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    21.08.2015   Sappi results for 3rd quarter ended June 2015 highlights impact of exchange rates in ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...seasonally weak quarter

    Summary for the quarter
    -EPS excluding special items 2 US cents (Q3 2014 2 US Cents)
    -Profit for the period US$4 million (Q3 2014 US$17 million)
    -EBITDA excluding special items US$109 million (Q3 2014 US$140 million)
    -Net debt US$1,917 million (Q3 2014 US$2,286 million)

    Commenting on the result, Sappi Chief Executive Officer Steve Binnie (photo) said:
    The third quarter is seasonally the weakest for Sappi. In addition, the pulp mill upgrade at one mill and planned annual maintenance shuts in all three regions reduced profit by approximately US$27 million compared to the equivalent quarter last year. The group generated EBITDA, excluding special items, of US$109 million, operating profit excluding special items of US$43 million and profit for the period of US$4 million. Earnings per share excluding special items for the quarter was 2 US cents, as it was in the equivalent quarter last year.

    The North American business experienced significant pressure as a result of the stronger US dollar, which led to increased imports of coated paper, lower coated paper sales volumes and lower margins for the release paper business. The domestic graphic paper market was also weaker than expected.

    The performance of the European business was adversely impacted by the higher cost of raw materials due to the stronger US Dollar and additional pulp purchases during the upgrade of the recovery boiler at Gratkorn. The market for graphic paper continues to decline in Western Europe. However, the weaker Euro made exports more competitive and profitable.

    In the South African paper business the virgin fibre packaging grades continue to show good demand growth. However, newsprint and recycled packaging paper demand were flat.

    The Specialised Cellulose business continued to generate solid returns during the quarter, with EBITDA excluding special items, of US$56 million. The planned annual maintenance shuts at Saiccor and Ngodwana reduced margins relative to the prior quarter. US Dollar prices for dissolving wood pulp remained constant compared to the prior quarter, though the South African mills benefited from a weakening ZAR/USD exchange rate.

    Net debt of US$1,917 million was flat compared to the prior quarter and US$369 million below that of the equivalent quarter last year as a result of cash generation from operations, debt repayments and favourable exchange rates on the translation of our debt.

    Outlook
    Graphic paper markets remain challenging and currency movements are having a significant impact on trade flows. These negatively affected our US business while improving export margins for our European coated paper business. The European business continues to face pressure from higher pulp prices.

    Dissolving wood pulp prices in China have risen steadily over the past four months and this should translate into higher short term fixed prices with our major customers. The weaker Rand/US Dollar exchange rate will support the profitability of this business in South Africa.

    Capital expenditure in the last quarter of fiscal 2015 is expected to be approximately US$80 million (US$245 million for the full year) and is focused largely on maintenance projects and efficiency improvement investments.

    We expect to reduce net debt levels during the fourth quarter. Any proceeds received from the sale of Cape Kraft, Enstra and/or the Twello forestry assets before year-end would further reduce net debt.

    We expect that the regional operating performance for the year will be broadly similar to 2014 despite a number of significant once-off impacts from various capital projects. At current exchange rates, the translation of Euro and Rand results to US Dollar will adversely impact the group results. Nevertheless, due to lower interest costs, earnings per share excluding special items for the full year are expected to be substantially better than that of the prior year.
    (Sappi Limited)
     
    21.08.2015   NIB funds Brazilian pulp mill    ( Company news )

    Company news NIB has signed a USD 100 million (EUR 92 million) 7-year-maturity loan agreement with Brazil’s Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES) for on-lending to finance Klabin S.A.’s greenfield pulp mill project.

    Photo: Construction site of the pulp mill

    The loan is for financing the construction of a greenfield pulp production facility in the municipality of Ortigueira in the state of Paraná, Brazil. The so-called “Puma project” will be implemented by the country’s largest paper producer and exporter, Klabin S.A.

    With an annual production output of 1.1 million tonnes of bleached eucalyptus-based hardwood pulp, destined for both export and domestic sale, and 400,000 tonnes of bleached pine-based softwood pulp, in part to be used for the production of Brazil’s first domestic fluff pulp, the completed “Puma” mill will almost double Klabin’s production capacity.

    The new factory will utilise state-of-the-art technologies and equipment supplied by manufacturers in the Nordic pulp and paper cluster.

    “Participating in large projects such as “Puma” and advancing into growth markets is an efficient way for industry leaders in NIB’s member countries to uphold a high level of their know-how and to strengthen their competitiveness”, says Henrik Normann, NIB President & CEO.

    The pulp mill is expected to be self-sufficient on renewable energy. Its 270 MW biomass power plant, running on by-products of the pulp process, will make the surplus of renewable energy available for sale to the national power grid.

    The project will include the construction of a 42-kilometre 230 kV transmission line to connect the pulp mill to the electricity grid, and a 23-kilometre secondary railway to link it to the rail network.

    The construction of a wastewater treatment plant and the employment of chemical recovery processes to reclaim cooking chemicals spent in the pulping process are included in the project plan.

    Klabin S.A. is Brazil’s largest integrated manufacturer of packaging paper and paperboard. Klabin runs 15 industrial plants and exports to more than 60 countries.

    The state-owned BNDES provides long-term financing to projects that contribute to the development of the country and the competitiveness of the national economy.
    (NIB Nordic Investment Bank)
     
    21.08.2015   Wausau Paper Reports Second-Quarter 2015 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Adjusted EBITDA of $14.5 million – Above Prior Guidance

    Wausau Paper (NYSE:WPP) announced financial and operating results for the three- and six-month period ended June 30, 2015.

    Second-Quarter Highlights
    Financial Results
    -Second-quarter adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations in 2015 was $14.5 million compared with adjusted EBITDA of $9.9 million in 2014. Second quarter 2015 adjusted EBITDA exceeded the Company’s previous guidance range of $13 to $14 million.
    -On a reported basis, net earnings from continuing operations were $2.5 million, or $0.05 per share, in the second quarter of 2015 compared with a prior-year second-quarter net loss from continuing operations of $3.7 million, or $0.07 per share.

    Case Volume Growth
    -Second-quarter case shipment volume increased 2 percent in 2015 compared with the same period in 2014, resulting in a second-quarter shipment record of approximately 4.4 million cases for the Company.
    -Strategic product shipments – those products sold in conjunction with proprietary dispensing systems or produced from premium substrates – comprised slightly more than 49 percent of the Company’s sales for the second quarter of 2015 and similar to the strategic product shipment mix in the prior-year quarterly period. The improved margin quality of both strategic and support products shipped in 2015 contributed to a 5 percentage point improvement in adjusted EBITDA margin of 16 percent as compared with 11.1 percent for the second quarter of 2014.

    Michael C. Burandt (photo), CEO, commented, “Our second quarter results reflect the continuing above-market demand growth for our premium DublNature® and Artisan™ products lines, the positive market response to our differentiated product portfolio, and the benefits from the significant number of Margin Enhancement Initiative (MEI) projects that are evidenced by ongoing improvement in operating performance, as well as, increased cash generation. We are very pleased with the pace of growth of our premium products and the contributions of our entire team toward improving our operating platform.”

    Third-Quarter 2015 Outlook
    Commenting on the third quarter, Mr. Burandt, said, “Our teams remain focused on furthering the significant performance benefits we are realizing from MEI in the second half of the year. We are pleased with the market’s favorable response to our premium products and the resulting improvement in our strategic mix.
    “Although costs of production have improved through the first half of 2015, we maintain our prior forecast for modest cost pressure related to wastepaper pricing through the balance of the year. As a result we currently expect third quarter adjusted EBITDA of $17 million to $18 million,” Mr. Burandt concluded.
    (Wausau Paper Towel & Tissue Products)
     
    21.08.2015   Smurfit Kappa announces new communication tool for its complete paper portfolio for packaging    ( Company news )

    Company news Smurfit Kappa has launched the Paper Navigator as the new positioning tool for its unrivalled portfolio of paper for packaging. The Paper Navigator signifies the company’s commitment to steer customers through the paper selection process to deliver optimum packaging solutions that drive business value.

    Smurfit Kappa offers a highly flexible approach to optimising the composition and performance of paper packaging based on a broad range of paper products and services, using both virgin and recycled fibres. For packaging manufacturers and end customers, it takes into account all possible packaging considerations and constraints – from supply chain to product safety, sustainability and print and finish needs – to deliver cost-effective, quality paper solutions to meet specific needs.

    The Paper Navigator is also rooted in sustainability which is at the heart of Smurfit Kappa’s processes - all paper products are developed with environmental responsibility in mind and produced in socially sustainable manner.

    Intended for use alongside Smurfit Kappa’s unique set of software design tools and services, the Paper Navigator is part of the customer journey that focuses on delivering ‘right first time’ packaging solutions for businesses.

    Alain Baudant, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Paper Division Europe, explains: “Our customers need more than just paper for packaging; they need help to leverage success over competitors. With our reliable and extensive Paper Navigator portfolio, we work collaboratively with businesses from every sector to deliver optimised paper solutions that increase packaging efficiency and performance. It reflects Smurfit Kappa’s wider commitment to maximising value for our customers, and working in a sustainable and innovative way to their benefit.”
    (Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)
     
    21.08.2015   EUROPAC INCREASES PROFIT BEFORE TAXES BY 42%     ( Company news )

    Company news The Management Board of the Europac Group (Papeles y Cartones de Europac, S.A.) approved the results of the 1st semester of the year this morning in wich we can highlight the 42.7% increase in profit before taxes rising to €18.2M. We must also highlight a 9.2% growth of the consolidated EBITDA and 19.1% of the net profit, after reaching €51.4M and €11.9M, respectively. All this, in a context of a slight increase in the aggregate sales, recorded at €540.7M and which represents a 1.9% increase.

    -The consolidated EBITDA increased by 9.2% compared to the same period of 2014 up to €51.4M, of which €27.1M corresponded to the 2nd semester vs the €24.3M recorded in the 1st quarter.
    -Net profit fot the first six months of the year rose to €11.9M, 19.1% more than a year ago.
    -Reduction of 2.0% of the net debt compared to the 2014 year-end.
    -The improvement of the consolidated EBITDA and the EBIT during the 4 last quarters demonstrate the positive evolution of the activity carried out by the Europac Group.
    -15.6% reduction of the financial cost with regard to the 1st semester of 2014, which is expected to improve in the next quarters by between 30 and 44% after the signing of a new syndicated loan in July 2015

    Both the consolidated EBITDA and the EBIT demonstrated continued growth during the past four quarters. The consolidated EBITDA in the 2nd quarter of the year was €27.1 M compared to the €24.3 M recorded in the 1st quarter, while the EBIT in the 2nd quarter was €15.2 M compared to the €12.2 M of the previous quarter. The growth in this magnitude confirmed the positive evolution of the activity carried out by Europac.

    In this context, a downward trend of the net debt of the Company is recorded, which, at the end of the 1st semester was €288.8 M compared to the €294.7 M at the 2014 year-end.

    Moreover, the novation of the syndicated loan signed in July 2014 entailed a 15.6 % reduction of the financial cost compared to the 1st semester of the previous year, which will improve by between 30 and 44 % based on the 3rd quarter of the year after signing the new syndicated loan on the 10th of July, which replaced the previous one.

    The announced upward trend with respect to the last semester of 2014 is reflected in a 16.2 % increase of the consolidated EBITDA and an increase of the profitability reflected in the growth of the margin on the consolidated EBITDA up to 12.8 % compared to the 11.2 % attained in the last semester of the previous year.

    The Management Board also approved the appointment of Enrique Isidro as Executive Vice President of the Europac Group. The office of Managing Director, which he had occupied to date, disappears from the corporate organisational chart.

    Enrique Isidro, Vice President of the Europac Group indicated "the improvement of the results of the company is in this line with the previsions announced at the beginning of the year, based mainly on the increase in the business lines profitability and the reduction of costs. The context of the current market and the development of internal projects aimed at achieving the objectives defined in the Strategic Plan 2015-2018 enable us to be optimists compared to the 2nd Semester of the year".

    BUSINESS LINES
    In the Paper business line, despite the increases of raw material during the 1st semester of 2015, the EBITDA improved by 17.1 % compared to the 1st semester of 2014 due to the increase in the gross margin, the increase in sales volume and the management improvements that have entailed a reduction of specific costs.

    As far as the Packaging Division is concerned, we highlight the recovery of margins after the minimum recorded in the 2nd semester of 2014. Despite the 35.4 % increase of the EBITDA with respect to the 2nd semester of 2014, the EBITDA fell 26.7% compared to the 1st semester of the previous year due to a one-time increase of the costs linked to the implementation of operational and commercial plans and the development of the Morocco Plan. In this respect, there was an increase in the profitability in Spain and an increase of the volume in Portugal, whereas France only experienced a slight improvement.
    (Europac Papeles y Cartones de Europa S.A.)
     
    21.08.2015   Valmet to rebuild Metsä Tissue's tissue machine in Raubach in Germany    ( Company news )

    Company news Metsä Tissue has chosen Valmet's Advantage DCT concept including the Advantage ViscoNip pressing technology for the upgrade of their tissue machine TM 1 in Raubach, Germany. The start-up of the rebuilt machine is scheduled for the first half of 2016.
    The order was included in Valmet's second quarter, 2015 orders received. The value of the order will not be disclosed.

    "Metsä Tissue is one of the leading suppliers of tissue paper products to households and professional users in Europe. We continuously develop our products, operations and production units to be able to supply high-quality tissue products and to ensure reliable deliveries to our customers. Through this tissue machine renewal in Raubach mill, we aim to enhance the product qualities as well as energy efficiency and process performance in a sustainable way. We have chosen Valmet as our partner because of Valmet's excellent reputation and strong technology know-how in tissue manufacturing," says Christoph Zeiler, Senior Vice President Tissue West Europe, Metsä Tissue.

    "The most important benefits of using Valmet's Advantage ViscoNip technology are both the considerable savings in drying energy consumed and improved tissue paper quality. We are proud that Metsä Tissue has selected our well proven Advantage technology for the upgrade of TM1 in Raubach and look forward to working in close partnership to make this a successful project," says Björn Magnus, Sales Director, Tissue Mills Business Unit, EMEA, Valmet.

    Technical information
    The machine rebuild to be delivered by Valmet includes a new Advantage DCT wet end section with an OptiFlo Tis II headbox and an Advantage ViscoNip press for improved product quality and decreased energy consumption. A new tail threading system and sheet transfer will further advance runnability and performance. The delivery also includes key stock preparation equipment such as an Optislush Pulper and a OptiScreen machine screen.

    An extensive package of services including engineering, installation of the tissue machine, supervision, training, commissioning and start-up is also included in the delivery.
    (Valmet Corporation)
     
    20.08.2015   Mayr-Melnhof: Results for the 1st Half-Year 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news • Good first half-year
    • Profit and sales increase in both divisions
    • High capacity utilization
    • Continuity expected for second half-year

    The Mayr-Melnhof Group was able to successfully assert itself also in the first half-year of 2015. Ongoing high competition characterized the largely stable overall economic environment. Sales as well as profit exceed the previous year’s figures. High capacity utilization and improved productivity considerably contributed to this. Both divisions, cartonboard production and cartonboard processing, succeeded in growing and maintaining the profitability at a good level. With the acquisition of a French folding carton group in the field of packaging for pharmaceuticals and luxury goods, organic and acquisitive growth will continue to complement each other.

    Given the current order situation, continuity at a good level can be expected for the second half of the year, from today’s perspective.

    At EUR 1,069.6 million, the Group's consolidated sales were 3.5 % above the comparative value of the previous year (1st half of 2014: EUR 1,033.1 million). This increase results from the growth in business volumes.

    Operating profit was improved by 8.8 % or EUR 7.8 million to EUR 96.5 million (1st half of 2014: EUR 88.7 million). Both divisions contributed significantly to this. The Group's operating margin was at 9.0 % (1st half of 2014: 8.6 %).

    With unchanged low interests, financial income of EUR 0.8 million (1st half of 2014: EUR 0.9 million) was offset by financial expenses of EUR -3.2 million (1st half of 2014: EUR -2.6 million).

