VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Conifex Timber Inc. (TSX VENTURE:CFF) ("Conifex" or the "Company") today reported a net loss of $3.6 million or $0.18 per share for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to a net loss of $2.8 million or $0.19 per share for the previous quarter and a net loss of $7.5 million or $0.49 per share for the fourth quarter of 2011. The net loss for the year ended December 31, 2012 was $16.2 million or $0.86 per share compared to a net loss of $16.9 million or $1.11 per share for the year ended December 31, 2011.

Summarized operating results and statistics for each of the comparison periods are provided below.

Q4 Q3 YTD Q4 YTD
(millions of dollars except share and per share amounts) 2012 2012 2012 2011 2011
Sales 60.0 54.4 217.6 38.7 124.8
Operating loss (2.4) (2.8) (12.9) (6.8) (18.1)
Net loss (3.6) (3.7) (16.2) (7.5) (16.9)
Net loss per share - basic and diluted (0.18) (0.19) (0.86) (0.49) (1.1)
EBITDA (0.3) (0.5) (4.0) (5.2) (6.8)
Shares outstanding - end of period (millions) 20.7 19.4 20.7 15.2 15.2
Shares outstanding - weighted average (millions) 19.6 19.4 18.9 15.2 15.2
Statistics
Lumber shipments - Conifex product (MMfbm) 110.2 107.5 444.2 116.7 360.3
Lumber production (MMfbm) 108.4 102.8 424.4 94.9 362.6
Average exchange rate - US$/Cdn$ (1) 1.009 1.005 0.998 0.981 1.012
Average WSPF 2x4 #2&Btr lumber price (US$) (2) $ 335 $ 301 $ 300 $ 239 $ 255
Average WSPF 2x4 #2&Btr lumber price (Cdn$) $ 332 $ 299 $ 299 $ 244 $ 252
Reconciliation of EBITDA to Net Loss
Net loss (3.6) (3.7) (16.2) (7.5) (16.9)
Add: Interest expense 0.9 0.5 2.5 0.3 0.6
Depreciation and amortization 1.9 1.9 7.6 1.6 6.5
Deferred union payroll liability (0.2) - (0.2) (0.1) 1.1
Share-based compensation 0.3 0.4 1.0 0.2 0.8
Accretion of convertible debentures 0.3 0.3 1.0 0.3 1.0
Loss on disposal of assets - 0.1 0.3 - -
EBITDA (0.3) (0.5) (4.0) (5.2) (6.8)

(1) Source: Bank of Canada website www.bankofcanada.ca
(2) Source: Random Lengths Publications Inc.

Revenues totalled $60 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to $54.4 million in the previous quarter and $38.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Consolidated EBITDA in the fourth quarter of 2012 was negative $0.3 million compared to negative $0.5 million in the third quarter of 2012 and negative $5.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Fourth quarter 2012 operating results included an expense of $1.0 million related to a management reorganization of which $0.7 million was included in the lumber segment results. The Company expects its more streamlined management structure will not only produce cost benefits but also heighten focus on and facilitate continuous operational improvements. EBITDA in the lumber segment was $0.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to positive $1.0 million in the previous quarter and negative $4.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. The benefit of higher lumber prices and mill net realizations during the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the previous quarter was partially offset by a decline in revenue from residuals and an increase in log costs.

Lumber shipments for the fourth quarter of 2012 totalled 148 million board feet. The 16% increase in shipment volumes over the previous quarter was attributable primarily to a higher level of wholesale lumber activity. Revenues from lumber sales totalled $53 million for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to $46 million in the previous quarter and $34 million for the fourth quarter of 2011. Revenues from residual products declined by approximately 14% during the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the previous quarter due primarily to lower unit prices for wood chip residuals.

Lumber production totalled 108 million board feet during the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase of over 5% over the previous quarter and 14% over the same quarter last year despite seasonal shutdowns and a planned curtailment at the Company's Fort St. James mill to accommodate a capital upgrade. Some of the productivity improvement reflects the benefits of the performance improvement program and progress of the new mill leadership team at the Fort St. James operations.

During 2012, the Company primarily focused on shorter-term opportunities to enhance the cash flow producing capabilities of its lumber segment assets. Since only modest improvements in lumber segment competitiveness were achieved in 2012, Conifex effected a management reorganization in December. Looking forward, management expects the benefits of an improved log profile at Mackenzie and capital upgrades at Fort St. James and Mackenzie will continue to enrich product mix and result in competitive mill net realizations. Unit cash conversion costs are expected to improve in 2013 due to normalization of certain operating costs, increased productivity and the achievement of further benefits from its performance improvement program.

Source: Conifex Timber Inc.

 

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