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    18.08.2014   Michelman Taps New CFO to Strengthen Global Presence    ( Company news )

    Company news Michelmanhas strengthened its expanding global presence with the hiring of Mr. Jeff Rodgers (photo) as the company’s new CFO. Effective July 31, 2014, Rodgers has assumed responsibility for Michelman’s global financial management.
    According to Mr. Steve Shifman, President and CEO at Michelman, “Our Company is increasingly active in the Americas, Europe and Asia, with a growing footprint, and a complex array of assets around the world. Jeff brings the strong global financial leadership skills we need, at a time when we are experiencing rapid growth and expansion on three continents. Our many customers, in all corners of the world, have come to expect best-in-class products and service from Michelman. Jeff will be counted on to bring that same best-in-class philosophy to our global financial departments.”
    With a strong international M&A background, Mr. Rodgers will also be responsible for managing financial aspects of Michelman’s future acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic partnerships.
    Mr. Rodgers is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, and has held senior leadership and C-suite positions at companies including Aurora Casket Company, Panini, Crane Co., and General Electric.
    (Michelman Inc.)
     
    18.08.2014   Minerals Technologies Announces an Agreement with Sun Paper Group to Deploy its ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... NewYield(TM) Integrated Process Technology in China

    -NewYield(TM) Integrated Process Technology Converts a Papermaking Waste Stream into a Useable Filler Pigment
    -Generates Savings for Papermakers by Eliminating the Need to Landfill the Waste Product

    Minerals Technologies Inc. (NYSE: MTX) announced that it has signed an agreement with Sun Paper Group to deploy the newly introduced NewYield(TM) Integrated Process Technology at Sun's pulp and paper operations in Shandong Province, China.
    NewYield(TM) Process Technology is a breakthrough technology that converts a paper and pulp mill waste stream into a functional pigment for filling paper. NewYield(TM) process technology eliminates the cost of environmental disposal and remediation of certain waste streams to papermakers. The facility, which will be operational in the third quarter of next year, will produce 60,000 tons of filler pigment from Sun's waste stream.
    "We are extremely pleased to be working with such a fine papermaker as the Sun Paper Group, which is the largest privately owned paper business in China, to deploy our NewYield(TM) technology at their papermaking operations in Shandong Province," said Joseph C. Muscari, chairman and chief executive officer. "This technology provides papermakers with both cost savings and reduced environmental impact, while at the same time providing them with a filler pigment for their paper."
    By utilizing Minerals Technologies' NewYield(TM) Integrated Process Technology, papermakers can eliminate the costs associated with landfill disposal or energy, and in return will receive a filler pigment that can be used in papermaking. MTI and the papermaker will both benefit, as will the environment.
    (MTI Minerals Technologies Inc.)
     
    15.08.2014   marbajump - New Additional Option for Steel Counter Plates    ( Company news )

    Company news If desired, Marbach‘s pertinax elements marbajump are embedded in the steel counter plate to reduce the sheet’s risk of getting stuck in the creasing channel at weak spots e.g. in conjunction with reverse scoring or embossing. marbajump is highly recommended for inline diecutting.
    (Karl Marbach GmbH & Co. KG)
     
    15.08.2014   Renewed FSC® certificate for Södra     ( Company news )

    Company news Södra has received a renewed forest management certificate for FSC for the next five years. An external audit has been carried out, and more than 60 properties have been reviewed in 2014.
    This audit covered all three dimensions in the standard: social issues, the environment and economy.
    The FSC® certificate means that forestry is being carried out in accordance with the requirement specified in FSC's forestry standard and that timber can be traced back to the place where it grew. FSC-certified raw materials are in great demand among many customers working with pulp and sawn timber products and interior products.
    "We are proud of the efforts of all our members and staff as regards maintaining high levels of both production and environmental initiatives in respect of forestry. This certification acknowledges the work we are doing," says Håkan Larsson, Director of Forestry at Södra.
    Södra members have set aside, on average, eight per cent of their forest land for nature conservation purposes as part of the initiative for compliance with the requirements of the certification. This is equivalent to more than 200 000 soccer pitches. Moreover, cutting initiatives in production forests taken into account various conservation values such as dead wood, old trees and valuable small environments.
    To achieve certification, social requirements also have to be met in respect of matters such as employment terms, the work environment and outdoor activities.
    Södra has been working since 2009 to offer its members the opportunity to certify their forestry in accordance with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council® FSC® CO14930) and PEFC™. Södra has one of the biggest group certificates in the world. A total of 19,000 properties hold FSC certification, covering more than 1.4 million hectares of productive forest land. PEFC includes an even larger area; almost 1.7 million hectares and 22,000 properties.
    (Södra Cell AB)
     
    15.08.2014   Hans Ekelmans is Sales & Marketing Director at CVG    ( Company news )

    Company news As of August 18th, Mr. Hans Ekelmans has been appointed as Sales & Marketing Director. Hans has 19 years of experience in international sales & marketing positions in various industries. We are convinced that Hans can make a major contribution to our commercial strength and build further on the good relationship with our customers and explore new opportunities in our sales focus areas.
    (Crown Van Gelder N.V.)
     
    15.08.2014   Cascades releases its 2014 second quarter results and pursues its strategic repositioning    ( 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 June 30, 2014.
    Mr. Mario Plourde (photo), President and Chief Executive Officer, had the following comments on the second quarter results: "The second quarter was marked by important decisions in continuation of our strategic action plan. The sale of our fine papers activities, the announcement of our exit from the kraft paper market and the closure of the Djupafors mill clearly demonstrate our willingness to rationalize our operations to focus on our core sectors.
    We also took advantage of favorable market conditions by refinancing more than $700 million of senior notes on terms that will be more
    advantageous in the long term. These decisions, while having a negative impact on our net results in the short term, will positively impact our profitability in the medium and long term and give us more
    flexibility to invest in our strategic assets.
    Even if some of these decisions were difficult to make, we need to appreciate the progress achieved and keep in mind that they will strengthen the financial situation of the company.
    We are even more satisfied with the results for the quarter since they were positive despite the negative impact of non-recurring charges resulting from our strategic initiatives. Excluding these items, our EBITDA continued to grow on a comparable basis, both sequentially and compared to the same period of last year.
    The Containerboard Group was the main contributor to this growth.
    The Boxboard Europe Group also performed well during the quarter despite the lack of energy credits while the Specialty Products Group
    generated improved results when excluding the impact of discontinued operations.
    The Tissue Papers Group did better than in the first quarter but was unable to match last year's performance due to lower shipments in the retail market.
    Finally, the Greenpac mill continued to ramp-up as planned with daily production averaging close to 1,200 short tons in June."

    Q2 2014 Strategic Highlights
    • Refinancing of our 2016 and 2017 senior notes at favorable terms; net debt now standing at $1,645 million (compared to $1,708 million as at March 31, 2014);
    •Exit from the fine papers sector with the divestiture of three units for $39 million;
    •Closure of the Djupafors boxboard mill in Sweden;
    •Exit from the kraft paper market with the announcement of the closure of the East Angus mill to occur in October 2014.

    Q2 2014 Financial Highlights (considering the fine papers activities and Djupafors mills as discontinued operations)
    • Sales of $985 million ($1,034 million with discontinued operations)
    (compared to $941 million in Q1 2014 (+5%) and $934 million in Q2 2013 (+5%))
    •Excluding specific items
    EBITDA of $91 million ($93 million with discontinued operations) (compared to $77 million in Q1 2014 (+18%) and $81 million in Q2 2013 (+12%))
    Net earnings per share of $0.08 (compared to $0.01 in Q1 2014 and $0.09
    in Q2 2013)
    •Including specific items
    EBITDA of $51 million ($4 million with discontinued operations) (compared to $81 million in Q1 2014 (- 37%) and $80 million in Q2 2013 (-36%))
    Net loss per share of $0.88 (compared to $0.01 in Q1 2014 and net earnings of $0.03 in Q2 2013)
    •The following specific items, before income taxes, impacted our operating income and/or net earnings: a $43 million impairment charge following the revaluation of certain assets in our Packaging Products groups ($27 million) and the write-off of notes receivable linked to our former boxboard mill sold in 2011 to Fusion Paperboard following the announcement of its closure ($16 million) (operating income and net earnings);
    -a $5 million pension plan curtailment gain, net of closure costs, further to the announced closure of the East Angus kraft paper mill
    (operating income and net earnings);
    -a $2 million unrealized loss on derivative financial instruments (operating income and net earnings);
    -a $44 million loss on the refinancing of our senior notes (net earnings);
    -a $13 million foreign exchange gain on long-term debt and financial instruments (net earnings)
    -a $2 million loss included in the share of results of affiliates and joint ventures (net earnings);
    -a $38 million net loss resulting from discontinued operations of our fine papers activities and our boxboard mill in Sweden (net
    earnings).
    (Cascades Inc.)
     
    15.08.2014   Flint Group launches new plate designed for the nyloflex® NExT exposure technology    ( Company news )

    Company news nyloflex® NEF Digital – outstanding print quality in flexible packaging and label printing

    The innovative nyloflex® NExT exposure technology has impressed the market with its simple way of producing flat top dots and surface screenings. To enhance this further, Flint Group Flexographic Products presents with nyloflex® NEF Digital a new high durometer plate that is especially designed for the nyloflex® NExT exposure technology, for printing of flexible packaging and labels.
    Developed for the efficient creation of flat top dots and an excellent reproduction of surface screenings, the new plate shows an outstanding quality in highlight areas due to a stable reproduction of the finest highlights and smooth vignettes. It allows for a reduced bump-up, while reaching the first tonal values of e.g. 0.8 to 1.2% at 60 L/cm (152 lpi), hence increasing the image contrast. The ink lay-down can be significantly improved and a high solid ink density achieved when surface screens are applied. The result is a brilliant print performance on film, foil and coated paper substrates.
    The short exposure and quick washout times enhance the productivity of plate processing. The new printing plate enables one to exploit the full potential of the nyloflex® NExT exposure technology. Flat top dots are less impression sensitive, enabling less dot gain variances on press. With the nyloflex® NExT exposure technology, no additional processing steps, such as lamination, or additional auxiliaries (like nitrogen supply or film materials) are required, thus making it a more cost effective option.
    Although the nyloflex® NEF Digital plate is especially designed for high-output UV LED exposure, it can also be exposed with regular tube light units. Compared to other digital plates in the market, additional benefits can be generated when the nyloflex® NEF Digital plate is exposed with conventional tube light: the new plate is able to reproduce flat top dots with surface screening patterns. Though being less distinct than with the nyloflex® NExT exposure, these screens enable one to achieve a more even ink lay down than reached when regular digital plates are used. In addition, nyloflex® NEF Digital plates require a lower bump up, which allows for the increase of grey levels in printing and the capability to increase the image contrast as compared to regular digital plates in the market.
    The new photopolymer printing plate, nyloflex® NEF Digital, is available to the market in the thicknesses of 114 (.045”) and 170 (.067”) in the beginning of August 2014.
    (Flint Group Flexographic Products)
     
    15.08.2014   Initiation of preliminary insolvency proceedings and appointment of the preliminary ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...insolvency administrator of Youbisheng Green Paper AG

    By way of order of 13 August 2014 the Local Court of Cologne has appointed the lawyer Dr Christoph Niering as the preliminary insolvency administrator of the assets of Youbisheng Green Paper AG (ISIN: DE000A1KRLRO), established in Cologne, and imposed a general prohibition of transfers (Section 21 Subsection 2 No. 2 1st alternative German insolvency act (InsO)) to secure future insolvency assets. In coordination with the Supervisory Board, the preliminary insolvency administrator is going to gain an overview of the situation, secure the assets and, as far as possible, initiate a structured liquidation process.
    (Youbisheng Green Paper AG)
     
    14.08.2014   Minerals Technologies Signs Commercial Agreement with North American Paper Company to ...     ( Company news )

    Company news ... Deploy FulFill® High Filler Technology

    Company's Fifth Commercial Agreement for the FulFill® Technology in North America

    Picture: FulFill® E-325 granule with PCC

    Minerals Technologies Inc., (NYSE: MTX) announced that it has signed another commercial agreement with a North American paper company to provide FulFill® E-325 at a paper mill that produces woodfree paper. This marks Minerals Technologies' fifth such agreement in North America for the new, high-filler technology. The paper company wishes to remain unnamed for competitive reasons.
    The company now has 17 agreements with paper mills that have adopted the unique FulFill® E-325 technology introduced in late 2010, which provides papermakers significant cost savings in reduced fiber consumption. The FulFill® brand allows papermakers to increase loading levels of precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC), which replaces higher cost pulp, and increases PCC usage.
    "We continue to gain ground with paper companies interested in cost savings by replacing expensive fiber with more PCC," said Joseph C. Muscari, chairman and chief executive officer. "We are very pleased that this paper company has adopted our technology, which further verifies its effectiveness and our commitment to advance our technological leadership with papermakers around the globe. We now have commercial agreements with papermakers in Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and South Africa and are actively engaged with an additional 21 paper mills worldwide."
    PCC is a specialty pigment for filling and coating high-quality paper. By substituting Minerals Technologies' PCC for more expensive wood fiber, customers are able to produce brighter, higher quality paper at lower cost. In 1986, Minerals Technologies originated the satellite concept for making and delivering PCC on-site at paper mills and the concept was a major factor in revolutionizing papermaking in North America. Today, the company has 58 satellite plants in operation or under construction around the world and continues to lead the industry with consistent quality and technical innovation.
    (MTI Minerals Technologies Inc.)
     