    Profit before tax rose by 9.8 % to EUR 90.8 million (1st half of 2014: EUR 82.7 million). Income tax expense amounted to EUR 23.6 million following EUR 21.7 million in the comparative period of the previous year, resulting in an effective Group tax rate of 26.0 % (1st half of 2014: 26.2 %).

    Profit for the period therefore increased by 10.2 % to EUR 67.2 million (1st half of 2014: EUR 61.0 million).

    DEVELOPMENT IN THE SECOND QUARTER
    With regards to profit, the second quarter was, as expected, below the first quarter of 2015 however above sales and profit of the comparative period of the previous year.
    The cartonboard division recorded again full capacity utilization at 99 % (1Q 2015: 99 %; 2Q 2014: 98 %) and was able to improve the average prices in the course of the quarter. The operating margin reached 8.5 % (1Q 2015: 7.2 %; 2Q 2014: 8.0 %).
    In the packaging division, non-recurring expenses of around EUR 3 million related to the site concentration of MM Packaging Austria on the larger plant in Vienna as well as the slightly lower production led to a decrease of the operating margin from 10.7 % in the first quarter of 2015 to 7.9 % (2Q 2014: 7.9 %).
    The Group’s operating profit amounted to EUR 45.7 million following EUR 50.8 million in the first quarter of 2015 and EUR 42.5 million in the second quarter of the previous year. Thus, the operating margin was at 8.5 % (1Q 2015: 9.5 %; 2Q 2014: 8.3 %).
    The profit for the period totaled EUR 31.7 million (1Q 2015: EUR 35.5 million; 2Q 2014: EUR 28.9 million).

    OUTLOOK
    Without any indications for a sustainable upturn, continuity however characterizes the current market environment in Europe. In contrast, emerging markets continue to face weaker economic dynamics.

    The order backlog in both divisions remains at an overall good level. Therefore, an ongoing satisfying capacity utilization is expected in the Group also during the second half of the year.

    However, with the solid market conditions in Europe, the prices for a number of input factors are gradually increasing. The necessary price adjustment for our products has been implemented. Supported by a wide range of efficiency-raising measures, our aim is to maintain the good level of profitability as best as possible in an unchanged very competitive environment. We will pursue the long-term expansion course risk-consciously as before through organic growth as well as acquisitions.
    (Mayr-Melnhof Karton Gesellschaft m.b.H.)
     
    20.08.2015   Half-Year Results: ALTANA Increases Sales by 9 Percent    ( Company news )

    Company news • Sales reach €1,070 million, with EBITDA margin at 19.6 percent
    • Group benefits from positive exchange rate effects
    • Full-year 2015 growth forecast confirmed

    The specialty chemicals Group ALTANA was able to increase sales by 9 percent to €1,070 million in the first half of 2015 (previous year: €985 million). At €210 million, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) almost reached the high level of the previous year (€212 million). At 19.6 percent, the EBITDA margin was below the previous year's margin (21.5 percent), remaining, however, at a high level.

    The company's sales growth mainly resulted from positive exchange rate effects (8 percent), but also from acquisitions (1 percent). Adjusted for these effects, operating sales in the first six months of 2015 were down by 1 percent, and therefore slightly below the strong previous year's level. "Demand momentum in our markets did not live up to our expectations in the first half of 2015," stated Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber (photo), CEO of ALTANA AG. "However, ALTANA is very well positioned for further profitable organic growth."

    Overprint varnishes business posts significant growth due to acquisitions
    The ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants division achieved the strongest growth in the period under review. ACTEGA boosted sales by 16 percent to €195 million, mainly as a result of acquisition effects. Adjusted for acquisition and exchange rate effects, sales increased by 2 percent. The ECKART Effect Pigments division posted the strongest operating sales increase. Due to special factors from the previous year sales were up by 3 percent. Positive exchange rate effects led to a total nominal increase in sales of 10 percent to €179 million.

    Sales in the divisions ELANTAS Electrical Insulation (€242 million) and BYK Additives & Instruments (€455 million) grew by 11 and 4 percent respectively. Adjusted for exchange rate effects, operating sales in both divisions were slightly down by 2 percent respectively.

    The U.S. remains strongest growth market
    ALTANA posted by far the strongest growth again in the Americas region. Especially due to the current U.S. Dollar-Euro exchange rate, sales grew by 23 percent. In the U.S., sales actually rose by 24 percent. Adjusted for acquisition and exchange rate effects, sales in the Americas remained almost unchanged at the high level of the previous year, with a slight decrease of 1 percent. Operating sales in the U.S. were up by 2 percentage points. Nominal and operating sales in Europe stabilized at the previous year's level. Asia contributed 10 percent to growth; operating sales almost reached the previous year's level (-1 percent).

    Outlook
    Adjusted for acquisition and exchange rate effects, sales growth in 2015 is expected to be in the low single-digit percentage range, and therefore at the lower end of the target range of 2 to 5 percent. ALTANA confirms its growth forecast for the full year and anticipates nominal sales growth in the higher single-digit percentage range.
    (Altana AG)
     
    20.08.2015   rlc | packaging highlights Beauty and Healthcare at LEUNISMAN with new 16-unit ROLAND ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... sheetfed press

    The rlc | packaging group is investing in its Hanover site and significantly expanding its printing and finishing spectrum for the Beauty and Healthcare industries. In the first quarter of 2016, the company will be launching operation of a new Manroland R 710 HiPrint sheet-fed offset printing press. This machine is equipped with new cold foil technology and specially combined inking and coating operations for highly effective, eye-catching metallic finishes and new visual as well as tactile coating effects.‬

    Photo: The Manroland sheet-fed offset printing press that will go into operation at rlc in 2016 is equipped with ten printing and two coating units along with a cold foil module. This new investment will further expand the rlc finishing portfolio. ‬

    "Quality standards are increasing, along with the demand for new, high-impact design solutions that can be efficiently implemented – especially in the Beauty segment. This why we rely on state-of-the-art technology resources and continuously optimize our processes," explains rlc | packaging group CEO Hans-Christian Bestehorn. "Investing in the latest technology has enabled us to set another technological benchmark at LEUNISMAN and offer an even wider range of inline design options. This not only gives our customers a sharper competitive edge, it also strengthens our focus as a system supplier of comprehensive packaging solutions."‬‬‬‬

    Equipped with ten printing and two coating units, the offset press integrates a new-generation cold foil module to produce a virtually unlimited selection of finishes. The InlineFoiler 2.0 applies cold foil to the carton and enables multiple printing and coating with conventional or UV inks in a single pass. Embossing, special effects and spot coating can be combined to efficiently produce attractive packaging that is a guaranteed eye-catcher at the POS. Another feature of the InlineFoiler enhances eco-sustainability: The new indexing function advances only enough foil to cover the required image area and thus reduces material consumption.‬

    Maximum productivity, highest quality standards‬‬‬‬
    Maximum productivity and process reliability are two more reasons why the family-managed company is investing in the new printing press. Simultaneous plate loading shortens make-ready times and significantly increases performance compared to other offset presses. The highest quality standards are maintained even at maximum speeds, thanks to an inline color measurement system combined with the InlineInspector. This feature uses an inline high-speed camera to monitor each individual sheet and detect even the smallest defects, including foreign matter, scratches or smearing.‬
    (Manroland Sheetfed GmbH)
     
    20.08.2015   Nationwide Survey Finds that Paper Remains Essential to Learning    ( Company news )

    Company news While technology has spread to virtually every aspect of our lives, the just-released 2015 Annual Back-to-School Report, which surveyed 3,200 students, parents and educators, shows students are still choosing paper. And with good reason.

    The Paper and Packaging Board report sheds light on paper usage habits related to the learning process, finding more than 90 percent of students carry paper items every day. 94 percent of students say it’s easier to concentrate while reading a paper copy than a digital version. Three out of five college students prefer to read on paper than on a digital screen. 80 percent of K-12 teachers say their students comprehend information better when they read on paper.

    Building on recent studies showing that learners retain more information when reading on paper, the report reveals that paper may be even more important to the classroom now than it was before the digital revolution.

    “Print is tailor-made for helping us read continuously, concentate, puzzle out concepts and contemplate the significance of what we have read,” wrote Dr. Naomi Baron, professor of linguistics and research contributor to the 2015 Annual Back-to-School Report. “Students reported multitasking more than three times as often when reading on a screen as when reading print.”

    The report also found that paper led to a stronger connection outside the classroom. 76 percent of parents reported feeling more comfortable helping their children with homework on paper than on a digital screen.

    “With the advent of so much technology that makes learning more interactive and vibrant, we forget that sometimes the best way to remember things is by simply writing them down,” wrote 2012

    National Teacher of the Year, Rebecca Mieliwocki, whose 9 Productive Learning Tips for Kids, Families and Teachers are included in the report. “Unlike typing, the act of writing down information increases retention of that information and stores more of it into working and long-term memory.”
    (The Paper and Packaging Board)
     
    20.08.2015   New: Bellmer JetCoater for Spremberg    ( Company news )

    Company news Hamburger Rieger GmbH forms part of Hamburger Containerboard. One of the leading European manufacturers of corrugated base papers, the company has a production capacity of 1.7 million tons/year of high-quality corrugated base papers across various locations. Hamburger Rieger’s management is now investing heavily in its Spremberg mill in Brandenburg.

    With its product line SpreeWhite, Spremberg paper mill is quality leader in the white corrugated base papers segment. With a total investment of 18 million Euros, paper machine # 1 will be modified for the production of coated white testliner (white top testliner), which will enable an extension of the product portfolio in terms of quality. Hamburger Rieger is particularly keen on innovative technology, so it should come as little surprise that Bellmer was awarded the order for the paper machine # 1 upgrade. Bellmer will supply the TURBOCombiCoater coating unit, which combines proven technology with the highest level of reliability. It is the only jet coater on the market to feature separate base displacement for clear adjustability. The particularly large nozzle opening makes the coater quick and easy to clean. The scope of delivery also includes new parts for the pre-dryer section and the dissolving pulper ahead of the sizer.

    A hard-nip calender will ensure the pre-calendering and profiling of the paper web. Pre- and post-dryer sections will be re-configured, too. There will be made the necessary changes to the air/hood systems, as well as an upgrade the steam and condensate system to the latest technology. Existing elements such as the soft-nip calender and the pope reelerwill be relocated. Bellmer has total responsibility for engineering, project management, dismantling, erection, start-up and training of personnel.

    Andreas Noss, Managing Director of Hamburger Rieger GmbH, said: “We chose Bellmer since they offered the most convincing overall package. That included – right from the offer phase – detailed engineering work way beyond what one would normally expect. We have also come to appreciate Bellmer as a reliable and competent partner over the course of quite a number of rebuild projects which they have undertaken at our second location in Germany.”
    (Gebr.Bellmer GmbH Maschinenfabrik)
     
    20.08.2015   ANDRITZ Ritz to supply pumps and booster stations for a drinking water treatment plant in Iraq    ( Company news )

    Company news Photo: ANDRITZ Ritz is to supply a total of 121 pumps and 18 booster stations for a new drinking water treatment station in Samawa, Iraq

    International technology Group ANDRITZ will supply 121 pumps and 18 booster stations for a new drinking water treatment plant in Samawa, Iraq, on behalf of PWT Wasser- und Abwassertechnik, Germany. The new plant will pump up 220,000 m³ of water from a branch of the river Euphrat, which will then be processed into drinking water, fed to a pipework, and distributed to end-consumers via nine pumping stations.

    After having received the first such order two years ago and the supply of 35 pumps in 2014, ANDRITZ was now awarded this follow-up order, which will be completed by the end of 2015.
    (Andritz Ritz GmbH)
     
    19.08.2015   Pöyry PLC: Martin à Porta appointed President and CEO of Pöyry    ( Company news )

    Company news The Board of Directors of Pöyry PLC has appointed Martin à Porta (M. Sc. Eng., photo), 44, as the new President and CEO of Pöyry PLC. He will take up the position latest on 1 February, 2016. Alexis Fries will continue as President and CEO until Martin à Porta takes up his position.

    Martin à Porta joins Pöyry from Siemens Corporation where he is currently CEO of Siemens Building Technologies in Europe. Previously, Martin held leadership positions at Siemens spanning European, Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin American countries. Martin started his career at Electrowatt Engineering, acquired by Pöyry in 1997. His CV is available on Pöyry's website at www.poyry.com.

    "Martin has a strong track record of leadership in professional organisations. He was selected especially due to his high level of energy and strong teamworking skills", says Henrik Ehrnrooth Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pöyry PLC.

    "I am excited to be rejoining Pöyry. It is an honour to lead the company", says Martin à Porta. "Managing a knowledge organisation is challenging but very rewarding. Our society, markets and clients require ever more environmentally-friendly, cost efficient products and processes; our urban living environment is getting more dense and needs a compact, efficient as well as sustainable infrastructure. The demand for these future products and new forms of energy production will continue and many customers expect it to be based on renewable raw materials and sources. Furthermore, future 'smart infrastructure' is designed for economic recycling of materials and energy. Pöyry's know-how is uniquely relevant to address these new demands. It is our vision to work in even closer collaboration with our clients, developing new concepts that will address these future challenges. It is a privilege to rejoin Pöyry and to continue to build a new future based upon Pöyry's unique knowledge and strong corporate culture."

    Alexis Fries has served Pöyry as a Member of the Board of Directors since 2008. He was appointed President and CEO in September 2012 to restructure and reposition the company. Having successfully completed his assignment, Alexis will continue as a member of the Board of Directors.

    "I want to take this opportunity to thank Alexis Fries for his dedication and commitment to Pöyry during the past three years," says Henrik Ehrnrooth. "He has done an excellent job. While the company was facing various challenges in a difficult business environment, Alexis has refocused the company and established a solid foundation from which to continue."

    "Over the past years we have introduced many changes and improvements", says Alexis Fries. "Today, Pöyry is back on track and looks to the future with confidence. I would like to warmly thank all my colleagues for their support in accomplishing this task. I look forward to continuing to contribute to the company's development and will support Martin during the transition. I am confident that Martin will continue to move the company to the next level."

    "We are confident that Pöyry is in good hands and succeeds under Martin's leadership", comments Henrik Ehrnrooth.
    (Pöyry Plc, Forest Industry Business Group)
     
    19.08.2015   Intec announces presence at The Print Show 2015 with new product launch    ( Company news )

    Company news After an immensely successful new product launch at IPEX in 2014, Intec Printing Solutions, which has distributors located across the globe, is delighted to announce its presence at The Print Show 2015 and will be launching an upgraded CP3000 series of digital colour presses with new feature sets you will not want to miss! This re-enforces Intec in its position in the UK print marketplace as one of the forerunners for ground breaking new products for the graphic arts and commercial print industry.

    As a UK based company, Intec will be showcasing its product portfolio and invites UK printers to come and see how we can make a difference to their business with solutions for: digital colour envelope printing, high speed creation of personalised print, booklet to banner production, quick and easy packaging production, as well as label printing solutions for short to medium production runs onto die cut matrix removed or retained and continuous roll media, with label finishing equipment to digitally die-cut any shape label, laminate, matrix remove and slit and finish rolls of labels.

    “Our digital colour printing presses continue to offer industry leading print solutions for graphic arts professionals and the on demand production market place, solving complex production issues for companies who require heavier stock and unique label applications within the growing on demand arena”, states Ian Melville, managing director of Intec Printing Solutions.

    The ColorSplash range includes the CS4000 – 4 colour professional print production system and ground breaking CS5000 model – a radical new 5 colour print production system that will offer stunning digital colour for multi-media printing, with the added benefit of clear and white printing. In addition to offering white and clear toner printing onto thick boards of up to 400gsm/micron and beyond, Intec will also offer the models with specialist feeders and media stackers for greater productivity and the handling of a wide range of medias from heavy stocks, envelopes, packaging boards, labels, polyesters and much, much more. With the addition of the Fiery® XF for Intec RIP, greater colour accuracy and stunning prints can be achieved through colour management and workflow tools such as 64 specific Intec colour profiles, page creep, nesting, imposition, variable data and more!

