MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - The Verso Paper Corporation is reporting a net loss of nearly $21 million in the second quarter.

The company reported the financial results for the second quarter today (Thursday).  They say their net sales for the quarter were down $33.5 million, compared to the same quarter last year.  That resulted in a net loss for the company of $20.7 million.

Company officials say the Memorial Day fire and explosion at the Sartell Mill was partially to blame for the challenging quarter.  They also say demand in the coated industry continued to be a challenge, citing a drop-off in advertising spending and slowdowns in the commercial print area.