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    28.05.2015   Sappi to increase its European coated fine and coated mechanical paper prices     ( Company news )

    Company news Continuously rising input costs and consequently declining profit margins make corrective pricing measures inevitable as Sappi Europe’s business is unsustainable at current price levels.
    We are therefore announcing a price increase of 8% for all European coated fine and coated mechanical reels business as per the 1st of July 2015.

    The timing and extent of a price rise for coated fine paper sheets will be announced separately.

    Our customers will be personally informed by our sales managers who will provide them with any information they may ‎require.
    (Sappi Europe S.A.)

    Company news ...SOUTH AMERICA

    The Group strengthens its presence on South American markets, especially in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina

    Photo: CEO Claudio Alfonsi

    Acquisition price: approx. €85 million
    The Group’s 2016 turnover is expected to be about €1 billion, with 70% generated on international markets

    The Fedrigoni Group – a leading international operator in the production and sale of high value added paper, banknote paper, security products and self-adhesive items – is pleased to announce that it has completed the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Arjo Wiggins Ltda, a Brazilian subsidiary of Arjo Wiggins and South America’s sole producer of paper for banknotes and security documents, and special graphic papers.
    A price of approximately €85 million was paid for the acquisition, of which €5 million will be payable in 2016 upon achievement of specific conditions and results.
    Arjo Wiggins Ltda posted turnover of approximately €70 million in 2014.
    In the first few months of 2015 the company confirmed a good economic performance, exceeding 2014 results.

    The acquisition of Arjo Wiggins Ltda further strengthens the Group’s presence in Brazil (where it has been on the market since 2009 with Arconvert Brasil, which produces and markets self-adhesive labels) and makes it South America’s top player in banknote paper, security products, special graphic papers, and self-adhesive items.
    The acquisition also achieves important synergies in all of the Fedrigoni Group’s core operations and further strengthens the Group’s position as world leader in the security products and special graphic papers sectors-products with high value added and high profitability that have achieved excellent growth rates, especially in South America.

    “This transaction is in line with the international growth and development strategy that the Group has implemented in recent years, and allows us to forecast 2016 turnover of over €1 billion, with 70% generated on foreign markets compared to the current 64%,” says CEO
    Claudio Alfonsi, who continues, “Thanks to this acquisition, the Fedrigoni Group is now South America’s largest player in the high value added paper sector. We are extremely pleased, because not only
    we have strengthened our position in Brazil, a strongly expanding market, we now have direct access to South America’s high valued added markets with special pressure-sensitive labels. Both recent acquisitions, the Brazilian one and GPA, our recent acquisition in the United States, have a good profitability - which will be further enhanced by our ability – and accomplish the strategic plan we
    presented to the financial community in 2014."
    28.05.2015   Colbert Packaging Installs New Heidelberg Printing Press    ( Company news )

    Company news Colbert Packaging Corporation, a leading manufacturer of folding cartons, rigid paper boxes and paperboard specialty products, announced that a brand new Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 printing press is now fully operational in its Elkhart, Ind., manufacturing facility. The 40-inch offset press can print six-color processes and coat paperboard in a single pass – using both conventional and ultraviolet inks and coatings.

    The Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 is fast. Not only was it built to run at speeds of up to 18,000 sheets per hour, but Colbert’s new press also includes some special features that increase production efficiency. The full logistic feeder package is one such feature; with it, the press quickly and easily performs load changeovers and enables continuous feeding. Automatic plate hangers also provide for rapid plate hanging; all six printing plates are simultaneously hung in only 90 seconds.

    “We wanted to achieve high efficiency, though certainly not at the expense of high quality,” said Bill Snyder, vice president of operations for Colbert Packaging. The Heidelberg has built-in quality assurance features, including an in-press color control scanner, which automatically scans every 16 sheets and feeds color values to press operators as the job is running. “This new press meets our high standards, and our people are very excited about its capabilities and speed,” he added.

    Colbert started training its people on the new press in early February, when four employees spent a week at Heidelberg USA in Kennesaw, Ga. The training – which was conducted by a Heidelberg Master Demonstrator – included hands-on experience with machine startup and shutdown, job setup and high-speed production, seamlessly switching between ultraviolet and conventional inks, proper cleaning and maintenance, etc. In recent weeks, the newly installed Heidelberg press has undergone significant testing, and additional training has been conducted onsite in Colbert’s Elkhart facility.

    “This new press will have a major impact on our entire operation,” said Jim Hamilton, president of Colbert Packaging. “In addition to quality and efficiency improvements resulting from the upgraded technology, the press will also provide additional capacity and expanded capabilities.”
    The Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 offset press joins an extensive repertoire of equipment used to produce folding cartons, rigid setup boxes and paperboard specialty products, including formed paper trays, in Colbert’s 109,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant in Elkhart.
    (Colbert Packaging Corporation)
    28.05.2015   Pharma in motion    ( Company news )

    Company news There is a huge demand for health care, and it’s growing rapidly. Nonetheless, the pharmaceutical industry is facing major challenges. David Swift, former global head of packaging sourcing at Novartis, spoke to Pro Carton about current and future developments.

    The pharmaceutical market is growing, but will undergo significant changes over the next few years. This is due to high costs, patent expiries, a growing market for generic products, considerable over-regulation as well as cost control measures in public spending. What can the pharmaceutical industry do?
    “Besides mergers and acquisitions, other means are cost cutting, focus on emerging markets, transition from the blockbuster model to niche products and changes of the pharmaceutical distribution model. Some companies have also offshored things that are not necessarily done in Europe”, says David Swift.

    Growth in Europe is fuelled by the ageing population. “The biggest growth markets are China and the US, and, interestingly, Germany, followed by Brazil and Russia. In the developed markets, 71 % of the revenues are coming from specialty medicines. This is important, because the way that these drugs are packed and sold is different. So the packaging will change as well.”

    The most significant change in the distribution is the direct to pharmacy model that some of the pharmaceutical companies are employing now. “They are either skipping out the wholesaler completely or they prefer a model where they use only one or two wholesalers. So the relationship between the producer of the drugs and the pharmacists is much closer.”

    Different drugs are going to different channels, there is a segmentation. “Some go to the pharmacy directly, some to the patients directly, some to the hospitals, some to the wholesaler – a whole bunch of different ways. The wholesalers are vertically integrating as well and moving up and down the value chain.”

    Implications for Pharma Packaging
    “Concerning the pipelines, there is an increasing focus on “high value” therapeutic areas such as oncology, immunology, antiviral, and for the central nervous system. Concerning the type of drugs, pre-filled syringes, auto injectors/pens, and combination devices will see growth. Biologics will continue to outpace overall pharma spending growth and are expected to represent 19–20 % of the total market value by 2017.”

    In the opinion of Pro Carton this heralds a number of new developments in packaging:
    -Packaging must become more attractive to keep branded products marketable following patent expiry. They must convey the brand’s message.
    -Packaging must create stronger buying stimuli as physicians and patients will play a far greater role in the purchasing decision than to date, and the influence of wholesalers is decreasing.
    -This applies even more for products which have to hold their own on a larger health market: their packaging should strengthen customer loyalty in every aspect and stimulate repurchasing of the product.
    -Packaging will reflect high value products and the value of new special products, whose importance will increase particularly in Europe.
    -Packaging will become significantly more complex due to biologics and syringes, as well as therapies with different medications.
    -This necessitates that packaging manufacturers must place great value on convenience when complex packaging meets an ageing population in Europe.
    -Packaging will certainly become more intelligent in terms of information and links to the Internet: this will provide extensive additional information on their mode of action and efficacy.

    The market for pharmaceutical packaging has already distinguished itself through demanding solutions. The dynamic development of the market now offers all partners in the Supply Chain the mutual opportunity of developing new creative concepts.
    (Pro Carton)
    28.05.2015   DS Smith Plc: Year end trading update - CONTINUED GOOD GROWTH    ( Company news )

    Company news DS Smith Plc, the leading supplier of recycled packaging for consumer goods, announces a trading update for the year to 30 April 2015.

    Photo: Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive

    Trading update
    Group performance in the year has been in line with our expectations, with strong underlying growth more than offsetting the continued strengthening of sterling on translated results.
    The market and business trends from our trading update of 23 February 2015 have remained consistent with volume growth in H2 ahead of our first half and the prior year.
    Growth has been across all regions, as the roll-out of our design centres and proposition continues to gain good customer traction.
    Return on sales and return on capital continue to improve due to
    further business integration, increasing our value-added products and services to customers, and operational efficiencies, combined with tight working capital management.
    Our outlook remains positive as the business performs in line with our
    medium term financial targets, despite economic headwinds in many of our markets, and the Board continues to view the future with confidence.

    Duropack update
    Following the announcement of the proposed acquisition of Duropack, on 23 February 2015, the necessary competition filings have been made and it is expected that completion will take place in Q1 of our financial year 2015/16.
    Plans are in place to integrate this business immediately from completion and we look forward to building on the excellent market positions that Duropack already has in its regions.
    Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive, said: “We are pleased with the performance of the business in the year, in particular the continued market share and volume growth. We continue to actively manage our business portfolio and the progress we have made with customers during the year, together with the opportunities we see for growth in these
    markets, gives us confidence in the prospects for the business.”
    (DS Smith Plc)
    27.05.2015   Xeikon Cheetah hits the quality mark at its first North American installation at Accu-Label    ( Company news )

    Company news Label printing expert leverages market’s fastest full-color digital label press to better meet customer needs and support growth

    Xeikon, an innovator in digital color printing technology, is pleased to announce the first North American installation of the Xeikon Cheetah at Accu-Label, Inc. making it the third pilot site worldwide to install this breakthrough digital label production solution. Accu-Label, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has added Xeikon’s new press to complement its existing production platform, which includes a Xeikon 3500 that was installed last year, as well as flexographic printing solutions. Xeikon Cheetah is the most productive five-color digital label press available on the market today. It was the exceptional speed of the press (98 ft/min or 30m/min), combined with its high quality output, that convinced Accu-Label to invest in the Xeikon Cheetah. The investment will enable the company to respond to evolving client demands, expand into new markets and optimize its production processes – all while meeting the high level of quality output the company has been renowned for throughout its history.

    “We chose Xeikon because they really understood our business and challenges. Our experiences with their customer support, technical service and consulting services have been outstanding,” explains David Manning, Accu-Label’s founder. ”Of course, speed was a big consideration, but there was more… we are a company that has always been dedicated to providing the best quality printing and a high level of service. For us, it doesn’t matter how fast a press goes if we can’t deliver a quality product. We felt the Xeikon Cheetah gave us both speed and better quality than other digital printing technologies currently available on the market. The Xeikon team showed us how installing the Xeikon Cheetah would help us meet the specific demands of our customers while ensuring superior quality. Having this flexibility is a fundamental market differentiator for us.”

    A tradition of quality
    Accu-Label is a family-centered business that has been dedicated to surpassing the expectations of its customers ever since it was founded 28 years ago. Over the years, the company has continuously expanded and its growth has been fueled by two things: Manning’s passion for printing and the company’s dedication to quality. Until its first Xeikon acquisition last year, the business had been 100% flexo, but Manning says, “I have always looked for more effective processes by asking ‘What’s a better way to do this?’ Last year, the answer was to add digital to our production platform with the Xeikon 3500, which is already in high demand. Today, we are building on our investment in digital with the Xeikon Cheetah.”

    Catie Manning, overseeing sales & marketing at Accu-Label, explains how the addition of the first digital press only one year ago changed the business. “While at first, our customers had to be educated about the capabilities of digital production, they have come to value the quality and consistency it offers. In just one year, we have had so many jobs printed digitally that the Xeikon 3500 is running at high capacity. Adding a second digital label press – the fastest on the market in its class – is vital to meeting their expectations, now and in the future. In addition, to better position the company to address our evolving customer needs, the speed and throughput of the Xeikon Cheetah will enable growth in our customer base. This will also improve the efficiency of our flexo production fleet by dedicating it to the longer runs it is designed to produce cost-efficiently.”

    The digital journey
    The addition of digital label production capacity has meant big changes for Accu-Label and its customers. Being able to offer both high quality digital and conventional flexographic printing expands the range of solutions and services the company can offer. David Manning believes the Xeikon Cheetah press is critical to continuing that expansion. He says, “Flexo is an art form that I truly love, and I’ve been practicing this art for a long time. But nowadays, it’s not the right solution for every label project. For proofs and mock-ups as well as shorter and versioned runs, the cost, time and energy required makes it inefficient, and in many cases, unattainable. The Xeikon Cheetah, which gives us higher quality than many other digital label production solutions on the market, is the key to future-proofing our business.”

    David comments that one of the biggest benefits of digital is the greater level of flexibility it offers for design and prototyping. He notes, “This flexibility lets us provide better service to existing customers and offer new services to companies we have not been able to work with before. For example, we have customers who want to see many versions of their labels before they go into production. Digital label production lets you get to final designs more quickly and very cost-effectively. It enables clients to be more creative with their ideas and gives us the opportunity to help them bring that creativity to market faster. This process saves time, money and effort for the client – another key advantage of digital label production.”

    Perfect match, perfect quality
    For Accu-Label, quality remains one of the most important considerations. David Manning says, “As we continue to evolve our business, we never lose sight of our dedication to quality. This focus on quality is what has made us successful for 28 years. Quality and consistency are critical to us and to our customers, and with our combination of flexographic printing and Xeikon digital presses, we never sacrifice either one. We hit the quality mark each and every time.”

    “Accu-Label is a great example of what a label manufacturer can accomplish by incorporating digital toner technology into the mix,” adds Filip Weymans, Director of Segment Marketing, Labels and Packaging at Xeikon. “And there is no better way to do that than with the Xeikon Cheetah. The Xeikon Cheetah is a groundbreaking press that represents one of the most important advancements in the digital label production market. We are gratified to see that leading label printers, such as Accu-Label, have chosen the Xeikon Cheetah to meet client needs and expand into new markets.”

    “With Xeikon’s support, it’s been a fantastic year. They have brought a level of understanding about our business and significant value to each conversation, while giving expert advice on how to address changing market needs. I respect and appreciate that,” Manning concludes. “When we talked about the future, it became clear that the right equipment would help us continue to build on our success. The new Xeikon Cheetah press is exactly the technology we need in order to do that.”
    (Xeikon Manufacturing NV)
    27.05.2015   Increased accuracy through spreading of the measurement range    ( Company news )

    Company news The actual working ranges of industrial equipment are increasing constantly. This applies also to web and coil processing equipment being capable of handling very thin and narrow webs but also heavier
    and broader webs. This results in extremely high requirements regarding the accuracy of web tension measurement and control.
    HAEHNE has selected an easy approach to achieve high resolution and accuracy resulting in a substantially lower cost solution. Typically web tension sensors have an overall measurement error of 1.0 or 0.5 %. If such a sensor is used in lower measuring range, the total error becomes unacceptably large and not suitable for measurement and closed loop control. For this purpose web tension sensors with an overall measuring error of 0.1 % have been designed which improve the measurement results by a factor of 5. This means that now it is possible to measure and control the forces in the lower
    range precisely. Important is also, that such a sensor is not only protected in the large force range by mechanical stops (tenfold overload of nominal range) but also in the lower force range by the intrinsic nature of the design.
    The accuracy for small forces can still improve in this very precise measurement by spreading the measurement range. Therefore a corrected nominal value is determined in the lower force range.
    The calibrations are stored in the associated HAEHNE amplifiers DCM or DCX. For example by switching the measuring range at 10 % of nominal force the accuracy of 0.1 % refers to the 10 % of the nominal forces.
    Successful installations are a proof that this approach is not only cost-effective but also very a robust under both mechanical and electrical considerations.
    (HAEHNE Elektronische Messgeräte GmbH)
    27.05.2015   Verso Corporation Reports First Quarter 2015 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Verso Corporation (NYSE: VRS) reported financial results for the first quarter of 2015. Results for the quarters ended March 31, 2015 and 2014 include:
    -Consummation of the NewPage acquisition.
    -Net sales of $806 million in the first quarter of 2015 compared to $299 million in the first quarter of 2014.
    -Adjusted EBITDA before pro forma effects of the profitability program of $44 million in the first quarter of 2015, compared to $35 million in the first quarter of 2014 (Note: Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure and is defined and reconciled to net income later in this release. Also note that for a more accurate comparison of our Adjusted EBITDA, prior periods have been adjusted to exclude Bucksport and to include the historical operations of NewPage)

    Photo: Verso President and Chief Executive Officer David Paterson

    Verso's net sales for the first quarter of 2015 increased $507 million, or 170%, due primarily to the addition of net sales resulting from the NewPage acquisition, compared to the first quarter of 2014.

