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Norske Skog: Strong operating performance
 12.11.2019

Norske Skog: Strong operating performance  (Company news)

Norske Skog’s EBITDA in the third quarter 2019 was NOK 505 million, an increase from NOK 444 million in the second quarter 2019. EBITDA was impacted by a gain on sale of water rights at Albury and CO2-compensation granted for Norske Skog Saugbrugs. The sales volumes and sales prices in Europe were slightly down in the third quarter. Less domestic demand in Australasia resulted in more low-margin export sales from the region.

- After a successful stock exchange listing, I am very pleased to present a financially robust company generating a solid financial performance despite challenging market conditions, especially for the Australasian mills. Also, the sale of the Albury mill will substantially strengthen our cash position and reduce our market exposure to the Asian low-margin markets from 2020, says Sven Ombudstvedt (photo), CEO of Norske Skog.

Operating earnings in the third quarter were NOK 1,113 million compared to operating earnings of NOK 1,150 million in the second quarter of 2019. Net profit in the third quarter was NOK 1,018 million compared to a net profit of NOK 1,032 million in the second quarter 2019, mainly due to non-cash changes in the valuation of elements in energy contracts. Cash flow from operations declined to NOK 150 million in the quarter from NOK 225 million in the second quarter, mainly due to change in working captial as a result of Saugbrugs’ CO2-compensation, which will be received in 2020. Net interest-bearing debt is NOK 852 million at the end of the third quarter, with an equity ratio of 55%.

The Albury sale
The Albury mill will cease newsprint production by the end of the fourth quarter 2019. The sale of the Albury mill and realization of certain other related assets, including energy and water rights, will generate net cash proceeds of approximately NOK 700 million. The regional Australasian management has started a process to handle the redundancy. Norske Skog will pay redundancy payments and transaction costs of approximately NOK 215 million following the sale.

Segment information
Total annual production capacity for the group is 2.6 million tonnes. In Europe, the group capacity is 1.9 million tonnes, while in Australasia, the capacity is 0.7 million tonnes, where the Albury mill has 0.3 million tonnes.

Europe
Operating revenue decreased from the previous quarter with lower sales volumes and sales prices. Variable costs per tonne decreased in the third quarter, especially impacted by the recognition of CO2-compensation for Saugbrugs. Fixed costs were slightly decreased. According to Eurograph, demand for newsprint in Europe decreased by 6% through August this year compared to the same period last year. SC magazine paper demand decreased by 10%, while demand for LWC magazine paper declined by 12%. Our capacity utilization was 90% in the third quarter, unchanged from the second quarter.

Australasia
Total operating income increased from the previous quarter due to the sale of water rights in connection to the sale of Albury. Sales volumes were in line with previous quarter but the EBITDA was negatively impacted by Asian low-margin volumes. Both variable cost per tonne and fixed costs were relatively unchanged in the quarter. According to official trade statistics, demand for newsprint in Australasia declined by 8% through September this year compared to the same period last year. Demand for magazine paper declined by 1%. Capacity utilisation was 81% in the period.

Outlook
The market balance for publication paper in Europe is supported by the announced capacity closures and conversions in the industry. Prices have declined into the third quarter and current price levels are expected into the coming quarter. The impact of the decrease in sales prices is to a large degree offset by decreased input cost from energy, pulp wood and recovered paper.

Following the cessation of newsprint at Albury in Australia in December 2019, the current export of production in excess of domestic consumption will be significantly reduced from its current level. This will reduce the region’s exposure to the volatile and currently low priced Asian market as well as reduce the currency exposure in the region. Driven by regional delivery optimisation and reduced exports, we expect regional EBITDA to improve by approximately NOK 80 million in 2020.

Norske Skog will continue its work to improve the core business, convert certain of the Group’s paper machines and diversify the business within bioenergy, fibre and biochemicals.
(Norske Skogindustrier ASA)

Ahlstrom-Munksjö signs non-binding memorandum of understanding to divest fine art ...
 12.11.2019

Ahlstrom-Munksjö signs non-binding memorandum of understanding to divest fine art ...  (Company news)

... paper business, ARCHES®

Ahlstrom-Munksjö Oyj and its French subsidiary Ahlstrom-Munksjö Arches, have entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding to divest Ahlstrom-Munksjö Arches’ fine art paper business, under ARCHES® brand, with Italian based F.I.L.A. Group, Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini S.p.A., a leading global player specialized in the research, design, manufacturing and sale of creative expression tools.

Subject to labor consultation and finalization of discussions between the parties to sign binding agreements, the transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020 at a debt and cash free valuation of approximately EUR 44 million.

The standalone pro forma annual net sales of the fine art paper business to be divested are estimated to be approximately EUR 13 million and comparable EBITDA in excess of EUR 4 million in 2019.

ARCHES paper is mainly used for water color painting, art publishing, printing and writing, and digital art publishing (reproduction). The quality of the art paper is similar to traditional handmade paper and has characteristics that make it well suited for painting and the printing of art motifs. ARCHES paper is made of cotton, on a tradition cylinder mould, with a structure that provides strength and a characteristic feel. ARCHES paper is produced by two dedicated paper machines at the Arches plant in France where Ahlstrom-Munksjö Arches operates a total of seven paper machines, the remainder of which produce decor papers and abrasive paper backings.

“As a result of our regular assessment what is the best structure for our platform of businesses, we have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to divest the fine art paper business. The business is small and synergies are limited within our portfolio of businesses. F.I.L.A. is a strategic and industrial owner, a leading global player in its field, for which the ARCHES paper product range is highly complementary and provides further growth opportunities,” comments Ahlstrom-Munksjö President and CEO Hans Sohlström.

“F.I.L.A. is excited to include the ARCHES® prestigious range of products into the F.I.L.A. family and sees attractive development opportunities for this business that further accelerate our global growth. We welcome our new colleagues and are honored to continue the ARCHES® brand and its over 500 year old tradition in F.I.L.A.” says F.I.L.A.
(Ahlstrom-Munksjö Corporation)

Cascades Announces the Closure of Tissue Converting Activities at the Waterford and ...
 12.11.2019

Cascades Announces the Closure of Tissue Converting Activities at the Waterford and ...  (Company news)

... Kingman Plants

Cascades Inc. (TSX: CAS), a leader in eco‑friendly recycling, packaging and hygiene solutions, announces that it will permanently close tissue converting operations at its Waterford, New York (photo) and Kingman, Arizona plants, effective March 27, 2020.

