Top 10 over 40 Top 10 Under 40 Operation ForestriesCanadian BiomassPulp and Paper
June 29, 2015 - Cat’s track feller bunchers and track harvesters have recently been upgraded to boost efficiency, performance and productivity in the woods. Four models, which can be configured as feller bunchers or harvesters, are available to suit diverse logging applications and environments around the world.All models have been upgraded with the new Cat PRO (Parallel Reach Operation) System, which gives operators the ability to complete a smoother, more fluid harvesting motion. One joystick either extends or retracts the work tool by combining both the main and stick boom functions. For feller buncher configurations, the head is kept level as well. By combining these functions in one joystick, the operator can efficiently move the head in a planar, parallel motion relative to the ground. “The Cat PRO System makes operation much easier, especially for new and less experienced operators. They can learn the machine more quickly and boost their speed and productivity because of the simplified joystick movements needed to fell a tree,” said Jared Dunn, product application specialist for Caterpillar Forest Products. “The simplified movements also can increase efficiency for seasoned operators and lessen operator fatigue. The system can be turned on and off easily with a button on one of the joysticks or a button on the display.” The Cat PRO System is adjustable for differing applications and varying slopes. Through a few minor adjustments, the trajectory of the boom and the head tilt on a feller buncher configuration can be modified for applications on steeper slopes. The machines also have new enhanced power management software tailored for the unique engine-hydraulic interactions in a forestry application. “This software delivers a higher level of machine performance in the track feller buncher and harvester product lines,” Dunn said. “Operators tell us performance and therefore efficiency has greatly improved.” LED lights as standard equipment is another upgrade to the full line.  “LED lights perform better than halogen in night time operations and are favored by customers around the world,” Dunn explained. “They are more energy efficient, have a longer life span and greatly improve visibility at night.” The line consists of two near-zero tail swing feller bunchers, the Cat 521B and 522B, and two full tail swing machines, the Cat 541 Series 2 and Cat 552 Series 2. The 522B and 552 Series 2 are levelling machines. As part of the upgrades, the 541 Series 2 has been reengineered to increase hydraulic flow to the stick and main boom cylinders to boost the speed and overall productivity of the machine. On average, cycle times are now 18 per cent faster, while maintaining excellent lift performance.  “The 541 Series 2 — especially with this update — is well-suited for harvesting lodgepole pine in western Canada and working in high-production eucalyptus plantations where boom speed is critical,” Dunn said. The Series 2 and B Series machines are equipped with the 226 kW (303 hp) Cat C9 ACERT engine. The C9 is a common engine design with a proven track record of reliability and durability in the woods. A high capacity cooling system and on-demand reversing fan help to optimize performance, durability and fuel efficiency.  Two or three hydraulic pumps, depending on the configuration, power the hydraulics to give loggers the performance they need.  “The strong hydraulics and the combination of swing and lift capacity helps increase production, while the machine’s balance between lift and tipping load capacity provides for excellent stability,” Dunn said. “The strong swing torque also gives the operator the ability to swing large loads uphill.”   Large structures such as swing bearings and booms have been designed for longer life and durability. The tracks and all undercarriage rolling components are high-grade to extend track life, cut repair costs and increase stability. The 552 Series 2 features 345 excavator-size chain for increased durability on steep slopes. Other models have 330 track chain and rolling components. All machine models are offered with the option of star carrier rollers, which help with track retention and debris shedding in uneven terrain. Both the B Series and Series 2 machines have a full 889 mm (35 in.) of ground clearance from front to back. “Strong drawbar pull, along with this ground clearance and the ‘open tunnel’ undercarriage design, makes for a highly maneuverable machine that easily climbs steep slopes and clears obstacles such as large stumps and rocks,” Dunn said.  Both leveling models also feature a unique three cylinder leveling system, which is the only one in the industry that provides two way simultaneous function throughout the full range of motion. The design of this system reduces stress loads into the carbody and roller frames. For more information visit www.cat.com. Machine Specifications 521/522 B Series 541/552 Series 2 Gross Power @ 1,800 rpm 226 kW (303 hp) 226 kW (303 hp) Lift capacity @ X reach 6,100 kg @ 6.2m* (13,500 lbs @ 20.5 ft*) 9,400 kg @ 6.6 m* (20,700 lbs @ 21.5 ft*) Swing torque 87 kNm (64,500 ftlbs) 100 kNm (74,000 ftlbs) Tractive effort ratios 1:1.19 - 1:1.21 1:1.1 – 1:1.3 Track Pitch 216 mm (8.5 in) 216 mm (8.5 in) Ground clearance 889 mm (35 in) 889 mm (35 in) Fuel tank size 856 L (226 gal) 1181 L (312 gal) *Feller buncher configurations only Caterpillar Forest Products is a leading manufacturer and worldwide marketer of timber harvesting, millyard, road-building and land management equipment. Products are marketed under the Cat, Prentice and CTR brand names through a global independent dealer network. Caterpillar Forest Products is a division of Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at www.caterpillar.com.
June 29, 2015 – Madill recently appointed Matdil Parts & Service as the authorized Madill representative for the territory of northern Alberta, effective June 16, 2015. “We are very excited to be representing the Madill brand of purpose built forestry equipment in northern Alberta,” said Matt Swenson, president of Matdil Parts & Service. “There are plenty of older Madill machines still working in this area and customers will be very excited to have local access to new Madill equipment and OEM parts.” “Madill is very pleased to be represented by Matdil Parts & Service, who has been providing services to forestry customers in the Grande Prairie region since 2008,” said Doug Jeffrey, president of Nicholson Manufacturing, the parent company that owns the Madill brand. “Madill previously had a very successful branch office in Grande Prairie, Alta., up until 2008 and Matt Swenson was part of that success as the parts and service manager for the branch. Following the closure of the Madill office in Grand Prairie in 2008, Mr. Swenson established his own business to service the many forestry customers in the region and continues to do so today. Mr. Swenson’s past experience with the brand ensures a perfect alignment with Madill’s philosophy and commitment to maximum uptime and productivity of its forestry machines.” About Matdil Since 2008, Matdil has been an independent supplier of services to forestry and other heavy equipment customers in Northern Alberta. Matdil has experience servicing Detroit Diesel, Cummins, Bosch-Rexroth, and Linde, all of which are common to Madill equipment. About Madill Madill is a purpose built forestry brand designed and manufactured in British Columbia with distribution in Canada, the U.S, New Zealand and Australia. The Madill brand of logging equipment is designed with experience developed from manufacturing over 4,000 machines over a 60 year period and has earned a reputation for its solid construction and simplicity of design which provides for superior performance, productivity and long service life.
June 22, 2015 - Ontario and Québec forestry ministers met to discuss forestry matters of mutual benefit and interest.
June 22, 2015 – The City of Revelstoke continues to debate with B.C. forests minister Steve Thomson over a proposal for logging at Mount Macpherson.
June 17, 2015 – Terex Materials Processing, a business segment of Terex Corporation, recently announced the acquisition of the assets related to the Environmental Technology product lines of Neuson Ecotec GmbH (an Austrian company). This acquisition marks further expansion of the Terex Environmental Equipment (TEE) business unit, closely following the purchase of the assets of Continental Biomass Industries (CBI) in April.  TEE, part of the Terex Materials Processing segment, has been serving the wood, biomass, and recycling industries since 2011.  The acquisition of the Neuson Ecotec Environmental Technology products will add chipping, shredding, screening, and composting products that will accelerate development of a global dealer network while adding a facility in Linz, Austria that can support production requirements in continental Europe. Terex is not acquiring the Forestry division of Neuson Ecotec GmbH, which will transition to Neuson Forest after closing. The Neuson Ecotec products that Terex is acquiring will now be part of a global portfolio of distribution-oriented products that will soon be rebranded as Terex Ecotec. After combining these products with existing Terex products, products in development, and some of the products recently acquired from CBI, the Terex Ecotec line will be among the most comprehensive in the industry. Terex will bring these products to market through a network of dealers and with the support of Terex resources and infrastructure around the world.  “The addition of the Terex Ecotec Environmental Technology product lines will add further depth and breadth to an already significant portfolio of products that are managed by TEE,” said TEE worldwide business director Tony Devlin. “We are excited to add these products to our portfolio and to welcome legacy Neuson Ecotec personnel to the Terex Environmental Equipment team.”   About Terex Terex Corporation is a lifting and material handling solutions company reporting in five business segments: Aerial Work Platforms, Construction, Cranes, Material Handling & Port Solutions and Materials Processing. Terex manufactures a broad range of equipment serving customers in various industries, including the construction, infrastructure, manufacturing, shipping, transportation, refining, energy, utility, quarrying and mining industries. Terex offers financial products and services to assist in the acquisition of Terex equipment through Terex Financial Services. Terex uses its website (www.terex.com) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TerexCorporation) to make information available to its investors and the market.
June 17, 2015, VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will examine the activities of Pacific Bioenergy Timber Corp. and RPP Holdings Inc. in the Quesnel district, during the week of June 22, 2015. The auditors will examine all operational planning, harvesting, roads, silviculture, and wildfire protection practices carried out over the last two years for compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. Pacific Bioenergy and RPP Holdings both operate near the village of Nazko, about 100 kilometres west of Quesnel. During the two-year audit period, Pacific Bioenergy harvested approximately 95,000 cubic metres of timber and RPP Holdings harvested 540,000 cubic metres of timber. Over 90 per cent of the timber harvested was lodgepole pine. Once the audit work is completed, a report will be prepared, and any party that may be adversely affected by the audit findings will have a chance to respond. The board’s final report and recommendations then will be released to the public and government. The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board audits forest and range practices on public land, as well as appropriateness of government enforcement.