    14.08.2014   Beverage carton recycling in Europe continues to increase    ( Company news )

    Company news The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) is pleased to note that recycling of beverage cartons reached 42% in Europe (EU-28, Norway and Switzerland) in 2013.
    This represents an increase of 3% compared to 2012 data. The total recovery rate (recycling and energy recovery) in 2013 reached 71%.
    “With 42% of beverage cartons recycled in the EU in 2013, we see a continued upward trend in beverage carton recycling in Europe, but there are still wide differences as regards recycling achievements across EU Member States” says Katarina Molin, Director General of ACE. “While some Member States have reached impressive recycling figures above 60%, several Member States still lag behind in the development of collection infrastructure and separate collection of consumer packaging, which also affects the recycling rate of beverage cartons”.
    Today more than 20 paper mills recycle beverage cartons in Europe and substantial investments have been made in innovative recycling technologies. “We are very pleased to see that beverage carton recycling continues to increase. However, in order to secure continued growth also in the future, EU regulatory support and a clear legal requirement to collect beverage cartons for recycling are required”.
    “We acknowledge the role of the European Commission Circular Economy Package in driving further recycling in Europe” says Molin, “but we regret that the proposal mandates Member States to set potentially divergent packaging design requirements threatening the function of the Internal Market; and that clear roles and responsibilities of the various actors in the packaging value chain, as well as clear requirements for all packaging recovery organisations (PROs) have not been defined at European level. We will continue to contribute to the further development of the Circular Economy package to find solutions which help increase beverage carton recycling on a cost-efficient manner”.
    (ACE (The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment))
     
    14.08.2014   2014 Half Year Results: ALTANA achieves double-digit sales and profit increase    ( Company news )

    Company news -Sales reach €985 million, with EBITDA margin at 21.5 percent
    -Acquisition of Rockwood’s rheology business and organic growth as drivers
    -Forecast for the full year confirmed

    Photo: Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO of ALTANA AG.

    The specialty chemicals Group ALTANA was able to achieve a significant increase in its sales and earnings in the first half of 2014. Sales in the first six months of the current fiscal year grew by 11 percent to €985 million (previous year: €887 million). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) reached €212 million, which is an increase of 19 percent compared to the previous year (€178 million). The EBITDA margin increased from an already high level of 20.1 percent to 21.5 percent. "Mainly due to the acquisition of Rockwood's rheology business, we were able to accelerate our profitable growth as planned,” stated Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO of ALTANA AG.
    Adjusted for the acquisition-related growth contribution (10 percent) and negative exchange rate effects (2 percent), operating sales in the first six months of 2014 rose by 4 percent. This growth was driven by higher sales volumes and the sale of even higher value-added products.

    Additives business posts strong growth due to acquisition
    The BYK Additives & Instruments division achieved the strongest growth within the Group. At BYK, sales rose by 30 percent to €436 million, mainly as a result of acquisition effects. Adjusted for acquisition and exchange rate effects, sales increased by 8 percent.
    With an increase of 1 percent respectively, sales in the ELANTAS Electrical Insulation (€218 million) and ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants divisions (€168 million) were similar to the previous year's level. Adjusted for various exchange rate effects, ELANTAS achieved growth of 5 percent, while sales at ACTEGA were down by 1 percent. ECKART Effect Pigments recorded a decline in sales by 4 percent, with sales down to €162 million. Adjusted for negative exchange rate effects, sales decreased by 3 percent.

    Business in the Americas strengthened, Europe returns to growth
    With an increase in sales of 21 percent, ALTANA posted by far the strongest growth in the Americas region. This growth was mainly driven by the acquisition of Rockwood's rheology business. Adjusted for acquisition and exchange rate effects, sales in this region grew by 4 percent. Business in Europe was also positively influenced by acquisitions. Sales in this region, which is by far the largest market for ALTANA, improved by 9 percent. Even adjusted for acquisition effects, business in Europe returned to growth with an increase in sales of 3 percent. Asia contributed 6 percent to sales growth (adjusted for exchange rate effects, the region contributed 4 percent to growth).

    Outlook
    ALTANA confirms its forecast for the full year and still anticipates a high single-digit increase in sales. Adjusted for acquisition and exchange rate effects, the planned sales growth is expected to be in the low to medium single-digit percentage range.
    (Altana AG)
     
    14.08.2014   Mondi Group: Half-yearly results for the six months ended 30 June 2014    ( Company news )

    Company news Highlights
    -Steady improvement in all key financial metrics
    -Underlying operating profit of € 377 million, up 3 %
    -Underlying earnings of 51.9 euro cents per share, up 5 %
    -Cash generated from operations of €439 million, up 2%
    -ROCE of 16 %, well in excess of through-the-cycle hurdle rate of 13%
    -Acquisition of Graphic Packaging’s bags and kraft paper operations consolidates global market leadership position in Industrial Bags

    Capital projects
    -Recently completed projects delivering on expectation
    -Ongoing major projects on time, within budget
    -Interim dividend of 13.23 euro cents per share, up 39 %

    David Hathorn (photo), Mondi Group chief executive, said:
    “The Mondi Group continues to deliver a strong performance, generating
    a return on capital employed of 16%. Strong cost management and contributions from successfully completed strategic capital investments, together with the benefits from downstream integration in key packaging segments, enabled the Group to offset the impact of lower prices in a number of paper grades.
    We have continued to invest in the business for future growth. Highlights for the period included the successful commissioning of the
    155,000 tonne bleached kraft paper machine at the Štěti mill in the
    Czech Republic and the acquisition of Graphic Packaging’s bags operations and kraft paper mill in the United States. Together with the Group’s ongoing capital expenditure programme, including significant projects at our Ružomberok, Świecie and Syktyvkar operations, we are confident that these investments will deliver strongly into the future.
    In the near term, anticipated price increases in some of our packaging paper grades should provide positive momentum. As in prior years, the second half of the year will be impacted by the planned annual mill maintenance shuts.
    Market fundamentals remain sound, which, coupled with a continued economic recovery, should prove positive for further growth in the packaging businesses.
    Overall, we remain confident that Mondi will continue to deliver an industry leading performance.”
    (Mondi Group)
     
    13.08.2014   Reduced contamination: Innovative dryer fabrics from Voith    ( Company news )

    Company news With Jade from the CleanWeave product line, Voith is bringing innovative dryer fabrics onto the market that translate reduced contamination to increased drying capacity due to their special design.
    Jade dryer fabrics have minimal internal void volume and so carry significantly fewer deposits than conventional dryer fabrics. The high number of contact points and the flat yarns facilitate effective heat transfer and paper sheet handling. The compactness of the fabric structure makes both manual cleaning as well as on-line cleaning systems such as DuoCleaner Express from Voith more effective.
    The SynStron yarn material used in Jade makes the dryer fabric especially effective in resisting fibrilation and so facilitates easy cleaning. Synstron is used in the entire CleanWeave product line and is noticeably more effective than conventional polyester yarns in resisting abrasion.
    JadeHigh expands the product line with a more open surface ensuring stronger air flows for increased evaporation. Like all dryer fabrics in the CleanWeave product line, Jade and JadeHigh show measurable differences in their ability to maintain an easy clean structure which contribute to a more efficient drying process.
    (Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)
     
    13.08.2014   Wausau Paper Reports Second-Quarter 2014 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Second-Quarter Highlights

    Photo: CEO Michael C. Burandt

    Financial Results
    -Second-quarter adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations in 2014 was $9.9 million compared to adjusted EBITDA of $8.8 million in 2013. Wausau’s second quarter 2014 EBITDA guidance was a range of $9 to $10 million. Second quarter 2014 adjusted EBITDA excludes one-time adjustments of $3.1 million for costs associated with leadership transitions.
    -On a reported basis, second-quarter results from continuing operations were a net loss of $0.07 per share compared to a prior-year second-quarter net loss of $0.30 per share. Excluding the after-tax impact of leadership transitions, the adjusted second quarter 2014 after-tax net loss per share was $0.04. Excluding the after-tax impacts of non-recurring items, the adjusted second quarter 2013 after-tax net loss was $0.05 per share.

    Case Volume Growth of More than Three Percent
    -Second-quarter case shipment volume increased 3.1 percent in 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, resulting in a Company second-quarter shipment record of approximately 4.34 million cases.
    -Strategic product shipments; that is, those products sold in conjunction with proprietary dispensing systems or produced from premium substrates, comprised approximately 49 percent of the Company’s sales mix compared to approximately 47 percent of the Company’s sales mix in the second quarter of 2013.

    New Product Launches
    -Shipments of the Artisan™ premium Green Seal™-certified towel line, produced from 100 percent recycled fiber and ATMOS papermaking technology, began May 13.
    -The innovative Dubl-Serv® High-Capacity OptiCore® bath tissue dispenser was launched during the second quarter to positive distributor response. Alliance™, a high-capacity, dual 1,000 foot roll, premium towel dispenser is expected to be available in the market later this summer.

    Major Debt Refinancing
    -In early July, the Company received initial senior debt ratings of B2 and B- from Moody’s and Standard & Poors, respectively.
    -On July 30, the Company entered into a $175 million term loan agreement that will expire in July 2020, and a $50 million secured revolving credit facility that will expire in July 2019. Net proceeds of the term loan were used to retire the outstanding $150 million private placement senior notes, as well as, accrued interest and make-whole payments of $14.4 million, and approximately $3.4 million of transaction-related expenses. The remainder of the net proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes. At the time of replacement, the Company’s previous revolving credit facility was undrawn.

    Michael C. Burandt, CEO, commented, “Our results in the second quarter reflect market demand for our new premium DublNature® and Artisan™ product lines and the continued improvement of operating efficiencies at our Harrodsburg papermaking and converting operations. Each of the step-wise initiatives underway is a process, designed to drive improvement and the business toward the required higher level of earnings performance. We are very pleased with the growth of our new products and expect the recently introduced dispensing technologies to be positive game changers in this process, for both us and our distributor partners.”

    Outlook
    In the second quarter, shipments grew above the market rate of growth with strategic products improving nearly 9 percent over last year’s second quarter. Additionally, our announced price increase became effective on July 1 and is expected to provide an increasing benefit to results in the second half of the year; however, the supply-side dynamics of excess parent role capacity continues to exert unfavorable pressure on commodity-oriented product pricing. During the quarter, we completed our longest production run utilizing the new ATMOS technology to date and set several new production records on the new machine.
    Mr. Burandt, said, “Our focus remains on the incremental improvement of operating performance in the second half of the year. We are pleased with the initial launch of our Artisan premium towel products and improvement to our strategic mix. During the third quarter, we will have a maintenance outage at our Middletown, Ohio, facility that will impact operating results approximately $1.5 million. Including the cost of the outage and excluding approximately $1.2 million in third-quarter proxy settlement costs, we expect adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter of between $10 and $11 million.”
    (Wausau Paper Towel & Tissue Products)
     
    13.08.2014   Neenah Paper Reports Record Quarterly Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Sales increase 9% to $230 million with adjusted E.P.S. up 13% at $0.90

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

    Second Quarter Highlights
    -Record quarterly sales, operating income, E.P.S. and cash flow.
    -Consolidated sales increased 9 percent, with 7 percent volume growth.
    -Earnings per diluted common share increased 14 percent, from $0.77 to $0.88, and adjusted earnings up similarly, from $0.80 to $0.90. Adjusted earnings exclude $0.02 per share in 2014 for restructuring and acquisition related costs and $0.03 per share in 2013 for debt refinancing, restructuring/integration costs and a pension settlement charge.
    -Free cash flow (cash from operations less capital spending) of $32 million.
    -Announced second dividend increase for 2014 and renewed share buyback program.
    -Acquired Crane Technical Materials on July 1, 2014 for a cash payment of $72 million.

    "Our businesses performed well in the second quarter, with impressive volume-based revenue increases in both segments that generated double digit earnings growth and significantly increased cash flow. These results were anchored by continued success in our core businesses and boosted by meaningful progress in targeted defensible, growing niches," said John O'Donnell , Chief Executive Officer. "Our balance sheet remains strong and we'll continue to optimize capital deployment among high-returning organic investments, value-adding acquisitions and direct cash returns to shareholders through an attractive dividend."

