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BRENTWOOD, Tenn., Aug. 7, 2017 -- Orchids Paper Products Company (NYSE American: TIS) today reported results for the quarter ended June 30, 2017. The following tables provide selected financial results for second quarter 2017 compared to second quarter 2016 and first quarter 2017.

Jeff Schoen, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "As expected, the second quarter was not a good one, financially speaking. Sales volumes continued at relatively low historical levels through May, and then in June the previously announced new business with its resultant revenues kicked-in. The June sales volume equates to an ongoing annualized rate in the $180 million to $190 million range and a case sales rate of 12 million to 13 million cases. Effectively, we recovered the sales volumes lost in 2016 to competitors' activity. The challenges for Orchids now are to sell out the Company's newly increased paper capacity, gained through the introduction of the Barnwell, South Carolina, facility and to optimize the Company's total cost structure. The cost structure will be improved through a combination of increases in capacity utilization, operating efficiencies, reassessments and realignments of costs with production requirements, and specific identified cost reduction projects."

"The paper machine at Barnwell, SC, was completed in June and remains on its start-up curve and meeting quality expectations. Our cost of sales is too high reflecting, in part, the inefficiencies of starting-up Barnwell; however, we expect, that as sell out all of the Company's existing capacity, operating costs per ton will decline significantly. In June we saw the average cost per unit produced decrease, however the bottom-line impact of this reduction was offset by a liquidation of older higher-cost inventory. We expect to optimize both quality and cost by the end of 2017, which will increase our competitiveness in the ultra-premium and premium product channels."

"The new capacity at Barnwell represents about 35,000 tons of ultra-premium and premium tissue paper. Combined with our existing conventional capacity, the total available paper capacity for the Company now represents about 135,000 tons. We continue to engage in new private-label bids, market our new innovative brands, and work toward growing market share in the premium and ultra-premium segments with new customers to broaden and diversify our customer base."

Second Quarter 2017, Relative to Second Quarter 2016

Net sales decreased $1.0 million, or 2%. Major factors include: parent roll sales volume increased $3.7 million; converted-product sales volumes declined $2.3 million; and there was a decrease of $2.3 million in average converted-product prices, reflecting both the lower prices associated with new bids which became effective in 2017 and the product mix sold to a changing mix of customers.

Cost of sales increased $4.4 million, or 13%. Standard cost of sales for parent rolls increased $2.4 million due to the much higher number of parent-roll tons sold. This leaves a $2.0 million, or 7%, increase in cost of sales that is primarily attributable to converted product sales. Major contributors to this increase include: start-up costs at Barnwell including additional direct labor and overhead, the liquidation of older higher-cost inventory, fiber and other material cost increases, labor usage, and health care cost increases. Additionally, the second quarter of 2016 benefited from the recovery of $1.1 million in business interruption insurance proceeds, which did not reoccur in 2017.

SG&A expenses increased $0.8 million principally due to increased legal and professional fees and the timing of employee medical claims.

Interest expense increased $0.3 million, or 96%, due principally to increased debt levels. Our interest rate is also variable and dependent upon our financial leverage, and was approximately 5.1% at the end of the second quarter of 2017. Most interest was capitalized to the Barnwell, South Carolina, capital project, pending its completion.

A tax benefit of $0.4 million was recognized in the second quarter of 2017 compared to tax expense of $1.3 million in the second quarter of 2016, reflecting both the decline in pre-tax earnings and the Company's recognition of tax credits. The effective combined tax rate estimated in the second quarter of 2017 is 21%, lower than the statutory rate due principally to Oklahoma tax incentives received that are not proportional to income.

As a result of the foregoing factors, a net loss of $2.0 million, or ($0.20) per basic share, was recognized in the second quarter 2017 compared to net income of $2.6 million, or $0.25 per basic share, in the second quarter 2016.

Second Quarter 2017, Relative to First Quarter 2017

Net sales increased $3.1 million, or 9%, as the previously announced new business began to be produced and shipped in the second quarter of 2017. Converted product revenues increased $1.8 million; a $2.4 million increase that resulted from the increase in volume and a $0.6 million decrease that resulted from the decrease in the average price. Parent roll revenues increased $1.3 million; all of which is attributable to the increased tons sold.

