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Mercer International Inc. Reports 2013 First Quarter Results

NEW YORK, May 2, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mercer International Inc. (Nasdaq:MERC) (TSX:MRI.U) today reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013. Operating EBITDA* in the first quarter of 2013 was €24.3 million ($32.1 million), compared to €30.6 million ($40.1 million) in the first quarter of 2012 and €21.3 million ($27.6 million) in the fourth quarter of 2012.

For the first quarter of 2013, we had a net loss of €0.4 million ($0.5 million), or €0.01 ($0.01) per share, compared to net income of €1.2 million ($1.6 million), or €0.02 ($0.03) per share, in the first quarter of 2012 and a net loss of €5.2 million ($6.7 million), or €0.09 ($0.12) per share, for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Summary Financial Highlights
  Q1 2013 Q4 2012 Q1 2012
  (in millions, except per share amounts)
Pulp revenues  € 180.1 € 171.3 € 199.4
Energy and chemical revenues  18.2 17.2 18.9
Operating income  9.5 7.3 16.2
Operating EBITDA  24.3 21.3 30.6
Gain on derivative instruments  4.8 2.4 0.9
Income tax benefit (provision)  (0.9) (2.4) (0.7)
Net income (loss) (1) (0.4) (5.2) 1.2
Net income (loss) per share (1)(2) € (0.01) € (0.09) € 0.02
Common shares outstanding at period end  55.8 55.8 55.8
_________________________      
(1)  Attributable to common shareholders.       
(2)  Per basic and diluted share.      

Summary Operating Highlights
  Q1 2013 Q4 2012 Q1 2012
Pulp Production ('000 ADMTs)  361.2 349.5 380.3
Scheduled Production Downtime ('000 ADMTs)  -- 18.1 --
Pulp Sales ('000 ADMTs)  356.7 335.2 384.8
Average NBSK pulp list price in Europe ($/ADMT) (1) 832 803 837
Average NBSK pulp list price in Europe (€/ADMT)  630 619 638
Average pulp sales realizations (€/ADMT) (2) 499 504 512
Energy Production ('000 MWh)  424.4 405.9 436.2
Energy Sales ('000 MWh)  173.6 163.8 182.4
_________________________      
(1)  Source: RISI pricing report.      
(2)  Sales realizations after discounts. Incorporates the effect of pulp price variations occurring between the order and shipment dates.
       
___________________________      
* Operating EBITDA is not a measure of financial performance under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States ("GAAP") and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. See page 9 of the financial tables included in this press release for a reconciliation of net income (loss) attributable to common shareholders to Operating EBITDA.
       
  Q1 2013 Q4 2012 Q1 2012
Average Spot Currency Exchange Rates:      
€ / $ (1) 0.7580 0.7707 0.7623
C$ / $ (1) 1.0087 0.9912 1.0009
C$ / € (2) 1.3319 1.2862 1.3129
_________________________      
(1)  Average Federal Reserve Bank of New York noon spot rate over the reporting period.      
(2)  Average Bank of Canada noon spot rate over the reporting period.      

President's Comments

Mr. Jimmy S.H. Lee, President and Chairman, stated: "Despite a continued weak NBSK pulp price environment, we achieved Operating EBITDA of €24.3 million in the current quarter, primarily as a result of strong sales volumes and energy and chemical sales at our mills. Overall, pulp sales volumes increased by approximately 6% to 356,660 ADMTs during the first quarter of 2013 from 335,215 ADMTs in the prior quarter. Energy and chemical revenues also increased by approximately 6% to €18.2 million in the current quarter compared to the prior quarter. A weakening of the U.S. dollar by 1% compared to the first quarter of 2012 negatively impacted our operating results."

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