    During the first quarter of 2015, Verso recorded special items affecting operating income totaling $42 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, primarily related to integrating the legacy Verso and NewPage operations, restructuring costs associated with the NewPage acquisition and closure of the Bucksport mill. During the first quarter of 2014, special items of $22 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, were primarily attributable to $10 million of NewPage acquisition related costs and to a $12 million positive impact of our mark-to-market adjustment on hedges.

    "Verso's results for the first quarter of 2015 included a number of non-recurring expenses that resulted from completion of our NewPage acquisition on January 7, 2015, transactions associated with the acquisition, integration activities, and the previously announced closure of our Bucksport Mill in Maine," said Verso President and Chief Executive Officer David Paterson.

    "Looking at the underlying operations of the business, including the first 6 days of the year and comparing the results for the 8 mills against a pro forma quarter for the prior year, overall volume was up slightly, market pulp volume was strong, and we've seen nice increases in sheets and our specialty paper grades. Verso's average sales price per ton of paper increased 7% in the first quarter, the result of an improved mix of products after the NewPage acquisition. Input costs increased over the previous quarter, mostly as a result of the continuing increase in wood costs, and we continue to optimize inventory levels.

    "As we look ahead to the remainder of 2015, we continue to focus on the safety of our people, integration of the NewPage business, the achievement of synergies across the entire company, our "R-gap" process aimed at increasing efficiency and reducing costs across our manufacturing platform, and managing working capital."
    (Verso Corporation)
    27.05.2015   Wausau Paper Strengthens Sales, Marketing and Converting Leadership, Confirms Commitment to...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...Product Innovation

    Announces Hiring of Brian Powers, John Formon and Randall Hetland

    Photo: Wausau president Matthew L. Urmanski

    Wausau Paper (NYSE:WPP) announced the hiring of industry veterans Brian Powers, as Vice President – Sales & Marketing; John Formon, as Vice President – Innovation; and G. Randall Hetland, as Director of Converting.

    “Wausau Paper has long been committed to the away-from-home towel and tissue industry,” commented Wausau president, Matthew L. Urmanski. “The addition of these talented individuals to our organization strengthens our ability to differentiate Wausau Paper in the away-from-home marketplace and expand the growth potential of our business.”

    Brian Powers, a 20-plus-year towel and tissue industry veteran, will return to Wausau Paper July 1, 2015, after spending a number of years with SCA Americas, most recently as Vice President of Sales. Powers is familiar with Wausau Paper’s away-from-home towel and tissue business, having spent 14 years with the Company in various roles including Director of Sales and Product Manager.

    John Formon joined Wausau Paper in February 2015, and is providing leadership to the Company’s product innovation team. He is a 28-year tissue industry expert who joins Wausau from SCA Americas, where he most recently held the role of Global Technical Innovation Director. At SCA, Formon oversaw the development of that company’s dispenser program. Prior to working with SCA, Formon was a Senior Manager for Commercial and Consumer Product Development at Georgia Pacific.

    Randy Hetland, also a 20-plus-year industry veteran, joined the operations team at Wausau Paper in March 2015, in the leadership role over the Company’s converting platform. He comes to Wausau from Georgia Pacific’s Zachary, Louisiana, tissue manufacturing operations where he served as Towel Stream Lead, and held a variety of other converting management roles. Prior to Georgia Pacific, Hetland worked in converting operations for Proctor and Gamble at its Albany, Georgia, tissue/consumer products site.
    (Wausau Paper Towel & Tissue Products)
    27.05.2015   Lenzing Group: Clear Earnings Improvement in the First Quarter of 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news -Increased revenue thanks to better product mix
    -Cost savings improve operating results
    -Market environment remains difficult

    Photo: Lenzing’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Untersperger

    The first quarter of 2015 for the Lenzing Group was characterized by satisfactory volume demand against the backdrop of still unsatisfactory selling prices. In spite of the ongoing difficult market environment, the upgraded product mix, slightly higher fiber sales volumes and the improved cost situation enabled Lenzing to achieve a clear improvement in earnings.

    Consolidated revenue totaled EUR 474.6 mn in the first quarter of 2015, a rise of 5.1% from EUR 451.7 mn in the previous year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) improved by 28.7% from the previous year to EUR 59.6 mn (Q1 2014: EUR 46.3 mn). This corresponded to an EBITDA margin of 12.6% (Q1 2014: 10.2%). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to EUR 27.0 mn in the first three months of 2015, comprising a sharp rise of 61.3% from the prior-year level of EUR 16.7 mn. The EBIT margin was 5.7% (Q1 2014: 3.7%). The profit for the period more than doubled to EUR 16.6 mn, climbing by 115.3% from EUR 7.7 mn in the first quarter of 2014.
    Adjusted equity of the Lenzing Group rose to EUR 1,113.6 mn at the end of March 2015, up from EUR 1,066.1 mn at the end of 2014. The adjusted equity ratio amounted to 45.4% (December 31, 2014: 44.9%). Net financial debt was more or less unchanged at EUR 450.1 mn (December 31, 2014: EUR 449.5 mn), whereas net gearing fell to 40.4% from 42.2% at the end of 2014.

    Laying the groundwork for success
    “The marketing drive for specialty fibers launched in 2014, especially for TENCEL®, has paid off. We successfully implemented initial price increases and significantly increased the share of specialty fibers in the product mix. Moreover, we laid the groundwork for generating further earnings improvements against the backdrop of an ongoing difficult market environment thanks to comprehensive structural and cost optimization measures”, explains Lenzing’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Untersperger. “The excelLENZ cost savings initiative is proceeding according to plan and will generate cost savings of up to EUR 160 mn p.a. as of 2016 compared to the year 2013. Furthermore, we are adjusting technical services to the declining investment activity of the Lenzing Group, thus serving as the basis for important productivity increases.”

    Strong volume demand
    Lenzing continued the good operational development achieved in the fourth quarter of 2014 with respect to its core business of manufacturing man-made cellulose fibers in the first quarter of 2015 as well. All production plants were once again operating at full capacity. Demand for the specialty fiber Lenzing Modal® as well as TENCEL® was very gratifying. Lenzing reported a comparatively good development for standard viscose fibers used in textile applications in the first quarter of 2015 thanks to the selective focus on attractive sales markets and higher value fiber qualities, continuing the positive trend of the fourth quarter of 2014.

    The improved product mix led to a rise in Lenzing’s average fiber selling prices before currency effects to EUR 1.68/kg in the first quarter of 2015 compared to EUR 1.56/kg in the first quarter of 2014. In a like-for-like comparison, taking account of all revenue-related currency effects in the first quarter of 2015, the average fiber selling price of the Lenzing Group in the first three months of 2015 would be about EUR 1.58/kg.
    Outlook 2015

    The viscose fiber market showed a slight upward movement at the beginning of the second quarter of 2015. However, it remains to be seen whether this development is sustainable. Thanks to the ongoing high volume demand for its fibers, Lenzing continues to expect full utilization of all its production capacities. Lenzing will strive to carry out selling price increases in the second quarter of 2015. Moreover, the excelLENZ program involving additional cost savings will be resolutely continued. Lenzing continues to expect an ongoing improvement in the product mix and a good development of operating results in both the textile and nonwovens segments for the rest of the year. This can be attributed to the very good development of TENCEL® and Lenzing Modal® and the intensified marking activities targeting attractive markets and new customers.
    (Lenzing Papier GmbH)
    27.05.2015   Fibria announces the construction of a new pulp production line at the Três Lagoas (MS) unit    ( Company news )

    Company news -One of Brazil’s largest private investments focusing on export markets, the Horizonte 2 Project will receive investment of R$7.7 billion
    -Construction project will create 40,000 direct and indirect jobs
    -Total annual pulp production capacity at the Três Lagoas unit will be expanded by 1.75 million tons
    -Fibria consolidates its position as the world’s largest producer of eucalyptus pulp, with total annual capacity of 7 million tons

    Fibria, a Brazilian forestry company and the world’s leading eucalyptus pulp producer, announced on May 14, 2015 that its Board of Directors approved the Horizonte 2 Project, which will expand its Três Lagoas unit in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

    The new production line will have annual pulp production capacity of 1.75 million tons. Combined with its existing capacity, already in operation, the Três Lagoas unit will reach total annual production capacity of 3 million tons, making it one of the world’s largest eucalyptus pulp production sites. As a result, Fibria’s total annual pulp production capacity, considering all of its units, will expand from the current 5.3 million tons to over 7 million tons.

    One of the largest private investments in Brazil focused on the export market, the amount invested in the Horizonte 2 project will reach R$7.7 billion (approximately US$2.5 billion) and draw on own funds from the company’s strong cash generation as well as third-party funding from various sources, such as the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), export credit agencies (ECAs), the Midwest Development Fund, commercial banks and capital markets.

    Over the two years of construction, the Horizonte 2 project will create 40,000 direct and indirect jobs. During the peak of construction, the site will have around 10,000 workers. Once commissioned, Fibria’s new pulp line will have 3,000 direct and indirect jobs.

    “The expansion of the Três Lagoas unit is in keeping with the strategy of growth with discipline of Fibria, which sees a window of opportunity for the commissioning of new pulp production capacity in the market in 2018. It is with great pride that we make this major investment in Brazil, which focuses on the export market and will contribute to Brazil’s trade balance, create new jobs, improve quality of life and promote local, regional and national development,” said Fibria CEO Marcelo Castelli.

    The execution of the Horizonte 2 project will engage around 60 local suppliers. During construction, Fibria will administer 500,000 hours of training in Forestry operations and another 390,000 hours of training in Industrial operations, which includes preparing both in-house and third-party teams. Construction will make an important contribution to the public coffers, with Fibria expected to pay around R$450 million in taxes during construction.

    Fibria has already obtained the environmental licenses required for expanding the Três Lagoas unit, including construction permits. It is also already investing to develop the forest base in the region to ensure the future supply of the new production line. The supply of wood required for the new mill’s operations will come from forests cultivated in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul and planning is already underway for the new eucalyptus demand to be generated, which amounts to 174,000 hectares of Planted forests on owned, leased and partner areas, as well as future purchases of wood from third parties. Today the company already has a surplus of 107,000 hectares, including both planted areas or areas under planting contracts.

    Fibria was a pioneer in developing the pulp industry in Três Lagoas. The company’s unit was inaugurated in March 2009, with annual pulp production capacity of 1.3 million tons. Fibria’s initial investment attracted other investments by industry players to Três Lagoas, leading the city to gain recognition as the “pulp capital of the world.”

    The Fibria unit in Três Lagoas incorporates ecodesign concepts, with cleaner production processes and a pleasant and safe work environment. Additionally, all energy consumed is generated by the mill itself, using biomass in the form of eucalyptus bark and liquid biomass produced in the industrial process. With the Horizonte 2 project, the industrial unit, in addition to generating and consuming its own energy, will generate surplus power of 160 MWh, which will contribute to Brazil’s energy balance.

    The pulp produced by Fibria at Três Lagoas will be transported by rail to the Port of Santos on the coast of São Paulo, for export to more than 40 countries.
    (Fibria Celulose S/A)
    27.05.2015   Smurfit Kappa rolls out new Shelf Smart service to deliver business success in store     ( Company news )

    Company news Smurfit Kappa has announced the roll-out of its new Shelf Smart service at its flagship Innovation Event – a market-leading solution that will help customers develop proven packaging solutions faster than ever before.

    Smurfit Kappa has developed the new Shelf Smart service with a single-minded focus on improving its customer’s product performance at the point-of-purchase. It is the first service on the market that gives customers the ability to identify their optimum shopper marketing solution in a risk-free environment, and to quickly measure the results with real shoppers. Shelf Smart merges Smurfit Kappa’s packaging expertise, shopper insights, technology, partnership strategy and effective designs, and is the latest example of the company’s commitment to unlocking new opportunities and driving measurable business success through packaging innovation.

    Marketing managers have welcomed the concept as a fast, joined-up and measurable process that adds real value to their shopper marketing strategies. It follows Smurfit Kappa’s recent white paper on shopper marketing – Marketing on the Shelf - exactly how in control are you? The study revealed that 76 percent of purchase decisions are made by consumers in store, and that they take an average of 4 seconds – highlighting the extent of the commercial opportunities at the point-of-purchase, and the need for brands to develop a marketing strategy.

    Arco Berkenbosch, Senior Vice President Innovation, Smurfit Kappa, explains: “At the outset of the Shelf Smart service we combine cutting-edge insights tools, such as our Shelf Viewer technology which compares the positioning and merchandising of up to 22,000 other products and placements, with our global design experience to develop bespoke packaging solutions that are tailored to real-world challenges. We then use an innovative 3D visualizer to bring the idea to life in a risk-free virtual environment, before finally testing its impact on real shoppers using online eye-tracking tools developed in collaboration with high-tech partner EyeSee. In this way Shelf Smart guarantees measurable business success for brands by proving that the service will make customers’ shopper marketing more likely to drive purchase decisions and business success.”

    Smurfit Kappa has developed the Shelf Smart solution as part of its relentless focus on saving customers time and money by making a packaging solution right before it is made real, and the whole process from problem definition to proven solution takes as little as 4 to 8 weeks.

    Shelf Smart is just one of a range of innovations launched at the company’s flagship Innovation Event on April 15-16th in the Netherlands. It will be made available to Smurfit Kappa customers in a phased roll-out across selected European markets in 2015, and coincides with the opening of a new Global Experience Centre at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. This site will be the showcase hub for a global network that harnesses local expertise to develop packaging solutions together with customers, and is one of the largest packaging Experience Centres in the world.

    Smurfit Kappa’s network of Experience Centres and the Shelf Smart service are the latest examples of the company’s strategy to ‘Open the future’ for its customers, by delivering growth through insight and innovation. They exemplify Smurfit Kappa’s wider commitment to maximising value for its customers, by developing proven packaging innovations that drive business success and optimise consumers’ path to purchase.
    (Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)
    27.05.2015   Forestry's most important meeting places join forces - three strong events under the same roof     ( Company news )

    Company news Adforum, the world-leading organiser of trade fairs for the pulp and paper industry, and Elmia, whose fairs include the world’s leading bioenergy fair, have agreed to combine their previous fairs to create a strong and timely meeting place in the forest industry. Starting in 2016 the previous fairs will all form part of International Wood Biorefining Week, 24-26th May at Stockholmsmässan.

    “This will be a long-term collaboration together with our joint partners,” explains Marcus Bergström, CEO of Adforum. “The forest industry is experiencing very powerful change in which synergies and integration between various sectors in the industry are increasingly important. Our customers have long desired fewer, more multifaceted, bigger and, above all, more timely meeting places in the industry where they can meet relevant business partners and customers. Now we can finally offer them that.”

    The three events included in International Wood Biorefining Week are International Pulp & Paper Week, World Bioenergy and Bioeconomy Innovation Forum.

    International Pulp & Paper Week continues the tradition of fairs for the pulp and paper industry that have been organised by Adforum since 1968. The latest event was held in cooperation with a Swedish pulp and paper organisation in Stockholm in 2011 and brought together 650 exhibiting companies from 30 countries plus almost 10,000 visitors from 56 countries.

