Cascades Reports Results for the Third Quarter of 2021

Sales of $1,030 million (compared with $956 million in Q2 2021 (+8%) and $1,014 million in Q3 2020 (+2%))
As reported (including specific items)
*Operating income of $73 million (compared with $23 million in Q2 2021 (+217%) and $54 million in Q3 2020 (+35%))
*Operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBD)1 of $136 million (compared with $87 million in Q2 2021 (+56%) and $123 million in Q3 2020 (+11%))
*Net earnings per common share of $0.32 (compared with $0.02 in Q2 2021 and $0.51 in Q3 2020)
*Following the July 2021 announcement regarding the monetization of its 57.6% controlling equity interest in Reno de Medici S.p.A. (RDM) for €1.45 per share, or $461 million including foreign exchange contracts and before related transaction fees of $11 million, financial information for the Boxboard Europe segment is presented as discontinued operations. The transaction closed on October 26, 20212.
*Net debt1 of $1,760 million as at September 30, 2021 (compared with $1,707 million as at June 30, 2021). Net debt to adjusted OIBD ratio1 of 3.8x up from 3.5x as at June 30, 2021. Taking into account the monetization of our investment in RDM, net debt to adjusted OIBD ratio1 would have been 2.8x.
*During the third quarter, the Corporation purchased 1,651,600 common shares for cancellation at a weighted average price of $15.45.
*Total capital expenditures, net of disposals, of $4 million in Q3 2021, compared to $65 million in Q2 2021 and to $39 million in Q3 20202; Forecasted 2021 net capital expenditures of between $275 million and $300 million, encompassing $155 million for the Bear Island containerboard conversion project in Virginia, USA.

Mario Plourde, President and CEO, commented: “Our third quarter performance reflects the ongoing dynamic nature of the North American macro environment and the announced production impact in our containerboard segment related to water effluent treatment system issues at our Niagara Falls complex. We are encouraged with our results given this context, and with the sequential improvement in our tissue business. We continued to see inflationary pressures on input costs, notably raw materials, but also in labour, transportation and energy, across our operations in the third quarter, the effects of which were partially offset by the roll-out of announced price increases and our continued cost management initiatives. Sequentially, in containerboard, good demand levels and realized benefits from the continued roll-out of price increases helped to offset higher raw material prices and the impact from reduced production at our Niagara Falls complex, which reduced our sequential OIBD by $26 million and $10 million, respectively. Specialty packaging results reflected solid demand and incremental benefits from price increases which, combined, largely mitigated higher costs. On the tissue side, demand and pricing trends were more positive sequentially, while higher input costs, notably raw materials and transportation, remained headwinds.

At the corporate level, we successfully completed the monetization of our majority 57.6% equity position in Reno de Medici in late October. Our exit from European boxboard markets, recent 50% dividend increase and ongoing share buy-back program through which 1.65 million shares were repurchased in the third quarter, underscore our commitment to creating long term value for the Corporation and our Shareholders. As part of our focus to reinforce our financial flexibility and optimize our capital structure through a strategic deployment of capital, we subsequently completed the repurchase of US$299 million of our long-term notes on November 9, 2021.”
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