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Interfor Reports Record Q1’21 Results

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EBITDA1 of $392 million on Sales of $849 million
Net Cash Position and Available Liquidity of $944 million

BURNABY, British Columbia, May 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- INTERFOR CORPORATION (“Interfor” or the “Company”) (TSX: IFP) recorded Net earnings in Q1’21 of $264.5 million, or $4.01 per share, compared to $149.1 million, or $2.24 per share in Q4’20 and $6.3 million, or $0.09 per share in Q1’20. Adjusted net earnings in Q1’21 was $270.6 million compared to $164.7 million in Q4’20 and $0.7 million in Q1’20.

Adjusted EBITDA was a record $392.1 million on sales of $849.3 million in Q1’21 versus $248.6 million on sales of $662.3 million in Q4’20.

Notable items in the quarter:

  • Strong Free Cash Flow Generation

    • Interfor generated $377.7 million of cash flow from operations before changes in working capital, or $5.73 per share. Working capital investment increased by $92.6 million, primarily related to higher trade receivables driven by lumber prices and seasonally higher log inventories in B.C.

    • Net debt ended the quarter at $(236.0) million, or (21.7)% of invested capital, resulting in available liquidity of $943.6 million.

  • Strategic Capital Investments

    • Capital spending was $29.2 million, including $18.7 million on high-return discretionary projects. The majority of this discretionary spending was focused on a new kiln at the Adams Lake, BC sawmill and the ongoing multi-year rebuild of the Eatonton, Georgia sawmill.

    • The new kiln installed at our Adams Lake sawmill was fully operational by mid-February and allows for increased site-wide production and a significantly improved grade mix. This project was complementary to Interfor’s Q1’20 acquisition of 349,000 cubic metres of annual cutting rights from Canfor Corporation which solidified Adams Lake’s long-term log supply and operational platform.

    • The major rebuild of our Eatonton, Georgia sawmill is on-track for completion in Q4 of 2021, with full ramp-up expected to take approximately nine months thereafter. This project will add approximately 110 million board feet of annual production capacity and result in lower cash conversion costs and improved grade mix. Inclusive of this project, US$108 million has been spent on the Company’s Phase II strategic capital plan through March 31, 2021.

    • The Company has received Board approval to proceed with strategic capital investments at its sawmills in Castlegar, BC, and Perry, Georgia of approximately $35 million and US$30 million, respectively. These investments will provide a combination of benefits in the form of higher production, improved lumber recovery and grade mix, and lower conversion costs. Completion of both projects is expected in Q3 of 2022.

    • Interfor’s total capital expenditures are expected to be approximately $150 million in 2021 and in the range of $150 - $180 million in 2022, as the Company continues to execute on its strategic capital plans with attractive returns at conservative lumber prices.

  • Acquisition of Summerville sawmill

    • On March 12, 2021, Interfor concluded the acquisition of sawmill operations in Summerville, South Carolina from WestRock Company for total consideration of US$58,618,000 ($73,630,000).

  • Normal Course Issuer Bid (“NCIB”)

    • During Q1’21, Interfor purchased 774,420 common shares under the Company’s NCIB for total consideration of $20.3 million.

  • Record Lumber Market

    • Interfor’s average selling price was $1,143 per mfbm, up $301 per mfbm versus Q4’20. The key benchmark prices rose significantly quarter-over-quarter with the SYP Composite, Western SPF Composite and KD H-F Stud 2x4 9’ benchmarks increasing by US$312, US$283 and US$355 per mfbm to US$915, US$935 and US$1,162 per mfbm, respectively.

  • Continued Strong Production

    • Total lumber production in Q1’21 was 687 million board feet, which was consistent with Q4’20 and only 1 million board feet below Interfor’s production record for a quarter. The U.S. South and U.S. Northwest regions accounted for 338 million board feet and 141 million board feet, respectively, compared to 361 million board feet and 136 million board feet in Q4’20. Production in the B.C. region increased to 208 million board feet from 190 million board feet in the preceding quarter.

    • Total lumber shipments were 666 million board feet, including agency and wholesale volumes, or 17 million board feet lower than Q4’20.

  • Softwood Lumber Duties

    • Interfor expensed $12.4 million of duties in the quarter, representing the full amount of countervailing and anti-dumping duties incurred on its Canadian shipments of softwood lumber into the U.S. at a combined rate of 8.99%.

