West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
TSX : WFT

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.

July 16, 2014 17:01 ET

West Fraser ("WFT") Announces Second Quarter Results

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - July 16, 2014) - West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (TSX:WTF) today reported earnings of $74 million or $0.87 per share on sales of $1,053 million in the second quarter of 2014. These results compare with previous periods as follows:

($ millions except earnings per share ("EPS")) Q2-14 Q1-14 YTD-14 Q2-13 YTD-13
Sales 1,053 809 1,862 900 1,763
EBITDA1 146 148 294 178 319
Operating earnings 106 106 212 141 242
Earnings 74 72 146 109 176
Basic EPS ($) 0.87 0.84 1.71 1.27 2.06
Adjusted earnings 2 66 84 150 107 210
Adjusted basic EPS ($)2 0.77 0.97 1.74 1.25 2.46
  1. In this News Release, reference is made to EBITDA (defined as operating earnings plus amortization and restructuring charges). Our management believes that, in addition to earnings, EBITDA is a useful performance indicator and is a useful measure of cash available prior to debt service, capital expenditures and income taxes. Reference is also made to Adjusted earnings (calculated as set out in the tables described in footnote 2) and Adjusted basic EPS (collectively, with EBITDA, "these measures"). None of these measures is a generally accepted earnings measure under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") and none have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS. Investors are cautioned that these measures should not be considered as an alternative to earnings, earnings per share or cash flow, as determined in accordance with IFRS. As there is no standardized method of calculating any of these measures, our method of calculating each of them may differ from the methods used by other entities and, accordingly, our use of any of these measures may not be directly comparable to similarly titled measures used by other entities.
  2. Refer to the table titled "Earnings Adjustments for Certain Non-Operational Items" in Management's Discussion and Analysis of our second quarter 2014 results for details of these adjustments.

Operational Results

In the quarter our lumber operations generated operating earnings of $81 million (Q1 - $79 million) and EBITDA of $106 million (Q1- $107 million). The results were substantially similar to the previous quarter as significantly higher shipments were offset by lower prices.

In the quarter our panel segment generated operating earnings of $10 million (Q1 - $7 million) and EBITDA of $13 million (Q1 - $11 million) as plywood prices and shipments improved.

In the quarter our pulp and paper operations generated operating earnings of $19 million (Q1 - $22 million) and EBITDA of $30 million (Q1 - $32 million). Although shipments were higher and prices were relatively similar to the previous quarter, increased costs contributed to the decline in earnings.

Outlook

Shipments of lumber increased sharply in the second quarter after the settlement of the 28-day strike at the port of Vancouver that occurred during March and both SPF and SYP prices declined. As the strike-related lumber inventory backlog continues to clear and U.S. housing continues to gradually recover, lumber prices have stabilized and shown some improvement in early July. However, we expect them to remain fairly volatile. Log costs are expected to trend higher in B.C. as competition for purchased wood increases but lumber productivity and cost reductions throughout our sawmills are expected to continue to improve over the next few quarters as we complete various major capital projects.

"We've expanded our lumber capacity with our acquisition of two sawmills in the second quarter and one in the first," said Ted Seraphim, our President and CEO. "We are pleased with the integration of those operations and the contributions they will continue to make to our earnings."

Management's Discussion & Analysis ("MD&A")

The Company's MD&A is available on the Company's website: www.westfraser.com and on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval at www.sedar.com under the Company's profile.

West Fraser

We are an integrated wood products company producing lumber, wood chips, LVL, MDF, plywood, pulp and newsprint. We have operations in western Canada and the southern United States.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains historical information, descriptions of current circumstances and statements about potential future developments. The latter, which are forward-looking statements and are included under the heading "Outlook" are presented to provide reasonable guidance to the reader but their accuracy depends on a number of assumptions and is subject to various risks and uncertainties. Actual outcomes and results will depend on a number of factors that could affect our ability to execute our business plans, including those matters described in the 2013 annual Management's Discussion & Analysis under "Risks and Uncertainties", and may differ materially from those anticipated or projected. Accordingly, readers should exercise caution in relying upon forward-looking statements and we undertake no obligation to publicly revise them to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by applicable securities laws.

Conference Call

Investors are invited to listen to the quarterly conference call on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time (11:30 a.m. Eastern Time) by dialing 1-800-769-8320 (toll-free North America). The call may also be accessed through our website at www.westfraser.com.