June 16, 2015, CORVALLIS, Ore. – Scientists say that a West Coast fly no bigger than a grain of rice may hold the key to survival of a tree that is being devastated by an invasive insect. The eastern hemlock grows from the Carolinas to Quebec and is threatened by the hemlock woolly adelgid, which is native to Asia and the Pacific Northwest. Through nearly a decade of research, scientists at Oregon State University and the USDA Forest Service have identified a predatory fly that kills the adelgid and may help to curb infestations. In the southern Appalachians, hemlocks have been particularly hard hit, including a less-abundant species known as Carolina hemlock. As much as 80 to 90 per cent of the mature trees in some stands have been killed. Researchers believe that without intervention, they could suffer the same fate as the American chestnut – a once-common eastern tree that was nearly wiped out by a fungal disease in the early 1900s. A research team led by two entomologists – Darrell Ross in the Oregon State College of Forestry and Kimberly Wallin with the University of Vermont and the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station – demonstrated that a type of fly in the Pacific Northwest known as a silver fly (species in the genusLeucopis) attacks adelgids on western and eastern hemlocks. And while silver flies in the East are known to prey on a species of adelgids in pine trees, those flies are not known to be attracted to hemlocks. “Populations of flies in the West search for hemlock trees, and that’s where they find their hosts,” said Ross. “The same species in the East has evolved to look for pine trees. They probably use chemical cues from those trees to find their habitat and their hosts. That’s why it’s useful to take the flies from out here, because they’ll look for hemlock trees and feed on the hemlock woolly adelgid in the East.” This past spring, scientists with the USDA Forest Service, the University of Vermont and Cornell University released silver flies from the Pacific Northwest in hemlock stands near Grandview, Tennessee, and along the shore of Skaneateles Lake in New York state. The researchers are monitoring the trees for evidence that the flies can successfully reproduce and prey on hemlock woolly adelgids. Early results indicate that the flies are mating, laying eggs and producing larvae that are growing to the adult stage. “That is as good as we could have hoped for at this point,” said Ross. “It remains to be seen whether they will survive and if their populations will grow to densities that significantly impact the hemlock woolly adelgid populations and, ultimately, the survival of eastern hemlocks. We probably won't have answers to those questions for a year or two.” “We don’t hope that the flies will eradicate all the adelgids,” added Wallin, but if they could provide a check on the pest’s population size and territorial expansion, it could allow some hemlocks to persist and recover. The releases were done under a permit from the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Forest Service scientist Albert “Bud” Mayfield and Extension researcher Mark Whitmore of Cornell led the release effort in Tennessee and New York respectively. “It’s been a decade’s worth of research, first identifying the flies and then looking at their host breadth and then seeing if they would feed on the eastern hemlock woolly adelgid,” said Ross. “Now it’s a matter of waiting and seeing if they significantly contribute to controlling adelgid populations.” In the West, adelgids and the silver flies that feed on them are difficult to find in the forest. “Where we find them is on street trees and in peoples’ yards and city parks,” said Ross. The Oregon State scientist travels to Washington state to collect silver flies on western hemlocks.  He sends boxes of infested branches to Nathan Havill, a Forest Service entomologist in Hamden, Connecticut. In Havill’s lab, research technician Arielle Arsenault rears, collects and sorts the insects in growth chambers before they are released into the wild.Although some species of adelgids are native to North America and do not pose a threat, the hemlock woolly adelgid currently present in the eastern United States is from East Asia. In the late 1970s, as infestations in Appalachian hemlock stands grew increasingly severe, scientists were unsure about the insect’s origins. In the early 2000s, Havill used genetic techniques to demonstrate that it had been introduced from southern Japan to the vicinity of Richmond, Virginia, in the 1950s. He also showed that it is native to the Pacific Northwest. There, the insects appear to be controlled by silver flies and possibly by other predators as well. Other researchers contributing to the project are Ross’ former OSU graduate students Glenn R. Kohler and Sarah M. Grubin. They received assistance from a leading taxonomic expert in silver flies, Stephen D. Gaimari of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Their reports have appeared in Environmental Entomology and other professional journals. Funding for the research was provided by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Initiative of the USDA Forest Service. About the OSU College of ForestryFor a century, the College of Forestry has been a world class center of teaching, learning and research. It offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs in sustaining ecosystems, managing forests and manufacturing wood products; conducts basic and applied research on the nature and use of forests; and operates 14,000 acres of college forests.
June 16, 2015 - As anyone reading this will know, the forest industry remains a key driver of the economy in Canada. In B.C. alone, 150,000 people derive at least part of their income from the industry.
June 9, 2015 – Marc Paquet, founder and area sales manager of Primary Equipment Limited, has been named a distributor for RMT Equipment’s full line of VEI loader scales and Track-Vision safety cameras to their customer base in Northern Ontario. “My relationship with RMT’s managing director Hugo Lariviere, vice-president of operations and sales goes back to day one,” says Paquet. “I’ve sold VEI scales for years, but Primary Equipment has only been carrying the RMT products since late 2014. Customer feedback to date has been very positive.”A five-year-old, family-owned and operated business, Primary Equipment caters to the mining, forestry and construction sectors. The company serves a relatively large geographical area from Parry Sound, Ont., to Thunder Bay, Ont. Paquet says this keeps him on the road “almost every waking moment.” Paquet’s company is designed to be a one-stop shop for sales, service and parts. He says the addition of the RMT’s loader scales and backup safety camera systems definitely complements his business. “The RMT products have helped us sell our used equipment,” says Paquet. “When a customer buys a used loader, he usually wants a VEI loader scale installed. When a customer buys the scales, they may come back for a loader later on.” Factory-trained by RMT technicians at the firm’s Quebec headquarters, Paquet does all the installs himself.  “Installing RMT loader scales and safety cameras on customers’ equipment keeps me busy in the off-season,” he says. “It also lets me know who may be in the market for a loader.”Paquet says he appreciates the support he receives from RMT Equipment.  “The folks at RMT have been great. When we need something, they’re always there for us.”
The newest felling heads and grapples available for Canadian loggers:
June 6, 2015 - When the Supreme Court of Canada upheld a lower court ruling in mid-2014 relating to the legal powers of First Nations over large tracts of territory outside their reserves in the B.C. Interior, some called the decision “staggering” and “game-changing.” Before we get into whether or not these adjectives are correct, exaggerated or accurate, let’s look at the original court case.
How do you measure the quality of the work you do as a company? For the team at Duz Cho Logging, they need look no further than the fact that six forest products companies in the region look to them to provide fibre for their operation.
June 29, 2015 - Springer Maschinenfabrik AG, Friesach (Austria), and Novo Eniseisk LPK, Novo Eniseisk (Siberia), have signed a contract for the delivery of log sorting and green sorting equipment.  The investment will make Novo Eniseisk LPK one of biggest sawmills in Russia with the capacity of 500,000 m3 finished material. Both lines will run at high capacity with state of the art technology. The log sorting annual capacity will be 1.1 million m3 with a maximum speed of 200 m/min. It is equipped with the latest Springer innovations such as its screw feeding technology. The green sorting will also be a high speed line with a capacity of 200 pcs/min, with high speed stacking and automatic stick handling system.  “This contract proves Springer`s continuous success for high speed line installations in Russia,” said Springer CEO Timo Springer.  “This installation elevates our mill to be one of the top sawmills in Russia,” added Martin Hermansson, CEO for Novo Eniseisk. “Because of the mill’s need for high capacity production, selecting Springer as a supplier was a very natural choice.” Installation starts this year and the mill will reach full capacity in the summer of 2016.
June 29, 2015 - Conifex Timber will stop production at its sawmill in Fort St. James, B.C., starting July 20. The sawmill will be closed for two weeks. The cause seems to be the 15 percent increase of import duties on lumber exports to the United States and poor market conditions.The Fort St. James mill has a two-shift capacity of approximately 300-million board feet (707,000 m3) of Spruce-Pine-Fir lumber supported by an annual harvest of 640,000 cubic metres of sawlogs.The agreement for Canadian exports of softwood lumber to the U.S. will expire in October 2015. The current trade agreement from 2006 was a solution to U.S. industry claims that Canadian forest policies subsidize sawnwood production. The agreement specifies higher duties on Canadian exports when softwood sawnwood prices are low.The Canadian industry fears uncertainty if the trade agreement is not renewed. The U.S. has agreed to not launch legal battles for twelve months after the current agreement expires in 2015.
June 25, 2015 - Williams & White has announced the newest addition to its product line; the CNC Guide Dresser.
June 19, 2015 – Autolog recently released its new knot identification technology based on the detection of wood fibre orientation. The new TBS-2 sensor uses a dual laser technology to maximize tracheid data collection for high accuracy knot detection. The first laser emits a series of dots, which is spaced at 1/4” and the second laser emits a solid line spaced at 1/2” from the dotted line. The first laser line provides information on the direction of the fibre and the second laser line provides information on the dispersion of light in the fibre. By combining this data, the TBS-2 sensor is designed to identify knots with a very high level of accuracy and with virtually no false detection. This sensor is the first in a new series that can operate at upwards of 4,000 ft./min.   The operating speed of the sensor is designed to allow for readings to be taken at 1/8” (0.125”) at 4,000 ft./min. It also operates at a speed of 1/10” (0.100”) at 3,000 ft. /min.
