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INTERFOR CORPORATION (“Interfor” or the “Company”) (TSX: IFP) recorded Net earnings in Q2’22 of $269.9 million, or $4.92 per share, compared to $397.0 million, or $6.69 per share in Q1’22 and $419.2 million, or $6.45 per share in Q2’21. Adjusted net earnings in Q2’22 were $280.2 million compared to $392.5 million in Q1’22 and $433.5 million in Q2’21.
Adjusted EBITDA was $428.6 million on record sales of $1.4 billion in Q2’22 versus $570.1 million on sales of $1.3 billion in Q1’22.
Notable items in the quarter:
o Lumber production totaled a record 1.0 billion board feet, representing an increase of 99 million
board feet quarter-over-quarter and the fifth consecutive quarter of record production. This growth was mostly driven by the first full quarter of contribution from the Eastern Canada Operations; these operations produced 211 million board feet versus 96 million board feet in the preceding quarter. The U.S. South and U.S. Northwest regions accounted for 467 million board feet and 163 million board feet, respectively, compared to 452 million board feet and 173 million board feet in Q1’22. Production in the B.C. region decreased to 174 million board feet from 196 million board feet in Q1’22, in part due to the sale of the Acorn sawmill during the quarter.
o Lumber shipments were a record 1.1 billion board feet, or 239 million higher than Q1’22.
o Ongoing improvement in the availability of logistics contributed to a reduction of lumber inventories by 46 million board feet during the quarter. Further reductions following quarter-end have now positioned total lumber inventory volume within the Company’s targeted range.
o Interfor’s average selling price was $1,104 per mfbm, down $306 per mfbm versus Q1’22. The SYP Composite, Western SPF Composite, KD H-F Stud 2×4 9’ and ESPF Composite price benchmarks decreased quarter-over-quarter by US$437, US$322, US$402 and US$313 per mfbm to US$682, US$837, US$891, and US$938 per mfbm, respectively, with the majority of these decreases occurring in the second half of the quarter.
o Interfor generated $218.2 million of cash flow from operations before changes in working capital, or $3.98 per share. A reduction in working capital investment added $175.6 million of cash flow, primarily related to the collection of trade receivables recorded at higher lumber prices and a reduction in log and lumber inventories.
o Net debt ended the quarter at $102.0 million, or 4.6% of invested capital, resulting in ample available liquidity of $726.5 million.
o The Eastern Canada Operations contributed $115.7 million of Adjusted EBITDA to Interfor’s second quarter results, which is net of $17.3 million recorded in production costs related to fair value adjustments recognized at the acquisition date.
o Since being acquired on February 22, 2022, the Eastern Canada Operations have generated $120.8 million of Adjusted EBITDA, which is net of $85.3 million recorded in production costs related to fair value adjustments recognized at the acquisition date.
o The DeQuincy, LA sawmill, with an annual two-shift capacity of 200 million board feet, has continued to ramp up ahead of schedule following its July 2021 acquisition in an idled state. Its operating schedule increased from one shift to two shifts during the quarter and the mill is expected to reach its full production run-rate in Q3 2022.
o Capital spending was $65.1 million, including $40.6 million on discretionary projects. The majority of this discretionary spending was focused on the multi-year rebuild of the Eatonton, GA sawmill, a new planer at the Castlegar, B.C. sawmill and upgrades to the Perry, GA sawmill.
o On May 2, 2022, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Interfor acquired a total of 28,684,433 common shares in the capital of GreenFirst from Rayonier A.M. Canada G.P., which represents approximately 16.2% of GreenFirst’s issued and outstanding common shares. The Company paid total cash consideration of $55.6 million.
o On May 13, 2022, the Company completed the sale of its Acorn specialty sawmill located near Vancouver, British Columbia and related working capital to an affiliate of San Industries Ltd. for cash consideration of $25.2 million, and recorded a gain of $6.2 million. With this sawmill sale completed, Interfor no longer has any lumber manufacturing assets within the Coastal B.C. region.
o Interfor is currently undertaking a strategic review of its remaining Coastal B.C. operations, which consist solely of timber harvesting and sales related to its 1.67 million cubic meters of annual harvesting rights. Any alternatives, including disposition of harvesting rights, would be subject to consultation with First Nations and consent from the Government of B.C.
