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    28.11.2014   Production interruption at Tembec’s Temiscaming, Quebec industrial complex     ( Company news )

    Company news In response to UNIFOR Union Local 233's decision to go on strike effective as of 6:30 p.m. last night, Tembec ceases the operations at its Temiscaming, Quebec industrial complex, which comprises four main facilities manufacturing specialty pulp, high-yield pulp, multi-ply coated bleached board and powder and liquid phenolic resins. In addition to the production interruption, the strike will delay the commissioning activities now taking place on the high-pressure boiler and turbine.

    The work stoppage involves approximately 650 unionized employees out of the 850 employees working at the Temiscaming complex. Negotiations between Tembec and the union began in August 2014. The four-year collective agreement expired on September 30, 2014.

    The Company is monitoring the situation very closely and is putting into place measures to minimize the impact on its customers.
    (Tembec Inc.)
    28.11.2014   FINAT Thirty Fifth International Labelling Competition    ( Company news )

    Company news Competition 2015 now open for entries

    FINAT announces that label converters can start selecting their best examples of label print as the 2015 FINAT Labelling Competition is now open and will accept entries till 5th March 2015.

    The annual FINAT competition showcases the best of self-adhesive label print. It recognizes and rewards achievement in terms of both end use/marketing impact and print and converting quality. Awards are given in the main segments where self-adhesive labels are used: alcoholic beverages, food, household, industrial, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, security labels, (self-) promotion, and booklet/coupon labels and for the major reel-fed print processes.

    “The objective of this annual labelling competition is threefold,” says Kurt Walker, FINAT president. “It not only helps highlight the advantages of self-adhesive labels and related products as effective marketing, promotional or identification tools, but definitely also encourages converters to extend their technical and quality boundaries. And last but not least, it promotes labels and labelling techniques on a world-wide basis and this to the benefit of the label and associated industries. I therefore invite all label converters to participate in this prestigious competition and to take advantage of the benefits it has to offer.”

    Award winners will receive their prize on the occasion of the annual congress which will take place 11-13 June 2015 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The winning entries will be displayed at the congress and at Labelexpo Europe 2015. Selected winners of the FINAT Label Competition 2015 will be entered in the 2015 World Label Awards (WLA) Competition.

    New category added
    FINAT has revamped the participation details and entry form and has introduced a new, fifth category under Group E: Digital. This group has been added to recognize the significant part that digital printing is playing in the modern label industry. Three categories have been included to cover the main digital printing technologies: solvent toner, dry toner and ink jet. The category digital is complementary to other categories, which include marketing/end-uses, printing processes, non-adhesive applications and innovation.
    28.11.2014   IMPS 2015 - International Munich Paper Symposium     ( Company news )

    Company news For the 24 time, one of the major annual European conferences in paper technology, the IMPS 2015 — INTERNATIONAL MUNICH PAPER SYMPOSIUM is going to take place in the modern Sheraton Munich Arabellapark Conference Center from 11-13 March 2015. The Symposium focuses on technical presentations related to paper and board manufacturing and will be offered in the German and English language through a superb simultaneous translation. In addition to the presentations, the IMPS also features an exhibition and a cultural programme.

    The theme of the meeting is “Progress in Board and Paper Technology”, and while many of the papers are going to be presented by board mills and paper mills, it will be clear that papermaking equipment and innovations designed to improve the performance of paper, board and printing machines, play a very important role.

    Most presentations will deal with first time reports and take an analytical, rather than a commercial approach. The speakers will share their experiences with relatively new systems, and will also take a look at some future developments.

    The IMPS has been held annually for more than 23 years and is always focused on current topics related to the paper manufacturing and paper supplying industry. In contrast to many very large conferences, the IMPS will host not more than about 500 participants in a first class atmosphere. It is intended to provide an international platform for people working in the field of board, paper and printing technology.

    The fee includes a number of options: simultaneous translation German/English, internet access to abstracts, presentations as pdf-files, coffee breaks with snacks, superb lunches as well as a gala dinner on Wednesday evening. As far as places are available, a fascinating cultural event on Thursday evening and an interesting mill tour or a visit to the well known paper institute of Munich University of Applied Sciences on Friday, are also included.

    The last two years the IMPS was completely booked out well before the start of the symposium. We therefore recommend that you book early.
    (IMPS Management Ltd & Co. KG)
    28.11.2014   Stora Enso CKB upgraded    ( Company news )

    Company news Stora Enso’s CKB board has been improved to enable lightweighting. CKB is primarily used for multipacks and folding cartons for food and beverages, where strength, durability and food safety are the most important requirements for the packaging material. Despite the reduced weight, CKB will provide the same high performance as before, as no other technical properties have been changed. The product is more sustainable than before, as it requires less raw material to produce.

    ​As a result of Stora Enso's investments in the board machines at Skoghall Mill in Sweden, the lightweighting technology can now be used throughout the entire CKB grammage range. The new CKB grammage range will be from 175 to 380 g/m2, which means that the highest grammages are reduced by 10 g/m2. The number of trees used for the production of CKB is today 135 000 less than what was required in 2010; that equals 600 less incoming lorries to the mill.

