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Potlatch earnings down

Despite a good fourth quarter in its real estate segment, Potlatch Corp. on Monday reported lower net earnings in the fourth quarter and for the full year 2007.

Despite a good fourth quarter in its real estate segment, Potlatch Corp. on Monday reported lower net earnings in the fourth quarter and for the full year 2007.

For the fourth quarter of 2007, net earnings fell to $11.2 million on revenue of $417 million from $45.3 million on revenue of $387.9 million in the final quarter of 2006. For the full year, net earnings in 2007 were $56.4 million on revenue of $1.7 billion compared with $139.1 million on revenue of $1.6 billion.

During the year Potlatch completed two acquisitions that increased its timberland by 18 percent. During the fourth quarter, the company reduced timber harvesting from the accelerated levels of the first three quarters of the year. Operating income for the company's resource segment fell to $10.6 million, a drop of more than 50 percent from the fourth quarter of 2006, according to figures from the company announcement.

Potlatch is Minnesota's largest private land owner with more than 300,000 acres.

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