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Australian Paper gets vote of confidence from PaperlinX

Wednesday, 31 October 2007
By Print 21 Online Article

PaperlinX CEO Tom Park commits the company to continuing development of local paper manufacturing subsidiary despite some analysts’ calls for divestment.

FIelding criticism from analysts that PaperlinX should divest its Australian paper manufacturing operations, Park is determined to keep the business going. He told media that: "There are real competitive advantages in Australian Paper … so leveraging those competitive advantages and backing out where we don’t have competitive advantage is creating visible earnings which will be reflected in shareholder value."

In spite of this attitude, not all shareholders are happy with reports of dissatisfaction at the company’s recent annual meeting. Here, Park announced that: "Our focus in 2007 was to continue to grow our underlying earnings and in 2008 we will again focus on further improving underlying profitability," he said.

Internal developments such as the $30-40 million boost for the Maryvale pulp mill will hold the key to success, according to Park. "We are confident that the long term returns from this project will be in line with our expectations and in fact the short term benefits to be realised from 2009 will be above expectations due to the higher cost of the imported pulp that this project will replace," he said.

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