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    22.08.2014   Lenzing Group: Ongoing Difficult Market Situation in the First Half of 2014    ( Company news )

    Company news -New record half-year fiber sales volume with all plants operating at full capacity
    -Successful start-up of large-scale TENCEL® production plant in Lenzing
    -Further intensification of the cost optimization program excelLENZ
    -Significantly lower average fiber selling prices burden consolidated sales and earnings

    Photo: Lenzing’s Chief Financial Officer Finanzvorstand Thomas Riegler

    The business development of the Lenzing Group in the first half of 2014 was impacted by the ongoing difficult market conditions featuring considerably lower average fiber selling prices. The cost reduction program excelLENZ successfully initiated in 2013 was only able to partially offset the decline in sales and earnings in the first six months of 2014.
    Consolidated sales in the first half-year 2014 declined by 9.1% to EUR 900.0 mn from the prior-year level of EUR 989.9 mn. More than half of this sales decrease can be attributed to the one-off effects relating to the divestment of the Business Unit Plastics towards the end of the second quarter of 2013 (H1 2013 sales of Lenzing Plastics: EUR 49.9 mn). On a like-for-like basis involving a year-to-year comparison of continuing operations, consolidated sales were down by 4.3% to EUR 900.0 mn from EUR 940.0 mn in the previous year. The significantly lower average fiber selling prices could not be offset by higher fiber shipment volumes and an improved product mix. Average fiber selling prices of the Lenzing Group in the first half of 2014 equaled EUR 1.54/kg, comprising a drop of 12.5% from the level of EUR 1.76/kg in the first half of 2013.
    Consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) from continuing operations in the first half-year totaled EUR 91.9 mn (H1 2013: EUR 129.1 mn). This represents a decrease of 28.8% from the first half of 2013. The consolidated half-year earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) from continuing operations amounted to EUR 32.4 mn, a drop of 56.1% from EUR 73.8 mn in the previous year.

    Further intensification of the cost optimization program excelLENZ 2.0
    Due to the continuing tense price development on the global market for viscose fibers, additional cost savings were initiated within the context of the efficiency enhancement program excelLENZ 2.0. In light of the current level of fiber prices, the originally planned savings of about EUR 60 mn in 2014 are not sufficient for Lenzing to be able to profitably manufacture fibers, especially at its European sites. “The previously implemented measures have already proven to be effective. Once again we were able to increase the savings generated in the year 2014. In light of the continuing market weakness we have to further sharpen the targeted annual cost savings of up to EUR 160 mn. Moreover, we want to reach these targets more quickly”, explains Chief Executive Officer Peter Untersperger. Cost savings of up to EUR 90 mn are now expected for the current financial year, one-third higher than originally budgeted.
    “At the same time, in light of the current market distortions, we have cut back investments to a minimum“, adds Lenzing’s Chief Financial Officer Finanzvorstand Thomas Riegler. CAPEX totaled EUR 64.2 mn in the first half of 2014, below the comparable figure of EUR EUR 134.4 mn in the prior-year period. The focal point of the investment activity was the completion of the new TENCEL® production plant in Lenzing as well as modernization work on existing fiber production lines. “Another priority is proactive cash management in addition to a selective investment policy. Accordingly, non-current liabilities could be reduced by 5.6% to EUR 758.1 mn (H1 2013: EUR 803.0 mn). Trade working capital could be improved thanks to a strict working capital management”, Riegler says.

    Specialty strategy to counter the price decline
    Lenzing is counteracting the sharp drop in fiber selling prices by more intensively focusing on specialty fibers and the more stable nonwovens business at the expense of the more cyclically sensitive textile sector. Both Lenzing Modal® as well as TENCEL® reported ongoing high demand and very good sales volumes throughout the entire first half of 2014, also generating attractive price premiums at the same time.
    The resolute optimization of the customer structure and sales regions ensures that Lenzing will continue to obtain premium prices, even for its standard viscose fibers, which are higher than the level for other viscose fiber manufacturers. Other specialty fibers such as Lenzing Modal® have also profited from an active shift towards sales markets with attractive contribution margins.

    Successful start-up of the TENCEL® plant in Lenzing
    In the first half of 2014 the Lenzing Group completed and successfully initiated production at its new TENCEL® jumbo production facility, the largest in the world, at the Lenzing site. The plant is in the midst of a stable ramp-up phase. The feedback on the part of the market is very positive. Thanks to the new plant, annual nominal TENCEL® production capacity of the Lenzing Group will rise from 155,000 tons p.a. to about 220,000 tons. In this way Lenzing will further expand upon its global market leadership for TENCEL® fibers.
    This facility comprises the first time in which a single production line with an annual nominal capacity of 67,000 tons was installed. Previous TENCEL® production lines were usually only one-quarter as large. The new plant design incorporates lessons learned from the longstanding experience of the three existing Lenzing Group TENCEL® production plants located in Austria, USA and Great Britain. As a consequence, the new TENCEL® plant in Lenzing represents the world’s leading generation of TENCEL® technology.

    Outlook
    There are no perceptible signs of any easing of the situation on the global fiber market in the second half of 2014. The expectation of a cotton harvest which is lower than in the previous year but still exceeds annual consumption is triggering further pressure on global cotton prices and thus on all fiber prices.
    In spite of good volume demand, a further price decline for man-made cellulose fibers cannot be excluded. The excess supply of standard viscose fibers will continue to prevail in the second half of the year. As a consequence of the high world market share of Chinese cellulose fiber manufacturers (60%), the resulting low fiber selling price levels impact other important sales markets and repeated measures initiated to stabilize prices are bound to fail. Only a slight improvement in price levels is expected during the course of the year 2015 at the earliest. Lenzing is counteracting this situation by intensifying its excelLENZ cost reduction and efficiency enhancement program, which should enable higher savings to be achieved in 2015. The selective investment policy and cash optimization measures will be further pursued.
    In its operating business, Lenzing will continue to determinedly promote its specialty fibers Lenzing Modal® and TENCEL®. In this case, the focus will be on ramping up the new TENCEL® plant at the Lenzing site to achieve a production volume of 30,000 tons in 2014, and to sell these additional fiber volumes.
    (Lenzing Papier GmbH)
     
    22.08.2014   Cham Paper Group Holding AG: Dynamic revenue performance and clear-cut improvements in results    ( Company news )

    Company news - Dynamic revenue performance thanks to favourable market conditions and successful products
    - Significant improvement in results, EBIT margin climbs to 4.7% - Continued transfer of technology to Italy planned for 2015 - Urban planning competition for "Papieri" site successfully completed - Healthy balance sheet, equity ratio again exceeds 50%

    The Cham Paper Group got off to an excellent start in 2014. The favourable economic climate, the continued growth in demand for the strategic products of all key product groups in all segments, and the positive perception of the Cham Paper brand have led to favourable half-year results. To further optimise the competitive strength of the Group's speciality papers, the company has decided to continue the transfer of technology from Switzerland to Italy and invest accordingly in the Italian mills, which will lead to another increase in productivity there. Relocation of the coating technology operations currently run from Cham for producing the digital imaging and barrier papers is scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2015, and is expected to result in a further staff reduction of approx. 50 in Switzerland.

    During the first six months, total revenue dropped to CHF 116.7 million as a result of less profitable products being discontinued. The production of speciality papers at both Italian mills increased by 6.0% to 70,729 tonnes, resulting in a revenue increase of 12.4% to CHF 101.0 million. In Switzerland, proceeds from the production of finished base paper increased to CHF 15.7 million. In the Digital Imaging unit in Cham, growth amounted to 18.7%. At CHF 5.5 million (EBIT margin of 4.7%), the operating result achieved by the Group was significantly above that of the corresponding period in the previous year (CHF 2.9 million, EBIT margin: 1.7%), that still being affected by the demanding transformation phase. The net profit of the first six months amounted to CHF 3.6 million.

    Dynamic growth of core products in all markets
    Consumer Goods: The demand for flexible packaging papers showed positive trends thanks in part to a slightly improved economy in our primary market, Europe. The single-sided coated papers for high-end packaging were particularly in demand. Developments in our key Asian market was in line with expectations, the papers for the tobacco market in China in particular generating high sales figures. Capacity utilisation at our mill in Carmignano which manufactures these papers was high during the first half of 2014.

    Industrial Release: Sales of our glassine papers trended slightly upwards. Our primary market Europe remained stable, and thanks to the advantages afforded by our superior quality we were able to expand market share. Unfortunately sales in Asia fell short of our expectations as the price war there did not allow for any profitable growth.

    Digital Imaging: The market for digital sublimation printing of textiles continues to exhibit above-average growth. Digital sublimation printing is increasingly coming to supplant classic printing technologies so that the market potential in this segment is on the rise thanks to the technical innovations of our customers. Our recently revamped product range is meeting with considerable interest in the marketplace. Sales in this area have expanded significantly, particularly in Europe and the USA.

