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Cottonsoft narrows loss in 2012, gets smaller advance from parent

Wednesday 3rd July 2013

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Cottonsoft, the toilet tissue maker working to repair its reputation after criticism of parent Asia Pulp & Paper's tropical rainforest logging, narrowed its loss in 2012 and took a smaller shareholder advance, its accounts show.

The net loss was $1 million last year, from a loss of about $2.4 million a year earlier, according to financial statements lodged with the Companies Office. Sales fell 4.1 percent to $77.2 million.

The Auckland-based company didn't pay a dividend and received a shareholder advance of $972,000, down from an advance of about $1 million in 2011, when it breached bank covenants. The 2012 accounts show it repaid its bank loan in July last year.

The 2012 loss was reduced by a net foreign exchange gain of about $2 million. Gross profit slipped to $22.5 million from $23 million.

Asia Pulp operates pulp and paper mills in Indonesia, where it has been the target of a campaign by Greenpeace over the environmental sustainability of its logging operations and the threat to the Sumatran tiger.

The environmental group had also urged consumers to boycott Cottonsoft products, which are sold by retailers including Countdown supermarkets. In February the manufacturer heralded an announcement from Asia Pulp that it would "end the clearance of all natural forests across its supply chain."

Cottonsoft's own website says the company uses only materials certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, a body whose members include major forestry groups.

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