Canadian Packaging

Cascades Reports Rebound In Q2 Results


August 13, 2010
by Canadian Packaging Staff

Cascades Inc., headquartered in Kingsey Falls, Que., a leader in recovery and the manufacturing of green packaging and tissue paper products,  has announced its financial results for the three months ending June 30, 1010.

* Launch of a new antibacterial tissue hand towel, a world first in terms of hand hygiene.

Financial Summary

Commenting on the second quarter results, Alain Lemaire, president and chief executive officer states: "As anticipated, we experienced a significant rebound in profitability compared to the previous quarter mostly as a result of the momentum in pricing and volumes in our different business units. All our segments delivered improved results as they benefited from selling price increases implemented during or prior to the second quarter. In addition, stronger demand combined with seasonal pick-up impacted positively our operational efficiency and financial results. In fact, during the quarter our overall operating rate reached 96 per cent, the highest it’s been in three years.

"It is also important to note that these results were achieved despite the slow economic recovery as well as higher recycled fiber costs and Canadian dollar, up approximately 90 per cent and 14 per cent respectively compared to the same period last year."

Results analysis for the three-month period ended June 30, 2010 (compared to the previous year)

In comparison with the same period last year, sales rose by two per cent to $998 million resulting from higher selling prices and a nine per cent increase in shipments (excluding the impact of the acquisition of the tissue assets of Atlantic Packaging), offset by the appreciation of the Canadian dollar.

Net earnings excluding specific items amounted to $21-million ($0.22 per share) in the second quarter of 2010 compared to $28-million ($0.28 per share) for the same period of last year. Including specific items, net earnings amounted to $21-million ($0.22 per share) compared to $30-million ($0.30 per share) for the same quarter in 2009.

The operating income excluding specific items amounted to $56-million compared to $66-million in Q2 2009. Improved volumes and selling prices as well as the optimization of our cost structure and higher operating rates were more than offset by the rise of raw material costs. When including specific items, operating income amounted to $50-million in comparison to $75-million in the same period of last year.

In the second quarter of 2010, these specific items impacted our operating income and/or net earnings (before tax):

Third quarter outlook

Lemaire notes: "Looking forward to the next quarter, we expect that the sequential improvement in profitability will carry on as a result of the continuous implementation of selling price increases in many of our operations. Also, the favorable seasonality associated with the third quarter leads us to anticipate a stronger demand for most of our products. In fact, despite some scheduled downtime for maintenance, we anticipate our operating rates to remain at high levels. In terms of input costs, we should start to benefit from the drop in pricing of old corrugated containers (OCC), the main grade of recycled fibers consumed by Cascades, which peaked in March. All in all, we remain confident for the coming months, particularly for our containerboard operations."

Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products that are composed mainly of recycled fibers. The company employs close to 12,500 employees, who work in more than 100 units located in N.A. and Europe. For more information, visit www.cascades.com.