Cascades starts the year with improved results for the first quarter of 2016

KINGSEY FALLS, QC, May 5, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Cascades Inc. (TSX: CAS), a leader in the recovery and manufacturing of green packaging and tissue paper products, announces its unaudited financial results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2016.

Q1 2016 Highlights

  • Sales of $1,003 million
    (compared to $975 million in Q4 2015 (+3%) and $910 million in Q1 2015 (+10%))
  • Excluding specific items
    • OIBD of $106 million
      (compared to $104 million in Q4 2015 (+2%) and $85 million in Q1 2015 (+25%))
    • Net earnings per common share of $0.35
      (compared to $0.23 in Q4 2015 and $0.18 in Q1 2015)
    • Greenpac contribution to net earnings per common share: $0.04
      (compared to $0.03 in Q4 2015 and $0.03 in Q1 2015)
  • Including specific items
    • OIBD of $120 million
      (compared to $44 million in Q4 2015 (+173%) and $72 million in Q1 2015 (+67%))
    • Net earnings per common share of $0.79
      (compared to a net loss of $0.81 in Q4 2015 and a net loss of $0.37 in Q1 2015)
  • Net debt of $1,684 million (compared to $1,721 million as at December 31, 2015) and net debt to OIBD ratio down from 4.0x to 3.8x

 

Mr. Mario Plourde, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented on the first quarter results: "We are pleased with our first quarter financial results. Despite seasonality, our operations delivered an improvement on a consolidated basis, both on a sequential and a year-over-year basis.

The 25% increase in OIBD compared to the first quarter of last year was largely driven by the strong performance of our Tissue Papers Group, which more than doubled its OIBD due to a combination of higher volume, lower fibre and energy costs and favorable average selling prices. In addition, our Containerboard and Specialty Products Groups successfully increased their OIBD by 6% and 40%, respectively, as the results of both groups benefited from higher volumes and lower production costs. Quarterly sales and OIBD levels in North America benefited from a 10% decrease in the value of the Canadian dollar. Results in Europe were slightly weaker due primarily to lower shipments. On a sequential basis, OIBD slightly increased due to a 4% increase in volume and lower corporate costs, the benefits of which were partially offset by lower average selling prices. The Greenpac mill continued to deliver significant growth in the production of its premium lightweight grade, which represented 75% of its total quarterly production. Greenpac's contribution to our earnings per share excluding specifics items increased to $0.04 during the quarter, from $0.03 in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Finally, the sequential decrease in our debt was mainly the result of the strengthening of the Canadian dollar at the end of the quarter which was partially offset by seasonal investments in working capital. Our net debt to OIBD ratio now stands at 3.8x, bringing us closer to our targeted range of 3.0x to 3.5x."

Mr. Plourde also announced that the company's containerboard division, currently known as Norampac, will be renamed Cascades Containerboard Packaging beginning August 1st. The goal of this decision is to simplify the company brand and reinforce the way we are presented and perceived in our markets. By adopting the Cascades name, both Cascades and Norampac will benefit from an extended North American visibility.

 

Financial Summary

Segmented OIBD excluding specific items 1

 





(in millions of Canadian dollars) (unaudited)

Q1 2016

Q4 2015

Q1 2015


Packaging Products


Containerboard

55

56

52


Boxboard Europe

16

13

17


Specialty Products

14

16

10


Tissue Papers

34

38

15


Corporate Activities

(13)

(19)

(9)

OIBD excluding specific items

106

104

85

1 - Refer to "Supplemental Information on Non-IFRS Measures" section.

 

Selected consolidated information





(in millions of Canadian dollars, except amounts per share) (unaudited)

Q1 2016

Q4 2015

Q1 2015


Sales

1,003



975




910


Excluding specific items1


Operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBD)


106



104




85



Operating income


59



47




41



Net earnings


34



22




17




per common share

$

0.35


$

0.23



$

0.18



Margin (OIBD)


10.6

%


10.7

%



9.3

%

As reported


Operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBD)


120



44




72



Operating income (loss)


73



(13)




28



Net earnings (loss)


75



(76)




(35)




per common share

$

0.79


$

(0.81)



$

(0.37)


1 - Refer to "Supplemental Information on Non-IFRS Measures" section.

