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    RSS-News News   Page:    <<   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31   >> 
     
     
    25.11.2014   Social Plan at Scheufelen Paper Mill Signed Nov 20, 2014    ( Company news )

    Company news Scheufelen Paper Company’s CEO Peter Bright and the Labour Council’s Leader of Papierfabrik Scheufelen GmbH & Co. KG, Mehmet Simsek, as well as Ralf Gökeler from Lenninger Instandhaltungsgesellschaft mbH Worker Council’s have reported after intense and constructive negotiations that we have jointly signed a social plan for the paper company situated in Lenningen, Germany.
    A comprehensive Transfer Company has been established for the employees who will leave the company.
    Scheufelen is part of the Paper Excellence Group which is headquartered in the Netherlands. Last year Scheufelen had a turnover of EUR 195 Millions with a production of 277,000 tons.
    Scheufelen has focused on coated woodfree papers (CWF) with the two grades premium coated and standard coated.
    Mainly in standard coated there is a decrease of volume by the digital media and this has placed strong price pressure on this segment.
    As a direct result, one of the two paper machines will be idled to decrease the production of standard coated paper. The capacity will be reduced from 300,000 annual tons to 140,000 tons.
    In future Scheufelen will focus more on premium papers, like phoenixmotion and heaven 42. In addition Scheufelen has recently introduced a 1/side coated SBS/GZ board for Luxury Packaging. The new high quality board is branded under the name phoenolux. Furthermore the mill is currently working to develop other new and innovative products, e.g. for digital print.
    The standard coated range will be sold mainly in defined core markets. With this realignment Scheufelen expects a good future.
    (Papierfabrik Scheufelen GmbH + Co. KG)
     
    25.11.2014   Holmen Paper: New product reduces newsprint capacity     ( Company news )

    Company news Holmen Paper is launching a new product in the SC segment in spring 2015, which will reduce the company’s production of newsprint. “This new initiative will quickly bring about a significant change in newsprint volumes,” comments sales and marketing director Karolina Svensson.

    Intensive preparations are under way on PM 53 at Braviken Paper Mill (photo) outside Norrköping, Sweden, for the conversion work that is scheduled to begin at the end of January next year. PM 53 is Braviken’s largest machine, with an annual capacity of 310 000 tonnes for the current product mix. The machine produces Holmen NEWS (newsprint) and Holmen XLNT – the uncoated magazine paper that makes up Holmen Paper’s single biggest product family.

    It is the production of newsprint for export outside the Nordic region that is going to be reduced when the new product is introduced next year.

    “We are predicting a rapid rise in volumes for the new product,” says Karolina Svensson. “The aim is to achieve an annualised running rate for production and sales of more than 100 000 tonnes by the end of 2015.

    “We’ll be reducing the production of newsprint at a corresponding rate, and in the longer term we’ll only keep the volumes to supply our local markets in Scandinavia.”

    Holmen Paper judges that its own measures, combined with previously announced capacity closures elsewhere in the market, will considerably improve capacity utilisation for newsprint in 2015.
    (Holmen Paper AB)
     
    25.11.2014   Yazoo Mills Adds Equipment to Production Lines; Focuses on the Future    ( Company news )

    Company news Yazoo Mills has purchased a new high-speed, multi-knife paper tube recutting line that will assist the company’s focus on the increasing demand for their products such as paper cores for the converting industry as well as other specialty items. Paco Winders Manufacturing Co., based in Philadelphia, PA, will supply the complete line equipped with custom built knife bars. The custom knife bars will integrate into Yazoo’s tooling intersystem, enabling its machine operators to rapidly complete equipment change overs.

    The new Paco recutting line will compliment Yazoo’s existing 25 recutting lines by reducing labor, expanding production capacity, and improving its ability to expedite custom orders. Additionally, Yazoo recently added two high-speed paper tube winding lines in the spring of 2014 and the company plans on further expansion in 2015.
    (Yazoo Mills Inc.)
     
    25.11.2014   Vacon helps customers boost energy efficiency in motor-driven systems     ( Company news )

    Company news The global AC drives manufacturer Vacon is in the forefront of complying with the new European energy-efficiency standard EN 50598-2 which will enter into force by the end of this year. Specifically, the standard defines a classification scheme for AC drives. All of Vacon's AC drives comfortably exceed the requirements for the IE2 class, the lowest loss category currently defined.

    Photo: Vacon 20 X - The most compact IP66/Type 4X decentralized drive on the market.

    The European economic strategy program 'Europe 2020' plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent until 2020, and there is another reduction plan for 2030. Standard induction motors alone consume approximately 30% of all the electricity generated in the world. This explains why motors and the systems they drive are so crucial when discussing energy savings. However, the current measures, which just cover the energy efficiency of motors, are not enough to reach this strategy's ambitious goal. The new standard EN 50598-2 looks beyond just the motor, creating unified requirements for the energy efficiency of entire motor-driven systems.
    "Vacon's AC drives play a key role in minimising losses and thus boosting energy efficiency in all motor-driven systems. These drives offer speed control for applications and processes where the output must be controlled under changing requirements. The energy losses in AC drives are almost negligible, but the potential for overall savings by matching motor speed to load requirements is staggering. The new energy efficiency standard will put even more emphasis on the importance of AC drives technology, and in this respect Vacon plays a key role in implementing the standard," explains Michael Björkman, Vacon's Technical Director, Marketing.
    Technically speaking, the EN 50598-2 standard defines a way of calculating the Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) for any driven system. The lower the EEI, the more efficient the system is. In defining the overall EEI, two things are considered - the system losses at various working points and the time the system operates at these working points. In order to be able to calculate the total system losses, the EN 50598-2 defines that the losses of the AC drive and motor have to be specified at eight different working points. Vacon provides the losses at the eight points of reference required for the EEI calculation for all of its AC drives.
    "In addition to complying with the new standard, all of Vacon's AC drives already offer a unique feature for monitoring energy efficiency. The control panel of each drive allows users to monitor and optimise their energy usage with a clear and simple MWh counter. This feature is designed to let you minimise losses and achieve the improved energy efficiency you are striving for," relates Björkman.
    (Vacon Plc)
     
    24.11.2014   Lecta Continues Reducing its CWF Capacity and Foresees a More Positive Outlook for the ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... CWF Market in 2015

    In 2015 Lecta will continue shifting its coated woodfree capacity to specialty products and base paper, in keeping with changes implemented during 2014. During this two year period the reduction in coated woodfree paper capacity at the Group’s Spanish mills will reach a total of 100,000 tons.

    The drop in capacity is a consequence of the closure of the base paper mill in Uranga (February 2014) and the mill in Sarria de Ter (October 2014), an industrial reorganization process aimed at increasing the efficiency of our manufacturing systems and culminating with the startup of PM7 at the Zaragoza mill at the beginning of November and, lastly, investments in expanding production capacity of specialty papers.

    In addition to Lecta’s actions, European coated woodfree paper capacity as a whole has also dropped in 2014. As a result, a better balance between supply and demand has been achieved, and according to Lecta estimates, operating rates in the European coated woodfree market have been between 92% and 94% for several months in 2014.

    Further closures and shifts in production capacity have also been announced and are scheduled to take place in 2015, which would enable the coated woodfree industry to achieve an operating rate of over 93%. Rates such as these have not been observed in the past 20 years and would represent working at almost full capacity for the majority of the year.

