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ABITIBI-PRICE INCURS SECOND QUARTER LOSS; ARRANGES ASSET SALES TO STRENGTHEN CORE BUSINESS

 ABITIBI-PRICE INCURS SECOND QUARTER LOSS;
 ARRANGES ASSET SALES TO STRENGTHEN CORE BUSINESS
 TORONTO, July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Abitibi-Price Inc. (NYSE: ABY) reported a net loss for the three months ended June 30, 1992 of $41.3 million or 60 cents per common share on sales of $691.9 million, compared to its 1991 same quarter loss of $5.7 million or 8 cents per share on sales of $729.7 million. Sales in the second quarter improved over the first quarter of 1992 and operating losses were marginally reduced.
 In the first half of 1992, the company reported a net loss of $82.9 million or $1.21 per common share on sales of $1.3 billion, compared to a loss of $11.2 million or 17 cents per share on sales of $1.6 billion in the first six months of 1991.
 Pricing for the newsprint, uncoated groundwood and coated papers has continued to reflect excess industry capacity in North America. Volumes have improved noticeably over the first quarter of the year, but poor prices have restricted improvement in sales revenue, operating profit and cash flow. Prices in 1992 were lower on average in the second quarter than in the first quarter, but overall results were marginally better as operating costs were also lower in the second quarter.
 Ron Oberlander, president and chief executive officer of the company, is confident. "In spite of weak market conditions so far in 1992, we continue to see improvements in operational efficiencies, our cost base and, most importantly, in customer satisfaction. Shareholders have been patiently waiting to see tangible results from the changes we've made to this organization. Now that market demand and pricing are starting to turn more favorable, we expect those results to become much more apparent."
 Demand for newsprint in North America has started to turn around and, as a result, Abitibi-Price took only 10,000 tons of production downtime this quarter. Operating costs improved during the quarter. Continued improvement and a 5 per cent decrease in discount levels on the price of newsprint effective Aug. 1 are expected to reduce operating losses during the balance of the year.
 The company's uncoated groundwood paper operations lost money during the quarter, as prices and volumes did not improve. We expect demand for these grades to grow somewhat during the remainder of the year and operating improvements to continue to reduce costs, although prices will remain under pressure from an oversupply of coated groundwood at the top end of the product range.
 At Provincial Papers, the quality of coated paper production continues to improve. The division suffered further operating losses as poor demand and pricing extended into the second quarter, but cost efficiencies have reduced losses from 1991 levels. Provincial's long- term success will depend on meeting their goals for mill efficiency, customer satisfaction and new product development.
 During the quarter the company agreed to sell its Building Products business for approximately $120 million and expects to record an after tax loss of approximately $19 million. The company also agreed to sell the distribution businesses of its Diversified Group for $340 million cash and will record an after tax gain substantially in excess of the loss on the sale of Building Products. Both sales are expected to close in the third quarter.
 "We are continuing to become more focused on our core business," added Oberlander. "The announced sale of our distribution businesses and building products division will help to strengthen our balance sheet and open up opportunities for this company to be a leader in highly competitive global markets."
 Abitibi-Price, a world-class competitor in the forest products industry, is a manufacturer and marketer of newsprint, uncoated groundwood papers, coated papers and building products. The company is a major converter and distributor of paper and other information-related products.
 ABITIBI-PRICE INC.
 Consolidated Earnings
 (Millions of Canadian dollars -- Unaudited)
 Periods ended Three months Six months
 June 30 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net Sales $691.9 729.7 $1,341.9 $ 1,456.1
 Cost of sales 646.4 630.7 1,256.5 1,272.5
 Selling and
 administrative expenses 54.6 59.0 109.5 120.1
 Depreciation and
 depletion 27.7 28.6 55.3 56.6
 Total 728.7 718.3 1,421.3 1,449.2
 Operating (loss) profit (36.8) 11.4 (79.4) 6.9
 Income (loss) from
 newsprint joint ventures,
 before income taxes (11.4) 4.3 (22.1) 8.9
 Interest expense
 Long-term (8.5) (8.8) (17.3) (16.8)
 Short-term (2.5) (2.6) (4.3) (6.5)
 Unusual items (3.2) (20.0) (3.2) (20.0)
 Other income and
 expense - net (2.1) 2.6 (4.2) 5.8
 Total (64.5) (13.1) (130.5) (21.7)
 Income taxes 23.2 7.4 47.6 10.5
 Loss for the period (41.3) (5.7) (82.9) (11.2)
 Provision for dividends
 on preferred shares (0.4) (0.5) (0.8) (0.9)
 Loss attributable to
 common shareholders $(41.7) $(6.2) $(83.7) $(12.1)
 Per common share:
 Loss $(0.60) $(0.08) $(1.21) $(0.17)
 Dividends declared $0.125 $0.125 $ 0.25 $ 0.25
 Weighted average
 number of common shares
 outstanding (millions) 69.3 69.3 69.3 69.3
 Note: The company expects to record an after tax loss of approximately $19 million and an after tax gain substantially in excess of this amount on the sale of its Building Products and Distribution businesses respectively, upon completion of these sales, which is expected to be in the third quarter of 1992.
 ABITIBI-PRICE INC.
 Consolidated Segmented Information
 (In millions of Canadian dollars -- Unaudited)
 Periods ended Three months Six months
 June 30 1992 1991 1992 1991
 SALES
 Newsprint $211.1 $231.6 $395.1 $476.9
 Groundwood papers 68.4 84.6 145.9 167.9
 Coated papers 26.0 19.7 49.2 45.7
 Distribution,
 office products
 and converted products 296.0 334.7 583.9 665.1
 Building products 54.1 51.1 105.6 94.3
 Other 41.7 11.5 73.1 14.1
 Intersegment eliminations (5.4) (3.5) (10.9) (7.9)
 Net sales $691.9 $729.7 $1,341.9 $1,456.1
 OPERATING PROFIT (LOSS)
 Newsprint $(28.5) $7.2 $(61.7) 5.0
 Groundwood papers (8.8) 3.1 (10.5) 3.8
 Coated papers (8.2) (12.0) (16.0) (21.8)
 Distribution,
 office products
 and converted products 6.4 11.0 6.5 18.4
 Building products 2.5 2.3 3.9 2.0
 Other (0.2) (0.2) (1.6) (0.5)
 Operating profit (loss) $(36.8) $11.4 $(79.4) $6.9
 ABITIBI-PRICE INC.
 Primary Production
 (Figures in thousands)
 Periods ended Three months Six months
 June 30 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Newsprint (tons) 468 396 854 840
 Groundwood papers
 (tons) 93 105 199 210
 Coated papers (tons) 26 20 53 38
 Hardboard
 (msf-equivalent) 279 277 564 565
 Lumber (mfbm) 14 16 33 26
 Abitibi-Price Inc., 207 Queen's Quay West, Suite 680, Box 102 Toronto, Ontario M5J 2P5
 Symbols: A (Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver Stock Exchanges
 ABY (New York Stock Exchange)
 /CONTACT: Eileen A. Mercier, senior vice president-finance, 416-369-6718, or Robert J. Tait, 416-369-6789, both of Abitibi-Price/
 (ABY) CO: Abitibi-Price Inc. ST: Ontario IN: PAP SU: ERN


SM -- NY114 -- 2804 07/23/92 17:33 EDT
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Date:Jul 23, 1992
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