Potlatch quarterly earnings drop

Wood products segment posts loss

Spokane-based Potlatch reported second quarter earnings of $21.5 million and 54 cents per share, compared with $34 million and 87 cents per share from the same period in 2007.

The company Thursday said results were affected by a $1.8 million charge associated with its evaluation of a spin-off transaction of Potlatch’s pulp-based businesses.

Also affecting earnings was a one-time payment of $1.4 million for retroactive pay associated with the settlement of the union contracts for the company’s pulp and paperboard and consumer products operations in Lewiston.

Company officials said the wood products segment reported a quarterly loss of $200,000, compared with operating income of $6.6 million for the second quarter. An earnings release said, “Lumber results were negatively impacted by the continued downturn in the housing market, resulting in lower net sales, prices and shipments.”

Potlatch owns nearly 2 million acres of forest in four states. It also operates manufacturing facilities that produce lumber and panel products and bleached pulp products, including paperboard and tissue.


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