    Global event

    World Bioenergy has been organised by Elmia and it’s partner Svebio, The Swedish Bioenergy Association, since 2004 and has for ten years been an important marketplace for suppliers and purchasers of products, technology, services and expertise in the bioenergy sector.

    “Thanks to Sweden’s leading position in the bioenergy field, it has been possible to develop World Bioenergy into a global event with participants from 80 countries,” comments Torbjörn Johnsen, Business Manager Forestry at Elmia. “When we launched World Bioenergy, the growth area was by-products from tree harvesting and the sawmill industry. Today we have a totally new situation with a pulp and paper industry that is investing heavily to create an integrated process industry in which bioenergy is becoming an ever more important part of the product mix.”

    Biobased products

    Bioeconomy Innovation Forum is a new event for new and innovative products from the forest industry. The focus is on bioplastics, textile fibres, nanocellulose, carbon fibre, packaging, biochemicals and wooden structures. Exhibitors at this event will encounter not only visitors from the forest industry but also from other industries with an interest in biobased products.

    “For this event we will also be inviting visitors from other manufacturing industries with an interest in forestry’s sustainable solutions,” Marcus Bergström says. “It’s important to create a dialogue between various industries and to enable forestry companies to meet their customers. At previous forestry events they have mainly met their own suppliers and employees.”

    Integrated conferences

    In 2016 the three fairs will be held concurrently in the same hall at Stockholmsmässan and the conferences will also be integrated with the fairs. Another partner involved in the fairs is the trade journal Nordisk Papperstidning & Biobusiness, which is owned by the media company Mentor Communication.

    Svebio will be involved in the World Bioenergy event. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the leading research and technology company in the Nordic region, and Innventia, a world-leading research institute that works with innovations based on forest raw materials, are conference partners for the Bioeconomy Innovation Forum.

    “The forest industry is becoming ever more broader nowadays and it feels both good and important that we can jointly offer customers a marketplace where all stakeholders can meet and new partnerships and business deals can be made,” comments Torbjörn Johnsen. “Sweden and Finland have a special position with regard to the shift towards a biobased society and the driver of this development is the forest and forest industry. It feels totally right that we are now locating this new joint international event in Stockholm.”
    (Adforum AB)
    26.05.2015   Good start to 2015 for the Södra Group    ( Company news )

    Company news Södra's operating profit for the first four months of the year amounted to SEK 941 million (503). Sales increased 7 percent to SEK 6,243 million and the operating margin improved to 15 percent (9).

    "The year started well for Södra, with healthy sales and strong results. The market has been stable, prices relatively good and the currency situation favourable. Production has also been efficient and we are seeing the results of continued rationalisation," commented CEO Lars Idermark (photo).

    The wood supply in southern Sweden was in line with the preceding year, but considerably higher than the average for the past five years. The supply of wood to Södra's mills functioned effectively. Deliveries of sawn timber showed a positive trend. In moulding and panelling, competition from manufacturers in the Baltic countries remained intense. Demand for pulp remained stable, but the currency trend with a strengthened USD against the EUR led to a slightly lower world market price for softwood sulphate pulp (NBSK).

    The earnings improvement for the first four-month period is the result of healthy demand for Södra's products and services and a favourable currency situation. Profit for the Södra Cell business area increased to SEK 968 million (517), while profit for Södra Wood amounted to SEK 22 million (21) and profit for Södra Skog to SEK 41 million (51).
    (Södra Cell AB)
    26.05.2015   Australian Paper announces Dip Plant Opening: Major boost for Australian-made recycled paper    ( Company news )

    Company news Australia’s only premium wastepaper recycling and de-inking plant has opened in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, with Australian Paper announcing that the $90 million facility at Maryvale Mill has started producing recycled copy paper and will soon extend into envelope and printing papers.
    “This plant will take up to 80,000 tonnes of wastepaper out of Australia’s landfill each year which is enough to fill a tennis court to more than twice the height of the Eureka Tower. We are committed to meeting the growing demand for premium, local recycled paper,” Peter Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Australian Paper, said recently.
    “It is a vital part of our future operations and we thank everyone who has made this investment in regional Victorian manufacturing possible.
    “We received project funding from the Federal and Victorian Governments and letters of support for the project from Planet Ark, Green Capital and a number of our key customers.
    "We applaud this initiative, it is a great win for recycling and it creates green jobs when we are seeing a decline in Australian manufacturing in other areas," said Paul Klymenko, CEO of Planet Ark.
    “The Australian Government has specified that it will purchase 100% recycled papers from 1st July this year and we are hopeful that all Government Departments, Federal and State, will recognise the sustainability advantages of Australian-made 100% recycled paper over
    imports when making their purchase decisions, Mr Williams said.
    “The environmental benefits of this project are significant. Importing recycled paper made overseas only adds to Australia’s landfill and also generates significant sea-freight emissions. In contrast, removing 80,000 tonnes of wastepaper from Australia’s landfill saves up to 200,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, which is equal to taking more than 70,000 cars off Australia’s roads.
    “The current Australian market demand for recycled content office papers is only one third of the new plant’s capacity, so we need everyone’s help to lift the demand for Australian-made recycled content paper and do the right thing for our local environment.” Mr Williams said.
    The construction phase of the plant has supported almost 1,000 Australian jobs and the ongoing operation will provide flow on employment for around 250 people, mostly in the local manufacturing and wastepaper collection industries.
    (AP Australian Paper)
    26.05.2015   Koenig & Bauer first-quarter report 2015 Orders up 27% – sales and earnings behind target    ( Company news )

    Company news -30% more orders for sheetfed offset and special presses
    -Low sales of €177.3m given more deliveries in second-half of 2015
    -Pre-tax loss of €17.7m in first quarter
    -High net liquidity of €169.2m; Restructuring on track
    -Shareholders decide on new company structure on 21 May
    -Outlook: Group sales of over €1bn with EBT margin of up to 2%

    In the words of president and CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann, Koenig & Bauer’s (KBA) financial figures for the first quarter of 2015 still paint “a differentiated picture”. Bucking the industry trend, the press manufacturer’s group order intake of €306.7m was 27% up on the previous year and order backlog was around €130m higher than at the beginning of the quarter. In contrast, there is still some catching up to do in terms of sales and earnings. At €177.3m group sales were down 16.9% on the prior-year figure. Given the low sales volume this quarter due to the delivery structure and capacity underutilisation at KBA’s German web press sites which have now been rescaled, group earnings before taxes (EBT) of –€17.7m were also lower than the prior-year figure of –€12.1m. Nevertheless, the company’s management has affirmed its forecast for 2015. Bolza-Schünemann: “KBA will generate far more than 50% of group sales in the second-half of the year with corresponding positive effects on earnings. In light of the solid number of new projects I am confident that we will be able to achieve our group sales target for 2015 of over €1bn with a better EBT than in 2014 and an EBT margin of up to 2% of sales in spite of a weaker Q1 and Q2 this year.”

    New segment reporting…
    For the first time this KBA interim report contains the new break down of the business into the segments sheetfed offset presses (Sheetfed Solutions), digital and web offset presses (Digital & Web Solutions) and special presses (Special Solutions). Companies in security printing belonging to KBA-NotaSys as well as the subsidiaries active in packaging markets are grouped under Special Solutions.

    …and new company structure
    More transparency, clear management responsibility and enhanced strategic flexibility are the goals of the new company structure proposal which the AGM will decide upon on 21 May in Würzburg. Accordingly, KBA-Sheetfed Solutions in Radebeul and KBA-Digital & Web Solutions in Würzburg are to be spun-off from the parent as autonomously operating business units. Group-wide production (KBA-Industrial Solutions) and security press activities in Würzburg (KBA-NotaSys) are expected to form further legal entities. These spun-off companies are to have a German legal status of an AG & Co. KG (limited partnership) with the parent as a public limited company and sole general partner. Koenig & Bauer AG as a holding with a management board consisting of three members will take over central and strategic tasks. The other members of the management board will become managing directors of the operating companies. Cross-subsidies between the business units will not be tolerated and KBA will invest the capital available to achieve the long-term higher returns on capital necessary. The new company structure is expected to be implemented from 1 January 2015 retrospectively upon approval by the AGM. The internal organisational structure has been in place for one year.

    Lower sales and product mix hit this quarter’s results
    At €546.7m group order backlog on 31 March was almost €130m higher than at the beginning of the year. Compared to the prior-year quarter low sales, the product mix and capacity underutilisation which has yet to be completely eliminated in the Digital & Web segment hit earnings. The group’s gross profit margin fell from 25.4% to 20.6% and EBIT from –€10.2m to –€16.2m. A net interest loss of €1.5m led to a group pre-tax loss (EBT) this quarter of €17.7m, compared to –€12.1m the previous year. After deducting taxes, group results on 31 March stood at –€16.9m (2014: –€14m) and earnings per share came to –€1.01 (2014: –€0.85).
    At €174.7m order intake after three months in Sheetfed Solutions, KBA’s largest segment, was up 30.5% on 2014, while sales of €109.8m remained slightly below the prior-year figure of €111.1m. The book-to-bill ratio triggered a growth in order backlog of 26.7% to €246.6m. This segment’s loss of €2.7m was somewhat higher than the prior year (2014: –€1.6m) due to the unfavourable product mix and expenses associated with restructuring the international sales network. In the course of the year earnings will also gradually improve in line with the increase in the number of deliveries.
    The volume of new orders in the Digital & Web Solutions segment rose by 5.7% to €27.9m, up from €26.4m in 2014. At €13.3m revenue fell short of the previous year’s figure of €41.5m which made a major contribution to the segment’s loss of €8.7m. However, savings resulting from the extensive adjustment to capacities and upcoming deliveries will have a positive impact on sales and earnings in the following quarters. Moreover, promising strategic opportunities have opened up for this new segment through addressing new business fields for KBA RotaJET presses and the alliance with HP in the digital corrugated printing market.
    Orders in the Special Solutions segment were up 31% to €117.4m. At €63.2m sales this quarter were 8.1% lower than in 2014 (€68.8m). Operating profit in this segment stood at €1.2m compared to the prior-year figure of €4m. KBA anticipates a significant rise in both figures in the third and fourth quarter in particular with the delivery of larger security press orders.

    Fewer sales in Europe – more in North America
    Compared to 2014 an €8.8m decrease in domestic sales to €35.3m raised the export level from 79.3% to 80.1%. Deliveries to other parts of Europe fell to €46.3m. This region’s contribution to group sales was below average at 26.1% (2014: 31%). Business in North America jumped from €24.4m to €30.2m, or 11.4% to 17% of the total. The proportion generated by Asia and the Pacific stood at 28.5%. Given the dip in demand in China the total sales volume of €50.5m in this region was less than the previous year (€64.9m). At €15m revenue attributable to Latin America and Africa came to 8.5% of group sales.

    High net liquidity of almost €170m
    Cash flows from operating activities improved to –€29.3m (2014: –€51.3m) despite considerable cash outflows for severance payments. A drop in trade receivables and higher customer prepayments contributed to this improvement. Active working capital management cut inventories by around €70m year-on-year. After deducting funds for investing activities, at –€31.1m our free cash flow was also healthier (2014: –€54.4m). Along with ample credit lines, funds at 31 March came to €186m. Less bank loans of €16.8m, net liquidity stood at €169.2m. A further decrease in the discount rate for German pensions contributed significantly towards reducing KBA’s equity ratio to 18%.

    Payroll down by over 900
    At the end of March 2015 there were 5,321 employees on the KBA group payroll, 916 fewer than twelve months earlier (6,237). Excluding apprentices, trainees, employees exempted from their duties and staff on phased retirement schemes the group workforce sank to 4,711. This total is expected to fall to around 4,500 following the completion of the group restructuring programme in 2016. At 6.1% KBA’s training rate remains remarkable.

    Outlook: Over €1bn in sales and up to 2% EBT margin
    With new orders up almost 30% in the first quarter, KBA performed above average as, according to statistics from the VDMA (German Machinery and Plant Manufacturer’s Association), over 12% fewer orders for German printing equipment were placed during this period. The positive trend in terms of incoming orders in Sheetfed Solutions continued in April. The success of Print China and the group’s strong footing in packaging printing proved to be beneficial. The delivery structure at KBA will change substantially in 2015. Its web offset business is contributing less and less to group sales. In contrast, high-volume digital inkjet printing is gaining in importance as KBA-Digital & Web Solutions addresses new applications, such as industrial decor printing. An inkjet web press for the corrugated market co-developed with HP opens up additional opportunities. It is being manufactured in Würzburg and will be unveiled to the industry in the fourth quarter.
    Today sheetfed offset presses and related systems generate over 50% of the group’s sales. Packaging printers dominate the business of KBA-Sheetfed Solutions and the majority of companies in the Special Solutions segment. In this segment presses and systems for producing banknotes make the largest contribution to the company’s sales and earnings. They mainly go to government clients not usually from industrialised countries which makes planning the security press business difficult. Nevertheless, the KBA group’s broad line up levels out segment-related fluctuations in demand and facilitates adjustments to market shifts.
    As is typical for the industry, the KBA group will once again generate far more than half of its sales in the second-half of the year. The same is true of the security press business. With this in mind, the sales target of over €1bn in 2015 remains realistic. The KBA management board is also targeting an improvement in earnings to an EBT margin of up to 2% given an expected rise in sales.
    (Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA))
    26.05.2015   Screen launches 'best-in-class' roll-to-roll system for Truepress Jet W3200UV printer    ( Company news )

    Company news Screen Graphic and Precision Solutions announces the global launch of a 3.2m wide roll-to-roll system for its Truepress Jet W3200UV. The new system integrates with the flatbed Truepress Jet W3200UV to turn it into one of the industry’s most versatile wide-format printers, producing high-quality UV print on both sheeted and roll-fed substrates at 150 sqm/hr.

    The Truepress Jet W3200UV flat/roll printer is a joint development between Screen and its subsidiary company Inca Digital. It unites Screen’s roll media handling technology, developed for its successful high-end digital web presses, with Inca’s leading digital flatbed technology. Able to handle rolls from 0.75m up to 3.2m wide, the new system can be purchased with a new printer or can be easily retro-fitted in the field. Very easy to use, the operator can switch from a fast flatbed into a fast roll-fed printer in the time it takes to walk around the machine! Once the table is locked the printer effectively converts into roll mode. The 3.2m x 1.6m wide flatbed table is driven by magnetically encoded linear motors to achieve precision movement. In addition, the printer includes features typically found on printers that come with much higher price tags, such as pop-up registration pins, auto-cleaning capability, intelligent nozzle mapping and a head-crash detection system.

    The Truepress Jet W3200UV features six colours plus two white-ink channels and different print modes which can be selected depending on the finished product. For example, Photo Quality and Fine Photo Quality modes can reproduce fine lines, serif fonts and detail in highlight areas, while the Production Mode is optimized for point-of-purchase materials. Text as small as 4-point and 6-point reversed are sharp and legible in all modes. Like the flatbed machine, the new roll system features an advanced multilayer option enabling up to 8 layers to be merged.

    As a result, this single all-round printer can produce the widest range of both commodity and high-value products, such as everyday display graphics, hard/soft signage, wallcoverings, banners, lorry curtains, window film, quality POS, 1 to 8 multi-layers, backlit and day/night graphics and accurate 75lpi lenticulars.

    “Retailers today want their print suppliers to be able to produce a wide variety of graphics and POS products using many different solid and flexible substrates, with a fast turnaround and at the best quality,” says Bui Burke, Vice-President, Screen Europe. “The versatile Truepress Jet W3200UV’s ability to print on both roll and flat materials at full 150 sq/m hr production speeds delivers the best of both worlds. No other printer comes close to this level of flexibility.”