June 16, 2015 - To get a glimpse of the future of sawmilling you could do worse than cruise down US Highway 195 to Lewiston, Idaho. There, Idaho Forest Group (IFG) is in the midst of a US$60 million plus upgrade that includes the first HewSaw SL250 3.4 sawline in North America, among the finest operating stations this side of the Atlantic, and a Springer Microtec CT scanning system that may take some of the guess work out of log optimization. Mill manager Jesse Short says this reflects an innovation that starts right at the top.
June 12, 2015 - Duke Point sawmill in Nanaimo, B.C. is about to get some serious upgrades, courtesy of $30 million in new capital investment from Western Forest Products. Lee Doney, chair of Western Forest Products, made the announcement of his company’s investment in the mill on June 11. “Our harvesting strategies and continued demand for our western red cedar and specialty lumber products allows us to make the needed strategic capital investment at this time,” said Doney. “We recognize we need to continue to invest in our operations to maintain our strong competitive position.” B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson were on hand to join in the Doney’s celebrations following the announcement. “Forestry plays a vital role in Vancouver Island's diverse economy,” said Clark. “By making investments and staying competitive, Western Forest Products is ensuring jobs stay right here in Nanaimo - jobs people can depend on to raise a family.” “The forest sector is a mainstay of B.C.’s economy and it’s encouraging to see Vancouver Island’s largest forest company continue to invest in forestry’s future,” added Thomson. Of the $30 million, $28 million will be invested in Western Forest Products’ Duke Point sawmill to modernize the sawmill, planer mill and install new autograding technology to improve productivity and reduce production costs. The company is investing $2 million in its Chemainus and Ladysmith sawmills. These investments are part of the company’s $125-million capital strategic investment program, which Western expects to improve its competitiveness and gain access to new markets. Duke Point is one of seven sawmills that Western Forest Products has on Vancouver Island. The company also has two remanufacturing facilities and is North America’s largest cedar lumber manufacturer. The company ships products to 28 different countries and provides jobs to 2,000 employees and 1,500 contractors. For more information on Western Forest Products, visit http://www.westernforest.com.
June 11, 2015 - When fire destroyed the Carrier and Bégin planer mill south of Quebec City in January 2013, owner Christian Carrier seized the opportunity to triple production.
June 9, 2015 - Most plant engineers and maintenance staff can attest to the reliability of standard-efficiency motors that have been repaired or rewound using industry best practices. They also know repair can cost far less than replacement, especially when the motor has special features. Despite this, some of them hesitate to have failed energy-efficient motors (NEMA Premium models, in particular) repaired because they’ve heard it degrades efficiency.
June 6, 2015 - Around 1970, a new type of circular saw was invented that started to appear in sawmills. Instead of the saw blade being held onto the shaft by a collar, it used guides to support the saw directly below the cutting region. This resulted in much more accurate sawing and allowed for the use of thinner saws and faster feed speeds.
June 6, 2015 - A track record of past success drives many customers to repeat their business. That’s why it came as no surprise that Interfor’s Tacoma Division (formerly part of the Simpson Lumber Company) turned to Metriguard for a sonic lumber grader machine for its stress rated lumber production at its Commencement Bay sawmill in Tacoma, Wash.
June 6, 2015 - When British Columbia’s direct forest industry fatality rate was averaging 27 people per year leading up to 2004 (22 in the woods, five in the mills), the B.C. Labour Minister met with industry leaders and said either the industry could lead a change resulting in reduced fatalities and injuries, or the minister could. The minister’s tools were inspections, orders, fines and penalties, while industry’s tools were innovation, collaboration, and improving and sharing best practices.
June 4, 2015 - The BID Group of Companies recently announced that it has acquired Miller Manufacturing Inc., doing business as A & M Manufacturing, of Washougal, Wash., and is pleased to welcome Dennis Miller and his talented team to the BID Group.  “Adding A&M Manufacturing expands our equipment and service product lines including the new ‘Miller Planer Machine’. This new line of products will further enhance The BID Group's abilities to offer a complete solution to our highly valued customers." said Alistair Cook, CEO of the BID Group. “We want to serve our customers throughout the industry with a full range of equipment, installation, and after sales service.” About the BID Group of Companies  The privately owned BID Group family of companies has 32 years of experience in providing industry leading solutions for its highly valued customers. With Comact, PHL, Deltech, SEC and BID Group Construction, the group of companies provides innovative, efficient and reliable equipment to exceed its customers' expectations. Its ability to provide a turnkey solution that includes engineering, project management, installation, startup, and after sales service furthers the BID Group's strategic value to its customers. The company has offices in fourteen locations across continental North America. Learn more about the BID Group on www.bidgroup.ca. 
June 4, 2015 - MTS Sensors, a division of MTS Systems Corporation, has further expanded its R-Series of robust, high performance magnetostrictive position sensors with a new device which has the capacity to deliver reliability and industry-leading accuracy in even the most demanding work environments. Utilizing the company’s proprietary Temposonics technology, the RT4 is a linear position measurement solution that features two independent sensor elements - each of which has a measuring length of 50 mm to 2540 mm (2” to 100”).  Targeted at use in lumber mills, steel processing plants and power generation sites, this fully redundant position sensing product employs a Synchronous Serial Interface (SSI), which means that data transfer is less susceptible to the presence of electro-magnetic interference. In addition, the IP68-rated enclosure protects against the threat of liquid ingress. The RT4’s detached electronics can be mounted up to 600 mm (23.6”) away from the sensing environment allowing the electronics to be kept further from sources of potential harm. A temperature range that reaches up to 100˚C (212˚F) is supported for the sensor rod and interconnection cables. “Thanks to the combination of detached electronics and redundancy function, the RT4 sets itself apart from conventional position sensing hardware,” states Matt Hankinson, Technical Marketing Manager at MTS Sensors. ”This unit is optimized to function in extremely challenging application surroundings while maintaining high performance.” Through MTS Sensor’s ground-breaking Temposonics magnetostrictive sensor technology, precise, non-contact position measurement data can be acquired. Temposonics-based devices can deal with the exacting mechanical stresses found in modern industrial settings without being subject to wear and tear.
April 20, 2015 - MTS Sensors, a division of MTS Systems Corporation, has introduced a high performance magnetostrictive position sensor, using its innovative Temposonics technology. The ET sensor is very well suited to deployment in applications with high temperature environments. It can deliver up to 0.005mm resolution when used in combination with a suitable controller. Industrial facilities dedicated to pressboard production or the processing of steel/iron need instrumentation that provides maximum safety and reliability, regardless of difficult working conditions. The new ET product offering significantly extends the supported temperature range of the MTS E-Series, with the ability to precisely determine exact positions even at 105°C temperature levels. This small rod sensor can be integrated directly into a cylinder, with rod length options covering 50mm to 3000mm. It exhibits linearity deviation of less than 0.02 per cent (full scale). ET sensors have liquid ingress protection in accordance with IP68. Furthermore, ATEX certification for hazardous areas is available. These devices are equipped with a start/stop interface. They also have the capacity for sensor parameters to be automatically uploaded. A 316L stainless steel variant can be specified if needed. "The ET sensor is designed to be reliable and operationally effective in industry sectors where elevated temperatures are a major concern,” said Robert Luong, MTS Sensors’ industrial technical marketing manager. “The magnetostrictive technology it utilizes provides a wear-free sensing mechanism that has significant value in heavy industrial settings.” The proprietary Temposonics magnetostrictive sensing technology developed by MTS Sensors is designed to offer a non-contact method for accurately measuring position, which permits its implementation into the most demanding of application environments. Sensors based on this technology are highly resilient to shock, vibrations and extreme temperatures.
April 2, 2015 - Norbord Inc. and Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. announced the completion of their merger on April 1, 2015. 
March 24, 2015 - Globally traded hardwood chips for the manufacturing of pulp and wood-based panels have trended downward for much of the past three and a half years. However, this trend broke in late 2014 and early 2015 when prices slowly started to increase.
Feb. 27, 2015 – Lower OSB prices, a slower recovery of the U.S. housing market and higher overall unit costs contributed to weaker-than-expected fourth quarter and year end financial results for Ainsworth in 2014. Sales of $102.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 were $1.9 million lower than sales of $104.4 million for the same period in 2013. The decrease in sales was mainly due to a 4% decrease in realized pricing. Sales volumes increased by 2% due to the ongoing ramp up of High Level notwithstanding downtime taken during the fourth quarter. The impact of the U.S. benchmark declines on realized pricing was moderated by factors including the effect of a weaker Canadian dollar relative to the fourth quarter of 2013 combined with stable export pricing in Japan. Sales were $444.0 million in 2014 compared to $488.0 million in 2013. The $44.0 million decrease was primarily related to a 17% decrease in realized pricing, partially offset by a 9% increase in sales volumes. The impact of the U.S. benchmark declines on realized pricing was again moderated by factors including the effect of a weaker Canadian dollar relative to 2013 combined with stable export pricing in Japan. The increase in volume from High Level was partially offset by the downtime taken at the various mills to complete maintenance and other projects during the year. Ainsworth President and Chief Executive Officer, Jim Lake said, "North American OSB market conditions continued to drift throughout the year as the pace of demand growth did not materialize as expected. However, we remain optimistic that U.S. housing starts will return to more historical levels within the next several years, with various indicators pointing towards strong growth in 2015 versus 2014. "We maintained the strong performance we saw in 2013 in our key export market in Japan and also made progress in China as we began commercial shipments of our industrial core stock products. Additionally, we progressed in the ongoing ramp up of our High Level mill, including the completion of a number of strategic capital projects that will further position the mill to efficiently manufacture an enhanced range of products for North American and Asian customers." While the pace of improvement in U.S. housing starts in 2014 was more gradual than anticipated, Ainsworth expects that the U.S. housing recovery will gain further traction in 2015. The company remains optimistic that U.S. housing starts will return to more historical levels within the next several years. The restart of the High Level mill will allow them to meet the growing requirements of its existing customer base in North America and Asia as well as service new market segments. Ainsworth expects the merger with Norbord will allow the combined company to capitalize on the ongoing recovery in the U.S. housing market and growth opportunities in our traditional and emerging markets in Asia.
