Clearwater reports positive tissue business improvements in 3Q results

Clearwater Paper Corporation has reported net sales of $426.5m for the third quarter of 2018, which was flat with net sales for the third quarter of 2017.

Net earnings were $34.4m compared to $0.9m the same time a year earlier.

The increase in net earnings was primarily due to a $22.9m gain on the sale of the company’s Ladysmith, Wisconsin-based manufacturing facility, along with higher pricing and record shipment volumes in paperboard, improved operating efficiencies and lower selling, general and administrative expenses.

EBITDA was $71.0m for the third quarter compared to $31.3m a year earlier.

Total tissue volumes sold in the third quarter were 88,860 tonnes, a decrease of 1.8% compared to 90,502 tonnes in the third quarter of 2017.

Converted product cases shipped were 11.8m in the third quarter of 2018, 7.4% lower than the 12.7m cases shipped in the third quarter of 2017.

The average tissue net selling prices decreased 7.5%, to $2,381 per tonne in the third quarter of 2018, compared to $2,574 per tonne in the third quarter of 2017, primarily due to the increased volume and percentage of non-retail parent rolls in the product mix.

Linda K. Massman, president and chief executive, said: “We exceeded our expectations for the third quarter due to record paperboard shipments and strong customer demand for paperboard.

“We are also seeing positive results from the operating model improvements for our tissue business, resulting in lower transportation and warehousing costs.

“For the remainder of 2018, we are in the home stretch to complete our new paper machine, converting lines, and warehouse at our Shelby, North Carolina facility.

“We are also keenly focused on generating cash to pay down debt and optimising our network of tissue assets to streamline costs and better meet the needs of our customers.”

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