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Mercer International Inc. Reports First Quarter 2020 Results and Announces Quarterly Cash Dividend of $0.065

Selected HighlightsFirst quarter net loss of $3.4 millionQuarterly Operating EBITDA* of $57.0 millionCash on hand and available credit facilities provide liquidity of about $516.5 million at March 31, 2020NEW YORK, April 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Mercer International Inc. (Nasdaq: MERC) today reported first quarter 2020 Operating EBITDA decreased to $57.0 million from $123.8 million in the first quarter of 2019 and increased from negative $34.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.In the first quarter of 2020, net loss was $3.4 million (or $0.05 per share) compared to net income of $51.6 million (or $0.79 per basic share and $0.78 per diluted share) in the first quarter of 2019 and a net loss of $72.7 million (or $1.11 per share) in the fourth quarter of 2019. Mr. David Gandossi, the Chief Executive Officer, stated: “The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter has presented a number of challenges and I am proud that our people have risen to meet these head on.Our pulp products are an important constituent of many pandemic related high demand goods such as tissue and cleaning products and certain personal protective equipment. Accordingly, we have implemented a number of new and important health and safety measures at our operations to protect our employees and to allow our mills to operate responsibly and efficiently. We are constantly monitoring our operations and guidance from governmental and health organizations to ensure we take appropriate and necessary actions to protect our people. The current working environment and resultant work changes have not been easy and I want to thank all our employees for working cooperatively to implement new procedures to keep safety at the forefront and for looking out for one another. Despite these new procedures, our mills continued to run well in the first quarter of 2020.Despite weak product pricing, our solid first quarter financial results reflect strong production, effective cost control, steady demand for both pulp and lumber and favorable currency movements. On the pulp side, we experienced modest price increases off trough price levels in the fourth quarter of 2019 as demand was generally steady. Overall, our sales volumes were held back slightly as we worked through pandemic related logistical challenges early in the quarter. On the lumber side, our recent sawmill upgrades allowed us to take advantage of strong demand and upward pricing momentum in the U.S. market to report record quarterly operating income for our wood products segment.As we manage through the current global business uncertainty, we are working to lower our costs and working capital usage and conservatively managing liquidity. As a result, we have reduced our 2020 planned capital expenditures to about $90 million and reduced our quarterly dividend to $0.065 per share.” ____________
*Operating EBITDA is not a measure of financial performance under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”) and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. See page 6 of the financial tables included in this press release for a reconciliation of net income (loss) to Operating EBITDA.
 Consolidated Financial Results______________
(1) Redemption of 7.75% senior notes due 2022.
 Consolidated – Three Months Ended March 31, 2020 Compared to Three Months Ended March 31, 2019
In the first quarter of 2020, our operating EBITDA increased to $57.0 million from negative $34.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 and decreased from $123.8 million in the same quarter of 2019. The increase in the current quarter compared to the prior quarter is primarily due to lower maintenance costs, the positive impact of a stronger dollar on our dollar denominated cash and receivables held at our operations and higher sales volumes. The decrease compared to the same quarter of 2019 is primarily due to lower pulp sales realizations partially offset by lower per unit fiber costs and the positive impact of a stronger dollar.    
Segment Results

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