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SONOCO BOARD INCREASES DIVIDEND; SHAREHOLDERS TOLD TO EXPECT RECORD YEAR

SONOCO BOARD INCREASES DIVIDEND; SHAREHOLDERS TOLD TO EXPECT RECORD YEAR
 HARTSVILLE, S.C., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Sonoco Products Company (NASDAQ-NMS: SONO) will increase its quarterly dividend two cents from $.23 to $.25 cents per share, C.W. Coker, chairman and chief executive officer, told shareholders at the company's Annual Meeting in Hartsville this morning (April 15).
 Coker told the shareholders that the board of directors increased the regular quarterly dividend based on expectations of improved financial performance for 1992. This 269th consecutive dividend will be payable June 10 to shareholders of record May 15.
 Approximately 500 Sonoco shareholders were on hand for the meeting, which took place at the Center Theater in downtown Hartsville. Shareholders re-elected five board members to terms that expire in April, 1995. Re-elected were: F.L.H. Coker, T.C. Coxe, III, E.H. Lawton, Jr., P.J. Rizzo and E.C. Wall, Jr. Coopers and Lybrand was also re-elected as the company's independent auditors.
 Coker told shareholders that bold and dramatic changes at Sonoco have been required to prepare the company for growth in the 1990s. He characterized the nineties as a decade that is being characterized by slow growth, lower inflation, obsolescence of products and processes, intense global competition and further consolidation in many industries.
 He told the shareholders that, "Only those companies which are truly customer driven, customer focused and live and breathe customer satisfaction will win." The Sonoco chairman told shareholders he believes Sonoco is on track to be among the winners.
 Sonoco's plans call for earnings growth of 10 percent to 15 percent annually. A major portion of Sonoco's growth will come from the continued globalization of the company, said Coker.
 R.C. King, president and chief operating officer, told the shareholders that acquisitions within the past 18 months had added approximately $100 million to Sonoco sales. He said the company's global strategy is geared to customers. "We are confident that our major global customers will prefer having Sonoco supply their requirements as they too expand around the world," said King.
 Sonoco currently has more than 200 operations in 20 countries around the world, employing approximately 15,000 people. The company, founded in 1899, has its headquarters in Hartsville.
 The company recently reported first quarter results that showed a 24 percent profit improvement in continuing operations over the same period last year. Sales for the first quarter of 1991 were $429.8 million, earnings were $22.8 million or $.53 per share.
 Coker told shareholders that he anticipates continued improvement as the year goes on.
 -0- 4/15/92
 /CONTACT: Richard A. Puffer, Sonoco Products Company, 803-383-7425/
 (SONO) CO: Sonoco Products Company ST: South Carolina IN: PAP SU: DIV ERN


CM -- CH010 -- 8818 04/15/92 15:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 15, 1992
Words:458
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