It is important to note that the closures do not involve the Waterford customer service or distribution centres, while the Kingman distribution centre will continue to operate until the lease ends in October 2020. The two sites produce a combined total of 9 million cases of tissue products annually and employ 213 workers. These volumes will be moved to other Cascades plants and filled with the ramp up of additional capacity.

"The difficult, but necessary decisions we are announcing today are part of our strategic efforts to improve the tissue group's profitability and position this business for long-term success. The losses recorded by these plants, existing market conditions, and our recently announced investments in acquiring and modernizing other converting units in the U.S. have prompted us to move production to our other sites to optimize operational efficiency and reduce logistic costs. We would like to reassure our customers that Cascades' service and product quality levels will not be impacted by this decision" said Jean-David Tardif, President and Chief Operating Officer of Cascades Tissue Group.

Over the coming weeks and months, Cascades will work to mitigate the impact of this announcement on its employees, including by offering as many employees as possible the option to transfer to Cascades' other business units. Employees who cannot, or do not wish to relocate to other plants, will receive support in their search for other employment.

"I want to thank each and every one of the Waterford and Kingman Cascaders for their dedication over the years. With the closure of these plants, Cascades is turning a page in its history. I would like to thank our employees in advance for their professionalism and commitment to continuing to serve our customers until the two sites close," concluded Jean-David Tardif.
(Cascades Inc.)

Mercer International Inc. Reports Third Quarter And Nine Months Ended September 30, 2019 Results..
 12.11.2019

Mercer International Inc. Reports Third Quarter And Nine Months Ended September 30, 2019 Results..   (Company news)

...And Announces Quarterly Cash Dividend Of $0.1375

Selected Highlights
-Third quarter net income of $1.2 million ($0.02 per share) and Operating EBITDA of $50.8 million
-Nine months ended September 30, 2019 net income of $63.1 million ($0.96 per share) and Operating EBITDA of $244.6 million

Mercer International Inc. (Nasdaq: MERC) reported third quarter 2019 Operating EBITDA decreased to $50.8 million from $86.7 million in the third quarter of 2018 and from $70.0 million in the second quarter of 2019.

In the third quarter of 2019, net income was $1.2 million, or $0.02 per share, compared to $41.2 million, or $0.63 per share, in the third quarter of 2018 and $10.3 million, or $0.16 per share in the second quarter of 2019. In the first nine months of 2019, Operating EBITDA modestly declined to $244.6 million from $246.5 million in the same period of 2018. In the first nine months of 2019, net income was $63.1 million compared to $83.6 million in the same period of 2018.

Mr. David M. Gandossi, the Chief Executive Officer, stated: "Our third quarter results reflect continuing weakness in the pulp markets. High producer inventories, particularly of hardwood pulp, resulted in pricing pressure through most of the third quarter. However, late in the quarter we saw softwood producer inventories begin to fall and demand began to increase in China. We have announced an NBSK price increase of $10 per tonne for October in China.
Our mills ran well this quarter as we head into a heavy maintenance quarter in the fourth quarter, where three of our pulp mills will have annual maintenance shutdowns."

In the third quarter of 2019 our operating EBITDA decreased to $50.8 million from $70.0 million in the second quarter of 2019, and from $86.7 million in the same quarter of 2018. The decrease in the current quarter compared to the prior quarter is primarily due to lower pulp sales realizations only partially being offset by lower per unit fiber costs and the positive impact of a stronger dollar compared to the euro on the dollar denominated cash and receivables held at the German mills. Compared to the same quarter of 2018 lower pulp and lumber sales realizations were partially offset by lower per unit fiber costs and higher sales volumes.

Segment Results Pulp: Strong sales volumes and lower fiber costs more than offset by lower sales realizations
In the third quarter of 2019 pulp segment operating income decreased to $21.4 million from $68.8 million in the same quarter of 2018. The decrease was primarily due to lower pulp sales realizations partially offset by higher sales volumes and lower per unit fiber costs. In the current quarter of 2019, the NBSK pulp realized sales price decreased by approximately 29% to $609 per ADMT from $852 per ADMT in the same quarter of the prior year due to high producer inventory levels. NBSK sales volumes increased by approximately 41% to 451,171 ADMTs in the current quarter from 319,850 ADMTs in the same quarter of 2018 due to the inclusion of Mercer Peace River Pulp Ltd. ("MPR") and strong sales volumes to China.

As a result of a decline in pulp sales realizations in the current quarter of 2019, we recorded a write down of our inventory carrying values at our Canadian mills of $6.9 million. In the current quarter of 2019, we received German regulatory approval to reverse a wastewater fee accrual of $7.2 million as a result of certain capital projects.
Page 3 Per unit fiber costs decreased in the current quarter by approximately 14% from the same quarter of 2018 due to lower per unit fiber costs for our German mills and the positive impact of a stronger dollar on our euro and Canadian dollar denominated fiber costs. In Germany, fiber costs benefitted from the continuing availability of beetle damaged wood. Fiber costs in Canada remained at high levels due to strong fiber demand in Celgar's fiber procurement basket.

Wood Products: Lower fiber costs partially offset by lower lumber sales realizations
In the third quarter of 2019 wood products segment operating income increased to $0.5 million compared to an operating loss of $1.8 million in the same quarter of 2018. The increase was primarily due to lower per unit fiber costs partially offset by lower lumber sales realizations. In the current quarter per unit fiber costs decreased by approximately 34% from the same quarter of 2018 primarily as a result of the availability of beetle damaged wood. Average lumber sales realizations decreased by approximately 18% to $337 per Mfbm in the third quarter of 2019 from approximately $409 per Mfbm in the same quarter of 2018 primarily due to lower pricing in both the U.S. and Europe. U.S lumber pricing declined as a result of high producer inventory levels. European lumber pricing declined due to an increase in the supply of lumber processed from beetle damaged wood which generally obtains lower prices.

