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    27.11.2015   ANDRITZ receives follow-up order for paper machine rebuild from Cartiere Modesto Cardella, Italy    ( Company news )

    Company news Following the successful rebuild and start-up of the wet section of the paper machine PM4 in 2010, international technology Group ANDRITZ has received a follow-up order from Cartiere Modesto Cardella to rebuild PM3 in Lucca, Italy. Start-up is scheduled for the end of 2016.

    The scope of supply comprises an ANDRITZ PrimeFlow TW two-layer headbox with PrimeProfiler F dilution water control and PrimeForm TW gap former. The PM3 has a design speed of 1,200 m/min and produces fluting, testliner, and corrugated medium with a basis weight range of 80-150 gsm. The raw material is 100% waste paper.

    The ANDRITZ design provides innovative, high dewatering performance for the production of corrugated base paper grades with minimum two-sidedness, thus there is as little difference as possible between the surface quality of the wire side and the surface quality of the top side of the paper web. The driving factors for Cartiere Modesto Cardellaʼs rebuild are significant improvements in paper quality and runability.
    (Andritz AG)
     
    26.11.2015   Zünd: Excellent Presentation at Viscom 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news Zünd looks back on a successful Viscom 2015. In Dusseldorf, the specialist for modular high-performance cutters presented the latest cutting systems and automation solutions for commercial and industrial use. For its innovative systems, Zünd was awarded two Viscom Best of 2015 Awards.

    Picture: Excellent solutions - Zünd has been honored with two Viscom Best of 2015 Awards for both its software solution Zünd Cut Center (ZCC) and the collaborative UR robot.

    In accordance with their motto "Your first choice in digital cutting," Zünd presented innovative technologies and inspired the expert audience with a variety of solid examples of applications. The automatic ARC cutter changer and the new UR robot drew the biggest crowds. Zünd has been represented at Viscom for many years and knows customers' needs for integrated and efficient finishing solutions, innovative automation systems, and new applications like no other provider. Zünd's presentation, which focused on precisely these customer requirements, was met with great interest by the specialist audience. This included, in particular, the Zünd Cutter G3 M-2500 with ARC and the Zünd Cutter S3 M-800 with UR robot and workflow solutions. Not least, the strong performance of Zünd cutter systems and the enormous flexibility in Zünd's order processing impressed the visitors. The comprehensive workflow integration shown by the Zünd Cut Center - ZCC rounded off the portfolio.

    Double whammy: Industry awards for software and robot
    Zünd scores with innovations, optimizes the production workflow, and is a pioneer for the graphic arts industry, concluded the jury. The successful Swiss family-owned company has been honored for the collaborative UR robot, newly introduced to the market, with a Viscom Best of 2015 Award. Another prize was awarded to Zünd in the software category for its software solution Zünd Cut Center - ZCC. The ZCC offers operators maximum flexibility in order processing. Highlights of the software include a comprehensive material database, high-powered nesting, and Cut Queue for automated batch processing of different orders.
    (Zünd Systemtechnik AG)
     
    26.11.2015   Cenveo Announces Third Quarter 2015 Results     ( Company news )

    Company news -Net Sales of $419.8 million in Q3 2015
    -Adjusted EBITDA of $42.0 million in Q3 2015, up 17.9% from Q3 2014
    -Packaging Business now classified as discontinued operations
    -Packaging Business strategic review expected to conclude in the near term
    -Company fully compliant with SEC and NYSE

    Cenveo, Inc. (NYSE: CVO) announced results for three and nine months ended September 26, 2015. The reported results exclude the operating results of our Packaging operating segment as well as our one top-sheet lithographic print operation, collectively referred to as our Packaging Business, as it has been classified in our consolidated financial statements as discontinued operations.

    Robert G. Burton, Sr. (photo), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer stated:
    "We are pleased with our results for the third quarter, as we had several key accomplishments, including strong growth in operating income and Adjusted EBITDA, and solid cash flow from operations. Our envelope operations delivered significant operational improvement as we continue to see the benefits of our consolidation efforts that were implemented last year. Combined with solid direct mail volumes and price increases, our envelope business delivered adjusted EBITDA margins of approximately 11% for the quarter. Our print and label businesses performed generally in line with our expectations, which allowed the Company to grow our adjusted EBITDA for the quarter by approximately 18% compared to last year."

    Strategic Review Update – Packaging Business:
    Over the course of the second and third quarters of 2015, we have been actively marketing the sale of our Packaging Business to multiple strategic parties. As of the end of the third quarter, management has been given the appropriate authority to move forward with these strategic parties on a potential sale of the Packaging Business; therefore, the assets, liabilities, operations and cash flows of the Packaging Business have been reclassified as discontinued operations for all periods presented. While there can be no assurance that we will ultimately reach an agreement with any of the strategic parties or as to the timing of reaching such agreement, we believe that we will do so in the near term given our significant progress to date.

    Results of Operations Overview:
    The Company generated net sales of $419.8 million for the three months ended September 26, 2015, compared to $435.6 million for the same period last year, a decline of 3.6%. The Company generated net sales of $1.26 billion for the nine months ended September 26, 2015, compared to $1.31 billion for the same period last year, a decline of 3.4%. The decline in net sales is attributable to the consolidation of several envelope facilities during 2014 in connection with the accelerated integration of the National Envelope assets with our existing operations and two new envelope facilities, and continued pricing pressure in our print business. Excluding the impact of the integration, we believe our envelope group net sales were up modestly on a year-to-date basis, which is primarily attributable to product mix and pricing improvements, offset by volume declines.

    Operating income was $19.5 million for the three months ended September 26, 2015, compared to operating income of $10.2 million for the same period last year, an improvement of 90.7%. Operating income was $59.0 million for the nine months ended September 26, 2015, compared to operating income of $31.5 million for the same period last year, an improvement of 87.0%. Operating income in 2014 was impacted by expenses associated with the closure and consolidation of several envelope facilities related to the integration of the National Envelope assets, which along with the price increases realized from certain customers, has resulted in significant operating margin improvement and efficiencies in 2015. Non-GAAP operating income was $29.0 million for the three months ended September 26, 2015, compared to income of $22.1 million for the same period last year, and income of $77.5 million for the nine months ended September 26, 2015, compared to income of $64.9 million for the same period last year. A reconciliation of operating income to non-GAAP operating income is presented in the attached tables.

    For the three months ended September 26, 2015, the Company had a loss from continuing operations of $3.6 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, compared to a loss of $14.0 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, for the same period last year. For the nine months ended September 26, 2015, the Company had a loss from continuing operations of $15.1 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, compared to a loss of $71.7 million, or $1.07 per diluted share, for the same period last year. On a year-to-date basis, the improvement was primarily due to a debt extinguishment charge in connection with the debt refinancing that was completed in June 2014, lower restructuring charges, as well as the significant operating margin improvement and efficiencies resulting from the National Envelope integration. Non-GAAP income from continuing operations was $6.5 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, for the three months ended September 26, 2015, compared to non-GAAP loss from continuing operations of $3.6 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, for the same period last year. For the nine months ended September 26, 2015, non-GAAP income from continuing operations was $5.0 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, compared to a loss of $16.4 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, for the same period last year. A reconciliation of loss from continuing operations to non-GAAP income (loss) from continuing operations is presented in the attached tables.

    Adjusted EBITDA was $42.0 million and $35.6 million for the three months ended September 26, 2015 and September 27, 2014, respectively. For the nine months ended September 26, 2015, Adjusted EBITDA was $113.9 million, compared to $106.1 million for the same period last year. These increases over their prior year respective periods are primarily attributable to the improvement of our envelope operations subsequent to the prior year consolidation efforts and continued operating improvements in our label product lines, partially offset by a decline in our print operations due to product mix and continued price pressure. A reconciliation of net loss to Adjusted EBITDA is presented in the attached tables.

    Cash flow provided by operating activities for the nine months ended September 26, 2015 was $14.8 million, compared to a use of cash of $7.3 million for the same period last year. This improvement was primarily driven by the improvement in our operating results, lower contributions to post-retirement plans, partially offset by a net use of cash from working capital as compared to the prior year due to seasonal working capital levels and the timing of interest payments on our long-term debt.

    SEC and NYSE Compliance:
    Effective today, the Company has made all SEC filings for the first three quarters of 2015 and is now current in all of its SEC filing requirements. In light of these filings, we are now in full compliance with our NYSE listing requirements.

    Robert G. Burton, Sr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer concluded:
    "As we enter the fourth quarter, we believe we are well positioned to deliver on both our financial commitments and execute our long term strategy. We will look to continue to drive improved margins, increase cash flow and address our higher cost debt. A near term completion of our strategic review will allow us to focus our attention on our continuing operations where we enjoy a stronger position in the market. While the strategic review of our assets has been deliberate and has taken some time, we remain confident that we are significantly improving our strategic position in a way that will create value for investors. I am very excited about the significant progress that we have made so far this year on a number of fronts. Our continued focus on costs has allowed us to deliver on our commitments despite challenging conditions in certain end markets.
    (Cenveo / Cadmus Specialty Packaging)
     
    26.11.2015   Improved paper as a result of a dryer section rebuild at BillerudKorsnäs, Pietarsaari    ( Company news )

    Company news EV Group (EVG) has delivered a dryer section modification on the PM1 at BillerudKorsnäs Finland Oy, Pietarsaari. After the modification the draw differences between the press and dryer section have been reduced with improved end product properties as a result. Simultaneously also the amount of web breaks have been reduced, improving the overall runnability and production line efficiency.

    EVG made modifications to shorten the long open draw between the press and dryer section. Grooved cylinders in the first dryer group were modified to vacuum rolls by drilling the cylinder surface. EV EasyOne eco high release web stabilizers were installed above these drilled vacuum rolls. The installation also included a low pressure compressor and compressed air piping. The remaining first dryer section pockets were equipped with EVsf2 web stabilizers to ensure a good runnability of the web. DST doctors and needed modifications and additions to existing air systems were also included into the scope of supply, as the field activities including installation and start-up services.

    As a result of the modification the end product properties were improved as expected. Less web breaks has also led to an improved runnability in the press and dryer section.

    BillerudKorsnäs Pietarsaari PM1 produces kraft and sack paper in the basis weight of 50 - 150g/m2. Machine speed is 900 m/min, width 6.6 m and with a yearly production capacity of 200.000 tons.
    (EV Group Oy - EVG)
     
    26.11.2015   Twin Rivers Paper Company Invests in Core Business    ( Company news )

    Company news Capital Improvement Projects Enhance No. 7 Paper Machine in Madawaska Mill

    Twin Rivers Paper Company recently completed a series of upgrades to its No. 7 Paper Machine, enhancing the overall quality, efficiency and capabilities of a machine instrumental to manufacturing products supporting the specialty packaging, publishing, and label markets.

    “PM7 is a critical machine that supports our leadership positions in all segments of our business. The upgrade is evidence of the ongoing commitment to invest capital that aligns with our strategic direction and to ensure the long term viability of the operation. Since our new ownership took the helm over $25MM has been invested throughout the Twin Rivers system,” commented Dave Deger, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing. “We recognize this is a particularly challenging time for the industry so it is great to be a part of a team that values continuous improvement of the operations.”

    Key enhancements include an upgraded size press, improved coating flexibility, installation of a dandy roll, and slitter/rewinder modifications. The end result is a more capable asset that is well positioned to produce a diverse range of products including grease resistant packaging papers; lightweight opaque papers used for pharmaceutical, financial and religious publishing; and base papers used in a variety of label applications.

    Deger added, “PM7 is a workhorse for Twin Rivers, serving deadline driven and technically challenging markets. It produces many of our hallmark grades and the work completed brings both enhanced capacity for strategic grades and critical redundancy of supply.”

    Aside from the No. 7 Paper Machine, Twin Rivers operates four additional paper machines that manufacture a range of coated and uncoated papers with options in fiber content, functional characteristics, aesthetics and sustainability. The company is known for rapid innovation and its commitment to co-development.
    (Twin Rivers Paper Company)
     
    26.11.2015   Pöyry awarded two engineering services assignments for BillerudKorsnäs, Sweden    ( Company news )

    Company news BillerudKorsnäs has awarded Pöyry with two engineering services assignments in Sweden. One for a new board machine project in their production site in Gruvön; and the other for the machine glazed (MG) paper machine relocation project from Tervasaari in Finland to Skärblacka in Sweden.

    BillerudKorsnäs is a leading supplier of renewable fibre-based packaging materials and solutions, and one of the world leaders in liquid packaging board and other virgin fibre cartonboard. Driven by global megatrends, the demand for these types of board is increasing. BillerudKorsnäs is investigating the possibility of installing a new board machine at the production unit in Gruvön. The machine would become one of the most cost efficient in the world with a capacity of approximately 500 000 t/a of liquid packaging board, cartonboard, food service board and white kraftliner. Pöyry has been awarded pre-project engineering services to develop the investment plan into a viable technical concept.

    Simultaneously, BillerudKorsnäs is launching a separate investigation into potential further structural change and growth in specific kraft paper segments. The investigation includes exploring the possibility of moving and integrating the MG paper machine in Tervasaari, Finland, to pulp production at Skärblacka, Sweden. The investigation will also look at investment in further value adding surface treatment capacity at the existing MG paper production in Skärblacka. If implemented, the investments would strengthen Skärblacka's position as one of the world's most efficient production units for white MG papers while also opening up opportunities in attractive market segments within medical papers, food packaging and release liners. Pöyry's assignment covers pre-project engineering services for the machine relocation.

    "These projects are evidence of our successful operation model where global competence and local presence are combined. We are executing this project with experts from Sweden and Finland to ensure the best result for the client. We are proud to be the selected partner of BillerudKorsnäs with these strategically important development opportunity investigations. These assignments further strengthen Pöyry's position as the world's leading pulp and paper engineering consultancy.", says Johan Ehrnrooth, Pöyry's Vice President, Pulp & Paper Europe.

