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KINGSEY FALLS, QC, Aug. 10, 2017 --- Cascades Inc. (TSX: CAS) reports its unaudited financial results for the three-month period ended June 30, 2017.

Q2 2017 Highlights

Sales of $1,130 million
(compared to $1,006 million in Q1 2017 (+12%) and $998 million in Q2 2016 (+13%))
As reported (including specific items)
Operating income of $48 million
(compared to $31 million in Q1 2017 (+55%) and $65 million in Q2 2016 (-26%))
OIBD1 of $104 million
(compared to $78 million in Q1 2017 (+33%) and $112 million in Q2 2016 (-7%))
Net earnings per common share of $3.41
(compared to net earnings of $1.70 in Q1 2017 and net earnings of $0.38 in Q2 2016)
Adjusted (excluding specific items)2
Operating income of $51 million
(compared to $28 million in Q1 2017 (+82%) and $65 million in Q2 2016 (-22%))
OIBD1 of $107 million
(compared to $75 million in Q1 2017 (+43%) and $112 million in Q2 2016 (-4%))
Net earnings per common share of $0.25
(compared to net earnings of $0.13 in Q1 2017 and net earnings of $0.38 in Q2 2016)
Greenpac results fully consolidated with those of the Corporation effective April 4, 2017.
Cascades added to the S&P/TSX Composite Index and to the S&P/TSX Composite Dividend Index effective June 19, 2017.
Net debt2 of $1,780 million as at June 30, 2017 (compared to $1,617 million as at March 31, 2017) and net debt to adjusted OIBD ratio2 at 4.2x on a pro-forma basis3.
On July 27, 2017, the Corporation announced the sale of it's 17.3% equity ownership in Boralex for an amount of $287.5 million.


OIBD = Operating income before depreciation and amortization.


For further details, please refer to the "Supplemental Information on non-IFRS Measures" section.


Pro-forma basis to include Greenpac on a LTM basis.

Mr. Mario Plourde, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "We have made significant progress on our strategic objectives in recent months with the Greenpac transaction, the inauguration of the new state of the art tissue converting plant in Scappoose, Oregon, the sale of our equity interest in Boralex and, more recently, the announcement of the construction of a new ultra modern containerboard converting plant in Piscataway, New Jersey. To this end, our second quarter results provide a more comprehensive picture of our North American Containerboard business following the consolidation of the results of the Greenpac Mill at the beginning of the quarter. This acquisition resulted in a gain of $281 million on net earnings, and added $219 million to our total net debt levels. However, on a pro-forma basis including Greenpac's results for the last twelve months, our leverage ratio stood at 4.2x as of the end of the second quarter, essentially unchanged from the previous quarter.

That said, our second quarter results fell short of expectations, most notably in our Containerboard segment. On a consolidated basis, the benefits realized year-over-year as a result of Greenpac and implementation of price increases in Containerboard, were limited by higher raw material costs, slightly lower volumes in Tissue, and higher operational costs primarily in Containerboard and Corporate activities.

Looking more specifically at our Containerboard business, the addition of Greenpac increased quarterly sales and operating income both sequentially and year-over-year. On a year-over-year basis, results were impacted by higher raw material costs, most notably OCC, which exceeded the benefits being realized from recent price increases which have yet to be fully implemented. Sequentially, the increases in price that have already been realized and a favourable product mix offset the incremental higher raw material cost during the second quarter. Higher operational, logistics and some unusual costs also tempered Containerboard operating income performance during the current period.

Second quarter results in our Tissue business decreased year-over-year as the benefits of higher realized average selling prices and favourable sales mix were more than offset by lower sales of jumbo rolls in the current period, as well as costs related to brand repositioning and the start-up of the new Oregon converting plant. On a sequential basis, Tissue results increased as a result of better seasonal volumes and improvements in average selling price, the benefits of which were partially offset by higher raw material costs.

As was the case in the first quarter, higher recycled fibre prices benefited results in our Specialty Products business in the second quarter. In addition, higher selling prices in the Industrial and Consumer Products packaging sectors similarly contributed to the improved results. Our Boxboard Europe segment improved results both sequentially and on a year-over-year basis. This reflects improved pricing, and strong order intake levels, which are attributable to a continued strengthening of market fundamentals. These improvements, along with lower energy prices, mitigated the impact of higher raw material prices on both a sequential and year-over-year basis.

Finally, the sale of our equity position in Boralex announced on July 27th will provide us with the means to improve our positioning within our core markets and strengthen our balance sheet. Proceeds from this transaction were used to repay the borrowings under our credit facility and to reduce our net debt leverage ratio, which, including this transaction, now stands at 3.5x on a pro-forma basis.

We are similarly pleased that Cascades was added to the S&P/TSX Composite Index effective June 19, 2017, as this provides increased exposure to a wider base of investors, and supports our efforts to deliver on our commitments to shareholders."


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