Paper Companies Hail Climbing Prices

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Rising paper prices may not be welcome news for catalogers, but a pair of paper companies reporting results yesterday see it another way.

Domtar Inc., Montreal, yesterday reported a loss from continuing operations of $3 million Canadian ($2.65 million U.S.) in the second quarter compared with earnings of $6 million last year.

Second-quarter sales totaled $1.159 billion Canadian versus $1.267 billion Canadian in the same period last year.

The company said operations continue to benefit from price increases covering most of its products and strength in all of its different market segments, except for lumber.

Domtar president/CEO Raymond Royer said the company is critical of the proposed framework agreement in the U.S.-Canada softwood lumber dispute, claiming the settlement would deprive shareholders of 20 percent of the duties collected so far by the U.S. government with no guarantee of a longstanding trade peace.

International Paper, Memphis, TN, generated second-quarter net earnings of $115 million compared with $77 million in the same period last year.

Quarterly net sales totaled $6.3 billion, up from $5.9 billion last year. The company said it expects higher earnings in the third quarter as it realizes previously announced price increases in North America.

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