Mercer International Inc. reports fourth quarter and year end results

Selected Highlights

  • 2019 Operating EBITDA of $210.4 million and net loss of $9.6 million
  • Fourth quarter pulp segment annual maintenance downtime of 54 days significantly contributed to negative Operating EBITDA* of $34.2 million and a net loss of $72.7 million

Mercer International Inc. (Nasdaq: MERC) today reported fourth quarter 2019 Operating EBITDA decreased to negative $34.2 million from positive $118.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 and from $50.8 million in the third quarter of 2019. In the fourth quarter of 2019, net loss was $72.7 million, or $1.11 per share, compared to net income of $45.0 million, or $0.69 per basic share and $0.68 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2018 and net income of $1.2 million, or $0.02 per share in the third quarter of 2019.

In 2019, Operating EBITDA declined to $210.4 million from $364.6 million and the net loss was $9.6 million (or $0.15 per share) compared to net income of $128.6 million (or $1.96 per diluted share) in 2018.

Mr. David M. Gandossi, the Chief Executive Officer, stated: “Our fourth quarter results reflect significant annual maintenance activities in our pulp segment and weakness in the pulp markets. High producer inventories, particularly of hardwood pulp, resulted in pricing pressure on both hardwood and softwood. We believe that pricing for both pulps were bottoming going into 2020 and we expect that improving market conditions will support modest upward pricing pressure during 2020. However, there may be near-term headwinds on pulp prices and demand in China as a result of the current ongoing coronavirus outbreak. In the first quarter of 2020, we have three days of scheduled downtime at one of our pulp mills.

In the current quarter our wood segment benefitted from lower fiber costs which largely contributed to it achieving record quarterly operating income of $5.3 million.”

Consolidated –Three Months Ended December 31, 2019 Compared to Three Months Ended December 31, 2018
In the fourth quarter of 2019 our operating EBITDA decreased to negative $34.2 million from positive $50.8 million in the third quarter of 2019, and from $118.1 million in the same quarter of 2018. The decrease in the current quarter compared to the prior quarter of 2019 was primarily due to higher annual maintenance costs, the negative impact of a weaker dollar at the end of the year compared to the euro and Canadian dollar on the dollar denominated cash and receivables balances held at our mills and lower pulp sales realizations. Compared to the same quarter of 2018 lower pulp sales realizations and higher annual maintenance costs were partially offset by lower per unit fiber costs and the reversal of $13.7 million in accrued wastewater fees as a result of completing certain approved capital projects.
more detail at: https://mercerint.com/assets/docs/2020%2002%2013%20Q4%202019%20Press%20Release%20-%20Final.pdf

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