    The values of the orders are not disclosed. The orders will be recognised within the Industry Business Group order stock in Q4/2015.
    (Pöyry Plc)
     
    26.11.2015   Celtex acquires the group Hecatec    ( Company news )

    Company news The paper manufacturer Celtex S.p.A., for thirty years a specialist in the production of tissue paper for professional use, has in the last few days completed the acquisition of the German group Hecatec, which has plants in the province of Leipzig and a subsidiary in Poland. Hecatec also operates in the tissue products sector and in the complementary field of nonwoven fabrics used in cleaning, personal hygiene and in particular the health sector.

    A key factor in the acquisition process was the support of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, represented locally by the Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e della Lucchesia (Savings Bank of Pistoia and the Plain of Lucca). The company’s long relationship with the bank enabled involvement of members of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group in providing all the support necessary to validate, develop and finance the project. The EMEA desk of the International Department and Mediocredito Italiano (a member of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group) supported the acquisition through a medium-term financial product known as “International+”.

    Celtex, which has its headquarters in Lucca’s paper-making district, has an international reputation for the export of high quality products and cutting-edge manufacturing technology, thanks to a process of continuous innovation. The group, which has plants in Tuscany and in particular in the province of Lucca, and also in Saint-Dizier in France, had revenue of approximately 100 million euros in 2014, with over 60% of its products being exported, mainly to markets in EU member states.

    The German group has been active on the North European market for more than twenty years under the Temca, Profix, Racon, Temdex and Clivia brands.

    Collaboration between Celtex and Hecatec (which has revenues of around 40 million euros) dates back some twenty years. The acquisition is the result of the companies’ familiarity with each other and shared strategy of growth and international expansion. It developed from the mutual respect and trust between Celtex’s Andrea Bernacchi, Claudio Giacometti and Alessandro Carrara and Hecatec’s Reiner Hasseider and Ralf Rossmann. The forward-looking strategy and future synergies saw the collaboration evolve into a joint international operation and the personal relationship itself enabled the Celtex offer to prevail over others with a greater financial dimension. Market considerations were, of course, also a determining factor: with this acquisition, Celtex increases its sales, completes its product range and gains a significant bridgehead into the German and East European market.
    (Celtex spa)
     
    25.11.2015   Investments in future growth in focus at BillerudKorsnäs' Capital Markets Day    ( Company news )

    Company news The theme for BillerudKorsnäs’ second Capital Markets Day (CMD) is “Investing in sustainable and profitable growth”. BillerudKorsnäs will elaborate on how current and planned investments in market position, structure and innovation will drive growth in sales and profitability. The Group’s financial targets have been revised to better support the growth strategy.

    BillerudKorsnäs’ strategic focus is to be at the forefront of development in primary fibre-based packaging materials and solutions, with the overall objective of generating sustainable and profitable growth. The previously communicated target of organic growth of 15-20% by 2018 is revised to a long-term target of 3-4% organic growth per year. BillerudKorsnäs is thereby committed to grow faster than the anticipated growth in the packaging paper and board market.

    In addition to the growth target, BillerudKorsnäs has decided to set the following financial targets from 2016:
    - EBITDA margin should exceed 17%. The target replaces the EBIT margin target.

    - Return on capital employed (ROCE) should exceed 13%.

    - Net debt to EBITDA ratio should be below 2.5. The target replaces the net debt to equity target.

    - The dividend policy remains unchanged – 50% of net profit to be distributed as dividend.

    BillerudKorsnäs has over the past years shown stability in the underlying financial performance despite varying market conditions between Business Areas. As a consequence, the ambition is to reach the financial targets irrespective of business cycles.

    Business Area Containerboard will be renamed to Business Area Corrugated Solutions from
    1st of January 2016. This change is reflecting the organizational changes underway within the business area to further strengthen the focus on selling value adding solutions to brand owners around the world.
    (BillerudKorsnäs AB)
     
    25.11.2015   EUROPAC INCREASES ITS EBITDA 20.5%    ( Company news )

    Company news The Governing Board of Grupo Europac (Papeles y Cartones de Europa, S.A.) has approved the accounts corresponding to the third quarter of the year. Between January and September, the company registered a consolidated EBITDA of 81.5 million Euros, 20.5% higher than the 67.6 million achieved in the same period of 2014.

    -The EBITDA that had become stagnant in the third quarter was 30.1 million, 46.5% more that last year and 11.1% more than the previous quarter.
    -The consolidated EBITDA was 81.50 million, confirming a sustained growth trend during four consecutive quarters.
    -The profit before tax between January and September was 31.7 million, 89.4% more than the same period of 2014.
    -The reduction of the financial cost in 15.5% shall continue decreasing in the coming quarters after the signature of the new syndicated loan in July this year.

    Moreover, the profit before taxes grew 89.4% to 31.7 million and the EBIT registered 45.5 million, 39.4 % higher than 2014. All this, in an environment with a slight increase of aggregate sales that reached 814.8 million, 3% more than a year ago, and a reduction of the financial cost in 15.5%, which will continue dropping in the coming quarters after the signing of the new syndicated loan in July.

    After the closure of the third quarter of the financial year, the consolidated EBITDA and the EBIT registered four consecutive quarters of sustained growth, which reflect a positive trend of the evolution of the activity carried out by Grupo Europac. The stagnant consolidated EBITDA and EBIT of the third quarter of the year exceeded the values of the previous year in 46.5% and 100%, respectively.

    Enrique Isidro, executive vice-president of Grupo Europac said that "in an environment of aggregate sales similar to a year ago, the sustained improvement of the results of the company are the result of the increase in the margin of the Paper Division, which reached 15.1% compared to 12.8% of the same period in 2014 and the reduction of the financial costs. Moreover, in the Packaging Division, we have started the margin recovery process, penalised with the increase of the cost of its raw material”.

    Business lines
    The Paper Division registered a 22.5% increase of the EBITDA compared to 2014, which is the result of the increase of the volume and improvement of the margins. An environment dominated by a strong demand and low level of stocks in Europe, together with internal profitability improvement projects, allow expecting good results in the coming quarters.
    Moreover, at the closure of the third quarter, recovered European papers stocks were at the maximum levels of a month of September since the beginning of the crisis in 2008. This has allowed a stable price of the raw material and anticipates a possible downward trend in the coming months.
    In terms of the Packaging Division, the increase of the price of the raw material and the occasional increase of the costs linked to the putting into service of the new commercial and operational plans, plus the costs arising from the putting into service of the factory in Tangier have entailed a descent of the EBITDA in 21.7% compared to the first nine months of 2014. Considering the stagnant quarter, the descent of the EBITDA of the third quarter of 2015 has been 7.6% compared to the same quarter in 2014 and 7.1% compared to the second quarter of the same year.
    The increase in profitability in Spain is emphasized, together with the increase of volume in Portugal and the gradual improvement of the activity in France. In the context of an increase in consumption of the reference markets, based on the general improvement of economic activity, the business has begun the process to recover penalised margins as a result of the increases of the price of raw material.

    Ongoing investments
    Moreover, the investments provided in the Strategic Plan 2015-2018 are progressing as expected. After setting up the new winding machine at the paper factory in Rouen during the first quarter of the year, before the end of the year the new integrated packaging factory in Tangier shall begin and the second phase of the Proyecto Estucados de Dueñas will conclude.
    After the commercialisation of the glossy coated paper in 2014, this phase entailed the paper machine No. 1 (MP1) of the factory in Palencia to be at a standstill during more than two months. During this period, most of the production of the machine increased up to 2.5 meters and the speed has increased 10%.
    Additionally, we equalled the width of the paper machine in Dueñas to do a more balanced distribution of the paper production. The specialisation of the MP1 in brown paper and MP2 in white, enables improving the planning and service, optimising production and increasing efficiency and profitability of the process.
    The third and last phase of the Proyecto Estucados in the last quarter of 2016 will mean the commercial launching of a double coated glossy paper, which offers the maximum quality possible for printing purposes. This fact, jointly with the implementation of the digital printer in Dueñas and the two high-quality printers installed in the Portuguese factories in Guilhabreu and Leiria will allow Europac to continue working on the increase of the margins in its business lines.
    (Europac Papeles y Cartones de Europa S.A.)
     
    25.11.2015   Sappi Alfeld appoints Thomas Rajcsanyi as new managing director    ( Company news )

    Company news Continued development of Sappi Alfeld as leading competence centre for speciality papers and boards

    Thomas Rajcsanyi (photo) has recently joined Sappi Alfeld GmbH as managing director. He replaces Stefan Karrer, who has left Sappi Alfeld to return home to southern Germany for personal reasons.

    Mr. Rajcsanyi learned the business of paper manufacturing from the bottom up and has held a number of successful positions in the paper industry. Most recently, he served for seven years as the managing director of Feldmühle Uetersen, a German based paper company. "We're delighted to take on board such a skilled and experienced leader as Thomas Rajcsanyi. With his expert knowledge, he will lead the Alfeld mill and the strategic development of our speciality papers and boards forward into the future," says Berry Wiersum, Chief Executive Officer, Sappi Europe.

    When asked about his goals, Mr. Rajcsanyi (47 years) replied, "We want to maintain our standards of excellence and sustainability and continue to develop Sappi Alfeld as a competence centre for speciality papers and boards." Mr. Rajcsanyi is enthusiastic about his move to Sappi Alfeld. "My predecessors have made absolutely the right decisions and laid the foundation for a successful future," he says, referring to the Alfeld plant's exclusive focus on speciality papers. The conversion of PM2, successfully completed last year at a cost of over €60 million, is already proving extremely successful after just under two years. The mill’s competence centre for speciality papers and boards, including a world-class paper lab, continues to add value to customers and to the mill’s operations.

    Mr. Rajcsanyi will in his new role continue to build upon the current strategy of strengthening the speciality paper business. He will focus on further optimising and utilising the mill’s five paper machines. He also intends to maintain or improve the high quality standards of the wide range of speciality papers and cartons manufactured at the plant. In addition, he plans to add further innovative products and packaging solutions to the Sappi product portfolio.
    (Sappi Alfeld GmbH)
     
    25.11.2015   Konecranes to deliver train loading system to Metsä Group bioproduct mill in Finland    ( Company news )

    Company news Konecranes recently received an order for a train loading system for Metsä Group's bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland. The automatic train loading system comprises two cranes that will be used for loading pulp units on railway wagons. The system will be delivered to the bioproduct mill in 2017.

    Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, is building the bioproduct mill in the existing mill area in Äänekoski. It will be the world’s first next-generation bioproduct mill that can convert wood raw material into a diverse range of bioproducts. In addition to high-quality pulp, the mill will produce bio-energy and various bio-materials in a resource-efficient way.

    “We are very proud to deliver lifting equipment to this state-of-the-art bioproduct mill,” says Hannu Piispanen, Industry Specialist, Pulp and Paper, Konecranes. “The ordered train loading system is of a new innovative application design, which is able to move 1,100 tons of pulp per hour onto the railway wagon. It offers a fast, clean and energy-efficient train turnaround. We trust this installation will raise a lot of interest in the pulp industry globally.”

    The two cranes will be fully automated when filling the 1,400-ton buffer storage twice a day and when feeding the trains. Both cranes have driver cabins with operator interface for surveillance. It will also be possible to drive the cranes manually, assisted by Konecranes smart features for positioning and safety. In addition, the crane system has an interface for personnel access control to prevent anybody entering the working area when cranes are on automatic mode.

    Furthermore, the cranes will include Konecranes TRUCONNECT® remote service, providing 24/7 access to a global network of support centers, offering expertise to help solve possible problems and reduce downtime. The cranes will have a span of 18 meters and a total lifting capacity of 32 tons payload

    In addition to the recently ordered train loading system, Konecranes will also deliver five industrial cranes to the same Metsä Group project in Äänekoski, Finland. These were ordered in June 2015 and will be used in the production line, drier, power station and debarking.
    (Konecranes Oyj)
     
    25.11.2015   Bio Pappel Increased 51% EBITDA    ( Company news )

    Company news Despite a tough business environment Bio Pappel recorded solid results showing a 51% growth in EBITDA. Bio Pappel has grown organically in recent years and increased its installed capacity with the latest technology, and in this year we conclude successfully the Scribe acquisition, whose results are included since June 5, 2015.

    Photo: Miguel Rincón Arredondo, Executive Chairman and CEO

    During the 3Q 2015 an increase of 28% in shipments was obtained, going from 306 to 390 thousand metric tons, net sales increased 60% from $3 million pesos to $4.9 million pesos. As a result of the above, the company recorded an EBITDA of $723 million pesos representing a 51% growth when compared with $478 million pesos in the 3Q 2014. EBITDA margin for the quarter reached 14.8%.

    In the accumulated results of 2015, shipments increased 15%, from 926 thousand to 1.063 million metric tons, net sales increased 32% from $9,312 to $12,285 million pesos, as a result we reached $1,868 million pesos on EBITDA, showing a 25% growth when compared against $1,499 million pesos accumulated in the same period of 2014. EBITDA margin from January to September 2015 was 15.2%.

    CAPEX from January to September 2015 recorded $327 million pesos, from which $68 million pesos were funded, in a long-term basis, by our suppliers.

    This growth in EBITDA strengthens our financial position and cash generation. Bio Pappel’s financial proforma ratios were: Leverage (Net Debt / EBITDA LTM) of 3.2 times; and Interest Coverage (EBITDA LTM / Interest LTM) of 3.4 times.
    CAPEX from January to September 2015 recorded $327 million pesos, from
    which $68 million pesos were funded, in a long-term basis, by our suppliers.

