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Letter to the Editor
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Tuesday February 18

Genuine Parts Company Reports 2002 Results and Announces 47th Consecutive Year Increase in Dividends

Genuine Parts Company completed its 75th year of operations and reports sales and earnings for the year ended December 31, 2002.

Sales in 2002 were $8.26 billion, up slightly compared to the previous year. Net income excluding the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle related to goodwill increased to $368 million, compared to $362 million, excluding unusual charges, recorded in the prior year. Diluted earnings per share for 2002, excluding the 2002 cumulative effect adjustment and the 2001 unusual items, were $2.10 versus $2.08 per share in 2001, an increase of 1 percent. After the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle recorded in 2002 and unusual charges in 2001, the net loss was $27.6 million, or $.16 diluted loss per share, compared to net income of $297.1 million, or $1.71 diluted earnings per share in 2001.

Larry Prince, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said, "We would characterize the year of 2002 as another challenging one but with a number of positives to report for Genuine Parts Company. First, we can report that both sales and earnings, before an accounting change, increased for the year. The increases were modest but returned us to the pattern of improving our results as we have done consistently through the years. Secondly, we can report that we remain financially strong and with a balance sheet that will support our opportunities and activities for the future."

Sales increased 2.4 percent to $1.99 billion in the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2002, as compared to $1.95 billion for the same period in 2001. Diluted earnings per share in the fourth quarter were $.52 compared to the prior year of $.51 per share, excluding the 2001 unusual charges.

Mr. Prince stated, "For the quarter, revenues in our Automotive Group were up 1 percent... Despite facing a difficult economy with no immediate signs of substantial improvement, we look ahead to 2003 with plans for continued growth in both sales and earnings. Most of our gains will come from organic growth and increased unit volume as we do not anticipate material acquisitions in our businesses and we expect only modest price increases. We are fortunate to be market leaders in each of our four business segments, and the markets we serve remain highly fragmented. Growth opportunities are there for us and we are optimistic that we can achieve market share gains as we look ahead."

Genuine Parts Company also announced an increase of 2 percent in the regular quarterly cash dividend for 2003.

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