Boise Inc. today reported net income of $26.2 million or $0.31 per diluted share for fourth quarter 2010 compared with net income of $55.7 million or $0.66 per diluted share for fourth quarter 2009. Net income for 2010 was $62.7 million or $0.75 per diluted share, compared with net income of $153.8 million or $1.85 per diluted share for 2009. Fourth quarter 2009 and full year 2009 results included benefits from alternative fuel mixture credits.
Net income excluding special items was $25.8 million or $0.31 per diluted share for fourth quarter 2010 and $76.8 million or $0.91 per diluted share for 2010. EBITDA excluding special items was $92.8 million for fourth quarter 2010 and $325.6 million for 2010.
“I am pleased with our accomplishments in 2010” said Alexander Toeldte, president and chief executive officer of Boise Inc. “Our 2010 EBITDA excluding special items was the highest since our inception as a public company three years ago. During 2010, we improved our margins, generated $178 million in free cash flow, and grew sales volumes of both our corrugated packaging products and packaging demand-driven and premium office papers 13% over 2009. This strong performance allowed us to reduce our net total debt by $132 million dollars and reward our shareholders by paying a $0.40 per share special dividend in December.
“Our success was driven by several factors, including solid operational performance, strong pricing in our core uncoated freesheet and corrugated packaging markets, and continuing variable and fixed cost reductions. Importantly, we also worked more safely, achieving record low incident rates across the company.
“On February 22, 2011, we announced the acquisition of Tharco Packaging, an important step in our strategy to profitably grow our packaging business and create value for our shareholders and customers. In the year ahead, we will continue our focus on creating shareholder value through well-performing operations, disciplined capital allocation, and targeted growth.”
Total sales for fourth quarter 2010 were $524.1 million, up $33.8 million, or 7%, from $490.3 million for fourth quarter 2009 and down $30.0 million from third quarter 2010 sales of $554.1 million.
Paper segment sales increased $6.8 million during fourth quarter 2010 compared with fourth quarter 2009 due primarily to increased sales prices. Packaging segment sales increased $29.9 million during fourth quarter 2010 compared with fourth quarter 2009 driven by higher sales prices for linerboard, newsprint, and corrugated products and increased sales volumes for corrugated products.
Full year 2010 sales were $2.1 billion, a 6% increase over 2009 sales of $2.0 billion. The increase was driven primarily by increased sales prices in both the Paper and Packaging segments and, to a lesser extent, by increased sales volumes in the Packaging segment.
Prices and Volumes
Uncoated freesheet net selling prices increased 7% in fourth quarter 2010 compared with fourth quarter 2009 and were flat compared with third quarter 2010. Full year net selling prices for uncoated freesheet improved 2% in 2010 compared with 2009. Total uncoated freesheet sales volumes were 291,000 tons during fourth quarter 2010, a decrease of 6% versus the prior year period and a decrease of 9% from third quarter 2010. Full year sales volumes of uncoated freesheet papers were 1.2 million tons in 2010, down 1% compared with 2009. Combined sales volumes of premium office, label and release, and flexible packaging papers represented 31% of our total 2010 uncoated freesheet sales volumes compared with 27% during 2009. This growth primarily displaced commodity paper products.