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Plum Creek Reports Improved Results For Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2012

Stocks in this article: PCL

Summary of 2012 Results

The company reported $281 million in operating income for 2012, $6 million higher than 2011’s $275 million operating income. Profit improvement in the timber and manufacturing businesses were partially offset by lower income from the real estate segment.

The company’s timber resource segments reported a combined $110 million of operating income for 2012, up $12 million from 2011’s level. Sawlog prices were largely unchanged from year to year while pulpwood prices increased approximately $1 per ton in both the Northern and Southern regions. The company’s harvest level of 17.9 million tons was 13 percent higher than the 2011 harvest of 15.8 million tons. In the North, the total harvest grew nearly 190,000 tons, or 5 percent. In the South, the total harvest grew approximately 1.9 million tons, a 17 percent increase in harvest volume compared to 2011. The company’s early 2012 timber deed acquisition contributed approximately 650,000 tons of the increase.

In the Real Estate segment, the company reported revenue of $352 million in 2012 and $301 million in 2011. Operating income was $187 million during 2012 compared with $195 million during 2011. Per acre values of the various land types sold were consistent with those realized for the past four years. The decline in operating margin in the segment was due entirely to higher-than-typical book basis of the land sold during 2012.

Operating income from the company’s Manufacturing segment was $29 million, nearly double the $15 million reported in 2011. Product prices in each of the segment’s product lines increased between three and ten percent when compared to 2011 prices. Sales volumes for plywood and Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) increased 16 percent and 24 percent respectively while lumber sales volumes were largely unchanged.

Review of Quarterly Operations

The Northern Resources segment reported operating profit of $5 million for the fourth quarter, compared to a $7 million profit reported in the fourth quarter of 2011. As planned, the company’s fourth quarter harvest volumes were lower than those of the same period of 2011. The eleven percent lower harvest volumes combined with temporarily higher road expenses offset the benefit of slightly higher prices for both sawlogs and pulpwood experienced in the fourth quarter of 2012.

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