03/13/2015 07:11 EDT | Updated 05/13/2015 05:59 EDT

Cascades posts Q4 loss, reduced adjusted earnings as it undergoes transition

KINGSEY FALLS, Que. - Cascades Inc. (TSX:CAS) posted a $47-million net loss in for the fourth quarter, which included a number of expenses such as asset write-downs and a loss on discontinued operations.

Excluding those items, the Quebec-based packaging and tissue producer had $8 million of net earnings, down from $18 million or 19 cents per share a year earlier. Sales rose to $879 million from $844 million a year earlier.

The company says several initiatives that had a negative impact on its fourth-quarter will improve its results in the future.

Cascades makes packaging products such as boxboard and containerboard as well as bathroom tissue, much of it using recycled material.

The fourth quarter included the sale of some of its container business, the startup of a new tissue paper machine in Oregon and the startup of a new tissue converting line at a plant in North Carolina.

The net loss for the quarter ended Dec. 31 includes a $36-million loss from discontinued, operations, $13-million item to recognize the impaired value of assets in its packaging group, a $13 million foreign-exchange loss and a $5 million provision following settlement of a class action against the packaging group.

Cascades also said Friday that it will continue to buy back shares from the public market. Since March 1, 2014, it has bought 77,400 common shares at an average cost of $5.93. The new buyback program enables it to acquire up to 942,194 shares over the next year.