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Aug 7, 2020

Western Forest Products earns $8.5M in second quarter despite sales dip

A section of forest is harvested by loggers near Youbou, B.C.

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VANCOUVER -- Western Forest Products Inc. beat expectations as the company earned $8.5 million in its latest quarter on a 17-per-cent drop in revenues over uncertainty related to COVID-19.

The Vancouver-based company says it earned two cents per share in the second quarter, compared with zero cents per share or a loss of $700,000 a year earlier.

Revenues for the three months ended June 30 were $256.3 million, down from $310.3 million in the prior year.

Western Forest Products was expected to report no profits on $153.5 million of revenues, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Lumber and log sales fell 19 per cent to $188.8 million on market uncertainty and delayed shipments due to COVID-19 with volumes decreasing 28 per cent to 152 million board feet. Prices increased 12 per cent as a result of higher specialty product mix and a weaker Canadian dollar.

Western Forest Products says $10.7 million of Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy funding prevented curtailments and layoffs in the quarter.

"We successfully re-established our business after the lengthy strike and despite considerable uncertainty caused by COVID-19," said CEO Don Demens, referring to a strike by the United Steelworkers union that ended in the first quarter with restarting of its Cowichan Bay sawmill.