May 9, 2017


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Polaris Materials Corporation (TSX:PLS) (the “Company”, “we”, or “Polaris”) today reported the financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2017. All currencies are US dollars unless otherwise noted.


  • Sales volumes of 561,000 tons, an increase of 9% over Q1 2016; volumes sold on a delivered basis in San Francisco and Los Angeles increased approximately 25% in the quarter
  • Revenue increased 18% to $9.4 million versus $7.9 million in Q1 2016
  • Gross profit of $0.7 million was a $1.0 million increase over Q1 2016
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $0.3 million was $1.6 million better than the prior year quarter
  • Net loss attributable to shareholders was $1.1 million, an improvement of $1.4 million
  • First shipment of new Fine Sand product loaded on May 6, 2017 for Hawaiian market pursuant to a new 5-year contract

The Company’s Q1 2017 financial results reflect the impact of improved volumes and margins, as well as the favourable impact of foreign exchange, offset by the impact of one-time severance costs as well as increased professional fees. Volumes improved as the completion of a large ex-quarry contract on December 31, 2016 was offset by an average 25% increase in volumes at all other points of sale. We were pleased to see a significant increase in sales at the various terminals in spite of the exceptionally heavy rainfalls which plagued northern California for much of the quarter. Rain levels were between 150-200% above average, and culminated in the failure of the Oroville Dam spillway in February. Margins benefited from both pricing improvements and a reduction in unit costs, with costs impacted by both increased volumes as well as unit cost savings resulting from our ongoing logistics cost improvement program and production improvements at Orca.

Activity continues to accelerate as we move through the second quarter. Our customers are working to make up for time lost during Q1, and we expect this pace to continue through the balance of the construction season. In San Francisco, a number of customer ready-mix facilities have recently been converted to provide increased utilization of our material versus other sources, while in Los Angeles, we continue to win contracts to supply our aggregates to critical structural work in several iconic buildings and other large structures. Most recently, we were awarded a contract to supply aggregates for the majority of the key structural work at the new Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, which will become the new home of the LA Rams and LA Chargers of the NFL. We commenced deliveries in April to an on-site ready-mix concrete batch plant, and the project is expected to account for at least 200,000 tons of demand in 2017 and early 2018. The new stadium is also a feature element of LA’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. This type of project is where our Orca aggregates truly stand out and we continue to pursue several exciting projects for later in 2017 and into 2018. We are also working closely with a new customer to prepare for a significant upgrade of the Silver Lake Water Treatment facility. This large water infrastructure project represents a good example of the benefits of our material outside of the commercial sector, and we expect approximately 160,000 tons of demand for our high performance concrete aggregate for this project, all in 2017.

At Orca, major work on our new stockpiling system is substantially complete, with the first of the Fine Sand material being placed over the new surge tunnel in April. We loaded our first shipment of Fine Sand for Hawaii on May 6 and will now focus on the completion of a permanent screen plant and stacking conveyor system, which is expected by the end of Q2. We are excited to add this new product to our portfolio at Orca. The Orca Fine Sand is a naturally rounded, clean, mineral fines that provides distinctive benefits to users of manufactured sand in concrete, and also has the potential to be used for beach replenishment projects along the west coast. The Fine Sand is a new product that was not accounted for in the most recent 43-101 resource and reserve estimate for Orca and represents an incremental source of material. Finally, our new operating team has identified several opportunities for cost savings at the quarry, including optimizations to equipment utilization and process flow which we expect to save at least $0.25 per ton in processing costs.

Ken Palko, President and CEO, commented: “Sales volumes and revenues in Q1 2017 increased significantly versus last year. We achieved pricing improvements at several points of sale, as well as significant reductions in cost, driven both by volume and by reductions in underlying costs. I would like to congratulate our team at the Orca Quarry for their rapid progress on the new stockpiling system as well as achieving significantly improved costs this quarter. The surge tunnel project for stockpiling and loading of our new Fine Sand product is now substantially complete, and our first shipment of Fine Sand is now on its way to Hawaii.”


The selected financial information set out below is based on and derived from the unaudited consolidated interim financial statements of the Company. For a more detailed table of quarterly results please refer to our Q1 2017 MD&A, which can be found on SEDAR or the Company’s website.

Selling price and fuel surcharge indices

In the first quarter of 2017, the quarter-on-quarter average delivered selling price increased by 1.9% as a consequence of increased base pricing at certain points of sale as well as the pass through of higher shipping fuel surcharges from the fourth quarter of 2016, which reflected the increasing world crude oil price during the period.


