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Wausau-Mosinee Paper Reports First-Quarter Earnings Improvement

Press release from the issuing company

MOSINEE, Wis.--April 22, 2002--Wausau-Mosinee Paper Corporation today announced first-quarter net earnings of $3.4 million, or $.07 per share, compared to a net loss of $4.7 million or $.09 per share in the first quarter of 2001. Net sales were $225.9 million compared to $234.1 million for the same period last year. First-quarter results included after-tax stock incentive expenses of less than $.01 per share in 2002 and $.03 per share in 2001. "The performance of all three of our business segments improved over prior year despite difficult industry conditions, allowing us to report our third consecutive quarter of year-over-year earnings increase," said Thomas J. Howatt, President and CEO. Mr. Howatt continued, "Our focus on internal initiatives has significantly improved our cost structure and, coupled with lower market pulp and energy prices, has allowed us to sustain earnings progress despite difficult market conditions." Mr. Howatt noted that first-quarter 2002 shipments exceeded prior year by 3 percent and gross profit margins improved to 11 percent. "Despite generally weak economic conditions and reduced demand in uncoated freesheet and specialty paper markets, full operations were sustained and shipment gains were achieved across all three of our business segments," continued Mr. Howatt. "Competitive influences did, however, drive average selling prices nearly 8 percent lower than the same period last year with the most significant declines occurring within the Specialty Paper Group. Even so, each of our businesses achieved improvements in operating earnings and margins," Mr. Howatt said. Looking toward the second quarter of 2002, Mr. Howatt commented: "Market conditions remain extremely competitive across all three business segments, with expansion occurring only within towel and tissue grades. Pulp costs appeared to reach cyclical lows in the first quarter and are trending higher. I expect our positive earnings trend will continue, but with second-quarter earnings only modestly above first-quarter levels." Wausau-Mosinee Paper Corporation produces fine printing and writing papers, technical specialty papers, and "away-from-home" towel and tissue products.