 

Analysis of results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2016 (compared to the same period last year)

Sales increased by 10% to $1,003 million compared to the same period last year, reflecting higher shipments in all of our groups, except in Europe, and higher average selling prices, combined with the positive financial impact of the lower Canadian dollar.

Operating income, excluding specific items, increased from $28 million in the first quarter of 2015 to $73 million in the first quarter of 2016. This improvement is attributable to the above-mentioned factors, combined with lower raw materials and energy costs. Partially offsetting these benefits were higher production and maintenance costs, in addition to some production downtimes that were taken during the quarter.

When including specific items, operating income amounted to $59 million in comparison to $41 million for the same period last year. In the first quarter of 2016, the following specific items, before income taxes, impacted our operating income and/or net earnings:

  • a $14 million unrealized gain on derivative financial instruments (operating income and net earnings);
  • a $36 million foreign exchange gain on long-term debt and financial instruments (net earnings);

Net earnings excluding specific items amounted to $34 million ($0.35 per share) in the first quarter of 2016 compared to $17 million ($0.18 per share) for the same period in 2015. Including specific items, net earnings amounted to $75 million ($0.79 per share) in the first quarter of 2016 compared to a net loss of $35 million ($0.37 per share) in the same period in 2015.

Analysis of results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2016 (compared to the previous quarter)

On a sequential basis, sales increased by 3% to $1,003 million, a result of higher shipments in all segments except for Tissue, and favorable foreign exchange rates. These factors were partially offset by lower average selling prices.

Operating income, excluding specific items, increased from $47 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 to $59 million in the first quarter of 2016. This improvement is attributable to a combination of the factors mentioned above and lower corporate costs and depreciation expense.

For further details, see the tables on IFRS and non-IFRS measures reconciliation, included herewith.

Near-Term Outlook

Commenting on the near-term outlook for Cascades, Mr. Plourde added: "We are focused on continuing to build on the improved results that we achieved for the first quarter. Combined with the current state of our markets and the fact that we do not anticipate any significant change in the prices of raw materials or energy in the short term, we remain confident that we will execute well in 2016. Despite recent North American price decreases in Containerboard and the recent strengthening of the Canadian dollar, our packaging groups should continue to deliver solid performances as they enter a period of seasonally improved market conditions over the next two quarters. In a similar view, we anticipate that our Tissue Papers Group will continue to benefit from improved sales and cost reduction initiatives, while market conditions in Europe are expected to remain soft as order intake continues to lag the pace achieved last year. Notwithstanding the fact that business conditions may be volatile, we will continue to carefully manage our financial situation in order to direct a significant portion of our free cash flow to debt reduction."

Dividend on common shares and normal course issuer bid

The Board of Directors of Cascades declared a quarterly dividend of $0.04 per share to be paid June 3, 2016 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 27, 2016. This dividend paid by Cascades is an "eligible dividend" as per the Income Tax Act (Bill C-28, Canada).

In the first quarter of 2016, Cascades purchased for cancellation 586,174 shares at an average price of $8.57 representing an aggregate amount of approximately $5 million.

Conference call information

Management will discuss the 2016 first quarter financial results during a conference call to be held today at 1:00 p.m.

Financial analysts, investors, media and other interested individuals are invited to listen to the conference call by dialing 1-866-229-4144 and by using the access code 9334723#. The conference call, including the investor presentation, will also be broadcast live on the Cascades corporate website (www.cascades.com, Investors tab on the Home page). The broadcast replay will be available on the Cascades corporate website and by phone until May 20, 2016 by dialing 1-888-843-7419 and by using the access code 9334723#.

Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products that are composed mainly of recycled fibres. The Corporation employs 11,000 employees, who work in close to 90 units located in North America and Europe. With its management philosophy, half a century of experience in recycling, and continuous efforts in research and development as driving forces, Cascades continues to serve its clients with innovative products. Cascades' shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange, under the ticker symbol CAS.