    Offering the lowest cost of print per page in its class, the CP3000 series will launch with new multi-function features so printers can be more productive in their day to day activities when supporting client needs such as copying, scanning, on line print finishing and booklet making to name but a few new features.

    All of the Intec digital sheet fed print solutions at the show will be driven by the highly successful Fiery XF for Intec colour management and workflow RIP that offers users stunning, precise and predictable quality output on all manner of substrates from any of the Intec printer range.
    Intec offers complete digital colour solutions for on demand production printing. Come and see label production, streamlined envelope printing and flat sheet to finished booklets, banners etc. from its range of unique printing presses.
    (Intec Printing Solutions Limited)
     
    19.08.2015   Fiskeby's biogas production has started    ( Company news )

    Company news In early August Fiskeby´s biogas production started, after nearly a year of planning and construction. The start-up went very well and we are now producing climate neutral gas from the plant's wastewater.

    During the process remains of cellulose and starch from the recycling of cartonboard become nutrients for anaerobic (oxygen-free) bacteria in the new biogas plant and the waste water is purified.

    The expanded waste water treatment capacity reduces the company's environmental impact and offers the potential for increased cartonboard production.
    (Fiskeby Board AB)
     
    19.08.2015   Valmet and Australian Paper sign a multi-year maintenance technical support agreement for ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... Maryvale Mill

    Valmet and Australian Paper have signed a multi-year agreement for Valmet to provide maintenance technical support at the Maryvale Mill in Victoria, Australia. The new technical support agreement (TSA) which will focus on providing onsite maintenance technical advice and expertise to the mill's maintenance organization, replaces the old maintenance agreements between Valmet and Australian Paper. The agreement came into effect on August 1, 2015.

    Photo: Peter Williams, COO of Australian Paper, and Pierre de Villiers, Vice President Sales, Australia and New Zealand from Valmet.

    The Maryvale Mill has three pulp lines, five papermaking machines, an elemental chlorine free bleach plant, pulp lapping machine, deinked pulp line, finishing facility and a waste paper processing plant. Valmet's TSA resources will be located within the mills power and recovery, fibre lines, paper mill and central maintenance areas.

    "The new agreement builds on the partnership between Australian Paper and Valmet, providing long term technical input into Australian Paper's maintenance operation allowing for continuous improvement and development programs to be identified and implemented along with specific Pulp & Paper knowledge and knowhow," says Peter Williams, COO of Australian Paper.

    "Australian Paper has developed continue to develop the Maryvale Mill to ensure its long term sustainability and profitability as a domestic producer of fine paper and packaging grades. The Technical Service Agreement provides the needed alignment to meet these objectives, reinforces the high level cooperation and commitment between our organizations and provides the platform to move our customer's performance forward," says Pierre de Villiers, Vice President Sales, Australia and New Zealand, Valmet.
    (Valmet Corporation)
     
    19.08.2015   Asia Pulp & Paper commits to the first-ever retirement of commercial plantations on ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...tropical peatland to cut carbon emissions

    -APP partners with Deltares to develop peatland best management practice model – Greenpeace is monitoring its development
    -In the largest exercise of its kind, a quarter of Indonesian peat landscapes is mapped with LiDAR technology
    -APP builds on FCP commitment of a moratorium on all peatland development since 2013

    Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) announced it is committing to retire around 7,000 hectares of commercial plantation areas to protect threatened carbon-rich peatlands, the first time that plantations on tropical peatland have been retired for conservation purposes worldwide.

    Peatland development in Indonesia represents one of the single largest terrestrial sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the world1. Retiring these plantation areas will help support the Government of Indonesia’s target of a 26 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020.

    The land marked for retirement is spread across five individual acacia plantation areas in Riau and South Sumatra which have been identified as requiring immediate rehabilitation following recommendations from the applied research institute Deltares. In line with APP’s Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), a Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) process will be conducted for the five areas, before any retirement proceeds.

    Today’s announcement is part of APP’s commitment to establish a science-based landscape approach for best practice peatland management that can be used by the Indonesian Government and plantation companies. It builds on the conservation pledges in the company’s FCP, which placed an immediate moratorium on all natural forests and new peatland development in February 2013.

    As part of this approach, Deltares is working with APP to carry out the largest mapping exercise ever carried out on tropical peatland areas using LiDAR remote sensing technology. LiDAR, deployed from aircraft, allows Deltares to map around one quarter of all Indonesian peatland where APP’s suppliers are located. The area totals 4.5 million hectares, which compares to an area the size of Switzerland or the State of Pennsylvania. The resulting maps will be finalised in 2016.

    The mapping will provide unprecedented insight into the hydrology and environmental conditions of a number of critically important peat landscapes. Analysis of the data will enable Deltares to provide further recommendations on how APP can minimise the impact of drainage in peat landscapes, making a significant contribution not only to reducing forest loss but also to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change.

    Aida Greenbury, Managing Director Sustainability, APP said:
    “APP’s decision to retire these areas of commercial plantation is an important milestone in the delivery of our Forest Conservation Policy and we believe it is an unprecedented commitment. The retirement of active plantations is not an easy decision for any business to take, but we believe that taking urgent steps to protect remaining areas of peatland forest, as well as reducing and avoiding climate emissions from peatlands, must be a priority. While there is still a long way to go, and we have much to learn, this announcement today represents a major breakthrough.
    “However, the reality of protecting peat landscapes is that no one company like APP can do it alone. APP’s goal of supporting the conservation of forest and peat landscapes needs to be a shared objective, and one supported by meaningful actions from both the Government and other plantation companies. This should include addressing the systemic barriers to forest and peatland protection, supporting forest restoration and ensuring development opportunities for communities.”

    Dr Aljosja Hooijer, programme leader at Deltares, said:
    “APP has a unique opportunity to support peatland forest conservation and emission reduction. The progress announced today is a first step in a process towards the development of a new model to define best management practices in peatlands. The pioneering approach to collecting LiDAR data has allowed the technology to be deployed at an unprecedented scale economically, and will advance the science of peat and peat management not only in Indonesia, but also globally.”
    (APP Asia Pulp & Paper Headquarter)
     
    19.08.2015   Sustainability at Iggesund: A key factor in all decisions     ( Company news )

    Company news Picture: “A wooden bridge within an industrial site must of course be suitable for its purpose and good from a sustainability and durability perspective. But the fact that it is also beautiful is an added plus,” says Anna Mårtensson, Environmental Manager at Iggesund Mill, Iggesund Paperboard’s Swedish production facility.©Iggesund

    Many small steps add up to large ones. That’s a simple way to sum up Iggesund Paperboard’s environmental work. It is easy to give examples of Iggesund’s multi-million euro investments and their importance. But the company also makes many smaller investment decisions which have important environmental aspects. One of these is the wooden bridge that links the mill at Iggesund with the wastewater purification facility on the adjacent island of Skälön.

    “Long-term environment work is less about making a few big decisions and more about making many small decisions which include the environmental aspects,” explains Anna Mårtensson, Environmental Manager at the company’s Swedish paperboard mill, Iggesund Mill. “In this case a wooden bridge was a better environmental choice than a concrete one.”

    For over a century bridges in Sweden have primarily been built of steel and concrete. But now wooden bridges are gaining ground again. They are as durable as concrete and are also beautiful. When their environmental aspects are also considered, wooden bridges are a serious alternative.

    The modern history of wooden bridges in the Nordic region really began in the 1990s. At that time Sweden, Norway and Finland agreed to develop common standards and technical solutions for wooden road bridges which would have the same performance and lifespan as bridges made of steel and concrete.

    The longest wooden bridge built in Sweden to date is a 230-metre-long pedestrian and cycling bridge in the northern city of Umeå. The oldest wooden bridge in the country dates from 1737 and spans the Skellefteå River.

    As architects and engineers learn more about how to use wood as a building material, more and more wooden bridges are being built.

    Iggesund Paperboard has joined the trend. When Iggesund Mill expanded its wastewater purification facility on the island of Skälön outside the mill, the company decided to replace the old bridge with a stronger one. The new bridge would allow heavy trucks heading for the island to avoid making a nine-kilometre detour.

    “We quickly calculated that a new bridge would pay off, both financially and environmentally,” Environmental Manager Anna Mårtensson remembers.

    Wood was chosen as the material for several reasons. First, the Holmen Group, which includes Iggesund Paperboard, is a forest industry group so using wood is an obvious choice. A wooden bridge is also cheaper and faster to build.

    “But above all, wood makes less of an environmental impact than steel and concrete,” Mårtensson says.

    An engineering thesis from Uppsala University concludes that a lifecycle analysis of a concrete bridge, based on a lifespan of 40 years and including investment costs, construction process and maintenance, results in twice the carbon dioxide emissions as a bridge built of wood. In 1915 a long hollow pipe was built of wood in order to supply the mill with process water. That pipe still exists and still functions perfectly today – a hundred years later. So there is no doubt that wood is a durable material.

    At Iggesund Paperboard, sustainability is a cornerstone of the company’s work. The environmental aspects – large and small – are considered when making every decision. The company’s environmental work is not separate from its main business because good investments always go hand in hand with a better environment.

    “Many small improvements lead to major environmental gains, with lower emissions and a greater likelihood that Iggesund Paperboard will continue to lead the process industry’s sustainability league tables in the future too,” Mårtensson says.

    Iggesund Mill’s environmental work to date has led to a fifty per cent reduction in the amount of sulphur and particulate emissions within only a couple of years. In addition, the mill’s major investments in water purification have resulted in a radical reduction of emissions of nutrients into the Baltic Sea outside the mill. This in turn has resulted in improved water quality and clear signs of recovery in the marine ecosystem.

    Even more important, though, may be the focus which is being placed on the human factor – to get every employee to think about what he or she is doing so there is no relaxation of the joint environmental effort.

    “Of course, all our work towards greater sustainability also includes the 128-metre-long, red-painted wooden bridge over to Skälön as one of many small but important steps,” Anna Mårtensson concludes. “And it’s very beautiful, too.”

    Facts: The bridge to Skälön is 128 metres long and has a single one-way lane which is 4.5 metres wide and equipped with traffic lights. The bridge rests on glulam beams bolted together.

    Using wood as a building material has two major fundamental environmental advantages: first, the wood is produced from a renewable resource and with minimal energy input, and, second, the photosynthesis process in growing trees binds carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It is also often both easier and cheaper to build in wood than in other materials. From a lifecycle perspective, wood is therefore an advantageous choice in terms of efficient resource usage, energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and waste.
    (Iggesund Paperboard AB)
     
    18.08.2015   Metsä Board Corporation Interim Report 1 January - 30 June 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news Metsä Board Corporation’s operating result excluding non-recurring items was EUR 90.2 million in January–June 2015

    Result for the first half of 2015
    • Sales were EUR 1,047.7 million (Q1–Q2/2014: 995.2).
    • Operating result excluding non-recurring items was EUR 90.2 million (64.4). Operating result including non-recurring items was EUR 110.3 million (75.7).
    • Result before taxes excluding non-recurring items was EUR 72.3 million (40.8). Result before taxes including non-recurring items was EUR 90.2 million (49.9).
    • Earnings per share excluding non-recurring items were EUR 0.19 (0.10), and earnings per share including non-recurring items were EUR 0.24 (0.12).

    Result for the second quarter of 2015
    • Sales were EUR 522.0 million (Q1/2015: 525.7).
    • Operating result excluding non-recurring items was EUR 47.0 million (43.2). Operating result including non-recurring items was EUR 67.2 million (43.1).
    • The result before taxes excluding non-recurring items was EUR 40.0 million (32.3). Result before taxes including non-recurring items was EUR 58.0 million (32.2).
    • Earnings per share excluding non-recurring items were EUR 0.10 (0.09), and earnings per share including non-recurring items were EUR 0.15 (0.09).

    Events during the second quarter of 2015
    • Paperboard deliveries continued to grow, and the price levels were stable.
    • The conversion of paper machine 8 to board machine 2 at the Husum mill was completed as planned.
    • Metsä Board divested the Gohrsmühle mill, including all related liabilities, to the German mutares AG’s wholly owned holding company and its partner company.
    • Moody’s Investors Service raised Metsä Board Corporation’s credit rating by two notches from B1 to Ba2. The outlook of the rating is stable.

    Near-term outlook
    • Metsä Board’s operating result excluding non-recurring items is in the third quarter of 2015 expected to increase slightly compared to the second quarter of 2015.

    Mika Joukio (photo), CEO:
    “The second quarter of 2015 met our expectations. The transformation of Husum into a paperboard mill is progressing as planned. The training of the mill personnel has begun, which will ensure the successful production of high-quality folding boxboard once the new machine starts up.
    A large share of the Husum mill’s production will be directed to the North American market. Production optimisation enables us to grow the sales of our other mills’ products as well. Our target is to continue to grow globally.
    The divestment of the Gohrsmühle mill improves our annual operating result excluding non-recurring items by approximately EUR 20 million compared to the previous year. Slightly over half of this will materialise this year.
    We are increasing our emphasis on product development. Our customers increasingly highlight the importance of sustainability. We will be the first company in the world to start testing foam forming on a production scale. Foam forming technology makes it possible to further lower the weight of products and reduce the use of raw materials, energy and water.
    The successful implementation of the investment programme at Husum, the full-scale sale of the new volumes globally and, at the same time, finalising the exit from the paper business are our most important targets from now on.”
    (Metsä Board Corporation)
     
    18.08.2015   Ahlstrom January-June 2015 interim report: Continued operating profit margin improvement driven ...     ( Company news )

    Company news ...by better pricing and product mix

    April-June 2015 compared with April-June 2014
    -Net sales EUR 281.1 million (EUR 253.0 million), showing an increase of 11.1%.Comparable net sales at constant currencies remained flat.
    -Operating profit EUR 15.7 million (EUR 9.6 million).
    -Operating profit excluding non-recurring items EUR 16.8 million (EUR 13.4 million).
    -Operating profit margin excluding non-recurring items 6.0% (5.3%), the seventh consecutive quarter of year-on-year improvement.
    -Profit before taxes EUR 20.8 million (EUR -0.4 million), including a EUR 11.1 million capital gain booked from the sale of Munksjö Oyj shares.
    -Earnings per share EUR 0.29 (EUR -0.07).
    -Revolving credit facility refinanced in June.
    -Outlook for 2015 revised.

    January-June 2015 compared with January-June 2014
    -Net sales EUR 552.9 million (EUR 502.2 million), showing an increase of 10.1%.
    -Operating profit EUR 28.4 million (EUR 14.0 million).
    -Operating profit excluding non-recurring items EUR 28.8 million (EUR 20.6 million).
    -Operating profit margin excluding non-recurring items 5.2% (4.1%).
    -Profit before taxes EUR 34.6 million (EUR 4.8 million), including a EUR 17.1 million capital gain booked from the sale of Munksjö Oyj shares.
    -Earnings per share EUR 0.46 (EUR -0.02).

    Marco Levi (photo), President & CEO:
    "We had a record quarter and achieved the highest operating profit margin in the current structure of the company. This was primarily driven by our efforts to improve commercial operations through enhanced pricing and product mix management. The quarter was also characterized by lower demand in some of our main markets and continued increase in net sales driven by currencies.
    The Filtration business area improved profits despite the slowdown in its markets, and the Food business continued on its path of steady improvement. The Building and Energy business area also reported a welcome increase in sales, while profitability still suffered from low demand for wallcovering products as well as adverse currency effects.
    We are moving ahead with the key priorities of our roadmap - commercial excellence, go-to-market process, simplification and building up the new Ahlstrom - to improve performance. While we have made progress towards our long-term financial targets, we still have a way to go to uncover the full competitive potential of this company."

    Outlook for 2015 revised:
    Ahlstrom revises its outlook for net sales and operating profit margin excluding non-recurring items in 2015.

    New outlook:
    Ahlstrom expects net sales in 2015 to be in the range of EUR 1,025-1,125 million. The operating profit margin excluding non-recurring items is expected to be 3.85-4.5% of net sales.
    (Ahlstrom Corporation)
     
    18.08.2015   Announcement Regarding the Shut Down of Oji Paper's Facility    ( Company news )

    Company news Oji Holdings Corporation (hereinafter “Oji Holdings”) hereby announces that in its considerations of constructing the optimum manufacturing system which responds to changes in demand structure of printing and communications paper, which were referred to in the press release entitled Announcement Regarding the Formation of the Business Alliance with Chuetsu Pulp & Paper Co., Ltd. and the Executive of Subscription for the Third-party Stock Allocation, it has now decided to permanently close the No. 7 Machine at the Tomioka Mill of Oji Paper Co., Ltd.

