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Roy C. Liljebeck (206) 281-1003
SEATTLE -- January 31, 2000
Airborne Freight Corporation (NYSE: ABF), which operates under the trade name Airborne Express, today reported fourth quarter and year-end 1999 results. For year-end 1999, net earnings were $91,201,000. On a diluted basis, the per share results for 1999 were $1.85 versus $2.72 in 1998.

Fourth quarter 1999 net earnings were $17,331,000, versus $38,285,000 in the same period of 1998. The quarterly per share results in 1999 were $.35 on a diluted basis, which includes a gain equal to $.06 from the sale of securities, compared to $.78 in 1998.

Total revenues for 1999 grew 2.1 percent to $3,140,226,000, compared to 1998 year-end revenues of $3,074,525,000. Domestic revenues for 1999 increased 2.2 percent from $2,712,344,000 in 1998 to $2,772,782,000. International revenues for 1999 increased 1.5 percent from $362,181,000 in 1998 to $367,444,000 in 1999.

Fourth quarter domestic revenues for 1999 reached $709,010,000, up 1.5 percent over 1998 domestic revenues of $698,798,000. International revenues for fourth quarter 1999 increased 4.9 percent to $96,879,000 as compared to 1998 figures of $92,315,000.

Shipments for 1999 totaled 323,429,000. Domestic shipments in 1999 were 316,391,000 compared to 316,590,000 for 1998. International shipments experienced a 9.1 percent increase with 1999 figures reaching 7,038,000 versus year-end 1998 shipments of 6,451,000.

Domestic shipments in the fourth quarter of 1999 were 79,953,000 versus 80,216,000 for the same period in 1998. International shipments climbed to 1,830,000 during the 1999 fourth quarter, an increase of 7.3 percent over 1998 fourth quarter shipments of 1,705,000.

"As outlined in the company’s pre-earnings announcement on January 20, the lack of growth in domestic shipments handled by the company and the high cost of jet fuel were the primary contributors to the weaker earnings in this year’s fourth quarter and full-year results," said Airborne’s Chief Financial Officer, Roy Liljebeck. "Domestic shipment growth was flat throughout the year and jet fuel in the fourth quarter of 1999 was $.19 per gallon higher than last year’s fourth quarter, reducing earnings per share this year by $.11 versus last year’s fourth quarter.

"On the positive side, domestic yields and the corresponding total domestic revenue increased 2.2 percent for the year on flat shipment growth. In February, to help offset the higher cost of jet fuel, a surcharge of 3 percent will be implemented by the company on all domestic, Canadian, and international express shipments," concluded Liljebeck.

For more than 50 years, Airborne Express has served 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, ocean service, and logistics management.

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