abitibi-stephenville

Abitibi-Consolidated closed its paper mill in Stephenville, N.L, last December.

Forestry company Abitibi-Consolidated said Tuesday it will cut 680 jobs as it closes down four mills in Quebec.

The four mills are slated for indefinite closure on Oct. 16. Radio-Canada said themills are in the regions of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Lac Saint-Jeanandthe NorthShore.

A company executive laid part of the blame for the closures on high production costs and a weakening lumber market.

The company plans to eliminate 380 mill jobs and another 300 jobs in its forestry operations.

In July, the company announced that its second-quarter operating profit had fallen by 16 per cent and sales had dropped eight per cent.

It blamedthe weaker performance on the strength of the Canadian dollar, lower prices for its wood products, and higher costs. Excludingone-time gains, it said it would have lost $36 million in the quarter. It also suspended its quarterly dividend.

Last December, Abitibi permanently closed paper mills in Kenora, Ont., and Stephenville, N.L.

Shares of Abitibi finished Tuesday up 13 cents at $2.87 on the TSX.