    Continued reluctance of the market to accept barrier products
    Although further progress has been achieved with the innovative Barnamic barrier papers - these products are currently undergoing testing by several potential customers - the restraint already observed last year with regard to ordering continues unabated. Many customers (still) perceive a switchover to this brand-new class of food packaging to be too risky. This realisation has also meant that the business plan for the operations in Cham has had to undergo a reassessment. At present it is clear that the volume required for satisfying the fundamental economic prerequisites for constructing a new coating unit in the area of Cham proposed for 2016 will not be achieved in the foreseeable future.

    Integration in northern Italy instead of constructing a new plant in Switzerland
    Consequently the Board of Directors is currently planning to have the products to which finishes are currently applied in Cham integrated, along with their associated technology, in the company's own coating unit of the Carmignano mill in northern Italy, and to dispense with constructing a new facility in Switzerland. Integration will be part of an investment programme which has been initiated to modernise and expand capacity at Carmignano and is to be completed in 2015. The associated reduction in staff by approx. 50 at the technology centre in Cham will be deliberated with social partners in a consultation procedure. Plans have been made to support employees with a redundancy scheme in a manner similar to the one that has proved effective during the past two years. This means that only 30 to 40 jobs will remain in Cham in the future. These include research & development in the Digital Imaging unit, marketing & sales, small roll processing and group functions. To carry through the transfer, we are currently reckoning with provisions and value adjustments of approx. CHF 4.0 million. However, they are non-cash only in part and will be recognised in the 2014 financial year.

    Balance sheet continues to be robust
    During the first six months the Cham Paper Group succeeded in optimising its level of trade receivables and inventories of raw stock and finished goods on hand, which resulted in a reduction in tied-up capital of CHF 8.1 million. This infusion of cash was used in part to pay suppliers earlier and thus benefit from more favourable purchasing terms. Following this practice led to an increase in net working capital of 4.7%, which resulted in a slightly negative free cash flow of CHF 0.8 million during the reporting period. Despite repaying liabilities to banks in the amount of CHF 6.8 million and a dividend yield to shareholders of CHF 2.2 million, the Group had cash reserves of CHF 44.6 million at the end of the period under review and thus is free of net debt. The equity ratio increased again by 5.6% and now amounts to a comfortable 51.9%.

    Test planning and urban planning competition in Cham concluded In October 2013 four planning teams were tasked with the challenge of developing a concept for utilising the "Papieri" site located in the residential area of the municipality of Cham. In doing so they took into account the objectives and issues that had been previously formulated in concert with local residents in various workshops. At the end of June 2014, a review committee consisting of external experts, representatives of the municipality of Cham, Cham Paper Group Schweiz AG and various cantonal agencies unanimously decided in favour of one of the four concepts as a guide project for elaborating a master plan. A fully developed proposal is scheduled to be submitted to the municipality of Cham for a referendum in 2016.

    Positive outlook despite demanding tasks
    The Board of Directors and the Executive Management Board are confidently expecting continued business performance during the current year and beyond. A slightly positive net result is expected for the year, despite the provisions required for the technology transfer. In the wake of the successful transformation, the Group is well-placed and will continue to benefit from the strong performance capabilities of its products and services in all markets. However, this is predicated on continued improvements in performance at all levels in the future.
    (Cham Paper Group Schweiz AG)
     
    22.08.2014   Valmet: Strong development in orders received continued – profitability improvement proceeding ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... according to plan

    Photo: President and CEO Pasi Laine

    Valmet has formed a separate legal group as of December 31, 2013. The financial information presented in this Interim Review is based on actual figures as an independent group after the consummation of the
    demerger and carve-out figures prior to the consummation of the demerger. The carve-out financial information presented in this Interim Review reflects the performance and financial position of the entities that have historically formed the Pulp, Paper and Power segment within Metso Group.

    April–June 2014: Profitability improved during the second quarter
    -Orders received amounted to EUR 1,023 million (EUR 861 million).
    -Orders received increased in the Pulp and Energy, and Paper business lines.
    -Net sales declined by 18 percent to EUR 588 million (EUR 714 million).
    -Net sales remained on a par with Q2/2013 in Services, and Pulp and Energy business lines, and declined in Paper business line.
    -Earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) and non-recurring items were EUR 22 million (EUR 22 million), and the corresponding EBITA margin was 3.7 percent (3.1%).
    -Profitability improved compared with both Q2/2013 and Q1/2014.
    -Full impact of savings program visible in selling, general and administrative expenses.
    -Earnings per share were EUR 0.07 (EUR 0.01).
    -Non-recurring items amounted to EUR 0 million (EUR -11 million).
    -Cash flow provided by operating activities was EUR 46 million (EUR -12
    million).

    January–June 2014: Strong development in orders received
    -Orders received amounted to EUR 2,124 million (EUR 1,372 million).
    -Orders received increased in the Pulp and Energy and Paper business lines.
    -Net sales declined 18 percent to EUR 1,107 million (EUR 1,345 million).
    -Net sales declined in capital business, and remained at the previous year’s level in services business.
    -Earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) and non-recurring items were EUR 26 million (EUR 48 million), and the corresponding EBITA margin was 2.3 percent (3.4 %).
    -Earnings per share were EUR 0.03 (EUR 0.09).
    -Non-recurring items amounted to EUR -6 million (EUR -11 million).
    -Cash flow provided by operating activities was EUR 89 million (EUR -
    17 million).

    Valmet reiterates its guidance for 2014
    Valmet is reiterating its guidance presented on February 6, 2014 in which Valmet estimates that net sales in 2014 will decline from the
    2013 level and EBITA before non-recurring items will increase in comparison with 2013.

    General economic outlook
    The global growth projection for 2014 has been marked down by 0.3 percent to 3.4 percent, reflecting both the legacy of the weak first quarter, particularly in the United States, and a less optimistic outlook for several emerging markets. With somewhat stronger growth expected in some advanced economies next year, the global growth projection for 2015 remains at 4 percent. (International Monetary Fund, July 24, 2014)

    Short-term market outlook
    Based on Valmet’s improved utilization of adjusted capacity and expectations for customer activity, the short-term market outlook for
    board and paper has improved to a good level (previously satisfactory level). Valmet reiterates the satisfactory short-term market outlook for services, pulp, energy, and tissue, as presented on February 6, 2014.

    President and CEO Pasi Laine: Focus remains on improving profitability
    Customer activity revived in the first quarter of 2014 and continued
    on the same level in the second quarter.
    During the first half of 2014, we have received almost as much orders as during the full year of 2013.
    In addition to a few major orders, we have continued to receive orders from different customer industries and geographical areas. Particularly the orders received by the Paper business line and Energy
    business increased strongly in the second quarter, while the orders
    continued to be on a good level in Pulp.
    The development of the Services business line was stable during the second quarter.
    Our profitability improved in the second quarter compared with both
    Q2/2013 and the first quarter of 2014.
    We have proceeded well with our savings program, which was initiated in 2013, and the full impact of the savings program is visible in selling, general and administrative expenses.
    However, the profitability is still below our target level. Therefore, Valmet’s key focus remains on improving profitability. In addition to the implementation of the savings program, we are also focusing on improving our processes, for example reducing quality costs and saving on procurement, to reach the targeted level. A stronger order backlog combined with the executed cost savings gives us a good starting point for the rest of 2014.
    We have upgraded the short-term market outlook in board and paper to a good level, based on our expectations for customer activity and improved utilization of our adjusted capacity.
    (Valmet Corporation)
     
    22.08.2014   Roquette will take a majority shareholding in Amilina, a Lithuanian producer of starch and ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... derivatives, subject to approval by competition authorities

    Roquette confirms its ambition to become a major player in the Northern and Eastern European markets.

    Roquette, a world leader in the processing of plant-based raw materials and No. 2 in the European starch sector, will acquire a controlling stake in the Lithuanian company. The move follows three years of successful collaboration between the two partners.
    The transaction consisting in the acquisition by Roquette of additional shares from Amilina’s other shareholders, has been finalized and is now to be submitted to the competent competition authorities for approval before implementation.
    Acquiring an initial minority stake in Amilina in May 2011, Roquette made available its technological know-how to increase the capacities of the Lithuanian company and thus offer to Northern and Eastern European markets new solutions coming from wheat.

    Since 2012, industrial customers have been able to benefit from high-performance cationic modified starches produced in Lithuania.
    A glucose plant was also built. This unit dedicated to the production of liquid sweeteners benefited from the latest technologies, in order to respond to the quality criteria required by food customers. The production unit obtained FSSC 22000 certification in April 2014. This food safety certification is an important step for Amilina on the food-ingredients market.
    Roquette has also shared its values with Amilina, in particular its environmental concerns. Thus, a wood-biomass boiler was set up to produce steam for the factory, replacing the existing gas-burning boilers. The partners also wanted to use renewable energy sources from the local area, in order to reduce the fossil fuels requirements thereby diminishing greenhouse gas emissions.
    Following the initial partnership established in 2011, Roquette’s decision to increase its stake in Amilina is the natural next step. It will reinforce Amilina’s position as the largest starch producer within the Baltic and Nordic countries. Keeping the management in place is a further gage of stability.