    Quarterly Consolidated Results
    Income Statement
    Net sales of $230.4 million in the second quarter of 2014 grew 9 percent compared with $212.3 million in the second quarter of 2013 as Technical Products revenues increased 10 percent and Fine Paper revenues grew 7 percent. Sales growth in 2014 resulted primarily from higher volumes, as well as favorable currency translation and increased net selling prices.
    Consolidated selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expense was $20.4 million in the second quarter of 2014 compared with $19.2 million in the second quarter 2013. The increase was primarily related to differences in timing of certain expenses between years.
    Operating income of $25.9 million in the second quarter of 2014 grew 15 percent compared with $22.6 million in the second quarter of 2013. Higher income resulted from top-line growth and increased margins that more than offset higher input and other costs.
    Net interest expense of $2.9 million in the second quarter of 2014 decreased from $3.1 million in the second quarter of 2013 as a result of lower average interest rates following the refinancing of the Company's Senior Notes in May 2013.
    The effective income tax rate of 35 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared with 34 percent in the second quarter of 2013.

    Cash Flow and Balance Sheet
    Cash provided from operations in the second quarter of 2014 was $37.1 million compared with $27.6 million generated in the second quarter of 2013. Increased cash generation in 2014 resulted primarily from increased earnings and reductions in working capital.
    Capital spending of $4.8 million in the second quarter of 2014 compared with $5.0 million in the prior year period. Full year spending in 2014 is projected to be approximately $30 million.
    Debt as of June 30, 2014 was $193.5 million compared to $205.0 million as of March 31, 2014 and compared with $211.9 million as of December 31, 2013. Cash and equivalents as of June 31, 2014 were $92.3 million, compared with $77.2 million as of March 31, 2014 and $73.4 million as of December 31, 2013.
    Cash flows in the second quarter of 2014 were used to reduce debt, build cash and pay quarterly dividends. On July 1, 2014, approximately $72 of cash on hand was used to finance the purchase of Crane Technical Materials.

    Quarterly Segment Results
    Technical Products net sales of $116.9 million in the second quarter of 2014 increased 10 percent compared with prior year sales of $105.8 million. The higher sales resulted from an 8 percent increase in volume and favorable currency translation effects of 3 percent, partly offset by slightly lower net prices. Sales grew in all product groups, with filtration up 9 percent, backings up 9 percent and specialties up 13 percent. Volumes benefitted from share gains and improved economic conditions.
    Operating income for Technical Products of $13.2 million in the second quarter of 2014 increased 11 percent compared with $11.9 million in the second quarter of 2013. The higher income in 2014 resulted primarily from sales growth. In 2014, operating income included approximately $0.5 million for restructuring costs. Excluding these costs, operating income in 2014 increased 15 percent versus 2013.
    Fine Paper net sales were $106.6 million in the second quarter of 2014, up 7 percent compared with $100.0 million in the prior year. Sales growth in 2014 resulted from a 6 percent gain in volume and slightly higher net selling prices. Volume growth reflected increases in core premium brands as well as very strong growth in targeted growth areas including premium packaging, digital grades and international sales.
    Operating income of $17.3 million in the second quarter of 2014 increased 12 percent compared with $15.5 million in the prior year. The higher income in 2014 resulted from increased sales and lower selling and administrative costs that combined offset higher manufacturing costs, including more than $1 million of higher input costs.
    Unallocated Corporate and Other includes unallocated corporate costs and results from acquired non-premium paper grades. Unallocated corporate costs in the second quarter of 2014 were $4.5 million compared with $4.2 million in prior year period. In 2014, costs included $0.2 million related to the acquisition of Crane Technical Materials. In 2013 costs included $0.7 million for debt refinancing, integration/restructuring costs and a pension settlement charge.
    Sales of Other non-premium paper grades were $6.9 million in 2014, with an operating loss of $0.1 million compared with 2013 sales of $6.5 million and an operating loss of $0.6 million.
    (Neenah Paper Inc.)
     
    13.08.2014   Heidelberg realigns postpress portfolio    ( Company news )

    Company news -Postpress Packaging: improved competitiveness thanks to strategic partnership with Chinese manufacturer
    -Postpress Commercial: folding machine business to be restructured, manufacture of all other own products in this business area to be discontinued, and Leipzig site to be closed
    -Measures expected to improve result by a total of approx. EUR 30 million annually, largely taking effect from next financial year
    -Important step in achieving target EBITDA margin of at least 8 percent in financial year 2015/2016

    Photo: Stephan Plenz, Member of the Board, Heidelberg Equipment

    As already announced, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) realigns its postpress portfolio. In-house production at the Heidelberg sites in Germany is no longer competitive under the new market conditions. The relevant operations are therefore being discontinued, except for production of folding machines at the Ludwigsburg site.
    Postpress Packaging products and solutions will in future be developed and manufactured by the new Chinese OEM partner Masterwork Machinery Co., Ltd, with Heidelberg retaining responsibility for sales and service activities.
    In the Postpress Commercial business area, Heidelberg will only continue to market the established folding machines and cutters. Swiss company Müller Martini will take over service activities for installed equipment from discontinued series.
    "We were able to win two renowned suppliers as partners for our realigned Postpress portfolio," said Stephan Plenz, Member of the Board, Heidelberg Equipment. "They will help us provide our customers with competitive products and ensure continuity in services and service parts."
    The reduction of in-house capacities will result in the closure of the Leipzig site and a corresponding reduction in the workforce at the Ludwigsburg and Wiesloch-Walldorf sites. A total of around 650 employees worldwide will be affected.
    Important step in optimizing portfolio to achieve target EBITDA margin of at least 8 percent in financial year 2015/2016
    At its Annual Press Conference, Heidelberg announced the development of new business models for products with weak margins as part of its portfolio optimization.
    "The competitiveness of postpress product lines at Heidelberg was limited, so these activities are being placed on an entirely new footing", said Heidelberg CEO Gerold Linzbach. "Realigning these areas is an important step in improving the company's economic situation and getting closer to the target EBITDA margin of at least 8 percent."
    (Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)
     
    13.08.2014   Michelman Strengthens Latin American Presence with Addition of Two New Agents    ( Company news )

    Company news To better support the paper and corrugated coatings market in Latin America, Michelman has added two new agent representatives to serve customers in the region.
    Mr. Manuel Muñoz of Coaterex Latinamerica is based in Colombia and will manage paper and corrugated coating customers in Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador. Mr. Muñoz has over 20 years of experience in the paper, printing and corrugated packaging industries and has been representing Michelman’s line of digital printing products for the past four years.
    Mr. Andres Zuwolinsky of Reprosa Representaciones Profesionales S.A. is based in Costa Rica and will manage customers in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Andres has over 25 years of experience managing and operating corrugated box plants.
    (Michelman Inc.)
     
    12.08.2014   emtec Electronic banks on a new representation in Finland    ( Company news )

    Company news The company emtec Electronic GmbH from Leipzig in Germany expands its worldwide representation network by a cooperation with the company Pineco Trading Oy. As of now, Mr. Lauri Loimaranta from the Finnish company is the contact person for interests and questions concerning all products of the German producer of measuring devices. Beside the consulting and distribution activities, Mr. Loimaranta was also entrusted with the service and device maintenance in Finland.
    (emtec Electronic GmbH)
     
    12.08.2014   CITO Rule Puller    ( Company news )

    Company news The CITO Rule Puller makes changing cutting, creasing and perforating rules (2-3 pt. rules) simply child’s play.

    The CITO Rule Puller offers you a number of advantages:
    -Simple and efficient handling
    -The vertical pulling force enable rules to be pulled straight upwards without tilting
    -The interchangeable clamping jaws allow you to pull rules even when they are positioned closely together
    -Magnetic foot pins enable easy and flexible positioning of the CITO rule puller
    (CITO-SYSTEM GmbH)
     
    12.08.2014   Ahlstrom interim report January-June 2014: Profitability improved largely driven by better ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...cost structure

    Photo: Marco Levi, President & CEO

    Continuing operations April-June 2014 compared with April-June 2013
    -Net sales EUR 253.0 million (EUR 265.0 million).
    -Operating profit EUR 9.6 million (EUR 6.4 million).
    -Operating profit excluding non-recurring items EUR 13.4 million (EUR 7.9 million).
    -Operating margin excluding non-recurring items 5.3% (3.0%).
    -Profit / loss before taxes EUR -0.4 million (EUR -3.5 million).
    -Earnings per share EUR -0.07 (EUR -0.12).

    April-June 2014 in brief
    -Reported net sales fell by 4.5%, while profitability improved. Comparable net sales grew 0.4% at constant currency rates and there was clear improvement in the profitability of four business areas: Advanced Filtration, Building and Energy, Food, and Transportation Filtration.
    -Marco Levi was appointed as Ahlstrom's new President & CEO.
    -New products were introduced to accelerate growth and improve the sales mix and profit margin. One key product launch was Ahlstrom EasyLife® Spray & Up, a new offering for the fast-growing digital wall décor market.

    Continuing operations January-June 2014 compared with January-June 2013
    -Net sales EUR 502.2 million (EUR 520.3 million).
    -Operating profit EUR 14.0 million (EUR 14.7 million).
    -Operating profit excluding non-recurring items EUR 20.6 million (EUR 14.4 million).
    -Operating margin excluding non-recurring items 4.1% (2.8%).
    -Profit before taxes EUR 4.8 million (EUR 0.1 million).
    -Earnings per share EUR -0.02 (EUR -0.09).

    Outlook for 2014
    The outlook published on January 30, 2014 remains unchanged. Net sales are expected to be EUR 930-1,090 million. The operating profit margin excluding non-recurring items is expected to be 2-5% of net sales.

    Marco Levi, President & CEO:
    "We have improved our profitability for three consecutive quarters, demonstrating our ability to enhance financial performance. In particular the Advanced Filtration, Food, and Transportation Filtration business areas increased their profit margins".
    "I am very pleased that our ongoing rightsizing program is progressing as planned and the benefits can already be seen in our operating result. The program has yielded clear reductions in selling, general and administrative costs, along with production overheads".
    "Comparable net sales were flat in the second quarter, with only moderate improvement in the overall market environment. As we cannot rely solely on an economic recovery to boost our sales, we will strive to improve our operational efficiency and continue to launch appealing new products such as Ahlstrom EasyLife® Spray & Up for the digital wall décor market. Our ambition is to swiftly position Ahlstrom in such a way that we can capture new profitable business while operating with a more sustainable cost structure".
    (Ahlstrom Corporation)
     
    12.08.2014   AkzoNobel creates the world's first fully compostable and recyclable paper cup     ( Company news )

    Company news Thanks to the company's new pioneering coatings technology EvCote™ Water Barrier 3000 – which itself is made from plant-based oils and recycled PET bottles – restaurants can now select a more sustainable paper cup to serve their cold drinks in. These cups don’t require any modification in the current recycle stream or special handling and are fully compostable and recyclable.

    "This is an industry-changing innovation which could have a significant impact in terms of providing economic and environmental benefits along the value chain. The new coatings technology will help restaurant owners and cup producers to reduce their waste," explained Conrad Keijzer, AkzoNobel’s Executive Committee member responsible for Performance Coatings.
    "There has already been strong interest in our product and we expect it to prompt a major transformation in paper cup production, much like the move from wax to the current Polyethylene process around 40 years ago," added AB Ghosh, Managing Director, Industrial Coatings.

    Roughly 200 billion paper cups are used around the world every year, but none of those currently in use can be recycled without incurring prohibitive costs or greatly diminishing the quality of the paper fiber. That makes this new technology remarkable, because when paper coated with EvCote™ is recycled, the quality of the paper fiber remains intact – which means the paper can be reused in the production of other paper products. In some cases, due to the fibers being strengthened by the coating, paper produced from the waste can even achieve higher strength than the original, uncoated paper.
    An additional advantage is that it enables paper mills to recapture 100 percent of the paper waste from the production process that is currently sent to landfill, resulting in significant financial savings. The amount of paper waste in the production process is so vast that it could be used to completely wrap the Empire State Building 6300 times.
    "The cost of paper represents the highest single cost for cup makers, so recycling the industrial scrap means that there are both cost and environmental benefits,” added Gil Sherman, Market Development Manager at AkzoNobel’s Paper Coatings business. “With the growth of bio-PET, EvCote™ provides us with options to completely disconnect from the petrol supply chain, because now we can offer our customers a replacement for petroleum-based PE films."
    Made of up to 95 percent sustainable or renewable content, EvCote™ barrier coatings protect paper surfaces against water, grease and moisture. They can be used in numerous applications, including corrugated packaging, folding carton board, beverage carrier board and food service packaging.
    The development of new innovations such as the EvCote™ barrier forms part of AkzoNobel’s Planet Possible approach to sustainability and will contribute to the company’s Human Cities initiative to create cleaner and more liveable cities.
    (Akzo Nobel Industrial Chemicals AB)
     
    12.08.2014   NewPage Announces Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results    ( Company news )

    Company news NewPage Holdings Inc. ("NewPage") announced its results of operations for the second quarter of 2014.

