West Fraser Announces 2019 Annual and Fourth Quarter Results

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Vancouver, B.C. - West Fraser today reported results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2019. Ray Ferris, CEO of West Fraser stated, “This past year has been challenging for West Fraser on multiple fronts. A softer demand environment coupled with high fibre input costs in British Columbia (“B.C.”) resulted in a significant reduction in earnings.

We took several difficult decisions to right size our manufacturing footprint in Western Canada by permanently reducing shifts and closing one facility. Despite the difficult conditions, we remained resolute in our commitment to modernize our U.S. South business to achieve its full potential. Several key projects have been completed in 2019 and we are encouraged by the opportunity to fully operationalize them in 2020. The final stage of our Opelika, Alabama modernization will be completed in 2020 with the start up of a new planer mill. We are also underway on the construction of a replacement manufacturing complex in Dudley, Georgia and we anticipate commencing operations at the new mill mid 2021. The new facility will be well positioned to benefit from a strong fibre supply basket and well suited to servicing the local markets.”

Fourth Quarter

  • Sales of $1.129 billion
  • Lower fibre costs improve lumber earnings compared to third quarter
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $80 million or 7.1% of sales
  • Quarterly cash dividend of $0.20 declared

2019

  • Sales of $4.877 billion
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $301 million
  • Cash provided by operating activities of $115 million
  • Invested $410 million in capital projects
  • Year-end liquidity strong with $505 million of available bank lines, net debt to capital ratio at 30%

Recent Developments

On February 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce released the results of its first Administrative Review which if confirmed would result in a combined duty rate of 8.64% and 9.08% respectively for the 2017 and 2018 periods to which such duties applied. Due to the preliminary nature of these Administrative Review rates, no adjustment has been recorded. The duty rates announced on February 3, 2020 are not likely to take effect until August of 2020 and we will continue to make cash deposits at the existing rates. For additional information, refer to the section titled “Discussion & Analysis of Annual Results by Product Segment - Lumber - Softwood Lumber Dispute” in our 2019 Management’s Discussion & Analysis.

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Source: West Fraser

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