    • Cumulative duties of US$143.1 million have been paid by Interfor since the inception of the current trade dispute and are held in trust by the U.S. Except for US$32.9 million in respect of overpayments arising from duty rate adjustments, Interfor has recorded the duty deposits as an expense.

1 Refer to Adjusted EBITDA in the Non-GAAP Measures section

Outlook

North American lumber markets over the near term are expected to remain robust and above historical trends, albeit volatile, as relatively low levels of lumber inventories industry-wide combined with growing demand from new housing starts and repair and remodel activity put pressure on available lumber supply from manufacturers.

Interfor expects lumber demand to continue to grow over the mid-term, as repair and renovation activities and U.S. housing starts benefit from favourable underlying economic fundamentals and trends.

Interfor’s strategy of maintaining a diversified portfolio of operations allows the Company to both reduce risk and maximize returns on invested capital over the business cycle.

While uncertainty remains as to the duration and extent of the economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, Interfor is well positioned with its strong balance sheet and significant available liquidity.

Financial and Operating Highlights1

For the three months ended

Mar. 31,

Mar. 31,

Dec. 31,

Unit

2021

2020

2020

Financial Highlights2

Total sales

$MM

849.3

479.6

662.3

Lumber

$MM

762.4

379.3

575.0

Logs, residual products and other

$MM

86.9

100.3

87.3

Operating earnings

$MM

355.6

14.6

203.2

Net earnings

$MM

264.5

6.3

149.1

Net earnings per share, basic

$/share

4.01

0.09

2.24

Adjusted net earnings3

$MM

270.6

0.7

164.7

Adjusted net earnings per share, basic3

$/share

4.11

0.01

2.47

Operating cash flow per share (before working capital changes)3

$/share

5.73

0.57

3.05

Adjusted EBITDA3

$MM

392.1

36.6

248.6

Adjusted EBITDA margin3

%

46.2

%

7.6

%

37.5

%

Total assets

$MM

2,159.7

1,569.5

1,843.2

Total debt

$MM

377.3

425.6

382.0

Net debt3

$MM

(236.0

)

322.0

(75.4

)

Net debt to invested capital3

%

(21.7

)%

26.7

%

(7.5

)%

Annualized return on capital employed3

%

79.2

%

4.0

%

48.4

%

Operating Highlights

Lumber production

million fbm

687

627

687

Total lumber sales

million fbm

666

641

683

Lumber sales - Interfor produced

million fbm

662

632

675

Lumber sales - wholesale and commission

million fbm

4

9

8

Lumber - average selling price4

$/thousand fbm

1,143

592

842

Average USD/CAD exchange rate5

1 USD in CAD

1.2660

1.3449

1.3030

Closing USD/CAD exchange rate5

1 USD in CAD

1.2575

1.4187

1.2732

Notes:

  1. Figures in this table may not equal or sum to figures presented elsewhere due to rounding.

  2. Financial information presented for interim periods in this release is prepared in accordance with IFRS and is unaudited.

  3. Refer to the Non-GAAP Measures section of this release for definitions and reconciliations of these measures to figures reported in the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

  4. Gross sales before duties.

  5. Based on Bank of Canada foreign exchange rates.

Liquidity

Balance Sheet

Interfor’s Net debt at March 31, 2021 was $(236.0) million, or (21.7)% of invested capital, representing a decrease of $160.5 million from the level of Net debt at December 31, 2020.

As at March 31, 2021 the Company had net working capital of $744.5 million and available liquidity of $943.6 million, based on the full borrowing capacity under its $350 million Revolving Term Line.

The Revolving Term Line and Senior Secured Notes are subject to financial covenants, including net debt to total capitalization ratios, and an EBITDA interest coverage ratio.

Management believes, based on circumstances known today, that Interfor has sufficient working capital and liquidity to fund operating and capital requirements for the foreseeable future.

For the three months ended

Mar. 31,

Dec. 31,

Mar. 31,

Thousands of Dollars

2021

2020

2020

Net debt

Net debt, period opening

$

(75,432

)

$

88,705

$

224,860

Issuance of Senior Secured Notes

-

-

140,770

Revolving Term Line net repayments

-

-

(59

)

Impact on U.S. Dollar denominated debt from (strengthening) weakening CAD

(4,710

)

(18,210

)

25,139

Increase in cash and cash equivalents

(162,167

)

(165,294

)

(68,984

)

Impact on U.S. Dollar denominated cash and cash equivalents from strengthening CAD

6,343

19,367

310

Net debt, period ending

$

(235,966

)

$

(75,432

)

$

322,036

On March 26, 2020, the Company issued US$50,000,000 of Series F Senior Secured Notes, bearing interest at 3.34%, and US$50,000,000 of Series G Senior Secured Notes, bearing interest at 3.25%. Each series of these Senior Secured Notes have equal payments of US$16,667,000 due on each of March 26, 2028, 2029 and on maturity in 2030.