    Overview of facility to be shut down
    No. 7 Machine: Tomioka Mill, Oji Paper Co., Ltd.
    Major products: Converting paper and wood-free paper
    Production capacity: 44,000 tons/year
    Time of closure (scheduled): March 2016
    (Oji Holdings Corporation)
     
    18.08.2015   Verdú Digital installs first Esko Kongsberg C64 cutting table in Spain    ( Company news )

    Company news Production streamlined with integrated software solutions

    Photo: Vicente Verdú with Esko Kongsberg C64

    Leading Spanish large format print production company Verdú Digital is the first in the region to streamline operations with the Esko Kongsberg C64 multi-functional large format digital finishing system. With an annual production of more than 180.000 m2 of canvas, vinyl and textiles, Verdú Digital has also invested in several Esko design and workflow software solutions to help it better service customers across Europe, including key clients in France, Portugal and Italy.

    Vicente Verdú, Commercial Director of Verdú Digital, explains the positive impact implementing the Esko solutions has made: "In the past, we've completed large format sign and display production manually or by subcontracting. Installing the Esko Kongsberg C64 Kongsberg cutting table, meant a radical change for the company. It not only brings time and cost savings, but we can now also accept more projects than we’ve ever been able to before.”

    To service its portfolio of over 8.000 clients, Verdú Digital has a 2.500 m2 facility in Barcelona and 45 employees. These clients are looking for services in digital printing on canvas, vinyl and textiles but they are also seeking graphic communication support for the production and installation of all types of advertising elements, decoration of spaces, events and scenery.

    Pioneering installation

    Verdú Digital was only too pleased to be the first in Spain to install the Esko Kongsberg C. "Esko is a brand with an impeccable reputation and a wide range of installations worldwide, so we knew it was a company we could trust. In addition, it offers complete solutions and has a great support and service team overseeing the installation which has worked accurately from day one. Esko fits with our company so we had no doubts. Our decision proved to be the right one because the Esko team has always been there when we needed it. With this installation, we wanted to become a leader in the market and we are getting there!"

    The Esko solution installed at Verdú Digital includes the Kongsberg C64 for cutting sheets and rolls but also a range of software solutions: ArtiosCAD 3D structural design software, workflow solution Automation Engine, connectivity management with Automation Engine Connect and optimization of the cutting work with i-Cut Layout. "ArtiosCAD allows us to design structures, develop products and prototypes, Automation Engine is a modular workflow server with dynamic workflows. Both solutions are easy to set up and operate, and offer a new standard for prepress workflow automation. I-Cut Layout is a software program that allows us to make projects more profitable. It enables us to save on material and preparation time but also helps us to reduce delivery time. With this program we can optimize production from fitting the designs to create cutting strokes, bleeding, adding grommet marks, etc.," explains Verdú.

    Thanks to the combination of these solutions, Verdú Digital production is smoother, more structured and better organized. Verdú says: "By automating production management we can process more orders in a time of declining run volumes. In addition, the i-Cut software allows us to reduce material waste. All these benefits translate into better service, faster delivery and an increased capacity to process more orders."

    Wide variety of materials

    The Esko Kongsberg C64 (with working area of 3.210 mm x 3.200 mm) always provides the same performance – even on the most demanding materials or complex jobs. Verdú comments: "We already cut all sorts of materials, both flexible and rigid and have also made some spectacular applications on cardboard, wood and methacrylate. We are very satisfied. The table works perfectly with a wide range of materials and that allows us to do absolutely everything. And the additional advantage is that we can do it much faster. Today, we can handle any kind of job!”

    Amadeu Maurel, Esko Area Sales Manager, adds: “The large format printing market needs large format cutting equipment that still offers the same quality, speed and flexibility for a wide variety of materials. To meet this demand, the Esko Kongsberg features an extremely rigid beam allowing high accuracy and avoiding vibrations at high speed on large formats ensuring the highest precision and performance.”

    Vicente Verdú agrees: “Since we made the investment, we have become more productive and efficient. We have managed to profitably manufacture small production runs quickly and for a wide range of materials, with the highest quality results. With the software solution, we have been able to expand our capacity to manage and quickly produce a larger number of orders.”

    The industry crisis in Spain has prompted Verdú Digital to invest in new equipment to enable it to meet new market demands. The purchase of the Esko cutting table responds to this strategy and may soon result in another purchase. "At the moment we are running our Kongsberg table 15 hours a day. If the production rate continues at this level, we may purchase a new machine in the middle to short term,” concludes Verdú.
    (Esko Belgium)
     
    18.08.2015   KBA: Well-filled order books – clear sales and earnings rise expected in second half-year    ( Company news )

    Company news First half-year report for Koenig & Bauer

    -At €607.5m order intake up 33.2% y-o-y
    -Sales of €426.9m still behind annual target of over €1bn
    -Group pre-tax profit of €6.9m in Q2 improves EBT to –€10.8m
    -Positive results in all business areas within reach
    -Fit@All programme almost complete with cost savings
    -Earnings outlook for 2015 unchanged with EBT margin of up to 2%

    In the second quarter of 2015 Koenig & Bauer (KBA) came significantly closer to achieving its target of positive results in all business segments. In the first six months the printing press manufacturer was able to greatly increase its order intake with a plus of 33.2% year-on-year to €607.5m. At €597.9m group order backlog on 30 June was around 43% higher than at the beginning of the year. In contrast, at €426.9m sales at the mid-year mark were below the previous year (€517.8m) and thus proportionally behind the group’s annual target of over €1bn. The disproportionate distribution of sales to the second half-year was previously announced by the management board. Although KBA’s cost base has been substantially reduced by Fit@All, the lag in sales impacted on earnings. President and CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann: “Group profit before taxes of €6.9m in the second quarter led to an improvement in our EBT from –€17.7m after three months to –€10.8m mid-year. We are particularly pleased with the major improvements in earnings in Sheetfed and Digital & Web. Despite this half-time shortfall, with catching-up in mind we continue to target an EBT margin of up to 2% of sales for 2015.” After tax deductions, group results were –€9.3m (2014: –€3.4m). This corresponds to earnings per share of –€0.55 compared to –€0.20 in 2014.

    High net liquidity offers strategic flexibility
    Notwithstanding redundancy payments of over €15m as part of personnel adjustments, cash flows from operating activities increased from –€33.7m the previous year to –€28.9m. This was mainly due to reduced receivables (–€31m) and a rise in customer prepayments (+€24.8m). Although inventories rose in preparation for the upcoming sales catch-up in the third and fourth quarter, KBA was able to reduce working capital by around €100m in the last twelve months. The free cash flow improved greatly to –€25.2m following –€43m the year before. Funds at the end of June 2015 stood at €191.6m. Solid net liquidity of €172.8m after deducting limited bank loans of €18.8m offers the group’s management board strategic flexibility in a shifting market. Equity of €226.5m represented 22.8% of the balance sheet total.

    Positive segment development
    The Sheetfed Solutions segment was particularly successful in the first half of 2015 with order intake up 40.3% on the previous year (€262.4m) to €368.1m. This was predominantly a result of strong demand from the packaging sector. Sales in KBA’s sheetfed segment were up 1.8% to €239m year-on-year and are expected to increase more strongly in the second-half of this year. Order backlog mid-year came in at €310.6m, the highest figure since 2007. Progress made with regard to costs and prices led to a massive earnings improvement from a segment loss of €8.4m in 2014 to a profit of €3.8m. The KBA management board anticipates a further significant earnings increase in the course of the year.

    New contracts for digital and newspaper presses drove order intake in the Digital & Web Solutions segment up from €45.6m in 2014 to €69.2m. Given low order backlog at the start of the year, at €36.7m revenue remained significantly below the previous year’s figure of €71.3m. In contrast, order backlog of €83.4m at the end of the second quarter stood well above the corresponding figure from 2014 (€69.1m). The segment posted a loss of €8.9m for the first half-year (2014: –€11.5m). With a segment loss of €0.2m in the second quarter the turnaround was almost achieved due to the improved order situation and capacity utilisation. Earnings are expected to improve gradually in the following quarters triggered by higher sales and more effective savings.

    Along with growing success in the relatively young field of flexible packaging, more orders for metal-decorating, security printing and coding systems boosted the total volume of incoming orders in the Special Solutions segment by 21% to €199m. At €169.9m sales were distinctly lower than the previous year (2014: €227.8m) that benefitted from large security press orders. KBA anticipates a significant rise in revenue in the third and fourth quarter in particular. Order backlog stood at €224.5m (2014: €238.5m) at the mid-year mark. Given the lower margin product mix compared to the first half-year 2014, segment profit fell to €3.6m compared to the prior-year figure of €33.9m.

    Export level rose to 84.9%
    The export level climbed to 84.9% (2014: 83.4%) after six months. At 29.7% the proportion of deliveries to other parts of Europe was significantly down on last year’s figure (2014: 40.4%). In contrast, business in North America which was up from 10% to16.6% was boosted by market success with sheetfed offset and flexo presses. The proportion attributable to sales market Asia and the Pacific also rose from 24.3% to 29.3%. Latin America and Africa generated 9.3% (2014: 8.7%) of group sales.

    Group payroll on schedule
    At the end of June 2015 there were 5,266 employees on the KBA group payroll, 844 fewer than twelve months earlier. Excluding apprentices, trainees, employees exempted from their duties and staff on phased retirement schemes the group workforce sank to 4,599. As previously mentioned, this total is expected to fall to around 4,500 at the end of 2015. With a training rate of 6.3% securing the next generation of skilled workers remains a high priority.

    Management board confirms spring outlook
    The economic and political environment for the export-driven engineering industry remains volatile. Nevertheless, the KBA group kicks off the second half-year with considerably fuller order books and capacities than in 2014. Completing the raft of existing orders on time poses a substantial challenge. This is especially true of KBA’s Sheetfed Solutions business unit which is operating at a very high level of capacity utilisation and contributes to around half of group sales. As demand remains strong in this segment special measures have been introduced to increase production output.

    In the first half-year capacities at KBA-Digital & Web in Würzburg have been sustainably adjusted to the severely shrunken web offset market. Higher order intake for digital and conventional web presses currently contributes to the segment’s sound level of capacity utilisation. KBA expects the turnaround in quarterly results also for this segment in the course of the year.

    The companies consolidated in the Special Solutions segment will have to considerably increase output in the second half-year in order to achieve their sales and earnings targets.

    According to the group’s CEO and president, greater transparency and market focus expected from the group realignment with the parent as a holding and new operating business units is already noticeable. He is therefore confident that KBA will be able to deploy the capital available in an even more targeted manner in future.

    The product mix to be delivered in the second half-year will be more profitable than in the first. Overall, the management board continues to target an EBT margin of up to 2% of sales. The implementation of the Fit@All restructuring programme will be completed by the end of 2015. KBA management currently does not expect any impacts on earnings from upcoming measures beyond the provisions made.
    (Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA))
     
    18.08.2015   Paper ME: Dead Line of participation Will Be 15 September 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news Paper ME: the 7th international Exhibition for paper industries, From 22 -24 October, 2015, (Hall 1)
    Tissue ME: the 2nd international exhibition for Tissue Industry & hygiene products, From 22 -24 October, 2015, (Hall 2)
    Pack2Pack: the 4th international exhibition for packing & packaging industry, From 22 -24 October, 2015, (Hall 3)

    We are looking forward for the active participation of your luxurious company at our exhibitions.

    Paper ME: Emerging markets are increasingly becoming the source of growth in the complex global economy. The rate of return on foreign investment is higher in the MENA region than in any other emerging market. Egypt has one of the most developed and diversified economies in the region.
    Global executives and investors must pay heed.
    The Middle East & Africa markets for paper is expected to continue to grow in the near future, with recent figures indicating that the region would need at least 28 million tons of paper to fulfill its needs by 2020.
    Citing the same promising future aspects, the foreign investors in paper sector are looking to strengthen their business in the MENA as well as domestic investors who seek to uplift their production capacity to meet the local needs. Generally, the paper industry is investing heavily in its future.
    This has been the drive of PAPER-ME’s growing importance, making it the awaited event for prominent International and local exhibitors to meet face to face with manufacturers, professionals and suppliers interested in the latest products, equipment, paper manufacture machinery, pulp , paper, cardboard, tissue, chemicals, printing and packaging technologies.
    Since its launch in 2009, success of PAPER-ME accumulated through years. In its 6th edition, PAPER-ME 2014 success surpassed all expectations putting the show ahead from any other specialized exhibition in the region.PAPER-ME 2014 Post–Show Report
    PAPER-ME will continue to serve as your trusted business partner in Africa and Middle East to make sure your company accomplishes its goals, thrive, and expand your business in the MENA.
    Experience our success yourself and be part of PAPER-ME 2015 to Increase your profits, Develop business network, Meet paper industry key players, Capture market share and Gain media exposure.

    Tissue ME: The show offers its exhibitors the chance to meet with regional traders and manufacturers who consider TISSUE-ME as a "must-attend event".

    Pack2Pack: It is a vibrant commercial channel through which suppliers of Machinery, Equipment, High Quality Products, Materials & Logistics services meet global buyers to strike up partnerships and secure crucial business deals.
    (Nile Trade Fairs)
     
    18.08.2015   Valmet supplies main equipment to the pulp mill project of Huanggang Chenming Pulp & Paper ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... Co. Ltd. in China

    Valmet will supply main equipment to Huanggang Chenming Pulp & Paper's new pulp mill located in the city of Huanggang in Hubei province, China. The pulp mill is designed for flexible production to respond to market developments. The pulp line can be run to produce softwood kraft pulp and dissolving pulp depending on the market needs. The new mill is expected to start up in 2017. Valmet's delivery includes the main equipment excluding only some specific process parts.

    The value of the order is about EUR 110 million. The order is included in Valmet's third quarter orders received.

    "Huanggang will be our new business location, where we plan to have a three-phase investment. This pulp mill investment is the first phase. We have been cooperating with Valmet close to 20 years. Our people trust Valmet's know-how and its service spirit. We are happy to select Valmet as the main equipment supplier to this project," says Mr. Chen Hongguo, Chairman of Chenming Group.

    "Huanggang pulp mill project offers both our engineering and production personnel work in the Nordics, Asia Pacific and China. This pulp mill will be the world's largest dissolving pulp producer, and the order shows the customer's trust on Valmet's know-how in pulp and dissolving pulp technology," says Bertel Karlstedt, President of Valmet's Pulp and Energy Business Line.

    Details of Valmet's delivery
    Valmet's delivery presents state-of-the art technology in optimizing mill production, tailor making of dissolving grades, maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing environmental impact. The delivery includes specific equipment and services for wood handling and pulp drying areas, hardwood and softwood multi-grade fiber line (excluding cooking), high dry solids evaporation plant, high power recovery boiler with integrated crystallization system, biomass gasification, lime kiln and recausticizing.

    In addition to the delivered equipment, the delivery includes process and basic engineering, detail engineering services and virtual site training simulator for selected areas as well as installation and start-up advisory services.
    (Valmet Corporation)
     
    17.08.2015   MAFEX - PACK2PACK 2015: A unifying event for the food processing and packaging industry    ( Company news )

    Company news -A unifying event for the food processing industry and, Packaging and all related process technologies
    -The 4th MAFEX to take place from 9 to 11 December 2015 in Casablanca Expo Center (OFEC).

    MAFEX is Morocco’s most successful trade fair for the agro-industry, packaging and all related process technologies.
    With the outstanding success of the past edition We are pleased to announce the 4th MAFEX to take place from 9 to 11 December 2015 in Casablanca Expo Center (OFEC).
    Mafex/Pack2Pack will be hosting 200 exhibitors and 4000 trade visitors.
    Mafex/Pack2Pack covers the whole food-processing network Particularly: drinks, food ingredients, organic products, seasoning, Meats, confectionery, chocolates, local products, canned vegetables and sea products, flavorings, processing and packaging equipment.

