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Press release from Marketwire

Noranda Income Fund Reports Fourth Quarter Earnings Before Finance Costs and Income Taxes of $24.3 Million

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Noranda Income Fund Reports Fourth Quarter Earnings Before Finance Costs and Income Taxes of $24.3 Million16:25 EST Tuesday, February 12, 2013SALABERRY-DE-VALLEYFIELD, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Feb. 12, 2013) -Noranda Income Fund (the "Fund") (TSX:NIF.UN) had a strong fourth quarter. Q4 2012 and Subsequent HighlightsThe Fund completed an internal reorganization that eliminated the requirement for an in-kind distribution, starting in fiscal 2012 The Fund issued a monthly cash distribution of $0.04167 per unit to Priority Unitholders in all twelve months of 2012, and in January of 2013 The Fund increased its 2013 capital investment program by $20 million to improve the Processing Facility's silica removal capability The Board of Trustees, through its Independent Committee, has retained the services of an industry consultant to assist in identifying possible alternative sources of zinc concentrate after the expiry of the Supply and Processing Agreement Earnings before finance costs and income taxes were $24.3 million (Q4 2011 - $2.4 million) Zinc metal production set a new quarterly record at 74,748 tonnes (Q4 2011 - 67,504 tonnes). The previous record was 70,358 tonnes in the third quarter of 2002 Zinc metal sales were 67,511 tonnes (Q4 2011 - 63,655 tonnes) Zinc premiums were 7.5 cents US per pound (Q4 2011 - 5.8 cents US per pound) By-product revenues were $12.2 million (Q4 2011 - $11.2 million) Sulphuric acid netback was US$80 per tonne (Q4 2011 - US$73 per tonne) Copper in cake production was 790 tonnes (Q4 2011 - 594 tonnes) Copper in cake sales were 734 tonnes (Q4 2011 - 585 tonnes). Conference Call and Webcast: February 13th at 8:30 a.m. ESTDial in number: 416-340-8527Toll-free North American number: 1-877-240-9772In addition, you can listen to the teleconference and view the slide presentation from the Noranda Income Fund website: http://www.norandaincomefund.com/investor/conference.html or click on this link: http://events.digitalmedia.telus.com/noranda/021313/index.php Recording of the Conference Call: Dial in number: 905-694-9451 orToll-free North American number: 1-800-408-3053.The pass code is 8788 350# and you will be prompted for your name and company. The recording will be available until midnight on February 27th, 2013.Zinc Concentrate SupplyIn 2012, the Fund advised that with the closure of Brunswick Mine, the Processing Facility may be required to treat concentrate with higher levels of impurities in the future. While the feed mix is expected to be within the specifications set out in the Supply and Processing Agreement, the Fund determined it was important to increase its silica removal capability. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the Fund increased its 2013 capital investment program so that the Processing Facility could treat a more varied feed quality mix. Approximately $20 million will be invested in 2013 to do so.Also in the fourth quarter of 2012, the Processing Facility received an increased supply of zinc concentrate. Over 2013, the increased concentrate availability will allow for flexibility in blending the new with the current feed mix and it will ensure a gradual transition. Going forward, the ability of the Processing Facility to treat a wide variety of zinc concentrate feeds is required so that it can continue to operate at full capacity.Other DevelopmentsIn 2012, the Board, through its Independent Committee, felt it would be prudent, and has since retained the services of an industry consultant to assist in identifying possible alternative sources of zinc concentrate after the expiry of the Supply and Processing Agreement.Financial and Operating Highlights (Fourth quarter 2012 compared to the fourth quarter 2011)Earnings before finance costs and income taxes in the fourth quarter of 2012 were $24.3 million compared to $2.4 million in the same quarter a year ago. The $21.9 million increase was mainly due to higher zinc sales, premiums, processing fee and recoveries. In addition, the fourth quarter of 2012 also benefitted from the absence of a non-recurring $7.1 million cost increase for additional pension benefits and early retirement provisions for the collective agreement, which was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2011.Cash provided from operating activities, before net changes in non-cash working capital items in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $17.4 million compared to $18.