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    20.11.2014   Lenzing 1-9/2014: Persistently Difficult Market Environment, Cost Savings Measures Positively ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...Impact Results

    Q1-3 EBITDA of EUR 159.8 mn (down 16% from the previous year)

    Photo: Lenzing CEO Peter Untersperger

    The Lenzing Group is working to counteract the ongoing difficult market environment prevailing in the fiber industry. Sales and earnings declined in the first nine months of 2014 compared to the prior-year performance, but cost savings are having a positive impact. This led to a slight earnings improvement in the third quarter of 2014, the first time in about two years. Further cost reductions are planned in light of the fact that no significant impetus is expected from the market.

    Ongoing weak fiber prices burden Q1-3 sales and earnings
    The decline in the average fiber selling prices and the high volatility on the fiber market continue to negatively impact the company’s business operations. Consolidated sales decreased by 6.2% to EUR 1,357.7 mn in the first three quarters of 2014, down from EUR 1,447.0 mn in the previous year. More than half of the sales drop is due to the non-recurring effects relating to the disposal of the Business Unit Plastics in 2013. Consolidated sales were down by 2.8% in a like-for-like comparison. Average fiber selling prices of the Lenzing Group fell to 1.55 EUR/kg compared to 1.73 EUR/kg in the first three quarters of 2013. The price decline could not be fully offset by increasing fiber production and sales volumes, in part as a result of the successful start-up of the new TENCEL® fiber manufacturing facility at the Lenzing site. Fiber sales volumes rose by 7% year-on-year to 706,900 tons in the first nine months of 2014.

    In a like-for-like comparison of continuing operations, consolidated EBITDA1 in the first nine months of the year amounted to EUR 159.8 mn, a 16.0% decrease compared to EUR 190.2 mn for Q1-3 2013. This corresponded to an EBITDA margin of 11.8% (Q1-3 2013: 13.6%). Consolidated nine-month earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) amounted to EUR 69.5 mn, a drop of 34.8% from EUR 106.6 mn in the previous year. This comprised an EBIT margin of 5.1% (Q1-3 2013: 7.6%). As a consequence of the excelLENZ program, the number of employees working for the Lenzing Group fell to 6,352 people as at September 30, 2014 (December 31, 2013: 6,675) despite the full operation of the new TENCEL® fiber production plant in Lenzing.

    Third-quarter earnings reflect cost reductions
    The third-quarter 2014 performance of the Lenzing Group was marked by a slight year-on-year earnings improvement as well as in comparison to the second quarter of 2014. “The measures are succeeding. The earnings improvement is mainly attributable to the excelLENZ cost-cutting drive but also from the first fiber sales volumes produced by the new TENCEL® fiber plant in Lenzing”, says Lenzing CEO Peter Untersperger.
    In spite of higher sales volumes, consolidated sales in the third quarter of 2014 stagnated at EUR 457.7 mn compared to the prior-year level of EUR 457.1 mn, which is due to the lower average fiber selling prices. Nevertheless, third-quarter EBITDA rose to EUR 68.0 mn (Q3 2013: EUR 61.8 mn), and EBIT in the third quarter of 2014 totaled EUR 37.1 mn (Q3 2013: EUR 33.4 mn), whereas EBT improved to EUR 33.3 mn from the figure of EUR 28.2 mn in the prior-year quarter.
    Implementation of further cost savings

    “We expect cost savings exceeding EUR 90 mn for the entire year 2014, of which about one quarter involves personnel expenses. The remaining cost decreases equally relate to reduction in material costs and savings derived from efficiency projects to cut general and administrative expenses”, adds CEO Untersperger. “Planning work has begun to enable a further improvement of the Lenzing Group’s cost structure to be achieved in 2015. Starting in 2016 we will achieve sustainable cost reductions of over EUR 160 mn p.a. These measures are designed to safeguard the long-term competitive strength of the company and its self-financing capacity for future investments.”

    Outlook Lenzing Group
    The global market for man-made cellulose fibers will continue to be impacted in the upcoming months by low pulp prices and surplus fiber production capacities against the backdrop of good volume demand.
    The successful ramp-up of the TENCEL® fiber plant in Lenzing, the initiated improvements in the product mix, and the strong expansion of marketing and sales activities along the entire value chain will improve the company’s market position and its relative competitive strength. In addition to an intensification of the excelLENZ cost reduction program, the realignment initiative in the fields of Lenzing Technik, site maintenance and repair services will make an important contribution towards achieving operational improvements at Lenzing.
    (Lenzing Papier GmbH)
     
    20.11.2014   WWF and Sofidel join forces for future generations    ( Company news )

    Company news “MI CURO DI TE” (I’ll take care of you): the new digital educational program available free to every Italian school

    This educational program has been created by the WWF with support from Sofidel, a paper manufacturer particularly well-known in Italy for its Regina brand. The program will focus on the themes of water, climate change and forests.
    At the end of the program, there will be a national, online contest where students will be able to test their knowledge and win useful products for their school.
    In this global era, we need to think about the planet in global terms too. Young people need to understand that every action, even the smallest, can have important consequences on the balance of nature and everyone's future.
    To help raise awareness of and attention to the environment, a digital educational program for schools has been created by WWF Italy with support from Sofidel. It's called, "Mi curo di te: il gesto di ognuno
    per il pianeta di tutti" (I'll take care of you: individual actions for everyone's planet).
    The training programme will span three years, dealing with one big environmental issue each year. In the first year - for the school year 2014/2015 - is dedicated to water. The following ones to climate
    change and forests, strongly interconnected issues of great relevance and urgency, in view of the fact that awareness of these issues is of great importance for the Planet and consequently, for the future of
    all.

    Water
    Water is an exceedingly precious resource. Freshwater, which is essential to living things, including humans and their activity, accounts for less than 1% of the water found on our planet. Water scarcity affects almost every continent and impacts more than 40% of the worldwide human population. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with total water scarcity. 75% of the world's population will be faced with water shortages. This situation will be aggravated by the effects of climate change, with serious consequences at a local level. The solution lies in the resilience of ecosystems and their ability to adapt and, with regard to education, understanding the issues, their causes and how we deal with them. That is why the WWF is making great efforts to create new teaching materials, aimed at supporting the high quality of work in schools.
    The program's tools Educational material, available completely free of charge, can be downloaded from the semidifuturo.wwf.it website. The material includes:
    · A digital lesson, lasting about an hour and a half, in which animated cartoons and interactive games encourage students to pay more attention to general environmental issues. These issues will be a
    common thread throughout the three year program and will provide insights into how these environmental problems are linked to the way we choose to live.
    · Detailed fact cards for teachers on the theme of "Water". These cards help teachers develop this theme in the classroom and provide suggestions to make the topic more appealing to students. There are practical activities for each of the 10 cards.
    · An online quiz aimed at assessing, in a fun way, what students have learnt. WWF and Regina prizes will be awarded to the 20 classes with the highest scores.
    This initiative comes from the shared willingness by the WWF and Sofidel to invest in high-quality education for everyone: to invest in "human capital", helping people – especially the younger generations – to fully understand the issues, to identify solutions and to become knowledgeable and active members of their community.

    "Our main goal is to help teachers, students and, indirectly, their families, better understand the world they live in", said Lanfranco Bologna, Scientific Director of WWF Italia. "Thereby allowing them to
    make decisions and behave appropriately in finding solutions to the problems that threaten our common future. This is why we created "MI CURO DI TE" (I'll take care of you), the new, completely free educational program. It's available to every teacher in Italy and can be easily downloaded from the Internet."

    "At Sofidel, we are convinced that the challenge of sustainable development can only be overcome by creating extensive collaborative networks between institutions, companies and non-governmental
    organisations", explained Luigi Lazzareschi, the Sofidel CEO. "That is why we decided to support the WWF in this important initiative aimed at schools which play an essential role in building our future."
    Sofidel, which is already a WWF partner in the international Climate Savers program (to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions), sees sustainability as an essential tool for development and competitive growth. Its environmental sustainability policies favour global aspects such as fighting climate change, protecting forests and optimising the use of water resources.
    (Sofidel S.p.A.)
     
    19.11.2014   Kjell Arve Kure has been appointed new Managing Director of Norske Skog Saugbrugs    ( Company news )

    Company news Kjell Arve Kure (45, photo) has been appointed new Managing Director of Norske Skog Saugbrugs AS. Kure has solid leadership and industry experience from various positions within Norske Skog for the past 15 years.

    Kure has been employed by Norske Skog Saugbrugs since 2003. He has been Production Director at the plant since 2011. At Saugbrugs, he has also been head of process and development, (2003-04), Production Manager Pulp, Energy & Effluent treatment (2004-08) and Production Manager Mechanical Pulp and PM6 (2008-11). He was employed as head of Norske Skog Research (1999-2003), and as Research Scientist at the Pulp and Paper Research Institute (PFI) in Trondheim.

    - We are very pleased to have appointed Kjell Arve Kure as new Managing Director at Norske Skog Saugbrugs. His extensive industry expertise and management experience will be a great contribution to the further development of Norske Skog Saugbrugs. The challenge ahead will be to improve the profitability of Saugbrugs, develop and streamline production processes, and adapt the business to sharp future competition, says CEO of Norske Skog and Chairman of Norske Skog Saugbrugs AS, Sven Ombudstvedt.

    - My career to date at Saugbrugs has given me technological challenges and broad expertise about Saugbrugs and the paper industry. Despite challenging markets, efforts will be made towards improving profitability for the company. In collaboration with many talented people at Saugbrugs, I am sure we will succeed in the future, global competition, says Kjell Arve Kure, Managing Director at Norske Skog Saugbrugs.

    Kjell Arve Kure has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from NTNU (Trondheim, Norway) with emphasis on how to develop fibres for wood containing printing grades in an energy efficient way. In addition, he has a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the Norwegian School of Economics (Bergen, Norway), Master in Chemistry from the University of British Colombia (Vancouver, Canada), and Master of Science from UMB (Ås, Norway).
    Roy Vardheim resigns

    Roy Vardheim resigns as CEO after nearly three years in office. Roy came to Norske Skog after a long international career, previously being employed in a number of senior positions at Borealis (Norway).

    - We have agreed with Roy to step down as Managing Director at Saugbrugs. Roy has carried through important processes at Saugbrugs, as the start-up of a new pulp line with significant reductions in energy consumption and variable costs, and initiation of research for development of microfibrillated cellulose, says Ombudstvedt.

    - I have worked with a variety of challenging structural processes and development activities in recent years. It has been instructive. Unfortunately, the results are not in congruence with the efforts made. Falling demand combined with excess market capacity, has made cost cuts diluted by falling prices. I want to thank the many talented employees at Saugbrugs for cooperation, and am sure I will benefit from the experience at Saugbrugs in my future endeavours, says Roy Vardheim.
    (Norske Skog Saugbrugs)
     
    19.11.2014   Twin Rivers Paper Company Acquires Cascades Natural Kraft Envelope Business    ( Company news )

    Company news Twin Rivers Paper Company, a global leader in the manufacture of innovative printing and technical specialty papers, is pleased to announce the acquisition of specific envelope assets of the Cascades division in East Angus Quebec Canada.

    The addition of the Twin Rivers Enviro Kraft™ Envelope to the product line provides an ongoing and consistent source of supply to long-standing customers of these grades. With product development complete, the Madawaska Paper Mill will begin commercial production in the coming weeks.

    Cascades and Twin Rivers representatives worked closely through the development process and will continue this cooperation to ensure a seamless transition of the business moving forward. Twin Rivers’ Enviro Kraft Envelope will be manufactured to the same high quality specifications that converters and consumers alike have come to expect from the grade.

    “The Recycled Natural Envelope offering is a great addition to the Twin Rivers product line,” said company President, Ken Winterhalter. “The inclusion of these unique products to our portfolio is another example of Twin Rivers’ ongoing commitment to broaden our offering in high value niche segments. We are confident the environmentally astute customers will find us to be an innovative and value-added future partner.”

    With an 80 year papermaking legacy, Twin Rivers is known for its flexible assets, strong technical foundation, commitment to service excellence and environmental stewardship. The company manufactures a range of bleached and unbleached papers used in a variety of publishing, packaging and label applications.
    (Twin Rivers Paper Company)
     
    19.11.2014   Sonoco's Newport Paper Mill Receives Bronze Sustainability Star Award    ( Company news )

    Company news Sonoco (NYSE:SON), one of the largest diversified packaging companies, has named the Company's Newport, Tennessee, paper mill a bronze Sonoco Sustainability Star Award recipient for the facility's efforts to significantly decrease wastes going to landfill.

    The award marks a milestone in landfill-free efforts that have been underway since the fourth quarter of 2012. In late 2012, the Newport facility partnered with local recycling company TLR Solutions to process some of the more difficult to recycle byproducts of the mill's operations, like bailing wire and materials such as glass, staples and ceramics that are sorted out from incoming paper fiber.

    "After the company announced its goal of taking 10 percent of its facilities landfill free, we began efforts to eliminate the facility's waste streams," said Marty Pignone, vice president, Paper North America. "The Newport paper mill has made significant advances—recycling almost 20 percent of waste that previously went to landfill each month—and we look forward to continuing those efforts."

    Many of the items collected by TLR Solutions for processing require very specific equipment. The recycling company not only found nearby locations with equipment capable of handling the materials, but also worked with those locations for over a year to identify the correct processes for recycling—many some of the first of their kind in North America.

    Administered by Sonoco Recycling, the Company's recycling business, the Sonoco Sustainability Star Awards program is comprised of three tiers:
    -Gold recognizes facilities that have achieved 99% landfill diversion.
    -Silver is awarded to facilities achieving 95% landfill diversion, and
    -Bronze recognizes facilities that have made significant waste reduction achievements, such as drastically reducing their waste streams or implementing a new composting system.

    A recycling leader with locations and expertise worldwide, Sonoco Recycling annually collects more than 3 million tons of old corrugated containers, various grades of paper, metals and plastics. In addition, the Company has experts who provide secure, reliable and innovative recycling solutions to residential and commercial customers. Currently, Sonoco Recycling operates five material recovery facilities (MRFs) serving more than 125 communities in which curbside-collected residential and commercial materials are processed. The Company also operates recycling programs which identify waste reduction opportunities that reduce operating expenses for many of the largest consumer product companies in the United States.
    (Sonoco Products Co)
     
    19.11.2014   Jussi Pesonen continues as Chairman of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation    ( Company news )

    Company news The Board of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation has elected Jussi Pesonen, the President and CEO of UPM-Kymmene Corporation, as its Chairman for 2015.

    The Finnish Forest Industries Federation's annual autumn meeting and Board meeting took place on Tuesday, 11 November 2014 in Helsinki.
    (UPM)
     
    18.11.2014   Mayr-Melnhof: Results for the first three quarters of 2014    ( Company news )

    Company news • Growth in sales and profit
    • Solid volume development
    • Increasingly restrained demand

    The Mayr-Melnhof Group was able to stand up solidly in a flat overall economic environment also in the third quarter 2014 and could thus close the first three quarters of 2014 with a rise both in sales and profit. The cartonboard division, which benefited from productivity increases and lower specific costs, contributed particularly to this while the packaging division maintained the good profit level of the previous year in a highly competitive market environment through volume gains.
    Due to weakened private consumption also more restrained demand for packaging in Europe is to be expected. In case this is a persisting trend increased pressure on prices will arise.

    The Group’s consolidated sales amounted to EUR 1,571.0 million and therefore were 4.9 % or EUR 73.9 million above the previous year’s figure (1-3Q 2013: EUR 1,497.1 million). This rise mainly results from an increase in volume in the packaging division as well as the sales of the Norwegian pulp mill acquired in the previous year in the cartonboard division.

    At EUR 136.5 million, an operating profit of 4.8 % or EUR 6.3 million above the previous year’s figure (1-3Q 2013: EUR 130.2 million) could be achieved. A clear rise in profit at the cartonboard division goes along with a stable profit development in the packaging division.

    Financial income totaled EUR 1.1 million (1-3Q 2013: EUR 1.0 million), financial expenses EUR -3.7 million (1-3Q 2013: EUR -2.8 million).

    Other financial result − net amounted to EUR -2.4 million (1-3Q 2013: EUR -6.2 million) as a non-recurring income of EUR 3.6 million in connection with the residual purchase price for last year’s acquisition of Gráficas Los Andes, Colombia, was to be recorded.

    Profit before tax therefore increased by 7.6 % to EUR 131.5 million following EUR 122.2 million in the first three quarters of the previous year. Income tax expense amounted to EUR 34.0 million (1-3Q 2013: EUR 29.4 million), resulting in an effective Group tax rate of 25.9 % (1-3Q 2013: 24.1 %).

    Profit for the period rose by 5.1 % to EUR 97.5 million (1-3Q 2013: EUR 92.8 million).