Consolidated –Nine Months Ended September 30, 2019 Compared to Nine Months Ended September 30, 2018
Total revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 increased by approximately 24% to $1,293.2 million from $1,045.5 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2018 primarily due to the inclusion of the results of MPR and higher pulp and energy sales volumes partially offset by lower sales realizations.

Costs and expenses in the nine months ended September 30, 2019 increased by approximately 32% to $1,143.1 million from $868.6 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2018 primarily due to the inclusion of MPR and higher pulp sales volumes partially offset by lower per unit fiber and maintenance costs and the positive impact of a stronger dollar on our euro denominated costs and expenses.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2019, our net income decreased to $63.1 million, or $0.96 per share from $83.6 million, or $1.28 per basic and $1.27 per diluted share in the same period of 2018, after giving effect to costs of $28.5 million, or $0.44 per basic and $0.43 per diluted share, for the redemption of our 2022 senior notes in January, 2019 and a legal cost award.

In the nine months ended September 30, 2019, Operating EBITDA modestly declined to $244.6 million from $246.5 million in the same period of 2018 primarily due to lower pulp and lumber sales realizations partially offset by higher pulp and energy sales volumes, lower per unit fiber and maintenance costs, the inclusion of MPR and the positive impact of a stronger dollar on our euro denominated costs and expenses.

Outlook
We currently expect NBSK pulp markets to stabilize in the later part of the year due to lower producer inventories as a result of producer downtime along with steady demand. We currently expect lumber pricing to also stabilize in the later part of the year due to sawmill curtailments in Canada and steady U.S. and European demand.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, we have three of our pulp mills down for scheduled maintenance downtime totaling 53 days or approximately 83,000 ADMTs.

Quarterly Dividend
A quarterly dividend of $0.1375 per share will be paid on December 19, 2019 to all shareholders of record on December 12, 2019. Future dividends will be subject to Board approval and may be adjusted as business and industry conditions warrant.
(Mercer International Inc.)

Solid second quarter improves half-year balance sheet - economic uncertainties remain
 12.11.2019

Solid second quarter improves half-year balance sheet - economic uncertainties remain   (Company news)

-Q2 sales up 9 percent to € 622 million
-EBITDA (excluding restructuring result) rises to € 55 million in Q2
-Focus on increasing liquidity and safeguarding profitability
-Outlook for financial year 2019/2020 remains unchanged

In the second quarter (July 1 through September 30, 2019), Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) succeeded in almost compensating for the relatively weak start to the year. As a result, sales for the quarter (up 9 percent to € 622 million), EBITDA (excluding restructuring result) (up 28 percent to € 55 million), and incoming orders (up 1 percent to € 648 million) all improved. The main boost to business came from the ongoing digitization of processes (Push-to-Stop technology) in the core business of sheetfed offset printing, which is currently generating higher sales in the United States and China in particular. Digital business models such as subscription are also making a positive contribution, as is the growing proportion of recurring sales from contract business and e-commerce. Subscription business now accounts for over 10 percent of the order backlog, for instance. The medium-term goal at Heidelberg is to significantly reduce the company’s exposure to economic fluctuations by generating around a third of total sales from recurring business.
(Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG)

KODAK PRINERGY VME with Managed Services Heralds a New Workflow Era
 12.11.2019

KODAK PRINERGY VME with Managed Services Heralds a New Workflow Era  (Company news)

Leading workflow solution for the printing industry gets off to a flying start in the cloud

Picture: Jim Continenza, Executive Chairman, Eastman Kodak Company; William Schuring, Chief Operating Officer, Wilco Printing & Binding and Todd Bigger, President, Kodak Software Division, Eastman Kodak Company

For 20 years, KODAK PRINERGY Workflow has formed a solid backbone for commercial, publishing and packaging printers’ production activities with its high automation, efficiency, integration capacity and flexible connectivity. The launch of PRINERGY VME with Managed Services represents a decisive step into the future by Kodak.

With PRINERGY VME (Virtual Machine Environment), each customer’s virtualized PRINERGY software is hosted and managed by Kodak; backed by Microsoft Azure’s $1B investment in R&D. Through the Managed Services, Kodak assumes responsibility for system administration, 24-hour security and monitoring, upgrades and problem resolution.

Reliability, proactive security, scalability and reduced cost of ownership
In conjunction with Microsoft Azure, PRINERGY VME with Managed Services helps business-critical prepress software run at optimal levels 24/7, 365 days a year. Kodak assumes responsibility of the system in its care, data backups are distributed across several data centers which provide ironclad security, disaster recovery and business continuity.

For customers, this has the advantage that they are no longer required to operate, manage and maintain any local servers directly on premise, lowering the total cost of ownership. Printers can streamline their IT infrastructure and rid themselves of the costs and constraints of system.

After a successful pilot test program in North America, we already have a number of customers live in production using KODAK PRINERGY VME with Managed Services.

The first European Kodak customer to implement and use this revolutionary innovation is Wilco Printing & Binding, Netherlands. William Schuring, Chief Operating Officer said, “Working in the cloud is the future. When it was time to replace our existing server infrastructure, Kodak proposed we switch to PRINERGY VME with Managed Services. We have an excellent, long standing partnership with Kodak and utilizing PRINERGY VME with Managed Services gives us unprecedented data security and a much better ROI compared to an on premises server environment.”

“PRINERGY VME with Managed Services is industry-first innovation that combines state-of-the-art cloud technology with our Managed Services under a subscription model. This product offering marks the future for all prepress and print workflow software platforms,” said Todd Bigger, President, Kodak Software Division and Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. “This one-of-a kind solution guarantees reliability and optimized performance, protecting customers against cyber attacks with maximum flexibility to adapt as the marketplace changes.”
(Eastman Kodak Company)

Close collaboration across the value chain sees Sappi in partnership with ...
 12.11.2019

Close collaboration across the value chain sees Sappi in partnership with ...  (Company news)

... Constantia Flexibles driving forward innovation for sustainable packaging solutions

Picture: Sappi worked in partnership with Nestlé and packaging supplier, Constantia Flexibles to develop solutions suitable for recyclable paper production processes

With the increased global push for environmentally friendly and sustainable paper-based packaging solutions, Sappi has made great strides in developing breakthrough proprietary barrier technology to offer new opportunities to satisfy this need. These unique solutions enabled Sappi to closely collaborate with the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé to support the launch of the YES! snack bar wrapped in recyclable paper. Sappi worked in partnership with Nestlé and packaging supplier, Constantia Flexibles to develop solutions suitable for recyclable paper production processes.

