Residential Sector Boosts West Fraser Earnings

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. had first quarter sales of $3.11 billion and earnings of $1.09 billion. This compares to sales of $2.04 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021 and earnings in that quarter of $334 million. Its adjusted earnings before taxes of $1.59 billion, represents 51 per cent of sales. "We continued to manage significant transportation challenges and the resulting mill disruptions that commenced late last year in British Columbia and that were exacerbated in the first quarter by the typical transportation issues posed by Canadian winters,” says Ray Ferris, West Fraser's president & CEO. “These near-term constraints to North American supply were offset by continued strong demand for our products.” With the most significant uses for its North American lumber, OSB, and wood panel products for residential construction, repair, and remodeling and industrial applications, the historically low mortgage rates, low volumes of homes available for resale, and increased acceptance and practice of remote working appear to be positively influencing the demand for new home construction in North America. The demand for its European products is expected to remain robust as demand for OSB as an alternative to plywood in Europe continues to grow.