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Charles River provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around the globe accelerate their research and drug development efforts. Our dedicated employees are focused on providing clients with exactly what they need to improve and expedite the discovery, early-stage development and safe manufacture of new therapies for the patients who need them.


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Charles River Reports Strong Growth in Fourth Quarter and Year
WILMINGTON, Mass., Feb 6, 2002 (BW HealthWire) -- Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (NYSE: CRL) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Charles River Laboratories, Inc., achieved strong growth in sales and earnings for the fourth quarter and for the full year 2001. The Company's fourth quarter sales increased 56% over the prior year, driven by strong growth in customer demand for the Company's products and services that support drug discovery and development. Sales for the fourth quarter were $126.1 million, a $45 million increase over fourth quarter 2000 sales of $81.1 million. Net income for the quarter, before an extraordinary loss of $2.1 million related to early retirement of debt, was $11.1 million, or $0.24 per fully diluted share. The $0.24 EPS for the fourth quarter includes a $0.02 charge for the consolidation of services capabilities related to acquisitions. EPS for the fourth quarter fully met management's guidance provided in early January, as well as the First Call consensus estimate.

For 2001, the Company's sales increased 52% to $465.6 million, an increase of $159 million over sales of $306.6 million in 2000. Net income before an extraordinary loss of $5.2 million related to the early retirement of debt, was $40.7 million, or $0.92 per fully diluted share.

The Company experienced strong sales and earnings growth in the fourth quarter from both its biomedical products and services and research models segments. While strategic acquisitions earlier in the year contributed significantly to results, the Company also experienced solid organic growth across most product lines and services offerings, and throughout North America, Europe and Japan.

Commenting on these results, James C. Foster, Chairman and CEO, said "We're extremely pleased with our results for the fourth quarter, and the year. Despite a challenging overall economy, our businesses remained strong and steady. We experienced excellent growth and profitability across all of our businesses, with revenue growth well above our long-term strategic goal. Demand for our products and services remained robust throughout the quarter and year, fueled by increased R&D spending by big pharma and biotech, and by increased outsourcing of pre-clinical research to companies like ours that have demonstrated exceptional quality, service and reliability. While our research models segment contributed strongly to earnings and cash flow, our acquisitions early in the year of Primedica and PAI added more than $100 million to our revenues in 2001, and enabled Charles River to emerge as a world leader in pre-clinical drug discovery and development services. The vitality of our markets, the increasing trend toward pre-clinical outsourcing, and Charles River's technology and market leadership in the drug discovery and development industry position us for steady, continued growth internationally through 2002."

The Company also announced that the tender offer by its operating subsidiary for its 13.5% senior subordinated notes is expected to be completed next week. The parent will utilize a portion of the cash proceeds from its recent $175 million 3.5% convertible debenture offering to retire the subsidiary's high yield bonds.

The following forward looking guidance is subject to the qualifications set forth below, and is based on current exchange rates. For 2002, Charles River estimates sales growth in the range of 14% to 15%. Fully diluted EPS for 2002 is estimated to be in the range of $1.18 to $1.21, slightly higher than previous guidance as a result of the accretive impact of the Company's recently completed $175 million convertible debenture offering. In the first quarter of 2002, Charles River expects sales in the range of $125 to $130 million, and fully diluted EPS in the range of $0.25 to $0.27, excluding an extraordinary loss related to the retirement of high yield debt pursuant to the tender offer.

Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. is a holding company for Charles River Laboratories, Inc. Both companies are publicly registered, and each files separate financial statements and reports with the Securities Exchange Commission. The income statement and balance sheet information provided below reflect the financial results for Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., which differ from those of Charles River Laboratories, Inc. as to certain balance sheet items.

Charles River Laboratories, based in Wilmington, Massachusetts, is a leading provider of critical research tools and integrated support services that enable innovative and efficient drug discovery and development. The Company is the global leader in providing the animal research models required in research and development for new drugs, devices and therapies. The Company also offers a broad and growing portfolio of biomedical products and services that enable customers to reduce cost, increase speed, and enhance productivity and effectiveness in drug discovery and development. Charles River's customer base spans over 50 countries, and includes all of the major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as many leading hospitals and academic institutions. The Company operates 76 facilities in 15 countries worldwide. For more information, visit the Company's web site at

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements: This document includes certain "forward looking statements" within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current expectations, and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by the forward looking statements, including acquisition integration risks, special interest groups, contaminations, industry trends, new displacement technologies, outsourcing trends, USDA and FDA regulation, changes in law, special interest groups, continued availability of products and supplies, personnel and control, and others that are described in more detail in the Risk Factors contained in the Company's most recent Registration Statement, filed on Form S-3, as of July 19, 2001, as well as its other periodic SEC filings. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update forward looking statements, and otherwise claims the safe harbor protections for forward looking statements afforded under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

As previously announced, investors can access a live webcast of the fourth quarter earnings conference call through a link that will be posted on the investor page of the Charles River Laboratories website, The conference call begins on Thursday, February 7, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time and will be available thereafter for replay.

