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    ExxonMobil Expects Increased Benefits

    Savings from 1999 merger likely to increase to more than $8 billion next year.

    HOUSTON -- Exxon Mobil Corp. said it expects to squeeze an extra $1 billion in annual benefits from the 1999 merger of Exxon and Mobil, which would bring revenue gains and savings from the merger to more than $8 billion in 2003.

    Exxon and Mobil first estimated the merger benefits at $2.8 billion per year when they announced the planned merger in late 1998, raising their estimate to $3.8 billion when they completed the deal in late 1999, according to Reuters.

    Chairman and CEO Lee Raymond said the company had realized annual merger benefits of $5.8 billion by the end of 2001 and that the number would rise to more than $7 billion in 2002. ExxonMobil expects to capture an extra $1 billion in merger benefits in 2003, he said, but in later years it will no longer disclose figures for cost savings and revenue enhancements from the merger because Exxon and Mobil have become too entwined.

    At the time of the merger, Exxon said cost-cutting efforts would include the loss of 16,000 jobs or 13 percent of the combined company's work force, a number the company later raised to 19,000. Raymond said the company has no plans to make major changes in its strategy, despite recent weakness in oil and gas prices. Hurt by lower energy prices, the company's fourth-quarter income fell by nearly 50 percent.

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