Johannesburg - South African paper maker Sappi [JSE:SAP] said on
Friday its third-quarter loss widened by 54%, hit by slow demand and planned
annual maintenance shutdowns, and the company expected market conditions to
Sappi, the world’s largest maker of fine paper used in
glossy magazines, said diluted headline loss per share for the quarter to
end-June totaled 20 US cents, compared with a loss of 13 US cents a year
The company said operating profit, excluding special items,
was steady at $60m from the same period last year
The global paper industry is struggling to recover from a
slump caused by sluggish demand and overcapacity and Sappi said market
conditions would remain tough.
“Trading conditions are expected to be weaker than a year
ago, with lower volumes for most of our products and pricing, particularly for
pulp, to remain under pressure,” it said in a statement.
Sappi has said chemical cellulose, which it produces from
its own woods for conversion into raw materials for clothing, plastics, food
and pharmaceutical products, is one of the higher-margin businesses it plans to
The company, which is also the world’s top producer of
chemical cellulose, is currently investing a total of about $500 million to
boost its total capacity to more than 1.3 million tonnes a year by 2013.
Sappi shares were down 1.65% to R24.00 as of 07:28 GMT.
Sappi shares were down 1.23% to R24.10 on Friday morning.