November 6, 2008 / 1:07 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-AbitibiBowater posts third-quarter loss

* Loss $1.81/share excluding one-time items

* Net loss $5.23/share

NEW YORK, Nov 6 (Reuters) - AbitibiBowater Inc ABH.N ABH.TO, the largest North American newsprint maker, posted a third-quarter loss on Thursday, hurt by weak demand and restructuring-related charges.

Excluding one-time items, the Montreal-based company posted a loss of $104 million, or $1.81 a share. Its net loss was $302 million, or $5.23 a share.

AbitibiBowater was formed through the merger of Bowater Inc and Abitibi-Consolidated in October 2007.

The company said it expects a decline in energy costs and a weaker Canadian dollar to boost fourth-quarter results. However, declining North American newsprint demand continues to weigh, and AbitibiBowater plans to reduce production in 2009.

Shares of the company have fallen 90 percent this year due to growing liquidity concerns. The company said it is in the process of amending the terms of certain debt facilities.

The amendment would extend until next spring the dates on which the facilities convert into asset-backed loan facilities. It would also waive compliance with certain financial covenant requirements for the 2008 third quarter. The company expects to complete this amendment over the next few days. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; editing by John Wallace)

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