In the quarter our lumber operations generated operating earnings of $52 million (Q3 -$37 million) and EBITDA of $75 million (Q3 - $58 million). The improvement in our results reflects improved prices for SPF and SYP lumber.
The panel segment, which includes plywood, LVL and MDF, generated operating earnings in the quarter of $7 million (Q3 -$22 million) and EBITDA of $12 million (Q3 - $25 million) as Canadian dollar plywood prices weakened from third quarter levels.
Pulp and paper operations generated operating earnings in the quarter of $13 million (Q3 - $17 million) and EBITDA of $24 million (Q3 - $28 million). Improved NBSK pricing was offset by weakening BCTMP and newsprint markets.
We are approaching 2013 with guarded optimism that the long-awaited U.S. housing recovery is taking hold. We will continue to invest in our existing facilities in order to maintain and improve our competitiveness.
The Company also announced that, as part of its ongoing leadership succession process, effective March 1, 2013 Hank Ketcham will assume the role of Executive Chairman and Ted Seraphim, who is currently the Company's President and Chief Operating Officer, will be appointed President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Seraphim will also be nominated for election as a director of the Company at the Company's April 30, 2013 Annual General Meeting.
Annual Financial Statements and Management's Discussion & Analysis ("MD&A")
The Company's consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2012 and related 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.
The Board of Directors of the Company has declared a dividend of $0.14 per share on the Common shares and the Class B Common shares in the capital of the Company, payable on April 5, 2013 to shareholders of record on March 22, 2013.
West Fraser is an integrated wood products company producing lumber, wood chips, LVL, MDF, plywood, pulp and newsprint. The Company has operations in western Canada and the southern United States.
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 the ability of the Company to execute its business plans, including those matters described in the 2012 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 the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise them to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by applicable securities laws.
Investors are invited to listen to the quarterly conference call on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time (11:30 a.m. Eastern Time) by dialing 1-800-952-6845 (toll-free North America). The call may also be accessed through West Fraser's website at www.westfraser.com.
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