Huhtamaki may sell rigid plastic unit

Huhtamaki Oyj intends to focus on packaging operations where it has a competitive advantage, good market positions and which create value for Huhtamaki and its customers.

- We have good positions in smooth and rough molded fiber products, release films, flexible packaging, foodservice paper cups and other products based on our paper forming technology - says CEO Jukka Moisio. In these operations we have strong know how, technology platforms and business concepts that allow continued competitive advantage.

Rigid plastic consumer goods operations, for the most part, do not meet our criteria for financial performance and its profitability has been below Huhtamaki average. Therefore we will review different strategic alternatives for this operation. One possible outcome is a sale.

Huhtamaki`s rigid plastic consumer goods operations, which are mainly in Europe, will be separated into a new reporting segment as of January 1, 2009. The segment has an annual revenue of approximately EUR 400 million. Advisors have been chosen to assist in the strategic review of the segment. The outcome and consequent actions will be communicated during 2009.

Huhtamaki`s main financial targets, return on investment (ROI) at 15% and dividend payout ratio of 40%, remain unchanged. Huhtamaki will also focus on improving cash flow. In the short term, emphasis will be on debt reduction, and core stronghold businesses will focus on organic development targeting approximately 5% growth year-on-year.

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