    Bio Pappel is the integrated producer of containerboard, white paper, newsprint, corrugated boxes, bond paper for copying and printing, notebooks, paper sacks and other specialties. Bio Pappel operates 30 production facilities and 13 recycled fibers collection centers in Mexico, Southern U.S. and Colombia.
    Currently, Bio Pappel employs 10,557 persons and produce approximately 2.5 million tons per year. Bio Pappel is the leader in bio-sustainability, paper recycling and 100% bio-degradable production of recyclable and recycled products in Mexico, and one of the largest in Latin America.
    We will continue with the strategy of a vertical integration and generating operational efficiencies, developing a more diversified portfolio of higher value-added products.
    (Miguel Rincón Arredondo, Executive Chairman and CEO)
    (Bio-PAPPEL Corporate Office)
     
    24.11.2015   Smurfit Kappa Orange County to acquire Sound Packaging & Corrugated Professionals     ( Company news )

    Company news Smurfit Kappa Orange County LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Smurfit Kappa Group plc, is pleased to announce that it has agreed to acquire Sound Packaging LLC and Corrugated Professionals LLC, a corrugated sheet and box plant located in the rapidly growing area of Phoenix, Arizona.

    The acquisition is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2015 subject to customary closing conditions.

    Sound is a long-established private corrugated manufacturer, and will be integrated into SKOC’s existing operating platform in the United States and the North of Mexico. This acquisition will provide SKOC with a platform to service its existing and potential customers from California to Texas, along with further integration possibilities for its containerboard mill located in Forney, Texas.

    Greg Hall, CEO of SKOC, said: “We are pleased to announce our agreement to acquire Sound Packaging and Corrugated Professionals, and look forward to welcoming their teams into Smurfit Kappa. SKOC’s enlarged packaging footprint in the US will further enhance our capacity to provide innovative, insight-led and value enhancing packaging solutions to both current and prospective customers”

    Tyler Howland, General Manager of Sound, said: "The Sound family is excited to join the experienced leadership of Smurfit Kappa as we continue growing our capabilities and services for our loyal customers and employees."
    (Smurfit Kappa Group plc)
     
    24.11.2015   Positive trend for SCA in WWF's Environmental Paper Company Index    ( Company news )

    Company news SCA has significantly improved its results in WWF’s Environmental Paper Company Index (EPCI), compared with 2013. The company improved its scores in all categories, which is a proof that SCA’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact have paid off.

    The EPCI is a tool for companies that are striving for continual improvement of their environmental performance for pulp and paper production, and want to be recognized publicly for their leadership in transparency.

    Overall, EPCI 2015 shows a positive trend towards more transparency and sustainability by the world’s more progressive pulp and paper manufacturers. The 31 voluntary participants in this year´s index together produce 15 percent of the world´s paper and board, and 15 percent of the world´s pulp.

    SCA improved its scores in all the measured categories – containerboard, graphic paper LWC, graphic paper uncoated offset, pulp, and tissue – compared with the previous index in 2013. The company achieved the following total scores (2013 results in brackets):
    -Containerboard: 81.2 percent (75.3)
    -Graphic paper LWC: 84.9 percent (79)
    -Graphic paper uncoated offset: 85.8 percent (77.1)
    -Pulp 86.9 (74.9)
    -Tissue 79.1 (72.1)

    Lina Palm, Public Affairs Director at SCA, says:
    “I’m pleased to see that our results have improved across all categories. WWF’s index gives us a good opportunity to evaluate our constant improvement measures within the environmental area, and we also get acknowledgement that our efforts produce concrete results.”

    WWF especially highlighted the following progress areas for SCA:
    -SCA increased the FSC-certified fiber input levels in containerboard and newsprint.
    -In the tissue category SCA increased FSC-certified and recycled fiber input levels, and reduced waste to landfill.

    The EPCI started in its current form in 2010. The number of participating companies has increased from 5 in 2010 to 31 in the latest index. This is the fourth time that SCA participates in EPCI.

    Emmanuelle Neyroumande, Pulp and Paper Global Manager at WWF International, says: “The pulp and paper industry has the potential to contribute to a greener economy. The EPCI 2015 signals progress in that direction, at least by the industry’s most transparent companies.”
    (SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget)
     
    24.11.2015   Resolute Grows Into Tissue with Acquisition of Atlas Paper    ( Company news )

    Company news Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) announced the acquisition of Atlas Paper Holdings, Inc., a leading manufacturer of at-home and away-from-home tissue products, including recycled and virgin paper grades.

    "This is a step-change acquisition that provides us with an immediate position in the multi-billion-dollar North American consumer tissue market," said Richard Garneau (photo), president and chief executive officer of Resolute Forest Products. "We're following through on our strategy toward the Resolute of the future with an acquisition that capitalizes on our unique ability to capture synergies by integrating forward our U.S. market pulp assets. This acquisition also gives us immediate tissue industry experience as we work toward bringing our Calhoun tissue project online by early 2017."

    Based in Florida, Atlas Paper manufactures branded and private label tissue products for the at-home and away-from-home markets. It offers both virgin and recycled products, covering economy, value and premium grades. Atlas Paper operates three tissue machines, with an annual production capacity of approximately 65,000 short tons; 14 converting lines in Hialeah (Miami) and Sanford (Orlando); and a paper recycling facility in Tampa. Atlas Paper employs about 360 people. It will be "business as usual" at Atlas Paper in terms of relationships and commitments to suppliers and customers.

    Resolute is uniquely positioned to generate synergies and related benefits with this acquisition, by:

    optimizing Atlas Paper's pulp supply using Resolute's strong U.S. market pulp network;
    capitalizing on excess tissue converting capacity;
    immediately integrating Atlas Paper's tissue expertise for the start-up of the Calhoun tissue project in Tennessee; and
    offering a greater range of products – economy, value and premium grades – to existing and future customers.

    Richard Garneau added: "This transaction fits nicely with our June announcement to build state-of-the-art tissue and converting facilities in Calhoun that will produce approximately 66,000 short tons (60,000 metric tons) per year of at-home, premium bath tissue and towel focused on the private label market. By integrating our U.S. pulp assets to produce high-quality products, we will compete in that market as one of only a few integrated producers, using the latest technology. With today's announcement, we enter the tissue market right away, and we do so by way of an acquisition that is synergistic and also integrative. We will benefit from the know-how and the expertise of Atlas Paper's experienced tissue manufacturing, sales and management teams, and we will have access to its customer base."

    "We are excited about becoming part of a larger, diversified company that views the tissue market as a cornerstone of its future," stated Jim Brown, president and chief executive officer of Atlas Paper Holdings, Inc. "This is a win-win: For Atlas Paper, we will benefit from pulp supply efficiencies and we will offer a wider range of products to our customers once the Calhoun tissue project is up and running. For Resolute, my team can bring the market knowledge and expertise that will help us all meet our common business objectives."

    The purchase price in the transaction, which closed today, was $156 million, including working capital. The company estimates approximately $23 million of annualized earnings before interest expense, income taxes, and depreciation and amortization, or "EBITDA," including synergies, starting in the first quarter of 2016. Resolute expects to maintain Atlas Paper's current structure, and that most employees, including management, will remain with the organization. The financial results attributable to these assets will be reported in a stand-alone "tissue" segment. The company paid for Atlas Paper with available cash, but expects to explore financing opportunities in the coming months, considering its previously-reported significant capital expenditure expectations in connection with the Calhoun tissue project.
    (Resolute Forest Products)
     
    24.11.2015   Flint Group introduces new letterpress plate with soft layer    ( Company news )

    Company news New water-washable film-based nyloprint® WF-S plate for more flexibility and improved ink transfer

    Proven quality and new advantages - Flint Group Flexographic Products, as the global supplier of nyloprint® letterpress printing plates, introduces the new letterpress plate, nyloprint® WF-S. The new plate stands for “Water-washable Film based - Soft” and replaces the nyloprint® WF-M printing plate type from November 2015.

    Compared to the previous type, the new water-washable nyloprint® WF-S film-based plate has
    an even softer plate surface for more flexible applications. Moreover, the soft surface provides improved ink transfer resulting in optimal ink lay-down, especially on rough surfaces. The nyloprint® WF-S plate is particularly suitable for special applications such as blister pack printing but also for rotary letterpress, coating units and imprinting units. Beyond that, the new letterpress plate shows all advantages of the nyloprint® WF plate range: very efficient and fast plate processing, as the reproduction is completed within 25-35 min. Additionally, it offers a wide exposure latitude combined with high intermediate depths and very good durability for long print runs.

    The nyloprint® WF-S plate is available in thicknesses of 0.70, 0.80, and 0.95 mm. A digital version of the film-based plate with all the advantages of digital processing is also available on request.
    (Flint Group Flexographic Products)
     
    24.11.2015   PAPERLINX LIMITED CHANGES NAME AND ASX CODE TO SPICERS LIMITED (SRS)    ( Company news )

    Company news At the PaperlinX Limited Annual General Meeting held on 23 October 2015, the resolution to change the Company’s legal name from PaperlinX Limited to Spicers Limited was passed.

    The new name aligns the identity of the parent company with the operating
    companies.
    As a result of the name change, the ASX ticker code will change from PPX to SRS and be effective from 17 November 2015. The corporate website address will also change to www.spicerslimited.com.au

    Future ordinary shareholder correspondence will be from Spicers Limited
    (SRS) but nothing else changes with respect to shareholdings.
    The legal name for the PaperlinX SPS Trust and its ASX ticker code (PXUPA) will remain unchanged.
    (Spicers Limited)
     
    24.11.2015   Toscotec fired up two AHEAD-1.5M tissue machines at Vinda Sichuan and Vinda Shandong Paper    ( Company news )

    Company news The two Toscotec-supplied AHEAD-1.5M ES tissue lines came on stream according to schedule at Vinda’s tissue mills in Deyang, Sichuan and Laiwu, Shandong. The tissue machines are already running at the maximum operating speed of 1,500 mpm with full satisfaction of the user for tissue quality and machine performance.

    After four years of strategic partnership, the Italian manufacturer and the Chinese producer are closely working together at six of Vinda’s production sites. “Toscotec’s solutions represent the best available technology in tissue machinery nowadays. We are particularly satisfied with their superior energy efficiency. Our Toscotec machines run with the lowest possible consumption figures and offer a crucial advantage in terms of cost-effective production.” says Mr. Dong Yi Ping, Vinda Group’s Executive Director and Chief Technology Officer.

    With a design speed of 1,700 mpm and a net web width of 3,400 mm, the two machines are equipped with Toscotec’s second generation Steel Yankee Dryer TT SYD, Toscotec’s jumbo suction press roll for improved dryness and softness and feature different energy saving solutions for Yankee hood design, with gas and steam. As a result, Vinda’s production capacity has overall increased by 60,000 t/y. Another unit identical to this one at the Shandong paper mill is scheduled for start-up in the second half of 2016. Vinda’s mill in Laiwu already hosts PM1 & 2, both supplied by Toscotec, running steadily at 1500 m/min and producing a combined capacity of 50,000 t/y.
    (Toscotec S.p.A.)
     
    23.11.2015   Commercial journey continues for DuraPulp    ( Company news )

    Company news Södra is now taking further steps to commercialise the composite material DuraPulp. A project to construct a dry-process machine has commenced, financed through a grant of EUR 2.1 million from the EU's LIFE funding programme.

    The material in DuraPulp has properties that require special handling during the moulding process. The current method is wet-moulding, but to meet customer requests, Södra is now investing in a machine that can dry-mould the material.

    "To be specific, this is a more efficient production process because it uses less water and less energy. The wet-mould method we are using today takes about two minutes, while dry-moulding takes two seconds. This technology will enable us to demonstrate products for high-volume markets, such as electronics and consumer packaging," says Urban Blomster, a business developer at Södra.

    The first stage of the project was to procure external resources for the construction of the machine, with former partner, SWT Development in Varberg, Sweden, being selected for the assignment.

    The machine is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2016.
    (Södra Cell AB)
     
    23.11.2015   technotrans AG confirms organic growth targets    ( Company news )

    Company news Highest revenue for a quarter since 2009 / Operating profit (EBIT) up 43.4 percent / Forecast for full year may even be exceeded

    technotrans AG has maintained its growth trajectory over the first nine months of the current financial year. In the period under review the company increased revenue by 11.5 percent year on year to EUR 91.6 million. The operating profit (EBIT) grew by 43.4 percent to EUR 6.8 million. This represents a margin of 7.4 percent. In light of the positive business performance, the Board of Management has voiced te prospect of slightly exceeding the targets for the year.

    “We remain on a successful and steady growth trajectory,” declared Henry Brickenkamp, Chief Executive Officer of technotrans AG. The third quarter brought especially good progress: the company achieved revenue of EUR 31.3 million, its highest quarterly figure since the financial crisis of 2009. Operating profit (EBIT) climbed 33 percent to EUR 2.3 million, and the corresponding margin came to 7.5 percent.

    In the first nine months of the year activities outside the printing industry again made a significant contribution to the positive business performance. The group companies active in that area achieved organic revenue growth of 20 percent, with the result that that segment now accounts for 36 percent of total revenue. “This development underlines the enduring success of the group’s strategic direction,” stressed Brickenkamp. Business in the printing industry equally developed well, with revenue up 7.5 percent.

    Technology segment achieves growth in all areas
    The business performance in the Technology segment over the first nine months was equally pleasing: revenue here was up 14 percent, at EUR 61.0 million. All relevant sub-segments of the group, whether mechanical and plant engineering, the growth segments or the printing industry, contributed to this development. Furthermore, the activities in the laser industry but also in the fields of proprietary technologies for temperature control, filtration, cooling lubricant preparation and spray lubrication achieved higher revenue shares. The profit from operations (EBIT) improved to EUR 1.8 million, contrasting with a slight loss of EUR 0.04 million in the prior-year period.

