Financial Reports & Markets
GreenFirst shares its financial results for the first quarter of 2023
May 15, 2023 By P&PC Staff/GreenFirst
GreenFirst Forest Products has shared its results for the first quarter ended April 1, 2023. The company’s interim financial statements and related Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) for the first quarter ended April 1, 2023 are available on GreenFirst’s website and on SEDAR. All amounts are in thousands of Canadian dollars unless indicated otherwise.
Highlights for the first quarter of 2023 are as follows:
- First quarter 2023 (Q1 2023) net loss from continuing operations was $20.2 million or a $0.11 loss per share (diluted), compared to net loss of $25.9 million or $0.15 loss per share (diluted) in the fourth quarter of 2022 on the same basis. Lumber prices dropped, reflecting economic headwinds and lower demand in Q1 2023, with an average selling price of $605/mfbm compared to $644/mfbm in Q4 2022. The Q1 2023 valuation provision for lumber and logs inventory was increased to $11.9 million from $8.7 million at the end of Q4 2022.
- Sold its two Quebec mills for gross proceeds of $94.1 million, subject to working capital adjustments, at a $3.5 million loss on disposal.
- Reducing overheads and operating costs while increasing production efficiencies.
- Signed a non-binding letter of intent to sell approximately 30 of 118 acres of the land in Kenora.
- The company has significantly deleveraged its balance sheet by reducing its outstanding debt and is no longer subject to financial covenant ratios.
“GreenFirst is now focused on optimizing its core assets in Ontario, supported by a streamlined, cost-effective operating platform. We have strengthened our balance sheet and our recent efforts to improve operational efficiencies have begun to yield positive results,” said Paul Rivett, interim CEO and executive chairman of GreenFirst. “In August 2023, we expect the duty rates to drop from 20.23 percent to 8.24 percent, which will increase profitability.”
The company reported net sales for continuing operations of $99.1 million during Q1 2023, a decline of $1.1 million or one percent, compared to Q4 2022. This decrease was primarily due to declining lumber prices ($605/mfbm average realized in Q1 2023 compared to $644/mfbm in Q4 2022), partially offset by higher sales for the paper segment.
The company reported cost of sales of $106.9 million during Q1 2023, lower by $12.7 million or 11 percent, compared to Q4 2022. This decrease reflects the impact of lower lumber shipments and lower overall costs compared to Q4 2022.
The company’s softwood lumber sales to U.S. customers are subject to countervailing and anti-dumping duties as determined by the US Department of Commerce. Duties expensed in Q1 2023 were $6.6 million, a decrease of $1.2 million or 15 percent, quarter-over-quarter. In August 2023, the company expects its duty rates to drop from 20.23 percent to 8.24 percent.
The company reported selling, general and administration expenses for continuing operations of $5.2 million during Q1 2023 which was a decrease of $0.7 million or 12 percent compared to Q4 2022.
The impacts of rising interest rates in response to ongoing inflation resulted in softened lumber demand since mid-year 2022. This led to a decline in lumber market prices throughout the second half of 2022, with those levels persisting in the first quarter of 2023 and through early spring thus far. Further monetary tightening and interest rate rises would continue to put downward pressure on lumber market prices, which are expected to remain volatile over the near term. However, there is optimism amongst US homebuilders for growth during the balance of 2023.
Partially offsetting the negative impact is the tightening lumber supply, spurred on by the curtailment of lumber production in the province of British Columbia and in other regions of North America. There is an expectation that there could be further curtailments in British Columbia and the Pacific North West if the current low levels of pricing persist.
The company continues to experience challenges with an ongoing tight labour market, with some residual impacts of COVID-19 in early 2023. This continues to cause disruptions in the flow of production at the Company’s mills. From a logistics standpoint, disruptions in trucking and rail have only been limited since the second quarter of 2022.
Inflationary pressures in North America have raised the cost of many inputs required for our operations. Ongoing shortages of people, materials or equipment could negatively impact the company, as well as the industry. Many of these pressures arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they continue to be a significant factor affecting our business.
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