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WEIMA June 2023 Leader
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West Fraser records $35M Q1 profit on steady sales

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West Fraser Timber Co. generated first quarter sales of $1.627 billion, identical to the sales it posted in the first quarter of 2023.
The difference of Q1 results this year compared to last is that the company recorded a profit of $35 million versus a loss of $42 million. This year’s first quarter also improved on Q4 2023 when West Fraser posted a $153 million loss on $1.514 billion in sales.
West Fraser said based on housing construction and remodelling trends, it expects its total lumber shipments in 2024 to approximate 2023 levels. The company reiterated that it expects 2024 spruce-pine-fir (SPF) shipments of 2.6 to 2.8 billion board feet and southern yellow pine (SYP) shipments of 2.7 to 2.9 billion board feet.
"Our North American OSB, plywood and other engineered products had another strong quarter in Q1-24, with robust demand driven by strength in new home construction, which carried over from the fourth quarter,” said Sean McLaren, West Fraser's president and CEO. “This was in contrast to ongoing demand softness in our European EWP business and North American lumber business, particularly for SYP lumber with its greater relative exposure to repair and remodelling applications.
"While some of our wood building products still face near-term demand uncertainties, we remain optimistic in our ability to continue managing through current markets, executing on our strategy with the strong balance sheet, people and expertise to handle whatever comes our way. We continue to make progress optimizing our portfolio of assets and investing capital to modernize mills and lower costs across our platform, creating a more resilient organization. Of note, we are already seeing early financial benefits from the recent closures of some of our higher-cost lumber mills. Finally, we completed the disposition of three of our pulp and paper mills and are now the sole owner and operator of CPP following the dissolution of our joint venture.”
West Fraser reported capital expenditures of $122 million in the first quarter, adding that barring “deterioration from current market demand conditions,” it will invest approximately $450 million to $550 million in its facilities this year.”
West Fraser is a diversified wood products company with more than 60 facilities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

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