Avery Dennison Corp. has reported fourth quarter 2003 diluted earnings per share of $0.59, compared with $0.56 per share for the prior-year fourth quarter. Excluding a special charge and a gain resulting from a divestiture, fourth quarter 2003 earnings were $0.65 per share, exceeding the company's previously announced expectations for the quarter. "We are pleased to report better-than-expected top-line growth and earnings for the fourth quarter," said Philip M. Neal, chairman and CEO of Avery Dennison. "While 2003 proved to be a year of persistently challenging market conditions across most of our businesses, we took aggressive steps to further reduce costs and invest in innovative programs for top-line growth."
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