May 8, 2008 / 11:26 AM / in 10 years

AbitibiBowater 1st-quarter loss widens

NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - AbitibiBowater Inc ABH.N, the largest North American newsprint maker, on Thursday posted a wider first-quarter loss, hurt by poor results from its newsprint, specialty papers and wood products businesses.

The company posted a net loss of $248 million, or $4.32 a share, compared with a net loss of $35 million, or $1.19 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the loss in the quarter was $215 million, or $3.74 a share.

The newsprint industry in North America has been badly hit by the steady decline in demand and overcapacity issues. AbitibiBowater and some of its peers have been reducing capacity and trying to push through price increases in a bid to deal with the sectors woes. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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