    The improvement in supply and demand, with operating rates of above 90% expected over the upcoming years, would represent a turning point for the coated woodfree market, and overall a more favorable scenario for 2015.
    (Lecta Group)
     
    24.11.2014   Muller Martini to Concentrate on Print Finishing    ( Company news )

    Company news Owing to the low sales volumes, Muller Martini has decided to cease production of printing presses (photo) in the first half of 2015. Muller Martini will continue to provide service support for printing press customers worldwide in the future. As part of its strategic realignment, the company will focus on print finishing in the future.

    The substantial slump in the turnover in the printing presses segment over a prolonged period has triggered this decision. That loss in sales could only be partly absorbed in recent years, despite extensive periods of short-time work at the production site in Maulburg (Germany). The drastic contraction of the traditional market for forms printing presses over the past decades prompted the company to focus on new business segments in recent years. The aim was to establish size-variable web offset printing for labels and flexible packaging in the growing packaging market. “However, despite extensive investments and years of effort, the broad take-up of offset technology on the packaging market has only succeeded to a limited extent,” said Bruno Müller, CEO of Muller Martini. Since established business segments such as security and commercial printing could by no means make up for the loss in volume in recent years, the company believes that the chances of a successful turnaround from its own efforts alone are extremely slim. The search for suitable partners in the packaging market has also proven unsuccessful to date.

    Under those circumstances, Muller Martini has decided to discontinue the production of printing presses at Muller Martini Druckmaschinen GmbH in Maulburg (Germany) and to begin transferring the production site into a services company in order to secure the service support for installed machines. Up to 80 jobs may be affected by this step. Socially responsible solutions will be sought for those employees affected.
    (Müller Martini Marketing AG)
     
    24.11.2014   Chinese Vinda Ltd. boosts its capacity with several repeated orders to Toscotec S.p.A.    ( Company news )

    Company news In the last two years, the close partnership between the Hong Kong based giant tissue producer Vinda International Holdings Ltd's and the Italian leader tissue machinery Supplier Toscotec S.p.A., has delivered exceptional results: over 20 new TMs have been started up with a variety of models and drying configurations.
    This allowed the Vinda Group to double its production capacity reaching over 900,000 tpy tissue production.

    Established in 1985, Vinda Group has grown from a small private company into a leading manufacturer and branded provider of quality household paper products in the PRC and Hong Kong. Vinda is today the third largest hygiene paper manufacturer in the PRC, with excellent performance in customer loyalty and satisfaction. With 9 manufacturing plants strategically located in different parts of the country, it serves the entire PRC, Hong Kong and Macau and exports to Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Africa.

    The first orders placed by the Chinese producer in year 2012 featured Toscotec’s Modulo Plus ES, with 12 ft TT SYD, a compact, modular and cost-effective machine concept with superior energy saving features. The most recent orders were for Toscotec’s advanced, high-performance tissue machines, the Ahead 2.0 ES, with 18 ft SYD.

    The key to this continuous success is represented by the great advantages in energy savings granted by Toscotec’s state of the art technology and its “TT DOES” solution, the Drying Optimization for Energy Saving.
    TT DOES relies here, like in most of the orders secured to the Italian Supplier in China, exclusively on steam, the cost-effective energy source in the region, and delivers the lowest possible energy consumption.
    Through the wide application and fine tuning of this solution over the years, Toscotec has now achieved the lowest consumption figures of the tissue industry, matched with the highest machine performance and runnability.
    The increase in drying capacity translates directly into an increase in production output in the mill with an important side effect to reduce carbon footprint emissions.

    In China since 2003, in a few years Toscotec has established itself as a leading tissue machine supplier catering to top Chinese producers. This is also the result of the recent investment effort and major steps taken by the Lucca manufacturer in establishing a new organization in China, Toscotec Paper Machine (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
    Started up in 2012, the Shanghai-based affiliate operates as Toscotec’s Sales & Customer Care Center for the entire Asian market.
    (Toscotec S.p.A.)
     
    24.11.2014   Portucel results for Q32014    ( Company news )

    Company news Highlights 9M 2014
    Group reaches record paper output and increases sales volume by 3.3%, to 1.147 million tons
    • Despite drop in benchmark prices for pulp and paper, turnover held steady in relation to the same period last year, totalling 1,138 million euros
    • With free cash flow of € 200.3 million, the Group continues to demonstrate excellent cash generation capacity
    • Net debt remains at very conservative levels, with a Net Debt / Ebitda ratio of 0.9.

    Highlights 3rd Quarter 2014
    • Paper sales reach new high and grow 7.5%
    • Turnover up 2.4% to € 390.8 million
    • Strong performance in power generation and sales
    • Pulp prices stable, but paper prices evolved negatively
    • Excellent Q3 cash flow generation to €81.1 million

    1. Analysis of Results
    9 Months 2014 vs. 9 Months 2013
    Against a background of falling pulp and paper prices, the Portucel Group has maintained stable turnover, at € 1,138 million. The robust volume of paper sales recorded over the first 9 months of the year offset the negative impact of falling pulp and paper prices.
    In uncoated woodfree (UWF) paper business, despite negative price trends, strong growth in the sale volume resulted in an increase in the value of sales of 1.3%. Paper sales were up by 3.3%, whilst the average price dipped 1.9%. In terms of cut-size, the Group´s price
    declined 1.4%, performing better than the A4 B-Copy index, which fell by 2.4%, as a result of the price increase implemented during the second quarter and maintained throughout the third.
    As was to be expected, considering the scale of the new capacity coming on to the market, eucalyptus pulp prices in the first nine months of 2014 compare unfavourably with the same period last year, and the PIX BHKP benchmark price in euros was down by 9%. Prices
    slipped downwards for the entire first half of 2014, with a reversal in this trend in the last two months, as a result of USD rising against the euro, reflected in a 2.9% rise in the PIX BHKP index from August to September. The Group's sales volume was also down by 6.6%,
    as a result of increased incorporation of pulp in paper and the planned production stoppage at the Setúbal pulp mill. In this environment, the reduction in the sales volume combined with lower prices resulted in a drop of around 18% in the value of pulp sales.
    In energy, output performed well, growing by 2.2% and standing at 1,783 GWh for the first nine months of 2014. Sales progressed in line with output, standing at 1,627 GWh.
    However, sales prices fell by around 2.2%, due essentially to the drop in the ALBm (Arabian Light Breakeven mean) over the period. This overturned the effect of growth in volume, and the Group recorded power sales of approximately € 174 million.

    On the cost side, the Group recorded an improvement in personnel expenditure (due fundamentally to adjustment of the estimate for holiday pay and allowances), as well as lower costs for chemicals, in line with developments over the first half. Noteworthy, although wood prices over this period compare poorly with those in the same period in 2013, market conditions have picked up slightly in the last few months, and this trend is expected to continue throughout the end of the year.
    In this context, the Group recorded EBITDA of € 238.7 million, down by around 8%, generating an EBITDA / Sales margin of 21%.
    Operating income totalled € 164 million, as compared with approximately 183.7 million recorded in the same period last year.
    The Group recorded net financial loss of € 24.6 million, up by € 9 million, due essentially to increased borrowing costs, as a result of renegotiation of its debt in 2013. In May 2013, Portucel issued bonds on the international markets with a value of € 350 million, extending
    the maturity of its debt and improving its liquidity, but at the same time increasing the associated costs. The worsening in financial results was also due to a substantial reduction in returns from the investment of cash surpluses.
    Net income stood at € 133.1 million, representing a reduction of 11.1%. As recorded in the first half, the effective tax rate for the first half was significantly lower than the rate of tax for the first nine months of 2013, thanks to the release of provisions which proved not to be necessary.

