Wellman Inc., Fort Mill, S.C., reported a first-quarter (Q1) 2007 net loss from continuing
operations of $26 million, or 81 cents per share, compared with a Q1 2006 net loss of $18.9
million, or 59 cents per share.
“Although we experienced disappointing overall results in the first quarter, we achieved
record quarterly PET [polyethylene terephthalate] resin sales and volume due to strong demand,”
said Thomas Duff, chairman and CEO. “Our sales volume benefited from delays in the start-up of some
of the new capacity announced by our competitors and an improved trade balance which was helped by
the differential between US and Asian polyester raw material costs returning closer to historical
levels. We expect the supply/demand balance to remain favorable in the second quarter and for PET
resin margins to improve over first quarter levels based on our announced selling price increases.”
CFO Keith Phillips added that the company expects to reduce debt substantially over the next
10 to 16 months as it makes operating improvements, reduces costs and explores strategic
alternatives for its non-core businesses.