Feb. 19, 2015 – River Bend Wood Products, a hardwood flooring business based in Nova Scotia’s Antigonish County, is shutting down due to a lack of locally-sourced hardwood. According to an article from The Chronicle Herald, the struggles are not new in the region. River Bend may be the newest company to go out of business due to the hardwood shortage, but it certainly isn’t the first and is not likely to be the last. Groupe Savoie, which operates a hardwood sawmill in nearby Westville, could be next due to a lack of available logs. It was expected that the hardwood consumed at the Nova Scotia Power biomass boiler would be low-value hardwood, leaving the higher value stems to companies like Groupe Savoie. However, to this point, that has yet to materialize. For more on this story, CLICK HERE
Feb. 3, 2015 - How would you feel about saving $1.57/m³ on your delivered wood costs? How about having access to better-defined cutblock boundary lines, a fully optimized road network or dealing with reduced mill-yard inventory? Sounds good, right? These appear to be just a few of the benefits related to the use of Enhanced Forest Inventory (EFI), yet not many companies seem interested in investing in EFI-allowing technologies such as aerial LiDAR. A formidable laser-based remote sensing technology, LiDAR measures distance by sending thousands of pulses of light with a laser from an aircraft and analyzing what reflects back (http://tinyurl.com/pe8ayfh). Only a handful of cases of documented cost/benefit analyses actually exist to guide the decision-making process when choosing from all the available technologies designed to significantly improve inventory knowledge. Hence, EFI technologies still remain a marginal practice among forestry technology and service providers. Confident in its capacity to transform the forest sector, FPInnovations set out to find out what EFI is really about. Partnering with Tembec and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) allowed researchers from FPInnovations’ Value Maximisation research program to evaluate the monetary impact of EFI on forest operations and primary wood products manufacturing. The results have turned out convincingly in favour of EFI: great return on investment, better knowledge of forest inventory, smaller road network, efficient harvesting operations and increased forest machine productivity. With smaller mill yard inventories of greater value, sawing cost can be reduced and lumber value increased, mostly due to the increased size of timber. The big question now is: why haven’t more companies picked up on the new generation of technologies designed to help them be more profitable? Innovation in the field of forest inventory is no science-fiction. Today, there are very real cost-competitive technologies that allow accurate data gathering about forest stand attributes. Using these tools, foresters can truly maximize the value of forest products by lowering production costs and increasing the value of processed forest products. However, one obvious barrier in justifying the investment relates to the complexity of validating the benefits. Testing EFI processes and technologies involves getting access to data collected along the entire forest sector value chain. Since FPInnovations is all about value chain integration, researchers were able to gather the relevant information to compare the volumes as well as the wood net value resulting from two inventory data sets (traditional vs LiDAR-EFI). Very promising advancesIn addition to being costly, traditional forest inventories are difficult to update. In terms of stands, they produce a lack of volume precision in the area of 20 to 40 per cent, often making it necessary to obtain additional data in order to make informed decisions. There is a lack of data on variability of dendrometric characteristics within forest stands which limits harvest-planning decisions. Accuracy of inventory data is very important since many decisions and actions are taken along the wood value chain based primarily on forestry inventory data. Inaccuracies result in costs for forest stakeholders at various levels and also mean that landowners run the risk of not maximizing benefits or value from resources (wood fibre, habitat, tourism, etc.). Aerial LiDAROne of the challenges met by the Enhanced Forest Inventory process is to provide foresters with precise and detailed information, both on a large and operational scale for each block to be processed. The arrival of aerial LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) has allowed foresters to meet this challenge head on. The quality of the information can now exceed expectations and an entire forest can now be inventoried at resolution as high as 400 m2. Furthermore, major steps have been taken toward posting the internal attributes of the wood’s fibre on forest maps using the EvaluTree program (a joint collaboration by FPInnovations and the University of Northern British Columbia). Aerial LiDAR generates measurements in 3D space that provide a good description of the forest canopy and stand structure, which can be used to accurately predict tree crown dimensions, height, volume canopy density and biomass. Measurements made at the ground surface can be used to accurately map waterways (creeks, bogs, rivers, lakes) and topography across an entire forest (figure 1). While limited plot data are needed to calibrate LiDAR predictions, field sampling is no longer required for stand-, block-, and forest-level estimates. The wall-to-wall precision provided by LiDAR leads to better growth projections, product recovery models, taper models, biomass models, as well as silvicultural optimization and operational planning. Maps created with LiDAR also provide valuable information for road construction by identifying optimized log extraction routes. Block contours are also better defined, impacting the precision of performance calculations (m³/stem/ha). Furthermore, a more detailed knowledge of forest structure makes silvicultural prescriptions easier. Combined with FPInterface software, LiDAR obtained cartographic and georeferenced data allow better prediction of operational costs for harvesting, transportation, road construction and silviculture. Field testing EFI technologyBy comparing two inventory data sets (traditional versus LiDAR-EFI), FPInnovations researchers were able to estimate costs and benefits of each method. To ensure the accuracy of LiDAR inventories, actual volumes harvested (scaled) were compared to yield estimates derived from the traditional inventory (OMNR provincial inventory) and to the LiDAR-enhanced inventory. The study focused on 14 cutblocks from Tembec’s 2009 forest management plan. Ultimately, in this study, the cost of $0.10/m³ for the LiDAR-EFI was largely offset by reduced wood costs. FPInnovations observed a net gain of $1.57/m³ when compared with the actual harvest as planned from traditional forest inventory. Watch FPInnovations’ video on EFI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VmAy6rxt-U For more information, please contact Francis Charette at 514-782-4608 or
Jan. 28, 2015 - Norbord Inc. and Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. announced that Norbord shareholders and Ainsworth shareholders and optionholders approved the previously announced proposed combination of Norbord and Ainsworth by way of a plan of arrangement. The transaction remains subject to customary conditions to closing, including approval of the plan of arrangement by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Subject to receipt of court approval and the satisfaction or waiver of all closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2015. Norbord and Ainsworth also provided the following general update in connection with the transaction. While the transaction is not reportable under the U.S. Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act of 1976 or the Canadian Competition Act because Norbord and Ainsworth share a common controlling shareholder, the U.S. Department of Justice has requested information about the transaction and the companies, as it is entitled to do. Norbord and Ainsworth are providing the DOJ with the information it has requested and are working proactively with the DOJ to ensure an expedited review process. Norbord and Ainsworth are confident this review will have a satisfactory outcome and that it will not impact the companies' ability to close the transaction by the end of the first quarter of 2015.
Dec. 8, 2014, Vancouver – Norbord Inc. and Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. announced that they have signed a definitive agreement under which they will merge to create a leading global wood products company focused on oriented strand board across North America, Europe and Asia. The all-stock deal is valued at $762.6 million. “This transaction unites two complementary businesses behind a common vision of enhanced service to our customers and growth in North America, Europe and Asia,” said Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Norbord and Ainsworth are each low-cost producers in their respective regions, and with our complementary operations and a more diverse range of specialty products, we will be better able to serve our customers across the globe. Ainsworth has excellent mills, a proven track record of innovation in value-added product development, and we look forward to working together. The growth potential we see in the combined company also offers significant value to our shareholders.” Under the terms of the arrangement agreement announced today, Norbord has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Ainsworth in an all-share transaction in which Ainsworth shareholders will receive 0.1321 of a Norbord share for each Ainsworth share pursuant to a plan of arrangement under the British Columbia Business Corporations Act. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and its affiliated entities, which control approximately 55% and 52% of the outstanding common shares of Ainsworth and Norbord respectively, have entered into a binding agreement in which they have committed to vote in favour of the transaction. Upon closing, the Brookfield entities will control approximately 53% of the outstanding common shares of the combined company. Said Jim Lake, Ainsworth’s President and Chief Executive Officer: “The combination of the two companies will mean tremendous opportunities for our people and our customers. By joining with Norbord we will be able to leverage its commitment to low-cost operational excellence to expand and improve our existing range of products and enhance our customer relationships. For our shareholders, this transaction offers significant potential for continued value creation as investors in a larger and better-capitalized company with ongoing participation in the current U.S. housing recovery. This is an exciting transaction for Ainsworth and its stakeholders.” On a pro forma basis, the combined company generated USD $1.63 billion in sales and USD $143 million in Adjusted EBITDA for the 12 months ended September 27, 2014. The transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings and cash flow in the first year.