Susanne Oste, Vice President of Innovations and Sustainability at Sappi Europe commented: “Sappi has been working with leading consumer brand owners to develop and supply renewable paper-based packaging solutions understanding and supporting the goals of making their packaging recyclable without compromising on food protection and shelf life. One example of this is the new Sappi Guard range of products providing brand owners with a paper confectionery wrapper to meet market demand for more sustainable products.”

“The acquisition in 2017 of barrier film technology company Rockwell Solutions Limited (Rockwell Solutions) of Dundee, Scotland gave Sappi the opportunity to enhance its product offering by adding recyclable barrier coatings to its products. The recent launch of the YES! bar by Nestlé provides a clear example of the benefits brought through collaboration across the value chain in our joint efforts to increase the use of recyclable packaging made from renewable wood fibre.” says Thomas Kratochwill, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Packaging and Speciality Papers at Sappi Europe. He added: “Sappi’s own strong commitment to developing sustainable paper-based solutions is bolstered by strong partners. It is only with strong leadership that the new products consumers expect will be realised and shared.”

Stefan Grote, Executive Vice President Consumer at Constantia Flexibles commented on the partnership with Sappi: “We at Constantia Flexibles also recognize the importance of actively contributing to the circular economy. With our new innovation we have strongly underlined our competencies in paper-based packaging solutions that ensure high product quality and freshness over the entire shelf life. This is an important step towards more sustainable products that may innovate the confectionery packaging. We are very proud of this successful joint effort in the project with Nestlé and passionate to drive sustainable packaging solutions globally.”
(Sappi Europe S.A.)

Sappi successfully concludes its acquisition of the Matane Mill in Quebec Canada from ...
 11.11.2019

Sappi successfully concludes its acquisition of the Matane Mill in Quebec Canada from ...  (Company news)

...Rayonier Advanced Materials (RYAM)

Sappi Limited, a leading global producer of dissolving wood pulp, specialities and packaging papers, graphic papers and biomaterials, announced that all conditions precedent relating to the acquisition of the Matane high yield hardwood pulp mill (photo) in Quebec, Canada from Rayonier Advanced Materials (RYAM) have been fulfilled and closing has been completed.

The main benefits of the acquisition include:
• Increases Sappi’s pulp integration for its fast-growing packaging businesses in both North America and Europe
• Supports Sappi’s 2020Vision to grow in higher margin growth segments
• Reduces Sappi’s cost of pulp
• Reduces the volatility of earnings through the pulp cycle
• Establishes certainty of supply for Sappi’s increasing need for high yield pulp to support its recent investments
• Will enable supply to be increased over time to Sappi’s mills in North America and Europe as demand increases and capacity expands in certain growth businesses.
• Leverages Sappi’s global pulp expertise to profitably sell market pulp to strategic customers and segments

Commenting on the transaction Steve Binnie, Chief Executive Officer of Sappi Limited, said:
“I am very pleased that we have been able to finalise this acquisition so quickly. This acquisition will provide Sappi with both cost reductions and decreased volatility at a very competitive price per ton of pulp. The transaction strengthens Sappi’s pulp integration, improves our profitability and is another significant milestone towards realizing our Vision2020 goal.”
(Sappi Limited)

WACKER finds a way out of a sticky situation with BucketBox
 11.11.2019

WACKER finds a way out of a sticky situation with BucketBox  (Company news)

Trying to find the right solution for packing a new gumbase premix for chewing gum production can be a sticky situation.

WACKER, a global chemical company, has been working hard to develop a new gumbase premix to make chewing gum and part of the challenge was to find a sustainable packaging solution for it. This goes to the heart of their approach to find responsible packaging solutions.

To make chewing gum, you need containers to be filled with 110° C hot molasses, which turns solid after three days. Typically, non-recyclable plastic buckets and complex 3-piece boxes with thick silicon barriers are used for this type of production.
This was no longer an option due to the final product upon cooling down not separating well from the packaging. The 3-piece corrugated box design was also awkward to handle.

Mondi’s challenge was to find an easy-to-handle corrugated solution that was heat resistant, leak proof, food safe, resource efficient and of course fully recyclable.

Using Mondi’s EcoSolutions approach, a team of experts worked closely with Wacker to determine what the packaging and sustainability requirements were for this product, and how the product would be handled and stored.

Mondi engineers were tasked to create a one-piece corrugated box design with no open flute that helps with handling and storage, in addition to being recyclable in paper waste streams.

The Mondi development teams were able to draw from their experience in the extrusion coatings business where they offer sustainable packaging solutions for other food packaging clients.

"In a market full of so-called alternative solutions, Mondi truly partnered with our customer to identify the most sustainable packaging for their new product. Once we found the release lining, all other benefits of the design were pure value add", Dr. Werner Bauer, Supply Chain Manager, Wacker Chemie AG.

The outcome: BucketBox is a one-piece folding corrugated solution that is 100% leak-proof from top to bottom thanks to its highly functional Paratherm® barrier coating. Beyond its resource conserving design and excellent release properties, the food-safe solution is complemented by a smart closure solution for easy and safe opening.
(Mondi Europe & International Division)

SIG launches U-shaped paper straw for aseptic carton packs
 11.11.2019

SIG launches U-shaped paper straw for aseptic carton packs  (Company news)

Picture: SIG is a pioneer in the industry to offer a U-shaped paper straw to be used on carton packages. Photo: SIG

SIG is a pioneer in the industry to offer a U-shaped paper straw to be used on carton packages. After introducing the world’s first straight paper straw for carton packaging in February 2019, SIG launches a U-shaped paper straw during Gulfood Manufacturing, together with its joint venture partner SIG Combibloc Obeikan. Gulfood Manufacturing is the world’s largest annual food and beverage technology trade exhibition. The new straw uses FSC™ certified paper and is now available globally.

