Airlaid producer Buckeye Technologies announced a third quarter adjusted net income of $27 million, which excludes after-tax restructuring and asset impairment charges of $0.8 miilion related to the closure of the cotton linter pulp production line in Brazil and the sale of its converting business in North Carolina. Sales were down 9% to $217 million compared to the third quarter of last year.
Nonwovens sales were down $7 million or 11% year over year excluding the impact of the January divestiture of the Merfin Systems converting business. The primary driver was lower shipment volumes in North America. Compared to the second quarter, nonwovens sales were down about $1 million due to a weaker euro and weaker overall pricing. While sales volumes in Europe were up compared to a seasonally weak second quarter, nonwovens sales volumes in North America were down by an offsetting amount.
“This was a very busy and productive quarter for Buckeye,” says chairman and CEO John Crowe. “We completed the energy project and the ground-breaking for the specialty expansion project at our Florida mill; we closed our cotton linter pulp facility in Brazil, and we sold our converting business in King, NC. All of these activities will improve Buckeye’s margins and return on invested capital. It was also a challenging quarter due to the power failure in mid-February and subsequent downtime at our Florida facility. This caused our financial performance to come in below the expectations that we shared at our earnings call in January.”