    3rd Quarter vs 2nd Quarter 2014
    Portucel closed the 3rd quarter with growth of 2.4% in turnover, a positive result in view of seasonal factors affecting this period. This growth is explained essentially by a significant increase in paper sales, although energy sales also made a positive contribution to this strong performance.
    UWF sales totalled 405 thousand tons, a figure which compares extremely favourably with equivalent quarters, and represents growth of 7.5% over the previous quarter. The increase in sales volume made it possible to offset the drop in average paper prices, and sales grew in value by 3%.
    In pulp, after a fairly positive second quarter, the sales volume dropped by 12.3%, although the Group's sales price performed well. This was due in part to an improvement in market prices (the PIX index rose by 0.3% thanks to the positive impact of the EUR/USD exchange rate towards the end of the quarter) and also to an increase in sales on traditional markets in Europe, with more demanding quality standards but also higher returns.
    As already mentioned, power business performed well, in terms of both volume and the sales price. Expanding sales were due to increased power generation by the co-generation units at the Figueira da Foz site during the 3rd quarter, whilst output in the 2nd quarter had
    been hit by a series of production stoppages. These production stoppages also had a negative effect on the sales price in the 2nd quarter. Over the subsequent months, energy prices improved, benefiting from upward movement in the benchmark index, and from the
    strength of the dollar against the euro during September. As a result, sales to the national grid grew by 5.1% and the average sales price rose by 2.9%, meaning that the value of power sales was up by more than 8%.

    2. Market Analysis
    a) Pulp business
    The soft landing observed in the eucalyptus pulp market as from mid-2013 continued into the 3rd quarter of 2014. As reported above, the supply of eucalyptus pulp has grown systematically during 2014, with new capacity coming on to the market as a series of large scale projects in South America move into production, at a faster rate than market demand is able to absorb.
    This gradually pushed down market prices over the period, with the quarterly average for the benchmark PIX index for Europe standing at USD 729, as compared to USD 751 in the second quarter, and USD 794 in the third quarter last year. However, especially over the course of
    September, this trend was countered by the strength of the dollar against the euro, leading to higher prices in euros.
    Another significant development was that, at the end of the 3rd quarter, the price difference between the two fibres in the PIX index - NBSK long fibre and BHKP short fibre - widened to a maximum level of USD 206. This differential is expected to accelerate the effect of fibre substitution, with a positive impact on the price of hardwood pulp.
    The Chinese market remains the crucial factor on the demand side. According to PPPC W-100 data, total demand from this market (figures through to August 2014) stood at 10.2 million tons, up by 380 thousand tons (3.9%) in relation to the same period last year. This growth in
    demand for pulp has been concentrated essentially in eucalyptus fibre pulp, up by 470 thousand tons, to the detriment of demand for other pulp types, in particular long fibre pulp.
    Rising consumption in the Chinese market (+0.9%) has been decisive, offsetting poorer performance in other markets, such as North America (-0.7%) and Western Europe (-1.5%).
    The Group's BEKP pulp sales in the 3rd quarter of 2014 stood at 66 thousand tons, down from the figure recorded in the same period in 2013, but at the level which was expected, considering the schedule of maintenance stoppages at its mills.

    b) Paper business
    Overall, apparent UWF consumption in Europe grew by approximately 1% over the first 9 months of 2014. This growth in apparent demand was sustained by supply from European manufacturers, more than offsetting the reduction in imports. Special attention should be drawn to the performance of UWF printing paper, where the sales volume was up after several years of declining figures.
    However, over the course of the third quarter, and after four quarters of consistent growth, consumption cooled off slightly, and this was particularly visible in the slower pace of new orders from European customers.
    The European industry recorded a capacity utilization rate of approximately 91%, one percentage point up from the same period in 2013. Throughout the period, order books in the UWF industry were stronger than in 2013, although they fell off towards the end of the third quarter, as a result of the reduction in new orders already mentioned.
    In this context, the main market index for UWF prices in Europe (PIX Copy B), which had been on a downwards course since 2012, enjoyed a period of recovery with prices rising in April 2014.
    In the US, the sharp reduction in local UWF production capacity failed to offset the drop in demand and booming imports from Asia in down-market segments, with imports rising from 13% to 17% of total North American consumption. As a result, the expected upwards
    movement in prices never materialised, and the main benchmark index for the sector (Risi 20lb cut-size, 92 bright) stagnated in relation to the same period in 2013.
    In this environment, the Group was able to set a new record for paper sales in the first nine months of the year, boosted by growth of 3% in the sales volume on European markets.

    The main engine of growth in volumes sold was once again the Group's premium product range, strengthening its position as the leading European manufacturer of UWF paper, most especially in product segments offering higher value added. The Group's own brands again
    recorded growth of 3% worldwide and in Europe. Navigator continued to record impressive growth, up 5% around the world and 6% in Europe, once again achieving levels of penetration and brand recognition unrivalled in the industry.
    This momentum in European sales allowed the Group to further expand its share in European markets.
    Thanks to the quality of its products and the success of its brands, the Group's prices outperformed the market by up to 3 percentage points in Europe, and 5 percentage points in the United States.

    Outlook
    The performance of the world's main economies, and increasingly that of the emerging economies, remains the crucial factor in determining trends on the pulp and paper markets.
    The absence of growth in Europe, the fragility of the recovery in the US economy and the economic and political challenges facing the emerging countries contribute to a scenario of uncertainty and volatility in the markets.
    The US economy has yet to show clear signs of a solid recovery, and the recently increased strength of the US dollar could hamper the country's growth. A less strong euro may be expected to have a positive impact on European growth which, combined with the retention of recent monetary stimuli, might bring new momentum to this area, serving to counter the growing risks of deflation. In the emerging markets, and especially in China, no strong signs of growth are expected, a situation aggravated by the political and social instability affecting various globe areas, and particularly those where fossil fuels are produced.
    Therefore, signs of uncertainty persist around the world, with an inevitable impact on the pulp and paper sector. However, the BEKP pulp market is expected to continue to demonstrate a degree of resilience, not only because of the robust demand in the Chinese market, but also
    due to the recent evolution of the euro/dollar exchange rate, which has caused pulp prices in euros to rise. Likewise, the historically high spread between long and short fibre public prices will continue to result in substitution by short fibre in certain paper sectors.
    At the same time, expectations of the tissue paper segment remain positive, with interesting levels of growth in the emerging economies such as China, Turkey and Latin America, which should help to maintain a dynamic pulp market.
    In the UWF paper market, despite the market cooling off over the quarter, the Group succeeded in maintaining a strong sales volume. Over the months ahead, order books are expected to stay in line with the same period in 2013, albeit with a slight slowdown in paper
    demand in the Group's traditional markets.
    In this context, the Group will continue to operate at full production capacity, thanks to the perception of the excellent quality of its value proposition, strong penetration and awareness ratings for its own brands, as well as ongoing efforts to expand its markets, as the Group continues to search out new development opportunities consistent with its strict criteria for returns and risk.
    (Portucel Empresa Produtora de Pasta e Papel SA Setúbal Pulp and Paper Mill)
     
    24.11.2014   KURITA TO ACQUIRE ALUMINIUM, PAPER CHEMICALS AND WATER TREATMENT ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...BUSINESSES (APW) FROM ICL

    -ICL’s Performance Products segment to divest its Germany-based APW business as part of ICL’s strategy to focus on its core businesses in agriculture, food and engineered materials -

    Photo: Mr. Stefan Borgas, President & CEO of ICL

    KuritaWater Industries Ltd.(“Kurita” (TSE: 6370), Japan's leading water treatment company in the industrial field, engaged in the provision of water treatment chemicals, water treatment facilities and maintenance services, and ICL (NYSE andTASE: ICL), a global manufacturer of products based on specialty minerals that fulfil essential needs of the world’s growing population in the agriculture, processed food and engineered materials markets,today announced that they have entered into an asset purchase agreement forKurita’s acquisition ofICL’s Performance Products segment’s (“ICL PP”) APW business units based in Ludwigshafen and Düsseldorf, Germany, as well as at additional ICL PP venues in Europe and China.