Markus Boehm, Chief Market Officer at SIG: “SIG is determined to collaborate with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to find new approaches to reduce single-use plastics, foster recycling and minimise waste. Being the first in the industry to offer paper straws for aseptic carton packs is an important milestone for us on that journey.”

The new paper straw solution supports SIG’s efforts to use more renewable materials. The paper used to produce the straight paper straw and the new U-shaped paper-straws – available with 4 and 6 mm diameter – originates from FSCTM-certified forests and other controlled sources. The wrapper for the straw has also been redesigned to remain attached to the package preventing littering and can be recycled with the carton pack.

Abdelghany Eladib, Chief Operating Officer, SIG Combibloc Obeikan: “We are excited to launch the U-shaped paper straw during Gulfood Manufacturing. The exhibition offers an ideal platform to share our latest innovations. With plastic pollution being a major concern for businesses and consumers around the world, the food and beverage industry is under pressure to offer a viable and sustainable alternative. Carton packs are sustainable by nature. Our carton packs consist of 70-80% paperboard. With the introduction of the first paper straws for aseptic carton packs consist of 70-80% paperboard. With the introduction of the first paper straws for aseptic carton packs, SIG is once again leading the way in the industry.”
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

Valmet introduces a new web-based user interface for Valmet DNA automation system
 08.11.2019

Valmet introduces a new web-based user interface for Valmet DNA automation system  (Company news)

Valmet is taking process automation further by introducing a new web-based user interface for its Valmet DNA automation system. Leveraging modern web technologies, the innovative Valmet DNA User Interface (DNA UI) extends the use of automation system beyond the traditional control room.

Photo: The introduction of the DNA UI is a part of the continuous renewal of Valmet DNA automation system, which is used in pulp, paper, energy and other process industries around the world.

Relevant information based on the needs of different user groups
Intuitive user experience and serving the needs of various user groups has been the main focus in the development of the new Valmet DNA User Interface.

The system adapts shown information based on the needs of various users and user groups. Relevant information is delivered in visual, well-structured, easy-to-understand dashboards, process and sub-process views, which allows the users of the automation system control the process better than ever before.

“It is essential for us to understand how our customers consume information, so we can help different user groups to process information faster. In the new DNA User Interface, we have structured and visualized data in new ways to make the workflow more intuitive – which in turn helps to make faster conclusions based on the data,” explains Jukka Ylijoki, Vice President, R&D, Automation business line, Valmet.

Control room no longer sets boundaries for work
Traditionally, system information and people using it have been tied in the control room. Built with latest web technologies, Valmet DNA User Interface comes with a secure web-based access that enables the mill or plant teams to access relevant information whenever they need it, regardless of their location.

“From logistics and laboratory to the boardroom, the entire site community needs specific information about the process. With Valmet DNA User Interface, users no longer need to stay in the control room to be on top of the situation,” Ylijoki continues.

Increased awareness leads to increased efficiency
With over 40 years of heritage in digital industrial automation, Valmet wants to make sure that industrial plants are safe and efficient to operate and that they meet the set quality and production targets.

“For the users, the new Valmet DNA UI will mean a complete feeling of awareness. They will always have the situation in hand and can easily manage information content to support their decisions. This leads to efficiency and helps to achieve savings throughout the process,” Ylijoki says.

Valmet DNA User Interface is the first web-based user interface on the market that can be delivered also as an upgrade to an existing Valmet DNA automation system. This means that in the future the existing customers can unlock the benefits the web-based user interface offers via upgrade rather than a full system renewal.
(Valmet Corporation)

Agfa to showcase new industrial printing applications at InPrint 2019
 08.11.2019

Agfa to showcase new industrial printing applications at InPrint 2019  (Company news)

At InPrint 2019 (Munich, November 12-14), ink expert Agfa will show how inkjet printing lends itself perfectly to integration in a wide variety of highly demanding industrial production environments, as it delivers the speed and flexibility that brands are looking for to meet their customers’ challenging and varying requirements.

In industrial printing, the printing process is integrated into an existing manufacturing process, and thus compatible with pre- and post-printing processes. In direct relationship with system integrators, Agfa develops specific high-performance industrial inkjet inks for use in state-of-the-art, often custom-made OEM printing equipment.

UV-curable inks: consistent print results
Agfa’s top-performing UV inkjet inks fuel many OEM printing solutions. Not only do they deliver high print quality and day-to-day reliable print results, but also a wide color gamut, excellent jetting reliability, superior shelf life and superb batch-to-batch consistency. Jettable primer and varnish complete the range. Agfa’s booth will feature multiple print samples from its customers, with a focus on direct-to-shape product printing and interior decoration.

Water-based inks: the next wave
The interest in aqueous inkjet inks for industrial applications is strongly growing as they provide benefits in terms of ecology, cost-efficiency, and safety. At InPrint 2019, Agfa will present its developments to date.

One of the industries which is looking for inkjet printing solutions is the laminate flooring and furniture market. Together with Unilin, leader in high-quality laminate production, Agfa has designed water-based ink-primer sets for high-speed roll-to-roll digital printing on decor paper. This combination of dedicated primers from UNILIN and perfectly matched Agfa inks delivers a wide color gamut with amazing print quality and low ink consumption.

Agfa will also show its aqueous inkjet ink developments for packaging with a focus on corrugated and flexible packaging. In this market segment, inkjet printing meets brands’ demand for personalized packaging at an acceptable cost, while also offering them just-in-time delivery and supporting them in their search for more ecological alternatives.

Functional inkjet inks
Agfa is also globally active in the field of inkjet inks for printed electronics and printed circuit boards (PCB) production. The company offers inkjet inks for legend printing, solder mask and etch resist, allowing for total flexibility in lot size, variable data printing and position-dependent layer thickness.

In addition, Agfa develops nanosilver inks which feature highest conductivity with low silver deposition (one micron DFT) and deliver high-resolution printing to create smaller, lighter and more cost-effective printed electronics devices.

