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Sappi Limited's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Sappi Limited (SPP)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

November 10, 2011 8:00 am ET

Executives

Roeloff Jacobus Boëttgerr - Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director

Mark Richard Thompson - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director

Berend John Wiersum - Chief Executive Officer of Sappi Fine Paper Europe

Analysts

Tassin Meyer - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Stephen Atkinson - BMO Capital Markets Canada

Lars Kjellberg - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Caroline Learmonth

Unknown Analyst -

Presentation

Operator

Good afternoon and welcome to the Sappi Limited Fourth Quarter 2011 Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Please note that this conference is being recorded. At this time, I'd like to hand the conference over to Ralph Boëttgerr. Please go ahead, sir.

Roeloff Jacobus Boëttgerr

Thank you very much. A very good morning and good afternoon to you all and thank you very much for taking your time to dial into our results call. I'd like to draw your attention as usual to the second slide, forward-looking statements and Regulation G disclosure requirements.

Moving on, on Slide #4, summary of our results. Operating profit excluding special items $80 million for the quarter, up 33% on the previous quarter but down on the equivalent quarter 1 year ago. Next-generation, particularly strong in our fourth quarter, $279 million. But we had strategic initiatives which we implemented during this quarter, in terms of the further impairment and restructuring activities in our business, which resulted in a charge of $165 million, $98 million of which was non-cash. North American business, as well as our Southern African chemical cellulose business, continued to perform strongly during the quarter. High input costs continued to squeeze margins, but input cost did start to decline towards end of the fourth quarter in just about all our businesses. The net results for the quarter, a loss per share of $0.24, mainly as a result of the interventions that we took in our business.

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