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
(in millions of Canadian dollars, except where indicated - unaudited)
June 30 December 31
2014 2013
Assets
Current assets
Cash and short-term investments$ 26 $ 162
Receivables324 279
Inventories (note 4)520 519
Prepaid expenses27 11
897 971
Property, plant and equipment1,339 1,144
Timber licences524 489
Goodwill and other intangibles392 321
Other assets53 83
Deferred income tax assets77 96
$ 3,282 $ 3,104
Liabilities
Current liabilities
Cheques issued in excess of funds on deposit$ 15 $ -
Operating loans (note 5)126 -
Payables and accrued liabilities372 385
Income taxes payable17 30
Reforestation and decommissioning obligations41 39
Current portion of long-term debt (note 5)320 319
891 773
Long-term debt (note 5)9 9
Other liabilities (note 6)229 197
Deferred income tax liabilities163 178
1,292 1,157
Shareholders' Equity
Share capital596 602
Accumulated other comprehensive earnings11 10
Retained earnings1,383 1,335
1,990 1,947
$ 3,282 $ 3,104
Number of Common shares and Class B Common shares outstanding at July 16, 2014 was 84,827,348.
West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Changes in Shareholders' Equity
(in millions of Canadian dollars, except where indicated - unaudited)
April 1 to June 30 January 1 to
June 30
2014 2013 2014 2013
Share capital
Balance - beginning of period$ 602 $ 602 $ 602 $ 602
Common share repurchases(6)- (6)-
Balance - end of period$ 596 $ 602 $ 596 $ 602
Accumulated other comprehensive earnings
Balance - beginning of period$ 27 $ (4)$ 10 $ (9)
Translation gain (loss) on foreign operations(16)11 1 16
Balance - end of period$ 11 $ 7 $ 11 $ 7
Retained earnings
Balance - beginning of period$ 1,397 $ 908 $ 1,335 $ 899
Actuarial gain (loss) on post-retirement benefits (net of tax)(45)58 (49)6
Common share repurchases(37)- (37)-
Earnings for the period74 109 146 176
Dividends(6)(6)(12)(12)
Balance - end of period$ 1,383 $ 1,069 $ 1,383 $ 1,069
Shareholders' equity$ 1,990 $ 1,678 $ 1,990 $ 1,678
West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Earnings and
Comprehensive Earnings
(in millions of Canadian dollars, except where indicated - unaudited)
April 1 to June 30 January 1 to
June 30
2014 2013 2014 2013
Sales$ 1,053 $ 900 $ 1,862 $ 1,763
Costs and expenses
Cost of products sold709 576 1,225 1,117
Freight and other distribution costs158 126 267 243
Amortization40 37 82 77
Selling, general and administration38 32 73 64
Equity-based compensation2 (12)3 20
947 759 1,650 1,521
Operating earnings106 141 212 242
Finance expense(8)(7)(14)(14)
Exchange gain (loss) on long-term debt12 (11)(1)(17)
Other income (expense) (note 9)(7)10 6 7
Earnings before tax103 133 203 218
Tax provision (note 10)(29)(24)(57)(42)
Earnings$ 74 $ 109 $ 146 $ 176
Earnings per share (dollars) (note 11)
Basic$ 0.87 $ 1.27 $ 1.71 $ 2.06
Diluted$ 0.87 $ 1.12 $ 1.66 $ 2.06
Comprehensive earnings
Earnings$ 74 $ 109 $ 146 $ 176
Other comprehensive earnings
Translation gain (loss) on foreign operations(16)11 1 16
Actuarial gain (loss) on post-retirement benefits 1(45)58 (49)6
Comprehensive earnings$ 13 $ 178 $ 98 $ 198
1. Net of income tax recovery of $15 million for the three months ended June 30, 2014 (three months ended June 30, 2013 - $19 million provision) and $17 million for the six months ended June 30, 2014 (six months ended June 30, 2013 - $2 million provision).
West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(in millions of Canadian dollars, except where indicated - unaudited)
April 1 to June 30 January 1 to
June 30
2014 2013 2014 2013
Operating activities
Earnings$ 74 $ 109 $ 146 $ 176
Adjustments
Amortization40 37 82 77
Finance expense8 7 14 14
Exchange (gain) loss on long-term debt(12)11 1 17
Tax provision29 24 57 42
Income taxes paid(10)(10)(47)(22)
Post-retirement expense11 15 25 28
Contributions to post-retirement benefit plans(22)(32)(29)(40)
Other(9)(18)2 -
Changes in non-cash working capital
Receivables(26)49 (37)(28)
Inventories192 124 27 12
Prepaid expenses(14)(8)(17)(13)
Payables and accrued liabilities(25)(51)(27)(5)
Cash flows from operating activities236 257 197 258
Financing activities
Proceeds from operating loans68 - 129 -
Finance expense paid(10)(8)(11)(9)
Dividends(6)(6)(12)(12)
Common share repurchases(43)- (43)-
Cash flows from financing activities9 (14)63 (21)
Investing activities
Acquisitions (note 3)(142)- (202)-
Additions to capital assets(121)(74)(214)(123)
Government assistance4 - 13 1
Other(10)(2)(11)(1)
Cash flows from investing activities(269)(76)(414)(123)
Change in cash(24)167 (154)114
Foreign exchange effect on cash1 3 3 4
Cash - beginning of period34 50 162 102
Cash - end of period$ 11 $ 220 $ 11 $ 220
Cash consists of
Cash and short-term investments $ 26 $ 220
Cheques issued in excess of funds on deposit (15)-
$ 11 $ 220