    There are two models of the Truepress available: the 85sqm/hr Truepress Jet W3200UV ST and the 150sqm/hr Truepress Jet W3200UV HS. Users can upgrade from the ST to the HS on-site as and when they wish.
    (Screen Europe)
    26.05.2015   Rottneros initiates investment program to increase capacity in both its mills, Vallvik Mill and ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... Rottneros Mill

    The Rottneros Board has decided to make the first investments of 180 MSEK to increase production capacity at both the Group mills, Vallvik Mill and Rottneros Mill, to ensure continuous progress and growth.

    This means that the new plan prepared by management, Agenda 500, starts immediately. Agenda 500 is a long-term industrial plan to increase the capacity of the Group through successive investments. Investments are made in renewed production equipment and organization to increase capacity and eliminate bottlenecks in the two mills.

    The long-term objective is to expand Rottneros' total capacity to reach a business volume of at least 460,000 tons of pulp annually, compared to the 345,000 tonnes produced last year. The rate of the investments will be determined by Rottneros' ability to allocate the increased volumes in the market.

    The total framework amounts to around SEK 800 million for the whole Agenda 500 divided into SEK 400 million medium-term and SEK 400 million in the longer term.

    "We are very pleased with the positive development within Rottneros and the implementation of Fokus 15. Agenda 500 builds on our successful focus on high-quality pulp and we look to the future with great confidence", says Chairman Rune Ingvarsson.

    Rottneros' CEO Per Lundeen (photo), who together with the management teams at the two mills has developed Agenda 500, is convinced that the operations will gain significantly from continued investment and development of the niche strategy.

    "The Vallvik Mill and Rottneros Mill produce high quality and specialized pulp and they have been very successful with their market positioning towards more and more specialty products. The success of our specialty products has created resources and given us the courage to take this step and thus secure the future of the Rottneros Group and the two mills." says Per Lundeen.
    (Rottneros AB (publ))
    26.05.2015   Ence's General Meeting of Shareholders approves a dividend of 10 cents per share    ( Company news )

    Company news It represents a return of 3% shareholder

    • The successful restructuring and cost reduction plans of the company, the growth of pulp prices and the appreciation of the dollar, will mean a major boost to the results of Ence in 2015.
    • Given the positive outlook for the continuity of the factory Ence in Pontevedra, Ence expressed strong commitment to environmental excellence, job creation and quality of life of citizens.
    • Ence will begin implementing the new facade of its factory in Pontevedra to minimize their visual impact and working on a new and advanced treatment system that will allow the reuse of process water and minimize the effluent into the sea.

    The Ence's General Meeting of Shareholders held today has approved a dividend of 0.10 euros per share, representing a shareholder return of 3% on the price of Ence's Day communication of the proposal.
    As the President of Ence - Energía y Celulosa Juan Luis Arregui said, the company undertook during the year 2014 a "profound restructuring" has already been completed "with a year in advance."

    Ence will concentrate its efforts in 2015 on reducing costs and improving competitiveness. As explained by the Vice Chairman and CEO of the company, Ignacio de Colmenares, "Ence will overcome this year the profit that was before the electricity reform" and stressed that measures provide an increase in EBITDA of 77 million euros and reducing costs nearly 40 euros / tonne production.
    In addition, the rise in international pulp prices and the appreciation of the dollar against the euro are driving more results to Ence this year. "For every 5 cent appreciation of the US currency recalled Colmenares-, our sales revenues are increased by more than 15 million euros".
    Another factor contributing to the rapid recovery of Ence is the good performance of pulp prices in recent months in Europe, the market for Ence. Thus Prices are offering a progressive improvement from the $ 734 / ton in the last quarter of 2014, with prices of $ 770 / ton today and announced price increases of $ 810.

    Ignacio de Colmenares also referred to plans for business growth and biomass renewable energy production of cellulose. In the first case, Ence announced that support their growth projects "aimed at markets with high sales prices of energy markets requiring renewable energy and sustainable basis, including island systems are a magnificent goal, and, of course, with minimal regulatory risk".
    Regarding the "organic" growth in the pulp business, the CEO spoke about Ence plans to increase its production capacity by 40,000 cellulose in the Operations Center Ence in Navia (Asturias). The company also plans to increase the capacity of its factory in Pontevedra, whose continuity, Colmenares said, "begins to clear".

    “Ence will not dissapoint Pontevedra”
    Juan Luis Arregui also referred to the Galician factory of Ence Energía y Celulosa. He thanked the "support continuity" of different political parties and citizen groups of Pontevedra and Galicia. He said "Ence will not disappoint Pontevedra".
    "I understand and agree that the population of Pontevedra requires us to have an environmental exemplary factory”, Arregui said. And the same words - "I understand and share it" - referred to the need to integrate scenically factory and keep increasing the generation of wealth in the environment. Ence president said that the "obligation" of the company is "making this factory regain competitiveness and make it a model" of industrial facility.
    Referring to Ence’s Galician factory, Ignacio Colmenares stressed the need to "seal a new pact with the city of Pontevedra and its region". The Managing Director of Ence said the company is committed to "putting progressively implemented a whole series of projects that will ensure environmental excellence of our facilities. And we are ready to prove that we will continue creating wealth, jobs and prosperity for the city of Pontevedra and its region through unique initiatives and business and social investments. "
    "Let's start with the implementation of the new facade of the factory to minimize its visual impact on the estuary. I also want you to know that we are working with a leading company in water treatment in a new treatment that allows the reuse of our process water, minimizing water use and effluent Lérez river to the sea. As odors, we reiterate our commitment to final disposal”, said Ignacio de Colmenares.
    The Vice President and Managing Director concluded by noting that "in 2015 will see catapulted the results of Ence, significantly above what we announced at the last General Meeting of Shareholders".
    (Grupo Empresarial ENCE S.A. Divisíon de Celulosa)
    26.05.2015   Xerium Introduces Blue Diamond Advanced Polyurethane Roll Cover Technology    ( Company news )

    Company news Xerium Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:XRM), a leading global provider of industrial consumable products and services, recently launched Blue Diamond, a new generation of advanced polyurethane roll cover technology for superior performance on the harshest of press nip conditions. Blue Diamond roll covers are specifically engineered to deliver exceptional stability in the most demanding nip conditions providing long-running dewatering performance and superior resistance to groove closure, which is critical for consistent venting performance. The new roll covers are available in grooved and drilled patterns and include the company’s exclusive Fusion bonding system for additional life.

    “The rolls technology team has developed this new generation of polyurethane for those demanding nip conditions where conventional covers suffer from premature groove closure. Blue Diamond’s exclusive formulation delivers stable performance and long life which is especially important on covers with grooved and drilled patterns for enhanced dewatering performance,” said Mr. Bill Butterfield, EVP and CTO of Xerium. “As always, our mission is to develop innovative technology to help our customers achieve new performance levels with reduced operating costs.”
    (Xerium Technologies Inc.)
    26.05.2015   FINAT European Label Forum 2015 - calling all label printers    ( Company news )

    Company news Must-attend event for strategic business knowledge, information and inspiration

    With less than a month to go, FINAT, the international association for the self-adhesive label industry, is making a strong statement with its leading 2015 industry event. Over 200 top leaders from the label and narrow web industry have already confirmed attendance to the completely rebranded annual congress: the European Label Forum (ELF). This industry must-attend event takes place in Amsterdam, June 11 to 13. The European Label Forum delivers a complete break with the past in terms of its programming and offers attendees a unique source of knowledge to redefine its business. All details about the Forum, thought leadership speakers, full programme, registration and practical details are available on the dedicated website

    “In the label world, there are a lot of fast and dramatic changes taking place in decorating technologies, packaging types, branding strategies, and markets”, says FINAT Managing Director Jules Lejeune, “As such, we need to pursue a wider vision. The small and mid-sized companies that traditionally made up our industry base when self-adhesive labelling took off in the mid-1970s are now part of a much broader supplier segment challenged to meet the needs of demanding international brands, multiple retailers, and high-tech product manufacturers. We need to change our profile to meet those needs in the 21st century – to be at the leading-edge of product decoration, and at the same time to run successful and profitable businesses.”

    New solid business focus
    FINAT’s European Label Forum is bringing together senior management in label converters and their direct and indirect suppliers at an event that, at its core, is a vehicle for creating strategic business knowledge, information and inspiration. Three parallel agenda streams – sales and marketing, manufacturing and technology, and management and corporate affairs – will provide in-depth focus on major company concerns today, in the specific context of labels and packaging. Topics addressed will include such concerns as the future of retailing; label design as a sales tool in today’s market; decoration technologies that compete with traditional labels; 3D printing (dubbed ‘the third industrial revolution’); succession planning in family companies; and how to sell your business. There will also be a highly-participative lean manufacturing workshop.

    Speakers are market leaders
    Papers delivered by market-leading speakers characterise the event. Keynote speakers EU past-president Herman van Rompuy and bestselling Danish author and entrepreneur Rasmus Ankersen are part of a line-up which also includes Ramses Dingenouts of global beer brand Heineken and UK procurement expert Gordon Crichton. Jules Lejeune will also present the in-depth market data that the association’s unique members-only FINAT RADAR research platform provides.
    A unique series of blogs from each of the speakers at the European Label Forum is available on the website

    Supplier tabletop
    The formal meeting agenda is complemented by a supplier tabletop exhibition, featuring additional commercial ‘poster presentations’, and extensive opportunities for networking over the two-day event. On the evening of the first day, delegates can enjoy socialising during a cocktail cruise on the Amsterdam canals, followed by dinner at the Maritime Museum.

    Calling all label printers
    “I believe the European Label Forum to be a “must attend” event that will attract business leaders in all aspects of our industry,” concludes Mr Lejeune. “FINAT is especially keen to encourage label converters – not only from Europe, but from around the world -- to come to the convenient hub of Amsterdam to join in the conversation, and they are offered special delegate rates for this reason.”
    25.05.2015   iT’s tissue 2015 to host the world premiere of OMET’s new products ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... for tissue converting

    From 22 to 26 June 2015 OMET will open the doors of its factory in Lecco to the visitors of iT's tissue 2015 and present its most recent innovations for the tissue sector. They include: digital inkjet printing, embossing “Quick Change” system and FV Line, vacuum-fold tissue converting machine for the production of napkins offering the possibility to change the napkin size and fold directly from the operator panel.

    “iT’s tissue” - The Italian Technology Experience - is a unique event, a total immersion in Made in Italy production technology for the entire range of tissue products for health and hygiene. It will take place on June 21-28 2015 in Lucca, better known as the “Tissue Valley” as the heart of the event, and simultaneously in Reggio Emilia and Lecco.

    “iT’s tissue” is conceived to offer the opportunity to discover the best “made in Italy” technology for the manufacture, packaging and handling of tissue products such as toilet paper, kitchen rolls, facial tissues, napkins and handkerchiefs, rolls and folded products for the consumer and professional sectors, by visiting the 12 leading companies of the “Tissue Italy” network.

    During the week of iT's tissue, specifically on June 22 to 26, OMET will organize an open house at its Lecco plant where a comprehensive overview of its range of machines for tissue converting will be offered. In addition to the machines, OMET will launch as a world premiere CHAMELEONbyOMETTM, KOALAbyOMETTM and RACCOONbyOMETTM, modular tissue units characterised by cutting-edge technology.

    CHAMELEONbyOMETTM is the newest digital printing 4-color inkjet group that will be shown in line on a TV 503 Line machine for napkins production. The change introduced by CHAMELEONbyOMETTM is the possibility to customize napkins and disposable table mats with graphics and variable data, different for each folded napkin or groups of napkins. Increase, in essence, the possibilities of customization, on one hand guaranteeing uniqueness of the product offered, and on the other hand widening the boundaries of what you can accomplish.

    KOALAbyOMETTM is the new embossing unit equipped with magnetic plates for the “Quick Change” of embossing. KOALAbyOMETTM speeds up and simplifies the embossing changeover through a revolutionary system that completely shifts the customer's perspective toward leaner and less costly operation. Basically, you get a considerable saving on the cost of equipment and reduce the time of procurement of materials, of change and register setting. With KOALAbyOMETTM, embossing becomes a customizable variable in the management of the customer’s requests.

    Further innovation that OMET presents at iT's Tissue is RACCOONbyOMETTM, newly developed on-board washing system for plates and any other part in direct contact with inks.

    The visitors of iT’s tissue 2015 will have the chance to admire a TV 840 Line completed by a packaging machine and a brand new FV Line vacuum-fold tissue converting machine for the production of napkins performing a breath-taking change of size and fold (for example: from dispenser-fold to book) by acting directly on the machine control panel. This is the first FV line equipped with in-line print units.

    Missing iT's tissue in Lecco means losing the possibility of entering into a new era of tissue converting characterised by highly advanced technologies and solutions. We look forward to welcoming you in OMET from 22 to 26 June! For details on the event and on the group of companies that promotes it, please visit
    (Omet S.r.l.)
    25.05.2015   X-Rite Details Designs on Next-Generation Color Management at Turkish Textile Innovation Day    ( Company news )

    Company news Company Presented Color Tools For Consistency Across the Textile Supply Chain

    X-Rite Incorporated, a global leader in color science and technology, and its subsidiary Pantone LLC, demonstrated next-generation desktop colour at the X-Rite Textile Innovation Day, Istanbul, Turkey.

    Hosted by X-Rite Pantone Distribution Partner Odak, the day attracted more than 35 attendees. They received 2015 product notifications as well as technology and market updates from Simone Viscomi, Sales Director Turkey and MEA of X-Rite, Carola Seybold, Pantone Sales Director and Jochen Mohr, Application Specialist.

    “This well-attended event was a great way for design professionals to learn more about the exciting developments in our solutions portfolio,” comments Viscomi. “Great color control not only improves formulation, it also decreases wastage, and increases production and these were the key messages of this event.”

    He continued: “They were particularly interested in the latest news from Pantone, especially with regards to digital color standards. They were also keen to understand the capabilities offered by the new benchtop sphere spectrophotometer, Ci7800 that enables customers to achieve consistent color across the entire textile supply chain - from concept design through to final product.

    The next generation Ci7800 Benchtop Sphere Spectrophotometer includes new features that reduce errors and improve productivity throughout the textile manufacturing processes. The Ci7800 delivers excellent sample-to-sample color measurement, from raw materials all the way through to the delivery of a color-perfect product.

    Ayla Çuhadaroglu, Managing director of ODAK Kimya Ltd. Istanbul, added: “The vibrant Turkish textile industry is undergoing some key changes to adapt to market opportunities. Accurate color communication, from design to production, has never been more vital which is why color management is such a top priority for leading producers. Our customers appreciated the direct access to X-Rite’s knowledge and expertise and we look forward to supporting them as they implement measures to improve their production success.”

    X-Rite Pantone also highlighted its range of color measurement and management solutions for the textile industry, including:
    Portable and Compact Spectrophotometers, including 45/0 spectrophotometers, that serve as a foundation for color control programs, making it easy and efficient for textile manufacturers or suppliers to understand, manage and control color at any stage of production.
    Pocket-sized Spectrocolorimeter that can be used to compare colors.
    Advanced Quality Control Software that reduces guesswork in evaluating color, reduces color formulation costs and allows verification, optimization and certification of performance of color measurement devices.
    (X-Rite Europe GmbH)
    25.05.2015   More than cutting: Esko Kongsberg Tools unleash creativity    ( Company news )

    Company news Growing range of specialty tools allow customers to finish the widest variety of applications in sign, display and packaging materials, and beyond

    Esko announces a new range of Kongsberg tools is available for customers. On top of the more than hundred high-quality cutting blades, router bits and accessories, some of the newest tools include a psaligraphy (paper cutting) knife tool (photo), perforation wheel and braille tool. All three tools are available for usage on the Kongsberg XN, Kongsberg V and Kongsberg XL Series of digital finishing systems.