    The transaction will be for consideration of approximately €250 million. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur at the end of 2014, subject to the completion of certain conditions precedent, including receipt of approvalsby authorities, as well as the agreement of a minimum number of APW employees to become employees of Kurita.

    The APW business units produce active ingredients, formulations and customized water treatment solutions for use by industries and municipalities. The agreement includes Kurita’s purchase of ICL PP’s chemical additives business for the paper industry and related aluminium compounds produced by ICL PP at its facilities located in Ludwigshafenand Düsseldorf, Germany,as well as at additional ICL PP venues in Europe and China.

    The purchase of the APW business is in line with Kurita's growth strategy. The combination of ICL’s Water Solutions business with Kurita's water technologies will help Kurita develop a more advanced platform to collectively build a global footprint. The Paper Solutions business will accelerate Kurita's expansion ofits product offering into new markets through existing relationships. The Alumina Compounds business’ technologies for inorganic coagulant,together with Kurita’s sensing technologies, will enableKurita to provide optimal solutions for alumina coagulant to new and existing customers.

    Commenting on the acquisition, Toshiyuki Nakai, President of Kurita said, “Through this transaction, Kurita acquires APW's diverse product portfolio and broad customer base in Europe, as well as other regions. Combining Kurita's existing customer base, which is mainly in Japan and the Asia region, with APW’s customer base, will further strengthen Kurita's overseas business platform. APW's experienced sales force and long-term relationship with blue chip customers in Europe will support Kurita’s ambition to become a leading global player. In addition, Kurita views APW’s technologies and products as highly complementary with those of Kurita, and believes that various synergies will be generated through the development of new products and services which will contribute to Kurita’s mid to long-term growth."

    The sale of the APW business units is part of ICL’s ‘Next Step Forward’ strategy launched in late 2013. The strategy calls for ICL to divest its non-core businesses to focus on its core businesses in the agriculture, food and engineered materials markets and to optimize its positioning in those markets. The products manufactured by the APW businesses sold to Kurita were not based on ICL's core minerals.

    Commenting on the sale of the APW business units, ICL President & CEO, Stefan Borgas, stated, “ICL is executing its strategy by focusing on its core business, and it will use the proceeds from the sale of APW, as well as from the divestment of additional non-core assets, to strengthen ICL’s core businesses in the agriculture, food and engineered materials markets, pursue operational excellence, build out ICL’s distinctive mineral assets and technologies, and expand our global presence, especially in emerging markets. We are gratified to enter into an agreement to sell our APW business units to a highly suitable company such as Kurita. This transaction is opportune not only for ICL and Kurita, but also for APW’s dedicated and talented team of employees.”

    Eli Glazer, CEO ICL Performance Products Europe & Asia Pacific,added: “In divesting a non-core, yet solid business like APW, ICL PP was dedicated to identifying a purchaser that is engaged in similar activities as is APW, that intends to expand APW’sbusiness and that will continue to operateAPW’s business at its existing manufacturing sites. We are delighted that Kurita meets all of those criteria. During the past several years, APW’s dedicated team of managers and employees in Germany and around the worldhave done an excellent job of developingand building APW’s business. They will be an essential component in Kurita’s growth plans for APW, and I trust that the APW team will find satisfaction working for an entity with fully compatible business activities and goals. We wish them the best of luck in the future.”
    (ICL Headquarters)
     
    24.11.2014   Secure packaging - a weapon against counterfeit medicines     ( Company news )

    Company news The Smedpack research collaboration is going to produce security solutions which prevent counterfeit medicines entering the legal distribution chain. The new packaging concept will make it easier for consumers to distinguish genuine products from fake ones.
    Counterfeit medicines are a growing global problem which is putting people's lives at danger and compromising security. One factor contributing to the counterfeiting problem is the lack of cooperation throughout the distribution chain from producer to consumer. The fact that many people are now choosing to buy medicines online means that the stage where all controls take place is also disappearing, leaving responsibility with the consumer. However, despite the fact that the majority of the medicines which are currently sold online are counterfeit, not many people check that the seller is an approved pharmacy.

    Photo: The self-collapsing packaging demonstrator is one of the demonstrators developed the Smedpack project. On the picture we see designer Alexandra Denton and material scientist Hjalmar Granberg.

    Smedpack is a collaborative project which will contribute to counteracting counterfeit medicines through concepts for secure pharmaceutical packaging. The concepts might consist of secure seals, elements with unique serial numbers, apps or other solutions which make it easier for users in different parts of the chain to check the genuineness of pharmaceutical packaging. The ambition is for the solutions to be industrially realisable, and that they will represent new commercial opportunities which will produce export revenue.

    The project has aroused considerable interest from the public as well as from the business world, and is now receiving an additional 7 million from Vinnova to take the step from concept to commercial solutions. The collaboration, which is coordinated by the Innventia research institute, involves some 30 partners. They include companies throughout the entire value chain from materials manufacturers and logistics to pharmacies, as well as authorities, universities and interest organisations. In the new, so-called third stage, great importance is placed on internationalisation issues, which is why including partners such as the Swedish Customs Service and the Police Authority is of major significance to the project.

    Since its inception in 2012, Smedpack has looked at around 40 different concepts. Of these, three demonstrators of security solutions have been produced in conjunction with designers and companies producing flexible packaging, cardboard box manufacturers and manufacturers of plastic containers. The solutions, which have been developed with security in mind, can also have positive bioeffects in the form of better ergonomics in hospitals.

    "Collaboration throughout the entire value chain is crucial in identifying weak points and arriving at solutions. It is gratifying to note that our method of working has also generated growth through new collaborative constellations and business transactions", says project manager Erik Blohm, Innventia.
    (Innventia AB)
     
    24.11.2014   Networked manufacturing: With integrated machine communication, factories ...    ( LIGNA 2015 )

    LIGNA 2015 ... of all sizes can achieve maximum Efficiency

    Picture: Today’s furniture production lines can go from raw particle board to fully finished one-off product in just four hours. What’s more, that one-off piece of furniture is just one of millions of possible product variants that the customer can choose from and that the manufacturer can produce with equal ease and efficiency

    Like their counterparts in many other sectors, furniture manufacturers are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution. There’s still a way to go before they achieve the intelligent, self-organizing factories of Industry 4.0, but their production cycles are much simpler and shorter than ever before – irrespective of production run size. This is due mainly to the rapid rate of development and innovation in control systems and software. Networking, digital integration, robotics and auto-ID technology all have a key part in this.

    Today’s furniture production lines can go from raw particle board to fully finished one-off product in just four hours. What’s more, that one-off piece of furniture is just one of millions of possible product variants that the customer can choose from and that the manufacturer can produce with equal ease and efficiency. Initially wary of the cost implications of this inexorable trend towards product individualization, furniture manufacturers are now reassured by the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the production solutions available. Today’s furniture production lines combine the twin benefits of high capacity and extreme flexibility. The production machinery and equipment is modular, so that plants can easily be scaled up as the manufacturer’s business grows. This modularity means that workpieces can proceed reliably and rapidly through production chains that comprise any number of stations and steps, from planning and work preparation, to cutting, sizing, edge-banding and CNC machining, right through to assembly and packaging.