    DEVELOPMENT IN THE THIRD QUARTER
    As already in the two previous quarters, the cartonboard and folding carton markets lacked impulses from the overall economy also in the third quarter. Thus, short-term customer planning and strong competition sustained. However, both divisions managed to maintain or expand market shares with a solid volume development.
    The capacities of the cartonboard division were fully utilized at 99 % (2Q 2014: 98 %; 3Q 2013: 99 %). Average prices could be maintained on a stable level. The packaging division reached again the result of the previous year’s period through volume gains.
    The operating margin of MM Karton was 7.8 % after 8.0 % in the second quarter of 2014 and 10.3 % in the third quarter of 2013, with the latter including the non-recurring income from the acquisition of MMK FollaCell.
    The operating margin of MM Packaging amounted to 9.0 % (2Q 2014: 7.9 %; 3Q 2013: 9.2 %).
    The Group’s operating profit totaled EUR 47.8 million (2Q 2014: EUR 42.5 million; 3Q 2013: EUR 52.7 million), resulting in a Group operating margin of 8.9 % (2Q 2014: 8.3 %; 3Q 2013: 10.2 %).
    The profit for the period reached EUR 36.5 million (2Q 2014: EUR 28.9 million; 3Q 2013: EUR 38.1 million).

    OUTLOOK
    Due to the weak economic development on our European core markets, we also expect an increasingly restrained demand for packaging. In case this trend persists competition will intensify with growing pressure on selling prices. Procurement markets are however stable, thus constantly increasing the degree of effort required to defend margins. Measures for higher productivity and cost-efficiency continue to aim at sustaining our profitability and competitiveness at a sound level also in a conceivable more difficult market environment. Due to the rebuild-related downtime of the large cartonboard machine in Frohnleiten for FOODBOARDTM as well as seasonality, a profit below the third quarter is to be expected for the fourth quarter.
    (Mayr-Melnhof Karton Gesellschaft m.b.H.)
     
    18.11.2014   Rayonier Appoints Douglas Long as Vice President of U.S. Operations    ( Company news )

    Company news Lynn Wilson to Step Down from Role of Executive Vice President, Forest Resources

    Nov. 10, 2014-- Rayonier Inc. (NYSE: RYN) announced that Douglas Long, Director, Atlantic Region, U.S. Forest Resources, has been appointed to the newly created position of Vice President, U.S. Operations, effective immediately. In his role overseeing Rayonier’s U.S. Forest Resources operations, Long succeeds Lynn Wilson, Executive Vice President, Forest Resources, who has stepped down to pursue other opportunities.

    In his new position, Long will oversee the Company’s Forest Resources operations across all regions in the U.S., reporting to David Nunes, Rayonier President and Chief Executive Officer. In connection with this management transition, Rayonier’s New Zealand operations and timberland acquisitions group will report to Nunes on an interim basis.

    “Over his 19 years at Rayonier, Doug has proven to be a dedicated leader and true steward of our company’s core values, and I would like to welcome him to this new role,” said Nunes. “Doug’s promotion exemplifies the depth of talent within Rayonier. We look forward to his input as we work to ensure sustainable management of our timberland portfolio. I am confident that Doug will seamlessly transition into his new role and effectively help lead our company forward.”

    “I want to thank Lynn for her contributions to Rayonier over the past four years and her agreement to provide transition assistance for the next two months. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”
    (Rayonier Inc.)
     
    18.11.2014   Cascades Releases Financial Results for the Third Quarter of 2014; Mario Plourde Nominated ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... to the Board of Directors

    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 September 30, 2014 .

    Q3 2014 Financial Highlights (the fine papers activities, the Djupafors mill and the kraft paper mill being reclassified as discontinued operations)
    -Sales of $964 million (compared to $966 million in Q2 2014 (+0%) and $932 million in Q3 2013 (+3%))
    ----Excluding specific items
    -EBITDA of $97 million (compared to $91 million in Q2 2014 (+7%) and $95 million in Q3 2013 (+2%))
    -Net earnings per share of $0.04 (compared to $0.08 in Q2 2014 and $0.07 in Q3 2013)
    ----Including specific items
    -EBITDA of $98 million (compared to $48 million in Q2 2014 (+104%) and $102 million in Q3 2013 (-4%))
    -Net loss per share of $0.17 (compared to $0.88 in Q2 2014 and net earnings of $0.12 in Q3 2013).

    Q3 2014 Strategic Highlights
    -Initiated installation of a new tissue converting facility in Wagram, North Carolina
    -Permanent closure of the kraft paper mill in East Angus, Québec
    -Machine rebuild at the Reno De Medici's Santa Giustina mill
    -Q2 2014 refinancing resulting in interest savings and extension of maturities
    -Start-up of the new tissue paper machine in Oregon on October 25

    Mr. Mario Plourde (photo), President and Chief Executive Officer, had the following comments on the third quarter results: "We are encouraged by the fact that our results continued to show improvement nothwithstanding lost time and damages resulting from a major fire which occurred in the raw material stock piles at our Niagara Falls operations during the quarter. Despite this unfortunate event, EBITDA excluding specific items increased on a sequential and year-over-year basis. All our groups in North America showed improved results compared to the previous quarter, helped by better productivity, favourable exchange rates, higher tissue volume and lower landed cost for brown recycled papers. In Europe , our boxboard operations were impacted by the seasonal production slowdown which was amplified this year by dowtime for the machine rebuild at Reno De Medici's Santa Giustina mill.
    As for our Greenpac mill, the fire in Niagara Falls also prevented the mill from contributing positively to earnings per share during the quarter, as anticipated. The mill rapidly resumed production following the fire and continues to generate improved cash flows. On the sales and production front, the Greenpac mill is performing as expected and the team is now focusing on the development and roll-out of its value-added lightweight grades. "

    Results Analysis for Three-month Period Ended September 30, 2014 Compared to the Same Period Last Year
    In comparison with the same period last year, sales increased by 3% to $964 million during the third quarter of 2014. Favourable exchange rates and higher volumes of packaging products more than offset lower average prices in our European and tissue businesses and the negative impacts of divestitures, namely the creation of a joint venture in the Atlantic Provinces.
    Operating income, excluding specific items, increased from $51 million in the third quarter of 2013 to $52 million in the third quarter of 2014 as the net impact of the above-mentioned factors as well as lower production and energy costs were mostly offset by higher raw material costs for the Tissue Papers and Specialty Products Groups. When including specific items, operating income amounted to $53 million in the third quarter of 2014 in comparison to $58 million for the same period last year.
    Net earnings excluding specific items amounted to $4 million ( $0.04 per share) in the third quarter of 2014 compared to $7 million ( $0.07 per share) for the same period in 2013. Including specific items, the net loss amounted to $16 million ( $0.17 per share) in the third quarter of 2014 compared to net earnings of $11 million ( $0.12 per share) for the same quarter in 2013. During the quarter, operating income and/or net earnings were impacted by the following specific items, before income taxes:
    -$1 million gain on building disposal and a loss of $2 million on an onerous lease contract (operating income and net earnings);
    -$2 million unrealized gain on derivative financial instruments (operating income and net earnings);
    -$24 million foreign exchange loss on long-term debt and financial instruments (net earnings);
    -$2 million gain included in the share of results of affiliates and joint ventures (net earnings);
    -$1 million net loss resulting from discontinued operations of our fine papers activities (net earnings).

    In addition to the specifics items mentioned above, net earnings were reduced by $14 million ( $0.15 per share) due to a withholding tax charge following the optimization of our capital structure between our Canadian and U.S. subsidiaries. According to our estimates as of September 30, 2014 of the direct costs and productivity losses in connection to the fire incident in Niagara Falls , the negative impact on the net results of the third quarter, including our share of the results of Greenpac, is estimated at $7 million ( $0.08 per share).

    Results Analysis for Three-month Period ended September 30, 2014 Compared to the Previous Quarter
    In comparison to the previous quarter, sales were relatively stable at $964 million in the third quarter of 2014 compared to $966 million in the second quarter of 2014 as unfavourable average foreign exchange rates and other intercompany eliminations more than offset higher shipments and selling prices.
    Operating income, excluding specific items, increased from $45 million in the second quarter of 2014 to $52 million in the third quarter of 2014. In addition to increased shipments and higher selling prices, a decrease in energy costs and the net positive impact of favourable exchange rates at the end of the quarter also contributed to countering the negative impacts of higher raw material costs and other production expenses, including the impact of the fire in Niagara Falls.
    Despite an unfavourable exchange rate impact ( $37 million ), net debt decreased by $5 million to $1,640 million due to stronger cash flows from operations, including a net tax refund of $21 million . We also paid $11 million during the quarter following the refinancing of our 2016 and 2017 Senior Notes which led to a sequential decrease of $3 million of our interest expense.

    Near-Term Outlook
    In commenting on the near-term outlook, Mr. Plourde added: "We expect to benefit from ongoing restructuring actions and stable recycled fibre costs. Also, the recent depreciation of the Canadian dollar, while having an immediate negative effect on our debt, will be positive from a cash flow standpoint. For the next quarter, it is unlikely that we will repeat last year's performance when results were impacted by a favourable adjustment to pension liabilities and energy credits. Fourth quarter results will also be impacted by a competitive tissue market, start-up costs related to the new tissue paper machine in Oregon and inefficiencies resulting from the reorganization of production logistics in relation to the new converting plant in North Carolina ."

    Board Nomination
    Cascades also announces the nomination of Mr. Mario Plourde to its Board of Directors. Mr. Plourde became the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation in May 2013 . Following this nomination, the Board of Directors of Cascades will be comprised of 12 directors, a majority of whom are independent.
    (Cascades Inc.)
     
    18.11.2014   Third quarter report for Koenig & Bauer (KBA): Sales rise with positive earnings and ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... financial figures

    --- Implementation of Fit@All progressing well --- Group sales on track with 8.5% increase --- Unstable market environment strains order intake --- Operating and pre-tax profit --- Strong cash flow and high liquidity --- Management board reaffirms targets for 2014 --- Group realignment should sustainably improve earnings

    Photo: The first KBA RotaJET inkjet press with a web width of over 1.60m for use in industrial printing was delivered this quarter

    The world’s second-largest press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer (KBA) made significant progress in the third quarter with the implementation of its Fit@All programme and in achieving its sales and earnings targets for 2014. Group sales to 30 September were up 8.5% to €791.8m. The increase in sales, the expanded service business and cost savings achieved resulted in an operating profit of €7m. This was an improvement of approx. €18m. The group posted a pre-tax profit (EBT) of €1.2m after nine months compared to a loss of €16.3m year-on-year. Group results came in at –€2.3m after tax deductions and corresponds to earnings per share of –€0.12. Over the next quarters the management board expects a further reduction in costs from Fit@All with positive effects on earnings.

    The economic climate in key threshold countries and in parts of Europe has worsened, and the impacts of the financial crisis are yet to be overcome. Military conflicts and concerns about Ebola result in dampened expectations for the future and act as a brake on new orders. To sum up group order intake of €668.7m was 5.8% less than the prior-year figure (€709.6m), however, both segments declined to a different extent. Order intake in the sheetfed offset segment after nine months was down only 1.9% year-on-year to €449.9m due to a strong third quarter. In contrast, compared to 2013 orders for web and special presses fell by 12.9% to €218.8m. Bookings for newspaper and commercial web presses remained far below KBA’s low expectations and new orders for banknote printing presses have only been placed hesitantly despite a raft of projects. At the end of September group order backlog came to €437.4m, substantially lower than a year earlier (2013: €627.7m).

    Positive segment results
    Sales of sheetfed offset presses increased by 6.5% to €406.3m compared to €381.4m twelve months ago. The rise in sales, cost savings and slightly better prices triggered an operating profit in this segment of €2.8m (2013: –€7.8m). In the web and special press division higher revenue in banknote and special packaging printing led to a 10.6% climb in sales to €385.5m compared to 2013 (€348.5m). Notwithstanding poor capacity utilisation at KBA’s web press facilities the web and special press division posted an operating profit of €4.2m, an improvement on last year’s loss of €2.9m.

    Export level over 85%
    KBA’s export level was high once again at 85.3%. 35.8% of group sales was generated in other parts of Europe (2013: 25.2%) and deliveries to this previously dominant KBA market rose by 54.2%. Sales attributable to Asia and the Pacific were down year-on-year at 24.2% (2013: 28.9%) as a result of economic slowdown in China. North America contributed 10.1% to the group total, and Latin America and Africa generated 15.2%.

    Strong cash flow
    Operating cash flow was clearly positive at €32.9m driven by the improvement in earnings and lower trade receivables, although customer prepayments sank and funds flowed out for job cuts. The management board has seen its efforts to reduce working capital pay off. Free cash flow which was up nearly €19m on the previous year to €21m increased funds to €204m. Less reduced bank loans of €19.3m, net liquidity stood at a comfortable €184.7m. The equity ratio was 23.7%.

    Group payroll sinks further
    At the end of September 2014 there were 5,930 employees on group payroll, including 429 apprentices and trainees. Without taking into account apprentices and trainees, redundancies, temporary employees and staff on phased retirement schemes, and not including the newly consolidated companies KBA-Kammann and KBA-Flexotecnica the Group workforce sank by 445 to 4,907. The total will fall to below 4,500 by 2016 with the further implementation of Fit@All.

    Outlook for 2014
    Despite political conflicts and dampened economic expectations the KBA management board stands by its targets for 2014. In the third-quarter financial report, president and CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann confirmed his outlook for 2014: “A lot is currently happening at KBA with regard to securing the company’s profitability in the long term. Nevertheless, from today’s point of view we will achieve group sales of more than €1bn and at least balanced group earnings before taxes (EBT) in 2014. Following high provisions made in the financial statements for 2013 we expect only limited special expenses for Fit@All which impact on earnings. In contrast, cost savings from the restructuring measures implemented will become noticeable.”

    Along with the success already achieved by expanding the service business, the expansion of activities in growth markets, such as digital and special packaging printing, is aimed at contributing to stronger group earnings.
    (Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA))
     
    17.11.2014   The forest industry in January-September 2014: Forest industry production volumes nearly...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... unchanged, exports at last year’s level

    In January-September, forest industry pulp and graphic paper production volumes fell slightly compared to the corresponding period in 2013. Wood products and plywood production increased. Paperboard production remained unchanged compared to the previous year.

    In January-August, forest industry exports, including furniture, amounted to EUR 7.5 billion. This corresponds to the figures seen in 2013.

    The forest industry is planning investments worth approximately EUR 1.5 billion in Finland, and they are expected to increase timber use by about 10 million cubic metres a year.

    “The economic outlook in Finland and across Europe continues to be weak and there are no signs of a significant improvement in demand in our main markets. Despite the weak economic situation, the forest industry has confidence in the future, as its substantial investment projects in Finland suggest,” says Timo Jaatinen (photo), President of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

    “The investments must be secured with efficient timber markets and logistics, as much greater volumes of wood will be needed. Our competitiveness must also be enhanced with long-term energy solutions that support industry as well as added productivity and flexibility in the labour markets,” says Timo Jaatinen.

    The paper industry’s situation continued to be challenging, pulp and paperboard production declined a little
    A drop in paper consumption, graphic paper in particular, reduced paper industry output in January-September 2014. A total of about 4.6 million tonnes of graphic printing and writing paper were manufactured in the first nine months of the year, which is about 4 per cent less than in the year ago period. Graphic paper grades account for approximately 60 per cent of Finland’s paper production.

    Paperboard production in January-September 2014 amounted to almost 2.2 million tonnes. Paperboard production volumes remained unchanged compared to the corresponding period in 2013.

    Pulp production in Finland in January-September totalled about 5.2 million tonnes, which represents a drop of 2 per cent compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.

    Sawmill and plywood industry production grew slightly
    In January-September, wood products production increased 7 per cent compared to the year ago period and amounted to almost 8.2 million cubic metres. Plywood production increased 7 per cent and amounted to just over 850,000 cubic metres.

    Timber trade continued to be steady, no major changes in stumpage prices
    The timber trade continued steadily after the summer holiday season. In the first nine months of the year, the Finnish Forest Industries Federation’s member companies bought 23.1 million cubic metres of wood from private forests, which is 1 per cent more than in the corresponding period in 2013. Log procurement amounted to 10.4 million cubic metres and pulpwood to 11.9 million cubic metres.
    (Finnish Forest Industries Federation)
     
    17.11.2014   Neenah Paper Reports Third Quarter Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Sales increase 8% with adjusted E.P.S. up 36% to $0.83

    Neenah Paper, Inc. (NYSE: NP) reported 2014 third quarter results.

    Third Quarter Highlights
    -Record third quarter results for sales, operating income and earnings per share.
    -Consolidated sales increased 8 percent with operating income up 35 percent.
    -Annual maintenance downs completed at all mills except for German filtration facility.
    -Successfully integrating Crane Technical Materials business acquired July 1, 2014.
    -Earnings per diluted common share grow 18 percent, from $0.68 to $0.80, and adjusted earnings increase 36 percent, from $0.61 to $0.83. Adjusted earnings in 2014 exclude costs of $0.03 per share for Technical Products restructuring/integration activities and exclude a net benefit in 2013 of $0.07 per share, primarily from one-time state tax credits.
    -Free cash flow (cash from operations less capital spending) of $15 million.