    Innovation in digital finishing creates new business opportunities
    Celebrating its golden jubilee this year, Esko Kongsberg built a strong foundation with the right technology and skills to help customers take full advantage of the opportunities digital finishing offers in the signage, display and packaging markets. The broad portfolio of Kongsberg cutting tables caters to the different needs and speed in various segments of these markets.

    But the wide variety of tools is what truly enables customers to extend their offerings and expand their businesses with the most creative use of materials and applications. Producers of packaging, displays and signage are used to work with a variety of substrates, ranging from foam, plastics and vinyl to paper, corrugated boards and folding carton. And ever more materials are being added to the portfolio, including glass, wood, aluminium and textiles – opening up new markets and new applications. To keep up with these new demands and further improve existing solutions, Esko Kongsberg has an experienced R&D team constantly developing new tools. High performance linked to high precision is what makes the difference here.

    More than 100 cutting blades, and still counting
    Today, Esko Kongsberg already offers more than 100 different cutting blades that are optimized for a very broad range of materials and applications. But there is much more these cutting systems can do when equipped with crease wheels, crease blades, milling bits or plotting pens.

    Three examples of newly developed tools that extend Kongsberg capabilities are:
    -The new Psaligraphy (or paper cutting) knife tool that cuts out the finest details in paper and folding carton, at a level not seen before. This is a perfect tool for adding creativity and value to greeting cards, promotional items or folding carton samples.
    -The 60 mm Perforation wheel enabling users to create tear and crease-assist perforations in corrugated board up to 4 mm thick at a much higher speed than before. This tool is ideal for producing POP-materials and all kinds of packaging. Prior to this wheel becoming available, it took about 40 seconds to do 1 meter of a 3x3 perforation pattern (3 mm cut and 3 mm space). The new wheel only needs 2 seconds to do that, quite a time saving!
    -The Braille tool, loaded with clear acrylic ‘Braille spheres’ that are inserted into small holes. These holes are milled with a special spindle to create raised dots that are readable with fingertips. The Braille tool will work on most rigid materials more than one mm thick and is used to produce signage requiring directions or inscriptions in braille.

    Online store gives access to all Kongsberg cutting tools
    Esko’s online Kongsberg store for bits, blades and other accessories offers all the certified consumables for the full range of digital finishing tables at More Esko customers find their way to the store every day, relying on Esko’s expertise to help them expand their business.
    “Thousands of customers worldwide use our Kongsberg tables for a wide variety of applications and materials,” concludes Knut Johansen, Product Coordinator Esko Kongsberg. “We offer total solutions in digital finishing and are continuously developing and improving tools for new applications and substrates. Our research and development teams are offeringinnovation and support to expand the tooling range to bring even more value to the cutting tables.”
    (Esko Belgium)
    25.05.2015   Resolute Reports Preliminary First Quarter 2015 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news -Q1 adjusted EBITDA of $50 million
    -Cash remains strong at $324 million; liquidity of almost $800 million
    -Excluding special items, net loss of $0.32 per share / GAAP net loss of $0.35 per share

    Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) reported a net loss for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, excluding special items, of $30 million, or $0.32 per share, compared to a net loss, excluding special items, of $26 million, or $0.27 per share, in the same period in 2014. Sales were $920 million in the quarter, down $96 million, or 9%, from the first quarter of 2014. GAAP net loss was $33 million, or $0.35 per share, compared to a net loss of $50 million, or $0.53 per share, in the first quarter of 2014.

    "This quarter's results were most affected by the combination of lower price realizations in our market pulp and wood products businesses, together with intensifying challenges in the global newsprint market," said Richard Garneau (photo), president and chief executive officer. "Even as market prices have retreated from recent highs this quarter, we remain bullish on our lumber and pulp businesses. We're confident that we will add significant value with our investments to build capacity, including the two new Ontario sawmills and the Calhoun pulp digester project. We believe in the long-term global pulp market fundamentals, including its underlying growth drivers like tissue production in North America, which has been a growing consumer of our pulp. Our recent newsprint and specialty paper capacity closures, on the other hand, show our efforts to adapt to changing market dynamics in the paper businesses, which will continue to evolve. Our clear objective is to generate as much value as we can from these assets, by concentrating production to maximize the use of our most cost-effective mills, eliminating fixed costs and avoiding costly rotating downtime."

    Non-GAAP financial measures, such as adjustments for special items and adjusted EBITDA, are explained and reconciled below.

    Operating Income Variance Against Prior Period
    The company recorded an operating loss of $15 million in the quarter, compared to a $93 million loss in the fourth quarter. Adjusted EBITDA was $50 million in the quarter, a $56 million decrease from the fourth quarter. The company's results were adversely affected by lower newsprint, pulp and lumber pricing ($34 million, not including the unfavorable effect of the weaker Canadian dollar), lower pulp and paper volumes ($23 million) and an increase in pension and other postretirement benefit (or "OPEB") expenses ($15 million). The increase in pension and OPEB expenses, which does not have a cash impact, relates to the $330 million increase in balance sheet net pension and OPEB liability in 2014. In the fourth quarter, the company incurred $131 million of accelerated depreciation and other closure-related costs, most of which were non-cash costs related to the permanent newsprint capacity closures announced in the quarter for Iroquois Falls, Ontario, Baie-Comeau, Québec, and Clermont, Québec, as well as the permanent closure of the Laurentide specialty paper mill in Shawinigan, Québec.

    Market Pulp
    Operating income in the market pulp segment was $10 million in the first quarter, $3 million lower than the fourth quarter. The overall average transaction price slipped by $29 per metric ton, or 4%, as a result of lower average transaction prices in softwood and fluff grades. Shipments were down by almost 7%, or 23,000 metric tons, because of lower softwood shipments, offset in part by an additional shipment of fluff pulp delayed from the fourth quarter. Overall shipments fell short of target in the segment, which has been more vulnerable to pressure from ongoing misinformation campaigns by certain environmental activist groups, and also because of unscheduled outages at certain mills. Finished goods inventory rose by 9,000 metric tons. The operating cost per unit (the "delivered cost") fell by over 3%, mostly because of lower maintenance costs and higher contribution from the Saint-Félicien, Québec, cogeneration facility following the mill's annual maintenance outage in the fourth quarter, offset in part by higher pension and OPEB expenses.

    Wood Products
    The wood products segment generated operating income of $5 million in the quarter, $13 million lower than the fourth quarter. Shipments rose by 1%, to 393 million board feet, but the average transaction price fell by $25 per thousand board feet, or 7%, reflecting lower market prices. The delivered cost in the segment was 3% higher, to $342 per thousand board feet, as a result of the recognition, in the previous quarter, of additional tax credits in connection with infrastructure investments, which we did not recognize in the first quarter. Finished goods inventory increased by 14%, reflecting the softer market conditions in the quarter.

    The newsprint segment generated an operating loss of $6 million in the quarter, compared to operating income of $15 million in the fourth quarter. Shipments were 63,000 metric tons lower, or 11%, reflecting seasonally lower demand and the impact of the company's 2014 capacity rationalization initiatives to, among other things, adapt to changing market dynamics. The overall average transaction price for newsprint fell by $34 per metric ton, or 6%. These changes largely reflect the ongoing challenges for North American producers in the global newsprint business, who face an accelerating pace of global structural decline, a currency disadvantage in export markets because of the strong U.S. dollar, and very low operating rates outside North America. The delivered cost in the segment was essentially unchanged, reflecting the favorable effect of the weaker Canadian dollar and lower fixed costs following the capacity closures, offset by higher power and steam costs, mostly seasonal, and higher pension and OPEB expenses. Finished goods inventory was down by 9%.
    The company announced in December a reduction of 465,000 metric tons of annual capacity with the permanent closure of three newsprint machines in Canada. Its goal is to optimize assets by concentrating production to maximize the use of its most cost-effective mills, eliminate fixed costs and avoid costly rotating downtime.

    Specialty Papers
    Operating income in the specialty papers segment was $1 million in the first quarter, down by $3 million from the fourth quarter. The average transaction price was essentially unchanged, but shipments fell by 14%, or 61,000 short tons, due mostly to seasonally lower demand and the company's 2014 capacity rationalization initiative. The Laurentide mill was closed in October, representing 191,000 metric tons of annual capacity. The delivered cost in the quarter was also essentially unchanged, favorably affected by the weaker Canadian dollar and lower natural gas pricing, but offset by seasonally higher power and steam costs, production inefficiencies at certain mills and higher pension and OPEB expenses.

    The company reported under "corporate and other" the higher pension and OPEB expenses associated with closed mills ($7 million), largely impacted by the higher pension and OPEB expenses associated with those mills, as well as certain selling, general and administrative expenses that were not allocated to the segments.

    Consolidated Quarterly Operating Income Variance Against Year-Ago Period
    The company recorded an operating loss of $15 million in the first quarter, compared to a loss of $33 million in the year-ago period. The year-ago period was significantly affected by an abnormally cold winter, which caused a material increase in costs and approximately 30,000 metric tons of lost production, as well as an additional 25,000 metric tons of non-weather-related operational disruptions. Although this year's winter was also harsh, the company mitigated its impact by implementing measures to reduce its exposure to these types of events.

    Overall pricing this quarter was lower ($42 million) because of a 9% drop in the average transaction price for newsprint, 8% for wood products and 4% for market pulp. Despite an 11% increase in shipments of wood products due to the company's growth initiatives, overall volume was down from the year-ago period, reflecting a 2% drop in market pulp shipments, 8% in newsprint and 9% in specialty. Manufacturing costs were unchanged in the quarter after adjusting for the favorable effect of the abnormally cold winter of 2014 ($40 million), the lower volume ($34 million) and the weaker Canadian dollar ($30 million). This reflects the higher pension and OPEB expenses ($12 million), as well as higher power prices and steam costs, offset by the benefits of the company's asset optimization initiatives, and lower maintenance costs.

    Mr. Garneau added: "Since peaking in the second quarter of last year, our realized prices for market pulp are down, on average, about $60 per metric ton, but we expect that market fundamentals will support better performance in the segment for the balance of the year. Given lower-than-expected first quarter U.S. housing starts, the drop in North American lumber exports to Asia, the strong U.S. dollar and the reintroduction of export duties and quotas under the Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement of 2006, our near-term outlook for lumber is more uncertain, but our medium to long-term outlook continues to be positive. We expect a moderate uptick in specialty paper shipments, and also fairly stable overall pricing conditions into the second quarter. We would also expect to maintain our share of newsprint volumes this quarter, but pricing is likely to remain under pressure given the accelerating pace of global structural decline, the currency disadvantage in export markets because of the strong U.S. dollar, and very low operating rates outside North America."
    (Resolute Forest Products)
    22.05.2015   Metsä Board has closed the divestment of Gohrsmühle mill    ( Company news )

    Company news Metsä Board Corporation announced on 29 April 2015 that it has agreed to divest 100 per cent of its shares in Metsä Board Zanders GmbH including all related liabilities to mutares AG’s fully owned holding company and its partner company.

    The transaction has been closed.
    (Metsä Board Corporation)

    22.05.2015   Mayr-Melnhof: Results for the 1st Quarter of 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news • Good first quarter
    • High capacity utilization
    • Notable profit increase at MM Packaging
    • MM Karton maintains a high Level

    The Mayr-Melnhof Group started the business year 2015 with a good first quar-ter. High capacity utilization and productivity increases contributed significantly to the profit growth of the Group compared to the previous year’s period. Im-proved performance of the packaging plants had a major part in this, while MM Karton was able to maintain the solid earnings level of the previous year.

    However, a sustainable economic upturn cannot be inferred from this as the slight increase in incoming orders at the beginning of the year has now returned to the usual seasonal level due to a lack of further impulses. Nevertheless, we keep our goal to grow further with high profitability also in 2015.

    The Group's consolidated sales went up to EUR 533.9 million and thus were 1.9 % above the comparative figure of the previous year (1Q 2014: EUR 523.9 million). This rise is mainly the result of increased business volume in the packaging division.

    Operating profit rose by 10.0 % or EUR 4.6 million to EUR 50.8 million. This growth is primari-ly attributable to the overall improved performance of the MM Packaging plants. Accordingly, the Group's operating margin reached 9.5 %, following 8.8 % in the first three months of the previous year.

    Financial income of EUR 0.4 million (1Q 2014: EUR 0.4 million) was offset by financial ex-penses of EUR -1.6 million (1Q 2014: EUR -1.3 million).

    Profit before tax thus rose by 9.9 % to EUR 47.6 million (1Q 2014: EUR 43.3 million). Income tax expense totaled EUR 12.1 million (1Q 2014: EUR 11.2 million), resulting in an effective Group tax rate of 25.4 % (1Q 2014: 25.9 %).

    Profit for the period therefore increased by 10.6 % to EUR 35.5 million (1Q 2014: EUR 32.1 million). This corresponds to 6.6 % of sales (1Q 2014: 6.1 %).

    Impulses for demand from the overall economy for our industry cannot be determined. Therefore incoming orders reached the usual seasonal level again after a slight upturn at the beginning of the year. The current order backlog further enables a solid performance in both divisions. The strong profit development in the first quarter is a challenge for the subsequent quarters. Intense competition requires all efforts to be continually concentrated. However, maximum efficiency in production, optimum price level and continued long-term expansion should allow further progress at a high level of profitability. As in the past, organic and acquisi-tion growth will complement each other.
    (Mayr-Melnhof Karton Gesellschaft m.b.H.)
    22.05.2015   FORTRESS PAPER ANNOUNCES FIRST QUARTER 2015 RESULTS    ( Company news )

    Company news Fortress Paper Ltd. ("Fortress Paper" or the "Company") (TSX:FTP) reported 2015 first quarter EBITDA loss of $2.5 million. The Dissolving Pulp Segment generated EBITDA loss of $3.3 million and the Security Paper Products Segment generated EBITDA of $2.3 million. Corporate costs contributed $1.5 million to EBITDA loss.

    EBITDA loss of $3.3 million for the Dissolving Pulp Segment for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 was an improvement of $0.4 million when compared to the fourth quarter of 2014 EBITDA loss of $3.7 million, which was primarily impacted by the eight day annual maintenance shutdown in October 2014. The operational challenges in the chemical preparation area and limited capacity of the turbine experienced during the fourth quarter of 2014 continued to impact the results of the first quarter of 2015. The results were partially offset by favorable exchange rates on sales which are primarily denominated in US dollars. EBITDA results for the first quarter of 2015 improved by $11.9 million compared to the first quarter of 2014. The results of the first quarter of 2014 reflected the ten week market downtime taken at the FSC mill. The Company sold 38,957 air dried metric tonnes ("ADMT") of dissolving pulp in the first quarter of 2015 compared to 40,966 ADMT of dissolving pulp and 6,009 ADMT of northern bleached hardwood kraft pulp ("NBHK") in the fourth quarter of 2014. In addition to challenging market conditions, the Dissolving Pulp Segment continues to be affected by the antidumping duty imposed by China's Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM") in April 2014.

    The Landqart mill continues to implement new initiatives to improve efficiencies and profitability. EBITDA of $2.3 million for the Security Paper Products Segment for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 was $0.9 million lower when compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, and $0.9 million lower when compared to results in the first quarter of 2014. The Landqart mill sold 2,715 tonnes of security paper in the first quarter of 2015, compared to 2,270 tonnes of security paper in the fourth quarter of 2014. A less favourable product mix and a significant strengthening of the Swiss franc against the euro negatively impacted the results relative to the prior comparative period. The Landqart mill is exposed to foreign currency exchange fluctuations, as a material amount of its sales are denominated in euros and its major costs, excluding raw materials, are denominated in Swiss francs. In response to the significant appreciation of the Swiss franc against the euro, management commenced a foreign exchange counter measure program ("FECM"), to mitigate the negative financial impact in the short and mid-term.
    (Fortress Paper Ltd)
    22.05.2015   Fiskeby investing in increased production    ( Company news )

    Company news Fiskeby stands strong and is investing in increased cartonboard production. The vision is to produce 200 000 tons of recycled cartonboard annually in 2020 compared with the current 170 000 tons per year.

