U.S. Can Announces Continuing Strong Results in the Third Quarter

U.S. Can Corporation's (NYSE: USC) third quarter earnings before an extraordinary item related to early debt repurchases increased to $6.0 million or $0.44 per share (a 47% increase over comparable 1998 results). Third quarter 1998 included a restructuring provision and a discontinued operations charge for a divested business. Earnings per share for 1998, before the aforementioned provision and discontinued operations, were $0.30 per share. Final earnings per share after the extraordinary item were $5.5 million or $0.40 per share in the third quarter of 1999 compared to a loss of $(25.9) million or $(1.94) per share in 1998. U.S. Can Chairman and CEO Paul W. Jones said, "I am pleased with our trend of positive results from our continued emphasis on productivity and market focus." He cited higher operating margins and lower interest expense as the primary contributors to the improved results. Mr. Jones stated that, "Despite weather difficulties that affected some of our customers, I am delighted that we achieved our objectives during the quarter. We look forward to continuing improvement in the fourth quarter relative to 1998. Our objective remains increasing shareholder value with an eye towards growth; both organic and external." For the quarter ended October 3, 1999, U.S. Can reported net sales of $178 million, a 0.1% increase over the third quarter of 1998. The Company also reported nine-month sales of $550 million, a decrease of 0.7% from the $554 million reported in the corresponding period of 1998. For the nine-month period increased sales in European and domestic aerosol have been offset by reduced sales in Custom and Specialty. Gross margin of 14.2% in the third quarter of 1999 compares favorably to the 13.2% reported in the third quarter of 1998. Gross margin of 14.5% for the nine-month period compares to 12.7% reported last year. Third quarter 1999 margins reflect a continuation of productivity improvements in our paint and general line operations coupled with improved performance in Europe and good domestic aerosol demand. Operating margins of 9.7% and 9.9% for the third quarter and nine-month period of 1999 also compared favorably to the 8.9% and 8.3% reported during the corresponding period of 1998 before restructuring and discontinued operations provisions. Interest expense of $6.8 million in the third quarter and $21.8 million in the nine-month period of 1999 represented a reduction of 17.1% and 14% respectively from the corresponding periods of 1998. The decrease continues to be the result of cash and working capital management coupled with capital programs that are focused on cost reductions. During the third quarter an extraordinary loss net of tax of $0.5 million was recorded to cover the redemption premium and deferred financing costs on a portion of the Company's 10-1/8% subordinated notes. Diluted earnings per share before the extraordinary item of $0.44 and after extraordinary item of $0.40 recorded in the third quarter of 1999 compares to $(1.94) (includes $(1.61) restructuring and $(0.64) discontinued operations) reported in the third quarter of last year. Diluted earnings per share year-to-date in 1999 are $1.38 ($1.28 after extraordinary item). Year-to-date earnings per share in 1998 before the restructuring and discontinued operations provisions were $0.82. Final earnings per share in 1998 after the provisions were $(1.43). U.S. Can Corporation is a leading manufacturer of steel containers for personal care, household, automotive, paint and industrial products in the United States and Europe, as well as plastic containers in the United States. Certain statements in this release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Federal securities laws. Such statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which may cause the Company's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different than future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied in this release. By way of example and not limitation and in no particular order, known risks and uncertainties include the timing of, and net proceeds realized from, divestitures; the timing and cost of plant closures; the level of cost reduction achieved through restructuring; the success of new technology; changes in market conditions or product demand; loss of important customers; changes in raw material costs; and currency fluctuations. In light of these and other risks and uncertainties, the inclusion of a forward-looking statement in this release should not be regarded as a representation by the Company that any future results, performance or achievements will be attained. ots Original Text Service: U.S. Can Corporation Internet: http://www.newsaktuell.de Contact: John L. Workman Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of U.S. Can Corporation, (USA) 630-571-2531 Web site: http://www.uscanco.com

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