Capital Resources

The following table summarizes Interfor’s credit facilities and availability as of March 31, 2021:

Revolving

Senior


Term

Secured


Thousands of Canadian Dollars

Line

Notes

Total

Available line of credit and maximum borrowing available

$

350,000

$

377,250

$

727,250

Less:

Drawings

-

377,250

377,250

Outstanding letters of credit included in line utilization

19,613

-

19,613

Unused portion of facility

$

330,387

$

-

330,387

Add:

Cash and cash equivalents

613,216

Available liquidity at March 31, 2021

$

943,603

Interfor’s Revolving Term Line matures in March 2024 and its Senior Secured Notes have maturities principally in the years 2024-2030.

As of March 31, 2021, the Company had commitments for capital expenditures totaling $75.7 million for both maintenance and discretionary capital projects.

Non-GAAP Measures

This release makes reference to the following non-GAAP measures: Adjusted net earnings, Adjusted net earnings per share, EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA margin, Net debt to invested capital, Operating cash flow per share (before working capital changes), and Annualized return on capital employed which are used by the Company and certain investors to evaluate operating performance and financial position. These non-GAAP measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers.

The following table provides a reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures to figures as reported in the Company’s audited consolidated financial statements (unaudited for interim periods) prepared in accordance with IFRS:

For the three months ended

Mar. 31,

Mar. 31,

Dec. 31,

Thousands of Canadian Dollars except number of shares and per share amounts

2021

2020

2020

Adjusted Net Earnings

Net earnings

$

264,487

$

6,309

$

149,148

Add:

Asset write-downs and restructuring costs

142

371

1,793

Other foreign exchange loss

2,346

849

8,162

Long term incentive compensation expense (recovery)

7,670

(8,946

)

10,254

Other (income) expense

(1,996

)

115

92

Post closure wind-down costs

224

-

949

Income tax effect of above adjustments

(2,229

)

2,043

(5,652

)

Adjusted net earnings

$

270,644

$

741

$

164,746

Weighted average number of shares - basic ('000)

65,927

67,260

66,687

Adjusted net earnings per share

$

4.11

$

0.01

$

2.47

Adjusted EBITDA

Net earnings

$

264,487

$

6,309

$

149,148

Add:

Depreciation of plant and equipment

21,474

20,061

21,947

Depletion and amortization of timber, roads and other

6,968

10,530

10,511

Finance costs

4,524

4,096

1,891

Income tax expense

86,256

3,205

43,889

EBITDA

383,709

44,201

227,386

Add:

Long term incentive compensation expense (recovery)

7,670

(8,946

)

10,254

Other foreign exchange loss

2,346

849

8,162

Other (income) expense

(1,996

)

115

92

Asset write-downs and restructuring costs

142

371

1,793

Post closure wind-down costs

224

-

947

Adjusted EBITDA

$

392,095

$

36,590

$

248,634

Sales

$

849,307

$

479,646

$

662,301

Adjusted EBITDA margin

46.2

%

7.6

%

37.5

%

Net debt to invested capital

Net debt

Total debt

$

377,250

$

425,610

$

381,960

Cash and cash equivalents

(613,216

)

(103,574

)

(457,392

)

Total net debt

$

(235,966

)

$

322,036

$

(75,432

)

Invested capital

Net debt

$

(235,966

)

$

322,036

$

(75,432

)

Shareholders' equity

1,322,222

882,917

1,080,312

Total invested capital

$

1,086,256

$

1,204,953

$

1,004,880

Net debt to invested capital1

(21.7

)%

26.7

%

(7.5

)%

Operating cash flow per share (before working capital changes)

Cash provided by operating activities

$

285,080

$

19,319

$

229,947

Cash used in (generated from) operating working capital

92,604

19,109

(26,514

)

Operating cash flow (before working capital changes)

$

377,684

$

38,428

$

203,433

Weighted average number of shares - basic ('000)

65,927

67,260

66,687

Operating cash flow per share (before working capital changes)

