Norbord reports C$12m earnings and record productivity

2 November 2011

Panel producer Norbord has recorded earnings of C$12m (2010: C$10) in Q3, with record productivity at its OSB mills.

North American earnings reached C$10m, while European operations reached C$5m.

“While I still expect panel markets in Europe to soften, we did not see any meaningful impact on our business in the third quarter,said Norbord ceo Barrie Shineton.

“In North America, we continue to respond to the stagnant housing market by shifting more of our sales volume to alternate end uses.”

US housing starts were about 2% lower than last year, while single-family homes, which is important to the OSB industry, are down 12% year-on-year. But despite this, OSB prices have held up during the quarter.

North American OSB shipments were 4% higher than the previous quarter, with mills running at 85% capacity, while panel shipments were 6% lower in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter. But European volumes were up 15% on a year ago.

Norbord’s margin improvement plan continues to deliver better mill productivity and lower raw materials usage.