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Clearwater reports “solid” 3Q results; 8% tissue sales increase

Clearwater Paper Corporation has reported a year-on-year net sales increase of 4.4% to $445.2m in its third quarter results.

This was due to higher net paperboard and tissue pricing from previously announced price changes and higher retail tissue shipments.

These items were partially offset by lower non-retail tissue shipments mainly as a result of the sale of the company’s mill in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, in August 2018.

Linda Massman, president and chief executive, said: “Compared to our outlook, we performed well during the third quarter, with continued strong pulp and paperboard production and higher retail tissue shipments, which enabled us to achieve solid results.”

The company has completed the maintenance outage at its Lewiston mill.

Its new Shelby, North Carolina-based plant is facility producing ultra and premium grades at its targeted production volume.

“We are also happy to report that tissue sales have increased 8% year over year. Our long-term focus remains on improving our operational capabilities to ensure we are well-positioned to generate cash flow to de-lever our balance sheet.”

Net loss for the quarter was $11.0m, compared to net earnings for the third quarter of 2018 of $34.4m.

The decrease in net earnings was a result of planned maintenance at the company’s Lewiston, Idaho mill, as well as higher input costs for pulp and wood fibre.

EBITDA decreased to $28.1m compared to $71.0m for the third quarter of 2018 due to the planned maintenance at the company’s Idaho mill in the third quarter of 2019.

In the consumer products segment, net sales were up 8% to $228.5m compared to the same quarter in 2018.

The company said this was due to higher retail tissue volumes sold, higher average prices for both retail and non-retail tissue products.

It reported an operating loss of $4.4m compared to operating income of $21.7m the same time a year earlier.

Total tissue volumes sold were 86,408 tonnes in the third quarter of 2019, a decrease of 2.8% compared to 88,860 tons in the third quarter of 2018.

Average tissue net selling prices increased 10.7% to $2,635 per tonne in the third quarter of 2019. 

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

The company is a premier supplier of private label tissue to major retailers and wholesale distributors.