Ainsworth posted net income of C$77.7 million (US$80 million) during the first quarter of 2011, due mainly to a C$72.5 million (US$74.6 million) purchase gain on the acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in the High Level mill from Grant Forest Products, the company announced today. The net income is still a vast improvement over the C$16.2 million (US$16.7 million) net income posted during the same period a year ago.

Net sales fell almost 18% to finish the quarter at C$71.5 million (US$73.6 million). Cost of products sold also decreased during by just under 8%, compared with the same period a year ago, to finish at C$60.9 million (US$62.5 million). Adjusted earnings before interest taxes and amortization for the quarter was C$6.4 million (US$6.6 million), an almost 60% fall from the year prior period.

The company also managed to operate at over 90% capacity at its three currently operating mills.

"In the first quarter of 2011, we continued to execute on a strategic plan that advances our ability to deliver innovative, value-added products, increases the geographic diversity of our sales, and positions the company for long term growth," said CEO Rick Huff. "As part of this plan, we are targeting growth through increased penetration of key overseas markets, particularly Japan and China."