Nov. 25, 2014, Mississauga – Weston Forest Products Inc. has purchased an interest in Toronto-based Bramwood Forest Products, effective December 1, 2014. "Bramwood has been a strong competitor of ours for many years," said Ekstein. "They are an excellent company, with great remanufacturing capabilities, great people and a loyal customer base. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship." Bramwood owner and President Nir Meltzer will remain as a partner. He will continue as President – and will operate Bramwood as a fully independent entity. That means for customers, suppliers, and employees of both entities, it will be business as usual. "Weston recognizes that Bramwood's growth over the past 25 years has been based on our culture and our unique approach to business," said Meltzer. "We want to ensure that continues, which is why both businesses will continue to maintain independent operations, locations and brands." Weston Forest is one of North America's leading full service distributors and remanufacturers of softwood & hardwood lumber and specialty panel products. Weston maintains an extensive inventory of industrial and commodity lumber and panels to provide just-in-time service to the crating and industrial packaging industry, construction and infrastructure sector, and Lumber and Building Materials dealers, including MSR lumber for truss manufacturers. Weston also acts as an exclusive sales agent for a group of SPF sawmills in northern Ontario, producing mostly rough lumber in dimensions up to 12x12x32'. Weston Forest operates a distribution and remanufacturing facility at the head office in Mississauga, Ontario, and uses several distribution and remanufacturing facilities in Quebec, Ontario, Michigan, New York and Maryland. Bramwood Forest Products was established in 1990 by the Meltzer family and has grown to become one of Ontario's leading suppliers to the Industrial marketplace as well as several specialty markets. Bramwood remanufactures lumber & panels at their facility in Toronto providing a variety of value added products. Bramwood has also positioned itself as a major player in the Premium Strapping market, in addition to being a leading supplier of Framestock to furniture manufacturers as well as Lagging and Shoring to the construction industry.
Nov. 11, 2014 – After a six-year closure, the MDF plant in Pembroke, Ont. is once again producing particleboard. The re-opening of the mill means 160 full-time jobs in the plant with ripple effects throughout the region. A partnership of Chilean investers pruchased the plant, according to The Daily Observer. Inversiones Pathfinder Chile told the paper it had faith the market would bounce back after the housing market crash in 2008 so it maintained the facility through the closure. The company has plans to "branch into more value-added, sophisticated products for the market in months to come." For more information, go to http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/2014/11/03/a-relaunch-for-the-pembroke-fibreboard-plant
Oct. 30, 2014 - West Fraser Timber reported earnings of $70 million or $0.83 per share on sales of $1,030 million in the third quarter of 2014. Operational Results In the quarter our lumber operations generated operating earnings of $101 million (Q2 - $81 million) and EBITDA of $131 million (Q2- $106 million). The increased earnings were largely the result of reduced costs and certain manufacturing productivity improvements related to capital investments. Our panel segment generated operating earnings of $25 million (Q2 - $10 million) and EBITDA of $29 million (Q2 - $13 million), the result of substantially improved plywood prices. Our pulp and paper operations generated an operating loss of $2 million compared to operating earnings of $19 million in the previous quarter and EBITDA of $9 million (Q2 - $30 million). The loss was largely the result of scheduled maintenance downtime at our Hinton pulp mill followed by a difficult startup. Outlook We have seen gradual recovery in U.S. home construction and expect the recovery to continue. Log costs are expected to trend higher in Canada as competition for purchased wood increases in certain areas of B.C. and contractor costs increase. However, as we complete our capital projects, we expect productivity improvements and cost reductions to continue. "The largest capital program in our Company's history is currently underway and I expect combined capital expenditures for 2013 and 2014 to exceed $700 million," said Ted Seraphim, our President and CEO. "I'm excited about what these investments are doing to improve the competitiveness of the Company and how we are positioning our operations to succeed as U.S. housing continues its slow recovery."
June 19, 2015 – Stella-Jones Inc. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase the shares of Ram Forest Group Inc. and Ramfor Lumber Inc. The signature of a non-binding letter of intent in respect of the proposed acquisition was reported by Stella-Jones on April 29, 2015.
June 8, 2015 – The latest numbers indicate that Alberta’s forest industry is continuing to grow and contribute to the province’s economic diversity. Values of lumber, pulp and paper, and panelboard manufactured by Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA) members totalled $2.9 billion in 2014. The numbers reflect a 7.7 per cent increase from 2013. Industry growth was fuelled by a 12 per cent increase in revenue from lumber sales and 6.0 per cent increase in pulp sales. “2014 was a very solid year for our industry,” said AFPA president and CEO Paul Whittaker. “Strong sales for our members meant significant investment into employees, communities, and capital projects.”  Whittaker noted that while prices have begun to soften during the first part of 2015, future prospects are strong.  “Housing starts in the U.S. are projected to rise in late 2015 and early 2016,” he said. “We’re also hoping that Asian markets will continue to increase the use of wood, pulp, and newsprint. These factors should mean continued growth for our sector.” Alberta’s forest industry is a significant contributor to 50 Alberta communities. The industry has invested in future sustainability through market diversification initiatives and capital projects. These include an increased focus on Asian market development and investments to generate electricity from renewable forestry biomass. The industry’s continued growth also means strong demands for skilled workers, particularly in the trades. For more information on forestry careers, please visit workwild.ca. More information can be found on our website at albertaforestproducts.ca. The Alberta Forest Products Association is a private, non-profit industry organization, representing lumber, panelboard, pulp and paper, and secondary manufacturing wood products companies operating in Alberta. AFPA member companies are active participants in sustainability advancements that contribute economic, environmental, and social benefits for Albertans.
May 4, 2015 - Norbord Inc. reported Adjusted EBITDA of $10 million in the first quarter of 2015 compared to $15 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 and $27 million in the first quarter of 2014. The change versus both comparative periods is primarily due to lower North American benchmark oriented strand board (OSB) prices. North American operations generated Adjusted EBITDA of $6 million in the quarter, unchanged from the prior quarter and compared to $17 million in the same quarter last year. European operations delivered Adjusted EBITDA of $7 million in the quarter versus $11 million in the prior quarter and $13 million in the same quarter last year. "Our first quarter results reflect continued weak North American OSB prices and another severe winter that held back homebuilding activity and OSB demand," said Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord's president and CEO. "Still, our operations continued to deliver manufacturing cost reductions and margin improvement program gains, even as we curtailed production at several mills in response to lower-than-expected demand. In spite of the slower start to the year, U.S. housing starts are forecasted to reach the 1.15 million range for 2015, supporting my belief that OSB demand will continue to increase as the year unfolds. The impact of lower oil prices on resin and the benefit of a weaker Canadian dollar for our now larger portfolio of Canadian mills will provide a cost advantage in the quarters ahead. "In Europe, our financial results were impacted by continued pressure on OSB prices and the weaker Euro. However, the lower prices are accelerating substitution against plywood and we continue to increase our sales volumes in our key markets such as the UK where housing starts and home sales are improving. "Finally, we are pleased to have completed the merger with Ainsworth, making Norbord a leading global wood products company active on three continents. Our integration efforts are well underway and we are implementing our plan to realize the annual synergies target of $45 million." Norbord recorded a loss of $6 million or $0.11 per share (basic and diluted) in the first quarter of 2015 compared to earnings of $3 million or$0.06 per share (basic and diluted) in the prior quarter and earnings of $7 million or $0.13 per share (basic and diluted) in the first quarter of 2014. Reported earnings in the current and comparative quarters included the following one-time items: $ millions                                         Q1-2015  Q4-2014  Q1-2014 Earnings before one-time items             (2)             1             7 Costs related to Ainsworth merger         (4)            (5)            - Non-recurring income tax recoveries       -               7             - Earnings, as reported                            (6)            3             7 Market conditions In North America, March year-to-date U.S. housing starts were up four per cent versus the same period in 2014. Permits were eight per cent higher year-over-year. Single family starts, which use approximately three times more OSB than multi-family, increased by five per cent. The consensus forecast from U.S. housing economists stands at 1.15 million starts for 2015, which would be a 14 per cent improvement over last year. New home construction activity was held back during the quarter by the extreme cold weather conditions experienced across much of the continent this winter, driving softer OSB demand. As a result, benchmark OSB prices remained under pressure in the first quarter. The North Central benchmark OSB price averaged $193 per thousand square feet (Msf) (7/16-inch basis) for the quarter compared to $216 per Msf in the previous quarter and $219 per Msf in the same quarter last year. In the South East region, where more than half of Norbord's North American OSB capacity is located, benchmark prices averaged $175 per Msf compared to $181 per Msf in the prior quarter and $193 per Msf in the same quarter last year. In Europe, panel markets continued to experience demand growth in the first quarter, reflecting improving housing markets and continued OSB substitution in the Company's core geographies, particularly the UK andGermany. However, OSB prices remain under pressure and were down 9% quarter-over-quarter and 18 per cent year-over-year as eastern European supply was redirected toward the west due to the ongoing conflict in the Ukraineand the collapse of the Russian ruble. Prices for the Company's other products remained steady. As a result, first quarter average panel prices were down four per cent from the prior quarter and nine per cent lower than the same quarter last year. Performance North American OSB shipments decreased by eight per cent quarter-over-quarter, primarily due to fewer fiscal days versus the prior quarter. First quarter shipments were in line with the same quarter last year as improved mill productivity offset a reduced production schedule. Norbord's operating North American OSB mills produced at approximately 100% of stated capacity (excluding the two curtailed mills in Huguley, Alabama and Val-d'Or, Quebec) compared to 95% in the prior quarter and 100% in the same quarter last year. Year-over-year, capacity utilization was unchanged as improved productivity was offset by additional production curtailments. Norbord's North American OSB cash production costs per unit (before mill profit share) decreased by three per cent compared to the prior quarter. Lower resin prices and fewer maintenance shutdown days were partially offset by the impact of fewer fiscal days in the quarter. Unit costs decreased by four per cent versus the same quarter last year as increased productivity, lower resin prices and improved raw material usages more than offset the impact of a reduced production schedule. In Europe, Norbord's shipments were six per cent higher versus the prior quarter and in line with the same quarter last year. The European mills produced at approximately 95 per cent of stated capacity in the quarter compared to 105 per cent in the prior quarter and 110 per cent in the same quarter last year. Capacity utilization declined compared to both comparative quarters primarily due to the previously reported restatement of the 2015 annual capacity at three of the four mills by an aggregate increase of 170 MMsf (3⁄8-inch basis) to reflect recent capital investments and improved efficiency. Norbord's mills delivered Margin Improvement Program (MIP) gains of $7 million in the quarter from improved productivity and raw material use. Capital investments totalled $10 million in the first quarter and are currently targeted at $70 million for the full year 2015 for the combined company. This year's planned capital expenditures include further debottlenecking and cost reduction projects under the Company's multi-year capital reinvestment strategy. Operating working capital was $100 million at quarter-end compared to $65 million at