    In the Services segment, growth in follow-on business (after sales business) had a positive impact. Service business in the Technical Documentation area, too, picked up again slightly. All in all, revenue for the segment grew by 6.7 percent to EUR 30.6 million; this translated into earnings of EUR 5.0 million, slightly up on the prior-year level.

    Positive outlook for remainder of year
    “In view of the highly satisfactory organic growth, we have set ourselves the target of slightly bettering our forecast by the end of the year,” explained Brickenkamp. He indicated that this would be conceivable in the case of the year’s revenue target of EUR 120 million. For net profit, too, the original goal of an EBIT margin of 7.3 percent could be just exceeded. The actual result will depend on whether certain projects are completed as planned by the end of the year or whether they will run on into the next financial year.
    (technotrans AG)
     
    23.11.2015   Third quarter report for Koenig & Bauer (KBA): Pre-tax profit and continued solid order intake    ( Company news )

    Company news -New orders up 28.5% y-o-y after nine months
    -Sales of €679.7m expected to grow to over €1bn by end of year
    -In the black again: EBT +€2.1m, net profit €2.4m
    -Higher earnings in sheetfed offset, Digital & Web turnaround in Q4
    -Management affirms EBT margin of up to 2% for 2015

    In the third quarter of 2015 the Koenig & Bauer Group (KBA) achieved the turnaround in earnings announced with continued good order intake. After nine months EBT came to +€2.1m and the group posted a net profit of €2.4m. In the company’s current interim report the management board affirmed its outlook for 2015 again with annual group revenue of over €1bn expected and a planned EBT margin of up to 2%. At the end of September group order intake of €859.6m was up 28.5% and order backlog of €597.3m was up 36.6% year-on-year although the economic climate for the engineering industry has cooled in China and other key threshold countries. The group’s largest segment, sheetfed offset, was able to compensate for the somewhat slower business with China with more orders from other regions, especially the USA and Japan. Compared to 2014 all business divisions posted a double-digit rise in the volume of new orders. In spite of some postponed deliveries KBA was able to increase its quarterly revenue over the summer to €252.8m q-o-q. Nevertheless, at €679.7m revenue for the full nine months was 14.2% down on the prior-year figure and clearly proportionally behind the annual target. The especially high-revenue fourth quarter of 2015 will contribute more strongly to achieving the press manufacturer’s sales and earnings targets with greater earnings contributions and a higher margin product mix.

    Positive results at KBA-Sheetfed continue
    In the summer quarter solid order intake of €148.3m in the Sheetfed Solutions segment exceeded the prior-year figure by 18.2% thanks to an encouraging volume of orders mainly from packaging printers. Over the entire reporting period order intake rose by 33.1% year-on-year to €516.4m. At €377.8m revenue in this segment was up 1.7% on the previous year and will increase considerably in the fourth quarter. At the end of September order backlog came to €320.1m, up 70.1% on 2014. A good level of capacity utilisation and progress with costs and prices led to an increase in segment result to +€10.1m (2014: –€10.9m). This positive earnings trend is expected to continue in the subsequent quarters.

    Turnaround at KBA-Digital & Webin sight
    The volume of new orders rose in the reorganised Digital & Web Solutions segment by 47.4% to €89.9m compared to 2014. Given low order backlog at the start of the year, after nine months revenue in this segment of €63m was significantly below the prior-year figure of €93.8m. In contrast, order backlog climbed from €61.9m the year before to €77.8m. Higher development costs for new digital printing markets hit earnings in the third quarter. The segment posted a loss of €12.2m for the full nine months (2014: –€12.8m). In the fourth quarter the KBA management board expects the turnaround targeted due to higher revenues and the sizeable reduction in costs resulting from the restructuring and capacity adjustment.

    Higher sales at Special Solutions in Q4
    Orders for security presses which increased significantly compared to the previous year primarily drove order intake in the Special Solutions segment up 14.2% to €295.9m. At €276.5m revenue in this segment at the end of September was around €74m lower than in 2014. KBA also anticipates a remarkable rise here in the fourth quarter. At the end of the quarter order backlog came to €214.5m. Earnings were dampened by lower sales and the product mix delivered. Segment profit fell to €15.6m compared to the prior-year figure of €51.8m which was boosted by high-margin security press projects.

    Solid balance sheet and high liquidity
    Group results to 30 September were +€2.4m (2014: –€2.3m), which corresponds to earnings per share of +€0.16. At –€28.6m cash flows from operating activities were clearly below the prior-year figure of €32.9m. The free cash flow came to –€27.8m following €21m the year before. Given reduced receivables and a rise in customer prepayments, higher inventories for the sales catch-up in Q4 and redundancy payments as part of personnel adjustments ultimately led to the cash outflow. Nevertheless, funds at the end of September 2015 stood at €183.4m. Less bank loans, net liquidity was €166.8m. The equity ratio rose to 24.1%.

    Export level at 85.4%
    At 85.4% KBA’s export level was on par with the previous year (85.3%). Fewer web and special press installations led to a decline in the proportion of group sales attributable to other parts of Europe from 35.8% in 2014 to 29.4%. In contrast, North America’s contribution jumped from 10.1% to 14.1% and Asia and the Pacific rose from 24.2% to 33.6%. Latin America and Africa generated 8.3% of group sales.

    Almost 650 fewer employees
    At the end of September 2015 there were 5,285 employees on the KBA group payroll, 645 fewer than twelve months earlier. KBA is training 384 apprentices, among which for the first time are two asylum seekers from Pakistan. Excluding apprentices, employees exempted from their duties and staff on phased retirement schemes, the group workforce sank from 5,281 the previous year to 4,633.

    Outlook for 2015 unchanged
    The scheduled delivery of the large order backlog and the generation of the revenue planned in KBA’s individual business units for 2015 have priority at present. Special measures to cushion peaks in capacity utilisation and increase output result in costs included in our earnings planning. However, the management board is confident that the targeted group revenue of over €1bn can be achieved by the balance sheet date.

    As the market leader in folding carton printing systems, KBA-Sheetfed Solutions profits from increased investment activity in the packaging industry, economic recovery in Southern Europe and from growing success in the Group’s young markets, such as Japan. The largest KBA company will kick off the new year with more orders than twelve months ago.

    The KBA management board expects a significant increase in revenue and a sizeable earnings improvement over the next quarters at KBA-Digital & Web following the elimination of capacity underutilisation and a stronger focus on the growing digital printing market. Good market opportunities in digital decor printing and the alliance with HP in digital corrugated printing provide the division with considerably brighter prospects.

    Revenue in the Special Solutions segment is also expected to increase in the fourth quarter primarily driven by KBA-NotaSys and KBA-MetalPrint active in banknote printing and metal decorating. Revenue gains planned in almost all of the company’s business units by the balance sheet date will have a significantly positive effect on group earnings.

    Following a speedy implementation, the management board will complete the core of its restructuring programme Fit@All at the end of 2015. President and CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann: “The optimisation of our product spectrum and the organisation at our sites remain ongoing. Sustainable profitability in all business fields is our highest priority for 2016, also in order to reduce the influence of cyclical and market-driven special effects in security printing on profitability further.”
    (Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA))
     
    23.11.2015   Ence adjusted Ebitda rose 250% to 141 million euros in first nine months of 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news The results reflect the success of its competitiveness plan and set the company on track to meeting its targets. Ence reduced production costs by 11%

    Ence – Energía y Celulosa recorded a net profit of €35.1 million in the first nine months of the year compared to a loss of €139.7 million in the same period of 2014, while adjusted EBITDA was 250% up on the same period of 2014, at €141 million. The improvement in large part reflects lower expenses, with production costs down 11% at €365/tonne compared with the first nine months of 2014.

    Ignacio de Colmenares, CEO of Ence, said: “results for the first nine months demonstrate that the company's enhanced competitiveness plan is bearing fruit and set us on track to meeting our ambitious goal of achieving €200 million in adjusted EBITDA in 2015."

    Also significant has been the marked increase in pulp prices as a result of a sustained surge in demand, especially in China where consumption of tissue paper has risen sharply in tandem with the improved quality of life in the country. The price ended the period at $810/tonne, with some price notifications at $830/tonne, which in combination with dollar appreciation allowed Ence to increase net sales prices by 24%.

    At the same time, the Company negotiated dollar hedges for the period October 2015-April 2017 at a range of $1.07/€ to $1.15/€, which cover approximately 50% of pulp sales, giving it enhanced management of revenue trends.

    During the nine months of 2015, Ence continued to improve operating cash flow generation, which came to €85.3 million driven by the higher pulp prices and increased sales of electricity, well above the €15 million recorded in the same period last year.

    At the end of October, Ence completed a refinancing of bonds issued in February 2014 through a new issue of €250 million at 5.375% interest coming due in November 2022 (the 2013 bond carried interest of 7.25% over seven years). On October 7, the Company paid out the previously announced gross interim dividend of €0.044 per share charged to 2015 results.
    (Grupo Empresarial ENCE S.A.)
     
    23.11.2015   Flint Group announces the creation of a new Digital Printing Solutions division and the ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...acquisition of Xeikon

    Flint Group has announced the acquisition of Xeikon*, a leading digital solutions provider to the packaging and commercial printing markets. Headquartered in Eede in the Netherlands, with operations in Lier, Ieper and Heultje Belgium, Xeikon, designs, develops and delivers high-end digital colour presses and consumables for the global commercial, document, label and packaging market segments, distributing its solutions through a worldwide sales and service network.

    Xeikon’s pioneering products and services will be the foundation of a newly created division to be called Flint Group Digital Printing Solutions. This new division of Flint Group will further broaden the group’s conventional and digital printing solutions, offering a unique proposition of equipment, consumables and services across its global markets.

    “This acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for Flint Group, propelling the organisation further into the digital solutions market, where we will continue to deliver on our long term strategy of driving growth through product innovation, focus on developing markets and portfolio expansion,” says Antoine Fady, CEO Flint Group. “Xeikon have a proven history of delivering exceptional value through high-quality, high-productivity, innovative and sustainable solutions for their customers, which fits seamlessly with our own long-term vision for our business.”

    Mr. Fady continues. “I am also delighted to welcome the customers and employees of Xeikon to Flint Group and look forward to supporting them and building on their continued success.”

    Wim Maes, CEO of Xeikon, who will become President of Flint Group’s Digital Printing Solutions division, reporting to Antoine Fady, says, “We are very pleased to be joining Flint Group’s global organisation and excited by the opportunities this acquisition presents to accelerate business growth. Xeikon has shown that dedication to the digital label, folding carton, commercial and document printing market segments has paid off in terms of market share, customer satisfaction and financial contribution. This next chapter in our more than 20-year existence opens many opportunities for Xeikon as a company, as well as for our customers, employees, partners and stakeholders.”

    Mr. Maes continues, “Flint Group has developed strong relationships with many leading global organisations within the graphic arts and packaging markets. Our shared goal of delivering exceptional value, unparalleled service, consistent quality and continuous innovation is only enhanced by Flint Group’s reputation, knowledge, infrastructure and support.”

    The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by the competition authorities, and should be completed by end of 2015.
    (Flint Group Print Media Europe)
     
    23.11.2015   Fire at Hallsta Paper Mill    ( Company news )

    Company news A fire broke out on Friday evening at Hallsta Paper Mill in Hallstavik, outside Norrtälje, Sweden. No-one was injured, but production has been stopped.

    The fire took place in the pulp factory in the north of the factory site. It was put out by the emergency services, and clean-up efforts began immediately at Friday night. The two paper machines at the mill were not affected or damaged by the fire.

    Paper production has been halted until activities in the fire-damaged pulp factory can be resumed. The current assessment is that it will be possible to start up the pulp factory again, in any case partially, within two to three weeks.

    “We’re initiating immediate dialogue with those customers next in line for deliveries from the mill, and we’ll be doing our utmost to ensure that our customers are affected to as minor an extent as possible,” says Nils Ringborg, CEO at Holmen Paper.

    An investigation into the cause of the fire and the extent of the damage is in progress. The incident is expected to have a negative impact on results for the fourth quarter amounting to SEK 30 million.
    (Holmen Paper AB)
     
    20.11.2015   Intertek supports Sappi's development of novel materials for automotive or consumer ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... product applications

    Intertek, a leading provider of quality solutions worldwide has successfully completed an assessment of Sappi’s new cellulose reinforced polypropylene material, in order to determine its suitability for processing and automotive or consumer product applications.

    As a global forest product leader focused on dissolving wood pulp, paper pulp and paper-based solutions, Sappi is strategically committed to maximize the value of wood derived products by exploring new possibilities and innovations with the materials now used to make paper. Recently, Sappi has developed a new material by using cellulose from trees to create a cellulose reinforced polypropylene. This material has potential applications in a variety of markets including automotive, consumer electronics and furniture.

    Intertek polymer engineers assessed the new material by using their laboratory polymer processing facility to show that it is easily processed and can be made into “life-sized” items such as automotive components. These were then tested to explore their properties. The test results demonstrated good mouldability as well as high rigidity with low density, low odour, good colouring possibilities and good scratch resistance. The assessment benefitted Sappi by providing critical insight on the material’s performance which has helped to reduce risk of product failure and also enabled initial customer trials to be conducted, leading to rapid market introduction following a very short development period.

    Intertek has entered into a collaboration with the Symbio team, part of a corporate start-up initiative within Sappi, to support their product development of next generation cellulose reinforced materials which are already in development. Intertek will continue to play a supporting role by providing testing and polymer processing expertise (injection moulding and extrusion) to assist Sappi develop new materials with improved impact resistance.

