RUMFORD — Sales at Newpage Corp. rose almost 20 percent between 2009 and 2010, while losses corporate-wide for 2010 more than doubled.

According to the financial report issued by the Miamisburg, Ohio-based paper company, sales increased to 3,514,000 tons in 2010, from 2,949,000 in 2009. However, part of the losses, which rose from $308 million in 2009 to $656 million in 2010, can be attributed to a lower average price per ton between the two years. In 2009, the price was $910 per ton, which is about 4.2 percent higher than 2010’s price of $871 per ton.

Prices per ton for the fourth quarter of 2010 did increase to $897.

The U.S. Congress recently approved extending a tariff on paper coming into the country from China and Indonesia to compensate for the subsidies paper mills receive in those countries, a factor that many believe would make U.S. produced paper more financially competitive. China has also been accused of currency manipulation and dumping its products in this country.

Another major factor in the firm’s losses for 2010 occurred when the Whiting, Wis., paper mill closed this month, leaving 360 people without work. Also, lower income from alternative fuel mixture tax credits was realized.

Another former NewPage mill in Niagara, Wis., had been closed in 2008. It was sold Feb. 11 to Niagara Development LLC, which is owned by a Missouri businessman. A year or so previously, the hydroelectric plant at that mill had been sold.

Market downtime corporatewide, however, came in at only 39,000 tons in 2010, compared with 515,000 tons in 2009.

During 2009, the local Rumford mill experienced a series of rolling paper machine shutdowns and layoffs. Now, the 100 or so employees who had been laid off are back to work and about two dozen more people have been hired, resulting in about 800 hourly and salaried employees at the local mill. All paper machines are running 24 hours per day.

The demand for paper increased during the past year, according to the financial report, because of some recovery in advertising spending through magazines and catalogs.

Local mill spokesman, Tony Lyons, declined to comment on today’s financial report, and instead referenced Amber Garwood, media contact at the Miamisburg headquarters.

She declined to elaborate on the report, including any implications, if any, on the doubling of the amount of losses and what it could mean to the company.

Local 900 Union President Matt Bean said Thursday afternoon that he couldn’t comment on the year end and fourth quarter financial report because he had not yet seen it.

NewPage operates other paper mills in Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, and Nova Scotia.

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Core Paper Sales

NewPage Corp.

2009

First Qtr. : 668,000 tons

Second Qtr.: 689,000 tons

Third Qtr.: 769,000 tons

Fourth Qtr.: 823,000 tons

Total 2,949,000 tons

Ave. price per ton $910

Loss for year $308 million

2010

First Qtr.: 792,000 tons

Second Qtr.: 868,000 tons

Third Qtr.: 939,000 tons

Fourth Qtr.: 915,000

Total 3,514,000 tons

Ave. price per ton $871

Loss for year $656 million


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