year-end and $93 million at the end of the same quarter last year. Working capital increased quarter-over-quarter for the usual seasonal reasons, including log inventory builds in North America. At quarter-end, Norbord had unutilized liquidity of $298 million, consisting of $4 million in cash and $294 million in unused credit lines. At quarter-end, $45 million was drawn under the accounts receivable securitization program. The Company's tangible net worth was $388 million and net debt to total capitalization on a book basis was 53 per cent. Both ratios remain well within bank covenants. Dividend The Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of CAD $0.25 per common share, payable on June 21, 2015 to shareholders of record on June 1, 2015. The amount of future dividends under the company's dividend policy, and the declaration and payment thereof, will be based upon the company's financial position, results of operations, cash flow, capital requirements and restrictions under the company's existing revolving bank lines and senior notes, as well as broader market and economic conditions, among other factors, and shall be in compliance with applicable law. The board retains the discretion to amend the company's dividend policy in any manner and at any time as it may deem necessary or appropriate in the future. For these reasons, as well as others, there can be no assurance that dividends in the future will be equal or similar to the amount described above or that the Board will not decide to suspend or discontinue the payment of cash dividends in the future. Developments On March 31, 2015, subsequent to quarter-end, Norbord completed its merger with Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. (Ainsworth). Under the terms of the all-share transaction, Norbord acquired all of the outstanding common shares of Ainsworth and Ainsworth shareholders received 0.1321 of a share of Norbord for each Ainsworth share. Consequently, 31.8 million Norbord common shares were issued to Ainsworth shareholders, bringing the combined company's total number of shares outstanding to 85.3 million. Ainsworth is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norbord. Subsequent to quarter-end, Norbord amended its $245 million in revolving bank lines to reset the tangible net worth covenant to $450 million to reflect the Ainsworth merger and extend the maturity date for $225 million of the total aggregate commitment to May 2018. The remaining $20 million commitment matures in May 2016. Norbord also increased its accounts receivable securitization program commitment limit from $100 million to $125 million to reflect the Ainsworth merger. Annual meeting of shareholders Norbord's annual meeting of shareholders will be held on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. A live webcast of the meeting will be available and can be accessed via www.norbord.com or www.newswire.ca. Additional information Norbord's Q1 2015 letter to shareholders, news release, management's discussion and analysis, consolidated unaudited interim financial statements and notes to the financial statements have been filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and are available in the investor section of the Company's website at www.norbord.com. Shareholders are encouraged to read this material. Since the Norbord-Ainsworth merger was completed subsequent to quarter-end, Ainsworth's Q1 2015 management's discussion and analysis, consolidated unaudited interim financial statements and notes to the financial statements have also been filed under Ainsworth's profile on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and are available in the investor section of the Norbord website at www.norbord.com.
April 29, 2015 - Stella-Jones Inc. today announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2015. "We are pleased with these results that show healthy demand in our core markets as well as the strong contribution of our recent acquisition. Furthermore, adjustments in our selling prices in response to higher input costs for untreated railway ties helped us to improve our gross profit margin when compared to recent quarters," said Brian McManus, President and Chief Executive Officer.  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Financial highlights   (in millions of Canadian dollars, except per share data)                                                                                                        Quarters ended March 31, 2015        2014---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sales                                                        340.7       257.5 Operating income                                       47.6        34.7 Net income for the period                            30.1        22.5   Per share - basic ($)                                 0.44        0.33   Per share - diluted ($)                               0.43        0.33 Weighted average shares outstanding  (basic, in '000s)                                      68,953      68,737 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- First quarter results Sales reached $340.7 million, up 32.3 per cent from $257.5 million a year ago. The wood treating facilities acquired from Boatright Railroad Products, Inc. ("Boatright") on May 22, 2014 generated sales of $21.1 million, while the conversion effect from fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar, Stella-Jones' reporting currency, versus the U.S. dollar, increased the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales by about $29.4 million when compared with last year. Excluding these factors, sales increased approximately $32.7 million, or 12.7 per cent. Railway tie sales amounted to $166.8 million, up 53.5 per cent from $108.6 million last year. Excluding sales from Boatright and the foreign currency conversion effect, railway tie sales rose approximately 21.7 per cent, primarily as a result of adjusted selling prices.  Sales of utility poles reached $119.2 million, an increase of 10.9 per cent compared with $107.5 million last year. Factoring out the foreign currency conversion effect, sales increased 1.9 per cent, as a steady rise in sales of distribution poles stemming from regular maintenance projects, was partially offset by slightly lower sales of transmission poles due to the timing of orders for special projects.  Sales of residential lumber totalled $28.4 million, up from $17.3 million last year, reflecting higher sales in the United States due to a strong economy as well as in Western Canada where the Company increased its market reach in British Columbia. Industrial product sales increased to $19.9 million, compared with $15.8 million a year ago, mainly due to the contribution of the Boatright assets and the foreign currency conversion effect. Finally, non-pole-quality log sales were $6.4 million, versus $8.3 million last year, due to the timing of timber harvesting.  Gross profit reached $66.4 million, or 19.5 per cent of sales, up from $50.3 million, or 19.5% of sales, last year. The increase in absolute dollars essentially stems from higher business activity, the addition of the Boatright assets and the effect of currency translation. As a percentage of sales, gross profit was stable year-over-year, as adjusted pricing for railway has matched the 2014 cost increases of untreated railway ties. As a result of higher gross profit, operating income increased 37.2 per cent to $47.6 million, or 14.0 per cent of sales, versus $34.7 million, or 13.5 per cent of sales, last year.  Net income for the first quarter of 2015 increased 33.7 per cent to $30.1 million or $0.43 per share, fully diluted, compared with $22.5 million or $0.33 per share, fully diluted, in the first quarter of 2014.  Solid financial position As at March 31, 2015, the Company's long-term debt, including the current portion, stood at $517.2 million compared with $444.6 million three months earlier. The increase essentially reflects higher working capital requirements, as per normal seasonal demand patterns, and the effect of local currency translation on U.S. dollar denominated long-term debt. As at March 31, 2015 Stella-Jones, total debt to total capitalization ratio was 0.40:1, compared with 0.39:1 as at December 31, 2014. Working capital requirements included the normal seasonal inventory build-up ahead of peak demand in the second and third quarters. The seasonal inventory build-up was more accentuated in the first quarter of 2015 due to untreated railway tie availability returning to normal levels, which enabled Stella-Jones to start rebuilding inventory levels. As a result, the value of inventories stood at $611.5 million as at March 31, 2015, versus $487.7 million as at December 31, 2014. Letter of intent to acquire Ram Forest Group Inc. and Ramfor Lumber Inc. During the quarter, the Company signed a non-binding letter of intent to purchase the shares of Ram Forest Group Inc. and Ramfor Lumber Inc. Through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Ram Forest Products Inc. and Trent Timber Treating Ltd., Ram Forest Group manufactures and sells pressure treated wood products and accessories to the retail building materials industry. Ramfor Lumber is a lumber purchasing entity serving Ram Forest Products and Trent Timber Treating.  Ram Forest Products operates a wood treating facility in Gormley, Ontario and Trent Timber Treating operates a wood treating facility in Peterborough, Ontario. The wood milling plant operated by Ram Forest Products in Uxbridge, Ontario is not part of the transaction, and existing Ram Forest Group shareholders will continue to own this plant. Consolidated sales of the acquired facilities for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014 reached approximately $90.2 million. The transaction, if finalized, is expected to close in October 2015 and is subject to customary conditions, including satisfactory due diligence, signature of a definitive share purchase agreement and regulatory clearance. Stella-Jones plans to finance the transaction through its existing revolving credit facility. "This transaction will expand Stella-Jones' wood treating capabilities in the residential lumber market and allow us to build upon Ram Forest Group's longstanding relationships with key customers. The proposed timetable for the transaction has been carefully designed to minimize disruption of Ram Forest Group's operations and ensure a seamless transition for its customers, suppliers and employees," added Mr. McManus. Quarterly dividend of $0.08 per share On April 28, 2015, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.08 per common share, payable on June 26, 2015 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 2, 2015. Outlook "As we believe the momentum in the North American economy will continue, demand for our core products should remain solid in 2015. Stella-Jones remains focussed on enhancing shareholder value by optimizing the efficiency of its continental network, while seeking selective and accretive opportunities to further expand its presence in the wood treating industry, as evidenced by the proposed acquisition in Ontario," concluded Mr. McManus. Conference call Stella-Jones will hold a conference call to discuss these results on April 29, 2015, at 1:30 PM Eastern Time. Interested parties can join the call by dialing 647-788-4922 (Toronto or overseas) or 1-877-223-4471 (elsewhere in North America). Parties unable to call in at this time may access a tape recording of the meeting by calling 1-800-585-8367 and entering the passcode 17072554. This tape recording will be available on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 as of 5:30 PM Eastern Time until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 6, 2015.  Non-IFRS financial measures Operating income and cash flow from operating activities before changes in non-cash working capital components and interest and income tax paid are financial measures not prescribed by IFRS and are not likely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. Management considers these non-IFRS measures to be useful information to assist knowledgeable investors regarding the Company's financial condition and results of operations as they provide additional measures of its performance.  About Stella-Jones Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX:SJ) is a leading producer and marketer of pressure treated wood products. The Company supplies North America's railroad operators with railway ties and timbers, and the continent's electrical utilities and telecommunication companies with utility poles. Stella-Jones also provides residential lumber to retailers and wholesalers for outdoor applications, as well as industrial products for construction and marine applications. The Company's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Except for historical information provided herein, this press release may contain information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the future performance of the Company. These statements are based on suppositions and uncertainties as well as on management's best possible evaluation of future events. Such factors may include, without excluding other considerations, fluctuations in quarterly results, evolution in customer demand for the Company's products and services, the impact of price pressures exerted by competitors, the ability of the Company to raise the capital required for acquisitions, and general market trends or economic changes. As a result, readers are advised that actual results may differ from expected results.  Note to readers: Condensed interim unaudited consolidated financial statements for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015 are available on Stella-Jones' website at www.stella-jones.com
March 26, 2015 — Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX:SJ) ("Stella-Jones" or the "Company") today announced financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2014.
