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Cascades posts sales decrease in Q1 2021 over last quarter, year-ago


May 6, 2021
By P&PC Staff/Cascades

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Cascades has reported sales of $1.18 billion in its first-quarter 2021 results, a five per cent decrease over Q4 2020 and seven per cent decrease over the year-ago period.

Sales were $1.24 billion in Q4 2020 and $1.26 billion in Q1 2020.

Operating income in Q1 2020 was $52 million, compared with $113 million in Q4 2020 (-54 per cent) and $87 million in Q1 2020 (-40 per cent).

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Operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBD) was $128 million, compared with $183 million in Q4 2020 (-30 per cent) and $157 million in Q1 2020 (-18 per cent).

Net earnings per share were 22 cents, compared with 72 cents in Q4 2020 and 24 cents in Q1 2020.

“Our first quarter consolidated results highlight the dynamic and challenging business environment in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” says Mario Plourde, president and CEO of Cascades, in a statement.

“The sequential decrease in our results was largely driven by an important contraction in retail tissue demand as customers worked through high inventory levels built up throughout 2020, and continued lower volumes in away-from-home.

“Tissue volumes were also impacted by inclement weather in the quarter, which resulted in lost production in one of the corporation’s Southern U.S. tissue plants.

“Conversely, the European boxboard segment generated strong sequential sales growth in the period, the beneficial impact of which was offset by a notable increase in raw material prices and higher energy costs in the period.

“Solid demand levels and higher selling prices in the containerboard segment were largely offset by transportation and raw material cost increases, and lower volume related to seasonality and scheduled maintenance downtime in the first three months of the year. Specialty products generated strong sequential margin improvement.”

The company forecasts 2021 capital expenditures of between $450 million and $475 million, encompassing $250 million for the Bear Island containerboard conversion project in Virginia.

Read the full Cascades Q1 2021 financial report, including segmented results, here.