VANCOUVER, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Canadian forest products company Canfor Corp posted a higher fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, boosted by strong lumber prices and an increase in pulp production and shipments.
The Vancouver-based company said it expects lumber consumption to continue to rise in 2014 due to U.S. demand and offshore markets, though it warned that pulp prices could come under pressure from increased capacity.
Net income attributable to shareholders rose 31 percent to C$28 million, or 20 Canadian cents per share, compared with C$21.3 million, or 15 Canadian cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2012.
On an adjusted basis, net income was 35 Canadian cents a share, compared with 14 Canadian cents a share in the same quarter a year earlier. Analysts had expected earnings of 36 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Lumber sales rose 14 percent to C$533.7 million in the fourth quarter on higher prices, lower export taxes and a favorable impact from the weakening Canadian dollar.
Pulp and paper sales climbed 21 percent to C$275.8 million mainly on increased shipments to China, higher pulp prices and the decline in the Canadian dollar.
The company said the outlook for lumber remained strong, boosted by the housing market recovery in the United States and demand for lumber from China and Japan.
Canfor produces softwood lumber and specialized wood products, and is the majority shareholder of Canfor Pulp Products Inc, one of the largest producers of softwood kraft pulp in Canada.