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SONOCO PRODUCTS REPORTS INCREASED EARNINGS

 HARTSVILLE, S.C., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- "We are pleased to report first quarter earnings were up 21.6 percent over the comparable results of 1992. These results reflect many of the restructuring, cost containment and other moves Sonoco has been making to become an even stronger company and achieve increased levels of customer satisfactio said C.W. Coker, chairman and chief executive officer of Sonoco Products Company (NASDAQ-NMS: SONO), in making the first quarter announcement today (April 15).
 Sonoco reported first quarter 1993 sales of $466.9 million, an 8.6 percent increase over 1992 first quarter sales of $429.8 million. Net income for the first quarter of 1993 was $26.9 million, or $.62 per share. This was 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.
 In 1992, Sonoco adopted Financial Accounting Standards No. 106 and No. 109, incurring a one-time charge of $37.9 million, which was charged against the first quarter earnings, resulting in a net loss of $15.8 million, or $.36 per share, for the first quarter of 1992. Adoption of FAS No. 106, Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions, also resulted in an incremental retiree benefit expense of approximately $3 million after tax, or $.06 per share, which was charged evenly over all four quarters of 1992.
 Sonoco continued with implementation of its previously announced restructuring program during the first quarter, selling a number of small operations that did not have strategic fit. The company sold its European plastic sack manufacturing operations in Denmark and the United Kingdom; sold its small British packaging tapes business; and announced a letter of intent to sell its United States and European liquid packaging businesses.
 In addition, Sonoco completed the strategic acquisition of Crellin Holding, Inc., a Chatham, N.Y., based manufacturer of injection molded plastics with sales of approximately $75 million last year; the purchase of the OPV-Durener Group, Germany's second largest producer of tubes and cores with sales of approximately $25 million annually; and the purchase of a composite can manufacturing operation in Mexico from the Jefferson Smurfit group with annual sales of approximately $6 million.
 "Our first quarter results were good and were within expectations. We have our businesses focused on customers and on markets and we look forward to continuing improvement through the rest of 1993, said Coker.
 SONOCO REPORTS INCREASED EARNINGS
 As a convenience to the financial community, we offer the following table:
 Three Months Ended
 (Dollars in thousands except per share)
 4/4/93 3/29/92(A)
 Sales $466,938 $429,793
 Income from operations
 before income taxes $ 44,313 $ 37,092
 Income tax provision (17,700) (15,200)
 Equity in earnings of
 affiliates 295 236
 Income before effect of
 accounting changes 26,908 22,128
 Net after-tax effect of
 accounting changes -- (37,892)
 Net income (loss) $ 26,908 $(15,764)
 Per share:
 Income before effect
 of accounting changes $ .62 $ .51
 Net after-tax effect of
 accounting changes -- (.87)
 Net income (loss) per
 share $ .62 $(.36)
 Average shares
 outstanding 43,598,082 43,238,222
 (A) Results have been restated to reflect adoption of FAS No. 106 - Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions and FAS No. 109 - Accounting for Income Taxes. Accordingly, first quarter 1992 results include a $38 million after-tax charge, or $.87 per share, to comply with the accounting changes. Adoption of FAS No. 106 also resulted in an incremental retiree benefit expense of approximately $3 million after tax, or $.06 per share, which was charged evenly over all four quarters of 1992.
 -0- 4/15/923
 /CONTACT: Dick Puffer of Sonoco Products Company, 803-383-7425/
 (SONO)


CO: Sonoco Products Company ST: South Carolina IN: PAP SU: ERN

CM-MM -- CH005 -- 6208 04/15/93 11:47 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 15, 1993
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