Wausau Paper Reports Fourth-Quarter And Full-Year 2013 Results

Wausau Paper (NYSE:WPP) reported:
  • Completed strategic transformation to a Company 100% focused on tissue during 2013
  • Continued strong case volume growth with fourth quarter growth up 7.4% and full year 2013 growth up 4.4%
  • Sequentially improved adjusted quarterly EBITDA
  • Reaffirms fourth quarter 2014 guidance of $20-24MM EBITDA; modestly revises full year 2014 guidance to $60-$70MM EBITDA from $65-$70MM

Financial Results
  • Net sales increased 4.8 percent to $91.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, a fourth quarter record, compared to $87.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. Full-year 2013 net sales increased 1.3 percent to $348.6 million compared to $344.2 million for full year 2012.
  • On a reported basis, fourth-quarter 2013 results from continuing operations were a net loss of $0.16 per share. Excluding special items, adjusted net loss per share from continuing operations were $0.00, improving sequentially from the third quarter of 2013 adjusted net loss from continuing operations, excluding special items, of $0.02 per share. Fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA was $11.6 million, up from adjusted EBITDA of $10.6 million in the third quarter of 2013.
  • On a reported basis, full-year 2013 results from continuing operations were a net loss of $0.57 per share. Excluding special items, the adjusted net loss from continuing operations in 2013 was $0.15 per share, compared to net earnings of $0.19 per share for 2012.
  • Compared to the third quarter of 2013, results of continuing operations in the fourth quarter were impacted by costs associated with an unplanned 3.5 day outage on the new towel and tissue machine in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, to improve operational performance, additional incentives and rebates resulting from increased sales volume, more competitive pricing in support product categories and professional fees associated with proxy and advisory services. These unfavorable impacts were more than offset by better than expected wastepaper pricing and the continued momentum gain of the new DublNature ® premium products.

Case Volume Growth of 7.4%
  • Fourth-quarter case shipment volume increased 7.4 percent in 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, and represented a quarterly Company shipment record with over 4,393,000 cases.
  • Strategic products, those products that are sold through proprietary dispensing systems or produced with premium substrates, were up 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the same quarter in 2012.
  • DublNature brand of premium products continued to gain momentum in the market and, in the second half of 2013, were up approximately 33 percent over 2012 shipment levels.

Rightsizing
  • The Company has relocated operations, logistics and procurement functions to its Kentucky site and centralized remaining information technology, finance and shared services in Wisconsin. The majority of senior leadership is based in Kentucky, including manufacturing leadership.
  • Overall $9 million of annualized cost reduction initiatives were in place at the end of 2013, including reduction of approximately 20 percent in salaried staffing levels.

Henry C. Newell, president and CEO, commented, “Wausau Paper is now uniquely positioned to create value as a company 100 percent focused on tissue, with a highly differentiated strategy that will continue to demonstrate above market rates of growth and expanding margins. Over the past year, we have completed the strategic repositioning of the Company, ramped up our Harrodsburg operations and launched a total of 20 new premium towel and tissue products – with more new products to come in 2014. As a result, our shipment volume grew 2 to 3 times the market’s growth rate, with second half growth of 4 to 5 times the market, and expanded adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margins every quarter.”

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