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February 08, 2012 10:00 am ET
Roeloff Jacobus Boëttgerr - Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director and Member of Group Executive Committee
Mark Gardner - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director
Barry John Wiersum - Chief Executive Officer of Sappi Fine Paper Europe
Alexander van Coller Thiel - Member of Group Executive Committee and Chief Executive Officer of Sappi Southern Africa
Mark Richard Thompson - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Director and Member of Group Executive Committee
Lars Kjellberg - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division
Campbell Parry - Investec Securities Ltd., Research Division
Sean Ungerer - Avior Research (Pty) Ltd.
Bill Hoffman - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division
Tarek Hamid - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division
Ross Gilardi - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division
Roger Williams - Centaur Asset Management (Pty) Ltd
Good day, and welcome to the Sappi Limited Q1 2012 Results. [Operator Instructions] Please also note that this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Roeloff Boëttgerr. Please go ahead, sir.
Roeloff Jacobus Boëttgerr
Thank you very much. A very good morning and a good afternoon to everybody, and thank you for calling into our Quarter 1 2012 results presentation. I'd like to draw your attention to the second slide, the forward-looking statements and Regulation G requirements.
Starting on Slide 4 with the Quarter 1 2012 results summary. Profit for the period was $45 million, the equivalent quarter a year ago at $37 million. These results, I think, are characterized by the fact that there have been very few -- a few special items. Earnings per share, USD $0.09 compared to $0.07 for the equivalent period a year ago. Sales were down, but margins were up sequentially. Operating profit, excluding special items, $100 million versus $157 million in the equivalent quarter a year ago. That quarter's results been [indiscernible] quite substantially by the fact that, that quarter included an additional week, and [ph] this presentation, when you do a compare quarter-on-quarter also of the operating units, it is important to note that, that quarter-on-quarter a year ago was benefiting from that from additional week. But I won't harp on that going forward.