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WestPoint Stevens To Close Sheeting Plant

WEST POINT, Ga., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- WestPoint Stevens Inc.(NYSE: WXS) announced today that, in the continuation of its Eight-Point Program of restructuring, it will close itsSeneca (S.C.) Plant, a sheeting plant that dates back to 1898. The expense associated with this initiative was included in the $195 million pretaxre structuring charge announced in June 2000. Preparations for shutting down the facility will get under way immediately to meet a projected closing date at the end of March 2001. Ultimately, some468 Seneca associates will be affected, although a limited number will move to jobs at other nearby West Point Stevens plants. "We are continuing to rationalize our manufacturing operations to meet the challenges of doing business in a global economy," said Senior Vice President- Manufacturing Lanny L. Bledsoe. "Because of significant modernization in the Company, we are now able to consolidate manufacturing into facilities that provide the most efficient work flow, and the production at Seneca is no longer necessary. "We've also gained more capacity in our overall operations through technological advances, so that we no longer need the physical capacity we once required," Mr. Bledsoe pointed out. "And our Eight-Point Program calls for us to source both components and finished goods from outside production when it makes more sense for us to buy them than to make them. "We appreciate the many fine contributions to our Company that Seneca associates have made over the years and regret that such factors as a changingglobal economy and technological advances have made this decision necessary,"Mr. Bledsoe said. Safe Harbor Statement: Except for historical information contained herein, certain matters set forth in this press release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties may be attributable to important factors that include but are not limited to the following: Product margins may vary from those projected; Raw material prices may vary from those assumed; Additional reserves may be required for bad debts, returns, allowances, governmental compliance costs, or litigation;There may be changes in the performance of financial markers or fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; Unanticipated natural disasters could have a material impact upon results of operations; There may be changes in thegeneral economic conditions that affect customer practices or consumer spending; Competition for retail and wholesale customers, pricing and transportation of products may vary from time to time due to seasonal variations or otherwise; Customer preferences for our products can be affected by competition, or general market demand for domestic or imported goods or the quantity, quality, price or delivery time of such goods; There could be an unanticipated loss of a material customer or a material license; The availability and price of raw materials could be affected by weather, disease,energy costs or other factors. The Company assumes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. SOURCE WestPoint Stevens Inc.Web Site: http://www.westpointstevens.com Copyright 2001 PR Newswire