o During Q2’22, Interfor purchased 1,015,396 common shares under the Company’s Normal Course Issuer Bid (“NCIB”) for total consideration of $32.9 million. This completed the purchase of all 6,041,701 common shares allowable under the NCIB for total consideration of $227.2 million, representing an average price of $37.60 per share or 0.98 times book value per share at June 30, 2022.
o On July 26, 2022, the Company announced its intention to commence a substantial issuer bid (“SIB”) pursuant to which the Company will offer to purchase up to $100,000,000 in value of its outstanding common shares for cancellation from holders of common shares for cash. The SIB will proceed by way of a “modified Dutch auction” procedure with a tender price range from $29.00 to $34.00 per common share.
o Interfor expensed $46.3 million of duties in the quarter, representing the full amount of countervailing (“CV”) and anti-dumping (“AD”) duties incurred on shipments of softwood lumber from its Canadian operations to the U.S. at a combined rate of 17.91%.
Interfor Appoints New Director
At its meeting today, the Interfor Board appointed Tom Temple of Kingston, Washington as a director of the Company. Mr. Temple, who is 65, is the former VP, Wood Products and Southern Resources of PotlatchDeltic, a diversified forest products company. Mr. Temple’s appointment increased the number of directors from ten to eleven, while deepening the Board’s operations and sales expertise in the U.S. in line with the Company’s Board succession plan.
On April 22, 2022, Interfor released its fifth annual Sustainability Report, which provides detailed information on the Company’s commitments and actions, including a number of new targets and enhanced metrics. Sustainability is at the core of Interfor’s culture and integrated within its strategy, and the targets set represent an ongoing commitment to take strong action to enhance performance. Interfor’s Sustainability Report can be found at www.interfor.com.
North American lumber markets over the near term are expected to be volatile as the economy continues to adjust to inflationary pressures, higher interest rates, supply chain constraints and labour shortages.
Interfor expects that over the mid-term, lumber markets will continue to benefit from favourable underlying supply and demand fundamentals. Positive demand factors include the advanced age of the U.S. housing stock, a shortage of available housing and various demographic factors, while growth in lumber supply is expected to be limited by extended capital project completion and ramp-up timelines and constrained overall fibre availability.
Interfor’s strategy of maintaining a diversified portfolio of operations in multiple regions allows the Company to both reduce risk and maximize returns on capital over the business cycle. Interfor is well positioned with its strong balance sheet and significant available liquidity to continue pursuing its strategic plans despite ongoing economic and geo-political uncertainty globally.
Financial and Operating Highlights1
|For the 3 months ended||For the 6 months ended|
|Jun. 30||Jun. 30||Mar. 31||Jun. 30||Jun. 30|
|Logs, residual products and other||$MM||198.3||86.8||136.5||334.8||173.7|
|Net earnings per share, basic||$/share||4.92||6.45||6.69||11.68||10.45|
|Adjusted net earnings3||$MM||280.2||433.5||392.5||672.6||704.2|
|Adjusted net earnings per share, basic3||$/share||5.11||6.67||6.61||11.78||10.76|
|Operating cash flow per share (before working|
|Adjusted EBITDA margin3||%||30.9%||55.6%||42.3%||36.5%||51.5%|
|Net debt to invested capital3||%||4.6%||(46.1%)||15.8%||4.6%||(46.1%)|
|Annualized return on capital employed3||%||52.9%||110.8%||86.6%||69.4%||96.2%|
|Lumber production||million fbm||1,016||716||917||1,933||1,402|
|Lumber sales||million fbm||1,082||714||843||1,925||1,380|
|Lumber – average selling price4||$/thousand fbm||1,104||1,419||1,410||1,240||1,286|
|Average USD/CAD exchange rate5||1 USD in CAD||1.2768||1.2282||1.2662||1.2715||1.2470|
|Closing USD/CAD exchange rate5||1 USD in CAD||1.2886||1.2394||1.2496||1.2886||1.2394|
Interfor’s Net debt at June 30, 2022 was $102.0 million, or 4.6% of invested capital, representing an increase of $264.9 million from the level of Net debt at December 31, 2021.
As at June 30, 2022 the Company had net working capital of $607.1 million and available liquidity of $726.5 million, based on the full borrowing capacity under its $500 million Revolving Term Line.
The Revolving Term Line and Senior Secured Notes are subject to financial covenants, including a net debt to total capitalization ratio 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.
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