NewPage sales up, prices down

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RUMFORD — Although a first-quarter financial report for NewPage Corp. shows an improvement over the first quarter of 2009, the paper industry still has a ways to go.

According to the report released by the company’s headquarters in Miamisburg, Ohio, sales jumped to 792,000 tons for the period ending March 31, 2010, over the same period in 2009, which reported sales of 668,000 tons of paper.

However, although sales were up, prices were down.

Net loss was $175 million in 2010, compared to $109 million for the first quarter of 2009, largely because of lower paper prices. Some of that loss, however, was offset by lower chemical and energy costs, and about $13 million from alternative fuel mixture tax credits.

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“Our total sales volumes were up 31 percent compared to the first quarter of 2009,” NewPage President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Curly said in a statement. “We believe improved sales demand indicates that our industry is prepared for significantly improved results for the remainder of 2010.”

Janet Hall, spokeswoman for the local mill, said that because demand is improving, the industry is encouraged.

She said all three paper machines — Nos. 10, 12 and 15 — are operating and all people who wanted to return to work have been called back.

NewPage also operates mills in Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nova Scotia, Canada.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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