    Mafex /Pack 2Pack 2015 offer to:
    -Provide the exhibitors with an invaluable platform to share Their products and to develop and increase their business
    -Bring together local and international producers and brands
    -Offer a tempting opportunity to meet large numbers of targeted visitors in a short space of time
    -Attract more national pavilions and supporting SME in their Development
    -Welcome major agri-food and decision makers: institutional and trade associations, agro industry operators, producers, Services suppliers, buyers.
    (Nile Trade Fairs)
     
    17.08.2015   The forest-based sector in January-June: pulp and paperboard production continues to grow    ( Company news )

    Company news Production of pulp and packaging paperboard grew in the first half of the year. The volume of printing and writing paper production remained almost unchanged from the previous year's level, but softwood sawn timber production contracted. Upcoming industrial policy decisions will have a significant impact on the competitiveness of Finland's forest-based sector.

    “A comprehensive societal agreement is needed alongside very moderate pay rises in the next few years if we want Finnish competitiveness to recover. This would enable us to narrow the gap that has developed between Finland and our key competitor countries. Promoting favourable operating prerequisites for the forest-based sector, the most important component of the bioeconomy, makes it possible to realise the expectations that have been placed on the bioeconomy as a driving force for overall economic activity,” says Timo Jaatinen, Director General of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

    Long-term and consistent industrial policies are a prerequisite for the realisation of the forest-based sector's numerous investment projects.

    “Concrete action is needed to spur the bioeconomy. Measures with rapid impact must be taken in order to get timber flowing and safeguard the industry's raw material supplies. The emissions trading compensation included in the Programme for Government should also be introduced quickly. In addition, infrastructure investments must target basic road maintenance, the lower-level road network and boost the efficiency of track transports that strengthen the bioeconomy,” Jaatinen adds.

    Production of packaging paperboard and pulp growing strongly
    The forest-based sector plays a significant role in the generation of export revenues for Finland. Forest industry products accounted for 21.7% of national exports in January-May.

    Some 5.3 million tonnes of paper and paperboard was produced in Finland in January-June, just under one percent more than in the corresponding period of 2014.

    About 3 million tonnes of printing and writing paper was produced in Finland during the first half of the year. Output was almost unchanged from the corresponding period of 2014.

    Production of paperboard for packaging applications continued to grow steadily. Some 1.6 million tonnes of paperboard was produced in January-June, over 5% more than one year earlier.

    Pulp production increased in the first half of the year. Finnish pulp production totalled 3.6 million tonnes in January-June, almost 3% more than in the corresponding period of 2014.

    Softwood sawn timber production in January-June totalled 5.5 million cubic metres. First-half production was down 4% compared to the previous year.
    (Metsateollisuus ry - Skogsindustrin rf / FFIF Finnish Forest Industries Federation)
     
    17.08.2015   Schumacher Packaging showcases trailblazing innovations at FachPack    ( Company news )

    Company news Digital printing in series production – the future for printed packaging

    The Schumacher Packaging Group will be presenting several revolutionary innovations at FachPack in Nuremberg (29 September-1st October 2015, Hall 7A, stand no. 128/228). The company will show an entirely new generation of digital print technology for producing large series runs in cardboard. Also on display will be something unique to the market for logistics – a tube section made of paper for the modular assembly of transport packaging. Not only is it easier to use, it is also extremely stable. Schumacher’s latest plant in the Dutch town of Breda is now producing highly creative display material and promotional packaging. And for packing foodstuffs, the company will also show ecological fruit and vegetable punnets made from corrugated and solid cardboard printed on both sides. From folding boxes and transport packaging to cardboard presentation boxes right through to floor-standing and counter-top displays – as a supplier of paper-based packaging solutions, Schumacher Packaging has the most extensive portfolio on the market.

    Digital printing for the first time: for rapid series production
    The most impressive feature of the latest digital printing machine is its high printing speed of 100 to 200 metres per minute, that’s up to 24,000 sheets per hour. It enables large print runs of various types of packaging in corrugated or single face corrugated board and it can customise them in in sequence: photos, graphics, text, QR codes or tamper-resistant features can be varied from one sheet to another. Visitors to FachPack can receive further exclusive details on the variety of options in digital printing by visiting the Schumacher Packaging stand in Hall 7A, stand no. 128/228.

    New type of tube section made of paper for tailor-made packaging solutions
    Schumacher Packaging presents its latest material innovation, a world first: its paper tube section. This hollow section is made of paper and offers maximum stability with minimal weight and is also completely recyclable. At FachPack, Schumacher will be showing prototypes of finished products made from this tube section, such as a lightweight pallet covering frame with rounded edges to facilitate handling and improve strapping. And compared with conventional pallets, its paper transport pallets are much lighter and equally stable, plus they can be used for transporting foodstuffs without pre-treatment and can be disposed of with waste paper.

    Displays and shop decorations from the creative hotbed in the Netherlands
    The newest member of the Schumacher Group, Schumacher Packaging & Display in Breda, Netherlands, specialises in laminating, die-cutting and printing large format sheets up to 1,700 x 2,500 mm (larger than Xb format). Alongside a variety of displays, promotional packaging, shop decorations and printing techniques, the Breda factory offers particularly stable and durable display products known as V boards. Some of the well-known customers who use these are Coca Cola, Ferrero and Villeroy & Boch. Schumacher produces some amazing golden displays for Ferrero, for example, and these will be available to view at FachPack, alongside a host of other creative products made in Breda.

    Ecological fruit and vegetable punnets
    Supermarkets and discount stores are increasingly looking to cardboard instead of plastic when it comes to packaging fruit and vegetables. It is easier to recycle and takes into account consumer demand for eco-friendliness and sustainability. In response to this, Schumacher Packaging is making fruit and vegetable punnets in mainly F flute corrugated or solid cardboard, or alternatively out of recovered paper or pure white primary fibre, and can cater for small order volumes upwards. This means that agricultural enterprises and producers’ associations can pack their produce in an ecological way and add custom printing to both the inner and outer side of the containers to advertise their company name.
    There are a number of other new developments from Schumacher Packaging that visitors to FachPack can look forward to: cushioning material in corrugated board made up of two layers of mega flute corrugated plus edge protectors, also produced in-house.
    (Schumacher Packaging KG)
     
    17.08.2015   Steve Blasczyk Joins Fox River Fiber as Production Manager    ( Company news )

    Company news Blasczyk (photo) Also Serves on Company’s Leadership Team

    Paper industry veteran Steve Blasczyk is the new Production Manager for Fox River Fiber, the industry leader in the deinking of post-consumer wastepaper to produce premium recycled pulp.

    Blasczyk, who brings more than 30 years of leadership and operational experience to his role, also serves on the company’s Leadership Team. He provides leadership, guidance and direction to the production teams, and works closely with the Process and Maintenance teams to ensure the plant meets total manufacturing objectives in a timely, safe and efficient manner.

    A graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Blasczyk earned his Lean Manufacturing Certification and Six Sigma Green Belt from Milwaukee School of Engineering.
    (Fox River Fiber Co)
     
    17.08.2015   WestRock Reports Strong Fiscal 2015 Third Quarter    ( Company news )

    Company news WestRock Company (WestRock) (NYSE:WRK) announced results for its fiscal third quarter, which ended June 30, 2015. On July 1, 2015, Rock-Tenn Company (RockTenn) and MeadWestvaco Corporation (MeadWestvaco) completed a strategic combination of their respective businesses. After completion of this transaction, RockTenn and MeadWestvaco became wholly owned subsidiaries of WestRock. In this release, the Company has presented selected financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2015, for RockTenn and MeadWestvaco and has shown combined results for certain metrics.

    Photo: Steve Voorhees, chief executive officer of WestRock

    Net sales for RockTenn for the quarter ended June 30, 2015, were $2.54 billion and segment income was $295 million compared to $263 million in the prior year quarter. RockTenn earnings were $1.10 per diluted share, including $13 million of restructuring and other costs. RockTenn adjusted earnings were $1.15 per diluted share. MeadWestvaco net sales were $1.42 billion and segment income was $207 million compared to $193 million in the prior year quarter.

    During the pre-merger integration planning period, we made substantial progress in developing WestRock's post-close synergy capture activities and go-to-market strategies, and beginning on July 1, WestRock was able to immediately begin executing its plans. WestRock highlights to date include the following:
    -Previously identified $300 million of merger-related synergies. The Company has established a total productivity and cost reduction goal that incorporates these merger-related cost reductions with the ongoing productivity efforts across the entire company. This combined merger-related synergy and performance improvement goal is $1.0 billion, before inflation, to be realized by September 30, 2018.

    -Established a stockholder-friendly capital allocation strategy with which to manage the business:
    #A target normalized Leverage Ratio of 2.25x – 2.50x;
    #Announced an annualized dividend of $1.50 per share; and
    #Announced a share repurchase authorization of up to 40 million shares.

    -Merged the U.S. qualified defined benefit pension plans of RockTenn and MeadWestvaco on July 2, 2015, resulting in expected contribution savings of approximately $550 million cumulatively through 2024.

    "WestRock's combined performance in the June quarter was outstanding. The progress we have made over the past several months to become one WestRock organization provides us with great momentum to achieve our strong business, earnings and cash flow potential for our stockholders," said Steve Voorhees, chief executive officer of WestRock. "The WestRock team is executing well as we create a global industry leader in consumer and corrugated packaging."

    The financial results below illustrate the combined performance of RockTenn and MeadWestvaco for the quarter ended June 30, 2015, and June 30, 2014 (in millions, except leverage ratio).
    (WestRock Companies)
     
    14.08.2015   Flint Group introduces PluriTech SLU, a universal shrink sleevesystem, to the flexible packaging ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... market in EMEA

    Flint Group Flexible Packaging EMEA is pleased to introduce PluriTech SLU, a universal shrink sleeve system. This technology has been developed to be used in conjunction with Flint Group’s standard NitroBase WZ61 concentrates suitable for rotogravure applications.

    Many converters producing shrink sleeves are printing on a variety of different substrates which currently require multiple ink systems of different chemistry. According to Thomas Strohe, Commercial Product Director Flexible Packaging EMEA, “PluriTech SLU offers a technology that covers the majority of commonly used substrates such as Polyester, Polypropylene, PVC. By backing with the corresponding White it is even suitable for Sleeves with maximum product resistance.”

    When using the one standard ink system PluriTech SLU for different purposes, the converter will benefit from simplified ink specifications, reduced inventories and press returns. Thanks to the avoidance of changing ink series / chemistry, set up times will be significantly reduced as time consuming cleaning cycles are obsolete.

    PluriTech SLU can be in-house blended by using the standard NitroBase WZ61 concentrates and simply adding a TC (Technical Compound). Flexible Packaging converters can therefore easily enter the fast growing Shrink Sleeve Market.
    (Flint Group Germany GmbH)
     
    14.08.2015   DS Smith in Lucca reduces maintenance costs with Voith OnQ Profilmatic    ( Company news )

    Company news DS Smith, an Italian market leader in containerboard production, has reduced maintenance costs and increased its paper quality and machine productivity thanks to the OnQ Profilmatic control system and
    OnQ ModuleJet headbox actuators from Voith.

    The company's mill in Lucca, Italy, was experiencing inconsistent paper profiles and wrinkles due to the former actuator control of the existing control system of its PM 2. Voith recommended the OnQ Profilmatic cross profile control software, which is part of its modular and flexible Voith ComCore platform to optimize the shape of the profiles.

    “Our existing system was obsolete. The actuator delivery time was a problem and we were spending too much on maintenance," said Stefano Andreotti, Technical and Technology Manager at DS Smith.

    "Our production engineers are now very happy with Voith's OnQ Profilmatic. The system automates a process that before was entirely manual. Wrinkles have been reduced, and we are pleased with the deviation of the profiles,” said Andreotti.

    The OnQ Profilmatic has the ability to determine the portion of random noise in the measurements. Continuous, dynamic profile mapping allows exact local mapping of the actuator control zones to the measurements and leads to better paper quality.

    A major part of the Voith ComCore platform is the OnView information system, which makes all the details of the papermaking process available for analysis. This is the key to continued performance improvements for the machine. With this powerful toolset Voith accompanies DS Smith to achieve further efficiencies on the PM 2.
    (Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)
     
    14.08.2015   Cenveo Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news -Net Sales of $460.9 million in Q2 2015
    -Adjusted EBITDA of $42.1 million in Q2 2015
    -Q2 2015 Adjusted EBITDA Margins of 9.1% compared to 8.1% in Q1 2015
    -Provides Update on Strategic Review
    -Dismisses Current Audit Firm, Successor Firm Search Initiated
    -Reaffirms Full Year 2015 Financial Guidance

    Cenveo, Inc. (NYSE: CVO) announced results for the three and six months ended June 27, 2015.

    Robert G. Burton, Sr. (photo), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer stated:
    "We are pleased with the performance of our operations during the second quarter. Our results continue to reflect our consolidation efforts that were implemented in our envelope group as solid direct mail volumes and price increases offset the impact of facility closures that were completed throughout 2014. Our envelope segment Adjusted EBITDA margins for the second quarter were 10.2%, which we committed to achieving at the time we completed the acquisition of certain assets of National and began the integration process. Our print, label and packaging groups continued to perform in-line with our expectations for the first six months of the year as well."

    The Company generated net sales of $460.9 million for the three months ended June 27, 2015, compared to $479.4 million for the same period last year, a decline of 3.9%. The Company generated net sales of $936.0 million for the six months ended June 27, 2015, compared to $969.5 million for the same period last year, a decline of 3.5%. The decline in net sales is attributable to the consolidation of several envelope facilities during the second half of 2014 in connection with the accelerated integration of the National Envelope assets with our existing operations and two new envelope facilities and continued pricing pressure in our print business. Excluding the impact of the integration, we believe our envelope group net sales were up modestly, which is primarily attributable to product mix and pricing improvements, offset by volume declines.

    Operating income was $23.2 million for the three months ended June 27, 2015, compared to operating income of $13.3 million for the same period last year, an improvement of 74.0%. Operating income was $41.4 million for the six months ended June 27, 2015, compared to operating income of $23.4 million for the same period last year, an improvement of 76.9%. Operating income in 2014 was impacted by expenses associated with the closure and consolidation of several envelope facilities related to the integration of the National Envelope assets, which resulted in significant operating margin improvement and efficiencies in 2015. Non-GAAP operating income was $27.7 million for the three months ended June 27, 2015, compared to $25.5 million for the same period last year, and $51.5 million for the six months ended June 27, 2015, compared to $45.7 million for the same period last year. A reconciliation of operating income to non-GAAP operating income is presented in the attached tables.

    For the three months ended June 27, 2015, the Company had a loss from continuing operations of $2.4 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, compared to a loss of $39.3 million, or $0.59 per diluted share, for the same period last year. For the six months ended June 27, 2015, the Company had a loss from continuing operations of $10.1 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, compared to a loss of $56.1 million, or $0.84 per diluted share, for the same period last year. The improvement was primarily due to a $26.5 million debt extinguishment charge in the prior year in connection with the debt refinancing that was completed in June 2014, as well as the significant margin improvement and operating efficiencies resulting from the National Envelope integration. Non-GAAP income from continuing operations was $2.7 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 27, 2015, compared to non-GAAP loss from continuing operations of $1.8 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, for the same period last year. For the six months ended June 27, 2015, non-GAAP loss from continuing operations was $0.1 million, or $0.00 per diluted share, compared to a loss of $9.6 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, for the same period last year. A reconciliation of loss from continuing operations to non-GAAP income (loss) from continuing operations is presented in the attached tables.

    Adjusted EBITDA remained flat at $42.1 million for both the three months ended June 27, 2015 and June 28, 2014. For the six months ended June 27, 2015, Adjusted EBITDA was $80.8 million, compared to $78.9 million for the same period last year. A reconciliation of net loss to Adjusted EBITDA is presented in the attached tables.

