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YORK - Despite a 16.3 per cent increase in sales at its Advanced Airlaid Materials’ business, nonwoven fabric manufacturer Glatfelter has posted a drop in earnings for its fourth quarter to US$1.4 million, down from $8.6 million for the same period a year ago.

Total consolidated net sales were $229.5 million, up from $209.3 million for the same quarter in 2017, with the airlaid sales offsetting a 6.2 per cent decrease in Composite Fibers’ net sales.

Glatfelter produces nonwoven materials for a range of sectors including the tea and single-serve coffee filtration, personal hygiene and packaging sectors as well as home improvement and industrial applications. The latest results reflect the significant restructuring that company has recently undertaken. “The fourth quarter of 2018 was pivotal to the strategic transformation of Glatfelter,” said Dante C. Parrini, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “I am proud of our team for the progress we made in reshaping our business – completing two significant transactions, as well as reaching an agreement to resolve the Fox River matter.”

Mr. Parrini continued: “During the fourth quarter, Advanced Airlaid Materials’ shipping volumes increased organically by 10 per cent over the same quarter last year from the continued ramp-up of the Fort Smith facility and new customer qualifications. We are also very pleased with the solid quarter delivered by Steinfurt.

"With a combined production capacity of approximately 150,000 metric tons at four state-of-the-art airlaid facilities, we are well positioned to further capitalize on the growth opportunities in the attractive markets for hygiene, wipes and table top products.”

“Composite Fibers continued to face challenging market conditions and higher raw material and energy prices during the fourth quarter. As we exited the year, we began to see some positive indicators resulting from our previously announced price increase and a moderation in pulp prices. To address the higher input costs, we began executing several cost optimization initiatives that we expect will improve results,” Mr. Parrini said.

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