    Gianfranco Patrucco, Executive Vice President Europe, Roquette: “In 2011, driven by our ambition to achieve and our passion for the starch industry, we decided to enter into a partnership with Amilina, whose factory benefited from a very attractive location. This was the largest French investment in Lithuanian agribusiness and was a real opportunity.
    Today, we can confirm that the partnership has been a real success. Our collaboration with Amilina over the last 3 years has been very beneficial for food and industrial markets (paper, chemistry, etc.) We are now pleased to intensify our presence close to our customers in the regions of Northern and Eastern Europe.
    Roquette seeks to reinforce its position in starch and related specialties, and this bid to increase its stake in Amilina is a perfect illustration of this ambition.”

    Danas Tvarijonavicius, Amilina Chairman: “A former mill, Amilina began producing wheat starch in 2007. The factory, located in Panevėžys, the capital of the province of Upper Lithuania in the north of the country, is at the heart of an agricultural zone in full development, producing a large surplus of wheat. This Lithuanian wheat, all the components of which are used in food and industrial sectors, constitutes an excellent opportunity to stimulate the local economy.
    Since 2011, thanks to our technological collaboration with Roquette, the starch plant has been modernized and the product range extended, which has allowed us to develop our markets and better respond to the expectations of our customers. We are very proud now to intensify our partnership with Roquette.”
    (Roquette Frères S.A.)
     
    22.08.2014   19th International Forum 'PULP & PAPER IN RUSSIA AND THE CIS'    ( Company news )

    Company news Log on to www.russian-paper.com to download the brochure and register your attendance at the 19th International Forum “PULP & PAPER IN RUSSIA AND THE CIS.”

    The main CIS pulp & paper industry gathering will take place on 2nd – 4th December in Vienna.
    A host of special features and hot topics, lots of informal networking and a cultural programme are awaiting you in Vienna at Pulp & Paper in Russia and the CIS 2014.
    ONE-ON-ONE meetings will be conducted again in 2014! 250+ meetings took place during the forum enabling people to meet and discuss ideas and potential partnerships and new deals.

    HOT ISSUES TO BE DISCUSSED IN 2014:
    Day 1:
    •STRATEGIC PRIORITIES for pulp & paper producers in Russia
    •Spotlight on KEY RUSSIAN PULP & PAPER PROJECTS, including Big Bratsk Pulp Mill, Big Koryazhma Office Paper Mill, Amazarsky Pulp Mill and other projects
    •MAJOR TRENDS in the global pulp & paper industry

    Day 2:
    •In-depth analysis of SUPPLY & DEMAND for a range of pulp & paper products both internationally and in Russia
    •Opportunities for creating NEW PRODUCT LINES in paper and board
    •Dedicated in-depth sessions on TISSUE, OFFICE PAPER and WASTE PAPER

    Day 3:
    How to REDUCE PRODUCTION COSTS and INCREASE EFFICIENCY?
    -Review of the latest modernisation projects: efficiency vs. costs
    -How to run a pulp & paper business in line with today’s challenges?
    -Innovations and technologies that are proven to reduce production costs without compromising product quality and much more!

    Bookmark our website for speaker and programme updates:
    http://www.russian-paper.com/AS2328BNKpr
    (Adam Smith Conferences)
     
    22.08.2014   FutureMark Alsip to Idle Mill    ( Company news )

    Company news -FutureMark Alsip announces plan to indefinitely idle its mill in early September.
    -Decision driven by insurmountable market conditions in the North American coated paper market including
    historic low pricing in coated papers and unprecedented energy costs.
    -Two week notice given to customers to run out critical orders.
    -Company is currently working with an investment bank with extensive background in the paper industry to assist in maximizing the value of Alsip in a sale, with the ultimate goal of finding the best value for this facility for the creditors and recalling the workforce.

    FutureMark Alsip (Alsip Acquisition, LLC) announced that, due to increasingly challenging market conditions in the North American coated paper market, it will indefinitely idle its mill in early
    September.
    Alsip is the only facility in North America making coated publication and printing papers predominantly from recycled materials.
    “This is an extremely difficult decision for us given the exceptional achievements of the Alsip mill in producing coated papers with unmatched levels of recycled content and the dedicated work of all of our employees,” said Stephen L. Silver, CEO of Alsip.
    “We explored many options to avoid this action, but the brutal reality for all coated paper manufacturers today is that falling demand and pricing pressure from lower-quality uncoated substitutes has driven prices to near historic lows.
    Combined with massive increases in energy costs over the winter, this pricing pressure has made it impossible for us to continue our Alsip operations at this time.”
    The coated paper market is under increasing pressure as coated mechanical paper prices continue to decline and energy prices remain high following a winter with record cold weather. Aggravating an already weak market, the Canadian government’s estimated $200 million subsidy of the previously bankrupt Port Hawkesbury paper mill in Nova Scotia in 2012 enabled that mill to reopen and flood the market with 40,000 tons per month of low-cost supercalendered paper, creating an overcapacity that has most U.S. coated players operating at a loss.
    Alsip will remain open for up to two weeks to fulfill orders and support customer efforts to transition to new suppliers. The mill presently employs 170 workers, and the announcement will affect all positions at the mill.
    After running out customer orders, a closure team will remain on site for a period of time to shut down the machine, maintain the facility and infrastructure, and support customers in the smooth transition of products and services.

    FutureMark Alsip participates in joint marketing activities with a separate and independent company, FutureMark Manistique (MPI-Acquisition, LLC) under the FutureMark Paper Group brand. FutureMark Manistique will continue to operate.
    Alsip explored all alternatives for avoiding this shutdown, including expanded debt facilities, attempts to locate new investment and possible sale of the company.
    Alsip also received cooperation from its union and salaried employees in the form of wage concessions, however, some recent operational issues on top of continued poor market conditions led to a severe liquidity crisis.
    “We appreciate the tireless efforts of all of our Alsip employees and the warm support the community and local government has extended to us throughout our many years of operation in this region,” said Silver. “We deeply regret the impact this will have on all involved. We fought as long and hard as we could.”
    The company is currently working with an investment bank with an extensive background in the paper industry to assist in evaluating alternatives for maximizing the value of Alsip in a sale - including converting the facility to a stand-alone de-ink pulp mill for the sale of recycled fiber; using the site to manufacture tissue; converting the mill for the manufacture of packaging papers, or continuing its current line of coated papers.
    The company is actively engaged in a number of conversations with interested parties to explore these options with the ultimate goal of finding the best value for this facility for the creditors and recalling the workforce as soon as possible. At this time, the company has received expressions of interest from several potential buyers.
    (FutureMark® Paper Group)
     
    21.08.2014   Creative Graphics achieves Esko HD Flexo Certification     ( Company news )

    Company news Creative Graphics, one of India’s biggest and fastest growing flexo prepress and trade platemaking businesses based in Noida in the Delhi National Capital Region, has entered the top rung of flexo platemaking. The company’s drive for technological excellence culminated with its recent absorption of the Esko HD Flexo technology and ultimately, Esko HD Flexo Certification. On Friday 25 July 2014, Mr. Srihari Rao, Sales Director of Esko India, presented the HD Flexo Certification personally to Creative Graphics proprietor Mr. Deepanshu Goel at the company’s premises in Noida.

    Mr. Srihari Rao said, “I am extremely pleased at Creative Graphics success in achieving Esko HD Flexo Certification which gives flexo printers in India an opportunity to match the best quality in flexographic print to be found anywhere in the world. Apart from this global benchmarking, I'm impressed by the high volume of production that Mr. Deepanshu Goel and Creative are delivering to printers and converters.”

    Mr. Deepanshu Goel explains that his company is a long-time user of Esko packaging software including DeskPack, Plato and FlexRip, which successfully expanded its operations in the last two years with the addition of a large format CDI Spark 4260 output device for producing the highest quality flexographic plates. The company is a leading flexo plate supplier to the copybook, corrugated carton, flexible packaging and label industry in the country and with a second plant in Hyderabad, the only multi-location flexographic trade operation in the country.

    The Esko HD Flexo certification process entailed qualifying plates and creating appropriate screen sets based on customers’ presses and conditions. Mr. Deepanshu Goel says, “We have invested in calibration, training and testing in this certification process, including the examination of test prints and ultimately the examination of running production prints by Esko’s experts.”