    Cash flow used in operating activities of continuing operations for the six months ended June 27, 2015 was $1.6 million, compared to a use of cash of $25.4 million for the same period last year. This improvement was primarily driven by cost reductions and efficiencies resulting from the completion of the accelerated integration of the National Envelope assets with our existing operations and two new facilities, the timing of interest payments on our long-term debt, and lower contributions to post-retirement plans versus the prior period.

    Strategic Review Update:
    Over the course of the last several months we have been actively involved in moving forward with our plan to review and potentially divest certain non-strategic assets. We have engaged Barclays Capital Inc. as our financial advisor to assist on alternatives for certain assets. As of today, we have received multiple non-binding indications of interest for these assets and are currently evaluating them. While there can be no assurance that we will ultimately reach an agreement with any of these buyers or the timing of reaching such agreement, we are encouraged by the level of interest in these assets and recent market valuations.

    Audit Firm Dismissal:
    As we will discuss further on our call, upon reviewing certain facts that came to our attention within the last week, the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors ("Audit Committee") concluded that as of March 5, 2015, Grant Thornton LLP ("Grant Thornton") was no longer independent. As we will report in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), the independence matter relates solely to a tax engagement in which Grant Thornton exceeded the scope of work on pre-approved non-audit services for the Company. As such, earlier this week we dismissed Grant Thornton as our independent accounting firm. The Audit Committee has begun the process to identify a new firm and we expect to announce a new firm over the coming days or weeks. We want to emphasize further that this change does not have any impact on Grant Thornton's audit of our consolidated financial statements or internal control over financial reporting for 2014 or any of the prior year periods and that our consolidated financial statements can continue to be relied upon for those periods. Nonetheless, until our new independent auditors review our Forms 10-Q for 2015, those Forms 10-Q will not have been reviewed by an "independent" firm as required by SEC rules. We expect that our new independent auditors, immediately upon engagement, will commence that review to bring the Forms 10-Q into full SEC compliance. The Company's Audit Committee and management believe that the financial information included in the first quarter Form 10-Q and to be included in the second quarter Form 10-Q fairly present or will present, as the case may be, in all material respects, the financial condition and results of operations of the Company as of and for the applicable quarter ended. We appreciate the support that Grant Thornton has provided to the Company over the last seven years and wish the firm continued success.

    Robert G. Burton, Sr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer concluded:
    "As we begin the second half of 2015, we are excited about the progress we have made operationally and strategically. We will look to continue executing our plan of improving margins, driving stronger cash flow and paying down our higher cost debt. Given the progress we made during the first half of 2015, the seasonal impact of our operations in the back half of our fiscal year, and the momentum that we are seeing in the business, we reaffirm our 2015 full year financial guidance. I remain optimistic about the Company's future as I believe that our focus on operational improvements and strategic initiatives will yield positive results for our investors."
    (Cenveo / Cadmus Specialty Packaging)
     
    14.08.2015   Catalyst reports Q2 results    ( Company news )

    Company news Catalyst Paper (TSX:CYT) reported second quarter financial results, which were negatively impacted by a number of significant, one-time events. Despite these events, operational initiatives are tracking well, positioning the company to deliver significantly improved results.

    Adjusted earnings before tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was negative $19.2 million, and adjusted EBITDA before specific items was positive $9.7 million, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $14.0 million and adjusted EBITDA before restructuring costs and specific items of $14.6 million in the first quarter of 2015.

    The company recorded a net loss of $32.4 million and a net loss before specific items of $13.8 million in Q2, compared to net earnings of $22.2 million, and a net loss before specific items of $12.6 million in the previous quarter.

    Significant one-time items that negatively impacted operating results in the quarter included a recovery boiler upgrade at the Rumford mill, the cost and production impact of an oxygen plant outage at the Crofton mill, market curtailments at the Port Alberni, Powell River and Rumford mills, restructuring costs related to training and staffing changes resulting from the Powell River revitalization initiative, and legal fees associated with addressing the countervailing duty petition filed against Catalyst.

    “Without the impact of these major one-time items, our results reflect a continued focus on performance improvement, led by our Canadian operations which have benefited from earlier implementation of operational excellence strategies,” said Joe Nemeth, President & Chief Executive Officer. “We anticipate that with the majority of our U.S. investments and integration costs behind us, our U.S. operations will follow the Canadian template for performance improvement. These investments, combined with our product mix improvements, and seasonally stronger sales in the third and fourth quarters, positions the company to deliver significantly improved financial result in the second half of 2015.”
    (Catalyst Paper Corporation)
     
    14.08.2015   UNO WEB SILVER and UNO ROTO SILVER: Now even bulk can be glossy!    ( Company news )

    Company news Uno Web Silver and Uno Roto Silver are the new LWC papers by Burgo, designed to offer publishers, catalogue producers and printers two products that feature a particularly high bulk, while being categorized in the glossy paper segment. The mechanical coated product range from Burgo gets enriched by two high end grades that are perfect to make high quality magazines, catalogues, direct mail and promo-advertising material.

    Uno Web Silver is designed for heatset weboffset printing and Uno Roto Silver for gravure. Both grades guarantee high levels of bulk, gloss, ISO brightness, opacity and ensure an excellent chromatic output. Both products are FSC® or PEFC™ certified.

    If compared to standard gloss papers, Uno Web Silver (50, 57, 60 gsm) and Uno Roto Silver (50 gsm) offer the opportunity to reduce the substance of the printing job up to 22% while maintaining the same pagination or thickness, therefore being a solution for a strong mail cost saving.
    (Burgo Group spa)
     
    14.08.2015   Turkey's only Corrugated Industry Summit will Take Place on this Oct. @ Istanbul    ( Company news )

    Company news Turkey’s only corrugated industry summit organized by Reed Exhibitions Great China together with Reed Exhibitions Turkey will grand open on this October @ Istanbul

    Agenda at a glance
    Interpreting Industrial Development Trends
    • Policy interpretation and investment entvironment analysis following Turkey’s parliamentary elections
    • Analysis of Turkey’s corrugated packaging industry development trends – Opportunities and Challenges
    • Changes in the European Packaging Market – Innovative Applications and Future Business Opportunities In
    Corrugated Packaging
    • Changes in Design, Innovation and Manufacturing Techniques for Corrugated Cases
    • Industry 4.0 – Concept and Development of Factory Intelligentization in Europe

    Technology Workshop & Executive Salon
    • Innovation, development and application of packaging and printing technologies
    • Application of systematic management solutions
    • Sharing applications and innovations of automation technologies to meet business demand
    • Investment expansion – seeking the best profit growth points
    (Reed Exhibitions Greater China)
     
    13.08.2015   Kemira Oyj appoints Kim Poulsen as President, Paper segment and APAC region    ( Company news )

    Company news Kim Poulsen, (Master of Science, Economics) has been appointed President of Kemira's Paper segment and APAC region and member of the Management Board. He will start in the position on November 1, 2015. He joins Kemira from UPM, one of the world's leading fibre-based businesses. Poulsen has held various management positions at UPM and other leading companies in the forest and paper industry. He has a vast international experience, primarily from Asia and Europe.

    "Kim has an extensive experience in the global paper industry. In his current position as the head of Asian operations at UPM, Kim has gained valuable insight into the fastest growing paper market in the world. This is important, as APAC is one of Kemira's key growth regions in the paper chemicals business. Kim's energetic and people focused approach will be a great asset, driving forward our global leadership position in the pulp and paper chemicals market", says Jari Rosendal, Kemira's President and CEO.
    (Kemira, Paper Segment)
     
    13.08.2015   Bobst 2015 first half-year results - Stable volumes and implementation of profit improvement ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...measures mitigate negative impact of weak Euro

    -The weak Euro had a significant negative impact on sales, which were CHF 35.8 million lower than in the previous year, and on operating result (EBIT), which was CHF 9.8 million lower than in H1 2014.
    -Net result improved to CHF 10.4 million, from CHF 3.9 million in 2014.
    -Continued strong cash inflow from operating activities of CHF 48.9 million.
    -Bookings up 11% and backlog 16% higher than in previous year.

    Bobst Group recorded a good first half-year 2015 despite the weak Euro. Sales amounted to CHF 524.7 million for the half-year, compared to CHF 560.5 million in the same period last year. Adjusted for negative currency effects, sales remained stable. Operating result (EBIT) was down by CHF 9.8 million, at CHF 10.3 million, due to the impact of the weak Euro. The net result improved to CHF 10.4 million, up from CHF 3.9 million in the previous year. Bookings are up 11% and backlog is 16% higher than at the same stage year.

    During the first half of 2015 consolidated sales amounted to CHF 524.7 million, representing a reduction of CHF 35.8 million, or -6.4%, compared to the same period in 2014. This evolution was mainly linked to the decision of the Swiss National Bank to no longer maintain a minimum exchange rate of CHF 1.20 per Euro.

    The overall unfavorable exchange rate evolution due to the conversion of foreign currencies for consolidation accounted for CHF -23.7 million, or -4.2%, and the transactional impact on sales volumes from our Swiss operations accounted for CHF -13.7 million, or -2.5%. Volume and price variances had a negative impact of CHF -2.9 million, or 0.5%.

    The operating result (EBIT) was CHF 10.3 million, compared to CHF 20.1 million for the same period in 2014. The reduction in the operating result (EBIT) was due to the unfavorable exchange rate impact. The additional efficiency measures launched after 15 January, 2015 delivered the anticipated effects and mitigated significantly the impact of the weak Euro. A very high utilization at all plants also had a positive effect on the operating result (EBIT) for the first half-year 2015.

    The Sheet-fed and Services Business Units improved their operating results (EBIT) despite the unfavorable exchange rate impact. The Business Unit Web-fed could not offset the negative Euro-impact, as sales in the first half of 2015 were significantly lower than in the previous year. This was mainly due to a lower backlog at the beginning of this year compared to 2014.

    The net result was CHF 10.4 million, compared to CHF 3.9 million in 2014. This improvement was achieved thanks to a favorable impact from currency hedging in place, as shown in the financial results, and to a one-time tax credit. The improved net result, as well as ongoing measures to optimize net working capital, again resulted in a significant cash inflow from operating activities, amounting to CHF 48.9 million, compared to CHF 49.3 million in the first six months of 2014. Net debt increased to CHF 26.4 million from CHF 17.7 million at the end of 2014. The weakening of the Euro against the Swiss Franc impacted net debt unfavorably, as nearly all the debt is in Swiss Francs and a large part of the cash is in Euros.

    The CHF 190.0 million in public bonds which came to maturity on 22 June 2015 was reimbursed. The consolidated shareholders’ equity reached 24.8% of the total balance sheet, compared to 27.9% at the end of 2014. The reduction of the equity was mainly due to the impact of a further reduction of interest rates on the accounting of employee benefits (IAS 19R), as well as to currency translation differences largely caused by the weakening of the Euro.

    BUSINESS ACTIVITY AND OUTLOOK BY BUSINESS UNIT
    Business Unit Sheet-fed
    Business activity in the first half-year of 2015 followed the same trend as last year, with strong performance in the corrugated board industry offsetting lower activity in the folding carton sector. Total bookings for the first half-year of 2015 were better than the same period in 2014.
    Demand continues to be driven by mature markets, and particularly by the large countries in Europe. Bookings are slightly below expectations in North America, while Central America performed well above expectation. Overall, bookings in growing markets slightly improved compared to last year, especially in the Africa & Middle East zone. But South America underperformed and China had a slow semester – though better than the previous year.
    The first digital printing machine installed at one of our customers’ sites has begun production activity. The second machine is being installed at a further customer and production will start on that line by the end of July 2015.
    The decision of the Swiss National Bank to no longer maintain the Euro vs. Swiss Franc rate of 1.20 impacted negatively on overall sales; however sales for the first semester of 2015 were still above those of last year. Based on the current backlog level and the usual positive volume imbalance in the second half of the year, the Business Unit Sheet-fed is forecasting more sales for the full year than in 2014.

    Business Unit Web-fed
    While overall business activity in the flexible materials market remained in line with the previous year, sales for the first half-year of 2015 were significantly lower than 2014 due to the impact of the Euro vs. Swiss Franc exchange rate and a backlog at the beginning of the year that was lower than in 2014. A positive momentum in the industry should ensure that the Business Unit Web-fed will reach its targeted volumes, in local currencies, by year-end. As the largest element of Web-fed business (80%) is transacted in Euros, the fall in this currency in relation to the Swiss Franc significantly impacts sales when converted. However, as the Business Unit’s main costs are Euro-based, paying special attention to these will compensate for this effect and will help the Business Unit achieve its financial targets.
    Volumes in mature countries remained in line with 2014. In the BRIC countries, with the exception of India which showed a good level of activity, China, Russia and Brazil remained at a very low level of activity.
    The Flexo product line saw a strong increase in machine bookings during the first half-year, mainly due to the performance of the 20SIX product range. With regards to the Gravure product line, the new RS 3.0, which was shown for the first time in October last year, has already reached the number of sales the previous model achieved in a full year.

    Business Unit Services
    First half-year sales for the Business Unit Services were equal to those of the same period in 2014. However, while the exchange rate evolution of the US Dollar had a positive impact on Business Unit Services volumes, sales in Euros suffered a negative impact.
    In the European and North American markets business volumes increased, mainly through more contract business such as maintenance programs and contracts for remote troubleshooting and monitoring. BOBST now has more than 3 000 machines under maintenance contracts and more than 1 200 machines connected through remote access. BRIC regions show stagnation in service business.
    The Business Unit expects to see normal business development for the second half of 2015, if no major changes in the world economy or exchange rates occur.
    The Business Unit Services will continue to follow its vision of becoming the service benchmark in the packaging industry. The focus for the remainder of 2015 will therefore be to ‘train and retain’ existing service technicians, to hire additional ones, to further optimize spare parts management, and to continue to work on customer satisfaction.

    OUTLOOK FOR THE SECOND HALF OF 2015
    The Group expects to see continued good demand in Europe and North America. Asia should improve after a slow beginning of the year and South America will remain low due to a difficult economic environment. However, market conditions remain volatile. At current exchange rates, and barring unforeseen circumstances, the Group is confident of achieving full year sales of CHF 1.25 to 1.30 billion in 2015. For the full year 2015 the Group expects to achieve an operating result (EBIT) margin of higher than 5% and a net result margin of higher than 3%.
    As already communicated in March 2015, it will take more time to achieve the mid- to long-term financial targets, of at least 8% operating result (EBIT) and a minimum 15% return on capital employed (ROCE), due to the decision of the Swiss National Bank to discontinue the EUR/CHF 1.20 minimum floor. The Group continues to implement its strategy – which is to innovate, to increase its presence in growing markets, to increase the performance of its services and to improve its operational excellence – in order to create value for its stakeholders.
    (Bobst Mex SA)
     
    13.08.2015   Domtar Corporation reports preliminary second quarter 2015 financial results    ( Company news )

    Company news Strong operational results in Pulp and Paper and Personal Care

    -Second quarter 2015 net earnings of $0.60 per share; earnings before items1 of $0.61 per share
    -Cash flow from operating activities of $122 million
    -Sales and margin momentum building in Personal Care

    Domtar Corporation (NYSE: UFS) (TSX: UFS) reported net earnings of $38 million ($0.60 per share) for the second quarter of 2015 compared to net earnings of $36 million ($0.56 per share) for the first quarter of 2015 and net earnings of $40 million ($0.61 per share) for the second quarter of 2014. Sales for the second quarter of 2015 were $1.3 billion.

    Excluding items listed below, the Company had earnings before items1 of $39 million ($0.61 per share) for the second quarter of 2015 compared to earnings before items1 of $48 million ($0.75 per share) for the first quarter of 2015 and earnings before items1 of $40 million ($0.61 per share) for the second quarter of 2014.

    Second quarter 2015 items:
    -Closure and restructuring costs of $1 million ($1 million after tax);
    -Gain on disposal of property, plant and equipment of $14 million ($11 million after tax); and
    -Impairment of property, plant & equipment of $18 million ($11 million after tax).

    First quarter 2015 items:
    -Closure and restructuring costs of $1 million ($1 million after tax);
    -Gain on disposal of property, plant and equipment of $1 million ($1 million after tax); and
    -Impairment of property, plant & equipment of $19 million ($12 million after tax).

