Cascades swings to $29 million loss in fourth quarter; revenue slumps to $904M

KINGSEY FALLS, Que. – Cascades Inc. (TSX:CAS) swung to a $29-million net loss in the fourth quarter, without the benefit of a one-time gain in the year-earlier period.

The Quebec-based recycled paper and packaging manufacturer says its net loss in the three months ended Dec. 31 amounted to 30 cents per share.

A year earlier, net profit was $5 million or five cents per share. That included a $38-million gain from the disposal of assets, partially offset by other items.

The company’s operating loss, which excludes the onetime gain as well as impairment and restructuring charges and foreign exchange items, was $19 million compared with a $14-million loss in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The increased operating loss was primarily due to lower revenue, which fell to $904 million from $913 million. The company cited lower prices and an unfavourable exchange rate with the euro as the main reason for the decline.

On an adjusted basis, Cascades reported a loss of two cents per share, compared with a net loss of four cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2011.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, the company’s shares were down six cents, or 1.3 per cent at $4.54.

For the full year, Cascades reported a net loss of $11 million or 11 cents per share on revenues of $3.64 billion, compared with a net profit of $99 million or $1.03 per share on revenue of $3.62 billion in 2011.

Excluding discontinued operations, Cascades had a loss of six cents per share — an improvement from the loss of 16 cents per share from continuing operations in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products that are composed mainly of recycled fibres. It employs more than 12,000 employees, who work in more than 100 units located in North America and Europe.