At the time of this news release, all indicators regarding market conditions are positive. U.S. foreclosures and existing home inventories are trending down, home prices and builder confidence are improving and housing forecasts are being upgraded. At the same time, OSB inventories in the supply chain are lean, mill order files are long and structural panel prices are at the highest levels since May 2004. Against this backdrop of optimism with respect to market demand, structural panel producers are making some plans to bring idle capacity back on line. However, we are of the view that supply will come on gradually and lag demand growth in the near-term.
We are actively working towards restarting our High Level mill in the second half of this year. At 860 million square feet of production capacity, the mill is one of the largest facilities in the industry and will be an efficient producer with strong access to high quality, low cost fiber. High Level will enable us to continue to meet the growing requirements of our existing customer base while allowing us to service new market segments, both in terms of geography and technical innovation. The unique characteristics of the High Level continuous press and equipment will also enable us to expand our reach into industrial applications as well as markets such as China where we have identified and are developing significant opportunities for innovative and proprietary products. These diversification efforts are strategic to our Company as we establish a sustainable business throughout the cycle.
The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Jim Lake as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective immediately. Mr. Lake joined Ainsworth in June 2010 and has held the role of President and Chief Operating Officer since September 2011. "We look forward to Jim's continued strong leadership as Ainsworth executes its strategy as a leading forest products company," said Peter Gordon, Chairman of the Board. In addition, Mr. Lake has been appointed to the Board of Directors.
Conference Call Information
Ainsworth will hold a conference call on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 10:00 am PDT (1:00 pm EDT) to discuss the 2012 fourth quarter and year end results. The dial-in phone number is 1-800-319-4610 from inside the U.S. or Canada, and +1-604-638-5340 from outside of the U.S. and Canada. A recording of this conference call will be available until the end of day March 15, 2013. To access the post-view line, dial 1-800-319-6413, or +1-604-638-9010, reservation 4176#.
The financial results are based on International Financial Reporting Standards. Investors, analysts and other interested parties can access Ainsworth's Financial Statements, Management's Discussion and Analysis, Shareholders' Letter, and Supplemental Information on Ainsworth's website under the Investors / Financial Reports section at www.ainsworthengineered.com.
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.
Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd.
Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd.
Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
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