    Second quarter 2014 items:
    -None

    "Our pulp and paper business performed largely in-line with expectations. Our operations ran well despite the seasonally high level of scheduled maintenance at our mills. The flooding in the U.S. South negatively impacted some of our wood costs and supply, but production curtailments were limited," said John D. Williams (photo), President and CEO. "Our paper shipments year-to-date are outperforming the broader North American uncoated freesheet market by 2.3%. As the trade case progresses, we will continue to monitor further opportunities resulting from lower cut-size imports while continuing to balance our capacity versus our customer demand."
    Mr. Williams added, "Personal Care turned in a solid performance. Same currency sales increased 3% year over year while our cost savings program continued to deliver according to plan, driving a 300 basis-point margin improvement. Momentum in the business is growing, and we are operating and executing with more consistency. We remain focused on sharpening our strategies and capabilities that will deliver sustainable growth and value creation in this segment."

    QUARTERLY REVIEW
    Operating income before items1 was $67 million in the second quarter of 2015 compared to an operating income before items1 of $90 million in the first quarter of 2015. Depreciation and amortization totaled $91 million in the second quarter of 2015.
    The decrease in operating income before items in the second quarter of 2015 was the result of higher costs for planned maintenance, lower paper and pulp prices, lower paper and pulp shipments, higher freight costs and overall unfavorable exchange rates. These factors were partially offset by lower raw material and other costs and lower selling, general and administrative expenses. In addition, the first quarter was impacted by a bad debt expense.
    When compared to the first quarter of 2015, manufactured paper shipments were down 2.6% and pulp shipments decreased 1.4%. The shipments-to-production ratio for paper was 97% in the second quarter of 2015, compared to 100% in the first quarter of 2015. Paper inventories increased by 23,000 tons while pulp inventories decreased by 15,000 metric tons in June when compared to March levels.

    LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL
    Cash flow provided from operating activities amounted to $122 million and capital expenditures were $66 million, resulting in free cash flow1 of $56 million for the second quarter of 2015. Domtar's net debt-to-total capitalization ratio1 stood at 29% at June 30, 2015 compared to 30% at March 31, 2015.
    During the quarter, Domtar repurchased $17 million of common stock under its stock repurchase program.

    OUTLOOK
    Looking into the second half of 2015, Domtar paper shipments are expected to trend with market demand and should benefit from lower import volumes in North America. We expect some short-term pricing volatility in pulp, as normal seasonal factors in certain markets take hold. Inflation on input costs is expected to be relatively flat; fiber costs will remain high in certain markets, but are not expected to increase further, while energy costs should remain favorable. Personal Care is expected to benefit from further cost savings and market growth, but the segment will be impacted by some seasonality in the third quarter.
    (Domtar Paper Operation Center)
     
    13.08.2015   Orchids Paper Products Company Announces 45% Increase In Net Sales, 73% Increase In ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... Adjusted Net Income And Declares Dividend Of $0.35 Per Share

    Orchids Paper Products Company (NYSE MKT: TIS) reported the following.

    Executive Summary:
    Second Quarter results:
    -Net sales increased $13.1 million, or 45%, to $42.3 million, compared with $29.2 million in the same period of 2014.
    -Adjusted net income for the second quarter of 2015 was $3.6 million, compared with $2.1 million of adjusted net income in the same period of 2014.
    -Adjusted net income per diluted share for the second quarter of 2015 was $0.37 per share compared with $0.25 of adjusted net income per diluted share in 2014.
    -Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of 2015 totaled $8.4 million, which represented an increase of $2.6 million, or 44%, compared to the same period of 2014.
    -Net sales of converted product increased $12.1 million, or 43%, to $39.8 million, compared to $27.7 million in the same period of 2014.
    -Net sales of parent rolls increased $1.0 million, or 71%, to $2.5 million, compared to $1.5 million in the same period of 2014, primarily due to successful start-up of the new paper machine in Pryor, OK.
    Second Quarter dividend:
    -The Company's Board of Directors authorized a quarterly cash dividend of $0.35 per outstanding share of the Company's common stock.

    Jeff Schoen, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are pleased with our second quarter results, which reflect increases in the volume of converted products shipped from both Pryor and Mexicali, along with increased parent roll sales from the additional tonnage provided by the new paper machine in Pryor, which started up in March 2015. The new converting line at our Pryor location started up in June 2015 and is exceeding our start-up expectations. We believe this line, along with continued optimization of our existing assets, will further improve our manufacturing flexibility, capacity and cost structure, providing Orchids with the opportunity to continue to competitively grow our sales."
    Mr. Schoen continued, "Additionally, in June 2015, we broke ground on our Barnwell, SC facility, which is being built to expand our geographic reach to best serve existing and new customers on the East Coast and to be world class in our capabilities to design and manufacture high quality products with a competitive cost advantage. During the second quarter, we successfully completed a follow-on stock offering and refinanced our debt facility to help fund this project. The project is proceeding as expected, with start-up of the first converting line expected in the first quarter of 2016 and start-up of the second line in the second quarter of 2016. Engineering of the paper machine is underway and it is expected to become operational in early 2017."

    Three-month period ended June 30, 2015
    Net sales in the quarter ended June 30, 2015 were $42.3 million, an increase of 45% compared to $29.2 million in the same period of 2014. Net sales of converted product were $39.8 million, an increase of 43% compared to $27.7 million in the 2014 quarter. Net sales of parent rolls in the second quarter of 2015 were $2.5 million, an increase of 71% compared to $1.5 million in the same quarter of 2014. The increase in converted product net sales was primarily due to the full quarter effect in 2015 of shipments under the Fabrica supply agreement which closed June 4 of 2014 and an 18% increase in shipments from the Oklahoma facility. Total converted tonnage shipped increased 54%, which was partially offset by a 7% decrease in net selling price per ton. The decrease in selling price was due to a change in mix of converted products sold. Net sales of parent rolls increased primarily due to the additional production capacity generated by the new paper machine in Oklahoma, which resulted in a 53% increase in tons shipped. An improved parent roll market resulted in a 12% increase in selling price per ton.

    Net income for the second quarter of 2015 was $3.9 million, an increase of $3.3 million, or 610%, compared to $546,000 in the same period in 2014. EBITDA was $8.0 million, an increase of $4.6 million, or 140%, compared to $3.3 million in 2014. Adjusted EBITDA, which excludes stock-based compensation expenses and expenses in 2014 related to a business acquisition, was $8.4 million, or 19.8% of net sales, in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $5.8 million, or 19.9% of net sales for the same period in the prior year. Net income adjusted to exclude these expenses and the effect of a change in our estimated state tax liabilities was $3.6 million, an increase of $1.5 million, or 73%, compared with $2.1 million of adjusted net income in the same period of 2014, and diluted net income per share as adjusted to exclude these amounts was $0.37 per diluted share for the second quarter of 2015 compared with $0.25 per diluted share in the same period in 2014.

    Gross profit for the second quarter of 2015 was $7.7 million, an increase of $2.2 million, or 41%, when compared with a gross profit of $5.5 million in the prior year quarter. Gross profit as a percent of net sales was 18.3% in the second quarter of 2015 compared to 18.8% for the same period in 2014. As a percent of net sales, gross profit was negatively affected by higher fiber costs and higher converting labor and overhead costs, which were largely offset by lower paper production costs following the start-up of the new paper machine in Oklahoma. Average fiber prices across our fiber basket were higher in the second quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, resulting in an approximate $760,000 decrease in gross profit. Additionally, we consumed approximately 300 tons of purchased parent rolls at a cost of approximately $370,000 during the quarter as we ramped up production on the new paper machine. Paper production costs excluding fiber in our Oklahoma operating facility decreased approximately 17% when compared to the prior year quarter due to the successful start-up of the new paper machine in March 2015.

    Selling, general and administrative expenses in the second quarter of 2015 totaled $2.2 million, a decrease of $2.2 million, or 49%, compared to the same period in the prior year. The decrease was primarily due to $1.5 million of acquisition costs related to the Fabrica transaction incurred in 2014, and a $512,000 decrease in non-cash expenses related to stock options granted to management from 2014 to 2015. Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percent of net sales in the 2015 quarter were 5.3% compared to 15.1% for the prior year quarter.

    Interest expense for the second quarter of 2015 totaled $64,000 compared to interest expense of $112,000 in the same period in 2014. Interest expense for 2015 and 2014 excludes $159,000 and $37,000, respectively of interest capitalized on significant projects during the quarter. The higher level of total interest in 2015 resulted from higher debt balances due primarily to additional debt incurred in conjunction with the Fabrica transaction and additional borrowings under our revolving line of credit to finance capital expenditures.

    As of June 30, 2015, the effective tax rate for the full year is estimated to be 33.8%, as compared to the 34.4% effective tax rate estimated at the end of the first quarter of 2015. Primarily as a result of a change in our estimated state tax liabilities, the actual effective tax rate for the second quarter of 2015 was 25.3%. The change in our estimated state tax liabilities had a positive effect of $0.05 on second quarter 2015 net income per diluted share.

    Six-month period ended June 30, 2015
    Net sales in the six-month period ended June 30, 2015 were $79.7 million, an increase of $22.8 million, or 40%, compared to $57.0 million in the same period of 2014. Net sales of converted product were $77.2 million, an increase of $23.3 million, or 43%, compared to the same period of 2014. Net sales of parent rolls were $2.5 million, a decrease of $562,000, or 18%, compared to the same period of 2014. The increase in converted product net sales was primarily due to the full-year effect of shipments under the supply agreement with Fabrica and a 13% increase in shipments from our Oklahoma site, which were partially offset by a 7% decrease in net selling price per ton. The decrease in selling price was due to a change in mix of converted products sold, including "away from home" sales associated with the Fabrica transaction, which typically have a lower selling price than "at home" sales. Net sales of parent rolls decreased primarily due to a 26% decrease in tons shipped, which was partially offset by an 11% increase in selling price per ton. The decrease in tons shipped was due to our new paper machine project, as discussed above.

    Net income for the six-month period ended June 30, 2015 was $5.1 million, an increase of $1.9 million, or 60%, compared to $3.2 million in the same period in 2014. EBITDA was $12.5 million, an increase of $3.2 million, or 34%, compared to $9.4 million in 2014. Adjusted EBITDA, as defined above, was $13.2 million, or 16.6% of net sales, compared to $12.0 million, or 21.1% of net sales for the same period in the prior year. Net income adjusted to exclude these expenses and the effect of a change in our estimated state tax liabilities was $5.1 million, a slight increase of $58,000, or 1%, compared with $5.0 million of adjusted net income in the same period of 2014, and diluted net income per share as adjusted to exclude these amounts was $0.54 per diluted share for the first six months of 2015 compared with $0.61 per diluted share in the same period in 2014.

    Gross profit for the six-month period ended June 30, 2015 was $12.5 million, an increase of $1.0 million, or 9%, when compared with a gross profit of $11.5 million in the same period in 2014. Gross profit as a percent of net sales was 15.7% in the six-month period of 2015 compared to 20.2% for the same period in 2014. As a percent of net sales, gross profit decreased primarily due to the effects of the Oklahoma paper machine project on our first quarter results, higher fiber costs, and higher labor and maintenance and repair costs in our converting operation. Average fiber prices across our fiber basket increased by 7% in 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, resulting in an approximate $1.5 million decrease in gross profit. Furthermore, during the period, we consumed approximately 3,000 tons of purchased parent rolls at a cost of approximately $3.4 million.

    Selling, general and administrative expenses in the six-month period ended June 30, 2015 totaled $4.7 million, a decrease of $1.8 million, or 28%, compared to the same period in the prior year. The decrease was primarily due to $1.5 million of acquisition costs related to the Fabrica transaction incurred in 2014, and a $363,000 decrease in non-cash expenses related to stock options granted to management from 2014 to 2015. Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percent of net sales in the 2015 period were 5.9% compared to 11.6% for the prior year period.

    Interest expense for the six-month period ended June 30, 2015 totaled $278,000 compared to interest expense of $125,000 in the same period in 2014. Interest expense for 2015 and 2014 excludes $124,000 and $110,000, respectively, of interest capitalized on significant projects during the quarter. The higher level of total interest in 2015 resulted from higher debt balances due primarily to additional debt incurred in conjunction with the Fabrica transaction and additional borrowings under our revolving line of credit to finance capital expenditures.

    Cash provided by operations for the six-month period ended June 30, 2015 was $4.9 million compared to $3.1 million in the prior year period. The increase in cash provided by operations is primarily due to the increase in net income and non-cash adjustments, including depreciation and amortization, which were partially offset by increases in accounts receivable and inventories and a decrease in accounts payable. Cash used in investing activities was $24.3 million in the 2015 period compared to $17.4 million in the prior period. In 2015, we spent $24.3 million on capital expenditures, while in 2014, we paid $16.7 million in cash in the Fabrica acquisition. During the six-month period of 2015, cash provided by financing activities was $34.1 million, compared to $13.2 million in the 2014 period. In 2015, we received net proceeds of $32.2 million from a follow on stock offering and $20.0 million of borrowings under our term loan, which were offset by $1.4 million of debt repayments, a decrease in bank overdrafts of $1.7 million, net repayments of $7.7 million under the Company's line of credit and $6.7 million of dividends paid to stockholders. In 2014, we received $30.0 million of debt proceeds and
    $3.9 million under the Company's line of credit, which were offset by $15.1 million of debt repayments and $5.7 million of dividends paid to stockholders.

    Total long-term debt outstanding as of June 30, 2015 was $47.3 million and cash totaled $15.8 million. As a result, Net Debt outstanding as of June 30, 2015 was $31.5 million.
    (Orchids Paper Products Co)
     
    13.08.2015   ROLAND 908P XXL. Now that's perfection!    ( Company news )

    Company news The world's highest capacity perfecting press - by far. If it's ultra-high volume perfecting runs you're looking for, look no further.

    Whilst the maximum capacity claimed for any 3B size press in perfecting mode is 288,000 A4 sheets per hour (although you will actually find very few examples of this speed under real conditions) the ROLAND 908P XXL can comfortably turn out more than twice that number.

    640,000 A4 sheets per hour to be exact, without even breaking a sweat.

    And, because it's a Roland, you can sleep easy knowing that you have invested in legendary ROLAND quality. Perfect impressions, year after year, after year.

    So, if you're thinking big perfecting, think ROLAND 908P XXL. No other press even comes close.
    (Manroland Sheetfed GmbH)
     
    13.08.2015   PRUFTECHNIK Group: Merger of Alignment Systems and Condition Monitoring business units    ( Company news )

    Company news PRUFTECHNIK merges both business units Alignment Systems and Condition Monitoring under the umbrella of PRÜFTECHNIK Condition Monitoring GmbH. Managing directors are Dr. Sebastian Busch (CEO) and Dr. Thomas Rohe (COO). PRÜFTECHNIK Condition Monitoring GmbH undertakes all PRÜFTECHNIK Alignment Systems GmbH rights and obligations as its legal successor.

    Photo: Dr. Sebastian Busch (left) and Dr. Thomas Rohe (right)

    By merging Alignment Systems and Condition Monitoring the organizational structure is readjusted and more strongly oriented towards a common customer relationship. There will be no redundancies, including within Development and Production at the Ismaning headquarters. The product and service offering will continue to be further developed and expanded.

    “The reorganization will help us to increase the effectiveness of our products and services, and enable us to operate with greater flexibility in the market. Through the merger of two successful business units we want to offer even greater performance to our customers, and inspire them with technical innovation,” confirm both PRÜFTECHNIK Dieter Busch AG directors, Dr. Sebastian Busch and Dr. Thomas Rohe.
    (Prüftechnik Dieter Busch AG)
     
    13.08.2015   Appvion Sells its Encapsys Division     ( Company news )

    Company news Mark Richards Transitions Leadership of Appvion to Kevin Gilligan (photo)

    Appvion, Inc. announced that the company has sold its Encapsys microencapsulation division to an affiliate of Sherman Capital Holdings LLC, a private investment firm based in Baltimore. The purchase price was $208 million.

