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ABITIBI-PRICE CUTS FIRST QUARTER OPERATING LOSS TO HALF OF FIRST QUARTER 1993 LOSS

 TORONTO, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Abitibi-Price Inc. (NYSE: ABY), for the three months ended March 31, 1994, reported an operating loss from continuing operations of $10.8 million, a 53% improvement over the company's 1993 first quarter operating loss from continuing operations of $22.8 million.
 Ron Oberlander, president and chief executive officer of Abitibi- Price, said, "We expect a better year in 1994. The economy is getting stronger in our major market, the United States; newsprint consumption is rising; the supply/demand gap is narrowing."
 The net loss attributable to common shareholders was $44.1 million, or $0.57 per share. This was $14.9 million worse than the $29.2 million, or $0.42 per share, for the same period a year ago. The change was accounted for by an unusual charge of $21.6 million ($12.8 million after tax) to write down the assets of the Pine Falls mill. This write down reflects the agreement to sell this operation to a buy-out group that includes mill management and employees.
 Net sales for the first three months of 1994 were $471.6 million, up from sales of $454.7 million recorded in the same period last year.
 For newsprint, despite a lingering oversupply, there are strong indicators that the supply/demand gap is diminishing. Industry statistics show that newsprint consumption is improving significantly and that customer inventories have fallen sharply over 1993 levels.
 Abitibi-Price's first quarter newsprint sales in the North American market were down 15% from the first quarter of 1993, as the company elected to take downtime to balance its supply with demand. Selling prices in the United States during the first quarter were, on average, 6% lower than for the same period in 1993 -- and 3% below those of the fourth quarter of last year. The company implemented a 7% reduction in the discount rate from the list price of newsprint effective March 1, 1994.
 Offshore shipments were 27% higher than they were in the first quarter of 1993. Consumption in Europe and most Asian and Latin American regions increased. Average selling prices in these markets in U.S. dollars were 15% below the level of a year ago, although they were 4% higher than in the fourth quarter of 1993.
 The market for uncoated groundwood papers was stronger. Total sales volume was up 7% over the first quarter of 1993. Consumption of supercalendered papers was particularly strong. The company expects demand and prices for machine-finished grades to parallel the improvement in newsprint.
 The Office Products division continued to grow as first quarter sales were up 27% and operating profit was up by 37%, over the same period of 1993. The major factors contributing to these gains were the expansion of the product line and the development of new markets in Western Europe. The division is expected to maintain its strong sales and earnings growth for the balance of the year.
 Abitibi-Price, a Canadian-based forest products company, manufactures newsprint and uncoated groundwood papers at eleven mills in North America and markets these products to customers around the world. The company is also a major distributor of office products in North America and Western Europe.
 Abitibi-Price Inc.
 207 Queen's Quay West
 Suite 680, Box 102
 Toronto, Ontario M5J 2P5
 SYMBOLS AND EXCHANGES:
 Common Shares: A (Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver)
 ABY (New York)
 Convertible Debentures: A.D (Toronto and Montreal)
 Installment Receipts: A.R (Toronto and Montreal)
 ABITIBI-PRICE INC.
 Consolidated Earnings
 (unaudited)
 Three months ended
 March 31
 (millions of Canadian dollars) 1994 1993
 Net sales $ 471.6 $ 454.7
 Cost of sales 440.6 430.7
 Selling and administrative
 expenses 21.4 26.2
 Depreciation and depletion 20.4 20.6
 482.4 477.5
 Operating loss from continuing
 operations (10.8) (22.8)
 Loss from newsprint joint ventures,
 before income taxes (12.4) (9.1)
 Interest expense - long-term (12.9) (9.0)
 Unusual item (21.6) --
 Other income and expense, net (1.7) 0.1
 Loss from continuing operations
 before income taxes (59.4) (40.8)
 Recovery of income taxes 15.5 12.9
 Loss from continuing operations (43.9) (27.9)
 Loss from discontinued operations,
 net of income tax recoveries
 of $0.5 -- (0.9)
 Loss for the period (43.9) (28.8)
 Provision for dividends on
 preferred shares (0.2) (0.4)
 Loss attributable to common
 shareholders $(44.1) $(29.2)
 Per common share:
 Loss from continuing operations $(0.57) $(0.40)
 Loss for the period $(0.57) $(0.42)
 Dividends declared $-- $0.125
 Weighted average number of common
 shares outstanding (millions) 77.3 69.3
 The first quarter of 1993 has been restated as the Company reclassified its converting businesses, Price Wilson and Hilroy to discontinued operations during the fourth quarter of 1993. The Company had previously classified its Building Products, Paper Distribution and Coated Papers businesses to discontinued operations.
 -0- 4/18/94
 /CONTACT: Eileen Mercier, Senior Vice-President, Finance, 416-369-6718; or Robert J. Tait, Manager, Investor Relations, 416-369-6789, both of Abitibi-Price/
 (ABY) CO: Abitibi-Price Inc. ST: Ontario IN: PAP SU: ERN


TW -- NY075 -- 8793 04/18/94 12:37 EDT
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Date:Apr 18, 1994
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