    "Our businesses continue to perform well, delivering double-digit earnings growth even after adjusting for acquisitions and timing of downs. Results were led by gains in filtration, technical specialties and premium fine paper brands," said John O'Donnell , Chief Executive Officer. "The acquisition integration is going very well and is providing new opportunities to grow in filtration, as well as in other attractive niche markets. With solid cash flows and a strong balance sheet, we remain well-positioned to act on high-returning organic investments and value-adding acquisitions, while continuing to increase cash returns to shareholders through an attractive dividend."

    Quarterly Consolidated Results
    Income Statement
    Net sales of $230.6 million in the third quarter of 2014 grew 8 percent compared with $214.1 million in the third quarter of 2013. In addition to the Crane Technical Materials acquisition, sales growth in 2014 resulted from increased Technical Products volumes, as well as a higher value mix and increased selling prices in both segments.
    Consolidated selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expense of $19.8 million in the third quarter of 2014 was flat compared with the prior year.
    Operating income of $22.1 million in the third quarter of 2014 grew 35 percent compared with $16.4 million in the third quarter of 2013. Higher income resulted from top-line growth, manufacturing efficiencies and lower expenses that more than offset higher input costs and integration/restructuring expense.
    Net interest expense of $2.7 million in the third quarter of 2014 compared with $2.6 million in the third quarter of 2013.
    The effective income tax rate of 30 percent in the third quarter of 2014 compared with 17 percent in the third quarter of 2013. The lower rate in 2013 was primarily due to recognition of $1.4 million for a one-time state tax credit.

    Cash Flow and Balance Sheet
    Cash provided from operations in the third quarter of 2014 was $20.7 million compared with $34.5 million in the third quarter of 2013. In the third quarter of 2014, changes in working capital provided less cash than in the prior year due in part to differences in timing of annual maintenance downs.
    Capital spending of $6.1 million in the third quarter of 2014 compared with $10.7 million in the prior year period. Lower spending in 2014 is partly due to timing of maintenance downs, which will result in higher spending in the fourth quarter. Full year spending in 2014 is projected to be approximately $30 million.
    Debt as of September 30, 2014 was $186.4 million compared to $193.5 million as of June 30, 2014 and compared with $211.9 million as of December 31, 2013. Cash and equivalents as of September 30, 2014 were $24.0 million, compared with $92.3 million as of June 30, 2014 and $73.4 million as of December 31, 2013. The reduction in cash in the third quarter of 2014 was primarily due to cash used for the purchase of Crane Technical Materials.

    Quarterly Segment Results
    Technical Products net sales of $121.5 million in the third quarter of 2014 increased 16 percent compared with prior year sales of $104.4 million. The growth in sales resulted from increased volumes (including the acquisition), a higher value product mix, and increased selling prices. Excluding the acquisition, sales increased 5 percent, with 2 percent volume growth and 3 percent net price improvement. Revenue gains were led by filtration (up 9 percent net of acquisition) and specialties (up 6 percent).
    Third quarter operating income for Technical Products of $10.0 million in 2014 increased 49 percent compared with $6.7 million in the third quarter of 2013. Operating income included approximately $1.1 million for restructuring/integration costs in 2014 and $0.2 million in 2013.
    Increased income in 2014 resulted primarily from higher volumes, a more profitable mix and increased selling prices. In addition, manufacturing costs benefitted from timing of the annual filtration maintenance down, scheduled in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared with the third quarter of 2013.
    Fine Paper net sales were $101.4 million in the third quarter of 2014, down one percent compared with $102.6 million in the prior year. Sales in 2014 reflected a two percent decrease in volume that was partly offset by increased selling prices and a higher value mix that reflected strong growth in core premium brands.
    Operating income of $15.2 million in the third quarter of 2014 increased 14 percent compared with $13.3 million in the prior year. The higher income in 2014 resulted from improved manufacturing efficiencies, a higher value mix and increased selling prices that were partly offset by higher input costs.
    Unallocated Corporate and Other includes unallocated corporate costs and results from acquired non-premium paper grades. Unallocated corporate costs in the third quarter of 2014 were $3.2 million compared with $3.9 million in prior year period. The reduction in costs in 2014 resulted primarily from differences in timing of expenses. Sales of Other non-premium paper grades were $7.7 million in 2014, with operating income of $0.1 million, and compared with 2013 sales of $7.1 million and operating income of $0.3 million.

    Year to Date
    Year-to-date consolidated net sales of $686.1 million in 2014 increased 7 percent compared with $639.6 million in 2013. Technical Products revenues grew 12 percent, with volume growth across all product groups, inclusion of the Crane acquisition and favorable currency translation. Fine Paper sales were up 2 percent through the first nine months, due to increased volumes and higher net selling prices.
    Operating income of $71.0 million in 2014 increased 16 percent compared with $61.2 million in 2013 as a result of higher sales, improved manufacturing efficiencies, and lower SG&A and other expenses. These items more than offset approximately $6 million of higher input costs, with more than half of this due to a spike in Fine Paper natural gas costs in the first quarter of 2014.
    Net income from continuing operations was $41.8 million in 2014 compared with $36.3 million in 2013, with the increase primarily a result of higher operating income. Year to date earnings per diluted common share of $2.45 increased 12 percent from $2.18 in 2013. After excluding adjusting items noted in the non-GAAP table later in this release, adjusted earnings per share increased 18 percent, from $2.15 in 2013 to $2.53 in 2014.
    Cash provided by operating activities of $72.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2014 was $8.1 million higher than the prior year period. The increase was primarily due to higher earnings and improved working capital efficiencies.
    Year-to-date capital spending of $15.2 million compared with $20.4 million in the prior year.
    (Neenah Paper Inc.)
     
    17.11.2014   Management reorganisation at Bobst Meerbusch    ( Company news )

    Company news Stronger focus on the individual requirements of customers in Germany and the Benelux countries.

    Photo: Bobst Meerbusch has reorganised its management: Dirk Corsten (left) and Dick van Bruggen

    Bobst Meerbusch and Bobst Benelux reorganised their management structures with effect from 1 November 2014, in order to enable Sales and Service to even further strengthen their focus on the individual requirements of the customers in these markets.

    Thus, Dirk Corsten has assumed the position of Managing Director of Bobst Meerbusch, in addition to his previous and future duties as Service Manager at BOBST in Germany and the Benelux countries. Corsten came to Bobst Meerbusch on 1 October 2013 as the new Service Manager and Member of the Board of Management. Among other things, his strategic tasks include the further strengthening of Meerbusch as a service base and the further expansion of the BOBST Competence Center located there.

    Dick van Bruggen will now concentrate on his activities as Managing Director at Bobst Benelux, and is at the same time responsible for the sale of new machines in Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg. "Germany and the Benelux countries are markets that impose particularly high demands on the productivity, quality and efficiency of production processes. We have set ourselves the task of further improving our customer focus, particularly in these very important markets for BOBST, and thus of further strengthening our position. It was with this in mind that I proposed the new management structure with matching responsibilities in Sales and Service," explains van Bruggen.

    "Dick van Bruggen and I cooperated very closely and efficiently over the past year, and basically anticipated the new distribution of duties and spheres of responsibility," says Corsten. It was now time to also make this structure transparent for the customers in Germany, as well as in Belgium, Luxemburg and The Netherlands. Apart from even greater, country-specific customer orientation, and the associated strengthening of both Sales and Service at Bobst Meerbusch and Bobst Benelux, this reorganisation would otherwise not result in any changes for the customers whatsoever.
    (Bobst Meerbusch GmbH)
     
    17.11.2014   Metsä Board Corporation Interim Report 1 January–30 September 2014    ( Company news )

    Company news Metsä Board Corporation’s operating result excluding non-recurring items for January–September 2014 was EUR 100 million

    Photo: CEO Mika Joukio

    Result for January–September 2014
    • Sales were EUR 1,509.0 million (Q1–Q3/2013: 1,540.1).
    • Operating result excluding non-recurring items was EUR 99.6 million (75.1). Operating result including non-recurring items was EUR 109.8 million (83.0).
    • Result before taxes excluding non-recurring items was EUR 68.1 million (30.8). Result before taxes including non-recurring items was EUR 76.0 million (38.8).
    • Earnings per share excluding non-recurring items were EUR 0.17 (0.08). Earnings per share including non-recurring items were EUR 0.19 (0.10).

    Result for the third quarter of 2014
    • Sales were EUR 513.8 million (Q2/2014: 494.0).
    • Operating result excluding non-recurring items was EUR 35.2 million (28.3). Operating result including non-recurring items was EUR 34.1 million (32.2).
    • Result before taxes excluding non-recurring items was EUR 27.3 million (20.0). Result before taxes including non-recurring items was EUR 26.1 million (23.9).
    • Earnings per share excluding non-recurring items were EUR 0.07 (0.04). Earnings per share including non-recurring items were EUR 0.06 (0.05).

    Events during the third quarter of 2014
    • Paperboard deliveries continued to increase.
    • The delivery volumes of paper and market pulp were at approximately the same level as in the previous quarter.
    • No significant changes took place in the prices of paperboard and paper. The prices of market pulp deliveries increased slightly.
    • Net debt decreased to EUR 491 million as a result of strong cash flow.

    Events after the period
    • Mika Joukio started as the CEO of Metsä Board on 1 October 2014.
    “The third quarter of 2014 met our expectations, and our operating result improved from previous quarter.
    Profitable growth in paperboard business is the main goal of our company. Paperboard deliveries continued to increase strongly in the third quarter, and the current total delivery volume for 2014 is approximately 10 per cent higher than at the same time in the previous year. The demand for Metsä Board’s folding boxboard and fresh forest fibre linerboard has been normal in Europe and very strong in North America. This year, our paperboard deliveries in North America have increased already by more than 30 per cent.
    Our cash flow continued to be good in the third quarter, and our net debt decreased clearly.
    Overall, our profitability and balance sheet structure have improved significantly in 2014. However, I still see much room for improvement. Our most important measures include increasing our paperboard business at good price levels and decreasing the unprofitable paper production.”
    (Mika Joukio, CEO)

    Business environment and near-term outlook
    Compared to the third quarter, the delivery volumes of folding boxboard and white-top fresh forest fibre linerboard are estimated to decrease in the fourth quarter of 2014, as December is a seasonally weaker month. No material changes in paperboard prices are in sight at the moment.
    The delivery volume of paper in the fourth quarter is expected to be at approximately the same level as in the third quarter. The price of uncoated fine paper is expected to decrease slightly, and the average price of coated papers to remain unchanged.
    The volume and average price of Metsä Board’s market pulp deliveries in the fourth quarter are expected to be at approximately the same level as in the third quarter.
    No material changes in production costs are expected in the fourth quarter.
    Over the past few months, the trend in foreign exchange rates has been favourable for Metsä Board. The duration of the company’s currency hedges is approximately six months. The recent changes in foreign exchange rates will thus not have a material effect on the operating result for the fourth quarter of 2014.
    Metsä Board’s operating result excluding non-recurring items is in the fourth quarter of 2014 expected to be roughly at the same level as in the third quarter of 2014.
    (Metsä Board Corporation)
     
    17.11.2014   Xeikon's Folding Carton Suite addresses brand owners and packaging converters at ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...Emballage 2014 in Paris

    Xeikon will be showcasing a host of innovative technologies for its first time attendance at Salon de l’Emballage 2014. Located on stand 6 E 110, the company will demonstrate its enhanced Folding Carton Suite along with its recently launched Web Varnishing Module. The company will also be cooperating with partners Zünd, CERM and customers Imprimerie Bouley and 5Sept Etiquette to present a wide range of applications specifically developed to address the changing needs of brand owners and packaging converters. The Salon de l’Emballage is taking place November 17 to 20 at Paris Nord Villepinte.

    “Over the past few years our portfolio of digital solutions for labels and packaging has significantly increased, and we encourage converters and brand owners alike to come check out what we have on display at Emballage. We will be thrilled to meet up with them and engage in some insightful conversations,” comments Filip Weymans, Director Segment Marketing and Business Development Labels & Packaging at Xeikon.

    Enhanced Folding Carton Suite

    At the show, Xeikon will be showing its enhanced Folding Carton Suite that now offers a basic press configuration where the print stations are equipped with orange toner, in combination with CMYK. The extended color gamut achieved with this configuration ensures the accurate production of a wider range of brand colors. Producing folding cartons digitally is perfect for specific seasonal packaging, intensive test marketing, just-in-time delivery contracts and customization of shorter runs and appeals to smaller geographic and demographic market segments. With the Folding Carton Suite, Xeikon offers a ready-to-use package, making it easy for customers to configure an efficient and cost-effective set-up for the digital production of folding cartons. It is the ideal solution for packaging converters who need to add high quality cost-effective short runs of folding cartons to their mix of offerings as well as for commercial printers looking to enter the packaging market.

    “Our strategy is to pursue growth in the folding carton market and we are thrilled at being able to demonstrate for the first time the continuous enhancements we have made to the Xeikon Folding Carton Suite at Emballage 2014 in Paris,” says Weymans. Eager to provide the best end-to-end digital printing solutions to the market, and address the changing needs of brand owners and packaging converters, our Folding Carton Suite allows them to digitally produce the same high quality packaging but for a whole range of new applications, allowing them to build new revenue streams with higher profit margins.”

    Compact inline varnishing module for major productivity and improved optimization

    At Labelexpo Americas earlier this year, Xeikon expanded the inline finishing options available for its digital presses with the launch of the Web Varnishing Module. This extremely versatile unit can apply UV or aqueous varnish on one side of a wide range of substrates making the module the perfect fit for folding cartons, which require varnish-free areas for glue strips and production data. The module is also an extremely compact solution to apply spot varnish on a large variety of substrates including self-adhesive label materials, coated papers, unsupported films and coated paper board. The new inline module enables the operator to see the results immediately and to make any corrections, if required, in order to achieve the desired effect. This eliminates the high expense and job delays when varnishing is done off-line and the entire job has to be reprinted if the end result is not acceptable. Finally, the Web Varnishing Module is an important addition to the Xeikon Suites, enabling further optimization of the processes and workflows used by printers and converters. At Emballage 2014, the Web Varnishing Module will run inline with the Xeikon 3050 Digital Press, fully equipped with unwinder and in a roll-to-sheet configuration.

    Close partnerships and cooperations

    At Emballage, Xeikon will also be printing wet-glue wine and champagne labels in cooperation with its customer, Imprimerie Bouley, a family-run label converter located in the heart of Burgundy that specializes in wine, spirit and beverage labels. With ever shorter print runs and delivery requirements, Imprimerie Bouley switched from offset to digital beginning 2013 and opted for a Xeikon 3030 Digital Press – upgraded now to a Xeikon 3300 – and the results have been outstanding. The benefits of wet-glue labels include high quality graphics, high speed applications and volume runs and the ease of label removal on returnable containers.

    On display will also the very popular Clics Boxes from Belgian toy manufacturer Clics. These folding carton toy boxes can be customized with photos and text, making an original gift for kids. They will be produced by a folding carton suite powered by a Xeikon Digital Press and finished by digital cutting specialist Zünd.

    Finally, Aura Partner CERM, a solution provider in business management and automation solutions for the labels and printing industry will also display an offline Xeikon X-800 Digital Front-End and integrated workflow configuration with MIS system while French customer 5Sept Etiquette will showcase to attending visitors samples printed on its Xeikon 3300 Digital Label Press, acquired last year.

    ABOUT XEIKON

    Xeikon NV (XEI: AEX) is an innovator in digital printing technology. The company designs, develops and delivers web-fed digital color presses for labels and packaging applications, document printing, as well as commercial printing. These presses utilize LED-array-based dry toner electrophotography, open workflow software and application-specific toners.

    As an OEM supplier, Xeikon designs and produces plate makers for newspaper offset printing applications. Xeikon also manufactures basysPrint computer-to-plate (CtP) solutions for the commercial printing market. These proven CtP systems combine the latest exposure techniques with cost-efficient UV plate technology, high imaging quality and flexibility.

    For the flexographic market, Xeikon offers digital platemaking systems under the ThermoFlexX brand name.

    ThermoFlexX systems provide high resolution plate exposure including screening, color management, as well as workflow management.

    All the Xeikon solutions are designed with the overarching principles of profitability, quality, flexibility and sustainability in mind. With these guiding principles and a deep, intimate knowledge of its customers, Xeikon continues to be one of the industry's leading innovators of products and solutions.
    (Xeikon Manufacturing NV)
     
    17.11.2014   Ricoh Announces Availability of Avanti Slingshot    ( Company news )

    Company news Ricoh Europe announces the addition of next-generation Print MIS (Management Information System) Avanti Slingshot, from long-term solutions partner Avanti, to its portfolio of solutions. This will allow European print services providers to benefit from the improved operational planning, transparency and reporting capabilities delivered by Avanti Slingshot.

    “Print operations face a number of challenges,” explains Benoit Chatelard, General Manager, Solutions, Ricoh Europe. “They are focused on bringing in more orders just to sustain last year’s revenue, and achieving profitability on each job if possible. The difference between those that are succeeding and those that are struggling is that the former have an intimate understanding of costs, they know where they are taking their business, and they have a passion for continuous improvement. It is Ricoh’s goal to bring products and services to the market that will enhance productivity, efficiency and performance for print-based businesses to be successful.”