Meet Agfa’s inkjet ink experts and see real-life print samples at InPrint, booth 510 (Munich, 12-14 November).
-UV inkjet chemistry requirements for industrial printing – Marc Graindourze, Business Development Manager Industrial Inks, Agfa Technical stage, Wednesday November 13, 09:30
-A quantum leap in digital printing of laminate flooring & furniture – Marc Graindourze, Business Development Manager Industrial Inks, Agfa, and Jasmine Geerinckx, Business Development Manager UNILIN, division technologies
-Applications stage, Thursday November 14, 11:00 am

For more information about Agfa’s functional inkjet inks, visit Agfa at Productronica 2019 (Munich, 12-15 November, hall B3 booth 255).
(Agfa Graphics Belgium)

Ahlstrom-Munksjö's offers broad range of FluoroFree® grease-proof food packaging on a global scale
 08.11.2019

Ahlstrom-Munksjö's offers broad range of FluoroFree® grease-proof food packaging on a global scale  (Company news)

Ahlstrom-Munksjö, a global leader in innovative fiber-based solutions, launches its enhancements in the Grease-Gard® family of brands, including its expanded global offering of Grease-Gard® FluoroFree® technology. Grease-Gard® FluoroFree® delivers outstanding grease-resistance for common fast-food packaging, food wraps, clamshells, and microwave popcorn bags, without the use of fluorochemicals, commonly referred to as PFAS.

“Due to our continuously improving innovation in the area of PFAS-free food packaging, Ahlstrom-Munksjö has the unique capability of manufacturing our FluoroFree® papers at several plants across the globe, including the United States and Europe,” said Robyn Buss, Executive Vice President for Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s North America Specialty Solutions Business Area. “Increasingly, consumers and brand owners are looking for a PFAS-free option, and yet they still need the product to meet food safety requirements, be cost-effective, and eco-friendly. We are uniquely situated to provide that option.”

The FluoroFree® technology has also been successfully commercialized in microwave popcorn applications, the most difficult grease-resistance to achieve. One of the first to launch this product was Coop Denmark.

“In 2015 Coop made the decision to remove PFAS-treated microwave popcorn bags from the store shelves, and we at first were not certain a solution could be found,” said Malene Teller Blume, Quality and Social Compliance Manager with Coop Denmark. “However we found Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s FluoroFree® papers, and within five months our microwave popcorn products were available once again and this product is still being used successfully today.”

Grease-Gard® FluoroFree® papers not only meet grease-resistant needs, but also offer a broad range of basis weights, excellent glueability and printability, and can be uncalendered or calendered and bleached or available in trulyNatural®. As a leading manufacturer of grease-resistant papers and one of the first to engineer fluorochemical-free papers, Grease-Gard FluoroFree® technologies flex to hit every performance specification.
(Ahlstrom-Munksjö Corporation)

Resolute Reports Preliminary Third Quarter 2019 Results
 08.11.2019

Resolute Reports Preliminary Third Quarter 2019 Results  (Company news)

-Q3 GAAP net loss of $43 million / $0.47 per share
-Adjusted EBITDA of $23 million
-Liquidity remains strong at $566 million
-Post-quarter senior secured credit facility refinancing to further boost liquidity by $175 million

Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) reported a net loss for the quarter ended September 30, 2019, of $43 million, or $0.47 per share, compared to net income of $117 million, or $1.25 per diluted share, in the same period in 2018. Sales were $705 million in the quarter, a decrease of $269 million from the year-ago period. The third quarter of 2018 included sales from the Catawba (South Carolina) and Fairmont (West Virginia) facilities, which were sold in the fourth quarter of 2018. Excluding special items, the company reported a net loss of $34 million, or $0.37 per share, compared to net income of $96 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2018.

"Ongoing weakness in market pulp pricing had a significant impact on our quarterly results," said Yves Laflamme (photo), president and chief executive officer. "While paper has come under pressure this year and lumber markets continue their slow recovery, we are pleased with the progress in sales growth and productivity gains in the tissue business, as we continue to build our position in the segment with positive EBITDA. In October, we successfully used our strong financial situation to increase and extend our senior secured credit facility by $175 million, providing us additional liquidity at very competitive terms to support our transformation initiatives. The proactive steps we have taken over the last few years to strengthen our balance sheet position us well to execute on our strategy despite the cyclical downturn currently affecting the industry."

Operating Income Variance Against Prior Period
Consolidated
The company reported an operating loss of $18 million in the quarter, compared to operating income of $40 million in the second quarter. Lower pricing adversely affected results by $48 million, particularly in market pulp ($34 million), as did an increase in manufacturing costs ($19 million) due to more planned maintenance outages this quarter, and an increase in chemical costs. Lower freight costs and a decrease in share-based compensation expense partially offset these unfavorable items. Overall volumes remained unchanged, as the 25% increase in market pulp shipments outweighed lower paper and lumber volumes.

Market Pulp
The market pulp segment recorded an operating loss of $12 million in the third quarter compared to operating income of $27 million in the second quarter. The drop in profitability was largely attributable to the 15% lower average transaction price, to $625 per metric ton, as global market conditions further weakened. The operating cost per unit (the "delivered cost") rose by $34 per metric ton, to $664, largely due to additional maintenance costs, mainly incurred during the scheduled outages at two mills. Given steps taken to reduce finished goods inventory, shipments rose by 63,000 metric tons. Despite the volume increase, EBITDA fell to negative $5 million in the third quarter. Finished goods inventory dropped to more normal levels of 74,000 metric tons at quarter-end.

Tissue
The tissue segment incurred an operating loss of $3 million in the quarter, an improvement of $1 million compared to the second quarter, and building on the gains of the previous quarter. Favorable product mix and continued pricing gains for away-from-home products led to a $46 per short ton increase in average transaction price, to $1,741, more than offsetting the $32 per short ton increase in delivered cost. As a result, EBITDA improved slightly to $1 million.

Wood Products
The wood products segment reported an operating loss of $4 million in the quarter compared to an operating loss of $3 million in the second quarter. Pricing decreased by $7 per thousand board feet, to $341, mainly due to unfavorable sales mix, while shipments dropped by 55 million board feet due to soft demand. Despite lower shipments, finished goods inventory at quarter-end remained unchanged at a normalized level of 122 million board feet, as the company took over 70 million board feet of downtime in the quarter, for nearly 170 million year-to-date. Even with lower volumes, the delivered cost improved by $4 to $351 per thousand board feet, but not enough to outweigh the 13% drop in sales. Accordingly, EBITDA decreased to $4 million for the quarter, compared to $6 million in the previous quarter.