    Intertek polymer engineers, chemists and regulatory experts work with clients to continually enhance polymer development through advanced analytics, problem solving, pilot plant injection moulding, film extrusion and compounding pilot line facilities. With this expertise, Intertek supports the development of new and innovative polymer products for numerous applications including packaging, consumer products, automotive and aerospace.
    (Sappi Maastricht B.V.)
     
    20.11.2015   Goss International Corporation appoints Mohit Uberoi as new CEO    ( Company news )

    Company news Goss International announced the appointment of Mohit Uberoi (photo) as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Mohit joins Goss having previously served as President/Chief Executive Officer at B&W MEGTEC.

    Mohit joined MEGTEC in 1997 and led the business from 2003 to 2015. He has significant experience overseeing the transformation of global industrial mid‐market companies with multiple product lines and global locations, with both private equity and public shareholders.

    “It is our pleasure to announce that Mohit Uberoi has joined Goss as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately,” said Sparsh Bhargava of AIP. “Under Mohit’s leadership we are excited about this next stage in the company’s history. As a long-standing industry professional, Mohit is ideally suited to join Goss as its leader. He has a strong appreciation for the strengths of the company, its employees, customers and products. With his printing industry background, Mohit has a deep understanding of the many challenges facing the broader industry. He is a transformational leader, with a proven track record of making businesses successful.”

    Prior to MEGTEC, Mohit worked in research and new business development for W.R. Grace & Co., a diversified industrial conglomerate. Mohit earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, before moving to the United States to pursue his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona.

    Mohit said, “I’m delighted to join Goss at such a pivotal time and look forward to working with American Industrial Partners, our management team, and employees to build a customer responsive, financially strong company with great products and services.”
    (Goss International Americas Inc.)
     
    20.11.2015   Metso strengthens its unique valve services network by opening a new service center in Sweden    ( Company news )

    Company news Metso opened a new service center specialized in process valve and field equipment solutions in Gothenburg, Sweden. The investment supports the company's strategy to grow its service capabilities globally.

    The 1,700 square meter facility comprises a valve service center, Metso sales office and training facilities. The center is ideally located in the Gothenburg area close to the pulp & paper and oil & gas customers situated on the west coast of Sweden.

    With deep valve industry and process knowledge, Metso's skilled professionals service products using Metso original spare parts and service procedures. For customers, this new service center will ensure the same quality and warranty for the reconditioned products as Metso offers for new products. Services are performed according to Metso quality, safety and environmental procedures, which are ISO 9000 certified.

    "Metso is continuously improving its service capability and scope of offering to help our customers ensure outstanding long-term process performance with high reliability and safety. The new service center in the Gothenburg area strengthens Metso's position to stage, test and service large numbers of valves to meet our customers' high-volume, fast-turnaround repair and service needs during scheduled plant shutdowns," says Tom Adolfsson, Sales and Service Director, Sweden, Flow Control, Metso.

    Metso's flow control services are available through more than 40 service centers worldwide. Services are provided for Metso and third-party field devices, including valves, actuators, smart devices and pumps. In addition, the service centers provide spare parts, field support and diagnostic services as well as training programs. Building on these technical services, Metso offers business solutions, such as Intelligent Shutdown, Intelligent Maintenance, Device Management and Control Performance, to optimize maintenance, reliability and production efficiency.
    (Metso Corporation)
     
    20.11.2015   BPM Manufactures MG Grades for Specialty Paper Applications    ( Company news )

    Company news With continuous improvements of machine modifications, BPM’s MG grades deliver consistent converting and print capabilities to the industry.

    BPM Paper, a leader in the manufacturing of MG papers and specialty papers, manufactures an extensive range of machine glazed papers for the flexible packaging industry. With continuous improvements of
    machine modifications, BPM’s MG grades deliver consistent converting and print capabilities to the industry.

    “BPM is a respected and innovative specialty paper mill in the MG paper industry,” stated Mitchell Mekaelian, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for BPM Inc. “We are looking to grow our MG market in light of the recent major shut down of a European MG machine. As an
    experienced supplier, we know this market. BPM is recognized for its quality MG papers and with continuous improvement and commitment, we are able to drive market innovation and offerings.”

    Located in northern Wisconsin, the mill’s Yankee paper machine has received several upgrades and updates over recent years. From new software package to improvements in the head box and steam box, the upgrades have assisted in reduced variability of basis weights and moisture profiles. The paper machine has a 123” trim width with the majority of the company’s paper production is in the range of 20 to 30 lb. papers, with capabilities that range from 14 to 45 lb.
    BPM manufacturers a robust line of MG papers that can be engineered to meet the needs of a wide array of applications. Product offerings include PH Neutral Papers, food release, wet strength, coating and laminating bases, baking papers, confectionery, meat and cheese interleave, and wrapping papers. The company is known for its specialty paper manufacturing flexibility, excellent service and wil
    lingness to develop custom-made solutions.
    The company’s MG products have an excellent surface finish resulting in better print capability and runability. With in-house printing,
    converting and waxing capabilities, customer’s needs can be tailor-made for specific end-use solutions.
    The mill also has a unique offering of colored MG papers. Common colors are natural, brown, orange and yellow with custom colors available upon request.
    (BPM Inc.)
     
    20.11.2015   Heidelberg on course after first half of financial year 2015/2016 with sales and result up on ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... on previous year

    -Further progress with strategic reorientation
    -Sales after six months climb to €1.162 billion
    -EBITDA excluding special items increase to €79 million
    -Proceeds from sale of headquarters in Heidelberg posted as income in second half-year
    -Outlook for year as a whole: Sights firmly set on achieving targets for year

    Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) systematically implemented the Group’s strategic reorientation in the first half of financial year 2015/2016 (April 1 to September 30, 2015) and made further progress during this period. The growth areas – services and digital – have undergone considerable expansion, while structures and processes have been made even leaner in the sheetfed business.

    The takeover of the Printing Systems Group (PSG) increased service and consumables sales as planned. The five subsidiaries have been fully integrated into the Heidelberg sales organization and the management structure adapted accordingly. Half of the planned additional sales of some €100 million from the takeover have been generated after six months. Heidelberg is planning further acquisitions in this growth segment in the future and is expecting services and consumables to account for around 50 percent of Group sales in the medium term.

    The greater focus of the research and development budget on digital printing is also becoming increasingly apparent. One example is the successful sales launch of the company’s new digital label press for the packaging market. Heidelberg has also succeeded in winning over a German start-up company from the food industry for its latest development in the field of 4D printing. Unveiling the first industrial sheetfed digital press at the drupa trade show next year will mark the next milestone in the digital strategy.

    As for its sheetfed business, the company continued the planned efficiency measures with the aim of increasing flexibility and boosting future profitability. Full implementation by the end of the financial year will further improve the profitability of the sheetfed business, above all in the second half-year. The relocation of company headquarters and the Print Media Center Commercial from Heidelberg to Wiesloch-Walldorf marks the completion of a key structural measure. This will speed up processes in the future and further reduce annual operating costs for the sites. Together with the Print Media Center Packaging, Wiesloch-Walldorf now boasts the industry’s largest demonstration center for commercial and packaging printing anywhere in the world. The sale of the vacant administrative premises in Heidelberg has been contractually agreed and is expected to be recognized in profit or loss in the course of the financial year.

    “We are systematically implementing our growth strategy. New business models and a dynamic portfolio have led to a significant increase in sales,” said Dirk Kaliebe (photo), CFO and Deputy CEO of the company. “The reorientation of Heidelberg has also made us more flexible, which means we are better able to respond to market fluctuations and can further improve profitability,” he added.
    (Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)

     
    20.11.2015   ARCTIC PAPER GROUP IN Q3 2015: EBITDA AND OPERATING PROFIT SIGNIFICANTLY ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...HIGHER THAN IN Q2 2015 IN SPITE OF UNCHANGED TOUGH MARKET CHALLENGES

    In the 3rd quarter of 2015 the financial results generated by the Arctic Paper Group from continued operations were influenced by unchanged market challenges. EBITDA was PLN 70.5m (down 19.2% compared to Q3 2014), operating profit was slightly over PLN 43m (27.2% less than in Q3 2014), and net profit from continued operations was over PLN 22.7m (down 43.2% from the same period of 2014). Sales revenues were PLN 730.7m, that is at a similar level year-on-year.

    The 3rd quarter results on EBITDA and operating profit level were significantly above those achieved in Q2 2015: EBITDA grew by 81.1% and operating profit by 262,7%, while revenues increased by 6.2% quarter-on-quarter. The cumulative year-to-date net result from continued operations was by 16.3% higher than achieved in the first three quarters of 2014. EBITDA was down 1.3% and operating profit slightly increased (by 0.5%) year on year. Revenues were by 1.2% higher in comparison to the first three quarters of last year.

    All the above figures include the contribution of Rottneros AB (the majority of Rottneros AB was acquired by Arctic Paper Group in 2013), which posted very good financial results for both Q3 2015 and the first 9 months of 2015.
    The Arctic Paper Group, excluding Rottneros, generated sales revenues of about PLN 541.9m in Q3 2015, which is 1.3 % more than in Q3 2014. EBITDA was slightly over PLN 28m (a decline of 50.1 % compared to the same period of 2014) and operating profit was almost PLN 8.9m (a 74.8 % decrease year-on-year).
    Nevertheless, also in this case the Q3 2015 EBITDA and EBIT are much better than those of Q2 2015, when EBITDA was only PLN 151,000 and the company had an operating loss of over PLN 19.1m.

    Arctic Paper CEO Wolfgang Lübbert (photo) commented: “The situation on the graphical paper market is still tough, with just very small signs of improvement. During the 3rd quarter the dollar impact and pulp prices remained the governing factors. Paper prices, which have been low for a long time, have slowly risen, but with reluctant market acceptance. The market situation strains the pace of reaching the full effect of our Profit Improvement Program, which includes the cease of production or sale of Arctic Paper Mochenwangen. The two alternatives are being carefully analysed to ensure progress and development of the three remaining Arctic Paper mills.”

    The Group’s results in the paper segment were adversely affected by an increase in PLN pulp purchasing costs by 18.5% year-on-year (and 2.1% compared to Q2 2015).
    This situation remains unchanged and is caused mainly by the unfavourable euro to US dollar exchange rates, which were down by 16.1% compared to Q3 2014 (although slightly up, by 0.7%, compared to Q2 2015).
    At the end of Q3 2015, the Arctic Paper Group kept a PLN 12.9 m provision (out of PLN 15.3m created in Q1) motivated by the nticipated non-payment of trade receivables to Arctic Paper’s mills by PaperlinX UK companies, which were placed in voluntary administration.
    In September 2015, the average prices of high-quality graphic paper in Europe were 5.3% higher for uncoated wood-free paper and 1.7% higher for coated wood-free paper (year-on-year).
    As compared to June 2015, these prices were up 2.6 % for uncoated wood-free paper and 2.5 % for coated wood-free paper (all data based on RISI).
    The Group paper sales revenue in Q3 2015 was up 2.1% year-on-year and 9.1% in comparison to Q2 of this year. Sales revenue per tonne rose by 4.9% and 3.8% respectively.
    Total Arctic Paper Group production volume in Q3 2015 was 189,000 tonnes, which is up 10,4 % in comparison to Q2 2015 and down 4.1 % compared to Q3 2014.

    Arctic Paper CEO Wolfgang Lübbert summarized: “In unchanged conditions on the paper market we clearly see significant benefits from our majority ownership of Rottneros. This makes it easier to sustain and enforce the promotion of the outstanding products from our mills, and to implement our Profit Improvement Program.”
    (Arctic Paper S.A.)
     
    20.11.2015   Announcing Paperex South India 2016, November 11- 13. 2016 at Chennai, India    ( Company news )

    Company news After a remarkable success of Paperex series and three edition of Paper + the Indian paper show in southern India, ITEI is happy to announce Paperex South India 2016 scheduled during Nov 11-13, 2016 at Chennai, Trade Centre, Chennai, India

    Paperex South India is another commitment from the organizers of Paperex series of international events to serve the pulp and paper Industry. Paperex South India 2016 aims to provide the regional business platform presenting unlimited opportunities.

    The last edition of 2014 in retrospect
    • 121 Leading Exhibitors from 12 countries
    • 4932 Trade Visitors From 26 countries including 176 Paper Mills across India
    • Technical conference on “Recycling- the future of Indian paper Industry” by IARPMA
    • “World Paper Congress” on “Globalising the Indian Paper Industry” by “World Paper Forum”
    • Special Session by Federation of Paper Traders Association on “Paper is green-Environment & Eco-friendly paper”
    • First Unique Plantation Programme “Paper- Greening India” by Paper Manufacturers in India.
    • Key Sectors of Interest of trade visitors were:- Specialty Paper, Printing Paper, New & Second Hand Machinery, New Technology, Raw Materials, Waste Paper & Pulp, Fiber, Automation, Quality Control System, Specialty Chemicals, etc

    The last edition was acclaimed by the exhibitors, a successful B2B event for paper and allied industries of southern states of India. Most exhibitors felt that there were quality visitors, which showed that the visitors were getting sensitized to the value of Exhibitions and conducting their business in a more planned manner thus greatly increasing a good return on time invested for an exhibitor or visitor.
    Since your esteemed organization is one of important member of the paper industry, we invite you to be the part of this prestigious international event as exhibitor. You may indicate the area requirement of stall / area, so that we may suggest a good location and make the necessary arrangement accordingly.
    (International Trade and Exhibitions India Pvt Ltd)
     
    20.11.2015   Christian Bänninger new member of the management board of ALFA Klebstoffe AG    ( Company news )

    Company news Christian Bänninger (photo) is taking over the function of the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the ALFA Klebstoffe AG with immediate effect and is new member of the executive board. Thus, the 3rd generation of the Simmler and Bänninger families enters the management of the Swiss adhesive manufacturer.