    The advantages of Esko HD Flexo
    Mr. Deepanshu Goel explains some of the advantages of Esko HD Flexo for his flexo plate customers. “Plates made with Esko HD Flexo allow better ink coverage in shadows, improving solid densities and eliminating pinholes while also providing softer vignettes,” says Mr. Deepanshu Goel. “The improved surface texture of the dots themselves, allow the use of a single anilox roller even with halftones on the same plate that use a variety of screen rulings. In addition, our HD Flexo plates are more robust and since they require less pressure for achieving a better layer of ink transfer they are able to produce longer print runs with exceptional quality.”
    (EskoArtwork Belgium)
     
    21.08.2014   Verso Paper Corp. Reports Second Quarter 2014 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Closing of NewPage Acquisition Still on Track for Second Half of 2014

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

    Verso Paper Corp. (NYSE: VRS) reported financial results for the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 2014. Results for the quarters ended June 30, 2014 and 2013 include:
    •Net sales of $320.9 million in the second quarter of 2014 compared to $330.4 million in the second quarter of 2013.
    •Net loss before items of $34.3 million, or $0.64 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2014, compared to net loss before items of $39.2 million, or $0.74 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2013.
    •Adjusted EBITDA before pro forma effects of profitability program of $27.6 million in the second quarter of 2014, compared to $22.2 million in the second quarter of 2013

    Overview
    Verso’s net sales for the second quarter of 2014 decreased $9.5 million, or 2.9%, compared to the second quarter of 2013, reflecting a
    4.2% decrease in average sales price per ton and a 1.4% increase in total sales volume. Prices for our pulp segment were higher while coated and other segment prices declined. Continued declines in the coated paper market were offset by operational and input price improvements.
    “During the second quarter we experienced continued strength in the pulp and specialty paper segments of our business," said David Paterson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Verso. "We experienced double digit improvements in these segments over the previous year, and we expect them to remain strong into the third quarter of 2014. During the second quarter our coated papers segment continued to show weakness in both price and volumes on a year over year basis.
    “On the operations side, we continued to reduce our costs utilizing our R-Gap process and managing our SG&A and capital costs. Finally, we continued to make good progress during the quarter on our proposed acquisition of NewPage.”
    (Verso Paper Corp.)
     
    21.08.2014   Hahnemühle Paper Launch and Artist Signing    ( Company news )

    Hahnemühle invites six photographers for Artist Signing sessions on each photokina day. An exclusive, limited Hahnemühle photokina-Edition each of 100 prints by Stefan Milev, Kirill Golovchenko, Nomi Baumgartl, Mario Marino, Andreas H. Bitesnich and Jochen Brillowski will be awarded to visitors. The Artist Signing will take place from September 16 to 21 at Hahnemühle´s booth in Hall 3.1, A25.

    Furthermore Hahnemühle will introduce »FineArt Baryta Satin« This natural white FineArt Baryta Satin captivates due to its satin finish and provides exceptional image results with large colour space and intense color reproduction. FineArt Baryta Satin is an ideal medium for colourful photographs and black and white photographs and reproductions as it provides an extremely deep black (Dmax), rich colours and an outstanding sharpness of details to achieve high resolution images. The 300 gsm paper is made of 100 % a-cellulose is acid-free and has no optical brighteners, and meets the requirements for longevity according to ISO 9706.
    (Hahnemühle FineArt GmbH)
    Hahnemühle FINEART

     
    21.08.2014   ABB commissions new Quality Control System at Burrows Paper Corporation's Mohawk Valley mill    ( Company news )

    Company news Replacement of existing Quality Control System will help specialty mill in Little Falls, NY consistently produce high quality paper through increased visibility and control of the papermaking process

    ABB, the leading power and automation technology group has successfully commissioned a new Quality Control System (QCS) at Burrows Paper Corporation’s Mohawk Valley Paper Mill in Little Falls, New York. The system is a replacement of the original ABB QCS that had been in place for the last 25 years. The new system was commissioned in April 2014.

    Installed on the mill’s paper machine, PM12, the new QCS system will help maintain superior product quality by providing better sensing and control of the paper machine, and automated grade change capability that will improve efficiency when making short runs of specialty products. It will also enhance operator effectiveness by increasing their visibility and control of the process. Long-term maintenance efficiencies include improved diagnostics for troubleshooting, and a modular design for quick component replacement.

    “This ABB project is an important investment that will help us continue to deliver value to our customers,” said John Sterzinar, VP Manufacturing & Engineering, Burrows Paper Group. “Over the years, ABB has delivered the solutions and services that support our comprehensive strategic plan to expand our domestic paper and global packaging business groups.

    The system includes a scanner with sensors for basis weight, moisture, ash, brightness, formation, and opacity; a Cross Direction (CD) Basis Weight Control System, including a new ABB xP Slice Profiler, and CD Moisture Control of an existing water spray. The system was installed on time and on budget, so the benefits of the improved measurement and control performance were quickly realized.

    Dave Head, Senior Electrical Engineer at Burrows Paper, managed the four person team that ultimately made the decision to go with ABB. “The excellent support that ABB has in place for their systems was the deciding factor in our team’s selection of the ABB QCS,” he commented.

    ABB and Burrows have a long history of working together. ABB installed the original QCS and other equipment at Mohawk Valley in the late 1980’s, and has delivered solutions and services to other Burrows facilities.
    (ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd)
     
    21.08.2014   ANDRITZ to deliver a continuous cooking system and additional fiberline equipment to ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...Resolute Forest Products, USA

    International technology Group ANDRITZ has received an order from Resolute Forest Products to supply equipment, engineering, and field services for a new Lo-Solids continuous digester including ANDRITZ’s patented TurboFeed chip feeding system, which will replace an existing displacement batch pulping process at Resolute’s Calhoun pulp mill, Tennessee, USA. Start-up is scheduled for the third quarter of 2015.
    The Lo-Solids digester will be designed to switch between hardwood and softwood pulp production, producing 1,400 ADST of bleachable softwood and 1,659 ADST of bleachable hardwood pulp per day.
    ANDRITZ will also supply a blowline pressure diffuser and will upgrade the mill’s oxygen delignification and bleaching systems. In terms of automation, the order also includes Advanced Process Control and IDEAS dynamic simulation software.
    (Andritz AG)
     
    20.08.2014   Forest industry in January-June 2014: Total production increased slightly    ( Company news )

    Company news – growth being sought from the bioeconomy

    Total production increased slightly from the corresponding period January-June of 2013. The value of forest industry exports was up 1,6 % in January-May. European economic uncertainty is having an impact on the market for forest industry products. Every effort must be made to ensure the competitiveness of the export sector in order to protect employment and prosperity.
    The industry is seeking fresh growth from the bioeconomy. The major investments, which have a total value of some €1.5 billion, the forest industry is planning in Finland are demonstrations of this trend.
    “Forest industry investments should be spurred with competitiveness-enhancing legislation and forward-looking industrial policies. All additional burdens imposed on the industry erode competitiveness when uncertainty is the prevailing sentiment on the markets and in the economy as whole. Taxes and red tape that target businesses must be kept in check while sufficient incentives for investments are put in place,” Director General Timo Jaatinen of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation emphasises.
    “Investments in, among other things, provincial transport routes are absolutely necessary to ensure the steady flow of timber. Sector-specific, competitiveness-enhancing modernisations that correspond with the goals of the Pact for Employment and Growth must also be implemented in the labour market,” Jaatinen says.

    Paper industry production volumes unchanged
    Paper industry production in the first half of 2014 remained almost exactly level with the corresponding period of 2013. In total, 5.2 million tonnes of paper and paperboard were produced in January-June. The decline of graphic paper production has continued, but production of paperboard and some other paper grades, such as hygiene papers, grew.
    A total of 3.1 million tonnes of printing and writing paper was produced in January-June, 1.3% less than in the previous year. Consumption of graphic paper continued to decline in Europe because of structural reasons, although the rate of decline has slowed when compared to recent years.
    Some 1.5 million tonnes of paperboard was produced in January-June, 0.5% more than in the corresponding period of 2013.
    Finland produced 3.5 million tonnes of pulp in January-June. Even though production contracted, pulp exports increased more than five percent in the first half of 2014.

    European economic uncertainty affects demand for sawn timber
    Sawn timber production totalled 5.7 million cubic metres in the first half of 2014, up 4% from the corresponding period of the previous year. Sawn timber exports were very buoyant, growing almost 9% from last year January-May.
    Demand in the Asian markets, which performed strongly last year, evened out. Europe's uncertain economic situation had an eroding effect on sawn timber demand, while domestic demand was burdened by sluggish activity in the construction sector.
    Plywood production came to about 600,000 cubic metres, up 9% from the previous year. The majority of this plywood is exported to Europe.

