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Weight Watchers’ 3Q Earnings Soar

November 12, 2002

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WOODBURY, N.Y. (AP) _ Weight Watchers International Inc. said Tuesday third-quarter profit more than doubled as sales jumped.

The Woodbury-based weight-loss counseling company reported net income of $36.8 million, or 34 cents a share, up from $16.1 million, or 14 cents a share, a year ago.

The mean estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call was for earnings of 32 cents a share.

Revenue jumped 31 percent, to $189.2 million from $144.1 million.

Weight Watchers said earnings before currency gains and losses rose to $38.6 million, or 35 cents a diluted share, up from $20.1 million, or 18 cents a share, a year earlier.

``We continued to experience impressive growth during the third quarter, led by 29 percent growth in North American meeting attendance and 44 percent growth in worldwide product sales,″ president and chief executive Linda Huett said.

Meeting attendance internationally rose by a more modest 7.7 percent. North American meeting fees were up 30 percent to $83.7 million, while international fees rose 16 percent to $39.5 million.

Weight Watchers said it is on track to deliver 2002 earnings of $1.30 a share. Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.29 a share for this year.

Shares of Weight Watchers closed Tuesday at $43.70, down $4.70, or 9.7 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange.

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