    These integrated systems are made possible by interoperable software modules that are compatible with the data interfaces of the various CNC machines and which ensure a continuous and seamless flow of both parts and information. Using these hardware and software modules, the manufacturer has total flexibility in terms of system configuration. Set-ups involving 100 CNC axes are not uncommon. And there are modules available for practically any process that’s required. Storage and transport modules can rapidly transport wood panels to any storage location and just as quickly retrieve and ready them for processing on an upstream CNC center. Still other modules can automatically collect offcuts as they arise and transport them back into storage. There are even machine-unloading software modules that tell the human operator or robot where to place workpieces in readiness for the next processing step. There is also a whole class of optimization software that minimizes material consumption and maximizes material yield by enhancing all kinds of processes – everything from production planning to cutting and machine management.

    Today’s integrated furniture manufacturing plants also rely heavily on parts logistics systems than span the entire process chain. For example, automated saw-storage combinations are now used to pre-pick materials from storage, keep track of inventory and ensure optimal material resource management. The software that manages these combinations selects between several hundred different panel types depending on the order. It can also analyze the efficiency of the storage and warehousing system and generate suggestions for improvements.

    In terms of workpiece tracking and tracing, auto ID technologies are now the solutions of choice for all kinds of wood-based industries, from furniture manufacturing to window construction. Options here include scanner-readable printed barcode labels that automate the programming of processing machines by “telling them” the sequence in which various parts should be processed and how they should be processed. RFID technology is another auto ID option that offers greater information density. RFID can work with barcode labels and with transponders implanted in workpieces. The transponders can be tracked through the entire process chain and can be used to manage all plant process parameters. The auto ID data is typically linked to the manufacturer’s ERP system, where they are automatically cross-referenced and updated. To give an example, modern liquid surface treatment plants use auto ID technology to automatically select colors, control drying temperatures and feed rates, and load color formulas.

    Of course, Industry 4.0 is not the exclusive domain of machinery manufacturers. Tool manufacturers, too, have embraced the trend. Increasingly, they are providing innovative tool management systems. These include software applications that enable users to quickly and reliably prepare tool consumption and cost analyses and service life projections.

    Among the new developments already on the market are the first machine control architectures that use integrated learning systems and digital product memory to realize customer-specific requirements. In the not-too-distant future, planners and architects will be able to send their designs directly to the furniture factory, which will then automatically execute them to create one-off productions. Workpiece processing decisions which today are still made by human operators will very soon be made autonomously by intelligent machines. The whole process flow will be supported and driven by data, resulting in transparent, seamless and reliable integration.

    To discover the current state of the art in digitally integrated furniture production, don’t miss LIGNA 2015. The show runs from 11 to 15 May in Hannover, Germany.
    (Deutsche Messe AG )
     
    21.11.2014   Cascades wins an EnviroLys Award    ( Company news )

    Company news Cascades is proud to announce that it has won the Innovation and Environmental Protection Award presented last Monday at the fifth edition of the EnviroLys Gala organized by the Conseil des entreprises en technologies environnementales du Québec (CETEQ). The award recognizes companies in the environmental services industry for their innovative approach, new services, new processes or a new technology that has a positive impact on the environment.

    Cascades presented Respak (photo), the ecological answer to the environmental challenge of polycoated packaging products. Manufactured at its boxboard plant in Jonquière and developed in collaboration with its Research Centre in Kingsey Falls , Respak is designed primarily for the food and food services industries. It is recyclable and compostable, without compromising on the performance and durability characteristic of traditional polycoated packaging. Made from 50% recycled fibres, Respak has a unique and revolutionary barrier that repels water, oil and grease just as efficiently as ordinary polycoated cardboard. According to the results of a preliminary life cycle assessment, Respak's environmental impact is 50% less than that of the polycoated cardboard currently in use.

    "We are pleased that Cascades' ongoing efforts to green up the industry have once again been recognized," said Carl Blanchet , Director of Innovation at Cascades. "The development of Respak goes hand in hand with the Company's values of respect for the environment and innovation that have made Cascades a leader in eco-friendly packaging for 50 years."

    Respak complies with the main food safety standards, including those established by the Food and Drug Administration for packaging that comes in contact with dry, aqueous and fatty foods. Elemental chlorine free (ECF)- and FSC ® -certified, this innovation from Cascades has a bright future on the food packaging market.
    (Cascades Inc.)
     
    21.11.2014   Ricoh's Customer Experience Centre Signals a new dawn in Production Printing    ( Company news )

    Company news Ricoh Europe is welcoming the dawn of a new era in print production with the opening of the Ricoh Customer Experience Centre in Telford, UK. At the new centre, Ricoh will showcase the breadth of technologies and capabilities its solutions deliver to the print production market.

    For the first time in Europe, the centre brings together Ricoh’s breadth of knowledge, and experience in production printing, lean manufacturing and inkjet development in one single location, as well as an impressive portfolio of products, solutions and services. Including, its newest additions. Print professionals are now able to assess and test:

    • The Ricoh Pro™ VC60000 continuous feed production inkjet platform designed to produce direct mail, books and marketing materials using Ricoh’s own inkjet heads and unique multi drop on demand ink jetting technology for first class quality on a range of substrates;

    • The Ricoh Pro™ C9100 series of durable colour cut sheet high volume digital presses suited for larger commercial printers seeking to start up or expand their hybrid digital and offset workflow; and

    • The Ricoh Pro™ C7100X series of digital colour cut sheet presses, equipped with a fifth colour station allowing applications with clear gloss or white, offering print services providers significant additional revenue opportunities.

    The new facility also features recent software releases such as TotalFlow BatchBuilder, an easy-to-adopt, hardware-agnostic production management tool designed to allow print jobs to be batched together in the most efficient manner. TotalFlow BatchBuilder is the latest member of Ricoh’s software family that includes a variety of solutions to streamline and control print production, including Ricoh ProcessDirector and the TotalFlow production management suite

    “This end-to-end print production centre of excellence is designed to bring together and make available Ricoh’s wealth of expertise and experience in production printing and manufacturing,” states Peter Williams, Executive Vice President, Head of Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Europe. “This will not only help existing clients to evaluate new applications, substrates and more, but it also shows them the breadth of offerings from Ricoh that can help them improve both productivity and profitability.”

    The centre demonstrates Ricoh’s leadership and commitment to the European and worldwide print production markets and showcases its manufacturing excellence across a variety of disciplines. It features toner and inkjet technologies in cut sheet, continuous feed and wide format systems and is a test laboratory for software, media, digital front ends and inkjet technology. Specialists are also available to consult on lean and green manufacturing, waste management, and kaizen methodology to optimise print factories. It is also a knowledge centre that will help to ensure that Ricoh remains ahead of continually changing market challenges and needs, enabling emerging opportunities to be optimised for clients and for the company.

    Along with industry-leading new additions to Ricoh’s product portfolio, the centre also features Ricoh’s tried and tested solutions such as the InfoPrint 5000 continuous feed inkjet system, the Ricoh Pro™ 8100 monochrome digital press series, the Ricoh Pro™ C5100 digital colour cut sheet production solution and the Ricoh Pro™ L4100 wide format colour printer series. To ensure that visitors can experience a complete range of solutions for a seamless, end-to-end workflow, Ricoh is also proud to be featuring third-party solutions from valued partners that integrate into a variety of production workflows. The existing European Media Qualification Centre, already located in Telford, is expanding to include media for continuous feed inkjet and wide format in addition to the qualification process that is already underway in the cut sheet arena. In addition, the new European Inkjet Technical Centre that opened in April has also extended the range of technical services available from the Telford site.

