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Norbord reports the strongest quarter in its history

19.11.2020 − 

Norbord managed to improve almost all of its key financials significantly in the third quarter on the back of higher sales in both North America and Europe and a sharp increase in North American OSB prices. Total sales did decrease by 3.8% compared with the same stretch last year to 2.016 billion sqft or 1.784 million m³, but this effect was more than erased by price hikes in North America. Group revenues leapt by two-thirds to US$725m as a result. Total EBITDA soared almost ten-fold to US$310m. Adjusted EBITDA showed a similar surge to US$322m Norbord’s CEO Peter Wijnbergen described the third quarter as the best in the company’s history. Its old record set in the second quarter of 2018 was surpassed by 18%. Last year’s operating loss was turned into a sizeable profit of US$274m. The same is true for its net profit of US$203m. Norbord also encountered a substantial improvement compared with the second quarter thanks to price increases in North America.

Norbord sold 1.523 billion sqft or 1.348 million m³ of OSB in North America in the third quarter, 8.8% more than the previous year’s total of 1.400 billion sqft. Its North American OSB mills boosted their capacity utilisation to 86% as a result, compared with 74% in the second quarter and 92% in the same stretch last year.

Norbord’s European mills saw their sales rise by 12% in a year-on-year comparison to land at 493 million sqft or 436,000 m³, primarily thanks to the ramp-up of a new OSB line in Inverness, Scotland. Second-quarter sales slipped to 402 million sqft or 356,000 m³ because of Covid-related downtime at British mills. Capacity utilisation, which fell to 70% as a result, rebounded to 97 % in the third quarter.

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