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Catalyst posts steep loss

Company releases second quarter data

Decreasing demand for newsprint and directory paper contributed to Catalyst Paper Corporation’s steep second quarter loss.

The BC-based pulp and paper producer reported a net loss of $28 million, $1.93 per share, more than double the $11.7-million loss in its second quarter last year.

“Markets for all the company’s paper products remain challenging and demand trended down overall compared to the same period of the prior year,” the company reported Monday, July 29.

Newsprint and directory sales declined by 8.9 per cent and 15.2 per cent respectively, while specialty coated and uncoated sales declined less at 4.9 per cent and 1.3 per cent.

Planned mill outages for maintenance at Crofton and Port Alberni, higher costs for electricity and the return of the provincial sales tax (PST) contributed to the company’s losses.

It reported that its new glossy magazine paper called Ascent, produced in its Port Alberni mill, was a bright spot with sales growing steadily and its more environmentally focused product, Sage, is performing well.

Catalyst expects newsprint demand to weaken as media companies further their embrace of electronic means to deliver their product.

Catalyst returned in January as a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange after going through a court-supervised restructuring.

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