Clearwater Paper Corporation reported net sales of $436.7 million for the 4Q 2017, up 2.6% compared to net sales of $425.6 million for the 4Q 2016.
Net earnings determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, for the 4Q 2017 were $80.9 million, or $4.88 per diluted share, compared to net earnings for the 4Q 2016 of $9.3 million, or $0.56 per diluted share.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, were $52.2 million for the 4Q 2017 compared to $49.3 million for the 4Q 2016.
Adjusted EBITDA for the 4Q was $57.5 million, up 6.3% compared to 4Q 2016 Adjusted EBITDA of $54.1 million. The $3.4 million increase in Adjusted EBITDA in the 4Q 2017 was primarily a result of higher paperboard pricing and volumes, improved consumer product mix, and lower general maintenance costs. Additional factors for the increase included lower wage and benefits expense resulting from warehouse automation projects at several of the company's facilities, the shutdown of two higher cost tissue machines at the company's Neenah, Wisconsin mill at the end of 2016 and the closure of the company's Oklahoma City converting facility in March 2017. These factors were partially offset by lower non-retail tissue shipment volumes and higher input costs for pulp, transportation and energy.
"We had a strong finish to 2017 due to improved operating efficiencies resulting from the completion of our three-year strategic capital projects, including warehouse automation and the continuous pulp digester at our Lewiston, Idaho mill,” said Linda K. Massman, president and CEO. "We also had increased paperboard sales and shipments and ultra-quality tissue sales, partially offset by very competitive market conditions in the retail industry and higher transportation costs.”
Clearwater Paper manufactures quality consumer tissue, away-from-home tissue, parent roll tissue, bleached paperboard and pulp.