Plum Creek posts improved results

With lumber, plywood and OSB suppliers anticipating continued demand growth in 2013, Seattle-based Plum Creek Timber Co. said that now is a pretty good time to be in the timber business. 

Plum Creek ended 2012 on a high note with fourth-quarter earnings of $79 million, up 29.5% from the same quarter last year. 

Sales for the fourth quarter were $354 million, up 12.4% from the fourth quarter of 2011. 

"We exceeded our initial expectations for the fourth quarter, benefitting from continued strong demand for well-managed timberlands," said Rick Holley, president and CEO. "In 2012 we grew adjusted EBITDA to $530 million, or an increase of 19%, exceeding our goal for the year." 

The full year also showed gains. Earnings were $203 million, compared with $193 million in the prior year. Revenues of $1.34 billion were up from $1.17 billion. 

"During the year, we continued to position ourselves to benefit from the emerging recovery in residential construction," said Holley. "We’ve worked closely with logging contractors over the past several years to ensure we are in preferred positions to serve the growing demand from our traditional customers, as well as emerging bioenergy customers." 

The company expects demand to increase in 2013, along with pricing.

"We’re excited about the prospects for continued recovery and growth in 2013 and expect that the opportunities beyond are even more compelling," Holley said. "Over the past year, housing has moved from being a drag on the economy to being a bright spot. We are seeing improving demand for lumber and wood panels that is expected to translate into higher demand and pricing for logs in 2013.”