Net income for the quarter totaled $10.4 million, up from $6.6 million in the year-earlier period. For the first nine months of 2008, income reached $37.8 million, a significant jump over the company’s income of $14.2 during the first three quarters of 2007.
In the nonwovens segment, net sales were $58.2 million during the first three months of 2008 compared to $65.4 million during the same period in 2007. Year-to-date sales for nonwoven materials totaled $202 million in 2008 while in the first nine months of 2007, nonwovens sales reached $193 million.
Chairman and CEO John Crowe said, "We had a another good quarter, with sales up 5% and earnings per share up 55% versus the same period a year ago, even though our operating performance fell short of our expectations. Unplanned maintenance outages at our Florida wood cellulose facility, delayed shipments due to ocean vessel availability issues and lower nonwovens sales negatively impacted our results. A significant accomplishment for the quarter was the reduction of long-term debt by $18.6 million during the quarter to $394.5 million."
Mr. Crowe added, "We have recently replaced a sizeable portion of the nonwovens business that we lost at the beginning of January, and we expect nonwovens sales and operating income to increase over the next several quarters. While we expect higher sales and production volumes in the April-June quarter versus the immediately preceding quarter, we anticipate that our margins will be constrained by higher input and transportation costs."