Cascades Announces Solid Results for the Third Quarter of 2018

Q3 2018 Highlights
• Sales of $1,172 million (compared to $1,179 million in Q2 2018 (-1%) and $1,103 million in Q3 2017 (+6%))
• As reported (including specific items) • Operating income of $78 million (compared to $73 million in Q2 2018 (+7%) and $51 million in Q3 2017 (+53%))
• OIBD 1 of $139 million (compared to $131 million in Q2 2018 (+6%) and $104 million in Q3 2017 (+34%))
• Net earnings per common share of $0.38 (compared to net earnings of $0.28 in Q2 2018 and net earnings of $0.35 in Q3 2017)
• Adjusted (excluding specific items) 2
• Operating income of $76 million (compared to $76 million in Q2 2018 (stable) and $53 million in Q3 2017 (+43%))
• OIBD of $137 million (compared to $134 million in Q2 2018 (+2%) and $106 million in Q3 2017 (+29%))
• Net earnings per common share of $0.40 (compared to net earnings of $0.30 in Q2 2018 and net earnings of $0.20 in Q3 2017)
• European Boxboard subsidiary, via equity position in Reno De Medici S.p.A., closed the acquisition of Barcelona Cartonboard on October 31, 2018
• Net debt 2 of $1,573 million as at September 30, 2018 (compared to $1,586 million as at June 30, 2018 ) and net debt to adjusted OIBD ratio 2 at 3.2x on a pro-forma basis 3

Mr. Mario Plourde , President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Strong fundamentals in Containerboard Packaging were the driving factor behind our solid third quarter performance. This was reinforced by successful margin realignment in Recovery activities, which contributed to improved quarterly earnings in Specialty Products. Results in the Tissue division continued to be impacted by rising raw material and logistics costs, in addition to the capacity-driven competitive reality. While margins in this division were below expectations as a result of these factors and weather-related events, the solid quarterly sales performance highlights the underlying strength of our tissue platform, and supports the strategic investments being made to propel long-term competitive positioning. Finally, the European Boxboard segment, via our 57.8% equity position in Reno de Medici S.p.A., announced solid results in the seasonally softer third quarter that delivered a marked improvement in profitability year-over-year.

On the strategic front, ramp-up of the new containerboard converting facility in Piscataway, NJ progressed very well, and production from the Maspeth, NY has been transferred to the new facility earlier than expected. Engineering work and project analysis continue to be advanced for the Bear Island project in Virginia , with scope and plans expected to be finalized in the first half of 2019. Reno de Medici S.p.A. announced that it had received the necessary approval from the Spanish Antitrust Authority and closed the acquisition of Barcelona Cartonboard SAU on October 31, 2018 .”

Sales of $1,172 million increased by $69 million or 6% compared to the same period last year. This was driven by a 12% increase in the Tissue segment, reflecting volume improvements, a more favourable sales mix, exchange rate and higher average sales prices during the period. An 8% increase in the Containerboard Packaging division similarly benefited sales, and was driven by higher sales prices and the acquisition of Ontario converting facilities at the end of 2017. Sales generated by the European Boxboard segment were up marginally compared to the prior year, as lower shipments were offset by improvements in both pricing and sales mix, and a favourable Canadian dollar – euro exchange rate. Finally, third quarter sales in the Specialty Products division were below prior year levels, reflecting the lower sales in recovery activities following the significant decrease in year-over-year prices of brown recycle fibres.

Third quarter operating income stood at $78 million , a notable improvement from the $51 million generated last year. This increase was driven primarily by the Containerboard Packaging segment, where strong results reflect the improved raw material pricing environment and implementation of the industry-wide US$50 /st price increase. Operating income similarly benefited from improved results generated by the European Boxboard segment, reflecting lower raw material pricing and higher average selling prices. As was the case in the second quarter, the contribution from the Specialty Products division decreased slightly compared to last year as a result of the impact of lower raw material prices on recovery activities. Lastly, results in the Tissue division reflected higher raw material and transportation costs, the effects of which mitigated the benefits derived from a more favourable pricing and sales mix, and higher volumes.

For the three-month period ended September 30, 2018 , the Corporation posted net earnings of $36 million , or $0.38 per common share, compared to net earnings of $33 million , or $0.35 per common share in the same period of 2017. On an adjusted basis 1 , the Corporation generated net earnings of $38 million in the third quarter of 2018, or $0.40 per common share, compared to net earnings of $19 million , or $0.20 per common share, in the same period of 2017.
more detail at: https://www.cascades.com/en/media-centre/press-releases-and-news/press-release/2018/6179/cascades-announces-solid-results-for-the-third-quarter-of-2018

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