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Domtar reports net earnings of $87 million
Domtar reported net earnings of $87 million ($1.38 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to net earnings of $99 million ($1.57 per share) for the third quarter of 2018 and a net loss of $386 million ($6.16 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2017. Sales for the fourth quarter of 2018 were $1.4 billion.
“The fourth quarter was one of our best in several years,” said John D. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our results reflect a strong performance in Pulp and Paper as we benefited from solid business fundamentals, accelerating price realizations and improved productivity. I’m especially pleased with our cost performance in the quarter despite fiber availability issues at several of our facilities.”
Commenting on Personal Care, Williams added, “Results improved from the third quarter led by seasonally stronger sales in Europe while new customer volume began to ramp up in North America. Higher volume and cost improvements also drove operational efficiencies and resulted in lower overall unit cost. Although markets remain challenged with raw material cost inflation, we do see some of the underlying fundamentals beginning to improve.”
Operating income was $133 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to operating income of $114 million in the third quarter of 2018. Depreciation and amortization totaled $75 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The increase in operating income in the fourth quarter of 2018 was the result of lower maintenance costs; lower selling, general and administrative expenses; higher average selling prices for pulp and paper; lower fixed costs; and favorable productivity. These factors were partially offset by higher raw material costs.