Canadian timber company TimberWest continued to move out of the red by posting operating earnings of C$4.3 million (US$4.29 million) during the fourth quarter 2010, the company announced Thursday. The earnings are an improvement over the C$3.1 million (US$3.09 million) operating loss the company posted during fourth quarter 2009.

For the year, the company announced operating earnings of C$16.7 million (US$16.69 million), again improving from the C$13 million (US$13 million) operating loss the company endured in 2009.

The Vancouver-based company also posted its fourth consecutive quarter of positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). EBITDA for the quarter was C$5.7 million (US$5.7 million), while EBITDA for the year was C$21.2 million (US$21.19 million), a vast improvement over the negative C$7.3 million (US$7.29 million) EBITDA the company posted in 2009.

TimberWest's log segment posted sales of C$51.8 million (US$51.78 million) for the quarter and sales of C$216.8 million (US$216.74 million) for the year. Sales results for the year were a 72% increase over 2009's results.

The company cited increased demand for lumber in China and Korea as well as a decline in the Russian log supply as the growth.

"As we look forward, softwood demand in China is projected to increase and their existing fibre supply gap is expected to persist," said TimberWest president and CEO Paul McElligott. "Furthermore, log demand in the U.S. is expected to gradually recover with a slow but steady improvement in the U.S. housing market."

The day before announcing earnings, the company also acquired 7,678 hectares (18,972.75 acres) of land from Western Forest Products Inc. on southern Vancouver Island for C$21.9 million (US$21.89 million).