Wood Business

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West Fraser announces first quarter results

April 23, 2015 - West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (TSX:WFT) today reported earnings of $49 million or $0.58 basic earnings per share on sales of $1,014 million in the first quarter of 2015. These results compare with previous periods as shown in the table below.

Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted earnings and Adjusted basic EPS as described in this News Release reflect the adjustments described in the tables referred to in the section titled "Non-IFRS Measures" on page 15 of our 2015 first quarter Management's Discussion & Analysis.


($ millions except earnings per share ("EPS"))                                     

                                                 Q1-15       Q4-14       Q1-14

Sales                                          1,014         964         809

Adjusted EBITDA(1)                        173         157         149

Operating earnings                          125          83         106

Earnings                                          49          43          72

Basic EPS ($)                                 0.58        0.51        0.84

Adjusted earnings(1)                       100          85          84

Adjusted basic EPS ($)(1)               1.19        1.02        0.97

(1) In this News Release, reference is made to Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted earnings and Adjusted earnings per share (collectively "these measures"). We believe that, in addition to earnings, these measures are useful performance indicators. None of these measures is a generally accepted earnings measure under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") and none has a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS. Investors are cautioned that none of these measures should be considered as an alternative to earnings, EPS or cash flow, as determined in accordance with IFRS. As there is no standardized method of calculating any of these measures, our method of calculating each of them may differ from the methods used by other entities and, accordingly, our use of any of these measures may not be directly comparable to similarly titled measures used by other entities. Refer to the tables in the section titled "Non-IFRS Measures" on page 15 of our 2015 first quarter Management's Discussion & Analysis of our first quarter 2015 results for details of these adjustments.

Operational Results
In the quarter our lumber operations generated operating earnings of $84 million (Q4-14 - $90 million) and Adjusted EBITDA of $117 million (Q4-14 - $121 million). Reduced shipments and lower U.S. prices for SPF lumber were substantially offset by the benefit provided by a weaker Canadian dollar. Lumber markets weakened in the quarter, largely reflecting adverse weather conditions in eastern Canada and the U.S., as well as in parts of the U.S. south.

The panel segment, which includes plywood, LVL and MDF, generated operating earnings in the quarter of $23 million (Q4-14 - $22 million) and Adjusted EBITDA of $26 million (Q4-14 - $25 million), mostly reflecting increased Canadian dollar MDF prices. Plywood prices and shipments were reduced, reflecting both the weather-related constraints on Canadian construction as well as the oil and gas-related uncertainties in western Canada.

Pulp and paper operations generated operating earnings in the quarter of $20 million (Q4-14 - $3 million) and Adjusted EBITDA of $30 million (Q4-14 - $12 million). Canadian dollar equivalent NBSK prices improved and our increased NBSK production and shipments reflected positive developments at our Hinton pulp mill following extended reliability issues both in the previous quarter and the early part of 2015.

As weather conditions improve in eastern Canada and U.S. we expect increased construction activity will improve demand for our building products. Ted Seraphim, our President and CEO, said "The first quarter reminded us that we are still in the early stages of the U.S. housing recovery and as such volatility in lumber markets should be expected. Nevertheless we remain optimistic regarding the medium term outlook for lumber markets. We are continuing to execute on our major capital investment program and I am pleased that we are seeing some very positive results from many of our completed projects."

Management's Discussion & Analysis ("MD&A")
The Company's MD&A is available on the Company's website: www.westfraser.com and on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval at www.sedar.com under the Company's profile.

The Company
West Fraser is a diversified wood products company producing lumber, LVL, MDF, plywood, pulp, newsprint, wood chips and energy with facilities in western Canada and the southern United States.

April 24, 2015  By Marketwired/West Fraser

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