    To help more businesses achieve this in practice, Avanti Slingshot provides tools and solutions that make the entire workflow more efficient, from estimating, job ticketing, purchasing and inventory management, through to scheduling, shipping and billing. It gives print services providers a real-time view of all job costing, job tracking and billing information, enabling them to deliver better client service and improve profitability.

    Avanti Slingshot incorporates business intelligence including CRM, dashboards and reporting, production planning such as estimating, planned purchasing, sales orders, inventory management and scheduling, fulfilment, shipping and billing into one affordable, easy-to-use and implement system. It is designed to easily integrate with third party applications and equipment and includes robust Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), leveraging industry protocols such as JDF/JMF and XML to eliminate ‘islands of automation’ in the print shop where many bolt-on solutions have been added but do not talk to each other. The result is a streamlined and integrated business and production workflow. Browser-based, it enables anytime/anywhere access and can be served up from the cloud or hosted, providing print services providers with a level of flexibility and security that suits their individual needs.

    “This new platform addresses the complexities and unique workflows of the multiple lines of business that printers now compete in, including offset and digital printing, large format, marketing services, mailing and fulfilment,” explains Mr Chatelard. “It connects business and production processes, enables integration of Web-to-Print platforms, creates estimating consistency, manages material requirements and outside purchases, provides customer service representatives with information they need to do their job in a timely fashion and holds all sales information centrally.”

    Benefits of adoption include the ability to handle more job throughput without adding staff, faster payment speed through streamlined billing, improved client satisfaction through quicker turnaround times, and the freeing up of sales and management from repetitive administrative tasks to focus on the client. Avanti Slingshot also helps operations handle the increased number of short-run digital jobs by providing real-time information vital to making decisions and managing the workflow.

    Mr Chatelard adds: “After implementing Avanti Slingshot, print services providers have found they can operate with fewer resources and drive down costs, which significantly improves the bottom line. As they migrate more work from offset to digital to meet client demand for personalisation, shorter runs or faster turnaround times, a print MIS solution becomes a necessity to be able to take advantage of the opportunities in today’s marketplace. They can better drive their workflows and harness fully the advantages of continuous feed or cut sheet digital devices, directing work to the optimal process. With Avanti Slingshot you can even establish an interface to delivery/shipping services with a tracking number automatically incorporated into the job information.”

    Mr Chatelard concludes: “This partnership with Avanti is just one of the ways that Ricoh is extending its expertise. And it is evidence of our commitment to not just help our clients run the Ricoh presses in their company but help our clients run their company. We offer a comprehensive business oriented architecture, where all components can be connected, Ricoh or third party. Today’s announcement demonstrates that Ricoh understands customer business processes and is creating a total offering that delivers both efficiency and profitability.”

    Avanti Slingshot will be rolled out during 2015, starting early in the year in the UK, as it is regionalised with local content and to different systems environments and workflows. It will ship with Avanti’s Quick Start Database, a standards library, and migration/import tools that will dramatically reduce the amount of time and effort required for implementation.
    (Ricoh Europe PLC)
     
    14.11.2014   Holmen Paper - a bestseller     ( Company news )

    Company news The book market is shrinking, but Holmen Paper continues to capture market share. Wood-containing book paper has grown by an impressive 30 per cent since 2010, according to the company’s recent book study.

    The study involved 24 leading European book publishers and printing firms. Together, these cover 55 per cent of the Western European market.
    “Publishers’ consumption of wood-containing paper has risen since we conducted the corresponding survey four years ago. The main advances have come at the cost of wood-free grades,” says Agnes Nylund, business intelligence manager at Holmen Paper.
    The number of hardback books is falling, and is expected to continue to fall over the next 3–5 years. The trend for paperbacks, Holmen Paper’s core market, is however forecast to remain stable over the same period.
    The respondents' answers to questions on future needs revealed interesting information about expectations over the next few years: “Further drops in grammage are predicted. Compared with a couple of years ago, the cycles have also become shorter and the first editions smaller. Digital printing, which currently accounts for between 1 and 5 per cent of the market, is thus expected to grow.”
    Bulk, opacity, shade and smoothness will continue to be the key properties when choosing paper. However, environmental awareness and sustainable forestry remain important. FSC is seen as the leading certification for the industry, but PEFC and ISO 14001 are also mentioned.
    “Based on this study, we also believe that paperbacks and textbooks have a bright future. This is perhaps particularly true of the latter in new markets outside Europe, where education will be in high demand.”

    And how big a threat are e-books? “E-books are expected to continue growing in the long term. Commentators believe that e-books have the potential to take a 20–30 per cent share of the total book market, compared with today’s 3–5 per cent,” explains Agnes Nylund, who also stresses that the rise of the e-book is not happening at the cost of printed books, whose numbers are not declining at the same rate as e-book growth.
    Holmen Paper’s stance is clear: “We believe in the book segment, as our actions to date will attest. We are prepared to invest and have been more fleet-footed than most of our competitors,” concludes Karolina Svensson, sales and marketing director.
    (Holmen Paper AB)
     
    14.11.2014   Rayonier Reports Third Quarter Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Realigns Strategy and Operations to Improve Sustainability of its Timberland Resources and Increase Transparency

    Photo: David Nunes, Rayonier’s chief executive officer

    Rayonier Inc. (NYSE:RYN) (“Rayonier”) issued its third quarter results and announced the following recent business and operational developments:
    -Announces results of internal review of the Company’s operations
    -Realigns strategy and lowers future expected harvest volumes to support sustainable timber harvesting
    -Revises guidance for 2014 and provides outlook for 2015
    -Reduces regular quarterly dividend
    -Restates financial results for the first and second quarters of 2014 to correct understatements in depletion expense and corresponding overstatements in income from continuing operations
    -Amends Form 10-K to correct merchantable timber inventory and reflect material weakness

    Third Quarter 2014 Results
    Rayonier reported third quarter net income attributable to Rayonier of $33 million, or $0.25 per share, compared to $57 million, or $0.44 per share, in the prior year period. Rayonier’s third quarter net income was unfavorably impacted by $2.6 million due to a cumulative adjustment for an out-of-period error in depletion expense. The prior period third quarter results included $43 million of net income from discontinued operations.1 Excluding these items, pro forma net income2 was $36 million, or $0.27 per share, for the third quarter and $14 million, or $0.11 per share, in the prior year period.

    For the first nine months, net income attributable to Rayonier was $90 million, or $0.69 per share, compared to $292 million, or $2.23 per share in the prior period. Net income attributable to Rayonier was unfavorably impacted by the cumulative adjustment of $2.6 million due to an out-of-period error in depletion expense. The year-to-date results include $43 million of net income from discontinued operations and $4 million of costs related to the spin-off of the Performance Fibers business in the second quarter. The prior period included a $16 million gain3 related to the consolidation of the Company’s 65% owned New Zealand joint venture (JV) and $220 million of net income from discontinued operations. Excluding these items, pro forma net income was $54 million, or $0.41 per share, compared to $56 million, or $0.43 per share, in the prior year period.

    Cash provided by operating activities was $281 million compared to $334 million in the first nine months of 2013. Cash available for distribution (CAD)5 was $120 million versus $95 million in 2013.

    “Despite a number of organizational challenges, Rayonier posted solid results in the third quarter of 2014, which was our first full quarter of operations following the spin-off of the Performance Fibers business,” said David Nunes, Rayonier’s chief executive officer. “These results affirm the fundamentally strong foundation of our Company – a foundation that we believe we can build upon as we implement operational and organizational improvements in our business model going forward.”

    Quarterly Results by Business Segment
    Forest Resources
    Third quarter sales of $108 million and pro forma operating income6 of $22 million were $3 million and $1 million below the prior year period, respectively. Year-to-date sales of $314 million increased $37 million from 2013, while pro forma operating income6 of $67 million rose $10 million above prior year results.
    In the Atlantic region, third quarter and year-to-date operating results improved compared to the prior year, as higher pine prices continued due to strong pulpwood demand and restricted supply due to wet weather conditions.
    In the Gulf region, third quarter results were below the prior year period as higher delivered pine prices and increased pine volume were more than offset by lower non-timber income. Year-to-date results in the Gulf region were generally comparable to the prior year period.
    In the U.S. Pacific Northwest, third quarter results were below the prior year period as volumes decreased from lower export demand and reduced harvesting levels caused by fire restrictions. The quarter was also impacted by improved delivered and stumpage prices. Year-to-date results increased over the prior year period due to higher realized prices from the surge in demand from China earlier this year.
    Third quarter operating results in New Zealand were lower than 2013 as prices declined in the export market due to high inventories in China, while year-to-date results were comparable.

    Real Estate
    Sales of $27 million and operating income of $16 million in the third quarter increased $13 million and $9 million, respectively, from the prior year period. On a year-to-date basis, sales and operating results increased $14 million. The third quarter and year-to-date improvements were primarily due to increased rural sales volumes and stronger prices, which included two significant sales in the Southeast totaling 9,700 acres at an average price of $1,900 per acre. Year-to-date 2014 operating income also included a $6 million settlement of a bankruptcy claim related to a 2006 sale.

    Other Items
    Corporate and other operating expenses of $6 million in the third quarter and $28 million year-to-date improved $3 million over the prior year periods (excluding a $16 million gain related to the consolidation of the New Zealand joint venture for the nine months ended September 30, 2013) primarily due to lower selling, general and administrative expense as a result of the spin-off.
    Interest and other expenses of $11 million in the third quarter were comparable to the prior year period. Interest and other expenses for the nine months were $14 million above the prior year period primarily due to $2 million of interest related to the early repayment of debt in connection with the spin-off, $3 million of interest from the New Zealand JV due to its consolidation beginning in the second quarter of 2013 and unfavorable mark-to-market adjustments on New Zealand interest rate swaps.
    The third quarter income tax benefit from continuing operations before discrete items was $9 million compared to an income tax benefit of $6 million in 2013. The income tax benefit represents tax benefits from losses at Rayonier’s taxable operations and interest and general administrative expenses not allowed to be allocated to the discontinued operations of the Performance Fibers business. Including discrete items, the third quarter income tax benefit from continuing operations was $11 million compared to an income tax benefit of $7 million in the third quarter of 2013.
    The year-to-date income tax benefit from continuing operations before discrete items was $16 million compared to $21 million in 2013. Including discrete items, the income tax benefit from continuing operations was $5 million compared to $29 million in 2013.

    Outlook
    In Forest Resources, Rayonier anticipates full-year results to be comparable to 2013, with stronger prices in the U.S. South offset by lower prices in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and New Zealand largely due to lower export demand in the second half of the year, and by a reduction in fourth quarter Northwest harvest volumes as Rayonier implements its new strategy for achieving long-term sustainable yield. In Real Estate, Rayonier now expects full-year results to be approximately 15% below 2013, based on the anticipated timing of land sale closings originally forecasted for late 2014.
    Beyond 2014, Rayonier anticipates that U.S. housing will continue its gradual recovery, sawlog prices will continue to strengthen, and demand for logs in Asia will be strong over the long-term, benefiting its U.S. Pacific Northwest and New Zealand operations. While Rayonier expects these trends to result in stronger product prices over time, Rayonier’s results will be impacted by significantly lower harvest volume in the Northwest and by a planned reduction in sales of non-strategic timberland, consistent with its new strategy.
    For 2015, we anticipate operating income in the $85 million to $105 million range and Adjusted EBITDA7 of approximately $200 million to $220 million. Compared with 2014, these lower results primarily reflect the planned reductions in harvest volumes and timberland sales. Looking beyond 2015, we anticipate steadily increasing Adjusted EBITDA7 as product prices continue to strengthen. We also expect to maintain an active and disciplined timberland acquisition program that, if successfully executed, will contribute to Adjusted EBITDA7 growth.
    (Rayonier Inc.)
     
    14.11.2014   Incarnation of the legendary 700 is launched    ( Company news )

    Company news At an event attended by more than 450 customers and media representatives from around the world, Manroland Sheetfed unveiled the new ROLAND 700 EVOLUTION press at the company's Print Technology Centre in Offenbach, Germany.

    Designed from the ground up and incorporating a sleek, futuristic look, the latest generation ROLAND 700 incorporates many new technological developments and enhancements, aimed to give printers unprecedented levels of efficiency, productivity, operation and quality.

    The newly designed central console replaces buttons with state-of-the-art touch-screen panels. These give detailed graphical information in a user-friendly interface offering enhanced operation, flexibility and comfort, with options for left-handed and right-handed operation as well as customization for different operator body heights.

    The new feeder pile transport brings appreciable productivity benefits with smooth upward motion of the pile-carrying plate and highly improved sheet travel from the feeder to delivery. This leads to fewer interruptions, less start-up waste and reduced walking distances to the feeder.

    Solid fixing of the suction head reduces vibration and wear while ensuring safer sheet separation and higher average printing speeds.

    The brand new press also boasts completely redesigned cylinder-roller bearings. Separate bearings for radial and axial rotation provide better absorption of vibrations with fewer doubling effects and ultimately, much longer bearing life and significant improvements in print quality.

    All-new dampening units in the new press bring greater solidity with fewer roller vibrations during passing of the plate cylinder channel and fewer stripes as well.

    Sophisticated software for practice-oriented roller washing cycles further reduces downtime with much more precise dosage of the dampening solution over the entire width, reducing the possibility of skewing the dampening dosage roller.

    Innovations which further underline Manroland Sheetfed’s credentials as the green print pioneer include new three-phase AC motor which combines highest power output with lower energy consumption. And, with no need for wearing parts, carbon brushes or additional costs for parts, the ROLAND 700 EVOLUTION reduces unproductive time even further, thereby helping to satisfy the green requirements of print buyers as well as strengthen the market position of printers.

    The new press also features a new chambered doctor blade system which is certain to exceed the expectations of printers needing to provide high quality gloss effects. This system, with additional profile, provides higher solidity over the entire width of the doctor blade, and a more even varnish application. Not only does it feature better absorption of vibrations of the Anilox roller and doctor blade caused by passing the coating form cylinder, it also results in fewer stripes, especially in combination with pigmented varnish.

    The newly developed suction belt sheet brake technology offers higher printing speeds combined with vastly improved sheet alignment and tail edge stabilization. This gives a more even pile contour and reduces the risk of misaligned sheets in the delivery pile, all of which will help to increase productivity while improving print quality and saving on production costs.

    The ROLAND Evolution with its sleek design and swathe of innovative technologies delivers a hitherto unseen standard of print quality, combining this with lower total production costs and higher efficiency to deliver customer competitiveness at a whole new level.

    Manroland Sheetfed CEO, Rafael Penuela, said:
    “Throughout our company's history we have been known for bringing innovative new technology to the printing industry. The ROLAND 700 EVOLUTION is the latest ground-breaking new press which we believe will be yet another milestone in the evolution of print technology”.
    (Manroland Sheetfed GmbH)
     
    14.11.2014   Nippon Paper orders yet another Metso Pulp Expert automatic pulp laboratory    ( Company news )

    Company news Metso Pulp Expert plays a major role in achieving better and more uniform pulp contributing to improved paper quality and stable runnability.

    Nippon Paper has ordered a Metso Pulp Expert automatic pulp laboratory for its Yatsushiro integrated pulp and paper mill in Japan. This makes a total of three Pulp Experts purchased by Nippon Paper during 2014. The first, delivered to the Iwakuni mill in spring 2014, will be followed by a second start-up at Nippon Paper's Ishinomaki mill in December. Start-up for the Yatsushiro Pulp Expert, installed in the mill laboratory, is scheduled for January 2015. The automated pulp laboratory will be equipped with measurement modules for fiber/shives, brightness with spectrophotometer, tensile and tear. The mill expects to save considerable time and resources in routine pulp quality tests as well as facilitating further research and development in pulp processing.

    The Metso Pulp Expert automates many routine pulp quality measurements to significantly enhance testing frequency and accuracy enabling laboratory personnel to concentrate on more challenging process development tasks. Pulp Expert plays a major role in achieving better and more uniform pulp leading to improved paper quality and stable runnability. It can automatically take samples and, depending on measurement modules installed, reliably test consistency, drainage, strength properties, porosity, bulk, optical properties and fiber length from different locations in the process.
    (Metso Corporation)
     
    14.11.2014   Sonoco Completes Acquisition of Weidenhammer Packaging Group    ( Company news )

    Company news Sonoco (NYSE:SON), one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Weidenhammer Packaging Group (WPG), Europe's leading provider of composite cans along with composite drums and rigid plastic containers, for €286 million, or approximately $360 million, in cash.

    According to M. Jack Sanders (photo), Sonoco president and chief executive officer, "We are extremely excited to welcome Weidenhammer's leadership team and its 1,100 associates into the Sonoco family. The acquisition creates a global leader in rigid paper packaging and is expected to increase Sonoco's combined global consumer-related packaging and services business to approximately $2.8 billion in annual sales or approximately 53 percent of the Company's combined revenue of approximately $5.4 billion. In addition, the combination is expected to increase Sonoco's net sales in Europe to approximately 21 percent of total sales."

