Canfor Southern Pine to add second shift at Darlington, South Carolina SYP dimension lumber plant by Q3 2014, expects US$8M investment to create 50 jobs

FLORENCE, South Carolina , December 18, 2013 () – Another agribusiness in the Pee Dee is expanding.

Canfor Southern Pine announced Wednesday it will be investing $8 million to upgrade its Darlington plant, creating 50 more jobs for a second shift at the manufacturing facility. This news comes less than a week after McCall Farms announced a $19.3 million expansion, creating 140 jobs over the next five years.

The plant's 84 employees manufacture Southern yellow pine dimensional lumber, primarily used in the construction industry at its 1100 Chesterfield Lumber Drive facility. With this $8 million investment, the plant will see an increase in production by adding a second shift by the third quarter of 2014.

Douglas Warstler, president of Canfor's operations in Myrtle Beach, said the expansion signals the company's commitment to the area as well as demand.

"This investment demonstrates Canfor's confidence in South Carolina and the Southern yellow pine forest industry," Warstler said in a statement. "Our partnership with the state and local economic development organizations made this capital project possible, which will contribute significantly to the county's economy through both jobs and increased economic activity."

Warstler was not available for further comment.

The Vancouver-based company is celebrating its 75th corporate anniversary this year and operates 28 manufacturing locations in Canada and the southeast United States including Conway, Camden and Darlington, with nearly 600 people employed in the South Carolina alone.

In comments on the company's third-quarter performance, Canfor Corporation President and CEO Don Kayne said demand continues to be encouraging for lumber products.

"As expected, lumber prices staged a gradual recovery after reaching their low point in June," Kayne said. "We continue to be encouraged by solid demand for our lumber products in all of our major markets."

Third-quarter net income was $28.4 million, or $.20 a share, compared with second quarter sales of $110.3 million, or $0.77 a share, and $20.5 million, or $0.14 a share, for the third quarter of 2012. Figures are reported in Canadian dollars which are $0.94 to the American dollar.

On Dec. 2 the company announced $36 million in capital investments to improve efficiency and recovery at its sawmill in Houston, British Columbia.

Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said the announcement shows the strengthening of the agribusiness industry.

"In a state rich with natural resources, South Carolina's forestry industry is a tremendous economic asset," Hitt said in a statement. "As we continue to boost agribusiness in the state, forestry will remain a large driver of that. Canfor is a great partner in growing South Carolina's sustainable forest sector."

Canfor Corporation (CFP) closed on the Toronto Stock Exchange at $26.33, up $1.53, or 6.17 percent.

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