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Roy C. Liljebeck (206) 281-1003
SEATTLE -- October 27, 1997
Airborne Freight Corporation (NYSE: ABF), which operates under the trade name Airborne Express, today reported net earnings available to common shareholders of $46,619,000, or $2.05 per share, $1.87 on a fully diluted basis, for the third quarter ended September 30, 1997. This compares to net earnings of $4,642,000, or $.22 per share for the same period last year.

Total revenues for third quarter 1997 were $788,598,000 a 29 percent increase over 1996 third quarter revenues of $612,027,000. Domestic revenues of $687,549,000 were 32 percent higher than 1996 third quarter domestic revenues of $522,040,000. International revenues increased 12 percent to $101,049,000 versus last year’s international revenues of $89,987,000.

Net earnings available to common shareholders for the first nine months of 1997 were $89,280,000, or $4.04 per share, $3.64 per share on a fully diluted basis, versus $16,509,000, or $.78 per share for 1996. Total revenues for the first nine months of 1997 were 18 percent higher at $2,156,904,000, compared to $1,832,334,000 for the same nine month period in 1996. Domestic revenues were $1,861,659,000, an increase of 20 percent over 1996 revenues of $1,552,216,000. International revenues for this period reached $295,245,000, 5 percent higher than 1996 international revenues of $280,118,000.

Airborne’s total number of shipments during third quarter 1997 increased 26 percent to 80,748,000, versus 64,219,000 in third quarter 1996. Domestic shipments were 79,279,000, an increase of 26 percent over last year’s shipments of 62,968,000. International shipments gained 17 percent to 1,469,000 compared to 1,251,000 for the same period in 1996. Total shipments for the nine months were 223,865,000, up 16 percent over 1996.

"The Company obviously received a positive financial boost during the third quarter as a result of the strike at United Parcel Service from August 1 to August 19," said Airborne’s Chief Financial Officer Roy Liljebeck. "We estimate the incremental revenues were $50 to $55 million, and that the impact on earnings per share is in the range of $.60 to $.70. It must be emphasized that these are estimates which could only be arrived at by assuming what level of business the Company would have handled had there been no strike," continued Liljebeck.

"While the UPS strike was the headline news in the quarter, Company operations outside the strike window were steady, trending higher than performance in the second quarter of 1997. Productivity gains remain strong and the overall operating cost per shipment continues to improve," concluded Liljebeck.

For more than 50 years, Airborne Express has served the shipping needs of business customers around the world. Today, Airborne offers total distribution solutions by providing time-sensitive delivery of documents, letters, small packages, and freight to virtually every U.S. ZIP code and more than 200 countries. Customers can select from a variety of services including same-day, next-morning, next-afternoon or second-day delivery, air freight, ocean service, and logistics management.


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