    Headquartered in Hockenheim, Germany, Weidenhammer has approximately 1,100 employees and operates 13 production facilities, including five in Germany, along with individual plants in Belgium, France, Greece, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States, Chile and Russia. In addition to producing composite cans, drums and luxury tubes, WPG produces unique rigid plastic containers using state-of-the-art thin-walled injection molding technology with modern in-mold labeling. Markets served by the company include processed foods, powdered beverages, tobacco, confectionery, personal care, pet food, pharmaceuticals and home and garden products. Further information is available on the Internet at www.weidenhammer.de/en/home.

    To finance the transaction, Sonoco entered into a Credit Agreement for a new $600 million bank credit facility earlier in October. Included in that facility is a new $350 million, five-year revolving credit facility, which replaces an existing credit facility under substantially the same terms. The $350 million revolving credit facility is being used to support an identically sized commercial paper program. Also included in the Credit Agreement is a new $250 million three-year term loan which was used to fund the acquisition.

    As previously reported, the acquisition of Weidenhammer is expected to have no material impact to Sonoco's fourth quarter 2014 base earnings and should be accretive to the Company's 2015 base earnings in the range of $.09 to $.14 per share, including adjustments for purchase accounting.
    (Sonoco Products Co)
     
    14.11.2014   Valmet's new innovative energy recovery system exceeded expectations at Sofidel SPA in Italy     ( Company news )

    Company news In order to increase energy efficiency of tissue production lines, Valmet has developed the Advantage ReTurne energy recovery system. This system does not only recover energy from the headbox jet power, but also returns it back to the process as electrical energy.

    The first installation of Valmet's new innovation was recently started up at Sofidel's mill Delicarta Valdottavo, Italy and has already proved to fully meet the expectations.

    Sofidel is the first Italian company and the first toilet paper and household tissue company in the world to have joined Climate Savers, the international program promoted by WWF, to voluntarily adopt plans to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, using innovative strategies and technologies. It is therefore important to find new innovative solutions to reduce the environmental impact of their production.

    "The first installation of the Advantage ReTurne energy saving system has been a positive experience for us. Its energy saving capabilities turned out to be better than we hoped for and well in line with our target to further reduce our CO2 emissions before the end of 2020," Simone Capuano, Vice Chief Technical Officer, Sofidel.

    "We had high expectations of the results from the first installation of the Advantage ReTurne system which was substantially exceeded. The installation went smoothly and the machine was running at full speed within five days. But the most exiting was that the energy recovery proved to be above guaranteed level," Jan Erikson, VP Sales, Valmet

    Technical information
    The Advantage ReTurne energy recovery system is installed in the forming section. It is unique in that sense that it recovers 50% of the energy from the headbox drainage water and via a generator converts it to electrical power which supplies the sectional drives. The Advantage ReTurne do not affect the formation of the paper or the tissue making process, it is easy to handle and has low maintenance need. This new innovation is most efficient installed in new or existing tissue machines.
    (Valmet Corporation)
     
    13.11.2014   XPERA SPECIALTY SOLUTIONS, LLC ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... OLD TOWN FUEL & FIBER

    Expera Specialty Solutions, LLC (“Expera”), a portfolio company of KPS Capital Partners, LP, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets related to the Old Town Fuel & Fiber pulp mill (“Old Town” or the “Business”) from its senior secured lender. Expera expects to complete the transaction as part of a sale process under Section 363 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

    OldTown is a high-quality pulp mill with the capacity to produce more than 200,000 tons annually of Northern Bleached Kraft pulp. The Business was founded more than a century ago and is located in Old Town, ME. The Business closed this past August, which left the mill shut down indefinitely. Expera intends to invest significant additional capital and resources into OldTown to ensure the highest level of production quality and capacity.

    Russ Wanke, Chief Executive Officer of Expera, stated, “A combination of Expera and OldTown will significantly strengthen both businesses. In particular, the combination will increase Expera’s vertical integration into pulp and reduce Old Town’s go-forward commercial risk by becoming part of Expera, a financially strong enterprise, that serves stable and growing end markets and possesses a dedicated base of long-term customers rather than as a standalone enterprise.”

    Governor Paul R. LePage of Maine stated, “I am honored to welcome Expera to Maine. We appreciate their investment and determination to get this facility back up and running as quickly as possible. The OldTown facility combines a valuable asset with tremendously knowledgeable and hardworking Mainers who are eager to get back to work. My administration will continue working with Expera as they move forward. This is terrific news for the future of Maine’s forest products industry.”

    US Senator Susan Collins of Maine commented, “This is encouraging news for Maine’s forest products industry and for the workers in the OldTown area who lost their jobs earlier this year. While there is much work to be done before this sale is finalized and people are brought back to work, I applaud the efforts of Expera Specialty Solutions and all those involved in this effort.”

    US Senator Angus King of Maine additionally expressed, “This is great news for the OldTown area and the State of Maine. Expera will find a great workforce with deep experience at this mill who I’m sure will be happy to get back to work doing what they have done so well over the years.”

    Completion of the transactions is expected to occur during the fourth quarter of 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.

    Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP and Pierce Atwood LLP served as legal counsel to Expera and KPS.
    (Expera Specialty Solutions LLC)
     
    13.11.2014   Stora Enso: New DuoDry CC drying concept from Voith impresses in operation    ( Company news )

    Company news DuoDry CC, the innovative drying concept from v, is for the first time successfully in operation. The DuoDry CC is delivered and installed in the Narew PM 5 at Stora Enso in Ostroleka, Poland. The concept impresses with its reduced curl formation caused by the drying process and lowers energy demand by increased runability of the paper machine.

    CC stands for curl control and designates the latest technology for reducing curl in single-tier dryer sections, which have become especially popular on the market since the speeds of paper machines have increased. The advantage of single-tier design when compared to the two-tiered design is that the machine achieves improved runability. However, a disadvantage of the conventional single-tier design is that the paper tends to curl due to the one-sided drying.

    DuoDry CC solves this problem with a smart concept that is as effective as it is simple – a vertically inverted single-tier dryer group that serves as the last group. Normally the paper web is sprayed with water on one side to fight curl. The web is dried again afterward through additional energy input. With DuoDry CC, by contrast, the thermal energy already required for drying the paper web is utilized by being fed into the inverted dryer group from the other side. Thus no additional energy is required for reducing curl. Use of this technology reduces the operating costs of the paper machine. The components used, such as web stabilizers and dryer cylinders, are products that have long been proven, which ensures the reliability of the system in operation.

    Janne Myllykangas, PM area manager at Stora Enso, confirmed after the project was finalized: “The collaboration with Voith was very good. The trust formed during the negotiations has been confirmed in the execution. The decision in favor of the DuoDry CC drying system has also proved to be the right one. We are very satisfied with the performance of DuoDry CC in operation.”
    (Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)
     
    13.11.2014   Orient Paper, Inc. Announces Preliminary Results for the Third Quarter 2014    ( Company news )

    Company news Orient Paper, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ONP) ("Orient Paper" or the "Company"), a leading manufacturer and distributor of diversified paper products in North China, announced its preliminary unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2014. The Company will file its Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission and will announce its full unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2014 after market closes on November 13, 2014.

    Photo: Mr. Zhenyong Liu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orient Paper

    Key Highlights for Third Quarter 2014
    -Monthly utilization rate of PM6 remained stable throughout Q3 at approximately 76%
    -Thanks to contribution from the PM1 Light-Weight CMP, total CMP Revenue increased 20% YoY, but gross profit declined due to declining ASP and higher cost of sales
    -Digital photo paper production lines have been disassembled and relocation to the new workshop at Xushui Mill Annex started after September 30, 2014

    Mr. Zhenyong Liu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orient Paper, commented, "Our results this quarter reflect a mix of solid execution against a backdrop of challenging industry conditions. Revenue was up, we maintained high utilization of PM6, and made progress on relocating the digital photo paper lines. Light-weight CMP continues to make a solid revenue contribution, and we continue to prepare to enter the tissue paper market as we construct our lines at the Wei County Industrial Park."

    Mr. Liu continued, "Despite that solid execution, industry conditions remain challenging, causing our gross margin and net income to decline. Pricing is a bit soft, while our cost of raw material was up 17%. In addition, we will be impacted in the fourth quarter by the mandated production halt associated with the APEC conference in Beijing. Obviously industry conditions are out of our control, but we will continue to focus on executing on those elements of our business under our control."
    (ONP Orient Paper Inc.)
     
    13.11.2014   Prinect Media Manager provides solution for growth segment of media-neutral publishing services    ( Company news )

    Company news -Multi-channel publishing offers print shops business opportunities outside print media industry
    -Pilot user BVD Druck+Verlag AG in Liechtenstein focuses on automated brochure production

    The term multi-channel publishing services refers to the media-neutral processing of data and its distribution using various media channels, including print and online. These services are a growing market that opens up new business opportunities for print shops outside their conventional core markets. Last year, this led Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) to acquire an interest in Neo7even, a German software house based in Siegen that was already active in this market, and to integrate this company's software into the Prinect print shop workflow. Heidelberg is now offering print shops this solution - a media publication system for publishing identical information in different media channels - under the name Prinect Media Manager. Media-neutral image, text, and video data is stored in a database and output for print and online media (websites, tablet shops, etc.) in an automated process. Any changes need to be made only once in the system. This ensures multi-channel publishing is efficient and cost-effective.

    "Anyone seeking long-term success in the highly competitive print media industry needs state-of-the-art technologies and an eye for new business opportunities. The Prinect Media Manager opens up exactly such opportunities for print shops. This solution underlines our commitment to making rapid moves into new, promising areas of business through partnerships and cooperation agreements," says Jason Oliver, who is in charge of digital business at Heidelberg.

    One of the first companies to use the Prinect Media Manager is BVD Druck+Verlag AG (BVD) in Liechtenstein. Founded in 1927, it specializes in high-quality advertising materials in short to medium runs. In recent years, BVD has focused increasingly on automated media publication to expand its future portfolio. It was initially unable to find a suitable solution on the market but recently installed the Prinect Media Manager from Heidelberg.

    A pilot project involving a BVD customer aims to produce a campaign brochure from a database using a largely automated process and to distribute this in various languages via print and online channels. The customer stores its data in the central database of the Prinect Media Manager. Both it and BVD can access this data, so that changes only need to be made once and are then automatically adopted in all layouts. Unlike in the past, BVD is now involved from the creation stage and can speed up brochure production significantly.

    "Here at BVD, we see promising business opportunities in multi-channel publishing solutions and in combining print and online services. The Prinect Media Manager now makes it both technically feasible and cost-effective for us to tap into this potential," says BVD Managing Director Peter Göppel.
    (Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)
     
    13.11.2014   PMP Group's next Intelli-Tissue® EcoEc 1200 put on stream    ( Company news )

    Company news It is our pleasure to announce that on October 22nd 2014 PMP Group – a global provider of paper technology – has successfully started up another Intelli-Tissue® 1200 EcoEc machine in China. This time the project was executed for Henan Hulijia Industrial CO., LTD.
    Hulijia Group within the last ten years has grown into one of the companies with the most competitive vitality and development potential in the tissue industry in the Henan Province, providing professional nursing products.
    The Intelli-Tissue® 1200 EcoEc machine for Henan Hulijia of double-press configuration, of design speed 1200 mpm and a reel trim of 2.85 m produces virgin fiber-based tissue (50 t/d). It is equipped with a modern single-layer hydraulic Intelli-Jet V® headbox, a 4-roll Crescent Intelli-Former®, double nip Intelli-Press®, 12ft ribbed, steel Yankee Dryer Intelli-YD™, exchaust Air Cap and an Intelli-Reel®. Except for premium quality of the final product, the TM is characterized by ultra-low media consumption figures (steam consumption is at a level of 1.7 T/T). Despite its compact size, the Intelli-Tissue® 1200 EcoEc machine can easily replace 10 locally made machines.
    PMP’s scope of supply covers i.a. approach flow system, entire tissue machine - including auxiliary systems like lubrication, steam & condensate, mechanical drive,electrical drive and tissue machine controls. The line was designed in Europe and manufactured both in China and Poland. PMP Group is implementing this way Optimum Cost Solution strategy and takes the advantage of the favorable location of its Center of Excellence – PMP IB (Changzhou) Machinery & Technology Co. Ltd.
    (PMPoland S.A.)
     
    13.11.2014   Drytac® Europe Appoints Douglas Jackson as Operations Director    ( Company news )

    Company news Drytac Europe, an international manufacturer of self-adhesive materials for the print, label and industrial markets, has announced the appointment of Douglas Jackson (photo) to the role of Operations Director with immediate effect.

    In his new role, Douglas will be responsible for the management and control of Drytac Europe’s day-to-day business operations including purchasing, planning and product development.

    Douglas joins Drytac from USA-based ACCO brands where he held the positon of Director of Operations. Prior to this role, Douglas was the President of Neschen GBC Graphic Films - a joint venture with ACCO Brands - which manufactured the Seal, Neschen and GBC brands throughout the USA.

    Douglas returns to the UK where he previously ran Seal’s manufacturing facility in Basildon, prior to moving to the USA.

    On Douglas’s appointment, Hayden Kelley, Managing Director for Drytac Europe, comments: “We’re delighted that Douglas has joined our senior management team. He brings a wealth of experience in the graphic films sector to Drytac, alongside proven management capabilities.”

    Drytac will be exhibiting at the upcoming SGIA Expo on booth #753 and Douglas will be present at the event. As well as showcasing Drytac’s latest solutions for the graphics market, the company will be looking to recruit quality international business partners to further boost the company’s global sales.
    (Drytac Europe Limited)
     
    13.11.2014   UPM introduces a new profit improvement target of EUR 150 million    ( Company news )

    Company news UPM is introducing a new profit improvement target with an annualised impact of EUR 150 million by the end of 2015. The target includes savings in variable and fixed costs in all UPM businesses as well as planned capacity closures in the European paper business, which continues to suffer from overcapacity.

    “During the past 12 months we have been able to improve our financial performance through streamlining but also through better focus and significant decrease in variable costs. Our new business structure has shown that it is capable of delivering results and we have been able to identify further profit improvement potential in our businesses. This potential we aim to capture in 2015, ” says Jussi Pesonen (photo), President and CEO of UPM.

    “The European paper business is a case for itself. We have achieved a turnaround in profitability during 2014. Nevertheless, the current operating rates are unacceptably low and the current economic environment is not promising tailwind for 2015. We plan to adapt our production to meet the profitable customer demand. We also ensure savings without endangering customer deliveries in the structurally declining market”, says Pesonen.

    Planned permanent closures in UPM Paper ENA
    UPM is planning to permanently reduce its publication paper capacity in Europe by further 800,000 tonnes approximately. The capacity reductions are planned to take place in France, Finland and in the UK.

    UPM plans a permanent closure of:
    -newsprint machine 3 at UPM Chapelle in France
    -newsprint machine 1 at UPM Shotton in the UK
    -SC paper machine Jämsänkoski 5 at UPM Jämsä River Mills in Finland
    -coated mechanical paper machine 2 at UPM Kaukas in Finland.

    In addition, the company plans to centralise UPM Paper ENA supply chain planning and order fulfillment activities to Augsburg and Dörpen in Germany.
    If all the plans to close capacity would be implemented, UPM’s personnel at the mills would be reduced by approximately 550 persons by the end of 2015. The employee information and consultation processes will start during November in line with the local legislation.

    The UPM Chapelle newsprint production line 3 and UPM Shotton newsprint production line 1 have an annual newsprint capacity of 345,000 tonnes. The Jämsänkoski SC production line 5 and UPM Kaukas coated mechanical production line 2 have an annual capacity of 460,000 tonnes of magazine papers, of which 235,000 tonnes of SC paper and 225,000 tonnes of coated mechanical paper: All machines are planned to be permanently closed by the end of Q1 2015.

    All four mills will continue paper production on the remaining paper machines on the mill sites.

    “We regret the impact of planned closures on our employees who, even under considerable pressure, have been loyal and committed. However, we have to adapt our operations to the changing market environment – this is the only way for a sustainable future. With the planned actions we will ensure the efficient use of our remaining capacity in Europe,” says Bernd Eikens, Executive Vice President, UPM Paper ENA.

