Canfor will take $256 million hit

Canadian forest products company Canfor has announced pre-tax write-downs of about $256 million, another sign of the difficulty faced in lumber markets of the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

The Vancouver-based company said the charges included $90 million related to its lumber segment, $141 million related to wood panels and $25 million to corporate and other related segments.

In December, the forest products company opted to close a Chetwynd, B.C.-based sawmill, laying off 188 employees. Canfor attributed the closure to poor lumber markets and the impact of a high Canadian dollar. Additionally, Canfor earlier laid off 300 workers at four sawmills in British Columbia.

Canfor will release fourth-quarter and fiscal 2007 results on Feb. 22.