SOUTH HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) ¿ Plastic packaging company AEP Industries Inc. said Tuesday its fiscal second-quarter profit rose on higher sales volume driven by a recent acquisition, despite falling below management's expectations.

AEP Industries reported a fiscal second-quarter profit of $11.6 million, or $1.71 per share, compared with earnings of $5.5 million, or 81 cents a share, for the same quarter a year earlier.

The company said last year's acquisition of plastics film company Atlantis Plastics Inc. drove sales, which were partially offset by a decrease in average prices. AEP acquired Atlantis for $87 million in August 2008.

Revenue was up slightly to $182.5 million from $181.2 million for the same quarter a year ago.

"While we expect the remainder of 2009 to continue to be challenging, we expect volumes to modestly increase from existing levels, to realize additional synergies from the Atlantis acquisition, and to further reduce debt levels," said Brendan Barba, chairman and chief executive officer of AEP Industries in a written statement. "We do not expect further plant closings."

To date the company has shut down a plant in Fontana, Calif., and notified workers of a shutdown at its Cartersville, Ga., plant. AEP has also reduced its debt from $250 million to $190 million, partly through the repurchase of $14.8 million in senior notes.
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