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Cone Mills: 2002 Best Year Since 1994

Greensboro, N.C.-based Cone Mills Corp. reported a fourth quarter 2002 net income of $3 million, or 8 cents per share after preferred dividends; and a net income of $11.4 million, or 28 cents per share, for the year - Cone's best performance since 1994. These figures contrasted with year-earlier net losses from continuing operations of $1.4 million, or 10 cents per share, and $23.1 million, or $1.07 per share, respectively.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBItdA) including Cone's share of profits from Parras Cone, its joint venture in Mexico, totaled $14.8 million for the quarter and $58.6 million for the year.

"[The year] 2002 fulfills the commitment that we made last year to return Cone Mills to profitability and achieves our $50 million EBItdA goal set two years ago," said John L. Bakane, CEO.

Gary L. Smith, CFO, noted that Cone reduced debt by $29 million and improved its debt-to-EBItdA ratio to 2.9. "We continue to operate with daily liquidity of more than $20 million," he added.

Cone Mills' fourth-quarter 2002 profit was driven by a 31.1-percent increase in denim sales over year-earlier sales.

March 2003