    The 29-year-old, grandson of the company founder, has been working for ALFA for 7 years and actively supports the innovation-driven company as Deputy Head of R&D. With the new function Christian Bänninger additionally assumes the management of business processes and services.

    "With this step we strengthen our aim of running the ALFA Klebstoffe AG as an independent family business over the long term." says the managing director (CEO) Thomas Simmler.
    (Alfa Klebstoffe AG)
     
    20.11.2015   New wash press in operation at Södra Cell Mönsterås    ( Company news )

    Company news As part of the Expansion Södra project, Södra Cell has invested in a new wash press for its Mönsterås mill. The commissioning and installation were successful and on schedule.

    Södra Cell Mönsterås, which is Södra's largest paper pulp mill with annual production of 750,000 tonnes, has invested in a new wash press. Södra's decision to invest SEK 300 million in Mönsterås will lead to more efficient energy use and increased productivity at the mill.

    The wash press was installed during the mill shutdown between 21 September and 4 October. It replaces the Kvaerner 2550 in the Q2 stage of the bleaching plant, which was installed in 2004 but had broken down.

    "The new wash press will play an important role in our process to secure high availability, a grade of pulp that meets customer requirements and to achieve delivery reliability," said Olof Hellström, one of the project managers.

    Lars Harrysson, project leader, said that the installation and commissioning were highly successful, and that the schedule was maintained throughout the project.

    "Everything has worked out, and everyone has done their utmost to get the new press installed and running," said Harrysson.
    (Södra Cell AB)
     
    19.11.2015   Top score for SCA in climate index    ( Company news )

    Company news SCA has once again been recognized by CDP – an international non-governmental organization – as a leader in reporting climate-change data. SCA also improved its rating from B to A- compared to last year.

    CDP works to transform the way the world does business to prevent dangerous climate change and protect natural resources. The organization, which represents 822 institutional investors that manage 95 trillion USD in assets, holds the largest collection globally of self-reported data on climate change, water and forest risk.

    Each year, CDP compiles its Global Climate Change Report, which analyzes how companies respond to the causes of global warming. Organizations graded within the top 10 percent enter the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI).

    Highest achievable score
    For the sixth consecutive year SCA has qualified for the CDLI for its approach to climate change reporting. SCA achieved the highest achievable score, 100. High scores indicate good internal data management and understanding of climate change-related issues affecting the company.

    Companies also receive a so-called performance band rating on a scale from A to E. In 2015, SCA improved its rating from B to A-.

    Patrik Isaksson (photo), Vice President Environmental Affairs at SCA, says: “I am really pleased with the results. This is the second consecutive year we achieve the highest possible score, which is an acknowledgment that SCA has best-in-class systems for reporting climate-related data.”
    (SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget)
     
    19.11.2015   Cascades posts record results for the third quarter of 2015     ( Company news )

    Company news 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, 2015 .

    Q3 2015 Highlights
    -Sales of $1,026 million (compared to $950 million in Q2 2015 (+8%) and $909 million in Q3 2014 (+13%))
    -Excluding specific items
    ---OIBD of $134 million (compared to $103 million in Q2 2015 (+30%) and 93 million in Q3 2014 (+44%))
    ---Net earnings per common share of $0.52 (compared to $0.25 in Q2 2015 and $0.04 in Q3 2014)
    ---Greenpac contribution to net earnings per common share: $0.04 (compared to $0.03 in Q2 2015 and $0.00 in Q3 2014)
    -Including specific items
    ---OIBD of $122 million (compared to $105 million in Q2 2015 (+16%) and $95 million in Q3 2014 (+28%))
    ---Net earnings per common share of $0.24 (compared to $0.25 in Q2 2015 and a net loss of $0.17 in Q3 2014)
    -Net debt of $1,741 million (compared to $1,693 million as of June 30, 2015 ), including $73 million of non-recourse net debt.

    Mr. Mario Plourde (photo), President and Chief Executive Officer, had the following comments on the most recent quarterly results: "We are pleased with the third quarter results, a result of the good performance of all our groups. Our OIBD of $134 million is a quarterly record. The difficult portfolio rationalization measures and strategic initiatives undertaken over the last few years, combined with better productivity and cost reduction measures in the Tissue Papers Group, have enabled us to benefit more fully from favourable market conditions, particularly in Canada .

    Higher average selling prices, shipments and a favourable exchange rate allowed our Tissue Papers and Containerboard groups to respectively achieve record quarterly OIBD. The Specialty Products Group also significantly improved its earnings due to increased profitability in its recovery activities. In Europe , results were sequentially lower due to seasonality, but stable compared to the same period last year despite a softer market and the lack of energy credits during the quarter. Finally, our earnings per share excluding specific items continue to improve, benefiting not only from these better results but also from the increasing contribution of the Greenpac mill, which represented $0.04 per share during the third quarter."
    (Cascades Inc.)
     
    19.11.2015   Fortress Paper Announces Third Quarter 2015 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Fortress Paper Ltd. (TSX:FTP) ("Fortress Paper" or the "Company") announced results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2015. The Company reported operating EBITDA of $5.5 million, an increase of $1.4 million and $7.0 million over the previous quarter and prior year comparative period, respectively. The Dissolving Pulp Segment ("Dissolving Pulp") generated operating EBITDA of $5.4 million and the Security Paper Products Segment ("Security Paper") generated operating EBITDA of $2.2 million. Corporate costs included in operating EBITDA were $2.1 million.

    "We were pleased to report another quarter of positive momentum and overall improvement in our operating EBITDA, led by Dissolving Pulp," stated Yvon Pelletier, Chief Executive Officer. "In Dissolving Pulp, our ongoing efforts to diversify our end market exposure are gaining traction while market dynamics continue to show signs of improvement. In Security Paper, we had lower shipments compared to the prior quarter largely due to product mix and timing of sales. That said, the underlying improvement in Security Paper is encouraging and we continue to implement new initiatives to improve profitability. We are committed to building on the progress we have made during 2015 to expand our business and actively manage our cost base."

    Third Quarter 2015 Segment Results
    Dissolving Pulp operating EBITDA was $5.4 million for the third quarter of 2015, representing an improvement of $3.3 million over the second quarter of 2015. The results for the quarter were impacted mainly by improved pricing, increased power generation under the additional power supply agreement with Hydro Québec, and favourable exchange rates. Dissolving Pulp operating EBITDA improved by $6.6 million compared to the third quarter of 2014.

    The Company sold 45,377 air dried metric tonnes ("ADMT") of dissolving pulp in the third quarter of 2015 compared to 39,664 ADMT in the previous quarter of 2015. Pricing and industry conditions continued to improve. The Company is on target to reduce its dissolving pulp shipments to China by approximately 20% over the second half of the year as compared to the first six months of 2015.

    Security Paper operating EBITDA was $2.2 million for the third quarter of 2015, which was $1.2 million lower when compared to the previous quarter, and $1.1 million higher when compared to results in the third quarter of 2014. The Landqart mill sold 2,456 tonnes of security paper in the third quarter of 2015, compared to 2,745 tonnes in the second quarter of 2015. Security Paper operating EBITDA was primarily impacted by the timing of sales, product mix and fluctuations in foreign exchange rates; however, more efficient production and improved waste rates positively impacted Security Paper results relative to the prior year comparative period.

    The Landqart mill is exposed to foreign currency exchange fluctuations, as a material amount of its sales are denominated in euros and its major costs, excluding raw materials, are denominated in Swiss francs, as compared to competitors whose manufacturing costs are primarily denominated in euros. In response to the significant appreciation of the Swiss franc against the euro in the first quarter of 2015, management continues to implement the foreign exchange counter measure program, which includes mitigating foreign exchange impacts and reducing other costs in areas such as procurement and logistics.
    (Fortress Paper Ltd)
     
    19.11.2015   BASF to reorganize its paper, water, oilfield and mining businesses    ( Company news )

    Company news BASF is reorganizing its paper, water, oilfield and mining businesses within the Performance Chemicals division to foster customer and industry focus and increase competitiveness.

    In the Water Solutions and Paper Chemicals businesses cost leadership, operational and commercial excellence as well as efficient and reliable supply are key success factors. Thus, BASF is combining these two businesses to form a new global business unit “Paper & Water.” Merging the two businesses will enable efficiency gains and create additional market opportunities.

    The Oilfield and Mining Solutions businesses operate in markets that are driven by differentiation to create sustainable industry solutions together with customers. Success factors for suppliers to these industries are technology and innovation leadership as well as engineering and application expertise. “Oilfield & Mining Solutions” will operate as a global business unit. Dedicated industry teams will increase effectiveness and focus on developing and commercializing innovative and sustainable products to support the predominantly global customers in optimizing their yields.

    Both global business units will be headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The changes will be effective as of January 1, 2016. The company expects overall a reduction of about 120 positions worldwide until the end of 2016 resulting from the alignment and refocussing of business structures.

    “The further development of our organization will strengthen customer focus. The stepwise expansion of our polymer production network and investments in bio-acrylamide raw materials as well as the launch of innovative products will accelerate profitable growth,” said Prof. Dr. Christian Fischer, President of the Performance Chemicals division.
    (BASF SE)
     
    19.11.2015   Cepi ContainerBoard updates its European List of Corrugated Base Papers    ( Company news )

    Company news The list was first issued in 1992, and has regularly been updated in order to integrate the improvements of the knowledge and the understanding of how the properties of papers influence properties of the box and the performance of the corrugator. This document is the fifth update and it represents the conclusions of the review made by the Cepi ContainerBoard Technical Committee, group of technical experts commissioned to review this list and to update it using current knowledge of the papers, their properties, and performance.

    The first ambition of the list is to cover most of the paper and board qualities used by the corrugated industry in Europe and to give a brief technical description of them, and not to describe the process they are made from. It has to be recognized that not all of the relevant properties can be described by the existing measuring methods ; as a consequence the group foresees the need to modify some of the parameters in the coming years. Especially the long-term box strength properties under load (and eventually) climate changes and difficulties
    measuring the correct properties at low and high substances need to be investigated. An example of the first is creep and of the later are CMT measurements.
    The second ambition of the experts has also been to maintain most of the existing code structure in the document, and it cannot be strongly enough pointed out that the increased trade between companies and usage of EDI message means an increased demand for all papermakers to mark their products according to the standard described in this document.
    However, the Technical Committee recognized that the usage of two digits does not cover all the needs, which can be foreseen for the coming years. It makes it necessary to introduce, in the future, either two extra digits to describe all product variations supplied to the corrugated board industry or a complementary system of identification (e.g. a two dimensional code).

    As in the preceding issue, the document is subdivided into groups of products used for production of corrugated board. The main changes to the previous document are:
    • The recycled light weight liner (LWL) category has been removed as well as the substance threshold, separating the light weight liners and the brown testliners
    • The testliner 3 property requirements according the substance classes, have been modified as a consequence of the removal of the light weight liners grades
    • Property requirements of the testliner 4 have been introduced (burst index and SCT-CD index) in order to take into account the evolutions of the market.
    • The Cobb references for the testliners 1, 2 and 3 have been modified with the introduction of two types of sizing : “sized” and “special sized” (knowing that the “special sized” liners are typically used to fulfil the United Nations regulation concerning corrugated board). The barcode system has also been modified for the testliners 1, 2 and 3 and it now foresees these three variants (unsized, sized and special sized)
    • A brown kraft top liner grade has been defined, with property requirements (burst index and SCT-CD index)
    • Two sub-categories of recycled fluting high performance have been introduced and the property requirements adapted accordingly
    • Due to the limitations seen at measuring CMT of high substances, and the rising trend to light weight fluting (used at low flute heights), the Technical Committee is currently
    developing an alternative method to replace the CMT measurement (A flute). Consequently, the CMT 30 values of the Light Weight Medium are now mentioned in the list only as indicative.

    Furthermore, several previous principles were confirmed and completed:
    • Grade numbers that are not allocated in the list shall not be used. However, in order to meet the recurrent request for the identification of specialty papers that can be produced by some plants, some specific numbers were allocated for each of the main grade families (brown and white top kraftliner, semi chemical fluting, brown and white top recycled liners, recycled fluting). Their fair use remains subject to the compliance with the corresponding Material Definition of the corresponding grade “family” (especially the primary pulp content)
    • Producers may either refer to the ISO 2758 or ISO 2759 for the bursting strength of their liners. However, whatever is the standard used, the liners must fulfil the minimum required level of performance of the category claimed, as indicated in the document
    • All the indicated values in the tables or graphs are either minimum or maximum values, which can be guaranteed, and in no case nominal values (except explicitly mentioned).
    (CCB - Cepi Containerboard Organisation)
     
    19.11.2015   Global Paper and Paperboard Packaging Market Outlook (2015-2022)    ( Company news )

    Company news The Global Paper & Paperboard Packaging market accounted for $117.5 billion in 2014 to reach $210.4 billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 7.59%. The key factors of the market include recyclability of Paper and also growing consumer awareness. Replacing Plastic and Market diffusion are the major factors for restraining the growth of the market. The challenges faced beside the market are adhering to Environmental Standards through Production and unproductive Recycling of Paper.

    Global Paper & Paperboard Packaging market is segmented by Grade, by Type, by application and by Geography. Based on Grade, the market is segregated into Solid Bleached Sulphate Board, White Lined Chipboard, Coated Unbleached Kraft Board, Folding Boxboard, Glassine & Greaseproof and Label Paper. Based on Type, the market is classified into Corrugated Box, Flexible Paper Packaging and Boxboard. Based on Application, the market is segregated into Food, Beverage, Personal & Home Care and Healthcare. By geography, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World. Asia-Pacific is estimated to grow fast, as rising demand of health & personal care products.

