Wausau Paper (NYSE: WPP), Mosinee, WI, reported first quarter sales of $216.2 million, a year-over-year increase of 13 percent. Profit was $9.8 million, compared to a year-ago loss of $1.4 million.
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Shipments increased 16 percent to 136,000 tons.
The Tissue segment’s first-quarter operating profit of $9.2 million included pre-tax expense of $1.9 million related to the expansion activity and compared with prior-year operating profit of $6.3 million. Net sales and shipments increased 6 percent and 5 percent, respectively due to benefit from mid-2011 pricing actions, an improving cost structure and prior-year shipment weakness resulting from adverse weather conditions.
The Paper segment reported a first-quarter operating profit of $0.3 million, including a charge of $3.3 million relating to a natural gas transportation contract at the previously closed manufacturing facility in Groveton, NH. On a comparable basis in the prior year, Paper achieved an operating profit of $0.6 million, including pre-tax charges of $3.3 million in capital-related expense. Net sales and shipments from continuing operations increased 17 percent and 22 percent, respectively, primarily on the growth of technical paper markets.
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