    "CKB is the quality leader in the solid unbleached board category, and now its environmental efficiency will be higher than ever. This will make CKB very attractive and competitive in a wide range of end use applications where strength, stiffness, purity and runnability are the key properties," says Fredrik Werner, Stora Enso's Segment Development Manager for food, beer and beverage packaging.

    Special coatings increase versatility
    CKB is a multilayer kraft back board. Besides its strength and good printability, the board's natural brown back increases packaging designers' possibilities to create distinctive designs from CKB. A good example of how CKB's properties were used to achieve outstanding structural design is the award-winning chocolate advent calendar of Confiserie Reber, a winner in the 2014 Pro Carton ECMA Awards. Stora Enso can also offer several special barrier coatings and laminates to improve the functionality of packaging.

    "Yet one of the most important reasons to choose CKB is its proven food safety, which is based on pure virgin fibres, strictly controlled production and the elimination of all contamination risks, compliance with existing EU food contact material legislation and certified hygiene management systems on our production sites," says Werner.

    CKB is also known for its excellent runnability in converting and packaging processes. The board is also used in non-food packaging applications that require exceptional strength or special coatings. "Lightweighting is a continuous development objective and we are already starting to look into the next steps. The global population will exceed eight billion in the next twenty years, and we will need 35% more food. Proper packaging plays a role in saving food from being wasted; at the same time, we must also develop the resource efficiency of producing packaging materials," concludes Werner.
    (Stora Enso Packaging Boards Skoghall Mill)
    27.11.2014   Elopak launches the Pure-Pak® Sense carton    ( Company news )

    Company news The Pure-Pak® Sense carton is the latest innovation from Elopak’s continuous research and development. It is a result of thorough market research and analysis, internal workshops across Elopak’s technical, design and development departments.
    Reflecting the global trend to combat food waste, the Pure-Pak® Sense carton features new easy-to-fold lines. The feature enables consumers to fold the carton and squeeze out more of the product from the pack which is ideal for high viscosity products. The easy-to-fold lines also enable convenient flattening of the empty carton reducing volume in waste or recycling facilities.
    The carton features an arched top fin with a print option that provides a tool for better range navigation and enhanced communication of promotional messages.
    The rounded smooth front of the carton provides a seamless print area and a new form and shape. This carton both looks and feels different with an embossed ‘first touch’ zone on the top sides of the pack giving consumers a new tactile experience with better handling.

    “Today a carton has to be more than just a generic package for liquid food,” explains Dr. Christoph Schönig, Elopak’s Director Global Marketing. “Packaging is an important element of the marketing mix for our customers and as such it must enable business growth. Therefore, Elopak’s goal is to consistently improve its packaging solutions to meet current needs in terms of appearance and functionality, as well as cost and flexibility.”

    Elopak has developed its latest carton to be a cost-efficient and flexible option running on existing filling lines with a minimal investment in a retrofit kit. Products can currently be filled in one litre Pure-Pak Sense® cartons with a 500ml carton size available from early 2015.
    (Elopak AS)
    27.11.2014   technotrans remains on growth trajectory – revenue and earnings continue to rise    ( Company news )

    Company news Revenue climbs 5.7 percent to € 82.2 million / Earnings per share reach € 0.47 at nine-month mark / Positive outlook for 2014 financial year

    Photo: Dirk Engel, CFO of technotrans AG

    In a generally rather subdued macroeconomic environment, the technotrans Group increased its revenue by 5.7 percent to € 82.2 million in the first nine months of the current financial year (previous year: € 77.8 million). Meanwhile the operating result (EBIT) rose by 56.2 percent to € 4.7 million (previous year: € 3.0 million). Compared with the prior-year period (3.9 percent) technotrans thus improved its EBIT margin to 5.8 percent, at the top end of its expectations for the 2014 financial year (EBIT margin of between 4 and 6 percent).

    “The first nine months are behind us, and technotrans is strategically on track. As expected, the technotrans Group once again enjoyed success in the third quarter of 2014. At € 27.9 million and an EBIT margin of 6.3 percent for Q3, we again succeeded in increasing both revenue and earnings compared with the previous year, but also when measured against our performance throughout 2014 itself. Our share of revenue from outside the printing industry is growing steadily,” explained Henry Brickenkamp, Chief Executive Officer of technotrans AG.

    Profit after tax rose as the year progressed to € 3.0 million, representing an increase of 74.2 percent on the 2013 figure (previous year: € 1.7 million). After deduction of the minority interests there is a € 1.2 million improvement in the net income for the period to € 3.0 million compared with the first nine months of 2013 (previous year: € 1.8 million). This represents earnings per share outstanding of € 0.47 (previous year € 0.27).

    The companies of the technotrans Group had an average of 769 (previous year: 768) employees in the current financial year of 2014.

    The Segments
    In the Technology segment, revenue increased from € 48.2 million in the previous year to € 53.5 million in the current year. The increase of around € 5.3 million or 11.1 percent compared with the prior-year period is mainly attributable to the successful expansion of business in the non-print area. Here, the segment profited both from accelerating business in the laser industry and from a growing revenue share for the self-developed technologies for temperature control, filtration, cooling lubricant preparation and spray lubrication. In addition, the printing industry likewise delivered higher revenue in the third quarter of 2014 than in the weak third quarter of 2013. Positive factors affecting the revenue performance included our increased market shares for offset printing and the arrival of new production models for digital and flexographic printing. As a result, the technotrans Group realises 65 percent of its revenue in this segment.