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Interim Financial Statements

(figures are in millions of dollars, except where indicated - unaudited)

1. Nature of operations

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. ("West Fraser", "we", "us" or "our") is an integrated wood products company producing lumber, wood chips, LVL, MDF, plywood, pulp and newsprint with facilities in western Canada and the southern United States. Our executive office is located at 858 Beatty Street, Suite 501, Vancouver, British Columbia. West Fraser was formed by articles of amalgamation under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) and is registered in British Columbia, Canada. Our Common shares are listed for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol WFT.

2. Basis of presentation and statement of compliance

These condensed consolidated interim financial statements have been prepared in accordance with International Accounting Standard 34 Interim Financial Reporting as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board ("IASB") and using the same accounting policies and methods of their application as the December 31, 2013 annual financial statements. These condensed consolidated interim financial statements should be read in conjunction with our 2013 annual financial statements.

3. Acquisitions

During the year, we made the following acquisitions:

Location Business Acquired Date Cash
Paid
Due to Seller Total
Mansfield, Arkansas Lumber manufacturing facility March 7 $ 61 $ - $ 61
High Prairie, Alberta Lumber manufacturing facility and related timber tenures April 3 63 4 67
Russellville, Arkansas Lumber manufacturing facility April 25 78 1 79
Total $ 202 $ 5 $ 207

We accounted for each of these transactions as an acquisition of a business and have allocated the preliminary purchase price based on the estimated fair value of the assets acquired and the liabilities assumed. The preliminary purchase price allocation is as follows:

2014
Current assets $ 40
Current liabilities (6 )
Property, plant and equipment 54
Timber licenses 44
Goodwill and other intangibles 77
Long-term liabilities (2 )
Consideration $ 207

Goodwill of $76 million, recorded in the lumber segment, is fully deductible for tax purposes.

Revenue of $41 million and earnings of $2 million have been generated and included in earnings related to these acquisitions.

4. Inventories

Inventories at June 30, 2014 were written down by $7 million (March 31, 2014 - $4 million; June 30, 2013 - $7 million; December 31, 2013 - $6 million) to reflect net realizable value being lower than cost.

5. Long-term debt and operating loans

Long-term debt

June 30, 2014 December 31, 2013
US$300 million senior notes due October 2014; interest at 5.2% $ 320 $ 319
US$8 million note due October 2020; interest at 2% 8 8
Note due in installments to 2020; interest at 5.5% 2 2
330 329
Current portion (320 ) (319 )
Deferred financing costs (1 ) (1 )
$ 9 $ 9

The fair value of the long-term debt is $334 million (December 31, 2013 - $341 million) based on rates available to us at the balance sheet date for long-term debt with similar terms and remaining maturities.

Operating loans

We have $580 million in revolving lines of credit of which $126 million (net of deferred financing costs of $3 million) were drawn as at June 30, 2014 (December 31, 2013 - undrawn). Deferred financing costs of $4 million were included in other assets at December 31, 2013.

Our revolving lines of credit include a $500 million revolving credit facility which matures September 30, 2018, two demand lines of credit totalling $75 million dedicated to letters of credit and a $5 million demand line of credit dedicated to a jointly-owned newsprint operation. Interest on the facilities is payable at floating rates based on Prime, U.S. base, Bankers' Acceptances or LIBOR at our option. As at June 30, 2014, letters of credit in the amount of $45 million have been issued under these facilities.

All debt is unsecured except the $5 million joint operation demand line of credit, which is secured by that joint operation's current assets.

6. Other liabilities

June 30, 2014 December 31, 2013
Post-retirement (note 7) $ 108 $ 82
Reforestation 72 66
Decommissioning 22 22
Other 27 27
$ 229 $ 197

7. Post-retirement benefits

We maintain defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans covering a majority of our employees. The defined benefit plans generally do not require employee contributions and provide a guaranteed level of pension payable for life based either on length of service or on earnings and length of service, and in most cases do not increase after commencement of retirement. We also provide group life insurance, medical and extended health benefits to certain employee groups.

