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AbitibiBowater launches 30-day review of all businesses


November 13, 2007
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Montreal, QC — Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater have announced their respective third quarter 2007 earnings. Separ…

Montreal, QC — Abitibi-Consolidated and Bowater have announced their respective third quarter 2007 earnings. Separately, AbitibiBowater has released the company’s key business priorities. The company had originally announced its expectation to realize in excess of $250 million in annualized synergies over the next two years from the recent merger, which was completed on October 29 of this year, but now expects to achieve this target by the end of the first quarter of 2009.

Additional priorities stated were a debt-reduction target of $1 billion over the next three years to enhance the global competitiveness of the company, and a plan to demonstrate its superior customer focus by providing access to a broad range of forest products and best-in-class customer service, with an unsurpassed commitment to environmental sustainability. Over the next 30 days, AbitibiBowater’s executive team will complete a strategic review of each business and develop complete action plans for achieving these business priorities, inclusive of sales and marketing plans.

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Company executives discussed these plans during a conference call with financial analysts and journalists last week, noting the recent changes in the marketplace and the decrease in demand for newsprint in North America. The fast-rising Canadian dollar has had a major effect, with the company estimating that every additional cent added to the dollar could have a $33 million impact on the company on an annualized basis. “We are also looking at wood and energy prices in Canada that are above competitive rates in North American and the world,” noted Pierre Rougeau, Senior VP, North American Newsprint Division.


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