           (dollars in thousands except for per share data)
                             Three Months Ended   Twelve Months Ended
                             December  December   December   December
                             29, 2001  30, 2000   29, 2001   30, 2000
Total Net Sales              $126,094   $81,058   $465,630   $306,585
Cost of products
 sold and services
 provided                      82,486    50,520    298,379    186,654
Gross margin                   43,608    30,538    167,251    119,931
Selling, general and
 administrative                18,554    15,838     68,315     51,204
Amortization of goodwill
 and intangibles                2,649       932      8,653      3,666
Operating income               22,405    13,768     90,283     65,061
Interest income (expense)      (3,909)   (6,425)   (21,304)   (39,047)
Other income (expense)            (16)      247        500         71
Income before taxes,
 minority interests,
 earnings from equity
 investments and
 extraordinary item            18,480     7,590     69,479     26,085
Provision for income
 taxes                          7,204     3,040     27,095      7,837
Income before minority
 interests, earnings
 from equity investments
 and extraordinary item        11,276     4,550     42,384     18,248
Minority interests               (347)     (266)    (2,206)    (1,396)
Earnings from equity
 investments                      127       144        472      1,025
Net income before
 extraordinary item            11,056     4,428     40,650     17,877
Extraordinary loss, net
 of tax benefit                (2,139)       --     (5,243)   (29,101)
Net income (loss)            $  8,917    $4,428    $35,407  $ (11,224)
Earnings per common share
 before extraordinary item
     Basic                   $   0.25    $ 0.12    $  0.99     $ 0.64
     Diluted                 $   0.24    $ 0.11    $  0.92     $ 0.56
Earnings (loss) per common
 share after extraordinary
     Basic                   $   0.20    $ 0.12    $  0.86     $(0.40)
     Diluted                 $   0.19    $ 0.11    $  0.80     $(0.35)
Weighted average number of
 common shares outstanding
     Basic            44,133,268   35,920,369  40,998,558   27,737,677
     Diluted          46,398,266   40,194,560  44,215,383   31,734,354
                        (dollars in thousands)
                                          December 29,   December 30,
                                               2001         2000
Current assets
   Cash and cash equivalents                $ 58,271     $ 33,129
   Trade receivables                          98,478       45,949
   Inventories                                39,056       33,890
   Other current assets                       14,349        6,769
      Total current assets                   210,154      119,737
Property, plant and equipment, net           155,919      117,001
Goodwill and other intangibles                90,374       41,893
Deferred tax asset                            84,387      105,027
Other assets                                  27,134       26,950
      Total assets                          $567,968     $410,608
Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity
Current liabilities
   Current portion of long-term debt        $    759     $    231
   Accounts payable                           13,868       10,767
   Accrued compensation                       25,736       16,997
   Other current liabilities                  58,169       36,325
      Total current liabilities               98,532       64,320
Long-term debt                               155,506      201,957
Other long-term liabilities                   14,826       14,074
      Total liabilities                      268,864      280,351
Minority interests                            12,988       13,330
Total shareholders' equity                   286,116      116,927
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity  $567,968     $410,608
                        (dollars in thousands)
                         Three Months Ended      Twelve Months Ended
                       December    December     December    December
                       29, 2001    30, 2000     29, 2001    30, 2000
Research Models
  Net sales             $49,360     $45,412     $197,494   $ 177,950
  Gross margin           18,085      16,614       80,060      70,641
  Gross margin as
   a % of sales           36.6%       36.6%        40.5%       39.7%
  Operating income       10,450       6,742       50,878      40,862
  Operating income
   as a % of sales        21.2%       14.8%        25.8%       23.0%
  Depreciation and
   amortization           2,768       2,718        9,978       9,840
  Capital expenditures    3,718       2,878       10,419       7,502
Biomedical Products
 and Services
  Net sales             $76,734     $35,646     $268,136   $ 128,635
  Gross margin           25,523      13,924       87,191      49,290
  Gross margin as
   a % of sales           33.3%       39.1%        32.5%       38.3%
  Operating income       12,293       7,603       46,643      26,308
  Operating income
   as a % of sales        16.0%       21.3%        17.4%       20.5%
  Depreciation and
   amortization           5,166       1,774       17,197       6,926
  Capital expenditures   12,158       4,158       25,987       8,063
Unallocated Corporate
 Overhead              ($  338)     ($  577)   ($  7,238)  ($  2,109)
  Net sales          $ 126,094       $81,058    $465,630   $ 306,585
  Gross margin          43,608        30,538     167,251     119,931
  Gross margin as
   a % of sales          34.6%         37.7%       35.9%       39.1%
  Operating income      22,405        13,768      90,283      65,061
  Operating income
   as a % of sales       17.8%         17.0%       19.4%       21.2%
  Depreciation and
   amortization          7,934         4,492      27,175      16,766
  Capital expenditures  15,876         7,036      36,406      15,565

CONTACT: Charles River Laboratories, Christopher DiFrancesco, 978-658-6000 ext. 1329

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