Paper recycler AbitibiBowater expects to be the industrys great turnaround story as it announces important progress during its first full quarter.
The parent firm of AbitibiBowater Recycling Europe expects to meet its asset sales target of $500m by the end of 2008, having achieved sales of approximately $220m to date.
AbitibiBowater chief executive David J. Paterson said that results from its first full quarter were an important step in positioning the company as the industrys great turnaround story.
In November 2007, Canadian paper company Abitibi-Consolidated and US paper producer Bowater merged to form AbitibiBowater. The combined company operates 31 pulp and paper facilities and 35 wood product facilities in the United States, Canada, the UK and South Korea.
After the merger the firm began a strategic review of all aspects of the company in a stream lining operation. Executive chairman John W. Weaver said: We are making progress and are beginning to benefit from improving business conditions.
AbitibiBowater intends to increase its profitability and focus on its cost reduction efforts. Results show it is on track to achieve cost reductions of $375m by the end of 2009.
While no more paper mill closures were announced, the company confirmed the indefinite idling of mills in British Columbia and Quebec.
But it is also considering the possibility of manufacturing a light-weight coated product, containing recycled content.
In the UK, AbitibiBowater operates the Bridgewater paper mill in Cheshire, which produces around 300,000 tonnes of newsprint each year. It has recently been awarded a new five year contract from Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council to provide its residents with a kerbside collection service. In recent years the company has diversified to collect materials like mixed plastics, batteries and cardboard.