Strong panels markets boost Norbord earnings

5 February 2018

Panel producer Norbord has posted record earnings in 2017 for its worldwide business.

The company also achieved record production at nine of its 15 mills, while the Inverness OSB expansion project was also completed.

Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord's president and CEO, described 2017 as an outstanding year, with record adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of US$672m.

“US housing starts continued to improve, led by stronger growth in the single-family segment, driving increased North American OSB demand and prices,” he said.

“Our European business had another solid year due to record sales volumes and improved prices for all our panel products across our key markets."

He highlighted “great momentum” moving into 2018, with demand in all its core markets remaining strong.

“Meanwhile, our European business is poised for improved earnings next year as OSB substitution for plywood drives accelerated demand growth in our core UK and German markets.”

In Europe, shipments increased 5% over the prior year, with its mills running at 99% of capacity in 2017. In local currency terms, full-year average panel prices improved 11% from 2016.