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Recycled tissue rolls in Cascades' Kingsley Falls, Que., tissue plant.

Christinne Muschi

Cascades Inc. says its reined in some of its fourth-quarter losses to $34-million as it battled a stronger loonie and historically high prices for recycled fibres and pulp.

The Montreal-based boxboard, containerboard and tissue maker said the loss was equivalent to 34 cents per share. That was improved from a deeper $41-million loss, or 42 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Excluding specific items, net earnings came in at 14 cents per share, in line with analyst expectations according to Thomson Reuters. Sales grew to $991-million, above expectations of $985-million, and compared to $952-million at the same time last year.

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For the year, profits were $17-million versus $60-million in 2009. Sales came in at $3.96-billion, up from $3.88-billion.

Cascades announced this week an agreement to sell its last Norampac production facility in Europe to focus on its North American billion in revenues. Private equity firm OpenGate Capital is purchasing the Norampac Avot-Vallee mill for an undisclosed price. The transaction should be completed March 1.

Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products composed mainly of recycled fibres. It employs nearly 12,500 people in more than 100 operating units in North America and Europe.

Over the past year, Cascades shares have traded between $5.71 and $8.56 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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