    What our report offers:
    - Market share assessments for the regional and country level segments
    - Market share analysis of the top industry players
    - Strategic recommendations for the new entrants
    - Market forecasts for a minimum of 8 years of all the mentioned segments, sub segments and the regional markets
    - Market Trends (Drivers, Constraints, Opportunities, Threats, Challenges, Investment Opportunities, and recommendations)
    - Strategic recommendations in key business segments based on the market estimations
    - Competitive landscaping mapping the key common trends
    - Company profiling with detailed strategies, financials, and recent developments
    - Supply chain trends mapping the latest technological advancements
    (STRATISTICS MRC)
     
    18.11.2015   Weyerhaeuser to explore strategic alternatives for its Cellulose Fibers business    ( Company news )

    Company news Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY) announced that its board of directors has authorized the exploration of strategic alternatives for its Cellulose Fibers business. The board intends to consider a broad range of alternatives, including continuing to hold and operate the business or a sale or spin-off of the business.

    "The people and assets associated with our Cellulose Fibers business are some of the finest in the industry," said Doyle R. Simons, president and chief executive officer. "We have consistently improved the performance of this business while continuing to meet the needs of our worldwide customers. We believe now is the right time to evaluate all options to ensure the best long-term results for this business and at the same time create the most value for our shareholders by further focusing our portfolio."

    The company's Cellulose Fibers business includes five pulp mills, two modified fiber mills, one liquid packaging board facility, and one publishing papers joint-venture facility.

    The company noted that there can be no assurance that the board's evaluation process will result in any transaction or that any transaction, if pursued, will be consummated. The company does not intend to provide any additional information unless or until the evaluation process is completed or terminated.
    (Weyerhaeuser Company)
     
    18.11.2015   BOBST at FEFCO 2015: Gold award for best innovation    ( Company news )

    Company news At the recent FEFCO Technical Conference in Barcelona, the BOBST digital printing press for corrugated (photo) won the Gold Award for Innovation, the FEFCO jury recognizing the radical capabilities of this new press technology. At the show, BOBST revealed to delegates the design and further technical specifications of the press, which is currently being beta tested at two European corrugated box plants. BOBST also premiered two brand new flexo printing lines, the FFG 8.20 EXPERTLINE flexo folder gluer and MASTERFLEX-XL high quality post-printer, confirming its commitment to both digital and flexo printing technologies.

    Emilio Corti, Head of Sales for BOBST Business Unit Sheet-fed said, “This award recognizes the ground-breaking nature of our radical new digital press. It is a highly innovative solution that has been conceived to open up a vast range of markets to corrugated packaging makers, from long runs of boxes featuring variable data to very short runs of bespoke packs and displays. It means that corrugated packaging manufacturers will be able to exploit all sorts of markets and I believe the jury recognized this with their award.”

    During the Spotlight presentation that convinced the jury of the innovative nature of the new BOBST digital printing press for corrugated, Jakob Bovin, Marketing Director Digital Printing - Corrugated Board at BOBST, gave delegates a first look at the BOBST digital printing press for corrugated board, which features a modern design and ground-breaking capabilities.

    Jakob Bovin said, “By using KODAK Stream Inkjet Technology utilizing aqueos based inks, our press can continuously deliver over 50 billion ink drops per second from its four, CMYK, print units. We can match a very broad range of the Pantone gamut and print at speeds of up to 200 meters per minute. The press delivers very high print quality, with a print resolution of 600 x 900 dpi. We have designed a brand new vacuum belt sheet transport system in order to guarantee the registration accuracy needed when printing at such high resolutions and high speeds. The press also incorporates our BOBST iQ400 quality control system and an ejection process for any non-conforming products.”

    As previously announced, the press is a stack-to-stack solution ideal for integration into corrugated plants’ existing logistics systems. The pre-coating unit allows the press to print onto a wide range of corrugated substrates, giving the converter maximum flexibility in production.

    The current beta testing phase of this new printing solution will continue in 2016 with the installation of two additional presses.

    New flexo lines
    Two other Spotlight sessions at FEFCO saw details revealed of two new BOBST flexo press lines.
    The MASTERFLEX-XL is a high quality flexographic printing press than can be installed offline, or inline with either a BOBST rotary or flat-bed die-cutter. The press features BOBST’s Start and Go system, which sets and then maintains register in conjunction with its Registron™ S5500 register control and a new SC500 adjustment system; a no-crush feeder; iQ300 image control which ensures any out of conformance print is ejected; vacuum transfer; sheet cleaning; and an automated stacker. The press has an offline speed of 12,000 sheets per hour.

    Gilbert Joux, Product Marketing Director Corrugated Board for BOBST, said, “MASTERFLEX-XL is about printing a quality product at high speed. Whether it is used offline, or inline with a MASTERCUT or DRO type die-cutter, the onboard systems ensure that consistently high printing quality is achieved, while at the same time delivering high productivity, superb flexibility and an attractive total cost of ownership. Flexo printing still has a huge amount to offer the corrugated industry and this new machine shows that at BOBST we are standing strong in our commitment to flexo technology development.”

    The second line announced was FFG 8.20 EXPERTLINE, a fully automated line for box production, integrating a BOBST FFG 8.20 EXPERT with automated loading and end of line palletization.

    Yves Bletterie, Area Sales Manager for BOBST Lyon, said, “The FFG 8.20 EXPERT has been a huge success, with over 45 machines installed since we launched it three years ago. Now, with the EXPERTLINE, we can offer a complete end-to-end automated production line which can deliver 24,000 boxes an hour, be set in just one or two minutes and which needs just two operators to run. It really boost the productivity of users and makes even low margin boxes profitable.”

    FFG 8.20 EXPERTLINE uses sequential order change (SOC) to achieve ultra-quick set-up times. Each part of the line, EXPERTLOADER, FFG 8.20 EXPERT and FFG PALLETIZER, begins its set-up of the next job while sheets from the previous order are still clearing its downstream units. The FFG 8.20 EXPERTLINE has already seen record achievements by early adopters, including 144,013 boxes produced in an eight hour shift with 10 order changes at a plant in Florida, and 71 setups in eight hours at a plant in Minnesota, producing 59,500 boxes.
    (Bobst Mex SA)
     
    18.11.2015   ROTTNEROS INTERIM REPORT JANUARY – SEPTEMBER 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news -Income after net financial items amounted to SEK 80 (52) million for the third quarter of 2015 and SEK 222 (80) for January-September, our best January-September performance in the current structure.
    -Net turnover for the third quarter totalled SEK 455 (404) million, a 13% increase compared with 2014.
    -The quarter is strong in terms of both production and financial performance, despite the negative impact of a seven-day production shutdown at Rottneros Bruk.
    -Production volumes increased by 7% compared with the third quarter of 2014, and for January-December, production volumes increased by 9% compared with the same period last year.
    -The PIX price in USD declined during the second quarter and amounted to an average of USD 846. Denominated in SEK, the price decrease was less than 1% compared with the second quarter. Compared with the third quarter of 2014, the price increase in SEK was about 11%.
    -Cash flow before investments in the third quarter of 2015 remained strong at SEK 84 (92) million and SEK 270 million on a rolling 12-month basis, compared with SEK 104 million for full-year 2014. Interest-bearing net receivables as of 30 September amounted to SEK 221 (44) million.
    -The board has decided to convene an extraordinary general meeting in December 2015 regarding the so-called additional dividend of SEK 0.40 per share, corresponding to MSEK 61.

    Comments by the president Per Lundeen (photo):
    Established greatly improved new level of earnings
    With a strong third quarter, the Rottneros Group continued on its positive course. It is now one year since I became CEO and it feels appropriate to reflect on the past year. Rottneros' employees have made the company considerably more stable, establishing a greatly improved performance level. The dollar and pulp prices are part of the trend, but our internal improvement programme has made a substantial contribution. The company has become debt-free and has resumed paying dividends.

    It is also uplifting to note that the board has decided to convene an extraordinary general meeting in December to decide on a so-called extra dividend of SEK 0.40 per share.

    Profit after net financial items was SEK 80 million for the quarter, a 54% improvement over the same period last year and profit after net financial items for the first nine months was SEK 257 million, a 152% improvement over the first nine months of 2014. This positive trend was driven by our own improvement measures, although the trend for the dollar compared with last year continued to benefit earnings. Production increased by a total of 7 per cent compared with the same quarter last year. Earnings also improved compared with the second quarter, even though pulp prices and the dollar both moved in the wrong direction. This achievement clearly shows that the Group's steady improvement initiatives have produced results.

    The decline in electricity prices has benefitted earnings since production of high-yield pulp at Rottneros Mill is so electricity-intensive. Since we hedge a large portion of our electricity purchases, our purchase prices will continue to drop even moving forward as older futures contracts are renewed at lower electricity prices.

    Continued stable demand
    Demand for our various grades of pulp generally remained stable. However, price pressures in the global market for long-fibre pulp continued this quarter.

    With the launch of Opacity Extreme, a high-yield pulp for thin packaging and printing paper, as well as special applications, Rottneros further strengthened its product portfolio. This is the third new product the company has launched over the past year. With its combination of excellent strength properties, high purity and superior opacity, Opacity Extreme could become the leading product in the market for thin paper.

    The annual maintenance shutdown of Vallvik Mill is scheduled for November. In connection with the shutdown, a few capacity-enhancing installations will be carried out within the framework of Agenda 500.

    Competitive return and efficient investments
    When we compare Rottneros' performance with reports published by our industry colleagues, we can conclude that our return on capital employed over the past 12 months was 26 per cent, which is the best in the industry. This means that Rottneros' has met its financial target: return on capital employed shall exceed this figure for comparable pulp-producing companies.

    Rottneros has formulated Agenda 500, a new long-term industrial plan aimed at increasing production at the company's two mills to at least 460,000 tonnes per year through extremely cost-effective investments. Under this scheme we are investing less than half as much money as our competitors per tonne of increased capacity. During the quarter the Board of Directors of the Rottneros Group resolved to invest an additional SEK 100 million in equipment within the framework of Agenda 500. These investments will be installed in the autumn of 2016.

    Compared with our industry colleagues, we also see that our employees are as productive as our competitors' employees, even though the competitors often have larger plants. Because Rottneros' two mills have been so well-run over the years, I can also note that our level of equity in fixed assets is about half as large as other pulp producers, measured in relation to turnover, or volume produced.

    Competence and resource reinforcement
    Rottneros' dedicated employees are the cornerstone of our efforts to grow the Group. And it is extremely positive that during the year we had almost 50 new hires. As a result, we replaced employees who are leaving due to retirement, but we also increased staffing as part of the initiative to enhance skills and resources as planned under Agenda 500.

    The Group's strong position in relation to the industry also means that we can confidently continue our journey towards an even stronger Rottneros.
    (Rottneros AB)
     
    18.11.2015   Fibria defines R$ 8.7 billion financing structure for Três Lagoas Unit expansion project in ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... Mato Grosso do Sul

    -Funding sources combine own cash, banks, Agribusiness Receivables Certificates (CRA), BNDES, Midwest Development Fund (FDCO) and foreign export credit agencies;
    -Average borrowing cost is 2% p.a. in USD;
    -Construction has already begun and is advancing on schedule;
    -The new line is expected to be commissioned in fourth quarter 2017.

    Fibria, a Brazilian forestry company and the world’s largest eucalyptus pulp producer, has already structured all of the financing for the Horizonte 2 Project, which will expand production capacity at its Três Lagoas Unit located in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Total investment was revised to R$ 8.7 billion, or approximately US$ 2.2 billion, down from the initial capital expenditure of US$ 2.5 billion.

    According to Fibria’s Chief Financial and Investor Relations Officer, Guilherme Cavalcanti, the combination of financing and own capital allowed the company to reach an average cost of 2% p.a. in U.S. dollar. The project’s financial solution will improve the company’s credit quality by reducing the average interest rate from 3.3% to 2.8% and lengthening repayment terms.

    Around 30% of total financing, or R$ 2.6 billion, will come from cash generated by Fibria, which has been consistently posting record-high operating results.

    The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) could provide R$ 1.7 billion in financing if the project, which is currently in the analysis phase, is approved, which would represent 20% of the project’s total financing. For this funding, Fibria qualified for the Fixed Income Market Incentive Program of the BNDES and the Brazilian Financial and Capital Markets Association (Anbima) and has already issued Agribusiness Receivables Certificates (CRA), which would give Fibria access to a larger portion of the BNDES facility at the Long Term Interest Rate (TJLP). Marking the first time they are being issued by Fibria, the CRAs enjoyed strong demand and helped stimulate Brazilian capital markets, with a record 34 brokerages distributing the securities. The issue amounted to R$675 million, with a rate corresponding to 99% of the CDI.

    Fibria also received approval for a R$ 1 billion financing facility through a project of the Midwest Development Superintendence (SUDECO) and the Midwest Development Fund (FDCO). Fibria received approval in October and the transaction should be completed by year-end.

    In the international market, Fibria gained access to two financing facilities: a US$ 400 million Export Prepayment Facility Agreement with an average cost of Libor + 1.43% and average term of 5 years; and a US$ 300 million facility from the Finnish export credit agency Finnvera (Finland), which finances equipment acquisitions in the country.

    “Since it holds investment grade credit ratings at the main rating agencies, when structuring the financing for the Horizonte 2 Project, Fibria was able to gain access to the best opportunities in the market with financing facilities adequate for its cash flow profile from the world’s best international credit institutions,” said Marcelo Habibe, Treasury general manager.

    Horizonte 2 Project
    Construction on the Horizonte 2 Project has already begun and is advancing on schedule. On Oct. 30, the cornerstone ceremony was held, with the project’s commissioning expected by end-2017.

    Fibria’s new pulp production line in Três Lagoas, Mato Grosso do Sul will create 40,000 jobs during construction. Once the project is completed, 3,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created.