    Timber sales stable in the first half of the year
    Timber sales were livelier than in previous years in the early part of 2014, but the pace evened out in June. Timber procurements were up 4% from the corresponding period of 2013.
    Finnish Forest Industries Federation member companies purchased 16.9 million cubic metres of timber from private forests in January-June. Sawlog purchases totalled 7.6 million cubic metres and pulpwood procurements came to 8.6 million cubic metres.
    (FFIF Finnish Forest Industries Federation)
     
    20.08.2014   Security with Mitsubishi Inkjet Paper    ( Company news )

    Company news With JETSCRIPT MH 1484 CCB, Mitsubishi HiTec Paper is introducing a totally unique, coated inkjet paper. Unique because it is equipped at the factory with a distinctive and anti-counterfeit security feature: a coloured inlay.
    By simply tearing the paper, the blue inlay is visible. Thus, an on-the-spot test of authenticity is possible, even under unfavourable testing conditions; without any extra equipment - simply, quickly and reliably.
    MH 1484 CCB is produced using the proven coating technology of Mitsubishi HiTec Paper. With its uniform matt surface, brilliant colours and individual, personalized printouts are achievable. Designed for use with dye and pigment inks, it is suitable for high-speed inkjet printing as well as for classic large format printing.
    MH 1484 CCB is the ideal inkjet paper for tickets to sporting and other events, and also for lotteries and gaming tickets, coupons, vouchers, VIP passes and much more. In short, a universal security solution for sophisticated and individual printing jobs, which opens up potential new applications to digital printers.
    (Mitsubishi HiTec Paper Europe GmbH)
     
    20.08.2014   Valmet to supply first OptiConcept M board production line in North America to Pratt Industries    ( Company news )

    Company news Valmet has made a contract with Pratt Paper (IN), LLC for the supply of the paper machine for Pratt's new greenfield paper mill in Valparaiso area, Indiana, USA. The mill will utilize recovered paper in the production of recycled linerboard and corrugated medium. The start-up of the new paper machine, PM16, is scheduled for 2015.
    The order is included in Valmet's third quarter 2014 orders received. The value of the order is not disclosed.
    "OptiConcept M is a new and modular way to design, build and operate a paper machine. Its modular approach enables short delivery times, quick start-up and low project costs. This will be Valmet's first OptiConcept M installation in North America and we are all proud to work with Pratt on this project," says Mike Gray, SVP Sales, Valmet North America.
    The new machine will have a wire width of 6.25 meters and a design speed of 1,200 m/min. Valmet's scope of delivery will comprise a complete OptiConcept M board production line from headbox to winder.
    (Valmet Corporation)
     
    20.08.2014   New EnerVent Technology Reduces Energy Costs for Tissue Makers    ( Company news )

    Company news EnerVent venting technology allows the tissue maker to increase post pressure roll consistency through grooved and drilled venting patterns in their Xtreme TS and other Stowe Woodward rubber pressure rolls, without significant loss of cover life. Results have shown potential for as much as 2 to 3 points in post pressure roll consistency improvement allowing substantial hood temperature reduction and speed increase. There is no longer a need to convert to polyurethane pressure roll covers, like Stowe Woodward Rebel, to run grooved pressure rolls for reduced drying costs.

    Benefits
    EnerVent provides the most comprehensive performance package for your tissue machine:
    -Increased post pressure roll consistencies, some by as much as 2.5% points!
    -Lower hood temperatures
    -Reduced energy consumption
    -Increased machine speeds, some by more than 250 FPM
    -Improved felt cleaning opportunities
    -More stable and sustainable pressing performance

    Applications
    EnerVent is the ideal venting solution for rubber tissue pressure roll applications. The proprietary (patent pending) engineered venting is designed with the correct effective void volume for high speed nip dewatering in the Yankee / pressure roll nip. The EnerVent system considers felt design, vacuum capacity and water handling capability, providing an engineered venting pattern of suction holes and grooves to achieve both maximum water removal and roll cover life.
    (Xerium Technologies Inc.)

     
    20.08.2014   Changing of the guard at the head of Cascades Tissue Group    ( Company news )

    Company news After more than 17 years at the head of Cascades Tissue Group, Mrs. Suzanne Blanchet (photo), President and CEO, announced that she was passing the torch and leaving the Tissue Group to join the corporate ranks of the Cascades management team as Senior Vice-President, Corporate Development. Mr. Jean Jobin will succeed her and add the title of President to that of Chief Operating Officer which he already holds.

    "I am very proud of how far we have come since we began our activities in the tissue paper sector. Starting with a single mill, we have managed to climb to the rank of fourth largest producer in North America and to become a key player, not only in the retail sector, but also in the commercial and industrial sectors. I firmly believe in the importance of ensuring the sustainability of the ingredients that have made Cascades successful since the beginning, and I am confident that the team that is now in place will lead the Group to continued growth," declared Suzanne Blanchet .

    The President and CEO of Cascades, Mario Plourde, paid tribute to Mrs. Blanchet in the following terms: "Few members of Cascades embody the values and the success of our company to the same degree as Suzanne. The first female president of a paper company in North America , she has had a profound impact on our industry and on the tissue paper sector in particular. I am very pleased that she is joining the corporate team to play, among other things, the role of strategic advisor. Her collaboration will be invaluable in helping all of Cascades to meet the challenges facing us and to continue along the path of growth."

    Mr. Jobin joined the Cascades team in 1992. Among other things, he has served as controller and manager in various groups of the company, both in North America and in Europe. He holds two master's degrees, one in operations management and another in business management. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Management Accountants of Canada. In recent years, he has distinguished himself in the Tissue Group as Executive Vice-President of Away-from-Home Products in North America.

    "In February 2013, we announced the appointment of Jean Jobin as Chief Operating Officer of the Tissue Group. His appointment marked the first step in a succession plan which we have executed today. Thanks to his leadership and his knowledge of the sector, Jean is the ideal person to succeed someone of Suzanne's calibre", declared Mario Plourde.

    "It is a great honour for me to succeed Suzanne Blanchet. Today, I wish to salute her vision and the exceptional work she has accomplished, which have enabled Cascades to become a top-rank player in the North American tissue paper market. I take on this challenge, being fully aware of the key role that our operations play in Cascades' strategic plan. Rest assured that we will be on the lookout for growth opportunities, especially in the American market," said Jean Jobin.
     
    20.08.2014   Half-year report for Koenig & Bauer (KBA): Pre-tax earnings almost balanced after six months    ( Company news )

    Company news --- Fit@All realignment progressing well --- Orders up 2.6% and 3.1% more sales than in prior year --- Web offset press orders remain disappointing --- More orders for security and special packaging printing systems
    --- EBT at –€0.1m major improvement on first quarter --- Political and economic environment impede exports --- 2014: Balanced EBT targeted for the year

    Picture: Weak growth and currencies in key threshold countries, and the unstable political environment acted as a brake on international demand for sheetfed offset presses in the second quarter of 2014

    After six months earnings of the Koenig & Bauer Group (KBA) were up significantly on the first quarter and 2013. Following a 3.1% rise in group sales to €517.8m year-on-year, group pre-tax earnings (EBT) were almost balanced after the first half-year at –€0.1m due to a pre-tax profit of €12m in the second quarter of 2014. The world’s second-largest press manufacturer still posted EBT of –€12.1m after the first three months, and a pre-tax loss of –€8.8m in 2013. The management board stated previous initiatives and the higher-margin product mix as reasons for this considerable improvement in earnings.

    Sales target of over €1bn despite political strains on export business
    KBA president and CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann expects the first cost reductions resulting from Fit@All already in the second half of the year. This programme for group realignment to a shrunken and fundamentally changed press market has been in place since the beginning of 2014. He refers to the strain placed on the manufacturing sector and KBA’s important export business by the unforeseeable impacts of the crisis in the Ukraine, sanctions against Russia and other conflicts. Nevertheless, he stands by his goal published in spring of group sales of €1bn to €1.1bn, assuming that no major turmoil occurs. The management board also expects the significant improvement to earnings compared to 2013 to continue in the second half of this year.

    Operating profit in both business divisions
    The half-year group result came in at –€3.4m after tax deductions (2013:
    –€10.6m) and earnings per share of –€0.20 (previous year: –€0.64). Both business divisions generated an operating profit in the first six months of 2014. Sales of sheetfed offset presses were up 4.3% on last year’s figure to €257.4m and this segment posted an operating profit of €1.5m (previous year: –€9.4m) given cost savings and better margins. At €2.3m operating profit with web and special presses was below the prior-year figure (€4.5m) also due to special expenses associated with restructuring.

    Lower customer prepayments and staff cuts burden cash flow
    Cash flows from operating activities was negative at –€33.7m resulting from a reduction in trade payables, lower customer prepayments and an outflow for the ongoing staff cuts following Fit@All. After deducting cash flows for investing activities the free cash flow stood at –€43m. Funds of €141.8m and existing credit lines offer sufficient scope for upcoming measures as part of the group realignment. Less bank loans of €21.7m the net financial position was clearly positive at €120.1m. Compared to the balance sheet total the group’s equity ratio came to 24.6%.