    The ownership of Fiskeby by Coors family, since 2007, supports this growth initiative. After having studied the possibilities for Fiskeby to continue with different ownership last winter the family has decided to retain ownership of the company.

    “We strongly believe in the future of Fiskeby, one of Europe's leading manufacturers of sustainable cartonboard,” says Jeff Coors, Chairman of the Board of Fiskeby International Holding AB. “Fiskeby is healthy with strong cash flow. We have excellent employees and a top management team. Our vision is to produce 200 000 tons of recycled cartonboard annually by 2020. In the coming years we will invest to improve board quality and production. The investments will also lower manufacturing costs, which strengthens competitiveness.”

    “We are committed to reinvest into the mill for growth. Our track record of investment since 2007 is impressive,” concludes Jeff Coors, Chairman of the Board of Fiskeby International Holding AB. “We have made significant investments in the business, which enabled more efficient cartonboard production and our own energy production that covers most of its energy needs. Now we invest to grow.”
    (Fiskeby Board AB)
    22.05.2015   FINNPULP OY plans a major green field softwood pulp mill in Kuopio, Finland    ( Company news )

    Company news Finnpulp is planning to realize the world's largest softwood pulp mill investment in Kuopio, Finland. The total amount of the investment is 1.4 billion euros. The basis for all Finnpulp operations is to become the most efficient and modern producer of softwood pulp in the world. Producing market pulp, the mill is scheduled to start operation by the end of 2019.
    The new Finnpulp mill will be the most efficient and ecologically sound pulp mill in the industry. In addition to pulp production, the modern technology will enable versatile bioproduction. Thus, the mill is going to be a significant producer of biochemicals and bioelectricity. The company's production will equal 5 per cent of the world's softwood pulp market in 2021.
    The largest softwood pulp investment in the world progresses as planned – three new investors introduced as co-owners
    Finnpulp Oy's softwood pulp mill investment project to Kuopio, Finland progresses as scheduled. When realized, the project, introduced to the public in early 2015 by seasoned forest industry professionals, will be the largest Finnish bioeconomy investment ever. In total, the investment will be 1,4 billion euros.
    The first financing phase, carried out during spring 2015, succeeded as expected. As a result, the company gained three significant investors, who represent Finnish forest and industry know-how.
    After the completed financing phase, Finnpulp starts the environmental impact assessment process immediately. Finnpulp co-operates closely with the city of Kuopio, which starts to prepare for city planning required by the project.
    The annual production capacity of the planned softwood mill will be 1.2 million tons of softwood pulp. The pulp mill's location in the heart of eastern Finland's softwood resources is ideal for the company's future operations.
    The pulp mill will be the world's largest production unit for softwood pulp and tall oil. In addition, it produces a significant amount of other bioproducts. The amount of bio electricity produced annually to the national grid will be about 1 TWh.
    (Finnpulp Oy)
    22.05.2015   Walki to sell the major part of its Industrial Packaging business    ( Company news )

    Company news Walki Group, the leading producer of protective packaging materials and technical laminates, announces today that it has entered an agreement with Mondi Group to sell its Pietarsaari plant in Finland and the Wroclaw plant in Poland. These two facilities constitute the major part of Walki’s Industrial Packaging business, producing primarily packaging material for the paper industry as well as for the corrugated board industry. Excluded from the deal are the RFID-antenna production line (4E) and the pilot plant assets located in the Pietarsaari plant. The planned acquisition is subject to competition clearance.
    “The proposed transaction enables Walki to focus all its resource on the growing markets of energy saving laminates and membranes for building purposes, as well as on selected segments of the consumer packaging market. This step is fully in line with our strategy to leverage on our strong R&D capabilities in developing new multi-layer laminate solutions for our customers”, says Leif Frilund (photo), President and CEO of Walki Group.
    In 2014, the aggregated sales of the Pietarsaari and Wroclaw plant were 113 MEUR and they employed together about 245 people.
    (Walki Group Oy)
    21.05.2015   Planning against down time     ( Company news )

    Company news In the harsh environment of pulp and paper mills an estimated 60% plus of machine breakdowns are usually attributable to maintenance issues. Preventing these problems is infinitely more attractive than unscheduled downtime and may explain why Spooner Industries has seen a significant increase in service inspection visits across many markets including paper.
    In response, a strengthened team harnessing new technology are delivering new services as the rebranded Spooner Plus. Designed to add value to customer’s equipment via optimisation and improved reliability, Spooner Plus Manager, Andrew Stead (photo) said:
    “With a combination of old machines and new operators, many of our customers value advice and support in training and ensuring maximum machine efficiency. The opportunity to extend our Spares & Service operation in both practical and technical terms adds real value, ultimately improving quality and elongating machine life for our customers.”
    PPM (Planned Preventative Maintenance) is a key element of the Spooner Plus services and of particular value in the paper industry. With mills operating on a 24/7 basis, the value of regular inspection and maintenance checks cannot be ignored. Producing a PPM programme for customer’s maintenance staff to carry out that fits alongside operational needs, Spooner Plus will also plan in appropriate visits by a dedicated team of Spooner Plus engineers. Developing a close relationship with the customer, the team will ensure all possible issues are identified and addressed before any concerns arise and any major maintenance requirements will be accommodated within planned shutdown periods.
    Paper mills can also benefit from Remote Interrogation - just one of the new services on offer through Spooner Plus. Providing opportunities for predictive maintenance the service is run online via a VPN connection. Spooner process experts can interrogate the operating history of equipment and monitor, analyse and resolve any issues. This can be provided on a regular, ongoing basis, delivering excellent product support and continual optimisation of the equipment.
    Online Training has also been developed via an online platform linking to the Spooner Plus website. This provides remote access to tailored training packages to gain Spooner accreditation. Created to educate new and existing personnel and promote understanding of the capabilities and limits of the equipment, the training ensures confident operation and maintenance whilst informed decisions on process improvements can be made.
    The Spooner Plus team consists of Service and Process Engineers together with in-house design facilities. Backed by over 80 years’ unrivalled worldwide experience in industrial processing solutions, Spooner Plus is in the continuous improvement process business to stay. Andrew Stead sums it up:
    “Spooner Plus is here to help. Our aim is to be first and foremost in everybody’s mind when they have a technical problem so their first call is to Spooner Plus."
    (Spooner Industries Ltd)
    21.05.2015   SALE OF PAPERLINX POLAND    ( Company news )

    Company news PaperlinX Limited announced its European subsidiary, PaperlinX Netherlands Holding BV, has entered into an agreement to sell its operations in Poland to a consortium of a local private equity firm, Warsaw Equity Management sp z.o.o. and the local management team, with immediate effect.
    Commenting on the sale, PaperlinX Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Andy Preece (photo) said “after an intensive sale process, we are pleased to announce the successful sale of this business to the management and their financial sponsors. We wish the Polish management team and their employees all the best in the future”.
    PaperlinX previously announced that it will not receive any direct benefits from the proceeds of the sale.
    (PaperlinX Limited)
    21.05.2015   Heidelberger Druckmaschinen: Robert J. Koehler passes away    ( Company news )

    Company news On May 17, 2015 Robert J. Koehler, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg), passed away at the age of 66. Robert J. Koehler was appointed to the Supervisory Board of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG in 2003. He was Chairman of the Board from 2011 until his passing.
    During his time in office, Robert J. Koehler made a substantial contribution to the company. The way he worked combined dedication, passion, conscientiousness, and a straightforward approach. He was a highly respected and exceptionally knowledgeable consultant for the company. With his international experience and his focus on the big picture, Koehler played a key role in Heidelberg’s development. He actively supported the strategic reorientation toward building up the digital printing and services side of the business that Heidelberg aims to continue growing in the future. The company has a great deal to thank him for.

    The Supervisory Board, Management Board, and staff at Heidelberg will all remember Robert J. Koehler with the highest esteem.
    (Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)
    21.05.2015   Print China a resounding success for KBA    ( Company news )

    Company news Visitor influx and trade fair orders surpassed expectations

    With over 200 printing units sold from all available series and a high influx of visitors to the 1,000m2 stand, Print China which ran from 7 to 12 April in Guangdong was a huge success for the KBA Group. Several KBA companies joined forces under the banner “KBA: Print Solutions for All” and the host of exhibits ranging from sheetfed and web offset, flexo, inkjet, metal, hollow container and glass decoration, and digital coding systems were met with great interest.
    The Chinese print pundits were surprised and blown away by the breadth and variety of print solutions bearing the KBA logo. Many only previously knew of KBA’s Rapida sheetfed offset presses which are widespread in China. Despite the country’s recent somewhat sluggish economy, the string of new orders and projects booked by the end of the trade show clearly surpassed all expectations. KBA profited from its strong footing in packaging printing. In addition, high performance presses with extensive kit and automation are becoming increasingly popular given the rise in wage costs also in China. KBA Rapidas accommodate this trend.

    Print Solutions for All banner hits home
    Claus Bolza-Schünemann, president and CEO of Koenig & Bauer, summed up his visit to the trade show: “Print China shows us that our efforts concerning our Fit@All programme are on the right track and that we will be fit and well-positioned to move into the third century of our company’s long history in two years’ time.” Ralf Sammeck, executive vice-president for sheetfed offset presses, was also present and added: “Along with sheetfed offset, our exhibits here demonstrate that KBA specialises in nearly everything which can be printed and finished with colour or inks using various techniques. We can therefore fulfil all of our customers’ demands.”
    Crowds flocked to watch live demos of a five-colour Rapida 105 with coater and a Rapida 75-4+L equipped with energy-saving and environmentally friendly LED-UV. The Rapida 105, which is based on the Rapida 106, can be found in printing companies across China and was again the most ordered press at the show. A raft of new users also snapped up the more highly automated Rapida 105 PRO, even though its official unveiling is scheduled for the end of June in Radebeul.

    KBA profits from shift in Chinese print market
    The string of orders placed during the trade show ranged from the Rapida 75, Rapida 105, Rapida 105 PRO, the high-tech Rapida 106 to the large-format Rapida 145. KBA sales director Dietmar Heyduck: “In the face of tough competition Chinese online printers are increasingly switching to large format. We are supporting this development with our automated large-format presses for fast job change, a higher level of productivity and shorter delivery times.” Walter Zehner, managing director of KBA China: “Gaining online printers as customers for our highly productive large Rapidas is a huge opportunity for us and means less staff costs for our clients, increased efficiency and greater competitiveness.”

    Good prospects in packaging printing
    Dietmar Heyduck: “The Chinese packaging market continues to grow, especially with regard to consumer packaging. The majority of the orders placed here at the trade show came from packaging printers and their demands in terms of press equipment are also rising. Longer presses with more than four or five colours, inline coating and a higher level of automation are becoming increasingly more popular. KBA is the first choice for Chinese sheetfed offset printers in the packaging segment.”
    (Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA))
    21.05.2015   New A.Celli Project in India    ( Company news )

    Company news Krishna Tissue Pvt. Ltd. and A.Celli Paper: for the first time, India chooses a European supplier for state-of-the-art paper winding.

    A.Celli Paper has recently received an order for a state-of-the-art winder from Krishna Tissues Pvt. Ltd., located in Kolkata, India.

    The paper rewinder, model AC842, is the foundational element in a new project for the production of 80-320-gsm testliner products that the company is undertaking. At an operating speed of 2000 m/min and a 5.600-m format, this machine represents a further milestone for A.Celli because it is the first paper rewinder in India bought from a European supplier and is scheduled to be delivered by summer 2015.

    This is another confirmation of this particular trend that generally characterizes the business market on an international level. Several operators are turning to top level partners in the quest for excellence and cutting-edge technology, continuing to place their trust also in our Country and in our capabilities. Expertise, technological preparedness, orientation toward research and development, safety standards and the quality of post-sales service are now more than ever becoming important elements choosing a supplier, and companies like A.Celli have an advantage in negotiations where the customer is looking for trust in their business relationship and a long-term relation that can make his or her company grow thanks to the most suitable choices.

    Delivery of this new paper rewinder is scheduled for summer of this year. Once again, A.Celli Paper proved to be an expert, reliable and professional partner capable of walking side-by-side with the customer, building important relations. Together with Krishna Tissues, it developed a supply project that will allow the customer to attain important goals.
    The Italian technological excellence of A.Celli Paper and its created-in-Italy design conquers the Country of the maharajas.
    (A. Celli Paper S.p.A.)
    21.05.2015   New phoenolux grammages available    ( Company news )

    Company news phoenolux, the high white packaging board coated on one side, is now also available in 330 and 350 gsm.

    The outstanding technical qualities of triple-coated phoenolux fulfil the most stringent packaging demands.
    phoenolux is an excellent basis for graphical applications and luxurious packaging.

    Paper characteristics: highest whiteness in packaging applications, triple-coated for ultimate printability, optimum folding characteristics, satin-finish surface, pleasant haptic qualities and good stiffness

    Print and finishing characteristics: excellent running and stacking properties, high abrasion resistance, high dimensional stability, fast optimum ink absorption for rapid processing, excellent printed ink gloss.
    (Papierfabrik Scheufelen GmbH + Co. KG)
    21.05.2015   Iggesund Expands its Presence in North America    ( Company news )

    Company news Iggesund Paperboard is expanding distribution in the US making its flagship product Invercote available coast to coast. Increasing interest in Invercote’s unique properties from brand owners on the West Coast, and some key new business acquisitions made expanding west a natural next step.

    Iggesund Paperboard has established an inventory position and sheeting capabilities in Pomona, CA with the objective of making Invercote readily available for quick turn market demand. The primary goal is to be able to serve the commercial print and packaging cluster in California and beyond.

    “We’ve been in the US for more than thirty years but our distribution footprint has been concentrated on the east coast,” explains Rickard Österlindh (photo), President Iggesund Americas. “Now is the time to increase our presence on the West Coast, where we know there is a density of brand owners who will appreciate the quality level we offer with Invercote.”

    Iggesund will focus its sales & marketing efforts on premium packaging and graphical print applications, building on the foundation of offset and digital print business recently established through a network of merchant distributors.

    “Invercote’s unique attributes truly distinguish it from other products in the marketplace, and as such Iggesund will seek to identify applications where those properties add value. That’s why we’re also reinforcing our US sales organisation by recruiting people who can help increase sales both in areas where we had no previous presence and those where we already have a position,” Österlindh emphasises.

    “Invercote is a niche product in the US. Unlike domestically produced paper and paperboard grades, Invercote is manufactured using a multi-layer construction, which means that it will not crack on the fold; neither with nor against the grain. This is an incredibly powerful selling point, which is further strengthened by a second-to-none environmental sustainability platform,” comments Neal Haussel, Sales Director & Marketing Manager US. Haussel adds, “We are pleased to formally announce the addition of Paige Brinkley to the Iggesund sales team to help us develop brand recognition on the West Coast, and deliver Invercote’s unique proposition to that heretofore untapped market. Paige brings a long history of working both in fine paper and board markets and has an extensive background working on the US West Coast.”

    Enhanced distribution from coast to coast in the US is just one step in Iggesund’s overarching effort to become a unified global entity by strengthening its service platform outside Europe. In step with that effort, the company has launched a broader service concept, which emphasises the resources and support functions offered to existing and potential customers. Care by Iggesund includes the fast, easy ordering of samples and inspirational materials, product safety information and certificates, and access to the analytical services of Iggesund’s accredited Laboratory for Sensory and Chemical Analyses. Iggesund’s extensive environmental documentation is also part of the Care by Iggesund campaign, serving as a guarantee that customers will not have any unpleasant surprises regarding the origins of forest raw material.

    Iggesund’s service offering encompasses everything associated with Invercote – from technical support in local markets to the paperboard expertise the company offers in the form of a wide range of reference materials.