    The full profit improvement programme includes variable and fixed cost savings in all UPM businesses and functions. As part of the programme UPM will start a review of the production, maintenance and other site operating practices across all of UPM businesses and operating countries. Furthermore, UPM’s programme for variable cost savings will continue.
    The total annualised cost reduction impact of EUR 150 million is expected by the end of 2015, compared with the Q3 2014. The fixed cost reduction of the planned capacity closures is expected to be EUR 55 million. UPM will book write-offs of approximately EUR 100 million and restructuring charges of approximately EUR 80 million in Q4/2014.
    UPM will follow and update the progress against the profit improvement target in its quarterly reporting.
    (UPM)
     
    12.11.2014   Cartiere del Garda Presents 'Shades'    ( Company news )

    Company news What is shade? A word that, because of its elusive nature, is best explained when someone attempts to define it with an image.
    Cartiere del Garda, part of the Lecta Group, has launched “Shades”, the eighth volume of “A Better Project”, its yearly in-depth look at a thought-provoking topic. This year the book explores the theme of shades, with repetitions of evocative, powerful images. This volume features the same eighteen images, printed each time on a different paper: GardaMatt Art, GardaMatt Ultra, GardaPat13 KLASSICA, GardaPat13 KIARA, GardaPat13 BIANKA and Condat matt Périgord. The tones change constantly with each page, sometimes so subtly it is practically imperceptible to the naked eye.
    “Shades” is more than just a beautiful photography book: it has been designed to go beyond, the perfect instrument to use when striving for excellence in the field of graphic design and printing. Intended for a wide variety of color situations, printed from a single file with the same coated profile and the same density of color so that each sheet of paper can reveal its full potential. No other adjustments were made at the printing stage, thus allowing designers a neutral starting point from which to choose the best solution according to their needs and for future adaptations.
    Selected content from “Shades” is available on the “A Better Project” website, where a summary of the book can be viewed and those interested can request a copy. http://abetterproject.it/shades/
    With this publishing project, Cartiere del Garda demonstrates once again how the singularity of a high-quality paper coupled with relevant content can transmit emotions through a unique sensory and intellectual experience.
    (Cartiere del Garda S.p.A.)
     
    12.11.2014   Vacon's liquid-cooled enclosed AC drives bring cost, size and installation benefits in demanding ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... industries

    The global AC drives manufacturer Vacon will introduce high-power VACON® NXP Liquid Cooled Enclosed Drives at the Offshore Korea fair in Busan, Korea on 12-14 November 2014. This is Vacon's most space-saving enclosed drive, consisting of a range of products developed especially with system integrators in mind. The pre-designed and engineered VACON NXP Liquid Cooled Enclosed Drive is robust and ideal for demanding environments and applications where space is at a premium.
    Several technical advances and features in the liquid-cooled enclosed drives make them an attractive choice for customers. They do not require any large air-conditioning system, which in turn minimizes the investment cost, brings space and energy savings, and makes it virtually silent. Also all main components such as the filters are liquid cooled as standard.
    Vacon has been delivering these drives to several of its system integrator partners. Now this product series will be an official member of Vacon's well-proven portfolio of liquid-cooled AC drives, thus simplifying the order and delivery process to customers and increasing the company's capability to serve a wide range of industries and applications.
    "We now upgrade our successful design to a new level by making it an official product among the VACON NXP Liquid Cooled drives product family. There is a great potential for this product on the market, for example in the marine and offshore segment, where reliability and compact sizes play a key role. Also other industries such as oil, gas and mining greatly benefit from the advantages this product has to offer," says Jari Marjo, Marketing Director of Premium Drives at Vacon.
    The standard VACON NXP Liquid Cooled Enclosed Drives can be used with AC motors of power sizes from 800-1550 kW. However, by using Vacon's patented DriveSync control concept, four of them can be run in parallel, offering an outstanding power range up to 5.3 MW.
    (Vacon Plc)
     
    12.11.2014   Papyrus Australia: Banana fibre business project    ( Company news )

    Company news Papyrus Australia Ltd (ASX: PPY) (“PPY”/“Company”) is pleased to advise it has now
    entered into a binding Joint Venture Agreement (“JV Agreement”) for a banana fibre business project to manufacture banana fibre fruit and vegetable trays (as an alternative for plastic trays presently used by the industry) following extensive evaluation and analysis and the contractual “off-take” commitment of an established distributor of such products in Australia.
    The Company wishes to thank MAP Capital Advisors Pty Ltd (“MAP Capital”) for their support and comprehensive analysis of the business opportunity, and the introduction to the established industry distributor.
    The business project is for the manufacture of products to assist fruit and vegetable growers and sellers to package and display their products utilising natural materials made from waste banana fibre. The operation will be based in Australia at the factory site at Walkamin in banana growing area of the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland.
    The parties to the JV Agreement are the Company with 85% shareholding and the established distributor 15% in consideration of market introductions and the “off-take” commitment. The Company’s Managing Director together with the established distributor participated in a very successful product manufacture trial in China earlier this year to identify specialised machinery and equipment for the manufacturing processes. The established distributor and his customers are very excited about the banana fibre products.
    The JV will be incorporated and will manufacture the products under an exclusive licence within Australia granted by PPY. The licence will be for a period of 5 years with a right of renewal for a further 5 years subject to the joint venture meeting agreed performance targets.
    PPY’s capital investment will be requisite cash, its existing equipment, intellectual property and know-how. PPY will also supply (at the cost of the joint venture) engineering and management support. PPY will provide establishment services and on-going management support for the operation of the JV.

    Managing Director’s loan to Company
    The Company’s Managing Director Ramy Azer and his wife Phoebe Azer have facilitated a second cash loan to the Company to enable it, among other purposes, to advance the proposed banana fibre business project outlined above.
    Talisker Pty Ltd (which is wholly owned by Ramy Azer and his wife Phoebe Azer) and the Company have agreed that Talisker shall lend the Company up to an amount of $250,000 (‘the loan”) which may be drawn down by the Company from time to time as required from 3 December 2014.
    The relevant terms on which the loan will be advanced by Talisker to the Company are at a commercial rate of interest, the loan is unsecured and will only be repayable from future revenues or from the proceeds of any future equity raisings, provided that if repayment of the loan at any particular time would materially prejudice the ability of the Company to repay its creditors as a whole then any proposed repayment of the loan shall be deferred until such time as such repayment would not materially prejudice the ability of the Company to repay its creditors as a whole.
    The Company is again indebted to the Managing Director and his wife Phoebe Azer for facilitating such financial accommodation as required.

    Egypt
    The Company has earlier this year successfully transported containers of machinery from Walkamin to the Papyrus Egypt, Sohag factory in Egypt, to enable the Papyrus Egypt banana fibre project to commence once all requisite capital funding is secured for the project, which includes capital for further payments to the Company for the sale of banana veneering and other machinery.
    Our Egyptian partner has completed the construction and fit-out of the factory in Sohag which is ready for production of banana veneer for
    sale to the building products and furniture industries, and the production of banana fibre for panel production.
    The Managing Director is in Egypt where he will hold ongoing discussions with the Papyrus Egypt partners and their banker, the National Bank of Egypt, with a view to finalising financial accommodation from the bank to enable Papyrus Egypt to pay a further instalment to the Company for the purchase of the banana veneering and other machinery, all of which is essential to enable Papyrus Egypt to commence manufacturing production of veneer, and fibre for panel production through an “off-take” arrangement as previously announced.
    (Papyrus Australia Ltd)
     
    12.11.2014   Change at the top at GOEBEL: Andreas Hollmann is the new CEO    ( Company news )

    Company news Having taken office on 4th November 2014, Dipl.-Ing Andreas Hollmann (photo) is the new CEO of GOEBEL Schneid- und Wickelsysteme GmbH. The traditional Darmstadt-based company, which belongs to the Italian IMS Deltamatic Group, is delighted to have found such a passionate mechanical engineer with management experience for this position.
    The 47-year-old engineer has worked in the packaging sector since 2003 and has held management positions there for many years. Until October 2014, he was CEO of Ishida GmbH, the global market leader in multihead weighing machines, which is also very successful in producing inspection systems for quality assurance, such as checkweighers and x-ray inspection systems. Before this, Hollmann was responsible for the worldwide expansion of Hastamat Verpackungstechnik GmbH in Lahnau, Germany.
    “As a passionate mechanical engineer, I am thrilled to be taking over the leadership of such a traditional company in the sector. GOEBEL stands out thanks to its development and construction of high-quality machines with state-of-the-art technology, meeting all the expectations that the “Made in Germany” label brings with it around the world. I am delighted to now be integrated into IMS Deltamatic Group and to be part of this successful company,” said the new CEO.

    As CEO, Andreas Hollmann succeeds former interim CEO Roberta Ghilardi, who will remain responsible for the further integration of GOEBEL into the group and the optimization of processes within the company.
    (Goebel Schneid- und Wickelsysteme GmbH)
     
    12.11.2014   SinoCorrugated 2015 - Big Ever Business Platform to Meet Global Demands    ( Company news )

    Company news SinoCorrugated 2015 which takes place at Shanghai New International Expo Center Shanghai, China, will again serve as an excellent platform for ambitious exhibitors to meet over 36,000 powerful buyers from the 14-17 April 2015. Over 8000 international visitors from 100+ different countries will attend SinoCorrugated2015 to source the latest innovations from within the corrugated manufacturing industry in order to stay one step ahead of the fast growing demands from their countries.

    Perfect Business Platform to Meet Global Demands
    •More Buyers — No other corrugated manufacturing event boasts 3,6000 buyers from over 100 different countries around the globe.
    •The Right Kind of Buyers — Not only are the visitors diverse in their regional backgrounds, they are coming from emerging markets with high demand of innovated technologies, products. At least 90% of attendees play a clear role in company’s buying process
    •Marketing Power — Biggest ever efforts designed to drive quality attendees to the show, and traffic to your booth:
    -2.3 million+ emails connect
    -Over 500,000 direct-mail impressions
    -100+supporting associations
    -50+deleations sending by international associations
    -10+ call centers located in different countries
    -Hundreds interactive ads in 100+ international media partner outlets
    (Reed Exhibitions Greater China)
     
    12.11.2014   Functional barriers in food packaging using recycled materials to be developed in new ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... EU project, Banus

    The new EU project Banus will involve developing functional barriers for a variety of packaging examples that guarantees food safety, even when using recycled plastic and paper from recycling processes that are not currently approved for food packaging.
    The idea is that this example packaging should enable manufacturers to replace new materials with recycled materials, with the aim of developing and manufacturing more environmentally friendly food packaging.

    “Only metals, glass and PET are currently approved for use as functional barriers,” explains Mikael Gällstedt, who will be taking part in the project. “There’s a real need, but – other than these examples – commercial available, independently verified alternatives are non-existent, as far as we know, and this is what we’ll be investigating and working with in the Banus project.”

    A functional barrier prevents all types of chemicals that can be found in recycled paper, recycled plastics and printing inks, for example, from transferring to products such as packaged foods. These barriers can be used on paper and board made from recycled fibres containing chemical residues from sources including printing inks.
    The project consortium consists of five small and medium-sized partners, two organisations and two research institutes that will spend two years working on the project financed by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme with a budget of EUR 1.1 million.
    (Innventia AB)
     
    12.11.2014   Essentra acquires Clondalkin Group's Specialist Packaging Division    ( Company news )

    Company news Clondalkin Group (“Clondalkin”) is pleased to announce that Essentra plc (“Essentra”) has entered into an agreement to acquire Clondalkin’s Specialist Packaging Division (“SPD”) for a cash consideration of approximately $455 million.

    With 24 strategically located facilities, Clondalkin SPD is a leading global provider of a broad suite of speciality secondary packaging solutions for the pharmaceutical and health & personal care industries, and will transform Essentra’s position in these end-markets. As a leading player in North America, and with strong market positions in Europe, Clondalkin SPD’s range of technologies and capabilities support the high product quality and the versatility to deliver the complex solutions required.

    David Lennon, Co-CEO of Clondalkin Group, stated, “We believe that Essentra will continue to build upon the legacy of excellent service and high quality built by the strong teams in place across our businesses in Europe and North America. We also believe the deep commitment Essentra has demonstrated to pharmaceutical and healthcare packaging through its extensive network of well invested plants makes it an ideal owner of this business.”

    Commenting on the transaction, Colin Day, Chief Executive of Essentra, said, “The acquisition of Clondalkin SPD is a compelling strategic and complementary fit for Essentra, which transforms our existing geographical capabilities to pharmaceutical and healthcare customers who are increasingly seeking a global partner for their packaging requirements. In addition, Clondalkin SPD substantially enhances Essentra’s position in the growing personal care and beauty packaging industry. With an experienced management team and proven track record, this acquisition – being the largest in the Company’s history – underscores Essentra’s commitment to building a leading global provider of essential components and solutions in our targeted market categories.”

    Completion of the above agreement is expected in the first quarter of 2015 and is subject to customary regulatory approval.

    Goldman, Sachs and Co. acted as financial adviser to Clondalkin. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP acted as legal adviser to Clondalkin.
    (Clondalkin Group)
     
    11.11.2014   Brendan Lesch appointed to head global sales and marketing efforts    ( Company news )

    Company news Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc., a family-owned manufacturer that delivers high-performance specialty papers for the technical, packaging and printing markets, announced that Brendan Lesch (photo) has joined the company as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In this role, he will continue to raise awareness of Mondnock’s product offerings and develop and nurture client-focused partnerships as the company continues to evolve to meet market needs.

    Mr. Lesch joins Monadnock from FutureMark Paper Company, where he was fully responsible for global sales and marketing efforts, with a specific focus on environmental initiatives. Prior to this, he served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Myllykoski North America, where he developed and implemented sales, marketing, customer service, and logistics strategies, and a lean and efficient operational infrastructure. Mr. Lesch holds an A.B. from Dartmouth College.

    "We are pleased to welcome Brendan to Monadnock’s executive management team,” said Richard Verney, Chairman and CEO of Monadnock. “He brings a stellar track record of developing, implementing and executing sales growth strategies and consistently improving the performance of the sales organizations that he has managed. He knows what it takes to bring an organization to the next level and will bring that experience to our worldwide sales and marketing teams."

    "I am honored to join a company that has been long recognized for its focus on sustainability and commitment to developing innovative products,” said Lesch. “I look forward to helping raise awareness of Monadnock’s diverse range of products, from technical and specialty papers to premium printing and packaging papers for leading brands worldwide."
    (MPM Monadnock Paper Mills Inc.)
     
    11.11.2014   RockTenn Reports Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2014 Earnings    ( Company news )

    Company news RockTenn (NYSE:RKT) reported earnings for the quarter ended September 30, 2014 of $1.06 per diluted share and adjusted earnings of $1.31 per diluted share.

    Chief Executive Officer's Statement
    RockTenn Chief Executive Officer, Steve Voorhees, stated, "Our team delivered another quarter of solid operating results as measured by our adjusted earnings per share of $1.31 and free cash flow per share of $1.80. For all of fiscal 2014, we generated $6.10 per share in free cash flow for the year, up 9% over last year and representing a yield in excess of 10% on our current stock price. We implemented our balanced capital allocation approach by investing $534 million in capital expenditures, $474 million in acquisitions and returning $337 million to our shareholders in dividends and share repurchases. Our strong balance sheet and cash flow provide us the flexibility to continue to invest to sustain and improve our operating performance."

    Fourth Quarter Results
    Net sales of $2,608 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 increased $123 million compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 primarily as a result of the Tacoma Mill and display acquisitions completed in fiscal 2014.
    Segment income of $340 million increased $8 million compared to the prior year quarter primarily due to the impact of an estimated $41 million in productivity improvements and income from the acquisitions partially offset by increased commodity and other costs across our business.

    Segment Results
    Mill and Converting Tons Shipped
    Corrugated Packaging segment shipments of approximately 2,075,000 tons increased 8.0% or approximately 153,000 tons compared to the prior year quarter primarily as a result of the Tacoma Mill acquisition. Consumer Packaging segment shipments of approximately 409,000 tons increased 1.4% or approximately 6,000 tons compared to the prior year quarter.

    Corrugated Packaging Segment
    Corrugated Packaging segment net sales increased $82 million to $1,826 million due to the Tacoma Mill acquisition. Segment income increased $11 million to $248 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to the prior year quarter as higher volumes from the acquisition and productivity improvements were partially offset by the impact of increased export volumes on average selling prices and higher commodity and other costs. Segment income in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 included the recognition of a $23 million gain related to the recording of additional value of spare parts at our containerboard mills acquired in the Smurfit-Stone acquisition. The fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 included a similar $12 million spare parts gain and a $9 million gain related to the termination of a steam supply contract at our Solvay recycled containerboard mill, net of boiler start-up costs. Corrugated Packaging segment EBITDA margin was 20.8% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, flat compared to the prior year quarter.

    Consumer Packaging Segment
    Consumer Packaging segment net sales increased $30 million to $525 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to the prior year quarter primarily due to higher selling prices and volumes. Segment income increased $6 million to $72 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 primarily reflecting higher selling prices which were partially offset by the impact of higher commodity costs and other items. Segment income in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 included approximately $8 million related to a partial insurance settlement of property damage claims associated with the Demopolis turbine failure in fiscal 2012. Consumer Packaging segment EBITDA margin was 18.1% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, up slightly compared to the prior year quarter.

    Merchandising Displays Segment
    Merchandising Displays segment net sales increased $45 million over the prior year fourth quarter to $229 million primarily due to higher volumes and the impact of two display acquisitions completed in fiscal 2014. Segment income decreased $8 million to $15 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to the prior year quarter primarily as the impact of higher volumes were more than offset by higher costs, including costs associated with supporting and onboarding new business. Merchandising Displays segment EBITDA margin was 8.6% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.