    Photo: George F. Martin, President and Chief Executive Officer

    Net sales in the second quarter of 2014 were $733 million compared to $720 million in the second quarter of 2013. Net sales improved due to higher sales volume of paper partially offset by lower paper prices. Paper pricing is impacted by lower industry demand. Paper sales volume totaled 811,000 tons and 783,000 tons for the second quarter of 2014 and 2013. Average paper prices were $885 per ton and $892 per ton in the second quarter of 2014 and 2013.
    For the second quarter of 2014, net loss was $30 million compared to a net loss of $13 million in the second quarter of 2013. The increase in net loss was the result of higher input costs of $20 million driven by the continuing effects of extreme weather-related factors through April 2014 and lower paper prices, partially offset by lower non-cash stock compensation expense, lower pension expense, cost reduction initiatives and other general and administrative expenses.
    Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization as further adjusted as shown in the attached reconciliation) was $43 million in the second quarter of 2014 compared to $50 million in second quarter of 2013.
    NewPage ended the second quarter with total liquidity of $271 million, consisting of $263 million of availability under the revolving credit facility and $8 million of available cash and cash equivalents.
    Operating cash flows were $26 million in the second quarter of 2014 compared to $19 million in the second quarter of 2013. Operating cash flows in the second quarter of 2013 includes $16 million in non-recurring bankruptcy-related items. For the six months ended June 30, 2014, the company used $51 million of cash in operations compared to $23 million for the six months ended June 30, 2013. The increase is primarily the result of higher input costs, driven by weather-related factors, higher cash interest and other cash charges associated with the February 2014 debt refinancing, partially offset by a reduction in cash requirements for bankruptcy-related items. Cash used for operating activities during the six months ended June 30, 2013 includes $58 million in non-recurring bankruptcy-related payments.
    (NewPage Corporation)
     
    12.08.2014   Youbisheng Green Paper AG about to file for insolvency    ( Company news )

    Company news Haibo Huang, who had been appointed new Chief Executive Officer of Youbisheng Green Paper AG last week, informed the Supervisory Board about his immediate resignation. After the experiences of the past days he does not feel to be in a position to meet the requirements of the Supervisory Board in the present state.
    Hence, the actual financial and cash situation of the operative Chinese company remains unclear. Against this background and in the light of the insufficient liquidity of the German holding company as well as the leadership vacuum associated with the resignation of Haibo Huang, the Supervisory Board sees itself forced to file for insolvency within the next days in order to protect creditors and shareholders. However, the Supervisory Board will - possibly together with a liquidator - continue to fight for the dialog with the operating entity in China in order to shed light upon the present situation.
    (Youbisheng Green Paper AG)
     
    12.08.2014   New bed generation from V.I.T. Papertec AG due to specific hard coatings    ( Company news )

    Company news The hard coatings from V.I.T. Papertec AG for precision metering rods yields enormous results.

    Picture: Premium metering rod bed PINK-ENDURANCE

    The specific carbide–based hard coating, the PLATIN-coating for example, is one of the hardest known wear resistant surface and provides highest degrees of tensile strength and hardness worldwide. Produced in a special high velocity procedure in the own V.I.T.-coating plant, the highest lifetime was attained compared with all known coatings for metering rods.
    The premium coating TITAN is an extreme hard, oxide based sprayed coating and provides improved lifetime compared to common surfaces.

    New metering rod bed generation
    BUT: the hard coatings are a great challenge for the whole industry. By the very long lifetime achieved, the metering rod beds must conform to this extreme high standard.
    For this reason, V.I.T. Papertec developed a new rod bed generation. The result is a highly wear resistant, although highly flexible combination of PE-material, the precision metering rod bed PINK ENDURANCE.
    Due to the specific high resistant, extremely firm and stable material, this metering rod bed offers several advantages:
    -Best narrow rate < 1%
    -Best quality of film and application
    -Excellent layer-cross profile
    -Heat-resistant up to 130°
    -First-rate features under dry running conditions at a low sliding friction coefficient
    (V.I.T. Papertec AG)
     
    11.08.2014   Innovative stainless steel globe valve for controlling small volumes    ( Company news )

    Company news GEMÜ further expands its expertise in the control valve sector with the innovative Type GEMÜ 566 globe valve.

    The GEMÜ 566 stainless steel globe valve has a valve body in which the control mechanism is already integrated. In addition to a pneumatic actuator, there is also a manually operated version and a motorized version.
    By integrating the control mechanism into the valve body, it is possible to subsequently switch from a manual actuation type to an automated actuation type at any time. The particular advantage of this is that the components involved are located outside the medium-wetted area. This means that from the start, the plant operator enjoys a very high degree of flexibility with regard to potential changes to their operational processes. The medium-wetted part is separated from the control mechanism by an additional separating diaphragm. The diaphragm is available in EPDM or FPM materials. The investment casting, stainless steel valve body has a threaded socket and is available in the nominal sizes DN 8 to DN 15.

    The GEMÜ 566 valve was developed especially for controlling small volumes and provides a flow rate from 63 up to 2500 l/h. For all three actuation types, there are options for optical and electronic position feedback. The motorized version can also be equipped with a positioner. The same applies to the pneumatic actuator, for which a process controller is also available as an optional extra.
    (GEMÜ Gebr. Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG)
     
    11.08.2014   BillerudKorsnäs: Stable second-quarter results    ( Company news )

    Company news CEO Per Lindberg (photo) comments on the development during Q2 2014:
    “We deliver a strong and stable result for the second quarter. Our adjusted operating profit reached SEK 467 million and our operating margin was 9%. Overall, I am pleased with our financial performance. The market place has been quite good with solid demand and stable prices within all business areas. Business area Packaging Paper has managed to keep the prices stable during the quarter in spite of increased capacity on the market, and has increased prices on new orders within the sack segments thanks to a seasonally strong demand. Within business area Consumer Board we have launched the next generation of Cartonboard products on the market, which has been very well received by customers. Business area Containerboard has delivered a stable result for the second quarter but is beginning to feel a real pressure from the increased capacity on the market.

    We continue with our ambition “Challenging conventional packaging for a sustainable future” with the aim of increasing the level of innovation and leadership. During the quarter we have received confirmation in several areas that we are right on target with our mission. Several countries are putting regulations in place for reducing the use of plastics in packaging. We offer sustainable alternatives to several plastic applications, and sustainability is our top priority. We have received recognition from both EcoVadis and "oekom research", meaning that the company is acknowledged for its sustainability work. During the quarter, we have also made a decision to further improve the environmental profile of the company through a major investment in Gävle. Following our ambition to increase innovation and product leadership, we have during the quarter decided to invest in next generation fluting at Gruvön, enhancing both product performance as well as machine capacity. On the more innovative side, BillerudKorsnäs and Berghs School of Communication are giving Spotify a physical form. It is this year’s edition of a packaging design contest for students at Berghs and this is the first time an online brand will be physically packaged.

    During the first half of 2014 we have delivered an operating margin of 10%, and a growth in sales volumes over last year with 4%, in line with our profitable growth targets and our long term strategy. The integration work has progressed as planned and as already communicated, the realisation of synergies is happening faster than first planned. All employees have done a fantastic work all across the company, in numerous different projects that constitutes the integration program. However, the pace of integration in combination with synergy-related incentives will increase the non-recurring costs for realising the synergies with approximately SEK 25 million for the year. It is my belief that this is money well spent.’’
    (BillerudKorsnäs AB)
     
    11.08.2014   Brewton Energy Improvement Investment    ( Company news )

    Company news “Georgia-Pacific has a track record of investing back into our business to help continuously improve our operations and meet the long-term needs of our customers, our company, our communities and our employees,” said Jim Hannan (photo), CEO and president, Georgia-Pacific. “This investment in our Brewton facility reflects our confidence in the Brewton team to continue to improve the competitiveness of this facility.”
    “I’m proud of Georgia-Pacific's investment to improve the mill in Brewton. This shows the company's commitment to their employees and the state of Alabama,” said Alabama Governor Robert Bentley. “This major investment will provide long-term and immediate benefits for Escambia County. During the construction phase hundreds of workers are projected to be on site daily which will have a positive impact on the local economy.”

    The energy improvement project modernizes and streamlines the current mix of equipment in the mill’s recovery boiler system, which will contribute to more efficient processes and operations.
    “We will become self-sufficient in terms of the energy needed for our processes,” said Jeff Joyce, vice president and general manager, Brewton mill. “This will improve our competitive advantage and enhance the long-term viability of the mill.”

    Among other benefits of the energy improvement project:
    • Improved reliability and energy efficiency
    • Workforce influx of approximately 600 (at peak) for construction
    • Positive short-term economic benefits to the surrounding community, particularly in the form of retail sales and lodging revenues from contractors

    “While we are now gearing up for construction, our teams have been planning and preparing for this project since 2013, including ordering equipment and pre-constructing some components,” said Joyce. “We are very appreciative of the work of those teams and the support we have received from our community and local leaders in securing this project for our mill. We are proud to be here.”
    Mayor Yank Lovelace, Sr., said, “We are thrilled to have Georgia-Pacific in our city, and this investment in Brewton affirms the company’s commitment to our community. We have worked hard to support local industry and welcome economic growth that is the result.”
    Escambia County Commission Chairman David Stokes, added, “This will make the Brewton mill competitive for generations to come, giving our people the opportunity to make a good living and raise their families here in Brewton.”
    Teams at the Brewton mill produce white-top linerboard and solid bleached cartonboard. The mill is the largest employer in Brewton, with approximately 450 employees. In Alabama, Georgia-Pacific employs approximately 2,500 people directly, and those jobs create an additional 12,300 jobs indirectly. Total compensation and benefits for Georgia-Pacific Alabama employees is approximately $242 million directly, resulting in a broader economic impact of $695 million in combined wages and benefits.
    In recent years, Georgia-Pacific has invested $11 billion into operations across the country, including Alabama, where approximately $1.4 billion in capital has been invested to grow existing operations, acquire new operations, improve safety and environmental performance or delivery.
    (Georgia-Pacific Corp.)
     
    11.08.2014   RockTenn Reports Third Quarter Fiscal 2014 Earnings    ( Company news )

    Company news RockTenn (NYSE:RKT) reported earnings for the quarter ended June 30, 2014 of $1.82 per diluted share and adjusted earnings of $1.97 per diluted share.

    Photo: RockTenn Chief Executive Officer Steve Voorhees

    Third Quarter Results
    -Net sales of $2,531 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 increased $83 million compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2013 primarily as a result of the Tacoma Mill and specialty display acquisitions completed in May 2014 and December 2013, respectively, and higher selling prices. Segment income of $263 million decreased $12 million compared to the prior year quarter primarily due to increased commodity and other costs which exceeded the impact of higher selling prices, productivity improvements and income from the acquisitions.
    -RockTenn's restructuring and other costs and operating losses and transition costs due to plant closures for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 were $0.13 per diluted share after-tax. These costs primarily consisted of $9 million of pre-tax integration and acquisition costs and $5 million of pre-tax facility closure charges associated with previously closed facilities.

    Chief Executive Officer's Statement
    RockTenn Chief Executive Officer, Steve Voorhees, stated, "Our team delivered another quarter of solid operating results as measured by our adjusted earnings per share of $1.97 and free cash flow per share of $2.82. Over the last 12 months credit agreement EBITDA has increased to $1.6 billion, a 19% increase compared to last year and free cash flow has increased by $3.24 to $12.39 per share, a 35% increase, both of which reflect the continued strong operating performance of our team. Our balance sheet continues to provide us with the ability to make sound capital allocation decisions and continue to generate attractive free cash flow returns."

    Segment Results
    Mill and Converting Tons Shipped
    Corrugated Packaging segment shipments of approximately 1,962,000 tons increased 2.1% or approximately 40,000 tons compared to the prior year. In the quarter, we took approximately 89,000 tons of major maintenance and capital outage downtime. Consumer Packaging segment shipments of approximately 394,000 tons decreased 0.5% or approximately 2,000 tons compared to the prior year quarter.

    Corrugated Packaging Segment
    Corrugated Packaging segment net sales increased $55 million to $1,774 million and segment income decreased $16 million to $180 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to the prior year quarter. The increased sales are primarily related to the Tacoma Mill acquisition and higher selling prices whose impact on segment income was more than offset by higher commodity and other costs. Segment income in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 included the recognition of a $9 million gain related to the recording of additional value of spare parts at our containerboard mills acquired in the Smurfit-Stone acquisition. Segment income in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 included an $11.4 million benefit related to the restructuring and extension of our Jacksonville recycled containerboard mill's steam supply contract. Corrugated Packaging segment EBITDA margin was 17.4% for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 down 70 basis points from the prior year quarter.

    Consumer Packaging Segment
    Consumer Packaging segment net sales increased $15 million to $497 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to the prior year quarter due to higher selling prices. Segment income of $60 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 was impacted primarily by the higher selling prices which were more than offset by the impact of lower volumes and higher commodity costs and other items. Consumer Packaging segment EBITDA margin was 16.5% for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 down slightly compared to the prior year quarter.

