In the fourth quarter of 2010, the noncontrolling shareholder's interest in the Stendal mill's income was €3.5 million, compared to €1.3 million in the same quarter last year.
In the fourth quarter of 2010, Operating EBITDA increased by 175% to €64.6 million from €23.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Operating EBITDA is defined as operating income (loss) plus depreciation and amortization and non-recurring capital asset impairment charges. Management uses Operating EBITDA as a benchmark measurement of its own operating results, and as a benchmark relative to its competitors. Management considers it to be a meaningful supplement to operating income as a performance measure primarily because depreciation expense and non-recurring capital asset impairment charges are not an actual cash cost, and depreciation expense varies widely from company to company in a manner that management considers largely independent of the underlying cost efficiency of their operating facilities. In addition, we believe Operating EBITDA is commonly used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties to evaluate our financial performance.
Operating EBITDA does not reflect the impact of a number of items that affect our net income, including financing costs and the effect of derivative instruments. Operating EBITDA is not a measure of financial performance under GAAP, and should not be considered as an alternative to net income or income from operations as a measure of performance, nor as an alternative to net cash from operating activities as a measure of liquidity. Operating EBITDA has significant limitations as an analytical tool, and should not be considered in isolation, or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. For a reconciliation of net income (loss) attributable to common shareholders to Operating EBITDA, see page 8 of the financial tables included in this press release.
During the quarter, we recorded approximately €0.2 million of income tax benefits, compared to €1.0 million in the same period last year.