ST. LOUIS (AP) ¿ Spartech Corp., which makes plastic sheet materials, said Wednesday that the board has suspended the company's regular cash dividend to give it more financial flexibility to reduce debt and continue making investments.

"Coupled with the decisive actions we have taken to reduce costs, reposition our manufacturing footprint, invest in our infrastructure and enhance revenues, the dividend suspension will help to further our efforts to build a stronger and more competitive company for our shareholders," said President and Chief Executive Myles Odaniell in a statement.

The company last paid its 5-cent regular quarterly dividend on Feb. 5.

Spartech shares gained 1 cent to $1.62 in morning trading.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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