    Merchandising Displays Segment
    Merchandising Displays segment net sales increased $59 million over the prior year third quarter to $225 million primarily due to higher volumes and the impact of a specialty display acquisition completed in December 2013. Segment income increased $4 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to the prior year quarter primarily due to the impact of higher volumes which were partially offset by higher commodity and other items including higher costs associated with supporting and onboarding new business. Merchandising Displays segment EBITDA margin was 11.3% for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 down 70 basis points from the prior year quarter.

    Recycling Segment
    Recycling segment net sales decreased $38 million over the prior year third quarter to $85 million primarily due to lower volumes and recovered fiber prices as a result of soft global markets and seven collection facility closures during the past year. Segment income was relatively flat in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 compared to the prior year quarter primarily as the impact of lower volumes and market conditions were partially offset by the impact of cost structure improvements.

    Cash Provided From Operating, Financing and Investing Activities
    Cash from operations was $218 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2014 after pension and postretirement funding more than expense of $131 million compared to cash from operations of $270 million in the prior year quarter after pension and postretirement funding more than expense of $45 million. Due primarily to the $341 million associated with the May 16, 2014 acquisition of the Tacoma Mill, Net Debt (as defined) increased $312 million in the June quarter to $2.95 billion and at June 30, 2014, our Leverage Ratio (as defined) was 1.90 times. Total debt was $2.99 billion at June 30, 2014. Additionally during the quarter, we invested $151 million in capital expenditures, returned $25 million in dividends to our shareholders and repurchased $21 million of common stock.
    (Rock-Tenn Co)
     
    11.08.2014   'emtec at the PTS Paper and Board Symposium'    ( Company news )

    Company news emtec Electronic appears in Munich

    In September, emtec Electronic GmbH appears at the PTS Paper and Board Symposium in the congress hall in Munich, Germany. On September 17th and 18th, 2014 it is possible to have a look at the PDA.C 02 – Penetration Dynamics Analyzer, which characterizes the properties of paper and board surfaces for converting (coating, printing, glueing).
    But also the innovative ACA – Ash Content Analyzer will be showcased. Within seconds it delivers, beside the total ash content, the percentage of the single fillers and minerals in paper and board. Therefore, the ACA serves as a replacement of the traditional, time-consuming combustion method.
    (emtec Electronic GmbH)
     
    11.08.2014   Scheufelen: Important information    ( Company news )

    Company news Many questions are asked, especially if the paper that you did purchase from us, are still available. Here we can assure that we will provide all the paper brands unchanged in complete range. The paper brands bvs und bro in grammages of 100-350 g/m² are available in established quality – made in Lenningen – and fast delivery service. For bvs and bro matt, the grammage of 90 g/m² is currently under review. The range of premium brands heaven 42 and phoenixmotion remains unchanged.
    (Papierfabrik Scheufelen GmbH + Co. KG)
     
    08.08.2014   Vaahto Group lowers its 2014 forecast    ( Company news )

    Company news Vaahto Group lowers its 2014 forecast. In the Interim Management Statement, published on 16.5.2014, the operating profit of the continuing operations was expected to be positive for the fiscal year 2014. The latest management estimation is that the operating profit of the continuing operations will be negative for the fiscal year 2014.

    The main reasons are the delay in the positive development of the order book and the slower improvement of the market situation than earlier predicted. Additionally, the costs related to the re-organization of the group structure have an effect on the estimate. Due to the classification of the continuing and discontinuing operations, the allocation of the group’s overhead costs affects the continuing operations more than estimated. The group is currently adjusting its administrative costs, but the changes made to the cost structure will generate savings later than earlier anticipated.
    (Vaahto Group Plc Oyj)
     
    08.08.2014   CCL INDUSTRIES SIGNS BINDING AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE BANDFIX AG IN SWITZERLAND    ( Company news )

    Company news CCL Industries Inc. (“CCL”), a world leader in specialty label and packaging solutions for global corporations, small businesses and consumers, announced today that it has signed a binding agreement to acquire Bandfix AG (“Bandfix”), located near Zurich, Switzerland. Bandfix is a privately owned label company increasingly focused on European Specialty customers with estimated sales for the calendar year of 2014 of $47.0 million and anticipated adjusted EBITDA of approximately $3.5 million. The agreed debt and cash free enterprise value is $18.0 million subject to customary closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to close this quarter subsequent to local regulatory approval.

    Geoffrey T. Martin President & CEO (photo) of CCL Industries Inc., commented: “Bandfix has a long history in the European label industry and brings to CCL a foothold in Switzerland, home to the headquarters of many important global customers, especially in the Healthcare & Specialty space. We are pleased to welcome Bandfix employees to CCL and have solid plans to invest in Switzerland to develop the business for future growth and improved profitability. The operation will change its trading name post close to CCL Label, Switzerland and report to Guenther Birkner, President of our Food & Beverage business and our senior operating leader in Europe based nearby in Austria.”
    (CCL Industries Inc.)
     
    08.08.2014   Flowrox Deposition Watch Measures Deposition from the Pipe Cross Section    ( Company news )

    Company news Flowrox Deposition Watch is an accurate solution to effectively control and monitor paraffin wax and asphaltene depositions in pipelines. Online monitoring of process deposition allows you to track and monitor formed deposits as well as free volume index remaining in the pipeline.
    Integrate the system into plant automation to maintain an optimal level of chemicals to treat deposits and to avoid unnecessary production stops caused by cleaning.

    Benefits
    -Constant monitoring of the deposition build up
    -Track remaining free volume index in pipeline
    -No unexpected shutdowns - maximized process uptime

    Applications
    Flowrox Deposition Watch is an accurate solution in the Oil and Gas industry to effectively control and monitor paraffin wax and asphaltene depositions in pipelines. Examples of scalable substances are calcium carbonate, calcium sulfate and bitumen.

    Industries:
    -Oil and Gas
    -Chemical
    -Mining & Minerals
    -Pulp & Paper
    (Flowrox Oy)
     
    08.08.2014   DS Smith increases ownership of Italmaceri to 100%    ( Company news )

    Company news DS Smith announces the acquisition of the remaining 50% of Italian recycling company Italmaceri Srl (“Italmaceri”). DS Smith acquired its existing 50% of Italmaceri as part of the acquisition of SCA Packaging in 2012.
    Italmaceri is the second largest recycling company in Italy, handling in excess of 500,000 tonnes of recovered fibre per annum. It has its headquarters in Torino, with operations in Ancona, Casarile and Novara.
    Miles Roberts, chief executive of DS Smith said: ”The purchase of Italmaceri is consistent with DS Smith’s strategy to lead the way in recycling. It builds on our market leading position in Europe and will allow us to grow our closed loop recycling model in Italy, where we already have packaging and paper operations. We want to provide our customers not only with excellent packaging, and a world class recycling service, but solutions to all elements of their Supply Cycle.”
    The Italian recovered fibre market is the fourth largest in Europe, but has a recycling rate of 63.3%, lower than the European average of 71.7%. This offers potential for DS Smith to target and grow volumes through the commercial / industrial (including retail, wholesale and manufacturing) and municipal markets. The company will be building on existing market and geographic presence to roll out to a wider base.
    Peter McGuinness, chief executive of DS Smith, Recycling Division, said: ”This is another exciting chapter within our European growth strategy. The recovered fibre from Italmaceri will secure a fibre supply stream for our recycling network, including the DS Smith paper mill at Lucca. We have taken the opportunity to invest further in an innovative business that will help deliver our vision; the power of less, which helps our customers achieve more, with minimal impact to the environment; while realising maximum efficiency and cost gains.”
    (DS Smith Plc)
     
    08.08.2014   Voith strengthens Automotive business in North American growth market    ( Company news )

    Company news Acquisition of Helix Systems complements Service Portfolio for America

    -Helix Systems Inc. with staff of 260 and turnover of 30 million US$ to be part of Voith Industrial Services
    -Additional service competencies for the North American growth market

    Photo: Markus Glaser-Gallion, Member of the Management Board of Voith Industrial Services, in charge of the Business Division Automotive.

    As part of its Voith 150+ strategy, Voith is acquiring Helix Systems Inc., a USA-based industrial services company, located in Bessemer, Alabama. The company offers integrated service solutions for automation, system control and plant engineering as well as construction services in particular for the automotive industry. Helix Systems Inc. generated a turnover of approx. 30 million US$ in fiscal year 2013, and currently employs around 260 people.
    Helix Systems will be integrated into the Automotive Division of Voith’s Group Division Industrial Services, which is one of the leading service providers for the automotive industry worldwide. The service portfolio of Voith Industrial Services in the USA includes mainly technical cleaning and facility management, and production maintenance for car manufacturers. “This acquisition supports our goals for the growth market of North America and complements the portfolio there with activities primarily focused on technological expertise that are already part of our core competencies in Europe. As an industry specialist for the automotive industry we thus strengthen our international presence”, explains William Bell, President & CEO Automotive business in North America with Voith Industrial Services. “We will also be able to access new customer groups in this industry.”
    The North American market is of strategic relevance for Voith. In the past year, the Group initiated the ‘Voith 150+’ success program, geared towards positioning the company for future challenges. Furthering market penetration in growth regions is part of this program. The acquisition will be a 100% share deal, with both parties agreeing not to disclose the terms of the deal.
    Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs more than 42,000 people, generates € 5.7 billion in sales, operates in about 50 countries around the world and is today one of the biggest family-owned companies in Europe. In North America Voith generates € 890 million in sales and employs 5,800 people.
    Voith 150+ is a Group-wide success program which will ensure the long-term competitiveness and capacity for growth far beyond the 150th birthday of the company in 2017. The focus of Voith 150+ is on repositioning the existing portfolio, optimizing structures and processes and strengthening Voith’s corporate culture against a background of a rapidly changing market environment.
    (Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)
     
    08.08.2014   Archroma Featured High Performance And Sustainability Within Reach At Zellcheming 2014    ( Company news )

    Company news Archroma, a global leader in color and specialty chemicals, and the former textile, paper and emulsions businesses of Clariant, put sustainability and high-performance within reach with its latest benchmark-setting papermaking innovations at ZELLCHEMING-Expo 2014 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
    Under the motto “We touch and color peoples’ lives every day, everywhere”, Archroma demonstrated its on-going commitment to support papermakers with cost-effective and more environmentally-considerate solutions to the performance needs of local markets. Archroma’s comprehensive product ranges for general-purpose paper and food packaging cover optical brightening agents (OBAs), coloration and processing chemicals, and surface coating additives and agents for all kinds of paper, card and board.

    New developments from Archroma in the spotlight at ZELLCHEMING 2014 have been:
    • The recently introduced disulfonated OBAs Leucophor® ACK and Leucophor® ACW aim at satisfying the most demanding environmental requirements without compromising quality or ease of use. Leucophor® ACK brings sustainability advantages through its unique, super-highly concentrated urea-free liquid formulation.
    • Cartaguard® KHI is a totally PFOA-free, grease-resistant additive for recyclable, non-plastic coated paper packaging used for eat-out-of-hand snacks. It provides a true alternative for manufacturers on the look-out for effective and safe impregnating agents for naturally absorbent papers.

    Established innovations featured at the show:
    • Archroma’s award-winning stickies control innovation for pulp and paper applications, Cartaspers® SCH protects wires and felts, reducing downtime and minimizing the use of solvents for cleaning.
    • Cartabond® wet end products for increasing wet and dry strength and Cartasol® liquid dyes.

    “Archroma builds on its 120 years of expertise in bringing color and performance solutions to the paper industry”, comments Manfred Hahn, Head of Sales Central Europe. “We strive to bring papermakers the products and process solutions which they need to tackle their challenges on color, strength and processability, with Archroma’s strong commitment and focus on resource saving.”
    (Archroma Management GmbH)
     
    07.08.2014   Michelman's New HydraBan 430 Coating for Corrugated Withstands the Elements; Helps Maintain...     ( Company news )

    Company news ...Product Integrity

    Michelman introduced HydraBan® 430, a highly water resistant coating for paper and corrugated in Booth #15 at the ACCCSA 2014 convention being held July 27-30, 2014 in Cartagena, Colombia.
    Because it imparts a high degree of water repellency, the new coating helps maintain the structural integrity of corrugated shipping boxes while they are in service or in transit, while also protecting the contents of the container. HydraBan 430 is particularly effective for applications where exposure to environmental conditions such as cold, heat, humidity and moisture is unavoidable. Typical applications includes corrugated containers used for perishables, consumer goods and building products.
    Hydraban 430 is a versatile and economic water-based coating that is FDA compliant, repulpable, printable and gluable. It is easy-to-run with or without dilution and can be applied off-line before the corrugation process or in-line on the corrugator, from the wet or dry end, with a rod or blade coater. It can also be applied via flexo.
    (Michelman Inc.)
     