$

5.73

$

0.57

$

3.05

Annualized return on capital employed

Net earnings

$

264,487

$

6,309

$

149,148

Add:

Finance costs

4,524

4,096

1,891

Income tax expense

86,256

3,205

43,889

Earnings before income taxes and finance costs

$

355,267

$

13,610

$

194,928

Capital employed

Total assets

$

2,159,692

$

1,569,508

$

1,843,187

Current liabilities

(263,526

)

(149,748

)

(189,726

)

Less:

Current portion of long term debt

6,811

-

6,897

Current portion of lease liabilities

12,169

11,819

11,745

Capital employed, end of period

$

1,915,146

$

1,431,579

$

1,672,103

Capital employed, beginning of period

1,672,103

1,214,375

1,555,212

Average capital employed

$

1,793,624

$

1,322,977

$

1,613,657

Earnings before income taxes and finance costs divided by average capital employed

19.8

%

1.0

%

12.1

%

Annualization factor

4.0

4.0

4.0

Annualized return on capital employed

79.2

%

4.0

%

48.4

%

Note: 1 Net debt to invested capital as of the period end.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS

For the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 (unaudited)

(thousands of Canadian Dollars except earnings per share)

Three Months

Three Months

Mar. 31, 2021

Mar. 31, 2020

Sales

$

849,307

$

479,646

Costs and expenses:

Production

432,167

423,228

Selling and administration

12,879

9,228

Long term incentive compensation expense (recovery)

7,670

(8,946

)

U.S. countervailing and anti-dumping duty deposits

12,390

10,600

Depreciation of plant and equipment

21,474

20,061

Depletion and amortization of timber, roads and other

6,968

10,530

493,548

464,701

Operating earnings before restructuring costs

355,759

14,945

Restructuring costs

(142

)

(371

)

Operating earnings

355,617

14,574

Finance costs

(4,524

)

(4,096

)

Other foreign exchange loss

(2,346

)

(849

)

Other (income) expense

1,996

(115

)

(4,874

)

(5,060

)

Earnings before income taxes

350,743

9,514

Income tax expense

Current

83,173

329

Deferred

3,083

2,876

86,256

3,205

Net earnings

$

264,487

$

6,309

Net earnings per share

Basic

$

4.01

$

0.09

Diluted

$

4.00

$

0.09


CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

For the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 (unaudited)

(thousands of Canadian Dollars)

Three Months

Three Months

Mar. 31, 2021

Mar. 31, 2020

Net earnings

$

264,487

$

6,309

Other comprehensive income:

Items that will not be recycled to Net earnings:

Defined benefit plan actuarial gain (loss), net of tax

4,472

(713

)

Items that are or may be recycled to Net earnings:

Foreign currency translation differences for foreign operations, net of tax

(8,887

)

46,083

Total other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax

(4,415

)

45,370

Comprehensive income

$

260,072

$

51,679


CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

For the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 (unaudited)

(thousands of Canadian Dollars)

Three Months

Three Months

Mar. 31, 2021

Mar. 31, 2020

Cash provided by (used in):

Operating activities:

Net earnings

$

264,487

$

6,309

Items not involving cash:

Depreciation of plant and equipment

21,474

20,061

Depletion and amortization of timber, roads and other

6,968

10,530

Deferred income tax expense

3,083

2,876

Current income tax expense

83,173

329

Finance costs

4,524

4,096

Other assets

(431

)

936

Reforestation liability

496

2,766

Provisions and other liabilities

495

(10,293

)

Stock options

196

256

Unrealized foreign exchange loss

3,011

441

Other (income) expense

(1,996

)

115

Income taxes (paid) refunded

(7,796

)

6

377,684

38,428

Cash generated from (used in) operating working capital:

Trade accounts receivable and other

(67,859

)

(23,413

)

Inventories

(24,352

)

1,355

Prepayments

(3,348

)

(2,113

)

Trade accounts payable and provisions

2,955

5,062

285,080

19,319

Investing activities:

Additions to property, plant and equipment

(26,331

)

(24,872

)

Additions to roads and bridges

(2,885

)

(2,704

)

Acquisitions

(73,630

)

(56,606

)

Proceeds on disposal of plant and equipment

5,693

162

Net proceeds from (additions to) deposits and other assets

157

(198

)

(96,996

)

(84,218

)

Financing activities:

Issuance of share capital, net of expenses

1,945

-

Share repurchases

(20,303

)