    The pulp produced by Fibria at Três Lagoas will be sold in the domestic market and transported by rail to the Port of Santos in São Paulo, from where it will be exported to Europe, North America and Asia. Considering all of the Company’s units, Fibria’s total annual pulp production capacity will increase from the current 5.3 million tons to over 7 million tons, consolidating the company’s position as the world’s largest eucalyptus pulp producer.
    (Fibria Celulose S/A)
     
    18.11.2015   Metso selected as main supplier of valve solutions for Metsä Fibre's next-generation ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...bioproduct mill to be built in Finland

    Metso has signed a comprehensive framework agreement with Metsä Fibre to supply valve solutions for the world's first next-generation bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland. Metso's valve solutions will be used in all of the mill's process phases. The delivery includes more than one thousand valves and peripheral devices and is one of Metso's largest valve orders in Finland. Metso also takes care of the spare part services for the mill.

    "We are very pleased that Metsä Fibre trusts our valve expertise. The design of the bioproduct mill puts special emphasis on minimized emissions, low specific water consumption, and high energy and material efficiency, among other things. The availability and efficiency of the production processes can be maximized by utilizing optimally selected, reliable valve solutions," says Mika Sjöholm, Vice President, Pulp and Paper business line, Metso.

    Metso will supply the plant with Neles® ball valves, segment and butterfly valves for on-off and control applications and Neldisc® butterfly valves for manual on-off duty. The control valves are equipped with Neles® ND9000 series intelligent valve controllers, which have the capability for advanced performance follow-up and also enable predictive maintenance planning activities.

    Metso's aim is to also ensure the correct timing of future maintenance needs of the mill's valve installations by utilizing digital valve controller properties and product information management.

    Furthermore, to ensure best possible valve utilization rate Metso offers spare part inventory and maintenance services for the new mill. The service agreement is appended to the existing service agreement between Metsä Fibre and Metso.

    "Our valve production plant and our experts in Vantaa will play an important role in the manufacturing process of the new mill's products. We will use our global valve operations network in an optimal manner to offer competitive solutions to Metsä Fibre. The comprehensive valve maintenance services and our service center close to the customer ensure trouble-free production at the new mill," says Mika Sjöholm.

    The value of the framework agreement is not disclosed. Part of the order is included in Metso's fourth-quarter 2015 orders received with following quarter bookings during 2016. Metso's deliveries will start at the beginning of 2016, and the bioproduct mill will start its operations in the third quarter of 2017.
    (Metso Corporation)
     
    18.11.2015   Smurfit Kappa's Shelf Smart drives 8% sales increase for leading FMCG brands     ( Company news )

    Company news Smurfit Kappa’s Shelf Smart service is revolutionising the impact of Shelf Ready Packaging (SRP) as a shopper marketing tool driving sales increases of up to eight percent for leading Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brands, according to latest customer feedback.

    The results, reported by brand managers that have partnered with Smurfit Kappa and used the Shelf Smart process to transform how they market their products on the shelf, are further supported by the company’s own research. Over 50 tests, conducted across 11 categories and six countries, analysing the path-to-purchase behaviours of more than 10,000 shoppers, showed that Shelf Smart can help to drive double digit growth in brand visibility and perception. Demonstrating Smurfit Kappa’s expertise and ingenuity, the findings prove that, with the right SRP approach, increases in purchasing intent of more than 10 percent are achievable on the shelf.

    This extensive and ongoing research into shopper behaviour undertaken by Smurfit Kappa’s innovation team – led out of its Global Experience Centre in Schiphol, Amsterdam – has provided a wealth of ground-breaking insights that have been incorporated back into the Shelf Smart process to further enhance its performance since it was launched just six months ago.

    Shelf Smart was designed to improve FMCG customers’ product performance in-store, where 82 percent of purchasing decisions are known to be made in an average of four seconds, according to the most up-to-date research*. It involves a six step process that deploys cutting-edge technologies in combination with Smurfit Kappa’s unique packaging expertise, shopper insights, innovative designs and collaborative partnership approach, to test, refine and prove on-shelf shopper marketing strategies before they go live.

    At the outset, insight tools such as Smurfit Kappa’s Shelf Viewer technology – which compares the positioning and merchandising of up to 40,000 other products and placements – are harnessed alongside global design expertise to develop bespoke packaging solutions tailored to real-world challenges. An innovative 3D visualizer is then used to bring the idea to life in a risk-free virtual environment, before finally testing its impact on real shoppers using online eye-tracking tools developed in collaboration with high-tech partner EyeSee.

    Part of Smurfit Kappa’s relentless focus on saving customers time and money by making a packaging solution right before it is made real, Shelf Smart is the first service on the market to offer brands this kind of guaranteed optimisation. The whole process from problem definition to proven solution takes as little as six to eight weeks.

    Arco Berkenbosch, Vice President Innovation and Development at Smurfit Kappa, comments: “Shelf Smart is shaking up the shopper marketing world: it’s redefining how brands market their products, and proving just how powerful and measurable a marketing tool SRP can be. Smurfit Kappa is leading the way in partnering with brands to gain maximum disruption, exposure and ultimately sales. We’re delighted but not surprised to hear such impressive sales results being achieved by FMCG customers already.”

    Smurfit Kappa’s network of Experience Centres and the Shelf Smart service are prime examples of the company’s strategy to ‘Open the future’ for customers, by delivering growth through insight and innovation. They exemplify Smurfit Kappa’s wider commitment to maximising value for its customers, by developing proven packaging innovations that drive business success.
    (Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)
     
    18.11.2015   OUTCOME OF OPPOSITION PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO PATENT JOINTLY OWNED BY ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... ARCHROMA AND INTERNATIONAL PAPER

    Archroma, a global leader in color and specialty chemicals, today announced a successful outcome from opposition proceedings held at the European Patent Office (EPO).

    The invention, which allows more efficient use of optical brightening agents, is a new illustration of how Archroma continuously works with its partners in the paper industry to provide innovations that combine both performance and ecological benefits.

    On August 22, 2012, the EPO granted Archroma and International Paper a European patent, which is presently in force in fifteen member states of the European Patent Convention. The patent claims and protects aqueous sizing compositions for optical brightening of substrates for ink jet printing comprising binder, divalent metal salt, and a specific optical brightener. The European Patent 2,192,230, jointly owned by Archroma and International Paper, was upheld with only minimal amendment to the scope of the claims. The oral proceedings of October 6, 2015 resulted following an opposition to the patent filed by two parties. The Opposition Division of the EPO came to this decision on October 6, 2015 after a public hearing in opposition proceedings. The reasons for the Opposition Division’s decision, setting out a full assessment of the facts and arguments, will be published at a later date.

    Valerie Diele-Braun, President of Archroma’s Paper Solutions, comments: “We are pleased that the invention resulting from a joint development between our two companies has been confirmed by the EPO. Archroma takes pride in working with customers to provide innovative solutions delivering business success.”

    Archroma and International Paper were represented at the oral proceedings by the law firm of Wallinger, Ricker, Schlotter, Tostmann (WRST).
    (Archroma Management GmbH)
     
    17.11.2015   IKEA AWARDS BURGO WITH THE TULIP AWARD    ( Company news )

    Company news IKEA, the DIY furniture giant, awarded the prestigious Tulip Award 2015 to the Burgo Group this year. Award confirms Burgo’s outstanding performance in the field of environmental sustainability and safety. An important recognition, obtained thanks to the success of the unannounced audit conducted at the paper mill in Verzuolo (Cuneo).

    Picture: Carlotta Priola (Sustainability Manager Burgo Group) and Raffaele Marinucci (Genral Manager Verzuolo mill) holding the IKEA Tulip Award and Certificate.

    Burgo Group is among the suppliers of the paper used to print the popular IKEA catalogue, paper that is produced in Italy at the factories in Verzuolo, Villorba, Duino and Sora, and in Belgium by Burgo Ardennes.

    Burgo Group is one of the leading European manufacturers of graphic and special paper, and adopts a responsible approach in its manufacturing strategies. For this reason, it is actively committed to implementing Quality, Environmental and Health & Safety Polices, and its achievements have led it to obtain important recognition for its products and manufacturing processes. In fact, Burgo is certified with ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, EMAS, FSC®, PEFC™ and Ecolabel.
    (Burgo Group spa)
     
    17.11.2015   Solenis Announces Global Price Increase on Process Chemicals    ( Company news )

    Company news Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals, announced a global price increase effective immediately, or as contracts allow. A 2-4% increase will occur on select process chemicals and containers. Higher increases can be expected in countries where there has been significant local currency devaluation.

    “Escalating costs associated with labor, transportation, containers, and increased product and ingredient regulatory registration requirements make these increases necessary. We will continue to work in partnership with our customers to help mitigate these increases,” said Charles Robinson, senior vice president, Pulp & Paper. “Solenis continues to invest heavily in R&D and our manufacturing footprint to allow us to provide industry-leading product support and value to our pulp and paper customers.”
    (Solenis)
     
    17.11.2015   Catalyst reports strong Q3 results    ( Company news )

    Company news Catalyst Paper (TSX:CYT) reported significantly improved third quarter 2015 results after investing in capital expenditures in the first half of the year to strengthen its North American operating platform and create a solid foundation for delivering sustainable improved financial results.

    Adjusted earnings before tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the third quarter was $38.8 million and adjusted EBITDA before specific items was $39.4 million compared to adjusted EBITDA of negative $19.2 million and adjusted EBITDA before specific items of $9.7 million in the second quarter of 2015.

    In the third quarter, the company recorded a net loss of $12.9 million (primarily due to a foreign exchange loss on the translation of U.S. denominated debt) and net earnings of $6.6 million before specific items. This compares to a net loss of $32.4 million and a net loss of $13.8 million before specific items in the second quarter. Free cash flow generated in the third quarter was $23.4 million and the liquidity available at the end of the third quarter was $86.2 million.

    “We are pleased with the progress we made in the third quarter,” said Joe Nemeth (photo), President & Chief Executive Officer. “We believe our results are a concrete step towards delivering positive, sustainable earnings levels.”

    Quarter Highlights
    Our U.S. operations had the largest step change in performance improvement. Results were achieved through a combination of product mix changes, cost control and productivity improvements. The indefinite curtailment of paper machine No. 12 at the Rumford mill permitted the optimization of manufacturing capabilities, while effectively balancing production with customer demand.

    Our Canadian operations continued to demonstrate improved performance resulting from our specific focus on productivity and cost control. The Powell River mill, which launched a formal revitalization initiative at the end of 2014, led the Canadian operations in performance improvements by implementing staff, system and process changes that have resulted in substantive cost savings. Learnings are being shared across the company as all mills implement formal revitalization initiatives based on the successful Powell River template.

    Our third quarter results benefited from lower than average planned maintenance and capital spending of $2.9 million.

    In October, Catalyst commissioned its new turbine generator project at Powell River following months of planning, construction and testing. The project identified as G13 refers to the installation of a turbine that uses medium pressure steam to generate electricity. With the completion of G13, Catalyst will reduce its annual energy costs by approximately $4.7 million, thereby mitigating the pressure of escalating electricity rates in British Columbia.

    Market Conditions
    During the third quarter, we increased sales and shipments despite challenging market conditions across all paper segments. We successfully implemented a number of product mix improvements including the launch of an expanded Oxford C1S product offering and new coated freesheet web products. We also strengthened our sales capacity by recruiting additional experienced talent primarily focused on promoting our coated freesheet products in the commercial print sector.

    Several new non-printing and writing grades were commercialized in the third quarter. We also have a number of additional new products in development.

    As we reported on October 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed an “all others” countervailing duty of 18.85% on supercalendered paper produced by our company in Canada and exported into the U.S. Based on our current sales mix, the duty will be imposed on approximately 4% of total sales. This rate is based on the weighted average of the final rates assigned by the Department of Commerce to each of Port Hawkesbury and Resolute Forest Products. We are disappointed with this decision and once the Department of Commerce issues its Final Order in December 2015, we intend to request an expedited review pursuant to which our company would be examined individually.

    Outlook
    We believe our fourth quarter performance will contribute positively to second half 2015 EBITDA. We anticipate, however, that results will be negatively impacted by greater maintenance spending and the imposition of countervailing duties on exports to the U.S. of supercalendered paper. These challenges will be partially offset by a continued focus on product mix optimization, productivity and cost control, as well as increasing energy self-sufficiency at two of our mills.
    (Catalyst Paper Corporation)
     
    17.11.2015   New corporate name after change in ownership – Neenah Lahnstein becomes LAHNPAPER    ( Company news )

    Company news Following a change in ownership, Neenah Lahnstein GmbH moves forward under a new corporate name and an updated brand visual. With immediate effect, the Lahnstein, Germany based specialist for high-quality papers and non-wovens will work its markets as Lahnpaper GmbH, the management
    board announced on Tuesday.
    Prior to the re-naming, Kajo Neukirchen Group in Eschborn near Frankfurt, Germany had closed its acquisition of the firm. Its previous owner, U.S. based Neenah Paper Inc. has sold all of its stake to the German holding company.

    LAHNPAPER CEO Director Detlef Stoltefaut said: „Our new brand represents a modern and innovative company in the paper and nonwoven industrial sector. It is also a commitment to provide our clients with high-quality products made in Germany from our Lahnstein home base. “

    Both management and new owner shared their intention to focus Lahnpaper GmbH on high-end and innovative solutions for its markets, Mr. Stoltefaut added. Representatives of Kajo Neukirchen Group came out to Lahnstein on Tuesday to meet with the company’s full staff.

    As Lahnpaper is not part of Neenah Paper Group anymore, the company will gain in independence and flexibility.
    Lahnpaper will resume responsibility for its finance functions, among others. As part of this move, Mr. Till Rubahn serves as Chief Financial Officer and member of the management board, effective November 1.
    (Lahnpaper GmbH)
     

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