    The financial performance in the Technology segment thus showed a palpable improvement in the first nine months of the 2014 financial year. Whereas a loss of € 1.8 million had been reported for the corresponding period of the previous year, the segment achieved a balanced overall result in the year in progress. The segment ended the third quarter of 2014 with its first positive result since the end of 2012: € 0.2 million (previous year: € -0.9 million).

    The Services segment was unable to repeat the business performance of the previous two quarters in 2014, and the revenue figure of € 9.5 million was also down compared with the prior-year quarter (€ 10.5 million). Over the nine‑month period, revenue for the segment therefore showed a slight decrease of 3.2 percent on the 2013 figure (previous year: € 29.6 million). On the one hand the downturn in business stems from weaker demand due to the smaller installed base in the print sector, and on the other hand from a continuing reluctance to invest that is affecting the Technical Documentation business area.

    The financial performance in the Services segment was again stable in the period under review and the healthy level of recent quarters was maintained. At the nine-month mark the result for the segment of € 4.8 million (previous year: € 4.8 million) is unchanged from the prior-year level; the return for the segment over this period is 16.6 percent, compared with 16.2 percent in the previous year.

    Financial Position
    Financial Position – Free Cash Flow Up
    technotrans is able to present a strong balance sheet at September 30, 2014: equity rose 4.5 percent to € 45.7 million in the period under review, taking the equity ratio to 59.0 percent. Net liquidity for the group improved again and remained positive at € 3.2 million. Cash and cash equivalents were up slightly at € 17.6 million compared with the end of 2013.

    Based on profit after tax of € 3.0 million (previous year: € 1.7 million) the operating cash flow in the first nine months of 2014 improved as expected to € 7.4 million (previous year: € 3.6 million). Net cash from operating activities reached a total of € 6.0 million (previous year: € 2.2 million). The cash outflow from investing activities showed a year-on-year fall as expected, amounting to

    € -2.3 million (previous year: € -5.6 million). The free cash flow at the end of the third quarter of 2014 was consequently again outstanding at € 3.7 million (previous year: € -3.4 million).

    The cash flow from financing activities of € -2.8 million (previous year: € +2.7 million) comprises the scheduled repayment and the raising of short-term bank loans as well as the dividend distribution to technotrans shareholders.

    The moderate economic development remains in line with the original expectations for the current financial year. technotrans has good prospects of making the current financial year a success under its own momentum. By systematically continuing to pursue our growth strategy, we will achieve a further slight increase in revenue assuming business goes according to plan in 2014.
    For the Technology segment, the Board of Management expects to achieve revenue growth of between five and eight percent in 2014. It has built a slight drop in the printing industry’s revenue share into this assumption, because demand for offset presses worldwide has showed a renewed fall in 2014 compared with 2013. On the other hand it expects robust demand for digital and flexographic printing presses. technotrans’ own development projects are also making a substantial contribution to revenue in the new markets. Alongside the laser segment, mechanical engineering as well as stamping and forming technology, medical technology is another driver of growth. Over the coming quarters the Board of Management is expecting energy storage technology and scanner technology to make additional contributions to revenue. The Services segment generates a relatively high proportion of overall revenue and thus plays an important part in keeping business stable. As matters stand revenue for 2014 is expected to be roughly on a par with the previous year.
    Despite the slight economic slowdown, technotrans stands by its targets. “We are aiming for revenue of € 110 million in 2014 with EBIT in the region of 6 percent; these figures are at the upper end of our guidance for the financial year,” declared Dirk Engel, CFO of technotrans AG. “The earnings situation depends substantially on how the revenue volume and revenue mix develop further. From the present perspective we also expect to be able to increase revenue and earnings still further in the next financial year.”
    (technotrans AG)
    27.11.2014   Tembec reports financial results for its fourth quarter ended September 27, 2014    ( Company news )

    Company news Consolidated sales for the three-month period ended September 27, 2014, were $371 million, as compared to $352 million in the same quarter a year ago. The Company generated net earnings of $5 million or $0.05 per share in the September 2014 quarter compared to net earnings of $14 million or $0.14 per share in the September 2013 quarter. Operating earnings before depreciation, amortization and other items (adjusted EBITDA) was $29 million for the three-month period ended September 27, 2014, as compared to adjusted EBITDA of $24 million a year ago and adjusted EBITDA of $30 million in the prior quarter.
    For the fiscal year ended September 27, 2014, consolidated sales were $1.5 billion, unchanged from the prior year. The Company generated net earnings of $9 million or $0.09 per share compared to a net loss of $39 million or $0.39 per share in fiscal 2013. Adjusted EBITDA was $90 million compared to $97 million in the prior year.