-

Interest payments

(4,258

)

(3,758

)

Lease liability payments

(3,301

)

(2,934

)

Debt refinancing costs

-

(136

)

Operating line net repayments

-

(59

)

Additions to long term debt

-

140,770

(25,917

)

133,883

Foreign exchange loss on cash and cash equivalents held in a foreign currency

(6,343

)

(310

)

Increase in cash

155,824

68,674

Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period

457,392

34,900

Cash and cash equivalents, end of period

$

613,216

$

103,574


CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL POSITION

March 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020 (unaudited)

(thousands of Canadian Dollars)

Mar. 31, 2021

Dec. 31, 2020

Assets

Current assets:

Cash and cash equivalents

$

613,216

$

457,392

Trade accounts receivable and other

182,436

117,371

Income taxes receivable

179

169

Inventories

191,169

160,188

Prepayments

21,027

17,970

1,008,027

753,090

Employee future benefits

4,880

106

Deposits and other assets

48,770

48,957

Right of use assets

36,673

35,471

Property, plant and equipment

778,831

729,163

Roads and bridges

22,640

22,379

Timber licences

114,059

114,953

Goodwill and other intangible assets

145,128

138,838

Deferred income taxes

684

230

$

2,159,692

$

1,843,187

Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity

Current liabilities:

Trade accounts payable and provisions

$

148,880

$

150,509

Current portion of long term debt

6,811

6,897

Reforestation liability

16,551

16,181

Lease liabilities

12,169

11,745

Income taxes payable

79,115

4,394

263,526

189,726

Reforestation liability

30,281

29,735

Lease liabilities

29,129

28,541

Long term debt

370,439

375,063

Employee future benefits

9,734

11,137

Provisions and other liabilities

27,320

26,637

Deferred income taxes

107,041

102,036

Equity:

Share capital

520,151

523,605

Contributed surplus

4,500

5,157

Translation reserve

40,959

49,846

Retained earnings

756,612

501,704

1,322,222

1,080,312

$

2,159,692

$

1,843,187

Approved on behalf of the Board:

L. Sauder
Director

T.V. Milroy
Director

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This release contains forward-looking information about the Company’s business outlook, objectives, plans, strategic priorities and other information that is not historical fact. A statement contains forward-looking information when the Company uses what it knows and expects today, to make a statement about the future. Statements containing forward-looking information may include words such as: will, could, should, believe, expect, anticipate, intend, forecast, projection, target, outlook, opportunity, risk or strategy. Readers are cautioned that actual results may vary from the forward-looking information in this release, and undue reliance should not be placed on such forward-looking information. Risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information in this release are described in Interfor’s first quarter and annual Management’s Discussion and Analysis under the heading “Risks and Uncertainties”, which are available on www.interfor.com and under Interfor’s profile on www.sedar.com. Material factors and assumptions used to develop the forward-looking information in this release include volatility in the selling prices for lumber, logs and wood chips; the Company’s ability to compete on a global basis; the availability and cost of log supply; natural or man-made disasters; currency exchange rates; changes in government regulations; the availability of the Company’s allowable annual cut (“AAC”); claims by and treaty settlements with Indigenous peoples; the Company’s ability to export its products; the softwood lumber trade dispute between Canada and the U.S.; stumpage fees payable to the Province of British Columbia (“B.C.”); environmental impacts of the Company’s operations; labour disruptions; information systems security; and the existence of a public health crisis (such as the current COVID-19 pandemic). Unless otherwise indicated, the forward-looking statements in this release are based on the Company’s expectations at the date of this release. Interfor undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking information, except as required by law.

ABOUT INTERFOR

Interfor is a growth-oriented forest products company with operations in Canada and the United States. The Company has annual production capacity of approximately 3.2 billion board feet and offers a diverse line of lumber products to customers around the world. For more information about Interfor, visit our website at www.interfor.com.

The Company’s unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis for Q1’21 are available at www.sedar.com and www.interfor.com.

There will be a conference call on Friday, May 7, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. (Pacific Time) hosted by INTERFOR CORPORATION for the purpose of reviewing the Company’s release of its first quarter 2021 financial results.

The dial-in number is 1-833-297-9919. The conference call will also be recorded for those unable to join in for the live discussion and will be available until June 7, 2021. The number to call is 1-855-859-2056, Passcode 4759584.

For further information:
Richard Pozzebon, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
(604) 422-3400