Feb. 24, 2015 – The UCS Forest Group of Companies (UCS) announced that they have reached an agreement to acquire the assets and ongoing business activities of the British Columbia business unit of White-Wood Distributors Ltd. UCS does business in Canada as Upper Canada Forest Products Ltd. “We are delighted with the opportunity to service the customers and support the suppliers that have been dealing with White-Wood throughout British Columbia,” stated Warren Spitz, President & CEO of UCS. “I would like to offer my thanks to Mark Yusishen for choosing us as White-Wood’s successor in this market. Our corporate strategy to grow in key markets continues across North America and we are very excited about this most recent opportunity.” “Our decision to complete this transaction with Upper Canada was based in part on our shared values and commitment to excellence in customer service’” commented Mark Yusishen, President & CEO of White-Wood. “We are confident that our valued customers in B.C. will continue to be well-served.” This is the third acquisition in the past 10 months for the UCS Forest Group, which recently acquired Reimer Hardwoods operations in Alberta and the Atlas Lumber Company in Los Angeles, California. Upper Canada Forest Products has serviced the British Columbia market for over 20 years and operates from an 80,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Burnaby and a second facility in Kelowna. In a timely manner, White-Wood’s operations will be integrated into Upper Canada’s facilities.
Nov. 13, 2014, Woodstock, NB – Garant GP, a leading Canadian manufacturer of snow removal and gardening tools, has modernized its value-added mill to help increase yield from the wood supply and improve the plant's efficiency, thanks to support from the Government of Canada. The Woodstock operation has been manufacturing handles for Garant GP's specialty lawn, garden and snow removal tools since its opening in 1961 and was later acquired by the company in 1968. Mike Allen, Member of Parliament for Tobique-Mactaquac, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Moore, Regional Minister for New Brunswick and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), joined Garant GP officials at the sawmill to tour the facility. "With the current market conditions, the Canadian manufacturing industry is more than ever challenged to maintain a high efficiency level to remain competitive in the North American marketplace. With ACOA's involvement in the funding of this project, this will enable Garant GP and its employees to maintain employment in New Brunswick. Having been part of the Woodstock community for over 50 years, carrying out this project will help to ensure the continuity of our operations for many years to come," says Jean Gaudreault, President, Garant GP. The project involved a building expansion and the installation of advanced technology to improve the plant's productivity. An obsolete circular saw and carriage were replaced with a new high efficiency band saw and carriage. A new scanner technology system was also added to improve wood usage. These upgrades will increase the profitability of the various lines of wooden dowels that are manufactured at the Garant GP sawmill, and help the plant remain competitive. "Our Government is pleased to work with businesses like Garant GP to help strengthen the economy of our region. The expansion and new equipment at Garant's Woodstock sawmill will increase productivity and improve overall efficiency and will boost the sustainability and competitive edge of this business," says Mike Allen, Member of Parliament for Tobique-Mactaquac, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Moore, Regional Minister for New Brunswick and Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency). The Government of Canada is investing $473,300 in the project, through ACOA's Business Development Program. Garant GP is a national leader in the manufacturing of non-motorized winter snow removal and summer gardening tools, thanks to its continuous investment in new technologies and the development of a highly skilled and experienced workforce. Founded in 1895 in Saint-François, Quebec, Garant GP was originally a small family operation that offered hand fashioned and forged tools.    
Nov. 7, 2014, Hannover, Germany - Under the slogan "Surprisingly versatile," machine tool manufacturers at LIGNA (11–14 May, Hannover) are showcasing their machines' potential for uses beyond conventional wood processing. Established machine tool manufacturers are increasingly developing products for everything from metalworking to high-tech processing for companies in the automotive, facade, yacht building and aerospace industries. Interest is high wherever machining, sawing, drilling and sanding is needed. Solutions for processing plastic and composite materials are particularly widespread, with their rising popularity driven by today's highly developed CNC 5-axis machining technology. Today's woodworking machines can do everything that is required of modern manufacturing in other sectors, and very efficiently. These days nearly every market leader offers industrial solutions for processing plastics and composite materials. The product spectrum ranges from preconfigured machines for various applications all the way to customized solutions. Machine manufacturers have their own teams of specialists for both wood composites and solid wood. The resulting manufacturing technologies offer outstanding potential for processing plastics and composites as well as other materials: Heavy stands that absorb vibrations guarantee the necessary precision in handling workpieces. High quality table coatings – initially developed to withstand abrasive materials – prevent more delicate materials from being scratched. Manufacturers of woodworking machines can bring to bear extensive experience and skill with suction systems to remove dust and fumes. Innovative 5-axis technology with rotation and swivel axes make it possible to work at any angle and position – including freeform parts. Applications range from filigree milling and high-frequency machining to optimized interleaving and fine engraving. Facilities with vertical ranges of 50 meters or more are required for manufacturing very large components such as wind turbine blades or boat hulls. All processes can be carried out in a single workflow. Rapid tool-change systems minimize setup times. Individualized clamping devices provide the perfect fit for every individual requirement. High performance, efficiency and cost-effectiveness are ensured right down to single-unit batches with these CNC processing systems. The leading providers also offer the invaluable advantage of expertise across the manufacturing process, including in particular blank cutting, along with CNC processing. Today's panel saws process plastic materials just as precisely. Add to this a comprehensive portfolio of ancillary machines and automation systems, and the wide range of highly specialized machines, tools and services that plastic-working operations often need for manufacturing can usually be provided by a single supplier. Lastly, networking these different machines significantly boosts productivity and efficiency. When processing solid wood, it is chiefly automated planers and profilers that form the basis of innovative solutions – and they also offer excellent performance with plastics and foams. Undercuts such as dovetails and T-grooves are often needed when processing these types of materials. Universal spindles combined with a compact fast-turning hollow shank taper provide the ideal solution for processing during manufacturing. Tool manufacturers play a central role as system partners. One trend stands out in particular: saw blades, mills and drills are increasingly being adapted to machines, applications and materials, which delivers significant benefits to the final industrial solutions. Optimized cutting shapes and innovative coatings result in break-resistant drills and saws that offer excellent service life. Whether plastics, composite materials or non-ferrous metals, modern woodworking machines and tools can master any material without any major adjustments. Existing 5-axis technology offers full processing in shorter times and with fewer work steps, because a reduced number of processing assemblies carry out the production task and eliminate setup periods. And there is almost no limit to the possible shapes and sizes. Reason enough to take a look at the bigger picture – at LIGNA 2015, the flagship fair for machines and systems for woodworking and wood processing, which offers a lot of added reasons to be in Hannover from 11 to 15 May.
