Nov. 9, 2023 - Cascades Inc. (TSX: CAS) reports its unaudited financial results for the three-month period ended September 30, 2023.
Mario Plourde, President and CEO, commented: "We are pleased with our solid third quarter results. Sequential sales growth of 2.6% reflects stronger Containerboard volume and more favourable sales mix in Tissue Papers.
"Quarterly EBITDA improved 14%, exceeding expectations, fuelled by a robust 39% increase in Tissue Papers as benefits from lower raw material costs, price increases, and repositioning of this segment's operational platform and other profitability, efficiency and productivity initiatives undertaken over the past year continued to yield results.
"Sequentially, raw material costs were a headwind for our packaging businesses, but remained below prior year levels, while production costs were a tailwind.
"Notwithstanding a less favourable exchange rate, we maintained our net debt levels stable due to strong cash flows from operations and lower capital expenditures during the quarter. Consequently, our leverage ratio1 improved to 3.8x from 4.1x at the end of Q2."
Discussing near-term outlook, Mr. Plourde commented, "On a consolidated basis, we are forecasting fourth quarter results to decrease sequentially. This is driven by lower expected results in our Containerboard segment due to higher raw material costs, slightly lower average selling prices and usual softer seasonal volumes in the fourth quarter.
"Results in the Specialty Packaging and Tissue Papers segments are expected to remain stable on a sequential basis. More broadly, we continue to remain prudent on the demand-side, most notably in our packaging businesses, due to general economic uncertainty. Notwithstanding this, we are very pleased with the continued ramp-up of production at the Bear Island facility, and the benefits being realized in our Tissue Papers segment following the wide-ranging measures executed in recent quarters. In both cases, the benefits from these strategic actions will continue to generate long-term commercial and competitive advantages for Cascades and sustainable value for our shareholders."
The third quarter sales of $1,198 million increased by $24 million compared with the same period last year. This increase reflects a net benefit of $46 million that was driven by stronger volume in Containerboard and a favourable FX impact for all business segments. These increases were partially offset by lower indexed selling prices in Containerboard, the effects of which outweighed the increase generated by higher average selling prices in Tissue Papers.
The third quarter EBITDA totaled $161 million, an increase of $50 million, or 45%, from the $111 million generated in the same period last year. This increase was driven by a significant improvement in the Tissue Papers segment, which generated an EBITDA of $61 million in the quarter, or 14.5% on a margin basis, reflecting profitability initiatives implemented over recent quarters, and lower raw material, logistics and energy costs. On a consolidated basis, results benefited from more favourable volume and sales mix and lower raw material and logistics costs. These impacts were partially offset by lower average selling prices in packaging, most notably in Containerboard following decreases in index prices, and higher production costs in all businesses due to inflationary pressures in the last twelve months.
The main specific items, before income taxes, that impacted Cascades' third quarter 2023 operating income and/or net earnings were:
For the three-month period ended September 30, 2023, the Corporation posted net earnings of $34 million, or $0.34 per common share, compared to a net loss of $(2) million, or ($0.02) per common share, in the same period of 2022. On an adjusted basis, the Corporation posted net earnings of $45 million in the third quarter of 2023, or $0.44 per common share, compared to net earnings of $20 million, or $0.20 per common share, in the same period of 2022.
Founded in 1964, Cascades offers sustainable, innovative and value-added packaging, hygiene and recovery solutions. The company employs approximately 10,000 women and men across a network of more than 70 facilities in North America.
SOURCE: Cascades Inc.
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