Feb 23 (Reuters) - Packaging and paper products company Cascades Inc posted an adjust quarterly loss while analysts expected a profit, as higher input costs and a strong Canadian dollar hurt margins.
Seasonality and softer demand throughout the industry resulted in lower shipments in the fourth quarter, Chief Executive Alain Lemaire said in a statement.
"After two quarters of improvements, 2011 has ended on a disappointing note ... Also, lower operational efficiency at certain of our production units has contributed to higher production costs and lower profitability," Lemaire added.
For the October-December quarter, Kingsey Falls, Quebec-based Cascades earned C$5 million, or 5 Canadian cents a share, compared with a loss of C$12 million, or 12 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.
Excluding items, the company posted a loss of 4 Canadian cents a share. Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 7 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales for the company, which produces packaging and tissue products composed mainly of recycled fibres and pulp, rose nearly 17 percent to C$913 million.
Cascades shares, which have lost more than a third of their value in the last one year, closed at C$4.44 on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.