Specialty paper and engineered product supplier Glatfelter has released information about its third quarter financial performance. The company saw record quarterly net sales of $339.8 million for the third quarter ended September 30, 2008, a 16.4% increase compared with $291.9 million for the third quarter of 2007. Adjusted earnings for the third quarter of 2008 totaled $19.5 million compared to $19.0 million in the third quarter of 2007.
Operating income in the company’s specialty papers segments increased 56% to $22.8 million compared to $14.7 million in the third quarter of 2007. According to the company, market demand for Glatfelter products remained strong in a soft market. Selling prices reportedly increased less than increases in raw material costs but the
gap narrowed since the second quarter of 2008.
In the composite fibers segment, operating income was in line with the third quarter of 2007 at $8.4 million. Revenue increased 32.1% in the third quarter of 2008 versus the prior-year quarter. The company reported strong demand for food and beverage products, which were up 10.6%. Technical specialties and composite laminates shipments grew by 9.1% and 9.4% respectively.
In the company’s specialty papers business, shipping volume in the fourth quarter is expected to be slightly lower than the same period in 2007 reflecting normal seasonality and weaker economic conditions. Average selling prices are expected to remain stable in the fourth quarter across all product lines. Cost reduction initiatives are expected to mitigate adverse effects of input costs versus selling prices
In composite fibers, higher average selling prices are expected and the impact of continuous improvement initiatives are expected to mitigate the impact of higher input costs during the fourth quarter. Shipping volume in the fourth quarter is expected to be higher than the same period in 2007.
“I am very pleased with this quarter’s strong financial results,” said George Glatfelter II, chairman and CEO. “Our performance was driven by strong demand, improved selling prices and, most importantly, ongoing operational improvement. In this regard, our results continued to reflect the solid execution of our strategies within each business unit and our emphasis on improving cost management and asset utilization.”