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    James River Corp.
    list rank
    From the April 28, 1997, Washington Post


    '96 (in $ 000s) % Change From '95
    Revenue 5,690,000 (16.3)
    Net Income 157,300 24.4
    Rank Last Year: 4
    Description:
    James River is among the largest paper companies in the world, with about 60 manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe. It makes a variety of paper and food-packaging products for the North American and European markets. Its major business segments include consumer paper products such as Dixie brand paper cups and plates, as well as paper towels, tissues and napkins sold under the Brawny, Northern and Vanity Fair labels; folding cartons used in food packaging; and office products, including stationery and copier paper.

    Business Resume:
    • Contact Info --
      120 Tredegar St.
      Richmond, Va. 23219
      804-644-5411
    • Main Business --
      Manufacturing--paper
    • Founded --
      1969
    • Chairperson --
      Miles L. Marsh (CEO)
    • Employees --
      23,000
    • D.C.-Area Employees --
      0
    Developments:
    James River ended last year a leaner and more profitable entity. By shedding less profitable subsidiaries, reducing debt and concentrating on core businesses, the company boosted its profit by 24 percent over the previous year as sales fell 16 percent.

    Major divestitures included the sale of Crown Vantage, a large, but relatively less profitable piece of the company's communications business. James River also sold its flexible-plastics company to Printpack Inc. of Atlanta for $372 million and consolidated production operations in France and at its North American consumer products and packaging businesses.

    Together, those actions helped James River reduce its debt by about $61 million, to $1.65 billion, significantly lowering interest obligations.

    The improvement in James River's overall profit came despite lower earnings from its office products segment and a decision to lower retail prices on napkins, paper towels, tissues and toilet paper in response to price cuts by rival Procter & Gamble Co.

    In September the company acquired Jamont N.V., Europe's third-largest paper towel and tissue company, paying $201.4 million for 13.6 percent interest in the company.

    Copyright 1997 The Washington Post

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