Certain statements in this release, including statements regarding future results and performance, are forward-looking statements (as such term is defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) based on current expectations. The accuracy of such statements is subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, including, but not limited to, the effect of general economic conditions, decreases in demand for the Corporation's products, increases in raw material costs, fluctuations in selling prices and adverse changes in general market and industry conditions and other factors listed in the Corporation's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

 

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

 

(in millions of Canadian dollars) (unaudited)

March 31,
2016

December 31,
2015

Assets



Current assets



Cash and cash equivalents

68

60

Accounts receivable

558

540

Current income tax assets

26

30

Inventories

483

494

Financial assets

1

1


1,136

1,125

Long-term assets



Investments in associates and joint ventures

315

322

Property, plant and equipment

1,579

1,608

Intangible assets with finite useful life

173

174

Financial assets

14

12

Other assets

61

80

Deferred income tax assets

175

181

Goodwill and other intangible assets with indefinite useful life

342

346


3,795

3,848

Liabilities and Equity



Current liabilities



Bank loans and advances

33

37

Trade and other payables

566

613

Current income tax liabilities

1

1

Current portion of long-term debt

33

34

Current portion of provisions for contingencies and charges

4

5

Current portion of financial liabilities and other liabilities

33

37


670

727

Long-term liabilities



Long-term debt

1,686

1,710

Provisions for contingencies and charges

30

34

Financial liabilities

38

47

Other liabilities

182

178

Deferred income tax liabilities

189

189


2,795

2,885

Equity attributable to Shareholders



Capital stock

487

490

Contributed surplus

16

17

Retained earnings

443

387

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

(42)

(27)


904

867

Non-controlling interest

96

96

Total equity

1,000

963


3,795

3,848

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS (LOSS)

 


For the 3-month periods ended March 31,

(in millions of Canadian dollars, except per-common share amounts and number of common shares) (unaudited)

2016

2015

Sales


1,003


910

Cost of sales and expenses





Cost of sales (including depreciation and amortization of $47 million; 2015 — $44 million)


846


784

Selling and administrative expenses


93


86

Foreign exchange loss (gain)


1


(2)

Loss (gain) on derivative financial instruments


(10)


14



930


882

Operating income


73


28

Financing expense


24


24

Interest expense on employee future benefits


1


2

Foreign exchange loss (gain) on long-term debt and financial instruments


(36)


45

Share of results of associates and joint ventures


(14)


(4)

Profit (loss) before income taxes


98


(39)

Provision for (recovery of) income taxes


21


(4)

Net earnings (loss) from continuing operations including non-controlling interest for the period


77


(35)

Net earnings from discontinued operations



2

Net earnings (loss) including non-controlling interest for the period


77


(33)

Net earnings attributable to non-controlling interest


2


2

Net earnings (loss) attributable to Shareholders for the period


75


(35)

Net earnings (loss) from continuing operations per common share






Basic

$

0.79

$

(0.39)


Diluted

$

0.77

$

(0.39)

Net earnings (loss) per common share




Basic

$

0.79

$

(0.37)


Diluted

$

0.77

$

(0.37)

Weighted average basic number of common shares outstanding


95,342,378


94,200,710

Weighted average number of diluted common shares


97,507,798


96,027,450




Net earnings (loss) attributable to Shareholders:




Continuing operations


75


(37)


Discontinued operations



2

Net earnings (loss)


75


(35)

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE LOSS

 


For the 3-month periods ended March 31,

(in millions of Canadian dollars) (unaudited)

2016

2015

Net earnings (loss) including non-controlling interest for the period

77

(33)

Other comprehensive income (loss)




Items that may be reclassified subsequently to earnings





Translation adjustments






Change in foreign currency translation of foreign subsidiaries

(45)

45




Change in foreign currency translation related to net investment hedging activities

38

(48)




Income taxes

(5)

