Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd.
TSX : ANS
TSX : ANS.WT

Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd.

March 02, 2012 05:23 ET

Ainsworth Announces 2011 Fourth Quarter and Year End Results

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 2, 2012) - Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. (TSX:ANS)(TSX:ANS.WT) today announced its audited financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2011.

2011 Highlights:

  • Positive annual adjusted EBITDA of $12.5 million for 2011 and annual net income from continuing operations of $7.6 million.
  • Positive fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA of $2.7 million and net income from continuing operations of $1.7 million.
  • Overseas sales in 2011 increased 56.3% from 2010 in support of Japan's temporary housing needs.
  • Operational efficiency improvements resulted in enhanced product quality and cost reductions.
  • Acquisition of remaining 50% of High Level OSB mill.
  • Jim Lake appointed President and Chief Operating Officer.

Ainsworth Records Positive 2011 Results Despite All-Time Low Housing Starts

Ainsworth President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Lake said, "2011 was clearly another challenging year for our industry. However, I am pleased that Ainsworth posted positive adjusted EBITDA and net income results for the year ending December 31, 2011. Although we are not satisfied with these results, we take some measure of pride in achieving positive results in a year that hit an all-time low of 420,000 single-family housing starts in the United States and a strong Canadian dollar."

Financial Results

For the fourth quarter of 2011, Ainsworth recorded net income from continuing operations of $1.7 million, compared to $2.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. Sales increased 26% from the fourth quarter of 2010, to $69.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, due to a reduction in downtime taken by our three active mills from eleven weeks in 2010 to five weeks in 2011. Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter was $2.7 million compared to adjusted EBITDA of negative $1.8 million in the same quarter last year.

For the year ended December 31, 2011, Ainsworth recorded net income from continuing operations of $7.6 million, compared to net income of $12.7 million in 2010. Sales decreased 11% to $293.3 million due to a significant drop in OSB pricing, most notably in Western Canada. Adjusted EBITDA for 2011 was $12.5 million compared to adjusted EBITDA of $59.3 million in 2010.

Margins

Adjusted EBITDA margin for the full year 2011 was 4.3% compared to an adjusted EBITDA margin of 18.0% in 2010. Again, the decrease was primarily the result of lower prices in Western Canada for much of the year. The cost of products sold per msf (3/8-inch basis) for the full year was 1.5% lower than in 2010 and 15.4% lower in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. Throughout the year, our mills steadily reduced per unit costs, despite rising raw material costs.

In 2011, the average annual North Central market price for 7/16" OSB was U.S. $186 per msf, a decrease of 14% from an average annual price of U.S. $216 per msf in 2010. The average annual Western Canadian market price for 7/16" OSB was U.S. $154 per msf in 2011, down 27% from U.S. $210 per msf in 2010. In December Western Canadian OSB prices trended up, ending the year at $170 per msf (7/16-inch basis).

In the fourth quarter of 2011, the average North Central market price for 7/16" OSB was U.S. $190 per msf compared to U.S. $191 per msf in the fourth quarter of 2010. The average Western Canadian market price for 7/16" OSB was U.S. $149 per msf in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to U.S. $166 per msf in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Acquisition of High Level Mill

On February 17, 2011, Ainsworth completed the purchase of the remaining 50% of Footner Forest Products Inc.'s OSB mill in High Level, Alberta. The $20 million purchase was funded from cash and generated a purchase gain of $72.5 million. The Company now owns 100% of the High Level mill. The mill is a state-of-the art, highly-flexible, continuous-press facility that can produce commodity and value-add products for both domestic and export OSB markets. High Level also benefits from an excellent wood supply.

Selected financial information is presented in the table below. The full financial report is available to be viewed at the following link: http://file.marketwire.com/release/ANS-FS2011.pdf.

Selected Financial Information
In millions of Canadian dollars, except per share data
(Unaudited)
Three months ended Year Ended
December 31 December 31
2011 2010 2011 2010
Sales$69.5 $55.0 $293.3 $329.5
Cost of products sold 62.7 54.3 264.6 254.0
Net income from continuing operations 1.7 2.8 7.6 12.7
Net income 2.8 2.8 8.3 11.9
Adjusted EBITDA (1) 2.7 (1.8) 12.5 59.3
Adjusted EBITDA margin (2) 3.9% -3.3% 4.3% 18.0%
Basic and diluted earnings (loss) per share:
Net income from continuing operations 0.07 0.13
Net income 0.08 0.12
Weighted average common shares outstanding (3) 100.6 100.3
(1) Adjusted EBITDA, a non-IFRS financial measure, is defined as net income from continuing operations before amortization, gain on disposal of property, plant and equipment, cost of curtailed operations, stock option (recovery) expense, finance expense, foreign exchange loss (gain) on long-term debt, other foreign exchange (gain) loss, income tax (recovery) expense, and non-recurring items.
(2) Adjusted EBITDA margin, a non-IFRS financial measure, is defined as adjusted EBITDA divided by sales.
(3) 100,768,888 common shares were outstanding on December 31, 2011.

Liquidity

At December 31, 2011, Ainsworth's available liquidity, consisting of cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, and short-term investments, was $62.5 million, down from $126.9 million at December 31, 2010. The Company continues to review various alternatives which could enhance our liquidity, which could include the sale of non-core assets, cost reduction initiatives, refinancing or repayment of debt and issuance of new debt or equity.

Ainsworth is permitted, under the terms of its Senior Unsecured Notes and Senior Secured Term Loan, to borrow an additional US$125 million of Senior Secured Debt and US$75 million of Senior Unsecured Debt. The availability of additional sources of capital will depend on capital markets at the time and may not be available on acceptable terms.

Outlook

While the long-awaited U.S. homebuilding recovery is expected to be a couple of years away, 2012 is expected to be another transitional year with U.S. housing starts, OSB demand and prices expected to slowly but steadily improve. The Company is hopeful that operating income will improve from 2011 as a result of marginal improvements in the North American market and growth in export demand, in conjunction with the execution of our strategic plan.

Conference Call Information

Ainsworth will hold a conference call on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 10am PDT (1:00PM EDT) to discuss the 2011 fourth quarter and year end results. The dial-in phone number is 1-800-319-4610 from inside the U.S. or Canada, or 604-638-5340, reservation 4176#. The recording of this conference call will be available until the end of day March 9, 2012.

The financial results are based on International Financial Reporting Standards. Investors, analysts and other interested parties can access Ainsworth's 2011 Year End Results as well as the Shareholders' Letter, and Supplemental Information on Ainsworth's website under the Investors /Financial Reports section at www.ainsworthengineered.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Forward-looking information provided in this news release relating to the Company's expectations regarding OSB demand and pricing and the Company's future prospects and financial position are forward-looking information pursuant to National Instrument 51-102 promulgated by the Canadian Securities Administrators. The Company believes that expectations reflected in such information are reasonable, but no assurance is given that such expectations will be correct. Forward-looking information is based on the Company's beliefs and assumptions based on information available at the time the assumption was made and on management's experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected further developments as well as other factors deemed appropriate in the circumstances. Investors are cautioned that there are risks and uncertainties related to such forward-looking information and actual results may vary. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking information include, without limitation, factors detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports filed with the Canadian Securities Administrators and other regulatory authorities. The forward-looking information is made as of the date of this news release and the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, except as explicitly required by securities laws.

Contact Information