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West Pharmaceutical Services Comments on Expected Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2000 Results

LIONVILLE, Pa., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST) today commented on expected results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2000.

As disclosed previously, soft market conditions and project delays resulted in lower sales volumes in the contract services segment. The device product development segment continued to experience inventory reductions by select customers in the U.S. The Company stated that the confluence of these factors penalized revenues and earnings for the fourth quarter and year.

Based on preliminary data, the Company expects revenues in the fourth quarter of 2000 to be approximately $103 million, compared to $115.4 million in the fourth quarter of 1999. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2000 is expected to be approximately $0.17 per share, excluding the estimated $16.1 million ($1.11 per share) net restructuring charge previously announced. The Company reported net income of $0.69 per share, including $0.11 per share of unusual items, in the fourth quarter of 1999. For the full year 2000, the Company expects revenues of approximately $430 million compared to $469.1 million in 1999. Excluding estimated restructuring charges and other unusual items in both 2000 and 1999, net income for the full year 2000 is projected to be about $1.08 per share, as compared with $2.44 per share in 1999.

William G. Little, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "The past year has been especially challenging for West. However, we have taken actions that will improve future results. Personnel levels have been reduced. As previously announced, our contract packaging facility and our plastic device manufacturing plant in Puerto Rico, as well as our Site Management Office in Cleveland, will be closed during the first half of 2001. We will also dispose of the assets related to our sterile-fill operation in Lakewood, New Jersey. We continue to generate efficiencies in our global manufacturing operations."

Mr. Little added, "With all of our cost containment initiatives, we are also optimistic that our earnings performance will improve substantially in 2001 as industry conditions become more favorable. Our investments in new products, enhanced facilities and new technologies will begin to contribute to our results. We are beginning to see encouraging signs in each of our businesses as backlogs improve and opportunities grow, signaling a return to historical customer-ordering trends."

The Company is scheduled to report final results for the fourth quarter and year in the last week of February. A strategic review of the Company's operations by UBS Warburg is continuing.

West Pharmaceutical Services applies value-added technologies to the process of bringing new drug therapies and healthcare products to global markets. West's technologies include the design and manufacture of packaging components for pharmaceutical, healthcare and consumer products; research and development of drug delivery systems; contract laboratory services; clinical services; and other services that support the manufacturing, filling and packaging of pharmaceutical and healthcare products. For more information, visit the West Pharmaceutical Services website at http://www.westpharma.com.

Certain statements contained in this Press Release that are not historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "estimate", "expect", "intend", "believe" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward looking statements, including but not limited to (1) sales demand, (2) the timing and success of customers' projects, (3) competitive pressures, (4) the strength or weakness of the U.S. dollar, (5) inflation and (6) the cost of raw materials. The Company does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.

For additional information regarding these and other risks and uncertainties associated with the Company's business, reference is made to the Company's reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. SOURCE West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.

CONTACT: Stephen M. Heumann, Vice President and Treasurer of West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc., 610-594-3346; or Investors, Robert P. Jones or Theresa Vogt, or Media, Stacey Nield, all of Morgen-Walke Associates, 212-850-5600, for West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc./