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Jul 28, 2020

West Fraser beats expectations as Q2 turns positive despite COVID-19

West Fraser Timber sees profit soar in second quarter

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VANCOUVER - West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. beat expectations as it earned $48 million in its latest quarter despite lower revenues.

The Vancouver-based forest products producer says it earned 70 cents per share for the three months ended June 30, compared with a loss of $58 million or 92 cents per share in the second quarter of 2019.

Adjusted profits increased to $79 million or $1.13 per share, from $28 million or 42 cents a year earlier.

Revenues decreased three per cent to $1.28 billion from $1.32 billion in the prior year's quarter.

West Fraser was expected to report 19 cents per share in adjusted earnings on $1.15 billion of revenues, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

The company says it adjusted operations starting in March to address COVID-19 which led to a reduction in production of lumber and pulp. Yet, as the quarter progressed, demand for lumber and plywood was more resilient than expected, resulting in increased pricing.