    07.08.2014   Interim report Q2/2014: UPM posts strong second quarter, solid progress in growth projects    ( Company news )

    Company news Photo: Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO

    Q2 2014 compared with Q2 2013
    • Earnings per share excluding special items were EUR 0.26 (0.20), and reported EUR 0.25 (0.22)
    • Operating profit excluding special items increased to EUR 186 million, 7.6% of sales (138 million, 5.5% of sales), due to the successful profit improvement programme
    • EBITDA was EUR 298 million, 12.2% of sales (258 million, 10.2% of sales)
    • The Lappeenranta renewable diesel refinery started its testing and commissioning process; the UPM Fray Bentos pulp mill received an increased production permit
    • 94% of the targeted annualised EUR 200 million cost savings achieved in Q2 2014

    Q1–Q2 2014 compared with Q1–Q2 2013
    • Earnings per share excluding special items were EUR 0.53 (0.38), and reported EUR 0.61 (0.31)
    • Operating profit excluding special items increased to EUR 382 million, 7.8% of sales (282 million, 5.6% of sales), due to the successful profit improvement programme
    • EBITDA was EUR 611 million, 12.4% of sales (542 million, 10.9% of sales)
    • Growth projects progressed in UPM Biorefining, UPM Paper Asia and UPM Raflatac
    • Strong operating cash flow at EUR 479 million (187 million), net debt decreased to EUR 2,925 million

    Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO comments on the result:
    UPM has performed significantly better in the first half of 2014 than in the same period last year. Compared to 2013, our second quarter operating profit improved by 35%. The profit improvement programme, announced a year ago, is ahead of schedule and was evident in our results. With improved profitability, our cash flow was strong and the balance sheet was strengthened further which continues to support our capacity to pay a good dividend. Finally, I am pleased that all our growth projects made solid progress during the quarter.
    Operating profit excluding special items increased to EUR 186 million (138 million). Operating cash flow continued to be strong at EUR 215 million (84 million), and net debt decreased to EUR 2,925 million (3,524 million).
    UPM Paper ENA (Europe and North America), UPM Paper Asia and UPM Plywood all succeeded in their efforts to improve profitability. Most of the improvement stems from reduced variable and fixed costs. Furthermore, UPM Paper Asia and UPM Plywood benefited from higher delivery volumes, and UPM Plywood also profited from increased prices.
    In UPM Energy, thanks to successful hedging and optimal utilisation of hydropower assets, profitability remained stable despite lower market prices.
    UPM Biorefining and UPM Raflatac did not reach their full potential this quarter. In Pulp business, which makes up most of the UPM Biorefining results, profitability was negatively impacted by maintenance shut-downs and prolonged start-up at Kaukas pulp mill in addition to decreased hardwood pulp prices. UPM Raflatac’s results suffered from temporary operational issues.
    As for our strategic growth projects, we are well on track.
    Biofuels opens up a new horizon for our growth prospects. The Lappeenranta biorefinery, the first of its kind in the world, will start producing clean, technologically advanced renewable diesel. The construction has now been completed and we have started the testing and commissioning process. The sales agreement with NEOT (North European Oil Trade) was signed in June, and the refinery is expected to start commercial production during autumn.
    In Pulp, we made good progress in achieving the targeted 10% production capacity increase. The modernised fibre line in Pietarsaari came on stream. At the Kymi mill, construction work on the extension is on schedule. The production permitting process in Uruguay was completed and UPM Fray Bentos received a production permit for a further 100,000 tonnes in June, allowing an annual production of 1.3 million tonnes.
    Our growth investments in emerging markets were also proceeding as planned. In UPM Changshu, China, the investment in woodfree speciality grades and labelling materials, as well as UPM Raflatac’s expansion to the self-adhesive labels factory on the same site, got off to a good start. In Nowa Wies, Poland, the preparations for UPM Raflatac’s expansion in filmic labelstock continued.
    With these projects we are on our way to top-line growth and an additional EUR 200 million EBITDA in the coming two years,” said Pesonen.

    Outlook for 2014
    Growth in the European economy is expected to be modest in 2014, but to improve over last year. In the US, growth is expected to remain stable at a moderate level, whereas solid growth is expected to continue in the developing economies.
    This environment is expected to be supportive for the global pulp and label materials demand, as well as paper demand in Asia. The slight improvement in the European economy is likely to moderate the negative demand development seen in the European graphic paper market over the past two years and stimulate European demand for wood products. The current hydrological situation in Finland is slightly above the long term average level, and the forward electricity prices in Finland for H2 2014 are lower than the realised market prices in H2 2013.
    UPM’s business outlook is broadly stable.
    (UPM)
     
    07.08.2014   New standby function on sheetfed presses from Heidelberg significantly boosts energy efficiency    ( Company news )

    Company news -Available on all presses with Prinect Press Center
    -Another innovation for green printing that conserves resources
    -Initial use by commercial printer demonstrates efficiency, even with short idle times

    All presses from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) that are equipped with the Prinect Press Center now come with the new standby function. This enables the press to be switched to an energy-saving mode that significantly reduces CO 2 emissions. Depending on press length and format, the standby function leads to potential savings of up to 15 kW. Calculated over an entire year, print shops that switch to standby mode for just one hour each day can thus save enough energy to power a family home.
    Day-to-day press operation involves repeated waits and pauses. Depending on the situation, operators can decide whether they wish to switch to standby mode. This is a simple step that does not involve powering down the press. Pressing the standby button on the Prinect Press Center switches the peripherals and individual sub-assemblies of the press to energy-saving mode. Powering up the press again is also much faster than starting it from scratch.
    (Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)
     
    07.08.2014   Weyerhaeuser Reports Second Quarter Results    ( Company news )

    Company news -Earnings from continuing operations before special items rise nearly 65 percent compared with first quarter
    -Divestiture of homebuilding business completed on July 7, 2014

    Photo: Doyle R. Simons, president and chief executive officer

    Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY) reported second quarter net earnings to common shareholders of $280 million, or 47 cents per diluted share, on net sales from continuing operations of $2.0 billion. This compares with net earnings of $196 million, or 35 cents per diluted share, on net sales from continuing operations of $1.9 billion for the same period last year.
    Earnings for second quarter 2014 include after-tax earnings of $22 million from discontinued operations. Discontinued operations relate to Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company (WRECO), which was combined with TRI Pointe Homes, Inc. (TRI Pointe) through a Reverse Morris Trust transaction on July 7, 2014. Second quarter results also include net after-tax gains of $24 million from special items, primarily related to a postretirement plan amendment. Excluding discontinued operations and special items, the company reported net earnings of $234 million, or 40 cents per diluted share. This compares with net earnings from continuing operations before special items of $183 million, or 33 cents per diluted share, for second quarter 2013 and $143 million, or 24 cents per diluted share, for first quarter 2014.

    “The strong results for each of our businesses in the second quarter reflect our relentless focus on operational excellence,” said Doyle Simons, president and chief executive officer. “Through the recent divestiture of our homebuilding business and last year's Longview Timber acquisition, we have created a focused forest products company committed to driving operational improvements and fully capitalizing on the continued measured recovery in U.S. housing markets and the overall economy.
    (Weyerhaeuser Company)
     
    07.08.2014   Visit Sanita at Tissue Middle East Exhibition 2014    ( Company news )

    Company news TISSUE Middle East Exhibition the leading International Exhibition for Tissue Paper, Hygiene Products and Converting Industries will be held on October 22nd-24th, 2014 at Cairo International Convention Center, Cairo, Egypt. Hall (2)
    TISSUE-ME 2014 Exhibition gathers exclusively Tissue Paper, Hygiene Products and Converting manufacturing experts, key players and decision-makers committed to showcase the latest Machinery, Raw Material, Finished Products, Technologies, Innovations, Solutions and Services from around the Globe.

    SANITA Invites You to Visit TISSUE-ME 2014
    Sanita Consumer products Co, being a member of INDEVCO Group enjoying the support of a large organization with sound values & wild experiences of manufacturing & distribution.
    After doing a great job in the Egyptian market for 10 years & in the beginning of the year 2012, Sanita Nile for Trading merged with Sanita Consumer Products to manufacture those products in Egypt to meet the increased demand & needs of the Egyptian market as well as exporting for foreign markets in Africa and the neighboring Countries of Egypt.
    Sanita is specialized in manufacturing & distributing of different papers & Hygiene Products serving both local & export markets.
    (Nile Trade Fairs)
     
    07.08.2014   ANDRITZ GROUP: solid business development in the first half of 2014    ( Company news )

    Company news International technology Group ANDRITZ showed solid business development in the first half of 2014 in a still challenging overall economic environment.

    Photo: ANDRITZ President and CEO Wolfgang Leitner

    -Sales increased slightly to 2,659.4 MEUR in the first half of 2014 (+1.9% versus H1 2013: 2,610.1 MEUR); this increase is attributable to the Schuler Group, which only contributed four months to the previous year’s reference period (first-time consolidation as of March 1, 2013). Sales in the second quarter of 2014, at 1,439.9 MEUR, almost reached the reference figure of last year (-0.4% versus Q2 2013: 1,446.3 MEUR).

    -The order intake amounted to 2,980.2 MEUR in the first half of 2014 and was thus well above the previous year’s reference figure (+18.0% versus H1 2013: 2,526.0 MEUR). This significant increase is mainly due to the good order intake in the PULP & PAPER and METALS business areas in the first quarter of 2014. The order intake in the second quarter of 2014, at 1,238.0 MEUR, was practically unchanged compared to the level in the second quarter of 2013 (1,237.7 MEUR).

    -As of June 30, 2014, the order backlog amounted to 7,555.7 MEUR which is an increase of 2.3% compared to the end of last year (December 31, 2013: 7,388.5 MEUR).

    -In the first half of 2014, the EBITA amounted to 133.4 MEUR (+37.7% versus H1 2013: 96.9 MEUR) and the EBITA margin was 5.0% (H1 2013: 3.7%). Thus, earnings were significantly above the low reference figure for the previous year, which was strongly negatively impacted in the first quarter of 2013 by high provisions booked for a pulp mill project in South America. In the second quarter of 2014, the EBITA amounted to 84.8 MEUR and was thus 2.5% above the figure for the second quarter of 2013 (82.7 MEUR). The EBITA margin slightly increased to 5.9% (Q2 2013: 5.7%).

    -The net income reached 66.7 MEUR in the first half of 2014 and was thus well above the very low reference figure for the previous year (+42.2% versus H1 2013: 46.9 MEUR).

    ANDRITZ President and CEO Wolfgang Leitner: “Given the overall economic situation and the competitive environment, order intake and sales of the ANDRITZ GROUP saw solid development. We achieved a significant improvement in earnings compared to the previous year’s reference period, although further improvements are necessary to reach our target figures. We expect unchanged project activity in the markets we serve for the current second half of the year.”

    Based on the business development so far, the order backlog, and – compared to 2013 – additional two months sales contribution by the Schuler Group, ANDRITZ expects a slight rise in sales in the 2014 business year compared to the previous year. Net income is expected to show a significant improvement compared to the low level of 2013.
    (Andritz AG)
     
    07.08.2014   CHINA PAPER 2014 GEARING UP TO BE MOST SUCCESSFUL EDITION TO DATE    ( Company news )

    Company news Gearing up for its 21st edition, China Paper 2014, taking place September 15-17 at INTEXT Shanghai, is shaping up to be another winner for business and government.
    China Paper is the premiere event for China’s pulp, paper making and paper products industries.
    China Paper provides the most influential platform in China for paper mills, raw product providers, manufacturers of automation pulp and paper equipment and components suppliers. The event specializes in featuring innovative equipment, technologies and services, supplying all of Asia’s paper needs.
    This year, China Paper is expecting its highest attendance to date. Over 5,000 qualified industry buyers are expected from all across China, as well as 50 international countries, searching for the latest paper products and services.
    China Paper’s exhibition area will be host to over 200 exhibitors, cover four major areas: Paper Making, Paper Product Processing, Environmental and Paper Recycling. In addition, the exhibit floor will showcase a complementary Specialty Paper Pavilion featuring the finest in fiber materials, equipment, chemicals, and specialty paper companies.
    Once again, the Swedish and Finnish pavilion will have a large international foot print in the exhibit hall. Other international exhibitors include the companies from the United States, Canada, Taiwan, and the EU.
    New for 2014, RISI, the leading information provider for the global forest product industry, will co-host China Paper’s international conference program. The top-level technical conference will bring an added educational element to the event, creating the highest quality meeting place for the industry. Other event features include mill visits, product and company presentations, and match making seminars.
    China Paper continues to enjoy the highest level of support from China’s key ministries and key associations and many important organizations such as the Vietnam Pulp and Paper Association are supporting China Paper 2014.
    Outreach to participate is made on a global basis to over 100,000 potential exhibitors and attendees with invitations going out to the heads of international pulp & paper associations and CEOs from the key corporation’s in the pulp and paper industry to attend the conferences, exhibit and visit the exhibition.
    The paper industry continues to be a key growth sector in China, generating a multitude of business opportunity.
    (E.J. Krause & Associates)
     
    07.08.2014   AVERY DENNISON BRINGS A “WHITE RAINBOW” TO WINE LABELLING APPLICATIONS     ( Company news )

    Company news Picture: Avery Dennison brings a “White Rainbow” to wine labelling applications. (Photo: Avery Dennison, PR255)

    White remains by far the dominant label colour for wine and spirits producers, and the number of white label materials has just increased with the addition of five important new ‘White Rainbow’ products to the Avery Dennison wine labelling range.

