The improvement is primarily due to higher North American OSB prices and shipment volumes as well as lower resin prices and the weaker Canadian dollar.

North American operations generated adjusted EBITDA of US$53m compared to US$11m in the same quarter last year and US$51m in the prior quarter.

European operations, which comprise three UK panel mills and a factory in Belgium, delivered adjusted EBITDA of US$10m – US$3m higher than the same quarter last year and in line with the prior quarter.

"Our first quarter adjusted EBITDA result is almost a four-fold increase from a year ago," said Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord’s president and CEO.

"I’m also encouraged by the sequential improvement despite the seasonally lower North American benchmark OSB prices," he said.

In the 12 months since Norbord’s merger with Ainsworth, the company has also achieved US$32m in annualised synergies.

"The pace of US housing starts is 14% higher than this time last year and single-family building activity is up even more," added Mr Wijnbergen.

Another solid quarter was delivered in the European operation, reflecting sales growth and record utilisation at the mills.
"OSB prices continued to rise on the continent and are now starting to turn up in the UK."