    Conditions of the sale include a long-term supply agreement whereby Encapsys will continue to produce and sell microcapsules to Appvion that Appvion uses to produce its carbonless paper. Mary Goggans, vice president and general manager of the Encapsys division under Appvion ownership, has been named president of the now independent Encapsys, LLC.

    Encapsys discovers, develops and manufactures microencapsulation solutions for use in the building and construction, paper, bedding, and personal and household care industries.

    Appvion formed the division nearly 10 years ago to leverage the company's 50 years of experience, technical expertise and large-scale production capabilities for microencapsulation that it developed through its production of carbonless paper. Net sales for Encapsys topped $61 million in 2014. The business employs approximately 90 people at offices and research labs in Appleton, Wisconsin, and at a manufacturing plant in Portage, Wisconsin. Terms of the sale allow Encapsys to lease office and lab space at Appvion facilities in Appleton while a search for other facilities is conducted.

    Mark Richards, Appvion's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the success and growth potential of the Encapsys business earned an attractive purchase price. Appvion chose to extract the value of Encapsys now as a way to significantly reduce company debt and gain financial flexibility to invest in its technical papers and coatings business.

    "With an improved balance sheet, we will gain financial strength and flexibility to focus on our paper and coatings business and to pursue opportunities to expand our business and product portfolio," Richards said.

    Richards added, "I am proud of what we have achieved in creating Encapsys. Our employees embraced an entrepreneurial spirit and a collaborative approach to working with customers to build a growing business. That knowledge and approach, coupled with the strategy and resources of Sherman Capital Holdings, represent a powerful combination for Encapsys employees and customers."

    Kevin Gilligan to succeed Mark Richards as Appvion's CEO
    The Appvion board of directors has appointed Kevin Gilligan as Appvion's chief executive officer effective August 4. Gilligan had been serving as president of the company's paper division. Mark Richards will assist with the transition and continue to serve as chairman of Appvion's board of directors through December 31 when he will retire from Appvion. Richards has served as Appvion's chief executive officer and president since joining the company in April 2005.

    Richards said that Appvion recruited Gilligan as his potential successor. "Kevin brought a wealth of global business experience in operations and corporate management and has a passion for teamwork, innovation and partnership with customers," Richards said. "He has added significant depth and breadth to our leadership team and is well prepared to lead the company into the future."

    Gilligan joined Appvion in June 2014 as president of Appvion's paper division. Gilligan previously worked for H.B. Fuller Company, a publicly traded, global specialty chemical company focused on adhesives and headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota. Gilligan's career at H.B. Fuller included 20 years of management experience. He most recently served as vice president of global operations where he led H.B. Fuller's operations, including supply chain, sourcing, 45 manufacturing plants, customer service, engineering, and environmental, health and safety. Gilligan earned a master's degree in business administration from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan.

    "I am excited to have the opportunity to serve as Appvion's chief executive officer," Gilligan said. "Our resourcefulness and technical expertise, our market leadership positions, and our passion for serving customers have made our company successful for more than 100 years, and those strengths remain the foundation for our growth. The sale of Encapsys will improve our company's capital structure, and increase our ability to leverage those core strengths to drive sustainable growth for our company."
    (Appvion Inc.)
     
    12.08.2015   WestRock Announces Acquisition of SP Fiber Holdings, Inc.    ( Company news )

    Company news WestRock Company (NYSE:WRK) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SP Fiber Holdings, Inc. ("SP Fiber"), a producer of recycled containerboard and kraft and bag paper with mills located in Dublin, Georgia, and Newberg, Oregon. WestRock will also acquire SP Fiber's 48 percent interest in Green Power Solutions of Georgia, LLC (GPS). GPS is a renewable energy joint venture providing energy to Georgia Power and steam to the paper mill in Dublin. The total value of this transaction is $288.5 million.

    "The Dublin and Newberg mills will balance the fiber mix of our mill system and the addition of kraft and bag paper will diversify our product offering," said Steve Voorhees (photo), chief executive officer of WestRock. "We expect to apply our operating capabilities to improve the cost structure of both mills. As a result, our mill system will be better positioned to serve the increasing demand for lighter weight containerboard and kraft paper."

    SP Fiber produces containerboard and kraft and bag paper for end use in consumer and corrugated packaging. Made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled fiber, these products have earned FSC, SFI and PEFC certifications.

    "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to supply the food service market with lighter weight paper for recycled, unbleached bags. Adding this modern recycled containerboard and kraft paper production provides us with efficiencies in our mill system that will enable us to more effectively serve our customers," said Jim Porter, president, Paper Solutions, WestRock.

    The transaction is expected to generate significant synergies and be accretive to earnings in the second half of fiscal year 2016. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and will close after the regulatory process has concluded.
    (WestRock Companies)
     
    12.08.2015   Bordeaux Introduces Printer Specific Ink Solutions at FESPA Mexico 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news Bordeaux unveil its UV, solvent and dye sublimation printer specific inks

    Bordeaux Digital PrintInk, a leading manufacturer of original inks and coatings with its leading resellers in Latin America will showcase printer specific solutions for Océ Arizona, Fujifilm Acuity, Roland, Mimaki, Mutoh, and Epson digital printers during FESPA Mexico (E40) August 20-22.
    On stand, visitors will witness the quality and outstanding colors of the dye sublimation and ECO Solvent inks. The demonstrated inks are printer specific, which enables zero downtime printer conversion to Bordeaux inks and no need for flushing or color profiling.

    “Expending our presence in Latin America, Bordeaux has established two business co operations with PAPEL and ESS – A leading distributors in the printing industry”. Says Guy Evron, Marketing Manager at Bordeaux. Furthermore, “we are excited to offer our printer specific solutions in response to the growing demand for sustainable solutions for the wide format printing industry”.

    The latest UV ink solution for the Océ Arizona printer series- PLASMA AR and Fuji Acuity – PLASMA AC, the industry’s first plug and print solutions for UV printers can also be seen on stand. These inks are formulated to achieve optimum adhesion; high quality color and performance as well as long-term outdoor durability with multiple rigid, flexible and super-flexible substrates.

    Bordeaux’s visitors will benefit from a special offer for newly converted wide format printers. Offer is valid for both solvent and UV inks and only during FESPA Mexico show.
    (Bordeaux Digital PrintInk Ltd)
     
    12.08.2015   SURTECO confirms sales outlook – earnings target adjusted due to additional costs ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... for relocation activities

    SURTECO SE – one of the leading global manufacturers of decorative surface materials – succeeded in improving consolidated sales within the projected framework by 4% to € 327.2 million (1st half year 2014: € 315.3 million) during the 1st half year of 2015. Both Strategic Business Units contributed to this positive development. By contrast, earnings in the months of April to June were impacted negatively by enhanced costs entailed by integration processes including additional construction measures related to reorganization, and a temporary surplus of personnel. These costs were incurred by relocation of decorative printing to the Buttenwiesen site. The operating result (EBITDA) at € 34.6 million was therefore below the comparable value of € 39.6 million for the equivalent year-earlier period. The same applies to the pre-tax result, which achieved a value of € 16.8 million (1st half year 2014: € 17.8 million) after the first six months. Since higher costs are also anticipated for relocation and the increasing prices of raw materials, SURTECO is accordingly adjusting its outlook for earnings in the year overall in spite of the countermeasures that have meanwhile been initiated. SURTECO continues to forecast unchanged a slight increase in sales compared with the previous year (2014: € 618.5 million). Conversely, the pre-tax profit is not likely to be marginally above the year-earlier value after adjustment for restructuring expenses (€ 9.4 million) in line with expectations. Rather, it is projected to be in the range below € 30 million. The value of € 22.3 million actually posted before adjustment in 2014 will therefore be significantly exceeded.
    (Surteco SE)
     
    12.08.2015   Pöyry PLC: Interim Report 1 January - 30 June 2015    ( Company news )

    Company news HIGHLIGHTS JANUARY - JUNE 2015

    -The Group's order stock at the end of June was EUR 502.4 (482.4) million.
    -Comparable net sales were EUR 297.6 (285.2) million. The reported net sales in 2014 were EUR 303.5 million.
    -Operating profit increased to EUR 2.8 (-4.7) million. It was positive in all Business Lines except for the Regional Operations.

    ALEXIS FRIES (photo), PRESIDENT AND CEO:
    "Our performance during the reporting period developed positively. Comparable net sales and operative result improved. Our enhanced sales focus resulted in a stable order intake despite a larger project assignment in 2014 in Brazil, which affected the comparable figure. The structural adjustments which were initiated earlier this year, especially in Central Europe and in Brazil, have continued as planned. Our increasing activity rate indicates improving operational efficiency as we continue pushing for sales and developing project management performance.

    Pöyry's comparable net sales in the first half of the year, excluding the business that was divested in Finland in June 2014, increased to EUR 297.6 (285.2) million. The figure increased in the Energy, Industry and Management Consulting Business Groups and remained stable in the Regional Operations.

    Consolidated operating profit increased to EUR 2.8 (-4.7) million. The figure improved in all Business Lines, especially in the Regional Operations and in the Industry Business Group. In the reporting period, operating profit was impacted by one-time items totalling EUR -2 million, which were recorded under the Regional Operations. These mainly include additional project losses recognised on a project originating from the former Urban Business Group, as well as expenses related to on-going arbitration proceedings in Brazil.

    Operating profit last year was burdened by one-time items totalling EUR -6 million and a write-off of the receivables from Venezuela amounting to EUR -14 million. The write-off and most one-time items were recorded in the Regional Operations and were related to project losses originating from the former Urban Business Group. In addition, operating profit included a gain of EUR +19 million from the divestment in Finland.

    The Group's order prospects remained solid. The comparable order intake was stable year-on-year and several mid-sized projects were secured during the period. The figure improved clearly in the Energy Business Group, where new orders were recorded in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, as well as in the Industry Business Group, where order intake was good in both the chemicals and bio-refining business and the pulp and paper sector. It also increased in the Management Consulting Business Group mostly due to a higher number of projects in the area of operational excellence services. Order intake declined in the Regional Operations, where the figure increased in Central Europe but decreased especially in Latin America.

    Pöyry's order stock increased year-on-year to EUR 502.4 (482.4) million. It increased in the Management Consulting Business Group and particularly in the Industry Business Group, demonstrating the improving order intake since 2014. The figure was stable in the Energy Business Group and in the Regional Operations.

    The Group's unallocated costs developed in line with expectations, as we continued to streamline our cost structures in the global support functions."
    (Pöyry Plc)
     
    12.08.2015   Valmet to acquire tissue rewinder business from Massimiliano Corsini srl. Italy to strengthen ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... its product portfolio

    Valmet and Massimiliano Corsini srl. have signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement of MC Paper Machinery and Focus Rewinding business to Valmet on July 31, 2015. The acquisition is estimated to be completed by August 6, 2015.
    The acquired operations mainly supply rewinders for tissue and non-woven machines. In the past years the net sales of the acquired business has been around EUR 10 million. The operations employ 33 people and are located in Pescia, close to Lucca, Italy.

    Combination of Valmet and MC Paper Machinery creates complete customer offering
    As a result of the acquisition, Valmet will have a more extensive product portfolio and becomes a stronger technology and services company in its field. The acquisition strengthens Valmet's competitiveness by combining tissue making equipment from stock preparation to rewinding, process know-how, automation and services into one customer value-adding entity.
    Valmet and MC Paper Machinery have had a long-term partnership and a large amount of MC Paper rewinders have been installed in connection to Valmet tissue machines.
    The company being acquired is a strong business, with established customer relations and a high level of technology and know-how, including the successful Focus technology. During the last 20 years MC Paper Machinery has become world leading in designing and manufacturing rewinding plants specifically devoted to the field of non-woven and tissue paper.
    Through the acquisition, Valmet strengthens its offering and continues to develop its business.

    Strengthened tissue market position
    "Valmet and MC Paper Machinery share the same determination to offer leading technologies, with highest customer satisfaction. Through the acquisition, Valmet will become a technology and service company with a wider offering of high technology equipment for tissue production. By combining tissue paper and re-winding machinery with process know-how, automation and services and global presence from both companies, we can serve the tissue producers even better than before and move our customers' performance forward," says Anders Björn, Vice President of Valmet's Tissue Mills Business Unit.
    (Valmet Corporation)
     
    12.08.2015   Kemira Oyj's Interim Report January-June 2015: Revenue growth with improved profitability    ( Company news )

    Company news Second quarter:
    -Revenue increased 15% to EUR 594.8 million (518.2) supported by the acquisition of AkzoNobel's paper chemicals business, completed on May 4, and favorable currency exchange rates. Revenues in local currencies, excluding acquisitions and divestments remained largerly unchanged.
    -Operative EBITDA increased 24% to EUR 74.7 million (60.2) with an improved margin of 12.6% (11.6%).

    January-June:
    -Revenue increased 10% to EUR 1,147.8 million (1,048.1).
    -Operative EBITDA increased 20% to EUR 141.1 million (117.7) with a margin of 12.3% (11.2%).
    -Operative earnings per share increased 10% to EUR 0.32 (0.29).
    -Kemira's outlook for 2015 is updated to include the acquisition of AkzoNobel's paper chemicals business. Kemira expects its revenue and operative EBITDA in 2015 to increase compared to 2014.

    Kemira's President and CEO Jari Rosendal (photo):
    "We had a strong second quarter with 15% revenue growth and improved operative EBITDA margin of 12.6%. Favorable currency exchange rates continued to contribute to the revenue growth. The acquired AkzoNobel's paper chemicals business has been consolidated since May 2015. We have succeeded well with business continuity and integration has started according to plan. Earlier communicated synergies are expected to start showing towards the end of the year.

    Organic growth in the Paper segment continued above-the-market at 4%. Growth was driven mainly by higher sales volumes across continental Europe and increasing pulp chemical deliveries to the new Montes del Plata pulp mill in Uruguay. I am glad to note that in the second quarter, Paper segment's profitability improved notably, despite the significant efforts put on the integration of a major acquisition.

    In the Oil & Mining segment sales volumes have been impacted by the significant reduction of shale drilling and fracking activity in the US. However, despite the decline of sales volumes, absolute operative EBITDA contribution remained at the level of the comparable quarter. In EMEA, we started first polyacrylamide shipments for the chemically enhanced oil recovery.

    The Municipal & Industrial segment's turnaround and revenue recovery continued and the segment delivered profitable growth in line with its strategic objective. Organic growth reached 3% driven by higher sales volumes in all regions and the operative EBITDA margin was more than 14%.

    I am satisfied with Kemira's progress in the first half of the year. Our businesses delivered solid results, despite the current slowdown of activity in shale operations in US."
    (Kemira, Paper Segment)
     
    12.08.2015   ContiTech Expands Product Portfolio for Printing Industry    ( Company news )

    Company news -Acquisition of the sleeve and roller manufacturer TEGU Walzen und Sleeves GmbH
    -All employees at the Waltershausen location retained

    International industrial partner and supplier for the printing industry ContiTech has acquired the German sleeve and roller manufacturer TEGU Walzen und Sleeves GmbH based in Waltershausen. "With this strategic step, we are continuing to expand our product portfolio for print shops while simultaneously completing our existing product range in the growing market for flexographic printing plates. This will enable us to respond even more effectively to customer requirements in the future," says Dr. Peter Scholtissek, head of the Elastomer Coatings business unit, explaining this strategic step and adding: "All 23 employees will be retained and thus become part of our successful ContiTech location in Waltershausen."

    TEGU boasts more than 80 years of experience in the industrial processing of elastomer materials – particularly sleeves, which have been produced since 1994. In the printing industry, they are used in the field of flexographic printing for continuous printing, in the packaging industry for example. TEGU Walzen also manufactures products for industrial applications. As a leading manufacturer and supplier of offset and digital printing blankets, ContiTech has been active with CONTI Laserline flexographic printing plates since 2012.

    "ContiTech and TEGU have been working together successfully for two years already. In the future, we want to work together to continue developing this line of business and to drive it forward on an international level. We are pleased that in Olaf Schaller, the former general manager and sales manager, we have a proven expert and specialist in this field on board," adds Stefan Füllgraf, who is responsible for flexographic printing plates at ContiTech.
    (ContiTech Elastomer-Beschichtungen GmbH)
     

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