Wood Business

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Resolute Forest reports first quarter results

April 30, 2013, Montreal, Que. – Resolute Forest released results of its first quarter, reporting a net loss of $5 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, on sales of $1.074 billion.

This compares to net income of $23 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, on sales of $1.054 billion in the first quarter that ended March 31, 2012. Excluding $33 million of special items, net income for the quarter was $28 million, or $0.30 per share. Excluding special items of $16 million, net income in the first quarter of 2012 was $7 million, or $0.07 per diluted share.

Operating Income Variance

In the first quarter of 2013, the Company recorded an operating loss of $50 million, compared to $46 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. The $4 million unfavorable change reflects a $54 million reduction in sales, due to lower shipments of newsprint and specialty papers due to seasonality and market conditions, and capacity reduction initiatives. Overall pricing contributed $4 million, as higher transaction prices in wood products more than offset declines in newsprint. Cost of sales was down $19 million, due mainly to the lower volume, offset in part by costs associated with the annual outage at the Catawba, South Carolina, mill, higher mill start-up costs and increases in certain other manufacturing costs. The change in operating results was also favorably affected by a $42 million reduction in closure costs.

Wood Products

The wood products segment generated income of $16 million during the quarter, up $2 million from the fourth quarter. Average price improved $36 per thousand board feet, but shipments were down three per cent as a result of limited rail car availability. Operating costs per thousand board feet were eight per cent higher in the quarter because of higher wood costs - mainly increases in stumpage fees, which are linked to lumber selling prices - lower wood chip selling prices and a $4 million favorable inventory adjustment in the fourth quarter.

Lumber pricing has been strong, and is expected to remain near current levels as shipments from Canadian producers continue to be limited by strained supply chains from the increase in demand.

To see the full release visit, www.resolutefp.com.