Editor’s Note: Interfor did not provide an average exchange rate for the quarter, therefore the exchange rate used for this article is today’s current rate.

Net loss at Interfor widened to C$6.5 million (US$6.6 million), compared to C$1.7 million (US$1.7 million) a year ago, for the first quarter despite an almost 5% growth in total sales to C$186.7 million (US$188.7 million), the company reported today.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based manufacturer said it experienced “modest increases in domestic demand partially as a result of milder weather across North America” during the opening quarter. A reduction in Chinese demand also helped stabilize the first quarter.

Interfor posted an operating loss of C$5.5 million (US$5.6 million), a deepening of more than $4 million compared to last year, for the period ended March 31. Production costs to the quarter rose 10% to C$171.7 million (US$173.6 million) for the quarter.

EBITDA, which the company defines as earnings before finance costs, taxes, depreciation, depletion, amortization, restructuring costs, other foreign exchange gains and losses, and asset write-downs, was C$6 million (US$6.1 million), a decline of almost 50% from a year ago.

Adjusted EBITDA, which represents EBITDA revised to reflect other income and other income of the associate company, also fell 50% to C$5.8 million (US$5.9 million).

Sales in Interfor’s lumber unit grew 2% to C$133.6 million (US$135.1 million) as the segment saw lumber sales volume also rise 2% to 320 million board feet despite an almost 3% drop in lumber production to 323 million board feet.

The manufacturer’s log segment reported a 30% jump in sales to C$27 million (US$27.3 million), while the wood chips and other residual products unit posted sales of C$18.2 million (US$18.4 million).