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Fluctuating paper prices push down profits for Maidenhead mill

Low packaging recovery note prices, the fluctuating cost of recovered paper and higher energy costs have caused profits at St Regis Paper Company to drop for the year ending April 30, 2004.

Parent company DS Smith released its preliminary results for 2003/4 this week. Overall profit before tax was up by 2% to £81.4 million. The company believed this was a robust performance despite operating in a weak paper market.

St Regis produces about 1m tonnes of paper every year and through Severnside collects and recycles more than 1.2m tonnes of waste paper. For the period 2003/4, St Regis increased its production and sales volumes through continuing emphasis on efficiencies and process control. Sales to the UK market increased slightly and exports moved ahead strongly. This was assisted in some part by the strengthening of the euro against the pound.

The Severnside collection and recycling business continued to expand, it added. However, results were affected by fluctuations in the price of recovered paper.

Severnside invested further in its collection infrastructure, both in terms of equipment and collection depots. It added one new depot and, subject to approval from the Office of Fair Trading, has acquired BPB Recyclings five depots.

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