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Sysco says sales softer than expected after Sept. 11; Announces cash dividend increase

Sysco Corp., Houston, has indicated it still feels the impact of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

"Our sales growth isn?t what we had hoped," commented Charles H. Cotros, chairman and ceo, following Sysco's annual shareholders meeting on Nov. 9. He cited softer sales in markets dependent on tourism and conventions, such as New York, Washington, and Orlando. In addition, consumers have traded down, he noted.

Meanwhile, the $22-billion broadliner has announced a 28.6 percent increase to its quarterly cash dividend. "The board's decision reflects their confidence in Sysco's future prospects and its ability to generate significant cash flow for dividend payments after investing sufficient capital to grow our business, and the board believes stockholders should share in the benefits of the company's consistent growth and performance," Cotros said.

In addition, three directors were re-elected: Colin G. Campbell, Frank H. Richardson and Jackie M. Ward.
John F. Woodhouse, retired senior chairman of the board, has not stood for re-election, nor has Frank A. Godchaux III, chairman of Riviana Foods, Inc..

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