The Company’s Orca Sand and Gravel Quarry operates year-round, however, sales demand is seasonal due to the impact of poor weather conditions, particularly in the first (winter) quarter which has an impact on production volumes and demand for the Company’s products. As a consequence, the Company’s financial results for any individual quarter are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for that year. Sales and earnings are typically sensitive to regional and local weather, market conditions, and, in particular, to cyclical variations in construction spending.


Net loss, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA

The net loss attributable to shareholders during the quarter ended March 31, 2017 was $1.1 million ($0.01 per share loss) compared to a net loss attributable to shareholders of $2.5 million ($0.03 per share loss) during the quarter ended March 31, 2016. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA for Q1 2017 also improved over year-on-year comparatives (see Non-IFRS Measures for details). EBITDA for the first quarter of 2017 of $0.04 million ($0.07 per ton) improved $1.5 million over the prior year comparative of negative $1.4 million ($2.80 loss per ton). Similarly, Adjusted EBITDA of $0.3 million ($0.48 per ton) improved $1.5 million over the prior year comparative of negative $1.3 million ($2.56 loss per ton). The improved results this quarter were principally attributable to higher volumes, increased average selling prices, improved cost of goods sold per ton, and the effect of more favourable foreign exchange rates in the current quarter compared to the same quarter in 2016.

Aggregate sales for the current quarter were 561,000 tons, a 9% increase over sales of 516,000 tons in the first quarter of 2016. Sales increased compared to the prior year due to increased shipments at delivered prices into San Francisco and the Long Beach terminal, which offset the ending of the Hanson ex-quarry supply contract on December 31, 2016. Cost of goods sold improved due to reduced quarry production costs and terminal operating costs, as measured on a per ton basis, and declined in spite of increased tonnage being sold on a delivered basis. Foreign exchange losses of $0.2 million in the current quarter were $0.8 million lower than a $1.0 million loss in Q1 2016. Lower USD-CAD exchange rate volatility in the current quarter reduced foreign exchange losses on U.S. dollar receivables held by the Orca Sand and Gravel partnership, which has a Canadian dollar functional currency. However, this positive impact was partially offset as the average foreign exchange rate in the quarter was higher than in Q1 2016, resulting in an unfavourable impact on a portion of cost of goods sold and SG&A, as described more fully below.

Revenue and pricing

Revenue for the year first quarter of 2017 increased by 18% to $9.4 million, compared with $7.9 million in 2016. Despite the termination of the Hanson contact on December 31, 2016, revenue benefited from higher overall volumes and improved pricing at certain points of sale. Sales mix also contributed to higher revenue as Q1 2017 sales included a higher proportion of delivered sales, versus Q1 2016 sales which included a higher proportion of ex-quarry sales.

Average selling price (“ASP”) during the Q1 2017 of $16.73 per ton increased $1.32 per ton from $15.41 per ton in 2016. This was principally due to changes in sales mix, although we also saw increased base pricing. Compared with 2016, price variance was a favorable 1% due to base price increases and increased fuel surcharges. The sales mix variance of 9% was due to Q1 2017 sales being primarily to customers with delivered pricing; whereas, Q1 2016 included a larger proportion of ex-quarry sales.

Revenue and ASP per ton are influenced on an annual basis by; base pricing, shipping fuel surcharges, the distribution of tonnage to the various California terminals, and the percentage between delivered and ex-quarry sales.

Cost of goods sold

Cost of goods sold in the first quarter 2017 increased by 6% to $8.7 million, compared with $8.3 million in 2016. Cost of goods sold per ton in Q1 2017 decreased to $15.55 compared to $16.00 in Q1 2016. Higher volumes increased the overall cost of goods sold, however, fixed costs applied to higher tonnage, decreased shipping costs to Long Beach, and improved operating costs at the Orca Quarry all contributed to a reduction in cost of goods sold per ton; partially offset by the impact of higher delivery costs due to an increased proportion of sales mix to customers that include freight. The higher average value of the Canadian dollar over Q1 2017 modestly offset improvements in underlying cost of goods sold at the quarry versus the comparable period in 2016.

