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Jacques Boissinot/Jacques Boissinot/CP

Forest products company Tembec Inc. says its net loss for the first quarter deepened by 33 per cent to $12-million, despite higher sales.

The Montreal-based company lost 12 cents per share for the period ended Dec. 25, compared to a nine-cent loss, or $9-million, a year earlier.

Sales for the quarter increased by $10-million to $422-million.

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Operating earnings before depreciation, amortization and other non-recurring items (EBITDA) improved by $7-million to $11-million compared to the prior year, but was down from $36-million in the fourth quarter.

Tembec's loss adjusted for one-time items was 10 cents per share, compared to six cents a year earlier when it benefited from a 16-cent gain on the translation of foreign debt.

One analyst polled by Thomson Reuters had expected the adjusted loss would be 11 cents per share on $438-million of revenues.

Tembec's corporate expenses included a $4-million charge for share-based compensation because the value of its shares doubled during the quarter.

Tembec said its results in the first quarter were impacted by planned maintenance downtime, the higher Canadian dollar, the inability to fully capture higher lumber prices and lower shipments of chemical pulp.

Lower seasonal productivity combined with timber quality issues at a few sawmills were also contributing factors.

Tembec forecast a significant improvement in second-quarter results.

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Tembec is an integrated forest products company, with operations in North America and France. It has some 6,000 employees, and operates more than 30 market pulp, paper and wood product manufacturing units, and produces silvichemicals from byproducts of its pulping process and specialty chemicals.

Tembec markets its products worldwide and has sales offices in Canada, the United States, China, Korea and Japan.

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