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West Fraser reports financial results for Q3 of 2023

October 26, 2023  By P&PC Staff/West Fraser

West Fraser Timber shared its financial results for the third quarter of 2023.

All dollar amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars unless noted otherwise.

Highlights  from the quarter include:

  • Sales of $1.705 billion and earnings of $159 million, or $1.81 per diluted share
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $325 million, representing 19 percent of sales
  • Lumber segment Adjusted EBITDA of $44 million, including $62 million of export duty recovery
  • North America Engineered Wood Products segment Adjusted EBITDA of $289 million
  • Pulp & Paper segment Adjusted EBITDA of $(12) million
  • Europe Engineered Wood Products segment Adjusted EBITDA of $4 million
  • Announced an agreement to sell two BCTMP pulp mills to Atlas Holdings for $120 million
  • Announced the planned retirement of Ray Ferris, president and CEO, on December 31, 2023 and appointment of Sean McLaren, current COO, to the president and CEO role effective January 1, 2024

“While the third quarter of 2023 marked a continuation of the challenging demand markets we experienced in recent quarters, particularly in the Lumber segment where we executed curtailments at several locations for planned capital upgrades and to meet customer needs, our North American EWP business had its best result in several quarters against a backdrop of rising mortgage rates that remain well above year-ago levels,” said Ray Ferris, West Fraser’s president and CEO.

“In the face of the current economic environment, we will continue to focus on those items we can control, such as safety, operational excellence and sustainability initiatives that improve our production flexibility and lower costs. Importantly, we will continue our approach of counter-cyclical investment in our assets during these times of softer demand while we manage our balance sheet conservatively. We are always looking for opportunities to improve our Company over the longer term, such as the announced acquisition of a sawmill in southern Alberta, which expands our Canadian-treated lumber business and provides access to high-quality timber. As we move into the latter part of 2023 and into 2024, we believe our financial flexibility and low-cost position will remain competitive advantages that position us well to execute on the opportunities that lie ahead.”

In the Pulp & Paper segment, activities in respect of the closing conditions for the previously announced sale of Hinton pulp mill are proceeding, shares the company in a press statement. West Fraser anticipates closing the transaction in early 2024. Activities in respect of the closing conditions for the sale of Quesnel River Pulp mill and Slave Lake Pulp mill are proceeding and the company anticipates closing of the transaction in early 2024.

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