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. During the fourth quarter of 2012, non-cash working capital increased by $36.5 million. The increase in working capital resulted primarily from an increase in inventories and accounts receivable, partially offset by an increase in accounts payable and accrued liabilities. The increase in inventories in the fourth quarter was a result of additional deliveries of zinc concentrate that were received. The increased concentrate availability allows for more flexibility in blending the various feeds, ensuring a gradual transition to the new feed mix in 2013.Financial and Operating Highlights (2012 compared to 2011)Earnings before finance costs and income taxes in 2012 were $66.7 million compared to $59.9 million in 2011. The $6.8 million increase was mainly due to higher zinc premiums and processing fee, partially offset by lower zinc sales and by-product revenues.Cash provided by operating activities in 2012, before net changes in non-cash working capital items, was $64.6 million compared to $71.5 million in 2011. During 2012, non- cash working capital increased by $39.3 million due to an increase in accounts receivable and inventories and a decrease in the income taxes payable. During 2011, non-cash working capital decreased by $55.3 million due to a decrease in accounts receivable and inventories and an increase in the income taxes payable.OTHER DEVELOPMENTSToday, Bob Sippel resigned from the Fund's Board of Trustees. Mr. Sippel has been a Board member since April of 2004. His expertise in both zinc markets and the zinc industry was invaluable to the Fund. John Swidler, on behalf of the Board would like to thank Mr. Sippel for his support and contribution.Neil Wardle joined the Board of Trustees today. Mr. Wardle was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Xstrata Zinc Canada in July 2012. Prior to this, he was the Executive General Manager of Britannia Refined Metals Limited which is part of Xstrata plc. Mr. Wardle has also held various other mining and metallurgical roles in Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Metallurgy from the South Australian Institute of Technology.A full version of the year-end 2012 Management's Discussion and Analysis ("MD&A") and the Audited Consolidated Financial Statements will be posted on the Fund's website, http://www.norandaincomefund.com/investor/financials.html today, February 12, 2013 and they will be available on www.sedar.com on February 13, 2013. Readers should be advised that the summarized communication presented in this press release is limited in its disclosure. It is not a suitable source of information for readers who are unfamiliar with the Fund, and it is not in any way a substitute for reading the Audited Consolidated Financial Statements and MD&A because a reader relying on this summary alone might overlook decision critical information.Noranda Income Fund is an income trust whose units trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "NIF.UN". The Noranda Income Fund owns the electrolytic zinc processing facility and ancillary assets (the "CEZinc processing facility") located in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Québec. The CEZinc processing facility is the second-largest zinc processing facility in North America and the largest zinc processing facility in eastern North America, where the majority of zinc customers are located. It produces refined zinc metal and various by-products from zinc concentrates purchased from mining operations. The CEZinc processing facility is operated and managed by Canadian Electrolytic Zinc Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xstrata Canada Corporation.Except where otherwise indicated, all amounts in this press release are expressed in Canadian dollars.Further information about the Noranda Income Fund can be found at www.norandaincomefund.com.SELECTED FINANCIAL AND OPERATING INFORMATIONFourth QuarterYear($ thousands)2012201120122011Statements of Comprehensive Income InformationRevenues150,779137,803577,676644,271Raw material purchase costs66,00373,614288,047340,446Revenues less raw material purchase costs84,77664,189289,629303,825Other expenses:Production42,71749,125169,033181,209Selling and administration5,4215,51621,13920,101Foreign currency loss (gain)1,413(1,844)(681)919Loss (gain) on derivative financial instruments1,641(115)(940)3,473Depreciation of property, plant and equipment9,0628,12333,50234,126Rehabiliation expense2669749224,137Earnings before finance costs and income taxes24,2562,41066,65459,860Finance costs, net2,0092,2817,98116,110Earnings before income taxes22,24712958,67343,750Current and deferred income tax (recovery) expense(5,131)(114)7,65015,408Earnings attributable to Unitholders and Non-controlling interest27,37824351,02328,342Distributions to Unitholders4,68726,43618,75027,998Current income tax recovery on distribution(35)(7,441)(4,136)(7,751)Increase in net assets attributable to Unitholdersand Non-controlling interest22,726(18,752)36,4098,095Other comprehensive income (loss)(2,371)(5,888)(5,545)(8,097)Comprehensive income20,355(24,640)30,864(2)Statements of Financial Position InformationDec. 