Cellulose-based specialty products manufacturer Buckeye Technologies has announced earnings of US$3.8m after tax for the first quarter period that ended 30 September.

The company incurred a net loss of $0.3m after tax in the same quarter last year, which included $1.2m after tax in restructuring expenses associated with last year's closure of the company's Glueckstadt cotton linter pulp plant in Germany.
Net sales during the just-completed quarter were $191.4m, which was 16% above the $165.5m brought in during the same quarter last year.

Buckeye chairman John Crowe said: "Our sales of nonwoven materials and specialty fibres products were strong during the quarter as we continued to see market conditions like we did in the April-June quarter.

"The biggest driver of the increase in sales over a weak July-September quarter last year was higher shipment volume, but our sales also benefited from increased pricing and improved shipment mix. Particularly pleasing were the record sales, volumes and operating income delivered by our nonwovens segment."

He added: "Strong operating results, working capital reduction and low capital spending allowed us to reduce debt by $24m during the quarter. We now have less than $500m of debt on the balance sheet, which is a milestone for us."

Buckeye, a manufacturer and marketer of specialty fibres and nonwoven materials, is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, US and currently operates facilities in the US, Germany, Canada, and Brazil.