Gross profit (loss) and gross margin

The gross profit for first quarter of 2017 was $0.7 million or $1.18 profit per ton, compared to a gross loss of $0.3 million or $0.60 per ton in 2016. Q1 2017 gross margin improved to 7.1% from negative 3.8% in Q1 2016. As noted above, the improvements are due to a combination of higher volumes, higher average pricing and lower cost of goods sold per ton.

Selling, general and administrative costs

During the quarter ended March 31, 2017, selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses were $1.6 million, including $0.1 million of non-cash stock based compensation, compared with $1.3 million, including $0.1 million of stock based compensation, during 2016. SG&A increased versus the prior year quarter due to increased wages and benefits, including one-time charges related to severance, as well as higher professional fees relating to permitting and certain corporate activities, and the unfavourable impact of average exchange rates over the quarter. SG&A during 2017 was 17.1% of sales compared to 16.2% of sales during 2016. Net of non-cash charges for stock based compensation, 2017 SG&A represented 16.1% of sales compared with 15.2% last year.

For more details on our results, please refer to our Q1 2017 MD&A, which can be found on SEDAR or the Company’s website.


The Company will host a conference call on Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 at 8:00 am Pacific Time (11:00am Eastern). Details to access the call live are as follows:

  • Via telephone, toll free, by calling 1-888-390-0546 in North America or +1-416-764-8688 in Toronto.
  • Via webcast at:

The webcast will be archived for 14 days following the call at the above-noted link. The conference call will also be recorded and available for replay until Wednesday, May 24, 2017. To access the replay, dial 1-888-390-0541 or +1-416-764-8677 and use Playback Passcode 894876# to hear the recording.

About Polaris Materials Corporation:

Polaris Materials Corporation is engaged in the development and operation of construction aggregate quarries in Canada to supply distribution facilities in the United States through coastal shipping. The Company's active construction aggregate interests consist of its Orca Sand and Gravel Quarry in British Columbia and two associated receiving terminals in Richmond and Long Beach, California. The Company also owns the Black Bear Project located in close proximity to the Orca Quarry, and a controlling interest in the Eagle Rock Quarry Project, located on the south coast of Vancouver Island.

For further information, please contact:
Nicholas Van Dyk
Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Development
Polaris Materials Corporation
Tel: (604) 915-5000 Ext. 111

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. These statements and information appear in this document and include estimates, forecasts, information and statements as to management's expectations with respect to, among other things, the future financial or operating performance of the Company, including increases in gross margins, increases in sales volumes (including in the Long Beach market), shipments and selling prices, costs of production, capital and operating expenditures, requirements for additional capital, government regulation of quarrying operations, environmental risks, reclamation expenses, and title disputes, the Canadian dollar compared to the US dollar, increases in Californian construction activity and US infrastructure funding, statements regarding potential new customers and the development of Black Bear. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements and information can be identified by the use of words such as "may", "will", "should", "plans", "expects", "intends", "anticipates", "believes", "budget", and "scheduled" or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology. Forward-looking statements and information are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by management, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements and information are not guarantees and there can be no assurance that such statements and information will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations are disclosed in the Company's continuous disclosure documents which are filed with Canadian regulators on SEDAR (, including under the heading “Risks and Uncertainties” in the Company’s Annual Report and under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Information Form. Such factors include, amongst others, the effects of general economic conditions, changing foreign exchange rates and actions by government authorities, uncertainties associated with legal proceedings and negotiations, industry supply levels, competitive pricing pressures, mineral resource and reserve estimates and the timing and development of the Black Bear project. The Company expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements and information whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law. All written and oral forward-looking statements and information attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing cautionary statements.

Non-IFRS Measures

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA

EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA, EBITDA per share and adjusted EBITDA per share (“EBITDA Metrics”) are non-IFRS financial measures. EBITDA and EBITDA per share represent net income, excluding income tax expense, interest expense and amortization and accretion. Adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA per share better reflect the underlying business performance of the Company by removing certain non-cash adjustments from its calculation of EBITDA and EBITDA per share. The Company believes that the EBITDA Metrics trends are valuable indicators of whether its operations are generating sufficient operating cash flow to fund working capital needs and to fund capital expenditures. The Company uses the results depicted by the EBITDA Metrics for these purposes, an approach utilized by the majority of public companies in the construction materials sector. The EBITDA Metrics are intended to provide additional information, do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. These measures are not necessarily indicative of operating profit or cash flow from operations as determined under IFRS. Other companies may calculate these measures differently.

The following table reconciles these non-IFRS measures to the most directly comparable IFRS measure.