    Dr Williams expands: “Our entire production printing line is integrated under the ‘smart factory’ concept, connected for maximum innovation, productivity and efficiency. This includes Ricoh solutions and those from our partners in digital front ends, software and finishing. The Ricoh Customer Experience Centre at Telford is the place for European clients to explore, test and confirm the optimum solutions mixes for their businesses, while also providing an important venue for testing of a variety of new offerings and applications that can provide competitive differentiation in a dynamic market. It brings together all of Ricoh’s production print hardware, software, services and partners with the aim of helping print services providers identify solutions to their key pain points. Our comprehensive product portfolio provides them with a multitude of choices that can be assessed to create the best possible tailored solution and the Ricoh expertise to help them make the best decisions for their businesses.”
    (Ricoh Europe PLC)
     
    21.11.2014   Fujifilm sets new standards in short run digital printing with the launch of its next generation ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...Jet Press 720S B2 digital inkjet press (photo)

    Key developments include an enhanced business model, better quality and consistency, simpler operation, optimised production uptime and advanced variable data capabilities

    Fujifilm announces the launch of its next generation B2 sheet-fed digital inkjet press, the Jet Press 720S. Featuring a number of key enhancements, the press sets a new standard in digital printing in terms of quality and consistency, production uptime, personalisation and variable data, and application flexibility. And, with an improved business model, the Jet Press 720S is set to transform the world of short run commercial printing.

    In the rapidly changing print industry, shorter runs, faster turnarounds and print-on-demand are now all standard requirements for print service providers. However, commercial pressures mean that optimising production processes by, for example, minimising downtime due to maintenance, and creating a differentiated service offering are rapidly becoming the difference between success and failure in this market. Fujifilm’s Jet Press 720S B2 digital inkjet press can help printers overcome these challenges and establish a differentiated and compelling service offering in a highly competitive market.

    a) A new standard in print quality and consistency
    The Jet Press 720 was renowned for its ability to produce the best digital print quality in the industry, and the Jet Press 720S builds on this reputation. The SAMBA™ printheads – the industry’s most advanced single pass printhead technology – can achieve native resolutions of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi. The Jet Press 720S features a new generation of SAMBA™ printhead, with each B2 width print bar built up of 17 individually replaceable modular printheads, each with 2,048 nozzles. The print bar also takes advantage of unique VersaDrop™ technology, allowing the size and shape of each ink drop to be precisely controlled and placed on the paper. This guarantees high print quality and consistency, with no on-press tweaks necessary.
    In addition, the Jet Press 720S benefits from a number of adjustments that maximise the consistency and ease with which ultra-high quality print can be achieved, reducing operator time and involvement. Modifications have been made to the ink jetting, print drum surface and paper vacuum control, which enhance all aspects of quality, but in particular reduce paper deformation in highly inked areas.
    Print quality is monitored via a CCD sensor, which scans every sheet and makes necessary alterations to the way the ink is discharged from the printheads. In the Jet Press 720S, the proprietary In-Line Sensor (ILS) system is mounted immediately after printing, which means it can detect and correct any nozzle and ink deposition inconsistencies in real time, and make the necessary adjustments sheet by sheet.
    Finally, Fujifilm’s high performance water-based VIVIDIA inks, which have been developed to match the SAMBA™ printheads, deliver vibrant colours, extraordinary fine text, excellent skin tones and incredible flat tints on the widest range of standard offset paper. The inks have been further refined for the Jet Press 720S, optimising the combined performance criteria of quality, drying and ink rub-off from sheet to sheet which, when combined with a new drying system, result in sheets that emerge from the press either dry enough to re-work immediately, or soon after printing. The VIVIDIA inks also retain the de-inking and Toy Approval characteristics of those in the Jet Press 720.

    b) Enhanced variable data handling capabilities
    The Jet Press 720S features a completely new system for handling variable data and personalisation. Although it is a single sided machine, it takes advantage of a system that prints a barcode in the non-image area of every sheet immediately after the paper leaves the input sheet stacker. Once the first side has been printed, the sheets are turned over and loaded into the stacker again. The press reads the barcode on every sheet as it leaves the stacker and downloads the correct page information before it prints the second side, guaranteeing front and back page matching. This can all be achieved at the full press speed of 2,700 B2 sheets per hour.
    This feature allows variable data printing and personalisation on a single sided press, but also means versioned applications are much easier to print, or that applications can be printed in page order to simplify print finishing or post print logistics.

    c) Maximum press uptime
    The Jet Press 720S has been built as a workhorse production press with maximum uptime to produce high quality, short run print all day, every day. The advancements include a modified mechanism to feed paper onto the drum, a sophisticated paper height safety detection system to reduce the risk of paper jams, and a significantly enhanced printhead cleaning regime.
    Data handling developments have also been introduced on the Jet Press 720S which speed up job setup and download, thanks to the combination of the power of Fujifilm’s XMF Workflow and the introduction of new high capacity data servers. XMF Workflow provides an intelligent job queue that controls the imposition, workflow automation and all aspects of colour management automatically.
    Finally, the introduction of new modular printheads significantly reduces the necessity for system downtime and minimises breaks in production for press maintenance.

    d) A new business model
    Thanks to a number of technical and manufacturing advancements, Fujifilm has been able to modify the business model and open up the opportunities this press brings to a much wider range of commercial printers. As a result, a wide variety of applications such as coffee table books, photography portfolios, brochures, variable data direct mail, book covers, calendars and art posters can be printed on the Jet Print 720S to generate new revenue streams for forward-thinking print providers.

    Takashi Yanagawa, senior vice president, FUJIFILM Europe GmbH comments: “Digital print has come a long way in the last twenty years, with inkjet technologies now coming of age in their ability to transform commercial printing. However, the commercialisation of these technologies is a long road that many companies are on. Within Fujifilm, we have been at the forefront of these technological developments since 2004, and we are delighted to be launching a next generation B2 inkjet press.”
    He concludes: “Within the commercial printing market, the ever increasing competitive pressures to improve efficiencies and diversify, combined with a market dynamic where run lengths are decreasing every day, mean there is growing interest in new B2 digital presses. Our next generation Jet Press 720S leads the market in terms of quality, reliability, press uptime and application flexibility, thanks to our industry-leading inkjet technologies, and sets new standards in digital printing. Combined with a new business model, we are excited about the future and look forward to explaining to commercial printers how this press can help transform their businesses.”
    (Fujifilm Europe GmbH)
     
    21.11.2014   Verso Paper Corp. Reports Third Quarter 2014 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news NewPage Acquisition Still on Track for Fourth Quarter 2014 Closing

    Photo: David Paterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Verso

    Verso Paper Corp. (NYSE: VRS) reported financial results for the third quarter
    and nine months ended September 30, 2014. Results for the quarters
    ended September 30, 2014 and 2013 include:
    • Net sales of $350.2 million in the third quarter of 2014 compared to $374.9 million in the third quarter of 2013.
    • Operating income of $14.5 million in the third quarter of 2014 compared to $24.7 million in the third quarter of 2013.
    • Adjusted EBITDA before pro forma effects of profitability program of $40.5 million in the third quarter of 2014, compared to $50.6 million in the third quarter of 2013 (Note: Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure and is defined and reconciled to net income later in
    this release).

    Overview
    Verso’s net sales for the third quarter of 2014 decreased $24.7 million, or 6.6%, compared to the third quarter of 2013, reflecting a 2.7% decrease in average sales price per ton and a 4.0% decline in total sales volume. Prices for pulp and coated paper declined year over year, while our specialty grade pricing remained flat.