Newsprint
At $4 million in the third quarter, newsprint's operating income decreased by $13 million compared to the previous quarter. Sales retreated by 14% as the average transaction price decreased by $24 per metric ton, to $573, and volume was 36,000 metric tons lower, at 314,000. The drop was more significant in offshore markets, which account for approximately 40% of newsprint volumes. Even with the reduction in shipments, finished goods inventory remained relatively unchanged at 104,000 metric tons at quarter-end, as the company continued to take temporary production downtime. Lower volumes combined with unfavorable chemical usage led to most of the $13 per metric ton increase in delivered cost. As a result, EBITDA decreased by $14 million to $11 million for the quarter, equivalent to $36 per metric ton. EBITDA margin decreased to 6%.

Specialty Papers
The specialty papers segment generated operating income of $4 million in the quarter, down $11 million from the second quarter. Pricing decreased by $21 per short ton to $732, while shipments declined slightly to 185,000 short tons. The delivered cost also increased by $29 per short ton, to $705, mainly as a result of higher maintenance and lower cogeneration contribution associated with downtime - mostly planned - at one mill. EBITDA decreased to $15 million, or $85 per short ton. EBITDA margin declined to 11%.

Consolidated Quarterly Operating Income Variance Against Year-Ago Period
The company's operating results were $153 million lower than the third quarter of 2018. Overall pricing had a $111 million unfavorable impact, as the average transaction price decreased by 25% for wood products, 20% for market pulp, and 9% for newsprint. The decline in operating results also reflects the divestiture of the Catawba and Fairmont facilities, as well as an increase in manufacturing costs of $49 million, mainly due to higher fiber expense and additional planned maintenance. These unfavorable items were offset in part by lower variable compensation expense and lower depreciation due to divestitures and full amortization of certain assets.

Corporate and Finance
With $25 million of cash provided by operations, $37 million of capital expenditures, $13 million of softwood lumber duty deposits, and $7 million of share repurchases, the company ended the quarter with $69 million of cash. Liquidity stood at $566 million at quarter-end. Net debt to trailing 12-month adjusted EBITDA remained low, at 1.1x.

By quarter-end, the company had recorded cumulative softwood lumber duty deposits of $149 million on the balance sheet.

So far in 2019, the company repurchased 1.8 million shares, at a cost of $12 million. There remains $12 million under the existing share repurchase program.

In October, the company entered into an amended and restated senior secured credit facility for up to $360 million, replacing the existing $185 million facility entered into in September 2016. The amended credit agreement includes a term loan facility of up to $180 million with a delay draw period of up to three years and maturities of six to ten years at the company's option, as well as a six-year revolver of up to $180 million.

The company is appealing the decision rendered by the Quebec Superior Court in Canada related to the 2012 acquisition of Fibrek. Of the total amount payable pursuant to the decision of Cdn $44 million, Cdn $19 million was paid in October. The payment and timing of any additional consideration will depend on the outcome of the appeal. During the third quarter, Cdn $30 million ($23 million) was accrued and recorded in "Other (expense) income, net" for the eventual payment of any amounts following the outcome of the appeal.

Outlook
"We expect challenging conditions in market pulp to persist at least through the end of the year, but we see encouraging signs and stronger industry operating rates for softwood pulp, which represents about two-thirds of our production capacity. For tissue, we will build on recent improvements around sales growth and productivity gains to deliver steady improvements over the next few quarters. Even as conditions in the lumber market remain somewhat uncertain, we believe wood products results will improve as reported industry capacity rationalizations support more stable market dynamics. Although we expect to see marginal seasonal improvement in paper shipments in the fourth quarter, we will face sustained pricing pressures for all paper grades, as operating rates remain low. Despite difficult markets, we are focused on maximizing margins and earnings power in our paper business. Our network of competitive assets and solid financial position provide us a strategic edge to weather current market headwinds and take advantage of future transformation opportunities," added Mr. Laflamme.
(Resolute Forest Products)

Metsä Board's comparable operating result in January–September 2019 was EUR 145 million
 08.11.2019

Metsä Board's comparable operating result in January–September 2019 was EUR 145 million  (Company news)

January–September 2019 (1–9/2018)
• Sales were EUR 1,453.4 million (1,486.1).
• Comparable operating result was EUR 145.3 million (191.9), or 10.0% (12.9%) of sales. Operating result was EUR 160.8 million (186.3).
• Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.32 (0.44), and earnings per share were EUR 0.36 (0.43).
• Comparable return on capital employed was 11.0% (14.7%).

July–September 2019 (4–6/2019)
• Sales were EUR 489.2 million (477.1).
• Comparable operating result was EUR 42.5 million (41.0), or 8.7% (8.6%) of sales. Operating result was EUR 42.5 million (46.4).
• Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.09 (0.09), and earnings per share were EUR 0.09 (0.10).
• Comparable return on capital employed was 9.7% (9.7%).

Events in July–September 2019
• The delivery volumes of paperboards in July–September increased from the previous quarter. Prices remained stable.
• The market prices of pulp declined from the previous quarter.
• Planned annual maintenance shutdowns were held at the Kemi and Husum integrated mills. The maintenance shutdown at Husum ended at the beginning of October, and for this reason some of the impact will be visible in the fourth quarter results.
Metsä Board launched a new plastic-free eco-barrier paperboard for food and food service packaging.
• The company published new sustainability targets. Targets include e.g. fossil-free mills and raw materials by 2030.
• Metsä Board signed a bank financing facility including sustainability targets. The facility consists of a EUR 150 million term loan and a EUR 200 million revolving credit facility.

Events after the review period
• On 8 October, Metsä Board gave a positive profit warning concerning the July–September results. Paperboard deliveries in the third quarter were on a higher level than earlier expected and wood costs were lower.
• On 30 October, the company announced that it aims to minimize the delay caused by the environmental permit process for the first phase of the planned renewal of Husum pulp mill. The company will make financial commitments for the renewal of a maximum of EUR 100 million before the final investment decision.

