Catalyst Paper’s earnings, before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, was down in  its fourth quarter to $6.8 million from $8.0 million in the third quarter. The company reported a net loss, excluding specific items of $10.4 million in its fourth quarter compared to $10.8 million in its third.

The results were a due to increased manufacturing expenses, including higher rates for electricity, the indefinite curtailment of Paper Machine No.9 at the Powell River mill and the acquisition of the Biron paper mill in Wisconsin and the Rumford pulp and paper mill in Maine.

“Our results reflect critical decisions to position the company effectively for the future,” Joe Nemeth, Catalyst President & CEO said. “In Q4, we incurred one-time costs and made strategic investments that will enable us to optimize our product mix and performance, while continuing to focus on cost, productivity, efficiency and customer service.”

The demand for North American paper was also down during the fourth quarter for all segments, with the exception of lightweight coated and uncoated paper. Prices remained flat for specialty grade paper and declined for newsprint and pulp. Catalyst saw a modest increase in sales in the fourth quarter, up from the third due to a weaker Canadian dollar, higher transaction prices for pulp and increased sales volumes for newsprint, uncoated mechanical and lightweight coated paper.