King’s Lynn paper firm makes £5 million loss

Fire crews tackle a blaze at Palm Paper in King's Lynn ANL-160710-162557009
Fire crews tackle a blaze at Palm Paper in King's Lynn ANL-160710-162557009
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The owners of a Lynn paper mill which was damaged by fire last month have recorded a pre-tax loss of more than £5 million, according to their latest accounts.

Directors of Palm Paper have blamed the losses on falling prices and demand for its newsprint products, despite better than expected sales.

The latest report, published via Companies House, showed the firm made a pre-tax loss of just over £5.1 million during 2015.

That compares to a pre-tax loss of just £266,000 in the previous year.

The company’s overall turnover also fell by around £6 million to around £156.6 million, though turnover on UK operations rose slightly.

The report said: “Overall sales volumes for newsprint in 2015 were above forecast and 8.6 per cent higher than prior year, despite demand for newsprint in the UK decreasing in 2015 by 9.5 per cent.

“Profitability was negatively affected by newsprint price decreases of 11 per cent in the first half of the year and by a further five per cent decrease in the second half of 2015.”

The figures were published ahead of last month’s fire at the Saddlebow plant, in which one person had to be taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation.

Although the damage is believed to have been contained in a single area of the plant, the company has so far refused to comment on the impact on its operations.

However, recent reports have suggested it plans to resume partial production while repairs are completed.