Cascades Continues its Solid Performance in the Third Quarter of 2019

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Positive outlook in Tissue supported by operational improvements and recent strategic initiatives

KINGSEY FALLS, QC , Nov. 8, 2019 - Cascades Inc. (TSX: CAS) reports its unaudited financial results for the three-month period ended September 30, 2019 .

Q3 2019 Highlights

  • Sales of $1,264 million
    (compared with $1,275 million in Q2 2019 (-1%) and $1,175 million in Q3 2018 (+8%))
  • As reported (including specific items)
    • Operating income of $135 million
      (compared with $82 million in Q2 2019 (+65%) and $78 million in Q3 2018 (+73%))
    • Operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBD) 1 of $208 million
      (compared with $154 million in Q2 2019 (+35%) and $139 million in Q3 2018 (+50%))
    • Net earnings per share of $0.74
      (compared with $0.33 in Q2 2019 and $0.38 in Q3 2018)
  • Adjusted (excluding specific items) 1
    • Operating income of $88 million
      (compared with $84 million in Q2 2019 (+5%) and $76 million in Q3 2018 (+16%))
    • OIBD of $161 million
      (compared with $156 million in Q2 2019 (+3%) and $137 million in Q3 2018 (+18%))
    • Net earnings per share of $0.30
      (compared with $0.28 in Q2 2019 and $0.40 in Q3 2018)
  • Completed acquisition of Orchids Paper Products 2 for total cash consideration of US$237 million on September 13, 2019 .
  • On October 30, 2019 , announced planned closure of two tissue converting facilities in the U.S. by March 2020 .
  • Net debt 1 of $2,077 million as at September 30, 2019 (compared with $1,861 million as at June 30, 2019 ) and net debt to adjusted OIBD ratio 1 at 3.7x. This includes the acquisition of Orchids, detailed above, with no related contribution to adjusted OIBD.

1 For further details, please refer to the "Supplemental Information on non-IFRS Measures" section.
2 Also referred to as Orchids acquisition.

Mr. Mario Plourde , President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "Cascades delivered solid consolidated third quarter 2019 results, as demonstrated by the 24.9% OIBD margin realized by the Containerboard segment. In addition to our improved execution at the operational level, we benefited from favourable raw material pricing and customary seasonal demand levels across our platforms, notwithstanding some softness in Containerboard and European Boxboard end-pricing. The Tissue segment delivered very encouraging year-over-year and sequential financial improvements, with positive raw material costs and selling price levels providing additional support for the benefits being derived from ongoing growth investments and initiatives in this segment.

We concluded the acquisition of the Orchids activities during the third quarter, and subsequently announced, at the end of October, the closure of two tissue converting facilities in the U.S. by March 2020 , as part of our strategic repositioning and optimization efforts in the Tissue segment. In a similar vein, we advanced our capital investments and projects across our operations, and continued to align our Specialty Products platform with the Company's longer-term strategic objectives via the sale of our European industrial packaging operations."

Discussing the outlook for Cascades, Mr. Plourde continued "After nine months, the Company is well positioned to generate solid annual adjusted OIBD in 2019, with results after the first three quarters 15% above full year 2017 performance and already equal to 92% of full year 2018 adjusted OIBD performance. On a consolidated basis we expect fourth quarter results to improve year-over-year, with operational enhancements in tissue and favourable raw material pricing mitigating the usual seasonal trends across our business platforms. On a segmented basis, near-term results in Containerboard are expected to decrease sequentially and be stable year-over-year reflecting a combination of usual seasonality and market dynamics. Tissue results are expected to show important year-over-year improvements in the fourth quarter, while sequential performance will be down reflecting the usual seasonal trends. European Boxboard performance is expected to slightly decrease sequentially but improve year-over-year as a result of lower raw material costs and a modest recovery in volume. Lastly, we anticipate stable results in Specialty Products year-over-year and a slight decrease sequentially, as the impact of lower recycled fibre prices on recovery operations and seasonality in packaging are expected to be offset by stable selling prices and beneficial raw material costs in packaging."

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Source: Cascades inc.