Comparing the second quarter to the first quarter of fiscal 2011, sales were up $7.4 million as increased shipment volume from the company's specialty cotton fibers plants combined with higher selling prices and improved mix in the specialty fibers segment offset the impact of reduced nonwovens shipment volumes. volumes.
Net sales in the Nonwovens segment totaled $62 million for the three months ended December 31, 2010, compared to $60 million for the same period last year.
Chairman and CEO John Crowe said, "We were very pleased with our second quarter financial results. Excluding special items such as the significant income we recognized in past quarters related to the various fuel tax credits, this was a record earnings quarter for Buckeye. Earnings showed strong improvement compared both to the same quarter a year ago and to the immediately preceding quarter, and we expect this upward trend to continue. The demand for specialty wood pulp remains very strong, with average selling prices up by about 17% on January 1 compared to the second quarter average and up more than 20% compared to the prior year quarter. Fluff pulp prices remain at high levels. We now have more than 90% of our Memphis cotton linter pulp demand covered by long-term sales contracts containing cost pass-through provisions. Input costs for specialty fibers remain fairly stable with the exception of cotton linters. After the seasonally weak second quarter, we expect nonwovens sales and earnings to improve in the third quarter on increased shipments, increased selling prices and stable fluff pulp prices. We should start to realize cost savings during the next two quarters as phase one of our Foley energy independence project continues to ramp up this quarter and from the recent move to one-machine operation at our Delta airlaid plant."