The status of the defined benefit pension plans and other retirement benefit plans, in aggregate, is as follows:

June 30, 2014 December 31, 2013
Projected benefit obligations $ (1,370 ) $ (1,212 )
Fair value of plan assets 1,296 1,207
Impact of minimum funding requirement - (5 )
$ (74 ) $ (10 )
Represented by
Post-retirement assets $ 34 $ 72
Post-retirement liabilities (note 6) (108 ) (82 )
$ (74 ) $ (10 )

The significant actuarial assumptions used to determine our balance sheet date post-retirement assets and liabilities are as follows:

June 30, 2014 March 31, 2014 December 31, 2013
Discount rate 4.00% 4.50% 4.75%
Future compensation rate increase 3.50% 3.50% 3.50%

The change in the discount rate on obligations and the difference between the actual rate of return and the discount rate on plan assets generated an actuarial gain (loss) on post-retirement benefits, included in other comprehensive earnings, as follows:

April 1 to June 30 January 1 to
June 30
2014 2013 2014 2013
Actuarial gain (loss) $ (60 ) $ 77 $ (66 ) $ 8
Tax recovery (provision) 15 (19 ) 17 (2 )
$ (45 ) $ 58 $ (49 ) $ 6

8. Share capital

Authorized

400,000,000 Common shares, without par value

20,000,000 Class B Common shares, without par value

10,000,000 Preferred shares, issuable in series, without par value

Issued

2014 2013
Number Amount Number Amount
Common 82,545,870 $ 596 83,390,026 $ 602
Class B Common 2,281,478 - 2,281,478 -
Total Common 84,827,348 $ 596 85,671,504 $ 602

On April 29, 2014 the shareholders of the Company voted to increase the number of authorized Common shares from 200,000,000 to 400,000,000. This increase returns the proportion of Common shares available for issuance to the same level as before the December 10, 2013 stock dividend (the "Stock Dividend").

On September 12, 2013 our Board of Directors authorized the initiation of a normal course issuer bid to repurchase for cancellation up to 2,000,000 Common shares or approximately 2.5% of our issued and outstanding Common shares. The normal course issuer bid may continue until September 16, 2014.

In 2014 we repurchased 848,400 Common shares for $43 million.

Stock dividend

On December 10, 2013 the Board of Directors declared a Stock Dividend of one Common share for each issued and outstanding Common share and Class B Common share in the capital of the Company, which has the same effect as a two-for-one stock split. The Stock Dividend was paid on January 13, 2014 to shareholders of record on December 31, 2013. For comparative purposes the Stock Dividend has been applied retroactively to earlier periods so that the number of shares used to calculate earnings per share is doubled resulting in earnings per share for prior years being half of the amount that would otherwise have been reported.

On January 13, 2014 we issued 42,835,752 Common shares pursuant to the Stock Dividend. Also on January 13, 2014 the number of options and units outstanding under our share option, phantom share, and directors' deferred share unit plans were doubled and the exercise price of outstanding share options was halved to reflect the Stock Dividend.

9. Other income (expense)

April 1 to June 30 January 1 to
June 30
2014 2013 2014 2013
Foreign exchange gain (loss) - net $ (8 ) $ 5 $ - $ 9
Increase in decommissioning obligations - - - (6 )
Other 1 5 6 4
$ (7 ) $ 10 $ 6 $ 7

10. Tax provision

The tax provision differs from the amount that would have resulted from applying the Canadian statutory income tax rate to earnings before income taxes as follows:

April 1 to June 30 January 1 to
June 30
2014 2013 2014 2013
Income tax expense at statutory rate of 26% (2013 - 25.75%) $ (27 ) $ (35 ) $ (53 ) $ (56 )
Non-taxable amounts 1 2 - (5 )
Rate differentials between jurisdictions and on specified activities (2 ) (4 ) (3 ) (8 )
Recognized tax assets - 16 - 30
Increase in statutory tax rate - (2 ) - (2 )
Other (1 ) (1 ) (1 ) (1 )
Tax provision $ (29 ) $ (24 ) $ (57 ) $ (42 )

11. Earnings per share

Basic earnings per share is calculated based on earnings available to Common shareholders, as set out below, using the weighted average number of Common shares and Class B Common shares outstanding.

