NewPage saw drop in sales but ex­pects less down­time in 2010

Cape Breton Post - - BUSINESS - BY NANCY KING

“ We’re see­ing the un­der­ly­ing de­mand for print­ing pa­per im­prov­ing as the U.S. econ­omy im­proves. As a re­sult, we’re re­bal­anc­ing our mills and do not ex­pect to take as much down­time in 2010 as we had to take in 2009 to . . . bal­ance sup­ply with de­mand,” he said.

The com­pany’s big­gest prod­uct is coated pa­per, but it also makes other forms of pa­per, in­clud­ing su­per­cal­en­dered and tra­di­tional and en­hanced newsprint at Point Tup­per.

While Suwyn said they aren’t cur­rently pro­ject­ing a re­cov­ery to lev­els from the last decade, he noted that 25 per cent of coated pa­per ca­pac­ity in the U.S. has since shut down.

The com­pany’s net loss was $55 mil­lion in the fourth quar­ter of 2009 com­pared to $42-mil­lion in the last quar­ter of 2008. For the year the com­pany lost $308 mil­lion, com­pared to $117 mil­lion in 2008. It ex­pects to sell $150 mil­lion in as­sets in 2010, with some ex­pected to come in the first half of the year.

NewPage also owns pa­per mills in Ken­tucky, Maine, Mary­land, Michi­gan, Min­nesota and Wis­con­sin.

The Point Tup­per mill em­ploys 550 peo­ple. NewPage bought the for­mer Stora Enso mill in 2007.

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