    Recycling Segment
    Recycling segment net sales decreased $25 million over the prior year fourth quarter to $88 million primarily due to lower volumes and recovered fiber prices as a result of soft global markets and collection facility closures. Segment income was relatively flat in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to the prior year quarter primarily as the impact of lower volumes and market conditions were partially offset by the impact of cost structure improvements.

    Cash Provided From Operating, Financing and Investing Activities
    Cash from operations was $403 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to cash from operations of $310 million in the prior year quarter. Net Debt (as defined) increased $6 million in the September quarter to $2.95 billion and at September 30, 2014, our Leverage Ratio (as defined) was 1.92 times. Total debt was $2.98 billion at September 30, 2014.
    During the quarter, we invested $157 million in capital expenditures, paid $74 million for the purchase of a business and returned $188 million in capital to our shareholders with $163 million in stock repurchases and $25 million in dividends.

    Pension Lump Sum Settlement Expense
    During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 RockTenn completed the first phase of our previously announced lump sum pension settlement to certain eligible former employees and as a result recorded a pre-tax expense of $48 million or $0.20 per diluted share after-tax. Distributions to eligible former employees were made out of existing plan assets during the quarter.

    Restructuring and Other Costs
    RockTenn's restructuring and other costs and operating losses and transition costs due to plant closures for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 were $0.05 per diluted share after-tax. These costs primarily consisted of $6 million of pre-tax integration and acquisition costs and $4 million of pre-tax facility closure charges. The facility closure charges were primarily associated with the decision to exit the Cincinnati, OH specialty recycled paperboard mill and a recycling collection facility, and on-going closure costs for previously closed facilities.
    (Rock-Tenn Co)
     
    11.11.2014   Orient Paper Announces Transition of Chief Financial Officer and Independent Director    ( Company news )

    Company news Orient Paper, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ONP) ("Orient Paper" or the "Company"), a leading manufacturer and distributor of diversified paper products in North China, announced that Mr. Winston Yen, has resigned from his position as the Company's Chief Financial Officer for personal reasons, effective November 1, 2014. Mr. Yen will continue serving the Company as a consultant to assist in the transition to a new Chief Financial Officer. The Board of Directors has appointed Ms. Jing Hao, the Chief Financial Officer of the Company's operating entity, Hebei Baoding Orient Paper Milling Company Limited, as the Company's Chief Financial Officer.

    Ms. Jing Hao previously served Orient Paper, Inc. as its Chief Financial Officer from November 2007 to April 2009. Ms. Hao has also served as Chief Financial Officer of the Company's operating entity Hebei Baoding Orient Paper Milling Company Limited since 2006, and as Manager of Finance from 2005 to 2006.

    Orient Paper also announced that Mr. Drew Bernstein, one of the Company's independent directors and the chair of its Audit Committee, has resigned from his positions with the Company for personal reasons, effective November 1, 2014. The Board of Directors has appointed Mr. Marco Ku as Mr. Bernstein's replacement as an independent director and Audit Committee Chairman.

    Mr. Marco Ku is the founder of Sensible Investment Company Limited, an investment consulting firm based in Hong Kong. Mr. Ku was previously Chief Financial Officer of China Marine Food Group Limited (OTC: CMFO) from July 2007 to October 2013. Prior to his tenure at CMFO, Mr. Ku was with KPMG from 1996 to 2000, where his last held position was Assistant Manager. From August 2000 to February 2003, he served as Manager of Corporate Services for Logistics Information Network Enterprise (HK) Limited, a subsidiary of Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd., where he later served as Manager of Management Accounting from March 2003 to September 2004. From October 2004 to September 2005, he worked as the Financial Controller for Hongkong.com Company Limited (a Hong Kong listed company within the China.com Group). From October 2005 to April 2007, he co-founded KISS Catering Group, a food and beverage business in Beijing. Mr. Ku received a bachelor's degree in Finance from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 1996, and is currently a Fellow Member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

    Mr. Zhenyong Liu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orient Paper commented, "I want to thank both Winston and Drew for their significant contributions during their tenure at Orient Paper. I also look forward to continue working with Winston as he helps us in our transition to a new CFO. We wish them both the best in their future endeavors. Meanwhile, we are pleased to welcome Jing Hao back as CFO. We also welcome Mr. Marco Ku to the Board of Directors and Audit Committee."
    (ONP Orient Paper Inc.)
     
    11.11.2014   GLATFELTER REPORTS RECORD ADJUSTED EPS OF $0.70 DRIVEN BY TOP-LINE GROWTH ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... AND OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCIES IN SPECIALTY PAPERS AND ADVANCED AIRLAID MATERIALS BUSINESS UNITS

    Glatfelter (NYSE: GLT) reported third-quarter 2014 net income of $30.4 million, or $0.69 per diluted share, and adjusted earnings of $30.8 million, or $0.70 per diluted share. For the third quarter of 2013, net income was $34.1 million, or $0.77 per diluted share, and adjusted earnings were $24.4 million or $0.55 per diluted share.
    Consolidated net sales totaled $465.1 million in the third quarter of 2014, a 1.8 percent increase compared with $456.6 million in the third quarter of 2013.

    "Our third-quarter adjusted earnings were strong and an all-time quarterly record of $0.70 per share,” said Dante C. Parrini (photo), chairman and chief executive officer. “Specialty Papers delivered significantly improved results led by excellent operational performance and top-line growth. Advanced Airlaid Materials continues to perform very well, aided by strong demand and production efficiencies and Composite Fibers had a solid quarter when considering the market and economic pressures it is facing.”
    Mr. Parrini continued, “As we look at the fourth quarter, we expect to build on the momentum of operational excellence across all of our businesses. We believe Specialty Papers is well-positioned to deliver stable, reliable cash generation for the company. Demand for our Advanced Airlaid Materials products is consistently strong, driven by global growth in adult hygiene markets. Composite Fibers is operating well overall, but it continues to be impacted by economic uncertainty in Europe and the fluid economic and political situation in Russia and Ukraine. On balance, we are pleased with our progress throughout 2014 and our leading market positions, while remaining mindful of the near-term macro-level challenges.”

    Third-Quarter Business Unit Results
    Composite Fibers
    Net sales for this business unit declined $6.9 million, or 4.3 percent, primarily due to $4.9 million from lower selling prices. Foreign currency translation favorably impacted the year-over-year net sales comparison by $1.2 million.
    Composite Fibers’ third-quarter 2014 operating income decreased $0.8 million to $18.1 million compared to the year-ago period. The adverse impact from lower selling prices was substantially offset by improved operating performance including the impact of market related downtime taken to reduce inventories.

    Advanced Airlaid Materials
    On a year-over-year basis, Advanced Airlaid Materials’ net sales increased $4.9 million, or 7.0 percent, primarily due to a 5.9 percent increase in shipping volumes.
    Third-quarter 2014 operating income increased $3.6 million, nearly double the year-ago quarter. The third-quarter 2013 results were adversely impacted by $1.7 million of costs, net of insurance, related to fires at this business unit’s facilities. Excluding these costs from the quarter-over-quarter comparison, 2014 operating income increased $1.9 million primarily due to higher shipping volumes and lower raw material and energy costs.

    Specialty Papers
    On a year-over-year basis, Specialty Papers’ net sales increased $10.5 million, or 4.7 percent primarily due to an $8.3 million benefit from higher average selling prices together with higher shipping volumes. This business unit’s growth in shipping volumes again outperformed the broader uncoated free-sheet market which was down 8.0 percent in the third quarter of 2014 compared to the third quarter of 2013.
    Operating income increased $9.7 million, or 53.6 percent primarily due to higher selling prices together with significant improvements in operating performance, including record quarterly pulp production, partially offset by higher incentive compensation and normal cost inflation.

    Other Financial Information
    During the quarter, the Company recorded a $3.3 million non-cash asset impairment charge related to a trade name intangible asset acquired in connection with the 2013 Dresden acquisition. The charge was due to a change in the estimated fair value of the trade name, primarily driven by a substantial increase in discount rates related to Dresden’s business in Russia and Ukraine and this region’s political instability.
    Pension expense totaled $1.7 million and $3.6 million for the third quarters of 2014 and 2013, respectively. The decline reflects the benefit of higher discount rates and the amortization of deferred actuarial gains related to higher returns on assets in 2013. Because the Company’s qualified plan remains overfunded, a cash contribution is not required to be made in 2014 nor is a contribution expected in the foreseeable future.
    The Company completed the sale of 1,095 acres of timberlands during the third quarter of 2014 for $1.7 million and realized an after-tax gain of $1.0 million.
    In the third quarter of 2014, the Company recorded an income tax provision of $10.4 million on adjusted pre-tax earnings resulting in an effective tax rate of 25.2 percent. In the comparable quarter a year ago, the income tax provision totaled $4.8 million and the effective tax rate was 16.3 percent. The lower effective tax rate in 2013 was primarily due to changes in valuation allowances and the reduction of statutory tax rates in a foreign jurisdiction.
    Adjusted earnings in the third quarters of 2014 and 2013 excludes a benefit of $1.0 million and $9.9 million, respectively, from the release of tax reserves related to alternative fuel mixture credits earned in 2009, due to the lapse of the applicable statutes of limitation.

    Outlook
    In the fourth quarter of 2014, Composite Fibers’ shipping volumes are expected to be approximately 5 percent lower than the third quarter of 2014 primarily due to seasonality. Selling prices and raw material and energy prices are expected to be in-line with the third quarter. The impact of downtime to reduce inventory levels in the fourth quarter is estimated to be $1 million to $2 million higher compared to the third quarter.
    Shipping volumes for Advanced Airlaid Materials in the fourth quarter of 2014 are expected to decline by approximately 5 percent compared with the third quarter due to seasonality. Average raw material prices are expected to be slightly higher than the third quarter of 2014 resulting in higher selling prices consistent with our pass-through arrangements. In order to increase the production capacity of a line in Falkenhagen, the Company expects to incur approximately $1 million of costs related to lost production time from temporarily taking the line down.
    For Specialty Papers, the Company expects shipping volumes in the fourth quarter of 2014 to decline by approximately 5 percent compared to the third quarter due to seasonality. Overall selling prices are expected to be slightly lower than the third quarter of 2014 and input costs are expected to increase slightly. Maintenance costs are expected to be approximately $2 million higher in the fourth quarter compared with the third quarter due to normal variations in the timing of certain work.
    (Glatfelter Corporate Headquarters)
     
    11.11.2014   From Carnaby Street to global recognition     ( Company news )

    Company news It all began with a small design studio on a little road off Carnaby Street. SANTORO was Lucio and Meera Santoro’s small-scale venture into innovative graphic design. Today their work is found around the world and they have won some 50 international awards for their designs, greeting cards and 3D books.

    The company’s first big success came with its Swing Cards, a series of movable 3D greeting cards which are sent flat but which unfold themselves immediately they are removed from the envelope. Over the years the collection has gradually expanded and now consists of more than 90 different cards, which are sold world-wide, with over 15 million recipients to date.

    “If I’d realised how much work is involved in every card I never would have started this,” commented Lucio Santoro in the company’s showroom at the current headquarters at Rotunda Point in Wimbledon. “This must be the highest level of construction using paper materials.”

    “But at the same time, the demanding construction work has also protected us from copies and plagiarists. There are many other products which are far easier to copy.”

    It was while working on the original Swing Cards collection during the first half of the 1990s that the studio first encountered the paperboard called Invercote made by Iggesund Paperboard. Since then all the studio’s advanced collections have been made using Invercote.

    “Invercote maintains a very high and consistent quality,” Lucio Santoro said. “For our purposes, though, a few of its unusual features are the most important. Its very high tear resistance enables us to create finer details while at the same time the construction is more durable.

    “Another important property is dimensional stability. Few people realise that when you are working in three dimensions you not only have to ensure perfect registration between the printing inks but also with the printed image on the reverse. Dimensional stability is crucial for this.”

    Over time SANTORO has built up a portfolio of designs, which the studio now licenses to other users, an activity that currently brings in almost half the company’s revenues. Designs by Santoro are now printed on everything from bags and gift articles to housewares, notebooks, ceramics, apparel and footwear to name just a few. Lucio and Meera have also produced three 3D non-fiction books: Journey to the Moon, Wild Oceans and Predators.

    Sophisticated greeting cards are still an important part of SANTORO’s business. Last year the company launched its Pirouettes collection, which has good prospects of emulating the popularity of the Swing Cards.

    “We believe strongly in Pirouettes – you have to when it takes about two years to develop a collection,” Lucio said. “Sales have gone well so far but it will be a few years before we can see how the collection measures up to Swing Cards’ twenty years of popularity.”

    About 30 people work at SANTORO’s design studio in London, with a further 60 employees around the world.
    (Iggesund Paperboard AB)
     
    11.11.2014   Completion Date for the Acquisition of Carter Holt Harvey Limited's Pulp, Paper and Packaging ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... Businesses (Progress Update)

    We previously announced on April 25, 2014 that Innovation Network Corporation of Japan and we have signed a definitive agreement to jointly acquire all of the stakes in Carter Holt Harvey Limited’s Pulp, Paper and Packaging Business. The business is based in New Zealand and Australia and are currently owned by Rank Group Limited. Today we are pleased to announce that the transaction is now envisaged to close on December 1, 2014 as we have obtained necessary regulatory approvals and met all other pre closing conditions.

    Planned Completion Date: December 1, 2014
    (Oji Holdings Corporation)
     
    10.11.2014   DS Smith acquires Grupo Andopack, Spain    ( Company news )

    Company news DS Smith is pleased to announce the acquisition of Andopack, a Spanish corrugated board producer. Andopack is a very well-invested and growing business with good access to both Barcelona and Madrid.

    Photo: Miles Roberts, Chief Executive of DS Smith

    The acquisition gives the Group a direct market position in Spain, allowing us to meet demands from our pan-European customers to have a presence in this important market. Andopack will provide cost and cash saving opportunities and an excellent platform for growth as we leverage our scale, innovation and customer relationships.

    The total consideration, including the assumption of debt, is expected to be circa £35m, subject to closing adjustments, representing a post synergy multiple of between 5.0 and 6.0x EBITDA. The transaction is being financed from existing cash resources and is expected to deliver a return on invested capital above our cost of capital in the second year of ownership.

    Miles Roberts, Chief Executive of DS Smith said: “The acquisition of Andopack in Spain is an exciting development for DS Smith as we continue to strengthen our pan-European customer offering. Andopack has high quality assets and we look forward to growing it further as we expand in this attractive market.”
    (DS Smith Plc)
     
    10.11.2014   AkzoNobel Q3 results 2014    ( Company news )

    Company news Profit grows following operational efficiencies despite fragile economy

    Photo: Akzo Nobel CEO Ton Büchner

    -Operating income totaled €335 million, boosted by operational efficiency programs and lower restructuring charges
    -Revenue down 2 percent: volume up 1 percent, more than offset by negative currency effects and divestments
    -Return on sales (ROS) at 9.1 percent (2013: 8.0 percent); excluding restructuring costs of €55 million (2013: €75 million), ROS is 10.6 percent (2013: 10.0 percent)
    -Net income attributable to shareholders €205 million (2013: €155 million), due to higher operating income and lower finance expenses
    -Adjusted EPS increased 24 percent to €0.92 (2013: €0.74)
    -Interim dividend of €0.33 declared
    -Net cash inflow from operating activities €489 million (2013: €552 million)
    -On track to deliver 2015 targets despite the continued fragile economic environment

    Akzo Nobel N.V. (AkzoNobel) reported positive volume growth and, for the fifth consecutive quarter, an improvement in Return on sales (ROS) – from 8.0 percent to 9.1 percent. Excluding restructuring costs of €55 million, ROS was 10.6 percent (2013: 10.0 percent).

    Operating income grew 11 percent to €335 million (2013: €303 million), reflecting the benefits of ongoing operational efficiency programs, although this was partially offset by new restructuring costs in Performance Coatings. Net income attributable to shareholders was €205 million (2013: €155 million), due to higher operating income and lower finance expenses. Revenue for the third quarter declined 2 percent, with volume growth being offset by negative currency effects and divestments.

    CEO Ton Büchner:
    "AkzoNobel delivered a solid Q3 performance, despite continued economic uncertainty. Return on sales improved for the fifth consecutive quarter to 9.1 percent, while operating income grew by 11 percent. Conditions continue to be challenging, but we have a resilient strategy focused on stimulating organic and sustainable growth. Coupled with the benefits from our ongoing operational efficiency programs, we are on track to deliver on our 2015 targets.

    "Q3 was also notable for several achievements, including being ranked first in our industry on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third year running. In addition, our Human Cities initiative gathered momentum when we made a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative and partnered with The Rockefeller Foundation through its 100 Resilient Cities program. We also developed coatings technology for the world's first fully recyclable and compostable paper cup, and we broke ground on a new Decorative Paints site in Chengdu, China."

    Decorative Paints: Volumes were flat compared with the previous year. Market conditions in Europe remained challenging, while volumes were higher in Asia. Revenue declined compared with the previous year, due to the divestment of Building Adhesives and the adverse price/mix effect driven by the sale of the German stores. Operating income was higher than 2013 due to lower restructuring expenses.