Diluted earnings per share is calculated based on earnings available to Common shareholders adjusted to remove the actual share option expense (recovery) charged to earnings and after deducting a notional charge for share option expense assuming the use of the equity-settled method, as set out below. The diluted weighted average number of shares is calculated using the treasury stock method. When earnings available to Common shareholders for diluted earnings per share are greater than earnings available to Common shareholders for basic earnings per share, the calculation is anti-dilutive and diluted earnings per share are deemed to be the same as basic earnings per share.

April 1 to June 30 January 1 to
June 30
2014 2013 2014 2013
Earnings
Basic $ 74 $ 109 $ 146 $ 176
Share option expense (recovery) 2 (12 ) 1 15
Equity settled share option adjustment - - (2 ) (2 )
Diluted $ 76 $ 97 $ 145 $ 189
Weighted average number of shares (thousands)
Basic 85,408 85,730 85,540 85,728
Share options 1,389 1,377 1,464 1,423
Diluted 86,797 87,107 87,004 87,151
Earnings per share (dollars)
Basic $ 0.87 $ 1.27 $ 1.71 $ 2.06
Diluted $ 0.87 $ 1.12 $ 1.66 $ 2.06

12. Segmented information

Pulp & Corporate
Lumber Panels paper & other Total
April 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014
Sales at market prices
To external customers $ 696 $ 131 $ 226 $ - $ 1,053
To other segments 26 2 - -
$ 722 $ 133 $ 226 $ -
EBITDA 1 $ 106 $ 13 $ 30 $ (3 ) $ 146
Amortization (25 ) (3 ) (11 ) (1 ) (40 )
Operating earnings 81 10 19 (4 ) 106
Finance expense (4 ) (2 ) (2 ) - (8 )
Exchange gain on long-term debt - - - 12 12
Other expense (3 ) - (4 ) - (7 )
Earnings before tax $ 74 $ 8 $ 13 $ 8 $ 103
April 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013
Sales at market prices
To external customers $ 592 $ 119 $ 189 $ - $ 900
To other segments 22 1 - -
$ 614 $ 120 $ 189 $ -
EBITDA 1 $ 125 $ 10 $ 31 $ 12 $ 178
Amortization (22 ) (4 ) (11 ) - (37 )
Operating earnings 103 6 20 12 141
Finance expense (3 ) (1 ) (3 ) - (7 )
Exchange loss on long-term debt - - - (11 ) (11 )
Other income 6 - 4 - 10
Earnings before tax $ 106 $ 5 $ 21 $ 1 $ 133
1. Non-IFRS measure:
EBITDA is defined as operating earnings plus amortization and restructuring charges.
Pulp & Corporate
Lumber Panels paper & other Total
January 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014
Sales at market prices
To external customers $ 1,198 $ 243 $ 421 $ - $ 1,862
To other segments 48 4 - -
$ 1,246 $ 247 $ 421 $ -
EBITDA 1 $ 213 $ 24 $ 62 $ (5 ) $ 294
Amortization (53 ) (7 ) (21 ) (1 ) (82 )
Operating earnings 160 17 41 (6 ) 212
Finance expense (8 ) (2 ) (4 ) - (14 )
Exchange loss on long-term debt - - - (1 ) (1 )
Other income 5 - 1 - 6
Earnings before tax $ 157 $ 15 $ 38 $ (7 ) $ 203
January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013
Sales at market prices
To external customers $ 1,153 $ 234 $ 376 $ - $ 1,763
To other segments 40 3 - -
$ 1,193 $ 237 $ 376 $ -
EBITDA 1 $ 271 $ 28 $ 39 $ (19 ) $ 319
Amortization (46 ) (8 ) (23 ) - (77 )
Operating earnings 225 20 16 (19 ) 242
Finance expense (7 ) (2 ) (5 ) - (14 )
Exchange loss on long-term debt - - - (17 ) (17 )
Other income (expense) 6 - 6 (5 ) 7
Earnings before tax $ 224 $ 18 $ 17 $ (41 ) $ 218
1. Non-IFRS measure:
EBITDA is defined as operating earnings plus amortization and restructuring charges.

The geographic distribution of external sales is as follows1:

April 1 to June 30 January 1 to
June 30
2014 2013 2014 2013
United States $ 555 $ 456 $ 748 $ 891
Canada 209 215 643 424
China 172 130 276 269
Other Asia 95 78 146 134
Other 22 21 49 45
$ 1,053 $ 900 $ 1,862 $ 1,763

1. Sales distribution is based on the location of product delivery.

Contact Information

  • West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
    Larry Hughes
    Vice-President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
    (604) 895-2700

    West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd.
    Rodger Hutchinson
    Vice-President, Corporate Controller and Investor Relations
    (604) 895-2700
    www.westfraser.com