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THE WEST COMPANY ANNOUNCES RESTRUCTURING AND CHARGE TO EARNINGS

     THE WEST COMPANY ANNOUNCES RESTRUCTURING AND CHARGE TO EARNINGS
    PHOENIXVILLE, Pa., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors of The West Company, Incorporated (NYSE: WST) today approved a substantial restructuring of the company's global manufacturing operations.
    Implementation of its decisions will begin immediately and continue into 1992.  The number of manufacturing sites will be reduced and production will be consolidated into key strategic plants.  In addition, the company will dispose of obsolete assets.
    The company will also adopt Financial Accounting Standard No. 106 covering non-pension, post-retirement benefits and has elected to recognize the accumulated obligation for costs related to past service of employees.
    The estimated total charge to net earnings for the restructuring and asset dispositions, as well as adoption of FAS-106, is $28 million, or $1.80 per share.  As a consequence, the company will report a loss for the full year 1991.
    In announcing the board of directors' approval of the plan, William G. Little, president and chief executive officer, emphasized that while the restructuring plan will result in a loss for 1991, earnings will be significantly improved in 1992 and beyond.  Further, he stated, "The West Company has evolved from a number of small, localized businesses to a major specialized packaging company with an extensive global presence. As a critical step in our further evolution to a fully integrated global organization, we recognize that we must strategically consolidate our operations.  West is a strong company; its considerable strengths include quality products, large market shares, unique technical capabilities and an excellent company reputation.
    "Restructuring will enable our company to build on its strengths and allow us to fully capitalize on the organizational changes announced three months ago.  Furthermore, we are considering strategic alliances that will offer growth and profitability in some of our smaller businesses which have historically performed at less than desired levels.  As we implement each of the approved actions, we will be positioning ourselves to better service our customers, thus strengthening the prospects for future profitable growth."
    The West Company, Incorporated is the premier supplier of specialized packaging systems and components for the worldwide pharmaceutical and hospital supply/medical device industries and the domestic consumer products industry, with more than 85 percent of its revenue generated by the health care markets.  West's products include stoppers, closures, containers, medical device components and assemblies made from elastomers, metal, plastic, glass and combinations thereof, plus related packaging machinery.
    /delval/
    -0-                          11/5/91
    /CONTACT:  Stephen M. Heumann, corporate treasurer of The West Company, 215-935-4640/
    (WST) CO:  The West Company, Incorporated ST:  Pennsylvania IN:  MAC SU:  RCN JS-KA -- PH011 -- 1185 11/05/91 10:52 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 5, 1991
Words:437
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