    “We don’t just want customers to buy our paperboard,” Rickard Österlindh concludes. “We want them to get the most out of the products we produce by making a resource base of knowledge available to them. All our documentation, together with an experienced team of local market technicians exists to ensure that.”
    (Iggesund Paperboard AB)
    21.05.2015   Bobst Group reinforces its position in the converting industry by taking a majority stake in ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...Nuova Gidue Srl

    Bobst Group and the owner of Nuova Gidue Srl, an Italian manufacturer of narrow and mid-web printing presses, signed an agreement on 13th May 2015 by which Bobst Group acquires 65% of Nuova Gidue Srl, with the option to purchase the remaining shares.
    The owner of Nuova Gidue Srl will remain in the company as CEO and shareholder. Both parties have agreed not to disclose any information concerning the conditions of the transaction.

    Nuova Gidue Srl provides highly automated narrow and mid-web in-line flexographic and offset presses for the self-adhesive labels industry and short-run solutions for packaging converters. With the innovative technologies of Nuova Gidue Srl, BOBST will extend its already wide range of printing and converting solutions and the purchase confirms its strategy of expansion in the label industry.

    Erik Bothorel, Head of BOBST Business Unit Web-fed and Member of the Group Executive Committee, said: "We want to grow in the label segment and establish our leadership in short-run packaging solutions. The innovative technologies of Nuova Gidue Srl in flexography and offset can be easily integrated into our existing product lines. BOBST today offers the widest range of printing and converting equipment for the packaging industry and confirms its commitment to innovation."

    In 2014 Nuova Gidue Srl received the Global Label Award for innovation and in May 2015 received the FTA (Flexographic Technical Association) award for innovation. Its digital flexo technologies are a major breakthrough in flexography and Nuova Gidue Srl is also a driving force in the REVO Team for the introduction of the seven-color separation standard in packaging.

    On selling the majority stake, Federico d'Annunzio, CEO of Nuova Gidue Srl, commented: "BOBST has a strong history and reputation, and a worldwide leadership position in the packaging market. We are proud to be part of a global organization and to bring in our established presence in the label market, as well as the recognized Nuova Gidue culture of innovation. Our partners, customers, suppliers and employees will take great advantage from the long term plans of Bobst Group."

    Bobst Group expects strong growth in the labels and packaging industries, and plans to build on the expertise and dedication of Nuova Gidue’s existing management and employees at its location in Florence (Italy). Erik Bothorel concludes: "We are impressed by the innovation, performance and product range of Nuova Gidue Srl, which enlarges the product portfolio of Bobst Group in the narrow and mid-web market. We believe it is the perfect match, at the perfect moment."
    (Bobst Mex SA)
    21.05.2015   Bong AB: Interim Report January-March 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news "We expect the envelope market to continue to decrease in 2015. The market conditions remain challenging and the recent tensions on paper prices and exchange rate turbulences makes it necessary for Bong to pass on price increases to the market. Within a few months we will have finalised our ambitious restructuring program in order to increase our efficiency and to provide our customers with the service level they expect from us. We see many growth opportunities within light packaging and in Eastern Europe. Despite tough market conditions and substantial cash outflow for non-recurring items Bong showed a positive cash flow and a positive adjusted EBIT for the first quarter 2015", says Bong’s CEO Stéphane Hamelin.

    January – March 2015
    • Net sales decreased with 3.5 percent to SEK 639 million (662)
    • Adjusted EBIT increased to SEK 15 million (1)
    • Non-recurring items amounted to SEK -17 million (-45)
    • EBIT improved to SEK -2 million (-44)
    • Earnings after tax amounted to SEK -20 million (-45)
    • Earnings per share amounted to SEK -0.13 (-0.28)
    • Cash flow after investing activities SEK 4 million (-7)

    Market and industry
    In 2014 the European envelope market decreased by about 5 per cent.
    Bong’s assessment is that the market continued to decrease in the same
    pace during the first quarter of 2015. The restructuring process and the consolidation of the industry will continue. Many small companies are closing operations and the bigger companies are consolidating and reducing production capacity. The special packaging market, where Bong is present, is still growing and is much bigger and much more fragmented.

    Sales and profit January – March 2015
    Bong posted consolidated sales in the first quarter of SEK 639 million (662). Exchange rate fluctuations had a positive impact on sales of SEK 37 million compared with 2014. The main reason for the drop in sales is the continued downturn in the envelope market, which resulted in both lower volumes and pricing pressures and had a negative impact on Bong’s gross earnings.
    Bong’s total Packaging sales amounted to SEK 102 million (102). Currency fluctuations had a positive impact on Packaging sales of SEK 6 million compared with the corresponding period in 2014. Operating profit was SEK -2 million (-44) including costs for restructuring program, mainly related to the Nordic countries, of SEK -16 million (-51).
    Net financial items for the period amounted to SEK -14 million (-16). Earnings before tax were SEK -16 million (-59) and reported earnings after tax were SEK -20 million (-45).

    Cash flow and investments
    Mainly due to improved result and positive net investments the cash flow after investing activities improved to SEK 4 million (-7). The cash flow was negatively affected by payments for the ongoing restructuring program of SEK -16 million (-10) and the payment for the settlement with the European Commission of SEK – 30 million.

    Financial position
    Cash and cash equivalents at 31 March 2015 amounted to SEK 94 million
    (SEK 97 million at 31 December 2014). The Group had unutilised credit
    facilities of SEK 61 million on the same date. Total available cash and cash equivalents thus amounted to SEK 155 million (158 million at 31 December 2014). Consolidated equity at the end of March 2015 was SEK 345 million (SEK 377 million at 31 December 2014). Translation of the net asset value of foreign subsidiaries to Swedish krona and changes in the fair value of pension debt and derivative instruments decreased consolidated equity by SEK 11 million. The interest-bearing net loan debt increased during the period by SEK 10 million to SEK 800 million (SEK 790 million at 31 December 2014). The revaluation of the pension debt according to IAS 19 increased the Group’s net loan debt by SEK 15 million.

    The average number of employees during the period was 1,844 (1,921). The Group had 1,840 (1,905) employees at the end of March 2015. Bong is intensively working on improving productivity and adjusting staff to meet current demand and the reduction is the result of the implemented restructuring measures. Many employees are currently under notice period. When implemented measures are fully in place Bong will have around 1,600 employees.

    Parent Company
    The Parent Company’s business extends to management of operating subsidiaries and certain Group management functions. Sales were SEK 0.2 million (0.7) and earnings before tax for the period were SEK 0.6 million (-2.5).
    (Bong AB)
    20.05.2015   Here is the premium choice in hygienic applications     ( Company news )

    Company news From both economic and environmental standpoints, gasketed plate heat exchangers are attractive choices for heating and cooling in hygienic applications.
    Optimized gasketed plate heat exchangers enable reliable production, easy cleaning and energy efficient operation and are vital to supply safe and competitive products.

    Every single detail contributes to a top class gasketed plate heat exchanger:

    Gentle product treatment
    Heating of food and other products produced in hygienic industries to the right pasteurization temperatures often requires gentle product treatment to prevent product damage from burning or over-processing. Versatile heat exchangers that handle complex and demanding ingredients, contribute to product integrity and higher productivity. For efficient heat transfer that provides gentle product treatment, the Alfa Laval FrontLine range of gasketed plate heat exchangers is the premium choice.

    Great flexibility
    Alfa Laval FrontLine gasketed plate heat exchangers offer great flexibility as they can be supplied with stainless steel frames and clip plates especially suited to your processing tasks. A unique herringbone plate pattern with optimized pressing depths and plate material provides gentle, uniform heat transfer of sensitive hygienic products. Including products with viscosities up to 5000 cPs, with small particles and limited fibre lengths or products that require pressure of up to 21 bar (290 psi).

    Longer operating times, easy cleaning
    The optimized geometries of FrontLine plates provide gentle and uniform heat transfer and feature excellent press depths and relatively few contact points, which prolong operating times. In addition, the unique distribution area ensures a uniform flow over the entire plate surface with no stagnant flow zones and less risk of fouling build-up. With increased Cleaning-in-Place efficiency and less fouling, the plates of Alfa Laval FrontLine are easy to clean and provide longer time between cleaning cycles, ensuring more production output.

    Meeting all hygienic standards with highly efficient operation:
    • Plate design provides gentle and uniform heat transfer.
    • Unique herringbone plate pattern with optimized pressing depths.
    • Small port holes and long, narrow plates facilitate quick and easy cleaning.
    • Easy to disassemble to inspect, clean and service or to modify plate configuration.
    • Integral glue-free gasket system made with FDA-compliant materials can operate at high pressures.
    (Alfa Laval Kolding A/S)
    20.05.2015   MIAC: next OCTOBER in Lucca - Italy    ( Company news )

    Company news Visiting MIAC 2015 means obtaining a full overview of the technology and equipment available to the paper industry sector, in just 3 days.
    270 Companies are waiting for you in Italy... next October!

    MIAC 2015 - LUCCA (ITALY)
    The aim of MIAC is to update paper mill and converter technicians on the latest advances in technology. Everything is concentrated in 3 days and in one place. MIAC is an international meeting point that allows you to compare the technologies and business proposals of all the companies present at the Exhibition. Save the date: next 14.15.16 October the international paper industry sector meets in Lucca (Italy) during the 22nd edition of MIAC Exhibition.

    MIAC 2015 HOTELS
    In MIAC website is you can find list of Hotels located in Lucca area. For each hotel it is possible to view its Presentation Card. Moreover, each Hotel is linked to its own website. After choosing your favorite Hotel, you can contact directly the Hotel in order to book your accommodation for MIAC 2015.

    The entrance at MIAC 2015 is free of charge. It is possible to download the MIAC 2015 Invitation Ticket in PDF format directly from the Exhibition website. Please, give the ticket directly at the MIAC Reception during your registration.

    OPENING TIME: 14 and 15 October 2015 | 09.00 - 18.00 //
    16 October 2015 | 09.00 - 15.30
    (Edinova Srl)
    20.05.2015   Kari Jordan to continue as President and CEO of Metsä Group beyond the age of retirement    ( Company news )

    Company news The Board of Directors of Metsäliitto Cooperative, the parent company of Metsä Group, and Kari Jordan (photo), President and CEO of Metsä Group, have agreed on 7 May 2015 that Jordan will continue in his position beyond 9 March 2016, when he reaches the age of retirement (60 years) determined in his contract.
    (Metsä Group)
    20.05.2015   Papcel: Headbox for PM 2 – Papelera, Ecuador    ( Company news )

    Company news In the first quarter of 2015 the company PAPCEL put into operation a hydraulic headbox at a company in Ecuador with manual control of cross-section profile, which has been upgraded and renovated by PAPCEL to a headbox with automatic control of cross-section profile using dilution water.

    Headbox parameters:
    Width: 4.530 mm
    Max operating speed: 500 m/min
    Product: fluting
    Substance: 100 - 300 g/m2
    PM output capacity: 21.5 tph

    Requirements for produced paper:
    110 g/m2 - 2 sigma - 1 g/m2
    146 g/m2 - 2 sigma - 1.3 g/m2
    270 g/m2 - 2 sigma - 2 g/m2

    110 g/m2 - 2 sigma - 0.91 g/m2
    146 g/m2 - 2 sigma - 0.92 - 1 g/m2
    270 g/m2 - 2 sigma - 2.11 g/m2

    Due to the damage of the upper lip better results of cross-section profile could not be reached.
    On our recommendation, the customer had ordered a new upper lip in order to achieve even better results.
    It is the first reference for the control of cross-section profile using dilution waster system Gorostidi.
    The customer has been satisfied with the quality of produced paper, the professional approach of the assembly team as well as the quality of delivered equipment and machinery.

    The modification itself consisted of the installation of dilution plates, manifold displacement, plumbing of dilution water (pump, STU 081, pipelines), dilution valves, electrical wiring and software.
    (Papcel a.s.)
    20.05.2015   Spooner named in Britain’s '1000 Companies to inspire'    ( Company news )

    Company news Announced lately, Spooner Industries in Ilkley has been identified as one of the ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’. Manufacturing industrial process machinery such as industrial ovens, dryers, coolers, provers/proofers, air turns, stabilisers, oxidisers and solvent and energy recovery equipment, the company has been a leading innovator in the principles of forced convection technology since 1932.
    Collated by the London Stock Exchange this annual report is a celebration of some of the fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. Spooner was one of only 75 companies honoured across the Yorkshire and Humber region. To be selected, Spooner had to demonstrate not only consistent revenue growth over a minimum of 3 years but also significantly outperform peers in the same sector of manufacturing. The manufacturing sector which contributes £139bn to the national economic output, boasts average annual revenue growth of 180% (2010-2014), carries the largest number of companies named in the report and continues to create significant employment opportunities across the UK.
    This accolade for Spooner follows a visit of Prime Minster, David Cameron and Chancellor, George Osborne to the manufacturing and engineering company last month. Their visit included meeting the Directors and a comprehensive tour of the offices and factory floor in the wake of a buoyant order book and continued year-on-year growth.

    Commenting on his visit, Mr Cameron said:
    “Spooner is a great example of the kind of ‘advanced manufacturing’ businesses this Government is trying to get behind.”
    Despite an increasingly competitive global environment, strong domestic demand is boosting production levels across a wide range of manufacturing capabilities. The report goes on to examine in detail the opportunities and challenges facing SMEs and looks at the sectors and trends that will shape the future of the UK economy.
    Xavier Rolet, Chief Executive, London Stock Exchange Group said:
    “This report is a significant part of London Stock Exchange’s broader campaign to support UK high growth companies in their journeys from Start-up to Stardom and to create an entrepreneurship revolution. I’m delighted that a strong alliance between UK Government, financial market participants, investors, entrepreneurs and companies has been created to support these inspiring businesses.”

    More detail on the methodology can be found in the report online at
    Summing up the mounting accolades for the company so far this year, Mike Brook, Managing Director said:
    “We are very proud to be included in ‘1000 Companies to inspire Britain’ and described as one of the UK’s most vibrant companies. This and the recent opportunity to showcase our business to the Prime Minster and Chancellor will resonate within the company for a long time to come and is testament to the innovation and technology developed here at Spooner.”
    (Spooner Industries Ltd)
    20.05.2015   S-RACE – for fastest sublimation. Felix Schoeller's new sublimation paper    ( Company news )

    Company news Felix Schoeller, a division of the Osnabrück-based Felix Schoeller Group, is expanding its product portfolio to include sublimation papers. This represents a move into a new product segment for the specialty paper manufacturer, which has extensive development, product and technology expertise - including in papers for inkjet and electrophotographic imaging processes.

    Sublimation papers are used in transfer printing images in applications such as clothing, household articles, display and technology. The first step of the process involves using inkjet technology to print the images onto the sublimation papers. In a second stage, they are then heat transferred onto clothing, sportswear, flags, advertising or decorative articles (such as mugs or mouse pads), for example. To date, papers with swellable ink-receiving coatings were used but as processing turnaround times become increasingly faster the drying times these papers require are becoming a limiting factor.

    S-RACE, Felix Schoeller’s new sublimation paper, uses a microporous ink-receiving coating to offer significantly shorter drying times. Unlike many other papers that are already on the market, this coating has an innovative and unique composition that gives the paper far greater air permeability. This makes it ideal for sublimation printing, not only onto textiles but also onto hard plastic-coated substrates such as metal, glass or wood.

    These papers are also able to absorb water far more quickly, which means they can be used on the latest and fastest sublimation printers without a problem and without the need for an additional drying unit. This special kind of coating can also significantly shorten the sublimation process. The transferred images or information also has very sharp detail and line definition.

    “With our S-RACE sublimation papers, we are developing an entirely new product segment for the Felix Schoeller Group. The new segment is an excellent fit for our expertise and competencies and we are delighted to be able to offer the market such high-performance products,” said Guido Hofmeyer, Executive Vice President of the Felix Schoeller Group and Chief Operating Officer of the Felix Schoeller Division.

