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Buckeye Technologies Inc.
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Memphis, Tennessee, USA, 22 April 2008 -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Buckeye Technologies Inc. (NYSE:BKI) today announced that it expects its earnings for the January-March 2008 quarter to be in the range of 24-27 cents per share compared to 17 cents per share in the year ago quarter. Preliminary highlights for the quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago include:

-- Net sales increased 4.6% to USD 201.9 million.

-- Operating income of about USD 22 million versus USD 19.6 million in the same quarter last year.

-- Income taxes reduced by USD 0.8 million due to identification of additional R&D tax credits.

-- Long-term debt fell to USD 394.5 million at quarter-end, reducing net interest expense and amortization of debt costs by USD 2 million.

"While our financial results are substantially improved from the year ago period, our operating performance fell short of our expectations for the quarter," said John B. Crowe, chairman and chief executive officer. "Lower than expected nonwovens sales (even after accounting for the previously announced volume loss with a large customer) and increased raw material costs reduced nonwovens operating income to USD 1.2 million. We have recently replaced a sizeable portion of the nonwovens business that we lost at the beginning of January, and we expect nonwovens sales and operating income to increase over the next several quarters," he said.

"Additionally, our operating income in specialty fibers was negatively impacted by lower than expected production and shipment volumes at our Perry, Florida, wood cellulose facility," Crowe said. "These shortfalls were due to unplanned maintenance outages and delayed shipments due to outbound ocean vessel availability issues. While we expect higher sales and production volumes in the April-June quarter versus the immediately preceding quarter, we anticipate this improvement will be offset by higher input and transportation costs."

Buckeye plans to announce January-March results on 05 May 2008, before the market opens and has scheduled a conference call at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time that same day to discuss third quarter performance. Persons interested in listening by telephone may dial in at (877) 857-6176 within the United States. International callers should dial (719) 325-4826.

Buckeye, a leading manufacturer and marketer of specialty fibers and nonwoven materials, is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The company currently operates facilities in the United States, Germany, Canada, and Brazil. Its products are sold worldwide to makers of consumer and industrial goods.

Source: Buckeye Technologies Inc.



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