PAPER SEGMENTThe Paper segment’s fourth-quarter operating loss of $82.9 million included pre-tax Brokaw mill closure charges of $81.8 million (consisting primarily of non-cash charges related to impairment of long-lived assets) while prior-year operating loss of $0.7 million included pre-tax charges of $3.8 million related to adjustment of a natural gas transportation contract for the former Groveton mill, and pre-tax charges of $1.4 million associated with conversion of the alternative fuel mixtures tax credit to the cellulosic biofuel producers tax credit. Excluding special items, Paper segment’s fourth-quarter operating loss was $1.1 million compared to prior-year profit of $4.5 million. The impact of operations at the Brokaw mill reduced Paper segment adjusted operating results by approximately $2 million ($0.03 per share after-tax) in the fourth quarter while increasing adjusted operating profits by approximately $1 million ($0.02 per share after-tax) last year. The estimated impact of Brokaw operations is preliminary and will be determined, consistent with GAAP, after closure of the facility. Net sales decreased 4 percent while shipments declined 7 percent, reflecting reduced print & color volumes as well as customer destocking activities in technical sectors.
The Paper segment reported a full-year operating loss of $76.2 million including pre-tax Brokaw mill closure charges of $81.8 million, pre-tax expenses of $4.0 million associated with the Brainerd paper machine rebuild and $0.6 million related to the first-quarter transition to a reduced operating schedule at the Brokaw mill. Prior-year operating profit of $12.3 million included pre-tax charges of $3.8 million related to adjustment of a natural gas transportation contract for the former Groveton mill. Excluding special items, full-year operating profit was $10.2 million compared with $16.2 million last year. The impact of operations at the Brokaw mill reduced Paper segment adjusted operating profits by approximately $7 million ($0.10 per share after-tax) for the full year while increasing adjusted operating profits by approximately $3 million ($0.04 per share after-tax) last year. Net sales decreased 2 percent while shipments declined 7 percent, again reflecting reduced print & color volumes.
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