Sonoco has initiated its previously announced structural cost-reduction actions expected to achieve approximately $60 million before tax in additional savings, said Harris E. DeLoach, Jr., president and chief executive officer. The cost reductions will have two components. One will be the elimination of approximately 340 positions worldwide, including some 130 positions at the company's Hartsville, S.C., headquarters, as well as reductions in certain other sales and administrative costs. Virtually all of the positions are salaried. Most of the position reductions will occur by the end of the fourth quarter and are expected to ultimately produce annual savings of about $31 million before tax. In addition, the company's goal is to close approximately 20 plants globally to achieve about $27 to $29 million before tax in annual savings. The costs associated with the plant closures have not been estimated at this time.
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