Nov. 7, 2014, Montreal - Stella-Jones Inc. is reporting positive financial results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2014. Sales reached $357.3 million, up 25.2% from $285.3 million in the same period last year. The operating assets acquired from The Pacific Wood Preserving Companies ("PWP") on November 15, 2013 and from Boatright Railroad Products, Inc. ("Boatright") on May 22, 2014 contributed sales of $11.2 million and $12.0 million, respectively. The conversion effect from fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar, Stella-Jones' reporting currency, versus the U.S. dollar, increased the value of U.S.-dollar denominated sales by about $8.9 million when compared with the previous year. Excluding these factors, sales increased approximately $39.9 million, or 14.0%. "We are pleased with Stella-Jones' solid sales growth in the third quarter, which reflects our expanding presence in our core markets and healthy industry demand. While margins remained affected by higher year-over-year costs for untreated railway ties, we have initiated certain selling price adjustments permitted in the majority of our multi-year contracts. Our focus on operating efficiency led to further growth in operating income, while a solid cash flow generation allowed Stella-Jones to substantially reduce its long-term debt," said Brian McManus, President and Chief Executive Officer. Railway tie sales amounted to $148.8 million, up 49.7% from $99.4 million a year earlier. Excluding sales from acquired assets and the conversion effect, railway tie sales rose approximately 34.7%. Further adjusting for the approximately $15.0 million negative effect on last year's third-quarter railway tie sales as a result of the transition of a Class 1 railroad customer from a "treating services only" program to a "black-tie" program, year-over-year sales increased $19.5 million, or 17.0%. This increase reflects solid market demand for tie replacement programs as well as increased pricing. Sales of utility poles reached $127.6 million, up from $112.8 million last year. Excluding sales from acquisitions and the conversion effect, utility pole sales increased $4.0 million, or 3.5%, as a result of higher sales of distribution poles stemming from increased demand from replacement programs, partially offset by slightly lower sales of transmission poles due to the timing of certain special projects. Sales in the residential lumber category totalled $43.5 million, up 10.6% from $39.3 million a year ago, mainly reflecting solid demand in Western Canada and the United States. Industrial product sales reached $29.7 million, versus $16.5 million last year due to the contribution from acquisitions and increased sales of rail-related products. Finally, non-pole-quality log sales amounted to $7.7 million, down from $17.2 million a year ago, as a result of the timing of timber harvesting. Operating income stood at $45.5 million, or 12.7% of sales, versus $38.6 million, or 13.5% of sales, last year. The decrease as a percentage of sales is mainly due to higher year-over-year costs for untreated railway ties, partially offset by greater efficiencies throughout the Company's plant network. As the Company is gradually able to adjust its selling prices, as per provisions in most of its multi-year contracts, the year-over-year negative variation of operating income as a percentage of sales due to higher costs was less in the third quarter of 2014 than in the previous quarter. Net income for the third quarter of 2014 increased 6.8% to $29.5 million or $0.43 per share, fully diluted, compared with $27.7 million or $0.40 per share, fully diluted, in the third quarter of 2013. NINE-MONTH RESULTS For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2014, sales amounted to $959.6 million, versus $788.8 million for the same period in 2013. Acquisitions accounted for total sales of $52.0 million, while the conversion effect from fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar had a positive year-over-year impact of $43.2 million on the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales. Excluding these factors, sales increased approximately $75.6 million, or 9.6%. Operating income was $121.8 million, or 12.7% of sales, up from $109.2 million, or 13.8% of sales, last year. Net income reached $80.9 million, or $1.17 per share, fully diluted, compared with $72.8 million, or $1.05 per share, fully diluted, a year ago. FINANCIAL POSITION As at September 30, 2014, the Company's long-term debt, including the current portion, stood at $433.6 million down from $456.8 million three months earlier. The reduction reflects the repayment of approximately $44.0 million in long-term debt during the quarter, driven by a strong cash flow generation, partially offset by the effect of currency conversion on U.S.-dollar denominated debt. As at September 30, 2014, an amount of $365.9 million had been drawn against the Company's committed revolving credit facility of $450.0 million. As a result of this lower debt, Stella-Jones' total debt to total capitalization ratio was 0.40:1 as at September 30, 2014, down from 0.43:1 three months earlier. OUTLOOK "Driven by continuing economic growth and sound fundamentals, we expect demand for Stella-Jones' core products to remain healthy for the remainder of 2014 and through 2015. For this reason, our established reputation as a reliable provider of high-quality treated wood products should allow the Company to gain further momentum in its core markets across North America. In the short-term, we continue to adjust selling prices in response to higher untreated railway tie costs and we are pleased with the progress achieved so far. Over the longer term, a continuous focus on enhancing efficiency and productivity across our continental network should allow Stella-Jones to sustain profitability and cash flow growth to the benefit of its shareholders," concluded Mr. McManus.
Sept. 9, 2014 – Lewis Mouldings and Wood Specialities Ltd. received $430,500 from the federal and provincial governments to boost its wood briquette production, according to the Chrionical Herald. The family business based in Weymouth, Nova Scotia launched Fiber Fuel to make wood briquettes using residual sawdust and chips from its wood trim business in 2008. The company has not been able to keep up with demand for the fuel. The new funding will help the company add a second wood fibre compressing machine and a biomass dryer, which should be up and running in November. The new equipment is expected to boost the company's briquette production by 400 per cent. The briquette business will take over the extra waste wood that was formerly consumed by the Resolute Forest Products' Queens County paper mill that closed in 2012. For more information, go to http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1234854-lewis-mouldings-gets-cash-for-wood-waste-fuel-business
Aug. 13, 2014 - A wave of demand is coming and so are higher prices, concludes Peter Butzelaar the Vice President of International Wood Markets Group in his U.S. Clear Pine Lumber and Moulding Market Outlook: 2014-2018.  After enduring four years of declining demand of epic proportions, underlying demand is beginning to re-emerge. "Although not the strong start the industry was anticipating for 2014, the results in the second half of this year should build on the demand gains made in 2013," comments co-author Russell Taylor. WOOD MARKETS is projecting U.S. housing starts to surpass 1 million starts in 2014 followed by an additional 125,000 starts in 2015. As the labour market and income levels improves, housing demand will see accelerating growth as will residential repair and remodelling (R&R) - the two main drivers of moulding demand. However, due to mill closures, supply chain consolidation, and limited supplies of domestic clear pine fiber, traditional moulding supply in North America is forecast to struggle to keep up with demand. For more information on the report, go to www.woodmarkets.com.
Aug. 11, 2014, Montreal - Stella-Jones announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2014. Sales reached $344.8 million, up 22.7% from $280.9 million in the same period last year. "Solid industry demand for Stella-Jones' core products and the contribution from recent acquisitions led to a strong sales growth in the second quarter of 2014. As railway tie and utility pole replacement programs continue to gain momentum, our proven ability to respond to product and service requirements enables us to further penetrate our markets. As anticipated, higher costs for untreated railway ties had a negative effect on profitability. However, strong sales growth and our continued focus on optimizing our plant network resulted in a year-over-year increase in net income," said Brian McManus, President and Chief Executive Officer. SECOND QUARTER RESULTS Sales reached $344.8 million, up 22.7% from $280.9 million in the same period last year. The operating assets acquired from The Pacific Wood Preserving Companies ("PWP") on November 15, 2013 and from Boatright Railroad Products, Inc. ("Boatright") on May 22, 2014 contributed sales of $12.0 million and $3.7 million, respectively. The conversion effect from fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar, Stella-Jones' reporting currency, versus the U.S. dollar, increased the value of U.S.-dollar denominated sales by about $18.0 million when compared with the previous year. Excluding these factors, sales increased approximately $30.2 million, or 10.8%. Railway tie sales amounted to $141.5 million, up 18.1% from $119.8 million a year earlier. Excluding sales from the PWP and Boatright assets, as well as the conversion effect, railway tie sales rose approximately $7.7 million, or 6.4%, reflecting solid market demand from replacement programs. Sales of utility poles reached $121.6 million, up from $95.1 million last year. Excluding sales from the PWP assets and the conversion effect, utility pole sales increased $14.0 million, or 14.7%, as a result of larger customer orders for distribution and transmission poles stemming from increased demand from replacement programs and certain special projects. Sales in the residential lumber category totalled $49.4 million, versus $41.3 million a year ago, mainly reflecting solid demand in Western Canada and the United States. Industrial product sales reached $25.1 million, up from $17.0 million last year due to the contribution of the PWP and Boatright assets as well as increased sales of rail-related products. Finally, non-pole-quality log sales amounted to $7.2 million, versus $7.7 million a year ago, as a result of the timing of timber harvesting. Operating income stood at $41.6 million, or 12.1% of sales, versus $41.0 million, or 14.6% of sales, last year. The decrease as a percentage of sales is mainly due to higher year-over-year costs for untreated railway ties, partially offset by greater efficiencies throughout the company's plant network. Results for the second quarter of 2014 also include a $1.6 million write-off of certain property, plant and equipment in the United States and acquisition-related costs of $616,000 in connection with the Boatright transaction. Net income for the second quarter of 2014 increased 9.1% to $28.8 million or $0.42 per share, fully diluted, compared with $26.4 million or $0.38 per share, fully diluted, in the second quarter of 2013. SIX-MONTH RESULTSFor the six-month period ended June 30, 2014, sales amounted to $602.3 million, versus $503.5 million for the same period in 2013. Acquisitions accounted for total sales of $28.9 million, while the conversion effect from fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar had a positive year-over-year impact of $34.3 million on the value of U.S. dollar denominated sales. Excluding these factors, sales increased approximately $35.7 million, or 7.1%. Operating income was $76.4 million, or 12.7% of sales, up from $70.6 million, or 14.0% of sales, last year. Net income reached $51.3 million, or $0.74 per share, fully diluted, compared with $45.2 million, or $0.65 per share, fully diluted, a year ago. FINANCIAL POSITIONAs at June 30, 2014, the company's long-term debt, including the current portion, stood at $456.8 million compared with $407.0 million three months earlier. The variation essentially reflects working capital requirements and the acquisition of Boatright. To partially finance this acquisition, the company's committed revolving credit facility was increased from $400.0 million to $450.0 million. As at June 30, 2014, an amount of $391.7 million had been drawn against this facility. As a result of this higher debt, Stella-Jones' total debt to total capitalization ratio was 0.43:1 as at June 30, 2014, versus 0.40:1 three months earlier. OUTLOOK"We expect healthy demand for our core products for the remainder of the year driven by a better economy and sound fundamentals in our main sectors of activity. With regards to higher cost for untreated railway ties, margins will be impacted in the short term, until we are able to adjust selling prices as per provisions in most of Stella-Jones' multi-year contracts. Further profitability improvements will also be driven by sustained initiatives to optimize efficiency across our expanded North American network following recent acquisitions," concluded Mr. McManus.

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

Popular Articles

Latest Events

Demo Foret 2000
Fri Aug 28, 2015 @ 8:00am - 05:00pm
Webinar - Modern Tall Wood Buildings
Wed Sep 23, 2015 @ 2:00pm - 03:00pm
2015 NHLA Convention
Wed Oct 07, 2015