December 05, 2003



Tyson Foods, Inc., to Close US Manchester, NH, Augusta, ME Facilities


Tyson Foods, Inc. announced today that in order to further improve long-term manufacturing efficiencies, it will be closing facilities in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Augusta, Maine in early February 2004.


The plant in Manchester, which currently employs approximately 550, is an older facility. After thorough analysis, the company has determined that the amount of capital required to bring this facility to a competitive level and to maintain appropriate food safety standards, would be better spent to accommodate production in newer more modern facilities. The majority of the facility's production, which is primarily sandwich meat for foodservice customers, will be moved to facilities in Council Bluffs, Iowa; Fort Worth, Texas; Goodlettsville, Tennessee; and Chicago, Illinois.


The majority of the production of the Augusta plant will be consolidated into the company's facilities in Buffalo, New York, and Concordia, Missouri. The Augusta facility, which employs approximately 170, produces hot dogs, sausages, boneless hams and deli turkey products.


The company expects to take pre-tax charges to earnings associated with these closures of $23 to $27 million or $.04 to $.05 per diluted share in the first half of its fiscal year ending October 2004.


Company human resources managers will be working with the New Hampshire and Maine state employment security divisions to assist team members in identifying opportunities, both within the company and in other jobs in the area.


"While it is never easy to make business decisions like these that affect the lives of our team members and the communities in which we operate, these steps are necessary for us to meet our responsibilities to all of our stakeholders," said Group Vice President of Consumer Products, John Lea.


The Manchester plant started as Granite State Packing, a one person meatpacking operation, in 1933, and later became Jac Pac Foods. The Augusta plant was built in 1960 by the Joseph Kirschner Co. Tyson Foods acquired both plants with its acquisition of IBP, inc., in 2001.


Tyson Foods, Inc., founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is the world's largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork and the second largest food company in the Fortune 500. Tyson Foods produces a wide variety of brand name protein-based and prepared food products marketed in the United States and more than 80 countries around the world. Tyson Foods is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves. The Company has approximately 120,000 team members and 300 facilities and offices in 27 states and 22 countries.


Forward-Looking Statements


Certain statements contained in this communication are "forward-looking statements" such as statements relating to the expected impact to future earnings. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from historical experience or from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Among the factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the statements are the following: (i) fluctuations in the cost and availability of raw materials, such as live cattle, live swine or feed grains; (ii) changes in the availability and relative costs of labor and contract growers; (iii) operating efficiencies of facilities; (iv) market conditions for finished products, including the supply and pricing of alternative proteins; (v) effectiveness of advertising and marketing programs; (vi) the ability of the Company to make effective acquisitions and successfully integrate newly acquired businesses into existing operations; (vii) risks associated with leverage, including cost increases due to rising interest rates; (viii) risks associated with effectively evaluating derivatives and hedging activities; (ix) changes in regulations and laws (both domestic and foreign), including changes in accounting standards, environmental laws and occupational, health and safety laws; (x) issues related to food safety, including costs resulting from product recalls, regulatory compliance and any related claims or litigation; (xi) adverse results from ongoing litigation; (xii) access to foreign markets together with foreign economic conditions, including currency fluctuations; and (xiii) the effect of, or changes in, general economic conditions. The Company wishes to caution readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Tyson undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward- looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.



Source:  Tyson Foods, Inc.

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