6



Cash flow hedges





Change in fair value of foreign exchange forward contracts

1




Change in fair value of interest rate swaps

(5)

4




Change in fair value of commodity derivative financial instruments

(1)

2




Income taxes

2

(5)


Available-for-sale financial assets

(1)

2


(17)

7


Items that are reclassified to retained earnings





Actuarial gain (loss) on post-employment benefit obligations

(19)

1



Income taxes

5


(14)

1

Other comprehensive income (loss)

(31)

8

Comprehensive income (loss) including non-controlling interest for the period

46

(25)

Comprehensive income (loss) attributable to non-controlling interest for the period

(1)

Comprehensive income (loss) attributable to Shareholders for the period

46

(24)

Comprehensive income (loss) attributable to Shareholders:





Continuing operations

46

(26)



Discontinued operations

2

Comprehensive income (loss)

46

(24)

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EQUITY

 


For the 3-month period ended March 31, 2016

(in millions of Canadian dollars) (unaudited)

CAPITAL
STOCK

CONTRIBUTED
SURPLUS

RETAINED
EARNINGS

ACCUMULATED
OTHER
COMPREHENSIVE
LOSS

TOTAL EQUITY
ATTRIBUTABLE TO
SHAREHOLDERS

NON-
CONTROLLING
INTEREST

TOTAL
EQUITY

Balance - Beginning of period

490

17

387

(27)

867

96

963

Comprehensive income (loss)









Net earnings

75

75

2

77


Other comprehensive loss

(14)

(15)

(29)

(2)

(31)


61

(15)

46

46

Dividends

(4)

(4)

(4)

Redemption of common shares

(3)

(1)

(1)

(5)

(5)

Balance - End of period

487

16

443

(42)

904

96

1,000







For the 3-month period ended March 31, 2015

(in millions of Canadian dollars) (unaudited)

CAPITAL
STOCK

CONTRIBUTED
SURPLUS

RETAINED
EARNINGS

ACCUMULATED
OTHER
COMPREHENSIVE
LOSS

TOTAL EQUITY
ATTRIBUTABLE TO
SHAREHOLDERS

NON-
CONTROLLING
INTEREST

TOTAL
EQUITY

Balance - Beginning of period

483

18

454

(62)

893

110

1,003

Comprehensive income (loss)









Net earnings (loss)

(35)

(35)

2

(33)


Other comprehensive income
(loss)

1

10

11

(3)

8


(34)

10

(24)

(1)

(25)

Dividends

(4)

(4)

(4)

Stock options

1

1

1

Balance - End of period

483

19

416

(52)

866

109

975

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

 


For the 3-month periods ended March 31,

(in millions of Canadian dollars) (unaudited)

2016

2015

Operating activities from continuing operations



Net earnings (loss) attributable to Shareholders for the period

75

(35)

Net earnings from discontinued operations

(2)

Net earnings (loss) from continuing operations

75

(37)

Adjustments for:




Financing expense and interest expense on employee future benefits

25

26


Depreciation and amortization

47

44


Unrealized loss (gain) on derivative financial instruments

(14)

13


Foreign exchange loss (gain) on long-term debt and financial instruments

(36)

45


Provision for (recovery of) income taxes

21

(4)


Share of results of associates and joint ventures

(14)

(4)


Net earnings attributable to non-controlling interest

2

2


Net financing expense paid

(44)

(44)


Net income taxes received (paid)

1

(5)


Dividend received

3

2


Employee future benefits and others

(10)

(3)


56

35

Changes in non-cash working capital components

(33)

(26)


23

9

Investing activities from continuing operations



Payments for property, plant and equipment

(55)

(35)

Proceeds on disposals of property, plant and equipment

1

Change in intangible and other assets

(2)

(1)


(56)

(36)

Financing activities from continuing operations



Bank loans and advances

(2)

(6)

Change in revolving credit facilities

57

1

Increase in other long-term debt

1

1

Payments of other long-term debt

(5)

(6)

Redemption of common shares

(5)

Dividends paid to the Corporation's Shareholders

(4)

