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CHRYSLER SEES 118% RISE IN EARNINGS

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Chrysler Corp. announced Tuesday record 1993 fourth-quarter earnings of $777 million, or $2.11 a share, 118 percent more than the $356 million, or $1.12 a share, in the year-ago quarter.

However, annual results showed a $2.5 billion loss compared to 1992 earnings of $723 million, or $2.21 a share.The loss included a previously announced $4.68 billion charge for retiree health benefits and the $283 million charge for post-em-ploy-ment benefits.

Net earnings for the fourth quarter of $777 million surpassed the previous record of $607 million in the fourth quarter of 1984.

Total sales and revenues for the fourth quarter were a record $12 billion compared with the year-ago quarter of $10.2 billion. Chrysler's sales record exceeded the previous record of $11 billion in the second quarter of 1993.

Annual sales reached $43.6 billion, beating the previous high of $36.9 billion in 1992.

Chrysler Chairman Robert J. Eaton said: "Volumes and margins were up for the year while incentive costs were lower. Our pre-tax (automotive) profit per vehicle averaged $1,335 in 1993 and $1,727 in the fourth quarter. In addition, we successfully negotiated equitable contracts with the UAW and CAW, and the rating agencies have shown their confidence by returning us to investment grade."