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Worthington Industries Issues Earnings Forecast


Columbus, Ohio, November 30, 2000 – Worthington Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WOR) said today that it does not expect fiscal second quarter earnings per share to reach consensus estimates of $0.22. Earnings are expected to be substantially lower than first quarter when it earned $0.15 per share. As a result, the Company believes that current consensus estimates of $1.07, for the year ending May 31, 2001, are unrealistic. The Company also announced that it is tabling the previously announced acquisition of the Techs.

Results from the Company's Metal Framing and Pressure Cylinders business segments are both marginally below last year's performance, but the majority of the earnings shortfall is occurring within the Processed Steel Products business segment. The Company had expected this segment's results to improve in the second quarter as it reduced older, higher priced inventory that had negatively impacted the first quarter.

While material costs have declined somewhat, the degree to which business slowed during the second quarter was not anticipated. The general softening of demand reduced expected revenues and inventory turnover, while increasing the competitiveness of market pricing. In addition, a contraction in demand for higher margin, specialty grades of steel resulted in a less favorable product mix. A decline in tolling volumes, more than 15% compared to last year, is also contributing to the depressed results.

"Although our results reflect the general state of our industry, we are disappointed with our earnings in the second quarter," said John P. McConnell, Chairman and CEO of Worthington Industries, Inc. "We will continue to aggressively pursue cost reduction measures and look for additional opportunities, but with the economy slowing, it is very unlikely that we will generate growth in earnings per share this year."

"Given the uncertainty in the current business environment," McConnell continued, "we do not believe it is prudent to move forward with our planned acquisition of the Techs at this time. We continue to believe that the acquisition is fundamentally sound and plan to revisit the decision later this fiscal year. We are taking this more conservative stance to keep our balance sheet at levels where we have ample room to fund existing capital requirements, while maintaining our investment grade credit rating and our dividend."

"Though our near-term results are below our original expectations, this fiscal year will mark the 46th consecutive year of profitable operations since our founding in 1955. Looking forward, we remain committed to, and confident in, our strategy to create long-term growth and increase the value of our shareholders' investment."

On December 20, 2000, the Company will issue its regularly scheduled earnings release and hold a conference call to discuss the actual results of the quarter.

Worthington Industries is a leading diversified metal processing company with annual sales of approximately $2 billion. The Columbus, Ohio, based Company is North America's premier value-added steel processor and a leader in manufactured metal products such as automotive aftermarket stampings, pressure cylinders, metal framing, metal ceiling grid systems and laser welded blanks. The Company employs 8,000 people and operates 55 facilities in 11 countries.

Founded in 1955, the Company operates under a long-standing corporate philosophy rooted in the golden rule, with earning money for its shareholders as the first corporate goal. This philosophy, an unwavering commitment to the customer, and one of the strongest employee/employer partnerships in American industry serve as the Company's foundation.

Safe Harbor Statement

The Company wishes to take advantage of the Safe Harbor provisions included in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("the Act"). Statements by the Company relating to future revenues, earnings and growth, stock appreciation, plant capabilities and other statements which are not historical information constitute "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the Act. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from those projected. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, the following: general economic conditions; conditions in the Company's major markets; competitive factors and pricing pressures; product demand and changes in product mix; changes in pricing or availability of raw material, particularly steel; delays in construction or equipment supply; and other risks described from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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