Price and volume momentum in Paper drive strong results
(All financial information is in U.S. dollars, and all earnings per share results are diluted, unless otherwise noted).
- First quarter 2019 net earnings of $1.27 per share; earnings before items1 of $1.44 per share
- Paper prices $30 per ton higher quarter-over-quarter
- Paper shipments increased 2% quarter-over-quarter
FORT MILL, S.C.–May 1, 2019– Domtar Corporation (NYSE: UFS) (TSX: UFS) today reported net earnings of $80 million ($1.27 per share) for the first quarter of 2019 compared to net earnings of $87 million ($1.38 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2018 and net earnings of $54 million ($0.86 per share) for the first quarter of 2018. Sales for the first quarter of 2019 were $1.4 billion.
Excluding items listed below, the Company had earnings before items1 of $91 million ($1.44 per share) for the first quarter of 2019 compared to earnings before items1 of $103 million ($1.63 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2018 and earnings before items1 of $55 million ($0.87 per share) for the first quarter of 2018.
“We had a solid performance from Pulp and Paper despite a wood fiber shortage that negatively impacted costs and output,” said John D. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Price and volume momentum in paper continued in a favorable market environment, which led to strong productivity and a good cost performance. The pulp business was impacted by lower prices while higher internal pulp shipments due to wood fiber constraints negatively impacted our volumes. Nevertheless, we continued to improve and increase overall productivity and manage costs through saving initiatives.
Mr. Williams added, “In Personal Care, our margins improved driven by better productivity and operational efficiencies as our new customer ramp-up accelerates. We also successfully implemented price increases in both North America and Europe helping to partially offset raw material cost headwinds. Our teams continue to deliver on our margin improvement plan which is expected to progress throughout the year.”
Operating income was $115 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared to operating income of $133 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. Depreciation and amortization totaled $73 million in the first quarter of 2019.
Operating income before items1 was $129 million in the first quarter of 2019 compared to an operating income before items1 of $148 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.