A Dayton-area paper company — which recently lost its top official and closed a mill — is coming off a strong quarter. Miami Township-based Verso Corp. posted first-quarter sales of $639 million, the same as the first quarter of the previous year, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. However, it saw $36 million in quarterly profit, compared to a $2 million loss the previous year. “Verso had strong first quarter performance despite a very challenging market environment,” said Verso Interim Chief Executive Officer Leslie Lederer. An unfortunate result of these demand pressures was the difficult decision to close our paper mill in Luke, Maryland, which will reduce Verso’s total coated freesheet production capacity by 450,000 tons,” he said.