Tissue World Magazine
Alexandra Stuthridge, Technical Business Manager, BioProducts Institute (BPI)

Clearwater Paper Corporation has said higher than expected pulp prices, maintenance costs and transportation rates have impacted its third quarter results.

The company reported net sales of $426.5m, down 2.0% compared to $435.3m for the same period a year earlier. EBITDA was $31.3m compared to $32.0m in 2016.

President and chief executive Linda K. Massman said: “We continued to focus on our long-term strategic plan to improve operating efficiencies and reduce expenses, resulting in the completion of two major strategic initiatives as part of a three-year strategic plan.

“Our third quarter results were impacted by higher than expected pulp prices, major maintenance repair costs, and transportation rates due to inclement weather caused by hurricanes in the Southeast.”

In its consumer products segment, net sales were down 8.1% year-on-year to $232.9m.

It said the decrease was due to lower parent roll sales resulting from the shutdown of two higher cost paper machines at the Neenah, Wisconsin mill at the end of 2016 and a 5.7% decrease in retail tonnes sold in the third quarter of 2017.

Adjusted operating margin and Adjusted EBITDA for the segment decreased from 6.3% and $30.9m, respectively, in the third quarter of 2016, to 4.4% and $25.9m in the third quarter of 2017.

It said this was due to higher input costs for pulp, transportation due to weather related events and packaging supplies.

It recorded total tissue sales volumes of 90,502 tonnes for the quarter, a decrease of 10.0%.

Converted product cases shipped were down 7.6% to 12.7m.

The average tissue net selling prices increased 2.3% to $2,574 per tonne in the third quarter of 2017, compared to the third quarter of 2016, due to improved product mix.

Clearwater Paper manufactures consumer tissue, AfH tissue, parent roll tissue, bleached paperboard and pulp.

It is a premier supplier of private label tissue to major retailers and wholesale distributors including grocery, drug, mass merchants and discount stores.