    “During the third quarter we experienced our seasonal uptick in coated paper volumes versus the second quarter and pricing increased over the previous quarter,” said David Paterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Verso. “Our market pulp volumes were lower as we took an annual maintenance outage in the third quarter versus an outage in the second quarter last year. We continued to achieve favorable input prices, primarily for energy, compared to last quarter as well as
    last year's levels. We ended the quarter with inventory balances below prior quarter and prior year levels.
    “Subsequent to quarter end, we announced the difficult decision to close our mill in Bucksport, Maine. We are committed to helping the Bucksport mill employees who will be affected by the closure.
    “As we look to close out the year, we continue to focus on the safety of our people, managing working capital, and continuing efforts to close the proposed acquisition of NewPage.”


    Net Sales
    Net sales for the third quarter of 2014 decreased 6.6% to $350.2 million from $374.9 million in the third quarter of 2013, reflecting a
    2.7% decrease in average sales price per ton and a 4.0% decline in total sales volume.
    Net sales for our coated papers segment decreased 10.7% in the third quarter of 2014 to $261.5 million from $292.8 million for the same period in 2013, due to a 6.9% decrease in paper sales volume and a
    4.1% decline in average sales price per ton. The declines in sales volume and price were driven by declining demand for coated papers.
    Net sales for our market pulp segment decreased 8.5% in the third quarter of 2014 to $36.8 million from $40.1 million for the same period in 2013. Sales volume declined 7.3% as we took an annual maintenance outage in the third quarter versus an outage in the second quarter last year. The average sales price per ton decreased 1.4%
    compared to the third quarter of 2013.
    Net sales for our other segment increased 24.0% to $51.9 million in
    third quarter of 2014 from $42.0 million in the third quarter of 2013. The overall increase was driven by a 24.3% increase in sales volume, while the average sales price per ton remained flat.

    Cost of sales
    Cost of sales, including depreciation, amortization, and depletion, was
    $317.9 million in the third quarter of 2014 compared to $332.1 million
    in 2013. Our gross margin, excluding depreciation, amortization, and depletion, was 15.8% for the third quarter of 2014 and 18.4% for the
    third quarter of 2013. The decline in gross margin is primarily attributable to a non-cash trademark impairment charge of $6.3 million
    recorded in the third quarter of 2014. Depreciation, amortization, and depletion expenses were $23.1 million for the third quarter of 2014 compared to $26.3 million for the third quarter of 2013.

    Selling, general, and administrative
    Selling, general, and administrative expenses were $17.8 million in the
    third quarter of 2014 compared to $18.0 million for the third quarter of 2013.

    Interest expense
    Interest expense for the third quarter of 2014 was $36.7 million compared to $34.4 million for the same period in 2013.

    Other loss, net
    Other loss, net for the third quarter of 2014 was $14.0 million and reflected costs incurred in connection with the NewPage acquisition. Other loss, net of $0.1 million for the same period in 2013 reflected losses related to debt refinancing.
    (Verso Paper Corp.)
     
    21.11.2014   EUROPAC RECORDS NET PROFIT OF 13 MILLION EUROS    ( Company news )

    Company news The Board of Directors of the Europac Group (Papeles y Cartones de Europa, S.A.) approved the results for the third quarter of 2014, which were lower than those recorded a year ago as a result of the economic impact of the energy reform and the maintenance and investment stops in the paper machines.

    -Aggregate sales amounted to 790.76 million euros, while EBITDA stood at 73.41 million euros.
    -These results suffered as a result of the energy reform carried out in Spain and the maintenance and investment stops at the paper factories over the period.
    -The stability of the sales volume of paper and the rally in prices allow us to forecast an improvement in results over the coming quarters

    In this context, aggregate sales in the first nine months were 2% down on those of the previous year, amounting to 790.76 million euros. Recurring and consolidated EBITDA fell by 10% and 12%, recording 73.41 million euros and 67.66 million euros respectively. In this period, EBIT stood at 32.63 million euros and net profit amounted to 13.1 million euros.
    Enrique Isidro, CEO of Europac, highlights that "the economic impact of the energy reform carried out in Spain, which in annual terms will amount to 14.55 million euros, is being absorbed by the performance of the business lines". The chief executive also indicated that "the losses in volume as a result of the stops of the paper machines have been one-off events, and the market is developing positively, which allows us to forecast an improvement in results in the coming months."
    In this regard, Enrique Isidro highlighted "the continuity of the improvement in the margins of recycled and Kraftliner paper, and the positive trend of the margin of the packaging business over this year".

    BUSINESS PERFORMANCE IN 9M2014
    PAPER
    Despite the maintenance stop in July, the sales volume at the Kraftliner paper factory in Viana do Castelo is in line with that of the first nine months of 2013 thanks to the stock management carried out. The product price rallied in September following the fall at the start of the year. The weakness in prices which harmed the business's EBITDA has not had a negative impact on unit margins thanks to the efficiency in managing production costs.
    There was an improvement in the EBITDA of recycled paper of close to 60% due to the increase in the contribution margin and a more favourable market situation despite the maintenance stop in Rouen and the investment stop in Dueñas. The Palencia factory sold the first tonnes of coated paper in September.
    In addition, the price stability together with the availability of recovered paper in Europe will lead to a fall in the cost of the raw material in a context of stocks of finished products at minimum operating levels.

    CORRUGATED BOARD AND PACKAGING
    In the packaging business, in the context of the improvement in the volume and sales prices compared with the first nine months of 2013, the ongoing recovery in the sales margin and in EBITDA in every market since last year continues. However, even though EBITDA rose by over 54%, the business's margin has the potential for significant improvement.

    OTHER BUSINESSES
    In the waste management business line, the sales volume rose by 7%, which together with the improvement in margins, led to an increase in EBITDA. In addition, there has been continued diversification in the managed waste.
    Finally, the energy business was negatively affected by the maintenance stop at the Portuguese factory in Viana do Castelo and the impact of the energy reform on the Spanish market, which accounts for an additional 6.54 million euros up to September 2014 compared with the same period of 2013.
    (Europac Papeles y Cartones de Europa S.A.)
     
    21.11.2014   Valmet receives its fourth tissue line order from ICT to Poland    ( Company news )

    Company news Valmet will supply a complete tissue production line to ICT Poland. The new Advantage DCT 200HS tissue line will be installed at the company's mill in Kostrzyn, Poland and will fit ICT's intention to adopt state of the art technology for their tissue production. The start-up is planned for the fourth quarter of 2015.
    The order is included in Valmet's fourth quarter 2014 orders received. The value of the order will not be disclosed.

    Valmet has previously delivered three tissue lines to ICT companies in Italy and France. The latest, an Advantage DCT 200+ line, started up at the Montargis mill, France, in July 2011.
    "Our team is very pleased and eager to work with Valmet on our machine number three in ICT Poland. We look forward to a real success story from every point of view," says Riccardo Baccelli, Executive Director, ICT.
    "We have a long and fruitful relation with ICT and are happy to have been trusted to deliver our fourth tissue line, this time to Poland. We are looking forward working together as a team to make this a successful project," says Jan Erikson, VP Sales, Tissue Mills business unit, Valmet.

    Information about Valmet's delivery
    Valmet's scope of delivery will comprise of a complete tissue production line including a stock preparation system and an Advantage DCT 200HS tissue machine with the latest technology for highest quality consumer tissue. The production line will be optimized to save energy and enhance final product quality.
    Complete engineering, training, start-up and commissioning are part of the delivery. The delivery will also include an extensive automation package from Metso.
    The new line will add 70,000 tons a year of high-quality toilet and towel grades for the European market. The raw material for the new line will be virgin fiber.
    (Valmet Corporation)
     
    21.11.2014   Smurfit Kappa launches new Investor Relations app     ( Company news )

    Company news Smurfit Kappa, one of the world’s leading producers of paper-based packaging, has announced the launch of their first Investor Relations web app.