31, 2012Dec. 31, 2011Cash1,3031,497Inventories91,69761,017Accounts receivable98,34792,779Income taxes receivable4,80124Property, plant and equipment270,867277,135Total assets477,629447,389Accounts payable and accrued liabilities72,44860,795Total bank and other loans95,50994,216Total liabilities excluding net assets attributable to unitholders242,621243,245Fourth QuarterYearStatements of Cash Flows Information2012201120122011Cash provided by operating activities before cash distributions and net change in non-cash working capital items 22,100 22,697 83,361 77,754Cash distributions(4,687)(4,687)(18,750)(6,250)Net change in non-cash working capital items(36,450)28,244(39,297)55,266Cash provided by operating activities(19,037)46,25425,314126,770Cash used in investing activities(8,499)(8,540)(24,632)(25,817)Cash used in financing activities22,754(37,018)(876)(102,854)Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents(4,782)696(194)(1,901)Cash distributions declared per Priority Unit0.125010.125010.500040.16668Fourth QuarterYear2012201120122011Zinc concentrate processed (tonnes)124,296127,351497,183504,851Zinc grade (%)53.554.254.054.1Zinc recovery (%)97.696.697.296.8Zinc metal production (tonnes)74,74867,504263,697263,286Zinc metal sales (tonnes)67,51163,655260,401266,814Processing fee (cents/pound)39.238.939.238.9Zinc metal premium (US$/pound)0.0750.0580.0750.059By-product revenues ($ millions)12.211.243.450.4Copper in cake production (tonnes)7905942,2022,604Copper in cake sales (tonnes)7345851,9513,396Sulphuric acid production (tonnes)99,884104,798408,849419,003Sulphuric acid sales (tonnes)97,419100,541410,358414,010Average LME copper price (US$/pound)3.593.403.614.00Sulphuric acid netback (US$/tonne)80737672Average LME zinc price (US$/pound)0.890.860.880.99Average US/Cdn. exchange rate0.991.021.000.99* 1 tonne = 2,204.62 poundsAdjusted Earnings before Distributions to Unitholders, Finance Costs, Income Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization ("Adjusted EBITDA")Adjusted EBITDA is used by the Fund as an indication of cash generated from operations. Adjusted EBITDA is not a recognized measure under IFRS and therefore the Fund's method of calculating Adjusted EBITDA is unlikely to be comparable to methods used by other entities.The Fund's Adjusted EBITDA is calculated by adjusting earnings before finance costs and income taxes for all of the non-cash items such as depreciation, rehabilitation expense, net change in employee benefits, loss on the sale of assets, changes in fair value of embedded derivatives and non-cash gains/(losses) on derivative financial instruments.The Fund's Adjusted EBITDA is currently supported by the stability provided in the Supply and Processing Agreement. It may be subject to more variability once this agreement expires in 2017.A reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarters and years of 2012 and 2011 is provided below:Adjusted EBITDAQ4/2012Q4/2011Change($ thousands)Earnings before finance costs and income taxes$24,256$2,410$21,846Depreciation of property, plant and equipment9,0628,123939Net change in rehabiliation liability55979(924)Derivative financial instruments (gain) loss(699)167(866)Change in fair value of embedded derivatives(4,670)854(5,524)(Gain) loss on sale of assets(268)268(536)Net change in employee benefits(702)7,204(7,906)$27,034$20,005$7,029Adjusted EBITDA20122011Change($ thousands)Earnings before finance costs and income taxes$66,654$59,860$6,794Depreciation of property, plant and equipment33,50234,126(624)Net change in rehabiliation liability5214,111(3,590)Derivative financial instruments (gain) loss(2,899)3,757(6,656)Change in fair value of embedded derivatives5,593(11,254)16,847(Gain) loss on sale of assets(380)746(1,126)Net change in employee benefits(2,331)6,245(8,576)$100,660$97,591$3,069FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Contact Information: Financial information:Michael Boone, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer ofCanadian Electrolytic Zinc Limited,Noranda Income Fund's Manager416 775-1561info@norandaincomefund.com