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Results 2002 HUHTAMAKI'S EPS IMPROVES 17% DIVIDEND PROPOSAL EUR 0.38 (+ 22%) In 2002, consumer packaging specialist Huhtamaki posted the best results in its history despite a slowdown evident through the second half of the year. Earnings per share (before amortization) improved by 17%, and the Board proposes a 22% dividend increase. The company's comparable sales remained steady. The decline in reported sales reflects adverse currency translations and structural changes. Strong demand for flexible packaging, specialty films and molded fiber products in Europe accelerated volume growth in the final quarter, while food service packaging in North America fell short of the previous year's sales. The Asia-Oceania-Africa region finished the year on a positive note. A long trend of profit improvement paused during the final quarter. The full-year operating profit (EBITA) declined slightly, but the operating margin advanced to 9.7%. Lower financial expenses and a reduction in the number of shares contributed to the improvement in earnings per share. Key figures Q4 Change Q1-Q4 Change EUR million % % Net sales 526 -9 2,239 -6 Operating profit* 45 -18 218 -2 (EBITA) Profit before minority interest and taxes 25 -25 131 1 Earnings per share*, 0.26 -16 1.3 17 EUR Dividend proposal, EUR 0.38 22 *Before amortization of goodwill and other intangible assets Comparison figures adjusted for the 3:1 bonus issue in August 2002 Huhtamaki's three-year program to streamline its manufacturing structure is practically completed. Additional benefits will materialize in 2003, when the German and U.K. rigid packaging operations reach their targeted efficiency. Profitable growth is Huhtamaki's overriding corporate objective in 2003. The European and North American business structures have been reorganized to accelerate growth and new business generation. Under new management, the North American food service business has stabilized and is set to recover on the strength of new business already secured with several major customers. The present business momentum is likely to prevail during the early part 2003, followed by a mid-year turnaround. A stronger second half is expected to bring the full-year results to the same level as in 2002. Espoo, January 30, 2003 Huhtamäki Oyj Board of Directors ------------------------------------------------------------ This information was brought to you by Waymaker The following files are available for download: The full report The full report