Hospira delivered on its commitments in the first quarter, generating solid sales and earnings growth in a period marked by continued economic uncertainty, said Christopher B. Begley, chairman and chief executive officer. Looking forward, we believe the results of our strategic investments and our focus on execution position us well to deliver our financial commitments for 2009. In addition, we are driving operational excellence through our optimization initiatives under Project Fuel, which will create long-term, sustainable growth and increased shareholder value.

Adjusted operating income increased 3.2% to $150 million in the first quarter of 2009, compared to $145 million in the first quarter of 2008. Driving the majority of the increase was improved manufacturing efficiency, with a contribution from favorable volume/mix.

Cash Flow

Cash flow from operations for the first quarter of 2009 was $89 million, compared to the $74 million generated in the same period in 2008.

Capital expenditures decreased to $34 million for the first quarter of 2009, compared to $43 million in the first quarter of 2008, due to the continued impact of capital-spending controls the company put into effect in the second half of 2008.

2009 Projections

Hospira continues to expect net sales for the year to increase approximately 4 to 6 percent on a constant-currency basis. Including the impact of foreign exchange, the company expects net sales to be flat.

Given the continued uncertainty surrounding the approval timing of piperacillin tazobactam, a key generic injectable pharmaceutical projected to launch during the year, Hospira has elected to remove sales of the drug from its 2009 projections. Offsetting this impact, the company now expects to receive a benefit from a lower estimated effective tax rate for 2009, as well as anticipated savings from the company’s optimization efforts under its Project Fuel initiative. Hospira therefore projects adjusted diluted earnings per share for full-year 2009 to range between $2.67 to $2.72 per share.