
------------ ------------

Total Assets $1,132,816 $1,142,708
============ ============

Current Liabilities $ 322,911 $ 241,693
Long-term debt 328,125 385,397
Accrued employee and retiree
benefits 26,955 34,678
Other liabilities 45,824 49,358
Shareholders' Equity 409,001 431,582
------------ ------------

Total Liabilities and
Shareholders' Equity $1,132,816 $1,142,708
============ ============

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
Nine Months Ended September 30, 2000 1999
------------ ------------

Cash flows from operating activities:
Earnings from continuing
operations $ 54,579 $ 52,386
Adjustments to reconcile
net earnings to cash
provided by operating
activities:
Depreciation and
amortization 34,470 29,463
Changes in operating
assets and liabilities
(net of effects of
acquisition of
businesses) (26,785) (8,677)
------------ ------------
Net cash provided by operating
activities of continuing
operations 62,264 73,172
Net cash provided by discontinued
operations 16,465 15,076
------------ ------------

Net cash provided by operating
activities 78,729 88,248
------------ ------------

Cash flows from investing activities:
Acquisition of property,
plant and equipment (40,808) (51,312)
Acquisition of new businesses
(net of cash acquired) (44,206) (58,361)
Other items, net 11,442 (501)
------------ ------------

Net cash used in investing
activities (73,572) (110,174)

Cash flows from financing activities:
Proceeds from additional
borrowings 115,811 228,898
Reduction in debt (60,020) (166,117)
Purchase of treasury
stock (44,995) (17,930)
Dividends (19,625) (20,065)
Proceeds from options
exercised and other 9,226 1,489
------------ ------------

Net cash provided by financing
activities 397 26,275
------------ ------------

Effect of exchange rate changes on
cash and cash equivalents 243 (112)
------------ ------------

Net (decrease) increase in cash
and cash equivalents 5,797 4,237
Cash and cash equivalents at
beginning of period 114 408
------------ ------------
Cash and cash equivalents at end
of period $ 5,911 $ 4,645
============ ============