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Sonoco Ups Euro Coreboard Prices; Packaging Provider also to Close California Bag Plant

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM —Sonoco recently announced its intent to increase prices (for all paper grades manufactured at its European mills) by 40 to 50 Euro per metric tonne, effective May 15, 2002. Says Charles F. Paterno, VP, Sonoco Europe: "Over the last few years, Sonoco has offset increasing prices with productivity improvements in its operations. This has resulted in stable, and some instances, declining prices for coreboard to our customers. Although we continue to identify and implement actions to remain a low-cost producer, recent cost trends in areas such as legislation, salaries, energy, and raw materials have reached a level that no longer can be absorbed by our operations. These factors now make it necessary to increase our prices for coreboard. Of course, we remain committed to maintaining a reliable, high-quality source of coreboard supply," he adds.

Some More Sonoco News...
HARTSVILLE, SC, USA—According to a recent release, Sonoco will close its bag plant in Santa Maria, CA.

    Sonoco, the largest US manufacturer of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) bags for the grocery, retail, and convenience store industries, will close its bag plant in Santa Maria, CA, and consolidate those operations into lower-cost facilities, [reports] Harry J. Moran, executive vice president.

    The Santa Maria facility employs 95 personnel. Some employees will be offered transfers within Sonoco, and outplacement assistance will be provided to all others. The plant is expected to close in late June 2002.

    Customers previously served from this plant will now be served from Sonoco's continuing operations at Victoria, TX; North Vernon, IN; Mt. Olive, NC; Milesburg, PA; and Hartsville, SC.

    "This action is part of the company's ongoing manufacturing productivity and quality improvements, to ensure the company's ability to maintain its leadership position and continue meeting the needs of its customers," [states] Moran.

    States Rex E. Varn, div. VP and GM—High Density Film Products: "Closing a plant is never easy. However, this action is necessary to continue providing the highest level of quality, service, and innovation, as well as grow our position in the very competitive bag business."

According to the company, Sonoco is a $2.6 billion (US) mfr. of industrial and consumer products and provider of packaging services, with approximately 300 operations in 32 countries. Visit Sonoco at sonoco.com.

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