    Felix Schoeller’s new S-RACE product portfolio will initially be available in three different basis weights: 75, 100 and 130 g/m². As well as plotter rolls, larger diameter rolls are also available on request.
    (Schoeller Technocell GmbH & Co. KG)
    20.05.2015   emtec Electronic at RosUpack 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news Optimization of Production and Converting Processes

    The company emtec Electronic GmbH will attend the Russian „RosUpack 2015“ in Moscow. From June 16th until 19th, the company will be present at the exhibition at booth no. B231 in hall 1.2 together with Sigma Micron – their representative in Russia.
    The technical equipment, which will be presented in Moscow, are the emtec EST12 Surface & Sizing Tester for characterizing the process-relevant surface parameters of paper and board to predict the behavior during coating, printing and glueing. Its application leads to the optimization of the production and converting processes to gain the best possible quality at the lowest possible costs.
    Additionally, emtec Electronic will present some measuring devices for the wet end area: the CAS Charge Analyzing System for determining the particle charge and the FPA Fiber Potential Analyzer for measuring the Zeta Potential of fibers in the suspension. In addition to the FPA, emtec Electronic developed a new Online measuring device FPO – Fiber Zeta Potential Analyzer Online, which measures the Zeta Potential of fibers directly during the production process and delivers immediately reliable and necessary information concerning the dosing of chemicals to the pulp.
    (emtec Electronic GmbH)
    19.05.2015   Wausau Paper Reports First-Quarter 2015 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Wausau Paper (NYSE:WPP) announced Financial Results:
    -Net sales increased 8.6 percent to $84.2 million in the first quarter of 2015 compared to $77.5 million in the first quarter of 2014.
    -On a reported basis, first-quarter results from continuing operations were net earnings of $0.2 million, or $0.00 per share compared to a prior year first-quarter net loss of $4.4 million, or $0.09 per share.
    -First-quarter adjusted EBITDA was $10.1 million in 2015 compared to adjusted EBITDA of $5.6 million in the same period of 2014.

    Mix Improvement and Volume Growth
    -Shipped record first quarter case volume, up nearly 7 percent over the first quarter of 2014.
    -Strategic product shipments, measured in cases, were up over 12 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same quarter in 2014. Strategic products are those products sold in conjunction with proprietary dispensing systems or produced from premium substrates. Strategic products represented approximately 50 percent of the total paper products shipped by the Company in the first quarter of 2015.
    -Twenty-eight percent growth of the Company’s DublNature® branded products coupled with the addition of Artisan™ branded ultra-premium towels, which were introduced in the second quarter of 2014, continues to drive anticipated product mix, net selling price improvements and adjusted EBITDA margin improvement.

    Michael C. Burandt (photo), CEO, commented, “We’re pleased with the significant improvement in our operating results year-over-year and the positive influence of our Margin Enhancement Initiative (“MEI”) during the first quarter, historically our seasonally weakest of the year. The strong performance of our ATMOS-based DublNature and Artisan products and the response of our MEI teams to uncover and implement cost reduction projects and to drive margin improvement give us great confidence in achieving our targeted run rate EBITDA improvement of $30 million by the end of June 2016. Further, we fully expect to achieve a roughly $18 million run rate of improvement as an interim mark along this path by the end of 2015.”

    Second-Quarter and Full-Year Outlook

    Commenting on the Company’s outlook, Mr. Burandt, said, “Our focus remains on driving operating performance improvement in the current quarter and during the balance of 2015. At the end of the first quarter we implemented a price increase with Canadian customers to offset roughly half of the foreign exchange impact we’ve experienced in recent quarters, the result of currency fluctuations. The benign input cost environment, the mix enhancing benefits of continuing market acceptance growth of our premium products and the early benefits of MEI, allow us to take a more positive stance as it relates to guiding to future performance. Today we are introducing both adjusted EBITDA target ranges of between $13 and $14 million for the second quarter of this year, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $9.9 million in the second quarter of 2014, and a full-year adjusted EBITDA guidance range of between $60 and $63 million.”

    Continuing Operations
    The following first-quarter discussion, as well as the financial highlights and other information summarized in the preceding discussion, contain comparisons of financial elements including EBITDA, EBITDA margin, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA margin, adjusted net earnings (loss) and adjusted net earnings (loss) per share. These financial elements are not measurements of our performance under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and should not be considered an alternative to net earnings (loss) or any other performance measures derived in accordance with GAAP. Additionally, the non-GAAP measures presented may not be the same as similar measures used by other companies. The Company believes that the presentation of select non-GAAP measures provides a useful analysis of ongoing operating trends. Please refer to the attached Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures.
    Driven primarily by the strong volume of products shipped, measured in cases, of nearly 7 percent and an improved mix of products sold to customers, first-quarter 2015 net sales increased 8.6 percent to $84.2 million in 2015, compared to the $77.5 million reported for the first quarter of 2014. The first quarter of the year is historically the weakest quarter from a net sales and shipment perspective due to the seasonality of the away-from-home market. Net sales in the fourth quarter of 2014 were $89.9 million.
    The factors driving improvement in net sales, as well as overall improved operational performance and a decrease in selling, general and administrative expenses due primarily to a favorable change in a rate on a contract for a former facility resulted in reported after-tax net earnings of $0.2 million, or $0.00 per share for the first quarter of 2015. Excluding the contractual rate change, the first quarter of 2015 was an adjusted after-tax net loss of $2.2 million, or $0.04 per share. Prior-year first-quarter financial results were both a reported and an adjusted after-tax net loss of $4.4 million, or $0.09 per share.
    On a continuing operations basis, adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin which excludes pre-tax income of $3.9 million recognized in the first quarter of 2015 for the favorable change in the rate on the contract as noted previously, was $10.1 million, or 12.0 percent, compared to $5.6 million, or 7.3 percent, in the first quarter of 2014.
    (Wausau Paper Towel & Tissue Products)
    19.05.2015   LIGNA 2015: World's No. 1    ( LIGNA 2015 )

    LIGNA 2015 LIGNA 2015: World's No. 1
    - Stronger-than-ever innovative spirit and international appeal
    - Event reflects rapid strides by Industry 4.0 in woodworking and wood processing
    - Wood Industry Summit a success from the outset
    - "Surprisingly Versatile" meets with keen interest

    Photo: Dr. Jochen Köckler, the Deutsche Messe Managing Board member in charge of LIGNA and Bernhard Dirr, Managing Director of of the German Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers’ Association

    LIGNA 2015, which drew to a close in Hannover on Friday, 15 May, was an outstanding success for all parties concerned, featuring an impressive array of innovative technologies and production scenarios, large-scale machinery and the rapid strides made by Industry 4.0 in the woodworking and wood processing industry. “Exhibitors here presented their latest innovations to a global audience, clearly demonstrating the new, high standards of communication between people, machinery and smart workpieces in the furniture and wood industry,” stated Dr. Jochen Köckler, the Deutsche Messe Managing Board member in charge of LIGNA. “Pioneering new technologies are the key to success for joiners and cabinetmakers, putting integrated manufacturing within their reach.” Köckler also said the outstanding success of the event cemented its leading status worldwide. A total of 96,000 visitors attended the fair, including approximately 40,000 from outside Germany.

    Some 1,567 exhibitors showcased their leading-edge solutions, technologies and innovative production equipment on over 120,000 square meters of display space. There was a clear focus on integrated, high-efficiency manufacturing. The new Wood Industry Summit was an instant success, and the new “Surprisingly Versatile” theme also met with keen interest. “This year’s LIGNA struck a chord among exhibitors and visitors – a chord embodying three resounding notes: outstanding international participation, impressive innovation and a further increase in top-executive attendance,” remarked Köckler.

    Wolfgang Pöschl, Chairman of the German Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers’ Association, summed up the show in the following words: “This LIGNA has more than met our expectations, which were high to begin with. Once again it has generated even more momentum in an already positive market environment, and demonstrated the potential that new technologies hold for everyone in the wood industry. This is precisely what our customers from around the world expect from their flagship fair.”

    Outstanding international turnout
    96,000 trade visitors attended LIGNA to witness the latest innovations and place new orders. Around 40,000 of these visitors were from outside Germany (as compared with 32,800 at the previous show in 2013). The top visitor nations were Austria, France, Italy, the United States, Great Britain, Russia, Belgium, Poland, Sweden, China and Brazil. The percentage of professionals in attendance rose again, from 94 percent in 2013 to 96 percent this year.
    Attendance from Asia was up considerably, from 2,800 in 2013 to 4,700 in 2015. An upsurge of 86 percent was noted for the Near and Middle East, and an increase of 62 percent was registered for South, East and Central Asia. The show attracted 2,800 visitors from South and Central America, thus topping the 2013 figure (1,700) by a wide margin. “For anybody interested in doing international business, Hannover was clearly the place to be. More than 25 percent of trade visitors here were either planning to place orders at the show or had already done so,” said Köckler.

    LIGNA reflects rapid strides made by Industry 4.0
    Live demonstrations of furniture production in simulated factory settings were right on target for LIGNA visitors, offering them a first-hand glimpse of the benefits of integrated manufacturing. There was also a wealth of information to support attendees in their future purchasing decisions, with exhibitor presentations focusing strongly on the aspects of flexibility and economic efficiency. The new ideas for customized mass production featured at this year’s LIGNA will set the agenda in the woodworking and wood processing sector for years to come. “LIGNA 2015 was once again a complete success for us. Our customers were delighted,” said Rüdiger Schliekmann, managing partner of IMA Klessmann GmbH in Lübbecke, Germany.
    The solid wood working displays featured a wealth of new technologies and efficiency-boosting innovations. Here too, the spotlight was on integrated manufacturing, with exciting new technologies paving the way for substantial cost reductions.
    Integrated manufacturing was clearly a hot topic for companies of all shapes and sizes. LIGNA also featured displays of innovative solutions for efficient manufacturing processes among joiners and cabinetmakers.

    Wood Industry Summit a success from the outset
    LIGNA’s status as an international networking hub for the industry was further enhanced by the Wood Industry Summit. With its mix of discussion and presentations, the summit proved an instant hit with its target audience. The Finnish firm Ponsse reported receiving outstanding leads from Ukraine, Russia, China and Brazil. “The Wood Industry Summit enabled us to enhance and expand our network of international leads across the board. At the Summit we definitely met our goals. The high ratio of international visitors at LIGNA is the event’s unique selling point from our point of view,” said Tuomo Moilanen, of Ponsse Plc, based in Vieremä, Finland. Exhibitors and trade visitors used the forum – which attracted international participants from industry, research and government – as a valuable source of leads for project deals in high-growth markets. In the words of Jochen Köckler: “In collaboration with our technology partner, the German Forestry Council (KWF), we successfully used LIGNA to put large equipment manufacturers in touch with visiting delegations from around the globe.”

    “Surprisingly Versatile” meets with keen interest
    LIGNA concentrated on a completely different aspect in the special presentation entitled “Surprisingly Versatile.” Here the main focus was not on wood; instead, exhibitors showcased the flexibility of their technologies for dry-machining many different kinds of materials. According to Wolfgang Stadie, Director Sales and Marketing of MAKA Systems GmbH, Nersingen: “LIGNA scored a real hit with ‘Surprisingly Versatile.’ Right from the start, this special display helped us reach new target groups, bringing promising customers right to our stand,” he remarked. The spectrum ranged from plastic machining technology to equipment for processing alloys and composites. And thanks to targeted ads placed in related publications, professionals with backgrounds in interior finishing, building materials and the automotive industry also made their way to Hannover. “We see even more potential for LIGNA here and will continue to pursue it,” said Dr. Jochen Köckler, confirming the success of the new “Surprisingly Versatile” campaign.

    Every link in supply chain covered at LIGNA
    For many years the “LIGNA” brand has been synonymous with a broad spectrum of exhibits, covering the industry’s entire supply chain. From the primary sector to woodworking and logistics, exhibitor displays during the five-day event explored every facet of woodworking and wood processing machines.
    Large-scale machinery was well represented at the event, particularly in the section of the show dedicated to forestry, where the open-air site provided an ideal backdrop for these modern-day giants. The forestry displays were also more international than ever – a fact underscored by the first-time appearance of various exhibitors from abroad. The sawmill technology displays put the spotlight on increased efficiency and added value. The “Energy from Wood” showcase provided space for concepts and solutions aimed at making optimal use of wood as an energy source. The panel products sector also abounded in innovations, with displays clearly reflecting the growing significance of timber construction. And the skilled trades sector displayed a growing interest in CNC technologies.

    The next LIGNA will be staged from 22 to 26 May 2017, once again in Hannover, Germany.
    (Deutsche Messe AG)
    19.05.2015   Cascades continues to improve its financial results during the first quarter of 2015, ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...notably due to a strong performance in the containerboard sector

    Cascades Inc. (TSX: CAS), a leader in the recovery and manufacturing of green packaging and tissue paper products, announces its unaudited financial results for the three-month period ended March 31, 2015 .

    Q1 2015 Highlights
    -Sales of $910 million (compared to $879 million in Q4 2014 (+4%) and $863 million in Q1 2014 (+5%))
    -Excluding specific items
    ----OIBD of $85 million compared to $82 million in Q4 2014 (+4%) and $75 million in Q1 2014 (+13%))
    ----Net earnings per share of $0.18 (compared to $0.08 in Q4 2014 and $0.01 in Q1 2014)
    ----Greenpac contribution to net earnings: $0.03
    -Including specific items
    ----OIBD of $72 million (compared to $57 million in Q4 2014 (+26%) and $79 million in Q1 2014 (-9%))
    ----Net loss per share of $0.37 (compared to $0.51 in Q4 2014 and $0.01 in Q1 2014)
    -Net debt of $1,691 million (compared to $1,613 million as at December 31, 2014 ), including $79 million of non-recourse net debt.

    Mr. Mario Plourde (photo), President and Chief Executive Officer, had the following comments on the first quarter results: "Despite the seasonality inherent to the first quarter of the year, we are satisfied with the financial results released today which represent an improvement, both on a sequential and year-over-year basis.

    Similar to what we experienced in 2014, energy costs had a negative impact during the first quarter which was offset by the weakening of the Canadian dollar and a sequential decrease in raw material costs. The 4% OIBD increase compared to the previous quarter is essentially linked to the strong performance of our Containerboard Group. Results in Europe were slightly higher while results of our Specialty Products Group were stable. In addition to temporary impacts related to the ramp-up of two new sites in the U.S., our Tissue Papers Group was negatively impacted by downtimes for equipment maintenance, upgrades and to balance our inventories during the first quarter. Market conditions in the tissue market continue to be soft while new capacity is being absorbed by the industry. Finally, the Greenpac mill has continued to improve productivity, with daily production averaging 1,260 short tons during the quarter, and significant growth in the production of our premium lightweight grade.

    The increase in our debt was caused by the weakening of the Canadian dollar and seasonal investments in working capital. If the exchange rate between the Canadian dollar and its U.S. counterpart remains constant, our leverage ratio should resume its downward trend over the next few quarters due to the expected increase of free cash flows."

    Near-Term Outlook
    In commenting on the outlook, Mr. Plourde added: "With the improved results for the first quarter compared to last year and the current state of our markets, we remain confident that we will be able to continue to grow our financial results in 2015. In North America , our Packaging Products groups should continue to improve their performance as they enter a period of seasonally improved market conditions for the next two quarters. In Europe , a price increase was announced by Reno de Medici for recycled grades which should be applied gradually and have a more meaningful impact on our results during the second semester. Our Tissue Papers Group will benefit from the gradual contribution from two new sites in the U.S., which should also positively contribute to the results during the year. An increasing OIBD and a positive contribution from the Greenpac mill should positively impact our earnings per share in 2015. We are pleased with the progression of this investment, which, we are confident, will be as strategic and important to the long-term value of the Corporation as we expected. "
    (Cascades Inc.)

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