    Business Segment Results
    The Specialty Cellulose Pulp segment generated adjusted EBITDA of $16 million on sales of $123 million for the quarter ended September 2014, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $19 million on sales of $126 million in the prior quarter. The pulp sales increase of $1 million was due to higher shipments of specialty grades. Demand for specialty grades was flat while US and euro prices were relatively unchanged quarter-over-quarter. The euro weakened by 3.5% versus the Canadian dollar, reducing the reported sales of the Tartas, France mill by $2 million. Canadian dollar equivalent pricing for specialty grades declined by $28 per tonne. US dollar prices for viscose grades were relatively unchanged and prices increased by $11 per tonne. The viscose market remains oversupplied and prices are relatively low. Overall, pricing reduced adjusted EBITDA by $1 million. Shipments were equal to 80% of capacity in both quarters. Costs increased by $3 million due to net realizable value write downs as the Temiscaming mill produced more viscose grade pulp than it shipped.

    The Forest Products segment generated adjusted EBITDA of $11 million on sales of $113 million for the quarter ended September 2014, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $5 million on sales of $108 million in the prior quarter. Sales increased by $5 million due to higher selling prices. Lumber shipments were equal to 83% of capacity versus 84% in the prior quarter. During the September 2014 quarter, the random length lumber reference price increased by US $13 per mbf while the reference price for stud lumber increased by US $28 per mbf. The price gap between the two grades narrowed as expected. Currency did not impact selling prices as the Canadian dollar averaged US $0.918, relatively unchanged from US $0.917 in the prior quarter. The net effect increased sales and adjusted EBITDA by $4 million or $23 per mbf. Costs decreased by $2 million. The spring and summer months are seasonally lower operating cost periods.

    The Paper Pulp segment generated nil adjusted EBITDA on sales of $73 million for the quarter ended September 2014, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $3 million on sales of $102 million in the prior quarter. The $29 million decrease in sales was due to lower shipments and selling prices. Market conditions for paper pulp remained relatively weak although demand was stable. Pulp shipments were equal to 89% of capacity as compared to 117% in the prior quarter. Shipments in the prior quarter were unusually high as the Company dealt with a backlog created by winter storms that led to delays and congestion at several East Coast ports. The benchmark price (delivered China) for bleached eucalyptus kraft (BEK) decreased by US $13 per tonne, and the decline impacted high-yield pulp prices. Average selling prices declined by $32 per tonne, reducing adjusted EBITDA by $4 million. Manufacturing costs were relatively unchanged quarter-over-quarter.

    The Paper segment generated adjusted EBITDA of $7 million on sales of $86 million for the quarter ended September 2014, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $8 million on sales of $89 million in the prior quarter. Lower shipments of coated bleached board led to the $3 million reduction in sales. The coated bleached board market was stable. The shipment to capacity ratio was 91% compared to 96% in the prior quarter. The US $ benchmark price for coated bleached board was unchanged at US $1,195 per short ton. Overall, average selling prices for coated bleached board were unchanged quarter-over-quarter. Bleached board costs were also unchanged quarter-over-quarter. The newsprint market remained weak with continued decreases in North American demand. The shipment to capacity ratio was 92% compared to 89% in the prior quarter. The US $ benchmark price for newsprint was unchanged at US $605 per tonne. Manufacturing costs at the Kapuskasing newsprint mill were similar in both quarters.

    BC Land Sales Initiative
    The Company made further progress on the BC Lands Sale Initiative. The objective is to realize up to $70 million in total sales by December 2014. As at the end of September 2014, the Company had generated sales of $60 million from the BC Land Sales Initiative. To date, the Company has sold approximately 59,800 hectares, representing 91% of the land area included in the BC Land Sales Initiative. The remaining 6,100 hectares to be sold relate to several small properties of various estimated values, which total approximately $10 million in aggregate. Given the characteristics of these properties, the Company considers it unlikely that they will all be sold by December 2014. It will take a longer period of time to ensure fair value is received for the remaining properties. Future sales of BC lands will be disclosed as they occur.

    Temiscaming Cogen Project Update
    The Company had previously indicated that the total construction cost of the Temiscaming Cogen project would be approximately $255 million. Updated projections now indicate that the total construction cost will be approximately $265 million. The increase is largely due to higher labour costs. The prior estimate contemplated total direct labour man-hours of 927,000. To the end of September 2014, labour man-hours had reached 933,000 and projections indicate a further 57,000 man-hours will be required to complete the construction work, for a projected total of 990,000 man-hours. The boiler and turbine installation are essentially complete and the remaining work will focus on commissioning and start-up. The turbine was previously scheduled to produce contract power by late-November 2014. This is now expected to occur in mid-December, a delay of approximately two weeks. The Company anticipates that the Temiscaming specialty cellulose project will improve annual adjusted EBITDA by approximately $48 million. The improvement will include approximately $28 million of incremental electricity revenues, $7 million of operating and maintenance cost reduction and $13 million of productivity and margin enhancements associated with the production increase of 15,000 tonnes of specialty pulp per year. While the increased electricity revenues and lower operating costs will occur when the boiler and turbine become operational, the productivity and margin enhancement will be dependent on the Company’s ability to generate additional specialty pulp sales volumes, which may require an extended period of time.

