May 3, 2012 / 9:39 PM / in 6 years

UPDATE 1-Mercer profit plunges on lower pulp prices

May 3 (Reuters) - Pulp producer Mercer International Inc posted a 96 percent fall in first-quarter profit, hurt in part by lower pulp prices.

For the January-March quarter, the company’s net income attributable to common shareholders dropped to 1.2 million euros ($1.58 million), or 2 euro cents per share, from 29.1 million euros, or 52 euro cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue fell 4 percent to 215.6 million euros.

For the quarter, average northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp list price in Europe was $837 per air dried metric ton (ADMT), down from $960 per ADMT, a year ago.

NBSK is the paper industry’s benchmark grade of pulp, and is produced mainly in Canada and the Nordic countries.

Mercer on Monday withdrew from its battle with AbitibiBowater Inc to buy Fibrek Inc after nearly three months of legal setbacks.

Shares of Mercer, which has a market value of about $374 million, closed at C$6.58 on Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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