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SONOCO DIRECTORS INCREASE DIVIDEND; ANNOUNCE TWO-FOR-ONE STOCK SPLIT

 HARTSVILLE, S.C., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of Sonoco Products Company (NASDAQ-NMS: SONO) voted to increase the company's quarterly dividend from $.25 to $.27 at their regular meeting here today (April 21). This 273rd consecutive dividend will be payable June 10 to shareholders of record May 21.
 The board also voted a two-for-one split of the company's common stock to be effective June 1. The stock, which trades on the NASDAQ National Market, was trading for $47 1/2 at the market close on Tuesday, April 20.
 C. W. Coker, chairman and chief executive officer made these announcements during the company's annual meeting of shareholders following the board meeting. Approximately 500 Sonoco shareholders attended the meeting, held at the Center Theater in downtown Hartsville.
 Shareholders re-elected four directors to three-year terms: C.J. Bradshaw, J.L. Coker, Paul Fulton and H.L. McColl.
 Also elected to the board was R.J. Brown, a new member filling the seat vacated by C.K. Dunlap, Jr., who reached the board's mandatory retirement age in 1992.
 Brown, 58, is founder, chairman and chief executive officer of B&C Associates, Inc., a management consulting, marketing research and public relations firm based in High Point, N.C. He serves as a director of First Union National Bank of North Carolina.
 Shareholders also re-elected Coopers & Lybrand as the company's independent auditors.
 Coker told shareholders the directors took action to raise the dividend and split the company's stock based on expectations for improved financial performance in 1993. The company recently reported first quarter results showing $466.9 million in sales, an 8.6 percent increase over the same time last year. Earnings for the first quarter were $26.9 million, or $.62 per share, a 21.6 percent increase over 1992 first quarter earnings from ongoing operations (excluding the cumulative impact of FAS No. 106 and FAS No. 109) of $22.1 million, or $.51 per share.
 The company chairman expressed optimism for 1993, though he cautioned shareholders that economic conditions are still difficult. "Generally, as we look at the economic environment all over the world, we will likely face slow growth and lower inflation for several years to come. This puts a premium on internal improvements," he said.
 R.C. King, Jr., president and chief operating officer, listed several internal improvements, acquisitions and business divestitures that he said would make the company stronger strategically and financially.
 Both officers agreed that given a reasonable economy, Sonoco should have record sales and earnings in 1993.
 Sonoco currently has more than 250 operations in 22 countries employing approximately 16,000 people. The company, founded in 1899, has its headquarters in Hartsville, S.C.
 -0- 4/21/93
 /CONTACT: Dick Puffer of Sonoco Products Company, 803-383-7425/
 (SONO)


CO: Sonoco Products company ST: South Carolina IN: PAP SU: DIV

MM-SB -- CH012 -- 8772 04/21/93 13:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 21, 1993
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