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August 03, 2012 9:00 am ET
Roeloff Jacobus Boëttgerr - Chief Executive Officer, Executive Director and Member of Group Executive Committee
Mark Richard Thompson - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Director and Member of Group Executive Committee
Caroline Learmonth - Barclays Capital, Research Division
Campbell Parry - Investec Securities Ltd., Research Division
Lars F. Kjellberg - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division
Nishal Ramloutan - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division
Good day, and welcome to the Sappi Third Quarter 2012 Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Please also note that this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Roeloff Boettgerr. Please go ahead, sir.
Roeloff Jacobus Boëttgerr
Thank you very much. Very good morning, good afternoon to you ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for joining us for our quarter 3 results presentation. I'd like to draw your attention to Slide #2, the forward-looking statements and Regulation G requirements.
Moving then on to the summary of the results, operating profit excluding special items at $60 million, which is in line with the guidance we've given and also exactly the same as the operating profit for the corresponding quarter a year ago. Market conditions deteriorated during the quarter particularly in the European area. Importantly, we've extended the maturities and lowered our finance cost from the refinancing of the 2014 bonds. That came with the once-off charge of $89 million, the main reason for the negative EPS during the quarter. We did have the impact of the planned annual maintenance shuts at our major paper mills, which is a seasonal factor as communicated to you prior to the quarter. Both our chemical cellulose expansions remain on track in terms of both budget and timing.