Canfor, the Vancouver, British Columbia-based lumber and pulp producer, reported that fourth quarter 2019 sales increased 7.5% to 1.105 billion Canadian dollars (US$836.6 million) from sales of C$1.028 million (US$ 778.3 million) in the fourth quarter 2018.
Sales for the full year fell 7.6% to C$4.658 billion (US$3.53 billion) compared to sales of C$5.044 billion (US$3.82 billion) in 2018.
Canfor posted a net loss of C$39.1 million (US$29.6 million) in the quarter. The company reported a net loss of C$52.4 million (US$39.68 million) in the fourth quarter last year.
For the full year, Canfor reported a net loss of C$263 million (US$199 million) – a huge, downward swing from a net income of C$354.9 million (US$268.7 million).
Unlike record-high lumber and pulp prices in 2018, weaker global lumber and pulp demand for much of 2019 along with excess inventory levels resulted in a sharp drop in market pricing for both lumber and pulp products.
During much of 2019, Canfor was hampered by numerous curtailments and shutdowns throughout its network of sawmills.
Canfor said that global lumber market fundamentals have displayed modest improvement in recent months, particularly in the United States, resulting from moderate growth in home construction activity in addition to demand in the repair and remodeling sector.
In the fourth quarter, Canfor and Canfor Corporation and Great Pacific Capital Corp. mutually terminated an acquisition agreement. The plan called for Great Pacific Capital, a subsidiary of Great Pacific, to acquire the remaining 49% of Canfor that it does not already own. Great Pacific is owned by Canadian billionaire Jim Pattison.
The deal was worth an estimated C$1 billion (US$757 million).