    Two new paper-based products (‘Rustique Extra White FSC’ and ‘Martelé Extra White FSC’), give designers a new whiter-than-ever shade for wine labelling applications. A new tree-free ‘Pure Cotton’ material is also available, which has been evaluated at 30% higher whiteness when compared with other 100% cotton fibre wine labels on the market today (CIE Whiteness (Dry) – ISO 11475). Pure Cotton has the same printability as paper but the highest level of embossing.

    Attractive patterns are also included in the range: the new ‘True Linen FSC’ material has a natural and elegant textile finish, and ‘Pampa FSC’ offers a rich and luxurious feel with its micro diamond shape.

    Fabien Bourgies, global director Wine & Spirits, said that the new materials offer the technical and aesthetic performance needed to stand out in a crowded market: “With these White Rainbow label materials, Avery Dennison now offers brand owners and designers new opportunities to make their products really leap out from a retail shelf, and communicate a very pronounced brand identity. Retailers know that consumers spend more time looking at wines if the area is softly lit, with a ‘cellar-like’ atmosphere, and the performance of a white label material can be pivotal in these conditions – the right material choice will make a bottle stand out in minimal light levels.”

    The new range will be valuable to a large proportion of brand owners: 80% of wine labels are currently white, in no small part because the colour conveys a sense of authenticity and premium quality.

    Bourgies said that subtle improvements to materials are important: “Consumers can perceive very small differences between whites, and these products give label designers useful new choices, especially when thinking about communicating a sense of luxury. The extra-white labels offer an exceptional level of contrast, and the two new materials with elegant diamond patterns allow fine printing details to be reproduced with very high accuracy.”
    (Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials Europe)
     
    07.08.2014   BC Hydro Power Smart Program boosts viability for mechanical pulp producers    ( Company news )

    Company news Catalyst Paper (TSX:CYT) announced that the Ministry of Energy and Mines and BC Hydro have introduced a new energy efficiency program aimed at reducing the power costs of mechanical pulp producers.
    The Power Smart program provided an injection of $100 million over three years and is aimed at reducing energy intensity and improving energy efficiency used in the thermal-mechanical pulping process at seven pulp facilities throughout British Columbia.
    This funding will benefit our three mills located in the communities of Crofton, Port Alberni and Powell River. The first project that Catalyst is in the advanced stages of planning for is a project in Powell River that utilizes waste steam to reduce our electrical load on the BC Hydro system. The project has an expected capital cost in excess of $25 million of which Power Smart funding will cover 75% and reduces energy cost by an estimated $5 million annually. “We are pleased with this outcome after several months of open dialogue examining all sides of this complex situation,” says Catalyst President and CEO Joe Nemeth. “This program improves the viability of the energy-intensive mechanical pulping industry and will help ensure the economic benefits we generate throughout the province will continue.”
    In addition to more than one million tonnes of paper, Catalyst produces 355,000 tonnes of pulp sold to customers in Asia, consuming an annual capacity of approximately 3.5 million gigajoules of energy in the process. Catalyst plans to leverage the Power Smart program by upgrading equipment to efficiently harness energy, reducing its energy waste and load on BC Hydro’s system.
    (Catalyst Paper Corporation)
     
    06.08.2014   AVERY DENNISON RAPID-ROLL OPENS TEA INDUSTRY FOR NARROW WEB CONVERTERS    ( Company news )

    Company news Picture: Avery Dennison Rapid-Roll opens tea industry for narrow web converters. (Photo: Avery Dennison, PR238)

    With the rising global demand for tea and the launch of more specialist teas, producers are looking for converters who are able to provide unique packaging solutions that preserve the flavour of their teas and enable their brand to stand out. Avery Dennison is helping narrow-web label converters access this important new market, with a flexible packaging portfolio of short-run, quick turnaround non-adhesive paper and films.

    Single-serve tea portions are a notable packaging trend, reflecting demand from restaurants and bars, and consumption of flavoured and private label teas. Ralph Olthoff, segment leader Rapid-Roll at Avery Dennison, says the Rapid Roll portfolio allows converters to offer new packaging solutions as a viable alternative to larger-scale wide-web productions. “We are seeing an increasing demand for lower quantities and faster deliveries of tea products, and this is an arena where narrow-web converters perform best. Our Rapid-Roll portfolio is designed to give converters quick access to the minimum order quantities they need, without having to maintain high stock levels, and it includes the entire range of barrier properties needed for different flexible packaging applications as well as offering exceptional print qualities”, Olthoff continues.

    Individual tea bags – often called ‘envelopes’ – have to deliver more than visual appeal. Tea is a sensitive product that needs to be protected from moisture, oxygen and UV. The perfect tea envelope is one that entices the consumer and keeps the contents fresh.

    Rapid-Roll flexible packaging options range from a simple paper construction to constructions with a layer of aluminium, metalized PET or metalized PP. All materials are printable in rotogravure, letterpress, UV Flexo, UV Offset and digital.
    (Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials Europe)
     
    06.08.2014   Tembec reports financial results for its third quarter ended June 28, 2014    ( Company news )

    Company news Consolidated sales for the three-month period ended June 28, 2014, were $404 million, as compared to $399 million in the same quarter a year ago. The Company generated net earnings of $30 million or $0.30 per share in the June 2014 quarter compared to a net loss of $7 million or $0.07 per share in the June 2013 quarter. The June 2014 results include a gain of $14 million related to the sale of land. Operating earnings before depreciation, amortization and other items (adjusted EBITDA) was $30 million for the three-month period ended June 28, 2014, as compared to adjusted EBITDA of $30 million a year ago and adjusted EBITDA of $18 million in the prior quarter.

    Business Segment Results
    The Specialty Cellulose Pulp segment generated adjusted EBITDA of $19 million on sales of $126 million for the quarter ended June 2014, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $18 million on sales of $128 million in the prior quarter. Demand for specialty grades was flat while US and euro prices were relatively unchanged quarter-over-quarter. The prior quarter sales included a $2 million favourable adjustment for volume penalties paid by customers relating to the calendar 2013 period. Currency was unfavourable during the quarter as the Canadian dollar strengthened by 1.1% versus the US dollar and the euro. Overall, Canadian dollar equivalent pricing for specialty grades declined by $77 per tonne. US dollar prices for viscose grades also declined. Combined with the unfavourable currency effect, prices declined by $51 per tonne. The viscose market remains oversupplied and prices are relatively low. Overall, pricing reduced adjusted EBITDA by $4 million. Shipments were equal to 80% of capacity as compared to 81% in the prior quarter. Costs declined by $3 million due to the reversal of net realizable value write-downs as the Temiscaming mill shipped more viscose grade pulp than it had produced. Higher profitability in the chemicals business increased adjusted EBITDA by a further $2 million. The Specialty Cellulose Pulp segment generated operating earnings of $15 million, unchanged from the prior quarter.

    The Forest Products segment generated adjusted EBITDA of $5 million on sales of $108 million for the quarter ended June 2014, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $3 million on sales of $112 million in the prior quarter. Lumber shipments were equal to 84% of capacity versus 83% in the prior quarter. During the quarter, the random length lumber reference price declined by US $24 per mbf while the reference price for stud lumber increased by US $11 per mbf. The gap between the two grades narrowed as expected. Currency was unfavourable as the Canadian dollar averaged US $0.917, a 1.1% increase from US $0.907 in the prior quarter. The net effect decreased sales and adjusted EBITDA by $1 million or $6 per mbf. Costs decreased by $4 million. The spring and summer months are also seasonally lower operating cost periods. The Forest Products segment generated operating earnings of $4 million, compared to operating earnings of $1 million in the prior quarter.

    The Paper Pulp segment generated adjusted EBITDA of $3 million on sales of $102 million for the quarter ended June 2014, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $2 million on sales of $62 million in the prior quarter. Market conditions for paper pulp remained relatively weak although demand was stable. Pulp shipments were equal to 117% of capacity as compared to 70% in the prior quarter. Export shipments in the prior quarter were negatively impacted by winter storms that led to delays and congestion at several East Coast ports normally utilized by the Company. The shortfall in shipments was made up in the June 2014 quarter. The benchmark price (delivered China) for bleached eucalyptus kraft (BEK) decreased by US $49 per tonne. However, this decline did not impact US $ high-yield pulp prices. Currency was unfavourable as the Canadian dollar strengthened during the quarter. Average selling prices declined by $12 per tonne, reducing adjusted EBITDA by $2 million. Manufacturing costs decreased by $3 million, primarily due to lower fibre costs. The Paper Pulp segment generated operating earnings of $1 million, compared to an operating loss of $1 million in the prior quarter.

    The Paper segment generated adjusted EBITDA of $8 million on sales of $89 million for the quarter ended June 2014, compared to negative adjusted EBITDA of $1 million on sales of $84 million in the prior quarter. The coated bleached board market improved slightly. The shipment to capacity ratio was 96% compared to 94% in the prior quarter. The US $ benchmark price for coated bleached board increased by US $32 per short ton. Currency was negative as the Canadian dollar strengthened during the quarter. Overall, average selling prices for coated bleached board were unchanged quarter-over-quarter. Bleached board costs increased by $1 million, primarily for freight. The newsprint market remained weak with continued decreases in North American demand. The shipment to capacity ratio was 89% compared to 81% in the prior quarter. The US $ benchmark price for newsprint was unchanged at US $605 per tonne. The stronger Canadian dollar resulted in a $7 per tonne decline in newsprint realizations. Manufacturing costs at the Kapuskasing newsprint mill decreased by $10 million, primarily for energy. The prior quarter’s costs had been negatively affected by the abnormally cold weather that led to a shortage of natural gas, which in turn caused significant increases to the cost of purchased electricity in the Province of Ontario. The newsprint mill also took six days of unplanned downtime in the prior quarter to mitigate the impact of the higher electricity rates. The Paper segment generated operating earnings of $7 million, compared to an operating loss of $2 million in the prior quarter.

    BC Land Sales Initiative
    The Company continued with its BC Land Sales Initiative. The objective is to realize up to $70 million in gross proceeds by December 2014. During the June 2014 quarter, the Company completed three land sales for proceeds of $16 million, bringing total sales to date to $39 million. The Company also has an agreement to sell additional parcels for $20 million. The transaction is conditional on the purchaser obtaining adequate financing. There can be no assurance that the transaction will be consummated or that the Company will attain its stated objective.

    Temiscaming Cogen Project Update
    The Company had previously indicated that the total construction cost of the project would be approximately $235 million. Updated projections now indicate that approximately $255 million will be required to complete the project. The overrun is largely due to higher labour costs. The initial estimate contemplated total labour man-hours of 810,000. To the end of June 2014, labour man-hours had reached 775,000 and projections indicate a further 152,000 man-hours will be required to complete the construction work, for a projected total of 927,000 man-hours. As a significant portion of the additional man-hours relate to higher cost specialized trades, the fully-loaded cost per man-hour is forecasted to be 7% higher than originally planned. The boiler erection is essentially completed and the remaining work will focus on piping, insulation and electrical work. The commissioning of several ancillary systems has begun and will accelerate as the summer progresses. The turbine was originally scheduled to produce contract power by mid-October 2014. This is now expected to occur in late-November 2014, a delay of approximately five weeks.

    Outlook
    Overall, the June 2014 quarterly results were better than anticipated. After experiencing relatively harsh winter conditions in the March 2014 quarter, all four business segments benefited from higher productivity and lower costs. This more than offset the negative effect of a stronger Canadian dollar and lower selling prices. The Specialty Cellulose segment results improved by $1 million due to lower costs at both pulp mills. The decline in specialty pulp prices was expected as the prior quarter had benefited from customer minimum volume penalties. The current quarter reflected the full impact of the lower contract prices that came into effect in January 2014. Prices for viscose grade also dropped in the most recent quarter. This market remains oversupplied and US $ prices are relatively low. Market conditions should remain at this level for the remainder of the calendar year. The improved results in the Forest Products segment were also driven by lower costs as the spring and summer months are normally lower cost periods for the sawmills. Stud lumber prices increased, closing the gap with random lumber as the latter declined. We anticipate similar results in the coming quarter. The Paper Pulp segment results saw a small improvement in profitability due to lower costs. The segment was able to make up for the weather related shortfall in shipments from the prior quarter. The new South American hardwood paper pulp capacity is impacting prices and we anticipate marginal profitability from this segment until the market absorbs this new capacity. The Paper segment rebounded well from what had been a very challenging March quarter, which was impacted by high prices for natural gas and electricity. The coated bleached board market is stable, but the export market for newsprint, on which North American producers are placing greater reliance, is under pressure.

