SMURFIT-STONE REPORTS FIRST QUARTER RESULTS
Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. has reported a net loss available to common stockholders of $66 million, or $.26 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2004. These results compare with a net loss available to common stockholders of $33 million, of $.13 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2003. Results for the first quarter of 2004 include a pre-tax restructuring charge of $15 million ($.04 per diluted share) related to certain plant closures and a non-cash foreign currency translation gain of $3 million ($.01 per diluted share). Sales for the period increased 3.5 percent to $1,942 million, from $1,877 million in the first quarter of 2004. Commenting on the results, Patrick J. Moore, chairman, president and CEO, said, "As we announced in March, continued price and cost pressures negatively affected the company's first quarter results. However, during the quarter, we saw a continuation of sustained volume growth in the corrugated container business. Price increases have taken hold, while modestly favorable trends emerged in our consumer packaging business as well."