    Overall, the September 2014 quarterly results were better than anticipated. Higher lumber prices accounted for a significant portion of the outperformance. The Specialty Cellulose segment results were as expected. The recovery in specialty grade volumes has been relatively slow, increasing by approximately 4% year-over-year. The Company has had to place greater reliance on the less profitable viscose grade market, which is negatively impacting segment results. Similar market conditions are expected in the coming quarter. The improved results in the Forest Products segment were driven by higher prices for lumber. Stud lumber prices increased by a larger margin, closing the gap with random lumber. We anticipate seasonally weaker prices in the coming quarter. The Paper Pulp segment results declined as a result of lower high-yield pulp prices. 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 results were relatively unchanged. 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.
    (Tembec Inc.)
    27.11.2014   Metso received its largest ever pulp industry valve order from PT OKI Pulp & Paper Mills in ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... Indonesia

    Metso will supply several thousand valves with accessories and spare parts for PT OKI Pulp & Paper Mills Mustertextzuaktivieren, located in Southern Sumatra, Indonesia. The order is Metso's largest ever flow control products delivery for a pulp and paper industry customer. When commissioned during 2016, the new plant will be the biggest single pulp plant in the world.
    The extensive delivery consists of valves for control and on-off use, including segment, ball, butterfly (photo) and standard and severe service globe valves complemented with intelligent valve controllers.

    "Metso's reliable valves and intelligent valve controllers are designed to eliminate emissions and increase process efficiency. When using Metso's valves effectively the customer can increase sustainability and safety in the pulp making process", says See Hoe Lau, Vice President Sales and Services, Flow Control, Asia Pacific market area, Metso.

    Metso and Asia Pulp and Paper Group have long-term customer relationship and Metso's flow control solutions are contributing to efficient processes at several plants in Indonesia and China.
    The order is booked to Metso's fourth quarter 2014 orders received. The value of the order will not be disclosed.
    (Metso Corporation)
    27.11.2014   Mimaki scores Viscom Best of 2014 Award for Two Class Leading Solutions    ( Company news )

    Company news Mimaki, a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers, is delighted its portfolio of solutions is continuing to collect industry accolades. Viscom has recently presented the company with a Best of 2014 Award in the Large Format Printing category to not one, but two, Mimaki solutions - the JFX200-2513 and the UJV500-160.

    Photo: Mike Horsten (GM Marketing EMEA) and Johan Spies (Product Manager EMEA) accepting the Best of 2014 awards at Viscom 2014

    Mimaki collected the latest recognition as it continued its European-wide ”Let’s Create… Together” showcase at the three-day Viscom Frankfurt show earlier this month, which was combined with My Mimaki Days all over Germany in the course of October and November. The award is another 2014 highlight following the European Digital Press Association (EDP) awards at FESPA Digital 2014 for the Mimaki JFX200-2513 wide format printer and KEBAB option for 360-degree direct printing on cylindrical objects.

    “Clearly the judges could not decide between the large format solution and the entry level model and so picked both,” comments Mike Horsten, General Manager Marketing EMEA, Mimaki Europe. “These newly-launched and market responsive solutions demonstrate perfectly how new technology can be readily adopted to support existing market segments or help businesses embrace new opportunities. They were our key focus at the Viscom show and the award clearly demonstrates we were spot-on with this decision. Viscom 2014 has been an excellent show for the Mimaki team in terms of sales leads and customer care. Winning the Viscom Best of 2014 Award is the cherry on the cake.”

    The JFX200-2513 offers a choice of inks, including white and clear, and an array of substrates for unlimited creative opportunities to deliver unparalleled results to expand the potential for professional sign and graphics companies. It is easy to use, with a compact footprint, and maximizes productivity by using industry standard-sized media.

    Energy-saving UV-LED curing with long-lasting UV-LED units, is just one feature of the Mimaki UJV500-160. It also offers fast throughput, cost-effective and environmentally friendly curing, and 3M MCS warranted inks. The availability of white inks for roll-to-roll printing further enhances the possibilities.

    Adds Mr. Horsten: “When the production environment evolves so diverse as it has, Mimaki understands that customers demand a varied choice in the solutions they invest in. That is why our portfolio has become so broad, making it unfortunately harder for the judging panel to identify just one clear winner. We could not be prouder that both solutions are recognised equally in value they can bring to the market.”

    Mimaki’s technologically responsive and fast expanding portfolio includes both the above mentioned award winning solutions as the new CJV300-130/160 inkjet printer/cutter, the functional entry-level Mimaki CJV150 inkjet printer/cutter and the Mimaki JV150 inkjet printer. These were all on show at Viscom.
    (Mimaki Europe B.V.)
    27.11.2014   SCA launches Solo Print, one-side coated paper    ( Company news )

    Company news SCA has developed Solo Print, a one-side coated paper as part of its Sustainable Packaging product family. This paper gives printability in the same class as upmarket magazines, with the market’s best environmental profile.