(4)


42

(14)

Change in cash and cash equivalents during the period from continuing operations

9

(41)

Change in cash and cash equivalents during the period from discontinued operations

41

Net change in cash and cash equivalents during the period

9

Currency translation on cash and cash equivalents

(1)

(1)

Cash and cash equivalents - Beginning of period

60

29

Cash and cash equivalents - End of period

68

28

 

SEGMENTED INFORMATION

The Corporation analyzes the performance of its operating segments based on their operating income before depreciation and amortization, which is not a measure of performance under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"); however, the chief operating decision-maker ("CODM") uses this performance measure to assess the operating performance of each reportable segment. Earnings for each segment are prepared on the same basis as those of the Corporation. Intersegment operations are recorded on the same basis as sales to third parties, which are at fair market value. The accounting policies of the reportable segments are the same as the Corporation's accounting policies described in its most recent audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2015.

The Corporation's operating segments are reported in a manner consistent with the internal reporting provided to the CODM. The Chief Executive Officer has authority for resource allocation and assessment of the Corporation's performance, and is therefore the CODM.

The Corporation's operations are managed in four segments: Containerboard, Boxboard Europe, Specialty Products (which constitutes the Packaging Products of the Corporation) and Tissue Papers.

 


SALES


For the 3-month periods ended March 31,

(in millions of Canadian dollars) (unaudited)

2016

2015

Packaging Products




Containerboard

336

300


Boxboard Europe

219

216


Specialty Products

149

135


Intersegment sales

(15)

(12)


689

639

Tissue Papers

320

274

Intersegment sales and others

(6)

(3)


1,003

910

 


OPERATING INCOME (LOSS)
BEFORE DEPRECIATION AND AMORTIZATION (OIBD)


For the 3-month periods ended March 31,

(in millions of Canadian dollars) (unaudited)

2016

2015

Packaging Products




Containerboard

55

52


Boxboard Europe

16

17


Specialty Products

14

10


85

79

Tissue Papers

34

15

Corporate

1

(22)

Operating income before depreciation and amortization

120

72

Depreciation and amortization

(47)

(44)

Financing expense and interest expense on employee future benefits

(25)

(26)

Foreign exchange loss (gain) on long-term debt and financial instruments

36

(45)

Share of results of associates and joint ventures

14

4

Profit (loss) before income taxes

98

(39)

 


PAYMENTS FOR PROPERTY, PLANT AND EQUIPMENT


For the 3-month periods ended March 31,

(in millions of Canadian dollars) (unaudited)

2016

2015

Packaging Products




Containerboard

16

6


Boxboard Europe

4

2


Specialty Products

8

2


28

10

Tissue Papers

11

20

Corporate

11

1

Total acquisitions

50

31

Proceeds on disposals of property, plant and equipment

(1)

Capital-lease acquisitions

(7)

(3)


42

28

Acquisitions of property, plant and equipment included in ''Trade and other payables''




Beginning of period

20

20


End of period

(8)

(13)

Payments for property, plant and equipment net of proceeds on disposals

54

35

 

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION ON NON-IFRS MEASURES

Operating income before depreciation and amortization, earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization and operating income are not measures of performance under IFRS. The Corporation includes operating income before depreciation and amortization, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and operating income because they are measures used by management to assess the operating and financial performance of the Corporation's operating segments. Additionally, the Corporation believes that these items provide additional measures often used by investors to assess a company's operating performance and its ability to meet debt service requirements. However, operating income before depreciation and amortization, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and operating income do not represent, and should not be used as a substitute for, net earnings or cash flows from operating activities as determined in accordance with IFRS, and they are not necessarily an indication of whether cash flow will be sufficient to fund our cash requirements. In addition, our definition of operating income before depreciation and amortization, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and operating income may differ from those of other companies.

