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Verso Paper Corp. Reports Third Quarter 2012 Results

Summary Results

Results of Operations – Comparison of the Third Quarter of 2012 to the Third Quarter of 2011
      Three Months Ended
September 30,
(Dollars in thousands)   2012   2011
Net sales $ 373,004   $ 456,836
Costs and expenses:

Cost of products sold - (exclusive of depreciation, amortization, and depletion)
301,833 375,554
Depreciation, amortization, and depletion 28,138 31,190
Selling, general, and administrative expenses 17,499 19,490
Restructuring and other charges     97,018      

Total operating expenses     444,488       426,234  
Operating income (loss)     (71,484 )     30,602  
Interest income (3 ) (12 )
Interest expense 33,284 30,859
Other income, net     (21 )     (44 )
Loss before income taxes (104,744 ) (201 )
Income tax (benefit) expense     (45 )     146  
Net loss   $ (104,699 )   $ (347 )

Net Sales. Net sales for the third quarter of 2012 decreased 18.4%, to $373.0 million from $456.8 million in the third quarter of 2011, led by a quarter-over-quarter decline in the price of pulp. Additionally, total sales volume was down 14.9% compared to the third quarter of 2011, which was driven by the shutdown of three paper machines late last year and the closure of the Sartell mill in the third quarter of this year, as well as a 4.0% decrease in the average sales price per ton for all of our products.

Net sales for our coated papers segment decreased 19.7% in the third quarter of 2012 to $300.9 million from $374.5 million for the same period in 2011, due to a 17.4% decrease in paper sales volume, which was driven by the shutdown of three paper machines late last year and the closure of the Sartell mill in the third quarter of this year. The average sales price per ton of coated paper decreased 2.8% compared to the same period last year.

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