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RPM Comments on Recent Stock Price Decline

MEDINA, Ohio, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- RPM International Inc. (NYSE: RPM) today issued the following remarks regarding the recent unusual trading activity in its common stock:

"We are coming off of a good second quarter in which our sales grew 6 percent to $518.0 million and earnings climbed 21 percent to $29.6 million, or $0.26 per share, which continues our second year of strong operating results since our successful restructuring program," said Frank C. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer. "Likewise, our cash flow and balance sheet remain strong. Our financial position is solid and our business fundamentals are sound. It seems, however, that the market misinterpreted and overreacted to our discussion on asbestos litigation on our regular quarterly conference call last Friday."

RPM has been disclosing information on its asbestos litigation since the mid-1980s. In connection with its latest Form 10-Q, which was filed this morning with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company noted that its 1,490 active asbestos cases and associated costs were down on a sequential basis in the second quarter of fiscal 2003 from the first quarter of fiscal 2003. This filing can be obtained via both RPM's and the SEC's website, www.rpminc.com and www.sec.gov , respectively.

"We have been successfully managing this issue for close to 20 years," continued Sullivan. "Based on the strength of our operating results, balance sheet and solid cash flow, coupled with the numerous legal, defense and reserve strategies available to the company, we expect to continue to successfully manage this issue going forward."

RPM International Inc., a holding company, owns subsidiaries that are world leaders in specialty coatings serving both industrial and consumer markets. RPM's industrial products include roofing systems, sealants, corrosion control coatings, flooring coatings and specialty chemicals. RPM's consumer products are used by professionals and do-it-yourselfers for home maintenance and improvement, automotive and boat repair and maintenance, and by hobbyists. Industrial brands include Stonhard, Tremco, Carboline, Day-Glo, Euco and Dryvit. Consumer brands include Zinsser, Rust-Oleum, DAP, Varathane, Bondo and Testors.

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" relating to the business of the Company. These forward-looking statements, or other statements made by the Company, are made based on management's expectations and beliefs concerning future events impacting the Company and are subject to uncertainties and factors (including those specified below) which are difficult to predict and, in many instances, are beyond the control of the Company. As a result, actual results of the Company could differ materially from those expressed in or implied by any such forward-looking statements. These uncertainties and factors include (a) general economic conditions; (b) the price and supply of raw materials, particularly titanium dioxide, certain resins, aerosols and solvents; (c) continued growth in demand for the Company's products; (d) legal, environmental and litigation risks inherent in the Company's construction and chemicals businesses and risks related to insurance coverage inherent in the Company's disclosed litigation; (e) the effect of changes in interest rates; (f) the effect of fluctuations in currency exchange rates upon the Company's foreign operations; (g) the potential impact of the euro currency conversion; (h) the effect of non-currency risks of investing in and conducting operations in foreign countries, including those relating to domestic and international political, social, economic and regulatory factors; (i) risks and uncertainties associated with the Company's ongoing acquisition and divestiture activities; and other risks detailed in the Company's other reports and statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risk factors set forth in the Company's prospectus and prospectus supplement included as part of the Company's Registration Statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-77028), as the same may be amended from time to time.


SOURCE  RPM International Inc.
CONTACT:  Glenn R. Hasman, Vice President of Finance and Communications of RPM International Inc., 330-273-8820


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