    The development will utilise the latest technology and app design to provide a central resource of financial and operational information, which will make it easier for investors to learn about the Group and keep in touch with relevant corporate activity.

    The self-contained web app has been optimised for all mobile devices using the latest HTML5 technology, and will allow investors to access the latest Smurfit Kappa information wherever they may be in the world. Through the app, users will be able to view real-time share price information, Smurfit Kappa’s latest quarterly results and a complete archive of financial reports. Users will also be able to utilise a number of investor analyst tools, including the innovative ‘Interactive Analyst’ function, which will allow the user to compare a wide selection of financial and operating figures through an intuitive and easy to use charting function.

    In addition to investor-related materials, the app allows users quick and simple access to Smurfit Kappa’s most recent press releases, customer testimonials, videos and presentations.

    Ian Curley, Smurfit Kappa Group CFO commented: “This app will provide financial investors and analysts with an easy to use, customisable tool, which consolidates all of our relevant communications in one comprehensive platform. Employing some of the latest technologies and techniques the app will enable investors to study and follow the Group faster and more comprehensively than before.”

    The web app is accessible at http://investorapp.smurfitkappa.com/
    (Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)
     
    21.11.2014   Capacity increases at Brigl & Bergmeister    ( Company news )

    Company news At their Niklasdorf mill, Brigl & Bergmeister are investing in a 5,000 ton capacity increase and higher energy efficiency.
    B&B have ordered a new film press (SpeedSizer) from VOITH for their paper machine at the Niklasdorf mill, replacing the conventional size press. In addition, a non-contact energy-efficient compact infrared and air-drying combination (qDryPro) will be installed, and the steam and condensate systems as well as the air-handling system will be modified.
    These investments will increase annual capacity in Niklasdorf by 5,000 tons, at reduced energy consumption. In addition to improvements in the quality of the existing product range, this will make it possible to develop innovative speciality papers. Installation is scheduled for September 2015, as an addition to the new headbox already installed in April 2014.
    At the Vevče mill in Slovenia, too, modernisation and extension measures are being implemented, initiated in 2013 by installation of a film press. Here, development focuses, among other things, on improvement of the barrier properties of flexible packaging papers.
    Already today, wet-strength label papers in B&B quality can also be produced in Vevče. By expanding this segment at both mills, B&B seek to further expand their position as global market leaders in label papers for the beverage industry.
    (Brigl & Bergmeister GmbH)
     
    21.11.2014   NipSense2: New system from Voith facilitates static real-time measurement in the roll nip     ( Company news )

    Company news With NipSense2, Voith has developed a new analytic system through which the invisible nip conditions of two rolls can be visualized and measured in real time. The system performs corrective calculations of the nip profile and thus contributes to a substantial improvement of the reliability and quality of the paper manufacturing process.

    NipSense2 gives a clear view of the otherwise invisible contact point of two rolls. Through very precise sensors that are placed between two rolls, the nip width can be determined with a high degree of measurement accuracy. The sensors transmit data wirelessly to the analytical software. The closing process of the press rolls and every change in nip width becomes visible on the screen. The entire measurement process can be stored on video and later replayed. An expert report with crown recommendations completes the service.

    NipSense2 is able to measure all roll types, regardless of roll length and diameter. The new measurement technology is able to measure several nips at the same time and so discover previously unknown interdependencies. The nip profile can be optimized by using NipSense2. Thanks to more uniform paper and moisture profiles, the profile optimizations lead to a longer service life of the roll covers and, thanks to reduced errors in the roll hydraulics, to a more efficient paper manufacturing process.
    (Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)
     
    20.11.2014   Heidelberg unveils new die cutter and folding carton gluing machines on Packaging Days    ( Company news )

    Company news -New Promatrix 106 CS die cutter (photo) offers wide range of standard features, extremely user-friendly operation, and attractive price-performance ratio
    -Further development of folding carton gluing machines results in Diana Smart 55 and Diana Smart 80 for medium volumes
    -Development of die cutters and folding carton gluing machines continues – new products in pipeline

    Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg)
    will be presenting several new solutions for folding carton production at the Packaging Days, which will be held on November 26 and 27 in Hall 11 at the company’s Wiesloch-Walldorf site. “While the packaging sector is growing in emerging markets, we are seeing consolidation and productivity increases in industrialized countries,” explains Stephan Plenz, member of the Management Board responsible for Heidelberg Equipment. “The packaging market is of great interest to us. We meet its needs with appropriate press and postpress products and also with our Prinect Postpress Packaging print shop workflow,” he adds.

    The event is aimed at folding carton producers that require optimum quality and reliability for short to medium runs. The new Promatrix 106 CS die cutter and the new Diana Smart 55 and Diana Smart 80 folding carton gluing machines being showcased by Heidelberg are perfect for this target group.
    (Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)
     
    20.11.2014   KapStone's Charleston Mill Efficiency Plans    ( Company news )

    Company news As part of KapStone's periodic review with our community constituents, KapStone shared a capital investment plan for the North Carolina paper mill (photo) with the Economic Development Commission. The multi-year investment plan, which totaled approximately $115 million, included the recently completed $29 million upgrade to paper machine number three as well as a range of anticipated capital projects that will maintain the mill's cost competitiveness and efficiencies over multiple years by modernizing the three existing paper machines.
    (KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation)
     
    20.11.2014   Valmet to supply a press section rebuild for Mondi Štêtí in Czech Republic    ( Company news )

    Company news Valmet will rebuild a sack kraft paper machine at Mondi's Štêtí mill in Czech Republic. Valmet's delivery for the paper machine 5 (PM5) will include the modernization of the press section. The targets of the rebuild are increased production efficiency and improved machine runnability, while ensuring safe working environment. The rebuilt production line will start-up during the fourth quarter of 2015.
    The order was included in Valmet's third quarter 2014 orders received. The value of the order is not disclosed.

    "Our target was to have a reliable high performing press concept for our PM 5. Valmet was able to offer their OptiPress concept which provides a balance of a well proven technology with innovative technical solutions. The further development of this press type provides also for the operators the possibility to operate and maintain the press in a safe and efficient way," says Lars Mallasch, Technical Director Packaging Paper, Head of Capital Expenditure Mondi E&I.

    The existing press section at PM5 will be rebuilt into OptiPress Center press section. With this tri-nip solution, the new 1st press, the 2nd press and the 3rd press shoe nip maximizes the dry content entering the dryer section and increases the wet strength of the paper. The resulting boost in dryness thus fully benefits web runnability in the open draw and in the beginning of the dryer section. Felt conditioning is done effectively with uhle boxes equipped with perforated covers. This results in improved dewatering and lower energy consumption.
    The simplified frame construction of modular press section design means low load to foundation, space savings, shorter shutdown and faster installation. Fabric changes are possible with the help of a fabric insertion unit, as there is no cantilevering. User friendly design like new walkways emphasize safety and easy maintenance.

    The rebuild also includes a new press pulper and modifications at the dryer section.
    "We have strong track record on modularly designed and built paper and board lines and the same modular approach can be utilized in rebuilds too. For customers, this means resource saving solutions that are fast to install and safe to use and maintain," says Reijo Koivuranta, Press Sections Product Manager at Valmet.
    (Valmet Corporation)
     
    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.)
     

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