Mercer International Inc. Reports 2016 First Quarter Results

Mercer International Inc. (Nasdaq: MERC, TSX: MRI.U) today reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016. Operating EBITDA* in the first quarter of 2016 was $45.3 million, compared to $61.3 million in the first quarter of 2015. In the first quarter of 2016, Operating EBITDA was negatively affected by approximately $6.8 million in foreign currency losses on our dollar-denominated cash balances and receivables.

For the first quarter of 2016, our net income was $8.8 million, or $0.14 per basic and diluted share, compared to $13.6 million, or $0.21 per basic and diluted share, in the first quarter of 2015.

Mr. David M. Gandossi, Chief Executive Officer, stated: “In the first quarter of 2016:
* we continued to reduce indebtedness and future debt service costs through the repurchase and cancellation of $23 million of our 2019 Senior Notes at a cost of $23.1 million;
* our mills generally performed well and pulp production increased by approximately 4%, compared to the first quarter of 2015, and 3%, compared to the last quarter of 2015;
* our pulp sales volumes increased by approximately 13% and 12%, compared to the first quarter and last quarter of 2015, respectively, primarily due to steady demand in both China and Europe;
* pulp list prices decreased marginally in Europe and China, and were generally flat in North America, compared to the end of 2015. At the end of the current quarter, list prices in Europe, North America and China were approximately $790, $950 and $590 per ADMT, respectively;
* pulp prices in China declined slightly compared to the last quarter of 2015 as a result of downward pressure on the Chinese currency and weakening hardwood pulp prices. In Europe, pulp prices were also marginally lower in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the trailing quarter as a result of weakening hardwood pulp prices. This resulted in our average pulp price realizations being approximately 5% lower in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the last quarter of 2015;
* at the end of the current quarter, the dollar weakened and as at March 31, 2016 was approximately 5% and 7% lower versus the euro and the Canadian dollar, respectively, compared to December 31, 2015. This resulted in a negative impact on our dollar-denominated cash balances and receivables which was partially offset by the positive impact of a stronger dollar during the quarter on our euro and Canadian dollar-denominated costs and expenses. The net impact of foreign exchange reduced our Operating EBITDA in the current quarter by $3.2 million compared to the same quarter of 2015 and by $9.2 million compared to the last quarter of 2015;
* our net debt to equity ratio (defined as debt, less cash and cash equivalents, divided by total equity) decreased to 1.1 to 1, as at March 31, 2016, from 1.4 to 1, as at December 31, 2015;

Three Months Ended March 31, 2016 Compared to Three Months Ended March 31, 2015
Total revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2016 decreased marginally to $253.8 million from $257.5 million in the same quarter of 2015, due to lower pulp revenues.

Pulp revenues in the first quarter of 2016 decreased by approximately 2% to $230.6 million from $234.7 million in the same quarter of 2015, due to lower pulp sales realizations partially offset by higher sales volumes.

Energy and chemical revenues increased marginally to $23.2 million in the first quarter of 2016 from $22.9 million in the same quarter of 2015, primarily due to higher sales volumes.

Pulp production increased by approximately 4% to 377,992 ADMTs in the current quarter from 362,629 ADMTs in the same quarter of 2015, primarily due to no annual maintenance downtime in the current quarter compared to 14 days in the same quarter of 2015.
more at:  http://www.mercerint.com/assets/docs/press-release-april-28-2016-final.pdf

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