Cost of sales increased $3.5 million, or 11%. Standard cost of sales for parent rolls increased $1.3 million with $0.9 million of the increase attributable to the greater number of parent-roll tons sold. This leaves a $2.2 million, or 7%, increase in cost of sales that is attributable to converted product sales, freight costs, and manufacturing variances. The converted-product-tons sold increased by 7%, roughly the same relative figure as the cost-of-sales, exclusive of the parent rolls. There was a net $0.4 million increase in costs principally attributable to the sales of higher-cost inventory produced in the first quarter and to unfavorable material usage variances. Barnwell's manufacturing variances escalated disproportionally to sales in June, and its costs are under review.

SG&A expenses increased $0.7 million principally due to increased legal and professional fees, the timing of employee medical claims, and the timing of recognition of Directors stock options.

Interest expense remained relatively flat at $0.6 million in the second quarter of 2017 compared to $0.5 million in the first quarter of 2017. Most interest incurred was capitalized to the Barnwell, South Carolina, project, pending its completion.

A tax benefit of $0.4 million was recognized in the second quarter of 2017. A tax benefit of $0.4 million was also recognized in the first quarter of 2017, reflecting the Company's recognition of Oklahoma, South Carolina, Indian Employment, and Foreign tax credits.

As a result of the foregoing factors, a net loss of $2.0 million was recognized in the second quarter of 2017 compared to a net loss of $0.9 million in the first quarter of 2017.
At June 30, 2017, Debt, not having been netted with unamortized deferred debt issuance costs, was $167.6 million and was largely incurred to finance the construction of our integrated converting facility in Barnwell, South Carolina. The total projected expenditure for the Barnwell facility is approximately $160 million, of which approximately $155 million had been expended as of June 30, 2017.

At June 30, 2017, our leverage ratio was 8.8, and the fixed charge coverage ratio was (0.2). Our lenders waived the leverage ratio and fixed charge coverage ratio requirements for June 30, 2017. As of June 30, 2017, the borrowings under the credit agreement and the term loan that are due in 2022 were classified as current on the balance sheet due to uncertainty regarding our ability to meet the existing debt covenants over the next twelve-month period. There can be no assurance that our lenders will agree to further waivers or amendments to the existing debt covenants. While management intends to amend or refinance the debt, there can be no assurance that we will be able to obtain additional financing on terms that are satisfactory to us or at all.

Second Quarter 2017 Relative to Second Quarter 2016: Operating cash flows, excluding changes in working capital, decreased $2.2 million compared to the second quarter of 2016, primarily reflecting the decrease in net income, net of changes in deferred taxes. Changes in working capital nominally used $5.1 million of operating cash flows in the second quarter of 2017, compared to $1.2 million in the second quarter of 2016. However, this $5.1 million net use includes a $5.4 million increase in tax refunds receivable expected to be carried forward to future years, and this is a non-cash transaction. Exclusive of this increase in tax refunds receivable in 2017, working capital provided $0.3 million in cash. This $0.3 million net figure principally reflects receipt of $3.5 million of tax refunds and an increase in payables, largely offset by increased inventories and accounts receivable in support of new business. Increased borrowings in both periods were used to finance investments in the Barnwell facility. In 2015, the Company received $12.0 million of restricted cash from financings, of which $2.3 million was used in second quarter 2016 for the Barnwell facility and was, accordingly, included in Investing activities. The Company paid dividends of $3.6 million in both the second quarter of 2017 and 2016, which are included in Financing activities.

Second Quarter 2017 Relative to First Quarter 2017: Operating cash flows excluding changes in working capital decreased $0.8 million compared to the first quarter of 2017, primarily reflecting the decrease in net income, net of changes in deferred taxes. Changes in working capital used $5.1 million of operating cash flows in the second quarter of 2017, as described above, compared to $3.8 million in the first quarter of 2017. Additional borrowings in both periods were used to finance investments in the Barnwell facility. The Company paid dividends of $3.6 million in the second quarter of 2017, which is included in Financing activities.

Conference Call/Webcast

The Company will hold a teleconference to discuss its second quarter results at 10:00 a.m. (ET) on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. All interested parties may participate in the teleconference by calling 888-346-7791 and requesting the Orchids Paper Products teleconference. A question and answer session will be part of the teleconference's agenda. Those intending to access the teleconference should dial in fifteen minutes prior to the start. The call may also be accessed live via webcast through the Company's website at www.orchidspaper.com under "Investors." A replay of the teleconference will be available for 30 days on the Company's website.

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