August 11, 2009 / 4:13 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 2-Bankrupt AbitibiBowater posts bigger Q2 loss

* Q2 net loss $510 mln or $8.84/share

* Q2 operating loss about $285 mln

(Adds details from filing)

NEW YORK, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Bankrupt Canadian newsprint producer AbitibiBowater Inc ABWTQ.PK on Tuesday reported a second-quarter operating loss more than four times greater than a year earlier.

The company, based in Montreal, but incorporated in the United States, crumpled under an overwhelming debt load and filed for bankruptcy protection in April.

AbitibiBowater has cut millions of tonnes of mill capacity in recent months as it battled to keep pace with declining newsprint demand.

The company posted an operating loss excluding interest expenses and one-time charges of about $285 million for the period ending June 30, far larger than its $63 million loss a year ago, it said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the filing, issued after the market close, the company said its net loss doubled to $510 million, or $8.84 per share, from $251 million, or $4.36 per share, a year ago.

Sales fell to $1.04 billion from $1.7 billion a year earlier.

AbitibiBowater had been unable to file its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the second quarter by the Aug. 10 deadline primarily as a result of “the significant time and effort” required to prepare its consolidated financial statements in accordance with bankruptcy rules.

Last month, AbitibiBowater said it got a court order authorizing the appointment of Bruce Robertson as chief restructuring officer. The former senior managing partner at Brookfield Asset Management will work toward a negotiated settlement of claims and restructuring plan, the company said.

AbitibiBowater stock closed down 0.1 cent at 14.9 cents from 15 cents in over-the-counter trading on Tuesday.

Reporting by Steve James and Matt Daily; editing by Robert MacMillan

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