For the six months ended June 30, 2012, including discontinued operations, net of tax, net earnings were $8.4 million, or $0.17 per share, compared to net earnings of $1.8 million, or $0.04 per share, for the same period last year. Net earnings included earnings from continuing operations before income taxes offset by income tax expense and net earnings from discontinued operations of $4.8 million, or $0.10 per share. Net earnings in the prior year included earnings from continuing operations before income taxes, offset by income tax expense, and a net loss from discontinued operations of $2.8 million, or $0.06 per share.
Commenting on first-half performance and second-quarter results, Henry C. Newell, president and CEO said, “The first half has been a period of high intensity for both of our businesses as we execute against our strategic initiatives to grow both tissue and paper; execute our tissue expansion and complete the exit of our print franchise.
“Through the second quarter we have demonstrated tissue case growth of over 3 percent at approximately 13 percent operating margins; demonstrated growth in our technical markets of approximately 8 percent; significantly exceeded cash expectations for the exit of Print; and our tissue expansion is on schedule and budget.
“We will see increasing intensity as we move through the second half; we expect to continue our growth momentum in both tissue and technical markets and the startup of the new paper machine will dominate our priorities. We are cautious in our guidance for the second half due primarily to a challenging economic environment and expect full year adjusted net earnings to be in the $0.39 - $0.41 per share range versus prior-year adjusted net earnings of $0.33 per share.”TISSUE SEGMENTThe Tissue segment’s second-quarter operating profit of $9.1 million included pre-tax expense of $1.5 million related to the expansion activity and compared with prior-year operating profit of $8.7 million, including $0.4 million in expansion-related pre-tax expense. Net sales and tons shipped increased 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively, due to mid-2011 pricing actions and growth in total cases shipped of 2 percent. The Company’s $220 million Tissue expansion project in Harrodsburg remains on schedule and on budget for the fourth-quarter start-up of the new tissue and towel machine.