    Performance Coatings: Volumes were up, while revenue was flat on 2013 as price/mix and adverse currencies offset higher volumes. Cost control measures continued in all businesses. The new organizational structure has reduced the number of global management layers, resulting in higher restructuring costs. As a result, operating income declined on the previous year.

    Specialty Chemicals: Volume for the quarter was in line with 2013, with growth being offset by some planned outages in the chain, as well as industrial action in Rotterdam. Revenue declined, due to adverse currency developments and price pressure in some segments such as in caustic. Despite the economic slowdown, profitability increased due to benefits from restructuring activities and cost savings, as well as lower restructuring costs.

    Outlook
    AkzoNobel is on track to deliver on its 2015 targets despite the continued fragile economic environment.
    (Akzo Nobel Industrial Chemicals B.V.)
     
    10.11.2014   Smart automation technology for both one-off and mass production    ( LIGNA 2015 )

    LIGNA 2015 LIGNA presents "networked manufacturing" for the wood and furniture industries

    Changing conditions are forcing the wood and furniture industries to adapt in many ways. For example, market demand for one-off production is on the rise, and industry needs to deliver on this without compromising quality, efficiency or flexibility. The same goes for optimizing resource consumption and the long-term traceability of the components and materials used. In order to meet these and other challenges, it is essential that wood and furniture industry professionals as well as mechanical engineering and automation specialists pool their expertise and together develop suitably networked and integrated approaches to manufacturing.

    The place where it all comes together is LIGNA – the world’s leading trade fair for the forestry and wood industries. At LIGNA’s next staging (11 to 15 May 2015), exhibitors will be providing a comprehensive and revealing look at how cutting-edge networked production is already possible today. The most important innovations and solutions for smart manufacturing will be on display, giving tangible shape to the “Smart Factory” vision for woodworkers, wood processors and furniture makers.

    Smart manufacturing at every link in the chain
    Custom production of one-off furniture items requires a high degree of process reliability. System availability, throughput speed and processing performance must be in tune to ensure quality and efficiency. This requires very precise measurement technology as well as a high degree of automation. Each individual assembly needs to perform dependably, and communication between the various machines has to be seamless, also right on through to the planning and marketing phases.

    Smart automation solutions in the wood and furniture industry can enable manufacturing facilities to autonomously predict tool wear in advance, reduce emissions, optimize energy consumption through tailored assembly control, and prevent production flaws. Downtimes, manual adjustments and scrap are minimized, machine operating convenience and service life are improved, through-times are optimized, and productivity and energy efficiency raised – all without higher automation technology costs.

    PC-based control as the core technology
    Smart automation technology thus contributes significantly to making furniture manufacturing more flexible, efficient and sustainable. Already today, existing and new plants can be equipped with the core technology, which is PC-based and open system. Thanks to advanced telecommunications, data from every link of the production planning and manufacturing chain can be seamlessly exchanged in real time.

    So far, only applications of limited scale can benefit from the above technology. Currently available PC computing power cannot yet cope with the necessary volumes of data to control complex machines and systems. However, automation specialists are already working closely with their partners on promising new concepts, using a combination of leading-edge hardware and software to develop smart, high-performance system solutions that can connect to processing facilities with minimal custom programming.

    Christian Pfeiffer, head of the LIGNA department at Deutsche Messe, explains the need: “The major challenge for the future is to create an optimal control architecture to meet the complex requirements of the Smart Factory. Ideally this means both the horizontal networking of the process parameters for each individual step – e.g. order receipt, planning, manufacturing, logistics and distribution – as well as vertical integration of all data flows, embracing everything from the raw materials used right on up to the end of the product lifecycle.”

    Next May, international automation specialists and machine builders will be presenting their latest developments and pilot applications exclusively at LIGNA. This technology showcase for networked manufacturing offers practical guidance to companies of all sizes in search of the best ways to implement smart manufacturing. Smart, self-optimizing plant and equipment make it possible for the wood and furniture industries to score tremendous gains in terms of quality, competitiveness and flexibility.
    (Deutsche Messe AG )
     
    10.11.2014   New video helps the world get to know BOBST     ( Company news )

    As a leading supplier of equipment and services to the packaging industry, BOBST spends a lot of time and effort getting to know its customers. Now, both existing and potential BOBST clients, as well as the general public, can find out more about BOBST, thanks to a short video.



    Showing the history, global reach, range of products and values of a company that serves more than 50% of the worldwide packaging industry, the five minute video also highlights the innovation, knowledge and passion of the 5'000 strong global BOBST team.

    Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO of BOBST, said, "The packaging produced by our equipment is found everywhere in our daily lives. Yet something that can appear to be so simple actually needs increasingly complex processes to produce it. This new video gives a snapshot of how we go about providing the machinery and services that the flexible materials, folding carton and corrugated board industries need, as well as showing who we are and how we came to be the world’s leading supplier to these industries".
    (Bobst Mex SA)
     
    07.11.2014   Markham Vale breaks new ground for inspirepac    ( Company news )

    Company news inspirepac – part of the Logson Group - has confirmed it is to open a further site to facilitate its ongoing growth and success.

    Picture: Councillor Anne Western - Leader Derbyshire County Council, Chris Marples - inspirepac CEO and Joan Dixon - Cabinet Member for Economy Transport and Environment Derbyshire County Council.

    The new 100,000 sq. ft. factory is to be situated at Markham Vale, North Derbyshire. At the heart of the UK motorway network, the industrial park has direct access to the M1 North/South arterial route at Junction 29A, which is ideal to serve inspirepac’s growing customer base.

    The new site will see inspirepac transform its Group operations by investing £6m in state- of- the- art high quality post print (HQPP) and further digital capability, complementing its leading position in the high growth market sectors of retail ready packaging and point of sale. It is expected that the new site will commence production mid 2015 and will complement the existing production capabilities.

    Chris Marples, CEO, commented, “I am delighted and extremely proud to make this announcement which heralds a new era for inspirepac. This new site will operate alongside inspirepac’s existing businesses, supporting our plans for continued growth."

    The new site will see a £6 million investment in leading edge machinery, this will allow inspirepac to meet the ever growing demand for retail-ready packaging (RRP) and promotional packaging, giving customers maximum in store visibility and brand presence within the retail market.

    inspirepac Managing Director, Mark Hawkins said: “This is an exciting time for the inspirepac Group, we are investing in the latest print technology allowing us to further develop our innovative product offering.

    "Markham Vale takes our flexo and digital capabilities to another level and continues to challenge the offset litho market. These enhanced capabilities will ensure we stay ahead of the competition and gives peace of mind to our clients with regards to quality, colour consistency and brand integrity no matter the print process."

    In conjunction with inspirepac’s investment plans, sister company Board24 is to make a £9m investment in an additional corrugator at its Preston site, already the UK’s most efficient sheet feeding operation. The Preston investment, offering an enhanced coated grade offering, further strengthens inspirepac’s robust supply network delivering an exceptional choice of substrate, fluting profile and lead-time flexibility.

    Chris concluded; “Markham Vale will be a state of the art production site, with leading edge print capability but will have a 6,000 pallet distribution hub delivering improved supply chain efficiencies within the entire business. This optimises our workflow, process efficiency and logistics delivering exceptional market leading service to support our Customer’s growth plans. My personal vision is to double the Group turnover in the next five years, committing to Markham Vale gives us a platform to achieve this."
    (Inspirepac Limited)
     
    07.11.2014   Ahlstrom simplifies its structure and organization for faster execution and profitability improvemen    ( Company news )

    Company news Ahlstrom will simplify its structure and organization to enable faster execution and stronger accountability within business areas. The aim of the change is to accelerate profitability improvement. The new structure will be effective as of January 1, 2015. In addition, the composition of Ahlstrom's Executive Management Team will change with immediate effect.

    Photo: Marco Levi, Ahlstrom President & CEO

    Ahlstrom's new organizational structure will consist of three business areas: Filtration, Building and Energy, and Food and Medical. These business areas will have stronger operational alignment, including responsibility for sales and marketing, technical customer service, product development and operations.
    "The changes in operational and management structure will help to clarify the priorities for each business. I believe that we can facilitate faster execution and optimize our resources by strengthening accountability in the business areas close to our customers and markets", states Marco Levi, President & CEO.

    Executive Management Team appointments
    The following appointments in the Executive Management Team of Ahlstrom have been made:
    -Sakari Ahdekivi, CFO, responsible for Finance and Controlling, Information Technology and Communications
    -Ulla Bono, Executive Vice President, Legal, General Counsel
    -Fulvio Capussotti, EVP, Building and Energy, responsible for the wallcovering, flooring and composite businesses
    -Omar Hoek, EVP, Food and Medical, responsible for the food packaging, masking tape and medical businesses.
    -Jari Koikkalainen, EVP, Filtration, responsible for the transportation filtration and advanced filtration businesses
    -Nadia Stoykov, EVP, Commercial Excellence, Customer Service and Sourcing.
    -Päivi Leskinen, 49, M.Sc. (Soc.) will assume the role of Executive Vice President, Human Resources and member of the EMT. She has held several HR management positions at ABB, currently as Global HR Business Partner, EMEA, Ventyx, ABB Technology Ltd. She will join Ahlstrom in the first quarter of 2015.
    All EMT members will report to Marco Levi, President & CEO.

    Additional changes
    -Paul Stenson is appointed EVP, Filtration Product Development, reporting to Jari Koikkalainen. Paul will also maintain responsibility for aligning product and technology development capabilities as well as portfolio development between the three Business Areas.
    -Roberto Boggio has been appointed EVP, Operations, Food and Medical. Roberto will also assume responsibility for aligning operations, including manufacturing, engineering and logistics, within the three Business Areas. He will report to Omar Hoek.
    -Arnaud Marquis will assume the role of Vice President, Wallcover and Poster businesses, reporting to Fulvio Capussotti.
    -Paul, Roberto and Arnaud will step down from the EMT, and Paul and Roberto will become members of the Extended Executive Team which will be established to work in close collaboration with the EMT.
    -Following the changes, Paula Aarnio, EVP, HR & Sustainability; William Casey, EVP, Regional Sales, Americas; Rami Raulas, EVP, Regional Sales EMEAI, and Luc Rousselet, EVP, Supply Chain, will pursue other opportunities outside Ahlstrom and will leave the EMT.

    "Let me extend my thanks to Paula, William, Rami and Luc for their valuable contribution to the development of the company during the last years. I wish them all the best in their future challenges," Marco Levi continues.

    Changes in segment reporting
    Ahlstrom's three new business areas, Filtration, Building and Energy, and Food and Medical, will form the new financial reporting segments of the company. The changes are effective starting from January 1, 2015. The company plans to publish restated financial segment information before publishing its January-March 2015 interim report on April 28, 2015.
    (Ahlstrom Corporation)
     
    07.11.2014   Smurfit Kappa rolls out the Board Referee to global operations    ( Company news )

    Company news Smurfit Kappa has announced the roll out of the ‘Board Referee’, which is exclusively developed across all of its production sites in Europe, as part of a commitment to bring customers cutting edge innovation throughout its operations.

    The pioneering Board Referee was designed by Smurfit Kappa’s Development Centre in the Netherlands and continues the company’s practice of using insight, applied expertise and measurement to develop high-performance packaging products.

    The Board Referee is the latest in a long line of corrugated board innovations from the company, which is recognised for being the first to apply the ‘Three Point Bending’ theory (TPB) to packaging. This led to a revolution in how corrugated board is composed and flutes are designed. It also follows the application of insights from the aeronautic industry to develop Paper-to-Box, recognised as the packaging industry’s most advanced performance prediction tool.

    The Board Referee builds on this legacy, allowing the packaging firm to measure the performance of corrugated board using TPB theory. TPB provides Smurfit Kappa with data on the bending strength of the corrugated board used in packaging, so that it can be developed and improved accordingly.

    Ultimately, this guarantees that the board used in the stacking and storage of boxes is perfectly optimised for its purpose – providing customers with packaging that is strong enough to carry the load of the product and stack, while using the least amount of raw materials possible, delivering a solution that is both efficient and sustainable.

    By ensuring that the Board Referee is available in all its production sites, Smurfit Kappa is able to gather board performance results immediately, in real-time. It provides the packaging firm with greater insight and understanding of the quality of packaging materials, complementing its use of its other ‘InnoTools’ such as Paper-to-Box and Pack Expert.

    Arco Berkenbosch, V.P. Research and Development,Smurfit Kappa, said, “This industry-first technology is perfectly suited to our customers’ needs, allowing us to develop packaging that utilises the full potential of paper in the most efficient and sustainable way possible. This is further evidence of how our expertise and relentless commitment to innovation and ingenuity continues to offer tangible benefits for our customers.”

    “The Board Referee means that we will be able to measure the performance of 50,000 products each month, giving us a unique ability to make rapid improvements to packaging board where necessary. This is part of our commitment to ensuring customers receive high performance packaging, informed by smart insight and measurement.”

    Walter De Smedt, V.P. Technical & Operational Excellence at Smurfit Kappa, said “We’re delighted to announce the use of the Board Referee across our operations, which will be vital in ensuring we’re able to continue to develop consistently high quality products. The use of Three Point Bending across all our production facilities will help to drive the packaging industry towards production processes that focus on the needs of the end-user, whereby the board is perfectly suited for use.”

    The use of the Board Referee is another example of how Smurfit Kappa is set to ‘Open the future’ for its customers. The new strategy focuses on delivering customer growth through insight and innovation. It is brought to life through a dynamic microsite, where a series of films demonstrate how customers across the world have worked in partnership with Smurfit Kappa to create innovative solutions which have driven commercial success. The new microsite can be visited at openthefuture.info, the home for new, shareable content which is updated regularly.
    (Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)
     
    07.11.2014   Sofidel once again amongst the leading companies in CDP Italy Climate Change Report 2014    ( Company news )

    Company news For the second consecutive year Sofidel, one of the leading European manufacturers of paper for hygienic and domestic use, is the only Italian not listed company to enter CDP Italy Climate Change Report 2014. The company, which improves significantly its disclosure and performance scores, is amongst the high scored companies.

    Sofidel further improves its performance in terms of completeness, transparency and quality of information and its climate change strategy in reducing CO2 emissions.
    The accomplishment was announced on the occasion of CDP Italy Climate Change Report 2014 & Leadership Awards in Milan.
    Sofidel has achieved a disclosure score of 88/100 (it was 73/100 in 2013) on the assessment of the quality and completeness of the information disclosed, and a performance band B (it was C in 2013),
    on a scale from A (highest) to E (minimum), for the efforts in reducing its CO2 emissions.
    Amongst the responding companies there has been an improvement in the CDP average score, from 66C in 2013 to 71B this year.
    For the second running year Sofidel is the only Italian not listed company to be included in the report.

    “It is a meaningful achievement that testifies our commitment to transparency and our action to tackle climate change" said Mr. Luigi Lazzareschi, CEO of the Sofidel Group.
    Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is an international, not-for-profit organization providing the only global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information. CDP is backed in 2014 by more than 767 institutional investors representing an excess of 92 trillion USD in assets.
    In 2014, CDP requested climate change information from the 100 largest stock-listed companies in Italy. 53 the responding companies, amongst others, Fiat, Piaggio, Pirelli, YOOX, ENI, Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit, CNH Industrial NV, and Enel.
    (Sofidel S.p.A.)
     

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    Buyers' Guide of Producers' and Converters' Products:
    Base papers and boards
    Board for packaging use
    Board, misc.
    Boxes, packages, etc.
    Corrugated boards
    Household and sanitary paper goods
    Household and sanitary papers for converting
    Office and exercise goods, general stationery
    Other converted paper and board products
    Paper and board for technical use
    Paper rolls all kinds
    Papers all kinds
    Papers and boards; coated, laminated, impregnated
    Papers for packaging use
    Printing, fine and writing board
    Printing, fine and writing papers
    Pulps and mechanical groundwood pulps
    Sacks, bags, carrier bags

    Buyers' Guide of Merchants:
    Base papers and boards
    Board for packaging use
    Board, misc.
    Boxes, packages, etc.
    Corrugated boards
    Household and sanitary paper goods
    Household and sanitary papers for converting
    Office and exercise goods, general stationery
    Other converted paper and board products
    Paper and board for technical use
    Paper rolls all kinds
    Papers all kinds
    Papers and boards; coated, laminated, impregnated
    Papers for packaging use
    Printing, fine and writing board
    Printing, fine and writing papers
    Pulps and mechanical groundwood pulps
    Sacks, bags, carrier bags

    Buyers' Guide of Suppliers' Products:
    Assembly and handling equipment
    Associations and institutions
    Chemicals and raw materials
    Cleaning plants, filtres and filtrations systems
    Drives, gears and motors
    Energy production, energy management
    Machine knives and accessories
    Machines and plants for the wood and pulp industry
    Machines and plants, misc. and printing machines
    Paper and board converting machines
    Paper and board machines and plants
    Paper machine felts and wires, woven wires, screens
    Planning, development and organisation, trade services
    Plants for preparation, dissolving, combusting, recovery
    Pumps all kinds
    Rollers and cylinders
    Test, measuring and control equipments
    Trade journals, magazines
    Ventilation systems; Drying plants
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