    Lift in order intake in spite of slower demand in the sector
    According to recent statistics issued by the VDMA (German Machinery and Plant Manufacturer’s Association) orders for printing presses in the second quarter were down 16.2% on the previous year given weak growth and currencies in important threshold countries, and the unstable political environment. KBA bucked this trend thanks to its broad product spectrum with a 2.6% increase in group order intake to €456m. The total volume of incoming orders in the web and special press segment rose by 10.7% to €166.9m. This was triggered by more orders for banknote presses and coding technology, the new subsidiaries KBA-Flexotecnica and KBA-Kammann active in the special packaging sector and expansion of the service business. At €289.1m new orders for sheetfed offset presses were 1.6% lower than the prior-year figure owing to the reasons mentioned above.

    Sales up again in Europe
    A 13% decrease in domestic sales year-on-year pushed the export level to 83.4% (2013: 80.3%). Deliveries to Europe (not including Germany) rose from €129.8m the year before to €209.4m. This historic KBA core market gained ground again with 40.4% of group sales compared to 2013 (25.8%). Sales attributable to the growth region Asia and the Pacific increased slightly from €122.5m to €125.7m, with this region’s contribution remaining more or less stable at 24.3%. In North America the slump in business with newspaper presses led to a decline in sales to €52m, or 12.6% to 10% of the total. Revenue in Africa and Latin America came to €44.7m and 8.7% of group sales.

    Market-orientated group realignment on schedule
    The implementation of Fit@All has been a top priority since the beginning of this year. In recent months the company has made good progress with the planned reduction in capacity of 1,100 to 1,500 staff at production sites in Germany and abroad as well as with the bundling of similar production islands at just one site. Cancellation agreements and phased retirement schemes, or collective wage agreements and social compensation plans were agreed with over 700 employees. At the end of June 2014 the number of employees on group payroll stood at 6,110 compared to 6,158 twelve months earlier. Excluding the newly consolidated subsidiaries KBA-Kammann and KBA-Flexotecnica, and not including apprentices, trainees, temporary employees and staff on phased retirement schemes, the total fell by 242 to 5,189. It will fall to well below 5,000 by the end of the year. Many of the employees listed on group payroll have already left the company.

    New group structure in preparation
    The KBA Group’s product mix has changed considerably over the last years. This process will proceed through the various development prospects for the market segments served. Accordingly, in the second quarter the company took the first steps to reorganising the Parent into autonomous business units under the umbrella of a holding company. Through this the management board anticipates higher earnings, lower working capital and more strategic flexibility. The KBA management board aims to finalise the reorganisation under corporate law towards a transparent group structure until the AGM in May 2015.

    Outlook for 2014: positive impacts on earnings from Fit@All
    Bolza-Schünemann in the outlook for 2014: “The KBA Group will not grow this year, the newly consolidated business fields of flexible packaging and glass direct decoration will compensate at least in part for the loss in revenue of our web offset press business. High provisions for the restructuring expenses associated with Fit@All and impairments were already included in the group earnings in 2013. This year we expect the special expenses that impact on earnings to be limited. In contrast, cost savings from the measures implemented as part of Fit@All will be noticeable with positive effects in the fourth quarter of 2014 and to a greater extent in 2015. The management board is targeting a balanced pre-tax result (EBT) for 2014.” KBA will provide information in due course on further progress regarding the realignment.
    (Koenig & Bauer AG)
     
    20.08.2014   Business Forum PAP-FOR Registration opened!    ( Company news )

    Company news INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS FORUM PAP-FOR RUSSIA 2014!
    In the frames of XIII International exhibition PAP-FOR Russia 2014 for pulp and paper, forestry, tissue, converting and packaging industries.

    BUSINESS FORUM DELEGATE OPPORTUNITIES:
    • get the actual information about the industry from Russian and international industry analytics;
    • trends and forecast;
    • learn about the successful projects experience and new ideas;
    • discuss the crucial industry topics with government representatives.

    KEEP UP ON PPI HIGHLIGHTS:
    • How to grow investment attractiveness and profit of your enterprise?
    • What the new state forest policy will cause? What measures are proposed for forest usage intensification and how to avoid forest resources shortage?
    • International trends and Russian projects in bio technologies.
    • Packaging sector development: trends and new projects.
    • How to use efficiently all the tissue sector opportunities: market overview and successful Russian experience.
    • Current print paper market issues.
    • Building PPI future: how to attract young specialts to the industry?

    Attention! Limited quantity of tickets! Early birds discount!
    PAP-FOR Russia offers special terms for exhibitors and multibooking applications.
    Register today!


    NOTICE:
    PAP-FOR Russia 2014 will be held at the new venue - International Convention and Exhibition Centre EXPOFORUM! Peterburgskoye Highway, 64/1, St. Petersburg, Russia.
    (Reed Exhibitions Russia)
     
    20.08.2014   Disruptive shelf-ready packaging spotted by 76% more shoppers    ( Company news )

    Company news For the first time, brand owners can now immediately access shopper insights on how they view shelf-ready packaging in-store thanks to a brand new, exclusive partnership between Smurfit Kappa and online eye-tracking company, EyeSee.
    This new online tool enables brand owners to test and understand the impact of shelf-ready packaging on shoppers faster than ever by visualising it on a virtual supermarket shelf and collating eye-tracking results via a webcam. Full analysis of results – including facts and figures on the extent to which the product stood out, was remembered, and raised shopper curiosity in the product on the shelf – are returned within a week.
    This unique tool enables brand owners to gather insights from large numbers of shoppers more quickly and cost-effectively than ever before. It also gives the flexibility to gather insights from particular segments of shopper types. All of this shopper research is carried out online in a totally risk-free environment during the early stages of packaging development and design. This means brand owners can get their shelf-ready packaging design right before they make it real, saving customers’ time and money.

    Initial findings from EyeSee’s partnership with Smurfit Kappa shows that disruptive shelf-ready packaging – which ensures products stand out, are remembered and raise shopper curiosity on the shelf are:
    -Noticed by 76% more shoppers in the first five seconds of viewing a shelf full of competitor products.
    -Recalled by 79% more shoppers after their shopping trip.
    -Raises overall levels of curiosity and interest among almost three times as many shoppers as standard packaging.

    Arco Berkenbosch, Vice President of Marketing, Research and Development at Smurfit Kappa said,
    “For the first time ever, our unique partnership with EyeSee gives brand owners unrivalled shopper insights which quantify the performance of shelf-ready packaging, at speed and in a risk-free, virtual environment. This is another example of how we provide our customers with the deepest insights in the industry, to ensure they achieve the best possible packaging designs to help increase sales. We are still in the initial phases of our partnership with EyeSee and are excited to be rolling this out with key customers in the coming months at our new customer experience centres.”

    Olivier Tilleuil, Managing Director and Founder of EyeSee said,
    “With between 40% and 70% of purchasing decisions made in-store and 86% of consumers admitting they are ‘switchers’, brands are constantly battling it out to be the product that is first noticed and selected by shoppers. Pack stand-out has never been more important. We’re excited about our new, exclusive partnership with Smurfit Kappa, bringing their customers detailed insights and a wealth of data on how shoppers make purchasing decisions based on what they see on the shelf.”
    (Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)
     
    19.08.2014   Visit China Pavilion at PAPER-ME 2014    ( Company news )

    Company news PAPER-ME 2014 The 6th International Exhibition for Paper, Board, Tissue, Printing & Packaging, which will be held in October 22nd -24th , 2014. at Cairo International Convention Center (CICC), Cairo, Egypt. Halls (1,2,3)

    PAPER-ME 2014 is the most dedicated event in the MENA for paper and allied industries.
    It is the industry's 3-day premier event featuring paper industry key players and the latest and most comprehensive display of paper, carton, tissue, printing and packaging.

    Visit China Pavilion at PAPER-ME 2014
    Anyang Machinery Co.,Ltd., affiliated to China National United Equipment Group corp, was founded in 1968, which is one big state owned enterprise licensed to manufacture pulp and paper-making machinery, cement equipments, and chemical equipments under Chinese state owned assets supervision and administration commission of the state council. It’s situated in Anyang city, which is one of the eight ancient famous cities in China.
    Anyang Machinery Co.,Ltd. has won high reputation among both domestic and overseas clients by contributing to the market with high-quality and good service. Company’s products have been exported to Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Malaysia and other countries with stable and reliable performance of equipments in paper-making and chemical industry.
    Anyang Machinery Co., Ltd. Covers more than 130000M2,and owns modern industrial plant occupied over 60000M2.Its annual productivity amounts to 20000 tons,yearly production value may amount to USD 100 million.


