Canfor cites lower pulp prices as fourth-quarter profits fall to $4.7M

VANCOUVER – Canfor Pulp Products Inc. (TSX:CFX) is reporting a lower year-over-profit in the fourth quarter as lower pulp prices and a higher Canadian dollar trumped increased shipments and lower manufacturing costs.

However, the Vancouver-based forest products company said it was reinstating it quarterly dividend of five cents per share and the issue was up 43 cents or 4.43 per cent at $10.13 in morning trading Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The dividend is payable March 5 to shareholders of record Feb. 26.

Canfor said net income was $4.7 million or seven cents per diluted share in the three months ended Dec. 31.

That was down sharply from $15.8 million or 22 cents per share in the same 2011 period, but a reversal of the $4.6 million or six cents per share net loss it suffered in the third quarter.

Revenue fell to $201.9 million from $212.7 million year over year.

“After the challenges experienced in the last quarter, it was encouraging to see solid improvements in productivity, as well as some improvement in market conditions this quarter,” CEO Don Kayne said.

For the full year, net income was $13.7 million or 14 cents per share on revenue of $810.4 million, compared with net profit of $138.6 million, or $1.94 per share on revenue of $941 million in 2011.