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Pactiv Corporation
Lake Forest, Illinois, USA, 23 April 2008 -– For the quarter ended 31 March 2008, Pactiv Corporation (NYSE: PTV) today announced that income from continuing operations was USD 35 million, or USD 0.26 per share, compared with USD 57 million, or USD 0.43 per share, in 2007.

Excluding a charge of USD 0.07 per share related to the restructuring program announced in January, first quarter 2008 earnings per share were USD 0.33. Sales of USD 808 million increased 19% from USD 677 million, largely reflecting inclusion of sales of Prairie Packaging, which was acquired in June 2007.

"First quarter volume growth, which was primarily driven by our cups and cutlery acquisition, also included growth in most consumer product lines. Foodservice volume, excluding Prairie Packaging acquisition sales, was down versus last year due to sluggish market conditions in the restaurant and food service industries," said Richard L. Wambold, Pactiv’s chairman and chief executive officer.

"Our EPS was in line with our outlook, but lower than last year because price increases to offset higher resin costs in our Consumer segment were not effective until mid-March. Price increases in the Foodservice/Food Packaging noncontract business were effective in January. These price increases, along with contract pricing adjustments, will help mitigate the impact of ongoing higher petrochemical costs as we move forward. We are experiencing slowing demand, particularly in the food service area, due to soft economic conditions; however, our underlying businesses remain solid," Wambold continued.

First quarter gross margin was 26.0% compared with 30.4% in 2007, and operating margin was 11.5% compared with 15.2% in 2007. Both declines were driven by unfavorable spread (the difference between selling prices and raw material costs). Free cash flow in the first quarter was USD 2 million compared with USD 18 million last year due to higher capital expenditures to support growth in cups and cutlery.

Business Segment Results

Hefty® Consumer Products

First quarter sales of USD 290 million rose 17% from USD 247 million, largely reflecting the inclusion of Prairie Packaging sales and volume growth in most product lines. Operating income was USD 30 million compared with USD 54 million in 2007. Excluding the restructuring charge, operating income was USD 35 million, down as expected versus 2007 because price increases to offset higher raw material costs were not effective until mid-March. On the same basis, operating margin was 12.1% compared with 21.9% in the first quarter last year. Price increases are now fully implemented and will be reflected in second quarter results.

Foodservice/Food Packaging

First quarter sales were USD 518 million, up 20% compared with USD 430 million in 2007. The sales increase primarily reflects the inclusion of the Prairie Packaging acquisition and favorable pricing of approximately 4%. Operating income was USD 47 million compared with USD 50 million in 2007. Excluding the restructuring charge, operating income was USD 55 million. The increase over the first quarter of 2007 was primarily driven by the inclusion of Prairie Packaging and slightly favorable spread. On the same basis, operating margin was 10.6% compared with 11.6% in the first quarter of 2007.


The outlook excludes restructuring charges. The second quarter EPS outlook is a range of USD 0.48 to USD 0.53. The full year EPS outlook has been widened to a range of USD 1.85 to USD 2.05, which is lower than earlier guidance of USD 2.00 to USD 2.10 because of more uncertain economic conditions and the potential effect of record high oil costs on raw material and other energy-related costs. The low end of the range assumes resin costs stay at current levels and volume remains sluggish. The high end of the range assumes that resin costs adjust downward throughout the year according to the Chemical Market Associates, Inc.’s forecast, as well as some improvement in economic conditions.

The full year outlook includes noncash pension income of USD 49 million pretax, USD 31 million after tax, or USD 0.23 per share. Full year 2008 sales are expected to grow between 9% and 12%. SG&A expense is estimated to be between USD 300 million and USD 310 million, slightly lower than the prior outlook. The 2008 tax rate is expected to be 36.5%. Free cash flow for 2008 is anticipated to be in a range of USD 180 million to USD 215 million, down from the earlier outlook of USD 200 million to USD 220 million. Depreciation and amortization expense is expected to be approximately USD 185 million, capital expenditures are estimated to be approximately USD 150 million, and the cash tax rate is estimated to be approximately 27%.

Company Information

Pactiv Corporation (NYSE: PTV) is a leader in the consumer and foodservice/food packaging markets it serves. With 2007 sales of USD 3.3 billion, Pactiv derives more than 80% of its sales from market sectors in which it holds the No. 1 or No. 2 market-share position. Pactiv’s Hefty® brand products include waste bags, slider storage bags, disposable tableware, and disposable cookware. Pactiv’s foodservice/food packaging offering is one of the broadest in the industry, including both custom and stock products in a variety of materials. For more information, visit www.pactiv.com.

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