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Aquaculture helps boost Omega's 2002 results

Friday, March 7, 2003

Omega Protein Corporation, the world's largest manufacturer of fish oils containing Omega-3 fatty acids, has reported net income for the 2002 fiscal year of $12.2 million, or 51 cents per share, compared with net income of $3.9 million, or 16 cents a share, the previous year.

"Omega Protein benefitted from strong pricing for its fish oil and fish meal products during the year due, in part, to decreased global inventories of these products," Omega Protein President and Chief Executive Officer Joe von Rosenberg said. "During 2002, domestic and international aquaculture grew in importance as a market for Omega Protein's fish oil and fish meal products, a positive trend we believe will continue."

Omega Protein recorded revenues of $117.0 million for the 2002 fiscal year which ended December 31, compared with revenues of $98.8 million for 2001. Operating income for 2002 was $18.7 million, versus operating income of $5.7 million for the prior year.

For the fourth quarter of 2002, the Company recorded net income of $2.9 million, compared with net income of $1.8 million the previous year. Revenues for the quarter which ended December 31, 2002 were $31.3 million, versus revenues of $23.9 million for the corresponding 2001 quarter. Omega Protein had operating income of $3.7 million for the 2002 fourth quarter, compared with operating income of $2.8 million for the 2001 fourth quarter.

In November 2002, the American Heart Association recommended that Americans consume fish oil daily because the Omega-3 fatty acids it contains can cut the risk of potentially fatal irregular heart beat associated with heart attacks, lower blood pressure and reduce the formation of blood clots which are linked to heart attacks and strokes. Omega Protein produces the only high Omega-3 fish oil approved by the U.S. Food and Drug administration for use in human food.

"The American Heart Association's recommendation is one more compelling reason for American consumers to select foods fortified with Omega-3 fatty acids. Our odorless, tasteless high Omega-3 fish oil, which we market under the name OmegaPure(TM), is ideal for this purpose," the Omega Protein President said.

Omega Protein Corporation is the world's largest manufacturer of heart- healthy fish oils containing Omega-3 fatty acids for human consumption, as well as specialty fish meals and fish oil used as value-added ingredients in aquaculture, swine and other livestock feeds. Omega Protein makes its products from menhaden, an Omega-3 rich fish that is not utilized as seafood, but is abundantly available along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coasts.

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