Wausau Paper Sales Flat in 2012 - Modern Distribution Management

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Wausau Paper Sales Flat in 2012

The company announced in January that it would explore options for divesting its paper segment to focus on development of its tissue business.

Wausau Paper (NYSE: WPP), Mosinee, WI, reported sales for 2012 of $822.2 million, flat compared to sales in 2011. Profit for the year was $676,000, compared with a year-ago net loss of $21.7 million.

For the fourth quarter, sales were $190.9 million, a year-over-year decline of 6 percent. Net loss for the period was $2.5 million, compared with a year-ago net loss of $28.7 million.

On Jan. 11, the company announced its intent to "strategically reposition" itself to focus on the tissue business. Wausau Paper will explore options for divesting its paper business.

"Over the last 18 months we have focused on generating cash to fund our $220 million Tissue expansion, constructing a new tissue machine and upgrading our converting infrastructure while maintaining a conservative approach to working capital and the overall balance sheet," said Henry C. Newell, president and CEO. "This investment is about to begin delivering significant value and our expectations are high as we build momentum and deliver new premium recycled tissue products later this year. We are also taking the appropriate actions in our paper segment to explore alternatives for this business and to evaluate our near-term options for our Brainerd operations."

The Tissue segment reported 4 percent shipment growth, measured in cases, for the fourth quarter. Fourth-quarter adjusted operating profit was $10.2 million in 2012 compared to $10.4 million in 2011.

For 2012, net sales increased 2.2 percent, as the volume of cases shipped grew 3.3 percent over the prior year.

The Paper segment reported a fourth-quarter adjusted operating loss of $6.8 million, compared with a prior year adjusted operating profit of $0.7 million. For the full year, the Paper segment reported an adjusted operating loss of $1.4 million, compared with adjusted operating profit of $16.1 million in the prior year.

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