Fortress Paper announces fourth quarter and annual results



    /NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO UNITED STATES NEWSWIRE SERVICES OR FOR
    DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES/

    TSX: FTP

    VANCOUVER, March 3 /CNW/ - Fortress Paper Ltd. ("Fortress Paper" or the
"Company") reported net income of $2.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2007
on sales of $37.5 million. For the year ended December 31, 2007, Fortress
Paper recorded net income of $5.3 million on sales of $145.3 million.

    Highlights

    EBITDA was $4.3 million or 11.3% of sales for the three months ended
December 31, 2007. For the year ended December 31, 2007, EBITDA was
$13.6 million or 9.4% of sales. For a reconciliation of net income to EBITDA,
please see the Management Discussion and Analysis of financial condition for
the year ended December 31, 2007 ("MD&A") available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
    EBITDA is defined as earnings before interest, income taxes,
depreciation, amortization, non-operating income and expenses and stock based
compensation which the Company considers to be a key performance indicator.
EBITDA is not a generally accepted earnings measure and should not be
considered as an alternative to earnings or cash flows as determined in
accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles. As there is
no standardized method of calculating EBITDA, the Company's use for the term
may not be comparable with similarly titled measures used by other companies.

    Selected Financial Information

    The selected financial information presented herein is qualified in its
entirety by, and should be read in conjunction with, our audited consolidated
financial statements as at and for the year ended December 31, 2007 and the
related notes thereon and our Management Discussion and Analysis filed on
SEDAR.

    
                                                   YTD        Q4        Q3
                                                         (unaudited)
                                              -------------------------------
                                                             2007
                                              (unaudited, in thousands except
                                                 earnings per share ("EPS"))

    Sales                                        145,294    37,537    34,065
    Operating income                              10,598     3,380     1,406
    EBITDA                                        13,611     4,255     2,196
    EBITDA per share                               $1.96     $0.42     $0.22
    Net income                                     5,284     2,279       211
    Basic and diluted EPS                          $0.76     $0.22     $0.02
    Weighted average shares outstanding Basic      6,935    10,204    10,049
    Weighted average shares outstanding Diluted    7,873    11,141    10,986
    Average Swiss/Canadian exchange rate(1)       0.8946    0.8563    0.8720
    Average Euro/Canadian exchange rate(1)        1.4691    1.4213    1.4370

    (1) Source - Bank of Canada (average noon rate for the period indicated)
    

    Operational Results

    Prior year comparative financial information has not been presented
because the Company acquired its assets from Mercer International Inc.
effective August 1, 2006.
    Landqart's results for the 2007 fiscal year reflect a higher portion of
our sales attributed to security papers rather than specialty papers. Security
papers traditionally receive higher sales per tonne prices and higher EBITDA
margins. The Dresden mill continues to focus on its strategy of shifting
production to non-woven wallpaper base which offers higher sales per tonne and
higher EBITDA margins. During the third quarter of 2007, the Company completed
the scheduled shutdowns of its mills to implement capital expenditure upgrades
at both mills in order to increase higher margin production capacity. Our
fourth quarter results reflect the improved productivity.
    Sales for the year ended December 31, 2007 totaled $145.3 million. The
Landqart Mill and the Dresden Mill contributed $63.3 million and $82.0 million
of sales revenue, respectively. Total shipments during the period were
52,093 tonnes, comprised of 16,268 tonnes of security and specialty papers
from the Landqart Mill and 35,825 tonnes of wallpaper base from the Dresden
Mill. The average sales revenue per tonne at the Landqart Mill and Dresden
Mill was $3,890 per tonne and $2,289 per tonne, respectively, during the
period.
    Sales for the three months ended December 31, 2007 totaled $37.5 million
compared to $34.1 million in the prior quarter. The Landqart Mill and the
Dresden Mill contributed $17.1 million ($13.3 million in the prior quarter)
and $20.4 million ($20.8 million in the prior quarter) of sales revenue,
respectively.
    Total shipments during the period were 13,247 tonnes, comprised of
4,138 tonnes of security and specialty papers from the Landqart Mill and
9,109 tonnes of wallpaper base from the Dresden Mill. This compares to the
prior quarter's shipments of 12,798 tonnes, comprised of 3,864 tonnes of
security and specialty papers from the Landqart Mill and 8,934 tonnes of
wallpaper base from the Dresden Mill.
    The average sales revenue per tonne at the Landqart Mill and the Dresden
Mill was $4,126 per tonne and $2,247 per tonne, respectively, during the
fourth quarter. In the previous quarter, the average sales revenue per tonne
at the Landqart Mill and the Dresden Mill was $3,439 per tonne and $2,325 per
tonne, respectively.

    Annual Financial Statements and Management's Discussion & Analysis

    The Company's consolidated financial statements for the year ended
December 31, 2007 and related MD&A can be obtained on the Company's website
at: www.fortresspaper.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

    The Company

    Fortress Paper is a leading international producer of security and other
specialty papers. The Company operates two paper mills, the Landqart Mill
located in Switzerland and the Dresden Mill located in Germany. The Company's
security papers include banknote, passport and visa papers and its specialty
papers include non-woven wallpaper base products, and graphic and technical
papers. As an extension of its security papers business, the Landqart Mill has
been actively developing and marketing innovative paper-based security
products.

    Conference Call

    A conference call to discuss the financial results for the fourth quarter
and fiscal year ended December 31, 2007 will be held on Tuesday, March 4, 2008
at 9:30 a.m. (PST). To attend the conference call, please use the following
dial-in numbers: 604-899-1159 from Vancouver; 403-232-6311 from Calgary or
international; 780-424-5694 from Edmonton; 416-883-0139 from Toronto;
613-212-4230 from Ottawa; and 514-395-2055 from Montreal.

    The toll-free dial-in number from elsewhere in Canada and the United
States is 1-888-458-1598.

    Participant pass code: 77788, followed by the number sign.

    A replay of the conference call will be available for seven days. To
access the replay in Canada (other than Calgary) or the United States,
listeners may dial 1-877-653-0545. The Calgary and international dial-in
number for the replay is 403-232-0933. The pass code to access the replay is
609920, followed by the number sign.

    Forward-Looking Statements

    Some information in this news release contains forward-looking statements
that reflect the current views and/or expectations of the Company with respect
to its performance, business and future events. The reader is cautioned that
forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and
other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially
from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements including, without
limitation, those relating to damage to our reputation, competition,
maintaining our market position, marketability and price of our products,
technology and protection of our intellectual property, dependence on our
major customers, fluctuations in the price and supply of raw materials,
fluctuations in foreign exchange and other risk factors detailed in our
filings with Canadian securities regulatory authorities. These risks, as well
as others, could cause actual results and events to vary significantly.
Fortress Paper Ltd. does not undertake any obligations to release publicly any
revisions for updating any voluntary forward-looking statements.





For further information:

For further information: Mr. Chadwick Wasilenkoff, Chief Executive
Officer, Fortress Paper Ltd., (604) 904-2328 (chadw@fortresspaper.com)

Organization Profile

FORTRESS PAPER LTD.

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