Catalyst Paper Corporation has posted a net loss of $35.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2012.
By comparison, Catalyst Paper reported net earnings of $655.7 million in the third quarter, when the one-time gains realized on emergence from creditor protection were booked.
Before specific items, net losses were $15.7 million and $7.5 million in Q4 and Q3 respectively. Adjusted EBITDA was $7.2 million in Q4, with no impact from restructuring costs, and $13.8 million in Q3 ($14.0 million before restructuring costs).
Market conditions were mixed during the fourth quarter, with North American paper demand down from the third quarter for directory and newsprint, and up for coated and uncoated grades. Benchmark prices were up for newsprint and coated and otherwise stable for paper, while there was moderate benchmark price recovery for pulp. A market curtailment at Powell River was necessary over the holidays to balance production with orders, and Catalyst incurred a loss from discontinued operations largely due to an increased estimated pension withdrawal liability associated with the Snowflake closure.
“We saw lower prices for coated and newsprint and weaker demand across our paper product lines in 2012. However, capacity reductions helped mitigate the demand impacts,” said Catalyst President and CEO Kevin J. Clarke. “Pulp prices took a hit as markets weakened in China due to overstocked inventories. These sorts of challenges aren’t going away, but with a better cost structure across all product segments, and continued market share momentum, we’re better positioned to take them on.”
Catalyst Paper is reporting net earnings of $583.2 million for the full 2012 fiscal year. Earnings were heavily impacted by one-time non-cash restructuring credits and fair value accounting adjustments. This compared with a $974.0 million net loss in 2011 which was driven largely by asset impairment charges.
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