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Pope Resources reports $1.4 million fourth quarter loss

POULSBO — Pope Resources says a 50-year low in housing starts and a sharp real estate decline have led to the company’s $1.4 million net loss in the fourth quarter of 2008.

The timber and development company saw a net income of $6.3 million during the same quarter in 2007, according to a statement released last week.

Pope Resources’ net income for the year totaled $1.2 million, or 25 cents per diluted ownership unit, a sliding contrast from comparable 2007 revenues of $15.5 million, or $3.21 per unit.

“Results for both the fourth quarter and full year 2008 were down dramatically compared to corresponding periods in 2007 because of poor markets for our products and our decision a year ago to reduce harvest volume for 2008 by 35 (percent) in the face of expected market weakness,” said President and CEO David L. Nunes, in a prepared statement. “Prices for our logs reflect the fact that new housing starts are at a 50-year low and, as a result, sawmill operating rates are also at historic lows. Our real estate segment has also experienced a sharp decline in demand for raw land as a result of the current economic climate and constrained credit markets.”

Nunes added the difficult market conditions are expected to extend through 2009 and maybe longer, “which is why, as previously announced, we plan to hold our 2009 timber harvest at 37 million board feet, a level that is almost 30 (percent) below our long-term sustainable level.”

Pope Resources, a publicly traded limited partnership, and its subsidiaries Olympic Resource Management and Olympic Property Group, own or manage over 400,000 acres of timberland and development property in Washington and Oregon. To view its 2008 fourth quarter report, visit www.orm.com.

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