Operating income before depreciation and amortization excluding specific items, earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization excluding specific items, operating income excluding specific items, net earnings excluding specific items and net earnings per common share excluding specific items are non-IFRS measures. The Corporation believes that it is useful for investors to be aware of specific items that have adversely or positively affected its IFRS measures, and that the above mentioned non-IFRS measures provide investors with a measure of performance with which to compare its results between periods without regard to these specific items. The Corporation's measures excluding specific items have no standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and are not necessarily comparable to similar measures presented by other companies and therefore should not be considered in isolation.

The specific items excluded from OIBD, operating income, financing expense, net earnings and cash flow from operations mainly include charges for (reversals of) impairment of assets, charges for facility or machine closures, accelerated depreciation of assets due to restructuring measures, debt restructuring charges, gains or losses on the acquisition or sale of a business unit, discontinued operations, gains or losses on the share of results of associates and joint ventures, unrealized gains or losses on derivative financial instruments that do not qualify for hedge accounting, unrealized gains or losses on interest rate swaps, foreign exchange gains or losses on long-term debt and other significant items of an unusual or non-recurring nature. Although we consider these items to be non-recurring and less relevant to evaluating our performance, some of them might take place in the future and will reduce the cash available to us.

The following table reconciles net earnings (loss) and net earnings (loss) per common share with net earnings excluding specific items and net earnings per share excluding specific items:

 






(in millions of Canadian dollars, except amounts per share) (unaudited)

Net earnings (loss)



Net earnings (loss) per share 1


Q1 2016


Q4 2015


Q1 2015




Q1 2016


Q4 2015


Q1 2015











As per IFRS

75


(76)


(35)




$

0.79


$

(0.81)


$

(0.37)


Specific items:









Impairment charges


57






$

0.59



Restructuring gain


(1)






$

(0.01)



Unrealized loss (gain) on derivative financial instruments

(14)


4


13




$

(0.11)


$

0.03


$

0.10


Foreign exchange loss (gain) on long-term debt and financial instruments

(36)


23


45




$

(0.33)


$

0.20


$

0.41


Share of results of associates, joint ventures and non-controlling interest


3


5





$

0.03


$

0.05


Included in discontinued operations, net of tax



(1)






$

(0.01)


Tax effect on specific items, other tax adjustments and attributable to non-controlling interest 1

9


12


(10)





$

0.20




(41)


98


52




$

(0.44)


$

1.04


$

0.55


Excluding specific items

34


22


17




$

0.35


$

0.23


$

0.18


Note 1 : Specific amounts per share are calculated on an after-tax basis and net of the portion attributable to non-controlling interest.






 

Net earnings (loss), which is a performance measure defined by IFRS, is reconciled below with operating income (loss), operating income excluding specific items and operating income before depreciation excluding specific items or earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization excluding specific items:





(in millions of Canadian dollars) (unaudited)

Q1 2016

Q4 2015

Q1 2015





Net earnings (loss) attributable to Shareholders for the period

75

(76)

(35)

Net earnings attributable to non-controlling interest

2

1

2

Net earnings from discontinued operations

(1)

(2)

Provision for (recovery of) income taxes

21

23

(4)

Share of results of associates and joint ventures

(14)

(6)

(4)

Foreign exchange loss (gain) on long-term debt and financial instruments

(36)

23

45

Financing expense and interest on future employee benefits

25

23

26

Operating income (loss)

73

(13)

28

Specific items :





Impairment charges

57


Restructuring gain

(1)


Unrealized loss (gain) on derivative financial instruments

(14)

4

13


(14)

60

13

Operating income - excluding specific items

59

47

41

Depreciation and amortization

47

57

44

Operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBD) - excluding specific items

106

104

85

 

 

Follow us on social media:
Website: www.cascades.com 
Twitter: twitter.com/@CascadesInvest
 
Facebook: facebook.com/Cascades
 
YouTube: youtube.com/Cascades

 

SOURCE Cascades Inc.

For further information: Media: Hugo D'Amour, Vice-President, Communications and Public Affairs, 819-363-5184; Source: Allan Hogg, Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer; Investors: Jennifer Aitken, Director, Investor Relations, 514-282-2697

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