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February 9, 2011 9:00 am ET
Ralph Boëttger - Chief Executive Officer
Berry Wiersum - Chief Executive Officer, Sappi Fine Paper Europe
Alex Thiel - Chief Executive Officer, Sappi Southern Africa
Mark Thompson - Chief Financial Officer
Mark Gardner - President and Chief Executive Officer, Sappi Fine Paper North America
Myles Allsop - UBS
Tassin Meyer - Citigroup
Lars Kjellberg - Credit Suisse
David Smith - Macquarie
Alex Ovshey - Goldman Sachs
Phyllis Camara - Pax World Fund
Terek Hamid - JPMorgan
Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon and welcome to the Sappi Limited First-Quarter Results Conference Call. Please note that all participants on this call are currently in listen-only mode and will be presented with an opportunity to ask questions at the end of today's presentation. (Operator Instructions) Please note that this conference call is being recorded.
At this point in time I would now like to hand the conference call over to Sappi Limited Chief Executive, Mr. Ralph Boëttger. Thank you, and over to you, sir.
Thank you very much. Very good afternoon and good morning to you. And thank you for joining us for the Sappi first quarter 2011 results presentation. And I have with me a number of my colleagues as usual to answer any questions should you have.
I would like to draw your attention to the forward-looking statements and Regulation G disclosure requirements on slide 2.
Moving then on to the summary, our first quarter 2011 we had pleasing results, with earnings per share of $0.07 per share and that against a loss of $0.10 for the equivalent quarter in 2010. Operating profit excluding special items amounted to $137 million compared to $81 million for the same period a year ago. We have experienced improved demand and pricing for the majority of our products during the past quarter.