    Zhucheng Dazheng machinery Co. Ltd
    , Founded in February 2002.
    Mainly produce toilet paper machine, hand towel paper machine, kitchen towel paper machine, carton board machine, special paper machine; process of recycle pulp deinking production line, virgin pulp production line, straw pulp production line; paper making waste water treatment equipment, waste water recycling equipment etc.. Our products have exported to Mexico, Australia, Argentina, Madagascar, Russia, Congo, Jordan, Zambia, South Africa, Iran, Vietnam, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, and other countries.
    (Nile Trade Fairs)
     
    19.08.2014   Valmet to supply a paper machine grade conversion rebuild for Thai Paper to produce ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... glassine paper in Thailand

    Valmet will rebuild a paper machine (PM5) at the paper mill of Thai Paper Company Limited in Bang Pong, Thailand. The PM5, currently producing printing and writing papers with 100,000 tpy capacity, will be modified for high quality glassine paper production. Valmet's delivery will include modernization of key sections of the paper machine. The rebuild targets the highest end product quality and efficient production. The rebuilt production line will start-up during the fourth quarter of 2015.

    Image: Customer and Valmet representatives at the signing ceremony in Thailand. From left Mr. Surasak Amawat, Managing Director, Siam Cellulose Co., Ltd., Mr. Panthep Supachaiyakit, Managing Director, Thai Paper Co., Ltd., Mr. Roongrote Rangsiyopash, President of SCG Paper and from Valmet Mr. Hannu T Pietilä, Area President, Asia Pacific, Mr. Timo Dufva, Vice President Projects and Mr. Pornpracha Wattanakijsiri, Head of South East Asia.

    The order is included in Valmet's third quarter 2014 orders received. The value of the order is not disclosed. The value of paper machine rebuilds depends on the scope of the delivery. This kind of rebuild is typically valued around EUR 20 million.
    "Thai Paper and our partner, Nippon Paper Industries Co. Ltd., selected Valmet based on their innovative technology and proven track record on successful rebuilds which align well with our target to produce high-value added products such as high quality glassine paper to cater the growing demand for label in the domestic and regional markets," says Mr. Panthep Supachaiyakit, Managing Director, Thai Paper Company Limited.
    "We are pleased to continue our long term cooperation with SCG Paper and its subsidiary Thai Paper in this project. Our aim is to bring our strong experience with special papers to the project to ensure smooth and successful project converting PM5 to glassine grades. This order further strengthens Valmet's position as a market leader in high speed special paper technology provider," says Pornpracha Wattanakijsiri, Head of South East Asia.

    Technical details of Valmet's delivery
    Valmet's solution for this grade conversion and modernization of the 3.9 meter-wire wide PM 5 consists of a new off-line multinip calendar and new air dryers as well as a re-reeler rebuild with new moisturizers. There will also be modifications in the stock preparation, headbox, and drying section with alterations in the sizer area including contactless web turn device.
    Valmet's new OptiFiner Pro refiners, which are part of the stock preparation, ensure energy efficient refining result of long fibers, to meet the high demands set by glassine paper production. These modifications at paper machine ensure the base paper to be dense, thin and strong. The rebuild re-reeler moisturizes the base paper efficiently for improved smoothness and the best possible calendering result. The OptiCalender Multinip off-line calender improves further the surface properties of glassine paper grades.
    (Valmet Corporation)
     
    19.08.2014   Restructuring of Heidelberg Group continues – further improvement in result in first quarter of ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...financial year 2014/2015

    -Adjustments to postpress portfolio
    -Positive operating result (EBITDA) of € 6 million in first quarter despite predicted decrease in sales
    -Outlook: EBITDA margin of at least 8 percent in financial year 2015/2016 getting closer

    Photo: Heidelberg CEO Gerold Linzbach

    As already announced, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is systematically pressing ahead with restructuring the Group. The strategic focus announced at the beginning of the financial year was to streamline the postpress portfolio. This is expected to yield an annual improvement in the result of some € 30 million, most of this from financial year 2015/2016 onward. In operational terms, the first quarter of financial year 2014/2015 (April 1 to June 30, 2014) went as expected. The operating result (EBITDA) was up on the previous year and moved back into positive figures, even though sales in the reporting period fell as anticipated. Thanks to a higher order backlog at the end of the first quarter, the company is expecting an increase in sales in the following quarters.
    "Measures aimed at boosting efficiency have enabled us to achieve an operating profit even in light of the persistently volatile market environment. Realigning our portfolio will help us to further improve our profitability," said Heidelberg CEO Gerold Linzbach.
    While being around 14 percent down on the figure for the same quarter of the previous year (€ 504 million), Group sales in the first quarter were in line with expectations at € 435 million. This development can be explained by the strong year-end rally in the preceding quarter, renewed negative exchange rate effects, and a slackening of business in the Asia/Pacific region. In the other regions, sales matched the previous year's level.

    Group restructuring leads to continuing improvements in financial result
    Both EBITDA and EBIT in the first quarter were once again up on the same quarter of the previous year. EBITDA excluding special items was positive at € 6 million, following a negative figure in the previous year (€ -2 million). At € -11 million, the result of operating activities ( EBIT) excluding special items was also better than the previous year's figure of € -20 million. The operating result has therefore been continuously improving for just under two years now. There were no special items in the quarter under review. Due to lower financial income and the refinancing in the previous year, the financial result for the first quarter was € -17 million (previous year: € -12 million).Nevertheless, income before taxes improved from € -33 million to around € -28 million. Overall, the net result for the first quarter was in line with expectations at € -34 million (previous year: € -38 million).
    Primarily due to the net loss for the quarter and payments totaling € 12 million for the Focus efficiency program, the free cash flow after the first quarter was negative at € -66 million (previous year: € 0 million). Accordingly, the net debt rose to € 297 million (previous year: € 258 million) but remains at a low level. This enabled us to maintain the leverage (ratio of net debt to EBITDA excluding special items for the last four quarters) at our target value of 2.
    "In addition to continuously improving the operating result over the past two years, we have also succeeded in getting the debt back down to a low level," said Heidelberg CFO Dirk Kaliebe. "At the same time, we placed our financing on a stable footing, which lays the financial foundation for restructuring the company," he added.

    Portfolio repositioning progresses
    As already announced, the Group is systematically removing low-margin products from its portfolio. At the beginning of August, for example, the company announced the strategic realignment of its Postpress Commercial and Postpress Packaging business areas. This will involve discontinuing production capacities, developing and manufacturing products and solutions through OEM partners in future, and/or outsourcing activities to partners. A total of around 650 employees worldwide will be affected. The Group expects these measures to yield an annual improvement in the result of some € 30 million, most of this from financial year 2015/2016 onward.

    Outlook: EBITDA margin of at least 8 percent in financial year 2015/2016 getting closer
    The actual development of sales and the result in financial year 2014/2015 will depend to a great extent on implementation of the portfolio optimization measures initiated. Heidelberg currently expects that sales in financial year 2014/2015 will match those in the previous financial year. As in the previous year, sales are once again likely to be higher in the second half of the financial year than in the first.
    Having succeeded, as forecast, in achieving a positive annual result in financial year 2013/2014, the declared goal for financial year 2014/2015 is to further improve the company's operating profitability so as to get closer to the medium-term target of an operating margin in terms of EBITDA of at least 8 percent and improve the net result, despite the higher interest payments for financial liabilities. Provided the initiatives to improve margins and optimize the portfolio are successfully implemented in the current financial year, the company expects to be able to achieve an EBITDA margin of at least 8 percent of sales by financial year 2015/2016.
    (Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)
     
    19.08.2014   IRANI shows a growth of 21% in net revenues and reaches R$ 174,7 million in 2Q14    ( Company news )

    Company news Celulose Irani, one of the leaders in the Corrugated Cardboard sector in the country and reference in the Packaging Paper sector, closed the second quarter with a net income of R$ 174.7 million, representing an increase of 21% over the second quarter of 2013.
    The main factor behind this growth was the integration of the sales of the Corrugated Cardboard Packaging area of the Industria de Papel e Papelao Sao Roberto S.A. (SP) to IRANI's business. In line with the net income is the adjusted EBITDA, which also showed an increase, in this case 10.3% higher than 2Q13, and it totaled R$ 34.6 million in the quarter.

    The sales volume of the Corrugated Cardboard Packaging segment progressed well when compared to 2Q13 and totaled 47.20 thousand tons. The increase presented by IRANI, 39.5%, is higher than the market outlook - the Brazilian Association of Corrugated (ABPO) data fell by 3.4% in the same period - also due to the integration of the Sao Roberto plant.

    In contrast, the Packaging Paper segment decreased 37.9% and ended the quarter with 17.1 thousand tons. The reduction was due to sales for the subsidiary Sao Roberto which, from 1Q14, were eliminated on consolidation from the integration of the business into the IRANI operations.

