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Mercer International Inc. Reports Record Annual Pulp Production, Pulp Sales Volumes And Energy Sales And 2012 Fourth Quarter And Year End Results

Stocks in this article: MERC

Energy and chemical revenues decreased by approximately 6% in the fourth quarter of 2012 to €17.2 million from €18.3 million in the same quarter last year, as a result of lower pulp production.

Pulp production decreased to 349,517 ADMTs in the current quarter from 364,876 ADMTs in the same quarter of 2011, primarily due to greater than planned maintenance downtime at our Celgar mill, partially offset by record production at our Rosenthal mill. In the current quarter, equipment and process disruptions at the Celgar mill resulted in approximately 14,000 ADMTs of lost production.We took ten days (approximately 18,100 ADMTs) of scheduled maintenance downtime at our Stendal mill in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to 15 days (approximately 27,900 ADMTs) in the same quarter of 2011. We currently have no scheduled maintenance downtime for the first quarter of 2013.

Pulp sales volumes decreased by approximately 16% and 17% to 335,215 ADMTs in the current quarter from 400,005 ADMTs and 404,301 ADMTs in the comparative and prior quarters, respectively, primarily as a result of lower sales to China. Pulp sales volumes in the comparative and prior quarters were particularly strong as a result of strong sales volumes to China. Average pulp sales realizations decreased by 4% to €504 ($654) per ADMT in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to €527 ($710) per ADMT in the same period last year, due to lower NBSK pulp prices.

Costs and expenses in the fourth quarter of 2012 decreased by approximately 21% to €181.2 million from €228.6 million in the comparative period of 2011, primarily due to lower pulp sales volumes and fiber costs at our mills. Our costs and expenses in the current quarter included approximately €6.4 million for regularly scheduled maintenance costs. Several competing producers and members of the peer group that we benchmark our performance against now report their financial results in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards which permit a significant portion of such maintenance costs to be capitalized instead of expensed. Such costs are not charged to EBITDA by the peer group companies but instead are expensed as depreciation.

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