Cascades Announces Strong Results for the First Quarter of 2019

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KINGSEY FALLS, QC , May 9, 2019 - Cascades Inc. (TSX: CAS) reports its unaudited financial results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2019 .

Q1 2019 Highlights 4

  • Sales of $1,230 million
    (compared to $1,196 million in Q4 2018 (+3%) and $1,098 million in Q1 2018 (+12%))
  • As reported (including specific items)
    • Operating income of $72 million
      (compared to an operating loss of $37 million in Q4 2018 (+295%) and operating income $112 million in Q1 2018 (-36%))
    • OIBD 1 of $139 million
      (compared to $33 million in Q4 2018 (+321%) and $167 million in Q1 2018 (-17%))
    • Net earnings per share of $0.26
      (compared to net loss of $0.72 in Q4 2018 and net earnings of $0.65 in Q1 2018)
  • Adjusted (excluding specific items) 2
    • Operating income of $68 million
      (compared to $43 million in Q4 2018 (+58%) and $50 million in Q1 2018 (+36%))
    • OIBD 1 of $135 million
      (compared to $113 million in Q4 2018 (+19%) and $105 million in Q1 2018 (+29%))
    • Net earnings per share of $0.14
      (compared to $0.00 in Q4 2018 and net earnings of $0.13 in Q1 2018)
  • Net debt 1 of $1,878 million as at March 31, 2019 (compared to $1,769 million as at December 31, 2018 ) and net debt to adjusted OIBD ratio 1 at 3.4x on a pro-forma basis 3 .
  • Impact of IFRS 16 accounting for leases: $99 million debt increase as of January 1, 2019 , and $30 million increase in full year OIBD for 2019.

Mr. Mario Plourde , President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "We are pleased with our first quarter operational performance, with all of our business segments generating solid results that were in line with or above expectations. The Containerboard Packaging segment executed well within an environment of softer industry-wide demand and capacity utilization levels, in addition to slight decreases to index pricing levels during the quarter. While volumes were down sequentially, we maintained profitability levels in this segment as a result of lower raw material prices and improvements to sales mix which drove higher average selling prices. European Boxboard, via our equity position in Reno de Medici S.p.A., generated strong sequential results during the period that reflected recent business acquisitions, lower average raw material prices and higher average selling prices. The Specialty Products segment also generated improved sequential results in the first three months of the year. This was driven by recent business acquisitions and better performance in all packaging sub-segments, the benefits of which offset a lower contribution from the recovery sub-segment attributable to lower recycled fibre prices. Finally, we are very pleased with the important sequential improvement generated by the Tissue Papers segment. At the center of this were higher average selling prices owing to both improved sales mix and the implementation of price increases announced in 2018, in addition to lower raw material prices and lower production costs.

Other significant events announced during the first quarter include the closure of the felt floor backing plant in our Specialty Products segment in Quebec , and two paper machines in Ontario in our Tissue segment. We also announced that Jean-David Tardif was taking over the helm of the Tissue Papers segment, and the renewal of the Company's 2% annual normal course issuer bid for the March 2019 to March 2020 period."

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Source: Cascades