    The sales volume of the resins segment also decreased by 12.5% and reached 2.2 thousand tons. In this case, production suffered due to a variation in the supply of gum rosin resin on the spot market.

    In the second quarter the Company raised U$ 70 million through a pre-paid export operation, which will be used to finance the working capital needs of the Company's exports. The amount must be paid by IRANI in up to seven years.
    Aiming to continue growing with value, IRANI made investments of R$ 30.245 million this quarter. The main investment made in the period consisted of the expansion and modernization of Paper Machine I (MP I), which added 3,000 t/ per month to the total paper production, from July. Another highlight of the second quarter was the signing of the Letter of Intent with the Government of the State of Santa Catarina for the expansion of the industrial unit located in Vargem Bonita (SC). The planned investment is approximately R$ 600 million spread over five years.

    Revenue by segment - The Corrugated Cardboard Packaging (PO) segment- Celulose Iran’s main business segment - accounted for 68% of the net revenue in 2Q14, followed by the Packaging Paper segment, with 24% and the RS Forestry and Resins, with 8% of the total. The principal market still is the domestic market which corresponded to 87% of net revenue. In the foreign market's IRANI´s main customers are in Europe (51%), South America (26%), Asia (18%) and Africa (5%).
    (Celulose Irani S.A.)
     
    19.08.2014   Elegant beverage cups reinforce a brand and reduce the environmental impact     ( Company news )

    Company news How elegant can a beverage cup made of a paper material be? Paper cups can range from being simple, white and anonymous to being heat-resistant and brand carriers. Everything depends on what construction, material and level of converting you want to use.
    Iggesund Paperboard wanted to test the limits of what is possible and decided to create a large cup with a double-walled construction that is fairly common on the market. The double-walled construction means it is possible to use one material inside the cup and another for the outer wall, which functions as both a heat shield and a brand carrier.
    “For the cup’s inside we chose Invercote coated with polyethylene (PE) and for the outside we used Aluvision, which is Invercote extrusion coated with a thin layer of aluminium foil plus PE on top of the foil,” explained Anna Adler, who is in charge of the project for Market Communications at Iggesund Paperboard. “We wanted the metallic feature in order to achieve elegance and shine even though we only printed with one colour, vintage orange.”
    The project used an ornamental pattern that framed Iggesund’s Invercote brand. The plan was to cover everything except the pattern with the orange colour and then get the pattern and product name to shine by giving them a raised embossing. The Swiss toolmaker SMR Stanztechnik AG supplied the high-precision embossing tool and the printing was then done by the Italian paper cup specialists SDG, Scatolificio del Garda S.p.A.
    “We did a number of tests to find out how much we should emboss but finally decided to emboss the entire pattern and brand name,” explained Iggesund’s Technical Service Manager Alex Guglielmi. “It was interesting to see how the embossing made the metallic tones that weren’t overprinted with orange really shine. A real eye catcher.”
    Matching the printed and embossed areas was a real challenge. To be certain of avoiding any misregister, it was decided to reduce the number of cup blanks per printed sheet from 27 to 24.
    “Invercote has fantastic dimensional stability but sometimes it’s better to be on the safe side,” Guglielmi said. “Instead of going with 27 we decided to be cautious and only do 24. It’s still a fantastic result for anyone who wants elegance and a visual impression that can convey a brand”.
    The paperboard’s printability and ability to be finished to a high level of elegance are not the only reasons why Iggesund believes in a renaissance for paperboard-based beverage cups. Competing materials such as traditional plastic or polystyrene foam cups create a much higher carbon footprint than a cup made of paperboard with a thin PE coating.
    “A cup made of PE-coated Invercote has a carbon footprint that is scarcely a quarter the size of the one left by the same cup made of plastic – just comparing the weight of the materials used,” Anna Adler emphasised. “By that measure alone, the paperboard cup is the clear winner. If you add the existence of efficient recycling systems and the fact that the stored bioenergy can finally be recovered, paperboard is an outstanding choice of material.”
    Iggesund perceives long-term business opportunities for such a product, not least in the US, where debates are currently raging over the environmental aspects of polystyrene foam cups. A number of American cities are trying to forbid the use of polystyrene foam materials in beverage cups and catering packs.
    (Iggesund Paperboard AB)
     
    19.08.2014   Machinery made by BHS Corrugated– customized solutions for your special needs and requirements    ( Company news )

    Company news A length of 150 meters, a weight of 500 tons – and at the same time highly flexible and productive at all times. Corrugators are the core business of BHS Corrgated. For more than 50 years we have been developing, manufacturing and installing corrugators for the production of corrugated board – around the world.
    Up to now more than 400 complete corrugators and thousands of individual units have been installed and put into operation successfully. We are now able to offer our customers an extensive portfolio. A total of 5 product lines (Quality, Classic, Custom, Volume and Width) in 4 different working widths (1.80m / 2.50m / 2.80m / 3.35m) meet all your needs and requirements. Depending on the desired output of your corrugator and the desired composition of orders, we are able to supply a customized corrugator adjusted to your requirements.

    Discover the benefits of BHS Corrugated machines and let us convince you of their performance and our passion.
    -Quality Line Reliable solutions for medium-weight corrugated board despite critical operating conditions
    -Classic Line Proven and reliable technology for standard corrugated board and regional markets
    -Custom Line Special corrugated board for niche markets
    -Volume Line High volume solutions for trans-regional markets
    -Width Line Extra wide solutions for Mega Plants
    (BHS Corrugated Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH)
     
    18.08.2014   Excellent as always - lighter than ever! Introducing Alaska Plus lightweight GC2 board with ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... unparalleled benefits

    Alaska Plus is our new lightweight GC2 coated paperboard, which responds directly to the growing demand for economically attractive and environmentally sustainable packaging solutions. Alaska Plus uses fewer raw materials and produces less waste, thereby decreasing the environmental impact throughout the product’s life cycle. It also reduces cost through the value chain starting from lower material cost all the way to reduced disposal fees thanks to the lower weight of the packaging.

    Alaska Plus combines the benefits of our renowned Alaska board: the same great stiffness, excellent strength and durability – as well as the industry-leading quality consistency that brings reliability for high volume packaging production and fast speed packing lines. Now with a revolutionary light basis weight.

    -Folding Boxboard GC2 one side coated paperboard, uncoated manila backside
    -Produced in the International Paper Kwidzyn mill in Poland
    -Produced from 100% virgin fibres
    (International Paper - Kwidzyn Sp. z o.o.)
     
    18.08.2014   Michelman Taps New CFO to Strengthen Global Presence    ( Company news )

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news As of August 18th, Mr. Hans Ekelmans has been appointed as Sales & Marketing Director. Hans has 19 years of experience in international sales & marketing positions in various industries. We are convinced that Hans can make a major contribution to our commercial strength and build further on the good relationship with our customers and explore new opportunities in our sales focus areas.
    (Crown Van Gelder N.V.)
     
    15.08.2014   Cascades releases its 2014 second quarter results and pursues its strategic repositioning    ( Company news )

    Company news Cascades Inc. (TSX: CAS), a leader in the recovery and manufacturing of green packaging and tissue paper products, announces its unaudited financial results for the three-month period ended June 30, 2014.
    Mr. Mario Plourde (photo), President and Chief Executive Officer, had the following comments on the second quarter results: "The second quarter was marked by important decisions in continuation of our strategic action plan. The sale of our fine papers activities, the announcement of our exit from the kraft paper market and the closure of the Djupafors mill clearly demonstrate our willingness to rationalize our operations to focus on our core sectors.
    We also took advantage of favorable market conditions by refinancing more than $700 million of senior notes on terms that will be more
    advantageous in the long term. These decisions, while having a negative impact on our net results in the short term, will positively impact our profitability in the medium and long term and give us more
    flexibility to invest in our strategic assets.
    Even if some of these decisions were difficult to make, we need to appreciate the progress achieved and keep in mind that they will strengthen the financial situation of the company.
    We are even more satisfied with the results for the quarter since they were positive despite the negative impact of non-recurring charges resulting from our strategic initiatives. Excluding these items, our EBITDA continued to grow on a comparable basis, both sequentially and compared to the same period of last year.
    The Containerboard Group was the main contributor to this growth.
    The Boxboard Europe Group also performed well during the quarter despite the lack of energy credits while the Specialty Products Group
    generated improved results when excluding the impact of discontinued operations.
    The Tissue Papers Group did better than in the first quarter but was unable to match last year's performance due to lower shipments in the retail market.
    Finally, the Greenpac mill continued to ramp-up as planned with daily production averaging close to 1,200 short tons in June."

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news ... Deploy FulFill® High Filler Technology

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

    Picture: FulFill® E-325 granule with PCC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news Second-Quarter Highlights

    Photo: CEO Michael C. Burandt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news ...cost structure

    Photo: Marco Levi, President & CEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Picture: Premium metering rod bed PINK-ENDURANCE

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

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

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