    The Company is looking forward to completing the construction of the Temiscaming, QC, specialty cellulose Cogen project in the coming quarter. While the total estimated cost has increased, the project remains a critical element that will materially improve the mill’s cost structure and margins. The Company is placing significant emphasis on training and commissioning in order to ensure a successful start-up of the boiler and turbine. The Company is also looking to complete the BC Land Sales Initiative. To date, $39 million has been realized and the Company will be focused on generating additional land sales in order to reach its $70 million objective.
    (Tembec Inc.)
     
    06.08.2014   Portucel Soporcel Group launches new Navigator Home Pack    ( Company news )

    Company news Navigator focuses on families with new product tailored to home users

    Navigator Home Pack is the new product from the world's best-selling premium office paper brand, especially designed and tailored for domestic users.
    In order to reach out to the home users’ market, Navigator has made the packaging lighter and easier to carry by reducing the number
    of sheets per pack, down from the traditional 500 to 250, as well as adapting its image to suit the home environment.
    Navigator Home Pack encourages consumers to be creative in finding new ways of using paper, and stands out at points of sale thanks to its easygoing communication style.
    The packaging design has been developed to illustrate a home environment, with more appealing colours, encouraging modern consumers of office paper to start using a premium product at home.
    This new addition to the Navigator range will enable the brand to communicate directly with a target group that prefers convenience and value for money, without sacrificing the brand's high quality standards, all of which they will have access to with Navigator Home Pack.
    “Navigator Home Pack is our response to changing consumer trends, in particular the increasing affordability of colour printing equipment, including home users. This means that paper quality has become more important, as contemporary consumers demand higher quality, even for their personal documents", explained Ricardo Ferreira, Navigator Brand Manager.
    (Soporcel-Sociedade Portuguesa de Papel SA)
     
    06.08.2014   Sappi results for quarter ended June 2014 highlights continued year-on-year improvement in ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... performance

    Summary for the quarter
    -Continued year-on-year improvement in quarterly performance
    -Usutu and Nijmegen Mill transactions completed
    -Specialised Cellulose business remains sold out
    -EPS 3 US cents (Q3 2013 loss of 9 US Cents)
    -EBITDA excluding special items US$140 million (Q3 2013 US$88 million)
    -Net debt US$2,286 million (Q3 2013 US$2,331 million)

    Commenting on the result, Sappi Chief Executive Officer Steve Binnie (photo) said:
    It is pleasing to note that the group has continued the trend of improving year-on-year performance, with EBITDA excluding special items of US$140 million, operating profit excluding special items of US$67 million and profit for the period of US$17 million.
    The European business had a solid quarter in a seasonally slow period, with lower variable and fixed costs arising from cost cutting initiatives offsetting weaker graphic paper prices. Demand for coated woodfree paper was stable, but coated mechanical paper continues to be weak.
    The North American business was impacted by a number of planned and unplanned outages at the pulp mills, as well as a continuation of the weak pricing in the coated paper markets. Price increases for coated woodfree web paper were announced during the quarter and this will bring some relief to a difficult market in the fourth financial quarter.
    The Southern African paper business improved on the prior quarter performance due to lower fixed costs, whilst variable costs were negatively impacted by the weaker Rand.
    The Specialised Cellulose business had a reasonable quarter, impacted by the planned annual maintenance shut at the Cloquet Mill. As expected, dissolving wood pulp prices experienced increased downward pressure due to weaker viscose staple fibre prices. Strong shipment volumes contributed towards an EBITDA excluding special items of US$70 million.
    Capital expenditure for the full year is expected to remain below US$300 million and with the proceeds of the Usutu sale and positive cash generation expected in the fourth quarter, we anticipate net debt to end the year close to US$2 billion.
    The fourth quarter is a seasonally stronger quarter and we believe that the result for the quarter will continue the trend of improved year-on-year quarterly performance which we have experienced throughout 2014.

    The quarter under review
    During this seasonally slow quarter in Europe, overall sales volumes were approximately 2% lower year-on-year, with growth in speciality paper volumes and stable coated woodfree volumes. The coated mechanical market remains weak, both domestically and globally. Savings in variable, fixed and logistics costs enabled the business to improve the year-on-year performance despite the lower sales prices. An agreement was reached to dispose of the Nijmegen mill to an affiliate of the American Industrial Acquisition Corporation (AIAC). The mill will now manufacture packaging paper and will no longer be engaged in the coated graphic paper business beyond a 6 month transition arrangement for 52,000 tonnes.
    The graphic paper markets in North America continued to be characterised by weak pricing during the quarter, whilst our volumes were flat year-on-year. Price increases for web products were announced during the quarter and will improve our results going forward. The North American specialities business is experiencing improved sales to Europe, which is offsetting weaker Chinese markets.
    The performance of the Southern African business improved compared to the equivalent quarter last year; a quarter impacted by the conversion to dissolving wood pulp at Ngodwana. The increased dissolving wood pulp sales from Ngodwana, higher average Rand pricing for dissolving wood pulp and improved profitability from the paper packaging business all contributed to the improvement.
    Finance costs of US$42 million were slightly below those of the restated equivalent period last year.
    Earnings per share for the quarter were 3 US cents (including a gain of 1 US cent in respect of special items), compared to a loss of 9 US cents (including a charge of 3 US cents in respect of special items) in the restated equivalent quarter last year.
    Capital expenditure in the quarter declined to US$57 million compared to US$174 million a year ago, reflecting the completion of the expenditure on the dissolving wood pulp projects.
    Net debt of US$2,286 million increased by US$38 million compared to the prior quarter, mainly as a result of increased working capital. Proceeds from the sale of the Usutu assets for ZAR1 billion were received after quarter-end and will be utilised to reduce debt.

    Outlook
    The stronger than expected coated woodfree paper market, coupled with excellent ongoing cost control and focus, has led to steady progress in the European business, an important cash contributor to the group. Two important capital projects at Gratkorn and Kirkniemi are underway, allowing us to make further headway in improving the financial performance of this business.
    The North American business has experienced an extremely difficult year with cost and price pressures in graphic paper, inclement weather and some operational challenges. There are early signs that the graphic paper business will see improved returns with good volumes and higher pricing going forward. Management focus on cost and operations will aid further improvement.
    The South African paper packaging business continues to benefit from healthy demand due to a good fruit export season.
    Due to the competitive nature of the dissolving wood pulp market and weak viscose staple fibre pricing, we are experiencing continued pressure on our prices. However, demand remains strong and our mills are essentially sold out for the remainder of the year.
    (Sappi Limited)
     
    05.08.2014   Rayonier Reports Second Quarter Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Rayonier (NYSE:RYN) reported second quarter net income attributable to Rayonier of $18 million, or $.14 per share, compared to $87 million, or $.67 per share, in the prior year period. The second quarter results include $12 million of net income from our discontinued Performance Fibers business, which was spun off on June 27, 2014, and $4 million of costs related to the spin-off. The prior period second quarter results included a $16 million gain1 related to the consolidation of the Company's 65 percent owned New Zealand joint venture (JV). Excluding these items, pro forma net income2 is $10 million, or $.08 per share, compared to $23 million, or $.17 per share, in the prior year period.
    For the first six months, net income attributable to Rayonier was $62 million, or $.47 per share, compared to $235 million, or $1.80 per share in the prior period. Pro forma net income was $23 million, or $.17 per share, compared to $62 million, or $.47 per share, in the
    prior year period.

    Photo: David Nunes, President and CEO

    Cash provided by operating activities was $226 million compared to $236 million in the first six months of 2013. Cash available for distribution (CAD)4 was $90 million versus $92 million in 2013.

    “We accomplished a significant strategic milestone in the second quarter with the successful spin-off of the Performance Fibers business into Rayonier Advanced Materials," said David Nunes, President and CEO. "At the same time, we continued to generate strong results with pro forma operating income5 of $56 million for the first half of 2014, up significantly from $38 million in 2013. In Forest Resources, we leveraged local market dynamics and unusually wet weather to realize higher timber prices in the Atlantic and Gulf regions. While high log inventories in China translated to softer delivered log prices in the Pacific Northwest and New Zealand, our results benefited from a higher mix of stumpage sales in the Pacific Northwest, much of which was sold during the first quarter when the market enjoyed stronger pricing. In Real Estate, improved results reflected the sale of a non-strategic timberland parcel in Florida, for which the proceeds were reinvested in a highly productive timberland property acquired in Georgia."

    Forest Resources
    Second quarter sales of $101 million were $8 million below the prior year period, while operating income of $22 million was slightly higher. Year-to-date sales of $206 million increased $40 million from 2013, while operating income of $49 million rose $15 million above prior year results.
    In the Atlantic region, second quarter and year-to-date operating results improved compared to the respective 2013 periods, as higher pine prices continued due to strong pulpwood demand and restricted supply, partially offset by lower volumes. Second quarter and year-to-date operating results in the Gulf region also improved due to higher pine prices and non-timber income, partially offset by lower volumes. Unusually wet weather conditions in both regions hindered harvest efforts during the second quarter.
    In the Pacific Northwest, second quarter results were comparable to the prior year period as lower costs offset reduced volumes due to high China inventories. Year-to-date results compared to 2013 increased significantly due to higher prices and volumes that benefited from the surge in China demand earlier in the year.
    Second quarter operating results in New Zealand were slightly lower than 2013 as prices declined in the export market due to the high China inventories and were only partially offset by higher domestic prices and volumes. Year-to-date results were slightly higher compared to 2013, reflecting the lower 26 percent JV ownership in first quarter 2013, partially offset by lower export results.

    Real Estate
    Sales of $34 million and operating income of $28 million in the second quarter increased $21 million and $22 million, respectively, from the prior year period. On a year-to-date basis, sales increased $2 million, while operating results increased $6 million. These increases were largely due to the aforementioned sale of a 19,500-acre non-strategic timberland parcel in Florida. Second quarter 2014 operating income also included a $6 million settlement of a bankruptcy claim related to a 2006 sale.

    Other Items
    Excluding the gain related to the consolidation of the New Zealand JV in the second quarter of 2013, corporate and other operating expenses of $10 million in the second quarter of 2014 improved $2 million due primarily to lower benefit costs. On a year-to-date basis, corporate and other expenses were comparable. Although all periods have been restated to present the Performance Fibers business as discontinued operations, general corporate expenses previously allocated to Performance Fibers are not permitted to be allocated to discontinued operations under generally accepted accounting principles. Going forward, the Company expects annual corporate expenses to approximate $20 million.
    Interest and other expenses of $20 million in the second quarter were $11 million above the prior year period due to $5 million of interest related to early repayment of debt in connection with the spin-off and unfavorable mark-to-market valuations on New Zealand interest rate swaps. In addition, other expenses in the second quarter included a $4 million asset write-off related to the spin-off of the Performance Fibers business.
    The second quarter income tax benefit from continuing operations before discrete items was $1 million compared to an income tax benefit of $10 million in 2013. The income tax benefit represents tax benefits from losses at Rayonier's taxable operations and interest and general administrative expenses not allowed to be allocated to the discontinued operations of the Performance Fibers business. Including discrete items, the second quarter income tax expense from continuing operations was $14 million compared to an income tax benefit of $16 million in the second quarter of 2013. In the second quarter of 2014, a $16 million valuation allowance related to the cellulosic biofuel producer credit (CBPC) was recorded reflecting Rayonier's limited potential use of the CBPC going forward.
    The year-to-date income tax benefit from continuing operations before discrete items was $7 million compared to $16 million in 2013. Including discrete items, the income tax expense from continuing operations was $6 million compared to a $42 million tax benefit in 2013. Aside from the $16 million CBPC valuation allowance recorded in 2014, the prior year amount included a $19 million tax benefit from the exchange of the alternative fuel mixture credit for CBPC.

    Outlook
    "With the successful completion of the spin-off, we have positioned Rayonier as an international pure-play timberland REIT," commented Nunes. "We look to our portfolio of highly-productive timberlands to generate increasing cash flow as U.S. housing starts gradually improve. We anticipate 2014 results from our timberlands in the U.S. South will be well above the prior year as demand continues to improve. In the Pacific Northwest and New Zealand, we expect higher log inventories in China to result in lower prices in the second half of 2014. Accordingly, we anticipate Forest Resources' full year results will be modestly below our earlier guidance, but well above 2013. In Real Estate, we expect 2014 results will be comparable to 2013.
    "We are committed to creating shareholder value from an attractive, growing dividend funded by recurring, operational cash flow from our Forest Resources and Real Estate segments. Operational cash flows are expected to benefit from gradually improving U.S. housing starts, continued investments in advanced silviculture, and incremental harvest volumes from timberland acquisitions. Through the first half of 2014, we acquired 35,000 acres of highly productive timberlands for $75 million. We are pleased with the quality of these assets and look to further utilize our strong balance sheet while maintaining a disciplined approach to pursuing other timberland properties to add to our portfolio," concluded Nunes.
    (Rayonier Inc.)
     

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