MONTREAL, March 24, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) today provided an update on the impact of the COVID-19 situation to its business. Resolute remains as committed as ever to the health and safety of its employees, business partners and communities by adhering strictly to the guidelines and measures put in place by government authorities.
While certain government authorities in Canada and the United States have ordered the closure of all non-essential business operations in regions where Resolute operates, they have also recognized the importance of the forest products sector in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic: tissue products to fill empty shelves; pulp to produce tissue, air filters, paper gowns, and other medical and personal care supplies; paper to keep people informed of developments and advisories; and wood products to support the demand for building and essential infrastructure.
Accordingly, Resolute expects to continue to operate in all of its business segments – pulp, tissue, wood products and paper – in Canada and the United States. But the company expects to take certain temporary steps to reduce its operational footprint to demand levels consistent with essential needs for the duration of the crisis. The company will adjust capacity dynamically based on the conditions and rapid evolution of the situation, but most of the capacity reduction is expected to come from the wood products and paper segments. The temporary capacity reductions will be implemented over the coming days and will be announced locally.
The company will continue to monitor the situation and to work closely with its valued customers to provide the high-quality products and strong support that they expect, particularly in these challenging times. The company will also continue to closely monitor the supply of incoming raw materials and work in collaboration with its numerous suppliers to secure the stability of the supply chain.
"These are certainly unprecedented times," said Yves Laflamme, president and chief executive officer. "The COVID-19 situation is evolving very quickly, and there is a sense of stress and concern weighing on everyone. I want to especially thank our employees for their support: Your hard work and dedication are particularly appreciated given the uncertainty the economy is currently facing."
Resolute has introduced special measures to minimize the spread of the virus at its locations, including: putting in place a company-wide risk management committee to monitor the situation and the implementation of preventive measures across all sites; developing a special support website for employees with guidelines, forms, FAQs and other relevant documents and links; making the necessary accommodations to support the health and well-being of employees and business partners; introducing restrictions on travel; canceling non-essential visits by external suppliers and other outside support services; and increasing safety measures for visits by service technicians, truck drivers and delivery personnel.
Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Statements in this press release that are not reported financial results or other historical information are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. They include, for example, statements regarding the expectation of the company to continue to operate in all of its business segments and the expected temporary capacity reductions. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as the words "will," "could," "may," "should," "believe," "expect," and other terms with similar meaning indicating possible future events or potential impact on our business or our shareholders.
The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are not guarantees of future performance. These statements are based on Resolute's management's current assumptions, beliefs, and expectations, all of which involve a number of business risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed or implied in this press release. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause Resolute's actual future financial condition, results of operations and performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied in this press release include, but are not limited to, the rapid evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on Resolute's operations, the evolution of orders from different governmental authorities which may impact the company's operations, and the potential risks and uncertainties described under the heading "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of Resolute's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019.
All forward-looking statements in this press release are expressly qualified by the cautionary statements set out or referred to above and in Resolute's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Resolute disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
About Resolute Forest Products
Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry with a diverse range of products, including market pulp, tissue, wood products, newsprint and specialty papers, which are marketed in close to 70 countries. The company owns or operates some 40 facilities, as well as power generation assets, in the United States and Canada. Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to internationally recognized sustainable forest management standards. The shares of Resolute Forest Products trade under the stock symbol RFP on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Resolute has received regional, North American and global recognition for its leadership in corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, as well as for its business practices. Visit www.resolutefp.com for more information.
SOURCE Resolute Forest Products Inc.
For further information: Investors: Remi G. Lalonde, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, 514 394-2345, [email protected]; Media and Others: Seth Kursman, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Sustainability and Government Affairs, 514 394-2398, [email protected]