    The new product, Solo Print, is specially developed for flexible packaging, well suited for bags, wrapping paper, flowpack and banners. Solo Print is characterised by a very high print quality and very high opacity (less transparent). Solo Print is certified for direct contact with dry and fatty food. Solo Print is also suitable for lamination base or PE/PP coating on the inside to allow for heat sealing and to provide moisture protection. Solo Print can also be used in board applications. Its high opacity and brightness provides a perfect surface for various types of board applications. Thanks to its good profiles and dimensional stability, Solo Print is also suitable as a lightweight liner in corrugated applications.

    “Our new Sustainable Packaging products have been well received by converters and brand owners,” says Rolf Johannesson, Marketing Director at SCA Forest Products. “We have identified strong demand for a one-side coated paper and we have therefore decided to launch one.”

    The coating is of the same high quality as the printing paper that SCA produces for magazines and advertising. The paper is based entirely on fresh fibre and is therefore highly suitable for applications within the food sector.

    Solo Print complements SPLENDO, OPERIO and PURO, three product lines that have already been launched within Sustainable Packaging. They include both coated and uncoated grades and combine a resource-efficient and light packaging material with excellent printability. They also offer attractive features in terms of product safety and environmental performance, such as low carbon footprint, fresh fibre from sustainably managed forests and environmentally compatible production.

    “We have applied our extensive knowledge of both printing on paper and packaging solutions in the development of our new products, to combine printing performance with efficient resource management and low cost. We are also proud of our world-class environmental performance,” says Rolf Johannesson, Marketing Director at SCA Forest Products.

    SCA Ortviken in Sundsvall has an annual production capacity of 900,000 tonnes of coated and uncoated paper for printing and packaging and has around 700 employees.
    (SCA Graphic Sundsvall AB)
    26.11.2014   Great news: one scented coating system for all kinds of offset printing!    ( Company news )

    Company news Oil-based scented coatings from Follmann can now be used universally for sheet-fed and web offset applications / No additional drying agent required / Less frequent roller washing than with conventional scented coatings

    Scent is one of the most important elements in multi-sensory marketing. Numerous studies have shown that information that smells good can make the advertising message much more effective. The creative possibilities are unlimited: from scented packaging that instantly affects the decision to buy at the point of sale, to scented pages in a magazine which leave you wanting to buy the new fabric softener or shower gel.

    The newly developed oil-based Folco Scent scented coatings from Follmann, available as of January 2015, will make it even easier to print scented coatings. The secret: the scented coating can be used universally for both sheet-fed offset printing and web offset printing. When used in sheet-fed offset printing, no additional drying agent is needed. The coating has great machinability, and requires less frequent roller washing, especially with high-volume print runs. This makes the coating particularly efficient. The Folco Scent scented coatings are based on microcapsules specially developed by Follmann. The fragrances to be encapsulated are packed in microscopic balls, hermetically sealed and printed directly onto mailings, flyers, postcards and the pages of magazines in the form of a scented coating. Microencapsulation confers a choice of when and how the scent is to be released: for example, by rubbing the indicated spot to break the microcapsules and release the scent.

    "The new Folco Scent scented coatings are the product of more than 20 years of experience in the microencapsulation of scents. We focus on their application in practice: we have made it possible for the first time to use the same scented coating – without modification – for both sheet-fed and web offset printing. This brings about greater flexibility for high-volume scented print jobs. The new generation of Folco Scent scented coatings also helps the printer to make scented printing efficient, as much less frequent washing is required and the coatings have excellent drying properties," explains Falk-Arnold Schlutter, Head of Sales at Follmann. "Of course, a scent true to the original is ensured. When done well, scented advertising at the point of sale, in a magazine or mailing, significantly increases sales figures and, the best thing is, it works instantly!"

    Firms that have no experience with scented printing can make use of the services of Follmann's team of experts. The team will train employees on the machine to guarantee the best possible olfactory experience with printed scent.
    (Follmann & Co. Gesellschaft für Chemiewerkstoffe und Verfahrenstechnik mbH & Co. KG)
    26.11.2014   Smurfit Kappa expands operations with opening of new Bag-in-Box® plant     ( Company news )

    Company news Smurfit Kappa celebrated on November 19 the opening of a new Bag-in-Box® plant in Ibi, Spain, meeting a growing demand in the Mediterranean region.
    The ultra-modern facility, which has seen an investment of €28m by the company, boasts itself as one of the world’s leading Bag-in-Box® plants, integrating the production of taps and bags under one roof.
    In addition, it offers a showcase of the world’s newest and some of the best performing features in Bag-in-Box® production, while meeting the highest standards of hygiene, safety and quality.
    The plant’s strongly automated production lines and dedicated team produce millions of taps and bags every month in order to meet growing demand in the region.
    The needs of Smurfit Kappa’s customers have been at the centre of the creation of this new facility, and today’s official inauguration will allow those customers to gain a more in-depth understanding of the process, with the chance to discover the company’s solutions in a showroom, and to upskill in the training centre.
    “The opening of this new plant shows how Smurfit Kappa continuously strives to work with our customers to meet their needs. By investing in such an ultra-modern and high-performing facility, we can ensure a promising future for our customers in this growing market,” said Tony Smurfit, Group President and COO. “Congratulations to everyone involved in getting this state-of-the-art facility off the ground.”
    “This new plant is a big step up for Bag-in-Box® activities both within our company and within the Mediterranean region. It couldn’t have come at a better time, when the demand for top-class Bag-in-Box® packaging products from a reliable partner is bigger,” said Pascual Martinez, General Manager.
    (Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box® Mediterranean Plásticos Vicent)
    26.11.2014   Successful opening ceremony for Mondi Syktyvkar pulp dryer     ( Company news )

    Company news Mondi Syktyvkar officially opened its €30 million pulp dryer with an event hosting 150 prominent attendees last week.

