SANTIAGO, March 6 (Reuters) - Chilean paper company CMPC undershot market expectations on 2013 earnings, as a weaker peso bit and costs at its forestry division rose.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the full year were $964 million, 5 percent above the previous year but slightly below market forecasts of $980 million, according to Thomson Reuters estimates.
Revenues at the firm were $4.97 billion vs. forecasts of $5.08 billion.
CMPC operates throughout the region and is one of Latin America’s biggest forestry companies. Its products include wood, plywood, cellulose used for paper, cardboard, tissue and boxes.
Operational results improved in 2013, but the depreciation of the Chilean peso and Brazilian real increased its tax spending, while it also took a hit on a paper factory closed in November, the company said on Thursday. Increased harvest and transportation costs ate into the earnings in its forestry division, it added.
The Chilean peso fell 9.0 percent last year and has weakened a further 5.8 percent so far this year.
However, CMPC said that an improved performance at its cellulose business in the final quarter led group earnings in the three months to end-December to rise 21 percent to $254 million.
The paper and wood pulp industry is Chile’s second biggest after copper and has grown rapidly in recent years to feed surging Chinese demand for paper.
However, shares in CMPC have lost about 30 percent over the last year, dragged down by concerns over lower hardwood prices, the weaker peso, higher energy costs in Chile and rising investment expenditure for the firm.
Shares fell 2.7 percent on Thursday to trade at 1,265 pesos each at 1742 GMT (1242 EST), valuing the company at around $5.5 billion. (Reporting by Rosalba O‘Brien)