(Kingsey Falls) The Quebec manufacturer Cascades recorded a net loss of 15 million, or $0.15 per common share, in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, whereas a year earlier, it had made a net income of $22 million, or $0.22 per common share.

However, the paper giant’s sales rose during the same period, from 942 million to 1.038 billion.

Cascades President and CEO Mario Plourde acknowledges that the performance for the quarter ending March 31 was disappointing and below the company’s expectations. He blames the significant increase in production and operating costs, as the Tissue Papers sector has been confronted with a persistent increase in raw material prices. Plourde also points out that rising fuel prices caused by inflation have pushed up already high costs.

However, Mario Plourde observed a good performance in the Specialty Products sector thanks to the implementation of selling price increases and the increase in volumes due to strong demand.

Cascades has implemented price increases in the packaging sectors that will help offset headwinds in input costs, according to Plourde. In his view, these increases and favorable demand for packaging products will gradually improve profitability levels in the coming months.

Cascades’ Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.12 per common share, payable on June 9.

Company named in this dispatch: Cascades (TSX: CAS)



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