    The official ceremony was attended by representatives of Komi Republic Government and Mondi leaders. The estimated 150 visitors of the event included customers, partners and contractors who had been involved in the project implementation, as well as members of the project team and journalists from the Russian trade press and local media representatives.

    “We are proud of Mondi Syktyvkar’s 45 year heritage in the Komi Republic of Russia. Our new pulp dryer project illustrates Mondi’s continued commitment to ensuring the success of the mill for years to come,” concluded Peter Orisich, CEO of Mondi Uncoated Fine Paper, at yesterday’s event.

    “Our mill keeps progressing and mastering new business activities, as demonstrated by this most recent investment into the installation of the new pulp dryer. This project also creates employment for about 30 people in the mill,” said Klaus Peller, Mondi Syktyvkar Managing Director, at the opening ceremony.

    Guests of the event were invited for a mill tour, including an opportunity to visit the wood yard, paper production, and the finishing line. Following the tour, representatives of Mondi’s top management and Komi regional government cut a red ribbon in front of the pulp dryer to symbolise the launch of the new machine. All the guests received samples of Mondi Syktyvkar’s new ‘KOMICELL’ product, which is an FSC® certified market pulp that is produced without the use of elemental chlorine (ECF).
    (Mondi Syktyvkar OAO)
    26.11.2014   Esko Announces Leadership Transition     ( Company news )

    Company news Udo Panenka (photo) to succeed Carsten Knudsen as President of Esko in January 2015

    Esko announced that Udo Panenka, Senior Vice President for Global Sales & Marketing will succeed Carsten Knudsen as President on 1 January 2015. Over the near term, Carsten Knudsen will continue to support Esko and Danaher in an advisory role.

    "Under Carsten’s leadership, Esko has built a loyal and growing customer group, created world class technology, and with a strong team, driven excellent growth and established itself as a leader in its served markets”, said Joakim Weidemanis, Vice President and Group Executive for the Product Identification Platform, Danaher Corporation.

    Udo Panenka joined Esko from Kollmorgen, another Danaher business, earlier this year, where he was Vice President & General Manager for Industrial Automation in Europe and India. Udo joined Kollmorgen in 2008 and has served in several key leadership roles with increasing responsibility.

    “We want to thank Carsten for his leadership and tremendous impact on the success of Esko” said Joakim Weidemanis.
    (Esko Belgium)
    26.11.2014   Valmet and Nokianvirran Energia sign a letter of intent regarding a boiler plant delivery to Nokia    ( Company news )

    Company news Valmet and Nokianvirran Energia Oy have signed a letter of intent for a delivery of a biomass-fired boiler plant to a new steam heating station in Nokia, Finland. The new heating station will supply process steam to SCA Hygiene Products' paper mill, Nokian Tyres' factory, and district heat to Leppäkosken Sähkö's customers.

    Photo: Valmet's boiler solution HYBEX that utilizes fluidized bed technology (BFB)

    The investment enables the currently used natural gas to be replaced with more cost efficient biofuels, such as forest residue and wood chips. In addition, it is possible to utilize peat and sludge from the paper mill.
    The installation work is scheduled to start in May 2015. The start-up of steam production is scheduled for the spring of 2016. The total value of the investment by Nokianvirran Energia is approximately 45 million euros, out of which the share of Valmet's delivery is slightly more than a half.

    The new boiler plant will use local fuels
    "With this investment we will be able to reduce the CO2 emissions and to secure competitive energy production for the owners of the company. We trust Valmet's long experience in combustion of demanding biomasses and their ability as a local company to deliver the plant within the very tight schedule," says Leppäkosken Sähkö Oy's Managing Director Juha Koskinen. "This investment will create wellbeing within the entire Pirkanmaa area. Employment created during the building work is estimated at 200-300 man-years. After the plant start-up fuels for the power plant will be acquired in the Pirkanmaa area," Koskinen continues.
    "Replacing fossil fuels, such as natural gas and coal with domestic biofuels is an essential factor in several ongoing energy production projects in Finland. Fuel flexibility is an essential factor in this type of investment decisions. This concerns also the boiler plant that will be delivered to Nokia. The design also takes into consideration a situation in which the boiler needs to be integrated to a steam turbine in order to enable combined electricity and heat production," says Jari Niemelä, Sales Director, Valmet.
    Valmet's delivery includes a HYBEX fluidized bed boiler, the steam value of which is 68 megawatt, flue gas cleaning equipment, electrification and Metso DNA automation system. The boiler plant will be built in an existing boiler building, in which a coal-fired boiler delivered by Tampella and in operation since 1963, will be disassembled.

    Valmet's boiler solution
    Valmet's boiler solution that utilizes fluidized bed technology (BFB) is called HYBEX. Due to its good fuel flexibility, high combustion efficiency, reliability, operability, and low emissions it is one of the leading boilers in the market. Valmet has delivered more than 200 HYBEX boilers and boiler conversions worldwide.
    (Valmet Corporation)
    25.11.2014   UPM Kymi celebrated its pulp mill production expansion investment topping out ceremony    ( Company news )

    Company news On November 20 UPM Kymi celebrated the topping out ceremony for its pulp mill production expansion project, KYMI700: the new pulp drying machine, debarking plant and modernisation of the softwood fibre line. A total of around 200 participants are invited in the celebrations including those working on the project and guests.

    UPM invests € 160 million into the Kymi pulp mill to strengthen its position in the growing end use sectors of the global pulp market, namely tissue, speciality papers and packaging board. Following this investment, Kymi’s annual pulp production capacity will increase by 170,000 tonnes to 700,000 tonnes of bleached northern softwood and birch pulp.
    The investment at Kymi mill will comprise a new pulp drying machine, modernisation of the softwood fibre line, a new debarking plant as well as improvements in the energy balance of the Kymi integrate consisting of pulp and paper mills.

    Construction progressing well alongside normal production
    The construction work that began in June is on schedule. At the moment, around 150 people are working in different project sites. The current and initial jobs are, among others, laying foundations, steel construction installation, painting, tank and pulp tower installations, as well as demolition work at the softwood fibre line. Machine installation will take place in January. The most significant construction contracts have been given to businesses located in the northern part of the Kymenlaakso region.
    "The biggest challenge has been the pulp drying machine. The demolition of the old machine hall, including land construction work and implosions, has been successful, while paper production has been ongoing in the same location. We can be especially pleased that we have achieved this with no accidents in any project area that would have resulted in sick leave. We emphasise the importance of safety measures at our sites, and the construction firms take it seriously," says project manager Tero Ojala.
    At its largest, the construction team will number 800 people next summer when the new facilities become operational. The project will be completed in the autumn of 2015.
    The investment and construction works have a positive effect on the employment and businesses in the region. The increasing use of wood in the mill integrate will bring wood harvest and transportation work for forest industry professionals and earnings for forest owners.

    After its completion, UPM Kymi will be one of the most modern pulp mills in Finland, together with the € 360 million pulp mill chemical recovery plant completed in 2008.
    (UPM Group - Paper Industry)
    25.11.2014   Heidelberg systematically gears portfolio toward profitability and growth    ( Company news )

    Company news Clearly positive EBITDA for first half of financial year 2014/2015

    -Restructuring of Group continued for sustained profitable growth:
    - Postpress business realigned
    - Leaner, more flexible production structures in sheetfed offset equipment sector
    - Targeted takeovers to invest in growth areas of consumables and digital
    -Half-year EBITDA, including income from Gallus transaction, climbs to € 53 million – decline in sales in line with expectations
    -Outlook: Restructuring of portfolio emphasizes target EBITDA margin of at least 8 percent in financial year 2015/2016

    As announced at the Annual Press Conference in June, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is systematically gearing its portfolio toward profitability and growth. The company has completed the realignment of its postpress business as planned and on schedule. At the end of October, Heidelberg signed a cooperation agreement with Masterwork Machinery Co., Ltd in China covering postpress packaging equipment. Under this agreement, the Chinese company Masterwork will develop and manufacture future products and solutions for this market segment; marketing and service outside China and Japan will remain in the hands of Heidelberg. The two companies have also agreed to consider joint production of components in China. Negotiations with employee representatives regarding a reduction in the workforce at the Ludwigsburg site have been completed and agreement has been reached on the closure of the Leipzig site. The aim is to place postpress on a profitable footing by focusing on competitive products and to improve the result by approximately € 30 million from the next financial year onward by adapting the business model.
    (Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)
    25.11.2014   Social Plan at Scheufelen Paper Mill Signed Nov 20, 2014    ( Company news )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news ... CWF Market in 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news ...BUSINESSES (APW) FROM ICL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The web app is accessible at
    (Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)
    21.11.2014   Capacity increases at Brigl & Bergmeister    ( Company news )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The rebuild also includes a new press pulper and modifications at the dryer section.
    "We have strong track record on modularly designed and built paper and board lines and the same modular approach can be utilized in rebuilds too. For customers, this means resource saving solutions that are fast to install and safe to use and maintain," says Reijo Koivuranta, Press Sections Product Manager at Valmet.
    (Valmet Corporation)
    20.11.2014   Lenzing 1-9/2014: Persistently Difficult Market Environment, Cost Savings Measures Positively ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...Impact Results

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

    Photo: Lenzing CEO Peter Untersperger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news ... to the Board of Directors

    Cascades Inc. (TSX: CAS), a leader in the recovery and manufacturing of green packaging and tissue paper products, announces its unaudited financial results for the three-month period ended September 30, 2014 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news ... financial figures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Along with the success already achieved by expanding the service business, the expansion of activities in growth markets, such as digital and special packaging printing, is aimed at contributing to stronger group earnings.
    (Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA))

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