Result guidance for October–December 2019
Metsä Board’s comparable operating result for the fourth quarter of 2019 is expected to remain roughly at the same level as in the third quarter of 2019.

Metsä Board’s CEO Mika Joukio (photo):
“The negative effects of the weakening macroeconomic situation remained smaller than we expected in July–September and our comparable operating result, EUR 42.5 million, was better than we previously estimated. Good paperboard sales and wood costs, which were slightly lower than expected, improved our profitability. Particularly the delivery volumes of white kraftliners in July–September grew compared to previous quarters. Over the past year, we have defended our prices in a weakening market situation, which has been visible in the delivery volumes of our kraftliners. Profitability in the third quarter was burdened by the low price level of market pulp and the planned maintenance shutdowns of our integrated mills.

Our comparable operating result for January–September, EUR 145 million, was weaker than last year and mainly due to declining prices of market pulp. In Europe and China, the price of long-fibre pulp is approximately 30% lower than in the corresponding period last year. On the other hand, the average prices of our paperboards, and particularly folding boxboard, have increased from last year. Currencies have also had a positive impact on results.

In August, we published new ambitious sustainability targets. Among other things, we are aiming for fossil-free mills and raw materials as well as the improvement of energy efficiency and lower process water consumption by 2030. Sustainability is a strong part of our business, and the targets that we have now set are an indication of our commitment to combating climate change in accordance with the UN’s sustainable development goals. The renewal of Husum pulp mill would represent a significant step towards fossil-free mills. Our recently agreed new financing facility is also partly tied to our sustainability targets.

We continue to develop our paperboards and packaging solutions. Consumers and brand owners across the world are looking for more responsible and easily recyclable alternatives to plastic packaging. We responded to these needs in September by launching a new plastic-free eco-barrier paperboard suitable for food and food service packaging, which provides a barrier against moisture and grease, and which can be recycled along with other paperboards. Our eco-barrier paperboard has generated a lot of interest among our customers, and our expectations in terms of its commercial success are high.

Earlier in the summer, we announced that we will establish an excellence centre at Äänekoski focused on paperboard and packaging innovations. This will help us to take advantage of the opportunities provided by lightweight fresh fibre paperboards to an increasing degree.”

Near-term outlook
Metsä Board’s paperboard deliveries in the fourth quarter are expected to decline from the third quarter level (July–September deliveries were 466,000 tonnes). The decline in delivery volumes is influenced by the seasonally slower December.

The prices of folding boxboard and white kraftliner are expected to remain stable.

The pulp producers’ global stock levels are still high. In China, the decline in the price of long-fibre pulp has stopped, and several pulp producers have announced price increases. In Europe, the market price of long-fibre pulp (PIX) has continued to fall, which will have a negative effect on the October–December result.

The scheduled annual maintenance shutdown at Husum began in September and ended at the beginning of October, due to which some of the impact will be visible in the results of the fourth quarter.

Production costs are expected to remain stable.

During the fourth quarter, changes in exchange rates, including the impact of hedges, will have a neutral effect compared to the third quarter and a clearly positive effect compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.
(Metsä Board Corporation)

Valmet introduces roll covers made of recycled and renewable raw materials
 07.11.2019

Valmet introduces roll covers made of recycled and renewable raw materials  (Company news)

Valmet is the first company in the world to offer roll covers based on biomaterials and recycled materials for board, paper, tissue and pulp making. These new composite covers for press, guide and calender rolls are now available for the first customer deliveries.

Photo: “In best cases, bio-based materials can be produced from plant parts that would otherwise be waste. For example, lignin, carbon black made of lignin and nanocellulose can be utilized as reinforcing fillers in roll covers,” explains Jani Turunen, R&D Manager for Polymeric Roll Covers, Valmet (right) pictured with Pertti Hytönen, R&D Engineer, Valmet.

In new composite roll covers Valmet uses bio-based resin and hardener in the polymer matrix. The reinforcing fiber and filler are originating from recycled consumer plastic and glass. Depending on cover type, the content of recycled or bio-based raw materials is 75-96 percent. New materials are being tested continuously, and the target is to reach 100 percent as soon as possible.

Valmet has set strict criteria for the bio-based raw material in the covers. Only renewable materials derived from non-food chain plants or plant parts are used, in order to prevent the effect to global food production. Cultivation and harvesting of plants must not endanger the growth of natural forests either.

“In best cases, bio-based materials can be produced from plant parts that would otherwise be waste. For example, lignin, carbon black made of lignin and nanocellulose can be utilized as reinforcing fillers in roll covers,” explains Jani Turunen, R&D Manager for Polymeric Roll Covers, Valmet. “Our customers do not have to compromise in product performance either, as the results have shown that in some applications the performance is even above the traditional offering.”

A more sustainable future with a new generation of roll cover materials
Roll covers used in paper, board, tissue and pulp making need periodical renewal and thus consume tons of materials. A major part of the raw materials of traditional roll covers has been manufactured from fossil-based materials, which has been refined and processed from crude oil.

Valmet’s R&D work focuses strongly on enhancing raw material and energy efficiency and promoting the use of renewable raw materials. Valmet is continuously investigating the possibilities to replace fossil-based materials with renewable or recyclable materials. For example, recycling and more sustainable use of ceramic and metallic roll covers is under active research.

“Our continuous investing in R&D of sustainable solutions for our customers helps us increase the occupational safety of our employees, replace fossil-based raw materials with renewable ones, re-use and recycle materials and save energy. This is our contribution to the global challenge we face regarding our planet’s future. And by doing this, we are helping our customers do their part as well,” says Jukka T Heikkinen, Senior Manager, Roll R&D, Valmet.
(Valmet Corporation)

Experion MX Compact Scanner - Perfect scanner to optimize performance
 07.11.2019

Experion MX Compact Scanner - Perfect scanner to optimize performance  (Company news)

Honeywell offers an advanced scanner that’s right for you.
Paper and flat sheet manufacturers have to operate on a 24/7 basis with changing and dynamic production processes. Any issues with quality can have an immediate impact to the bottom line.

At the same time, end-user requirements, whether they’re from the consumer or the converter, are more and more demanding. Any mistake in quality can result in costly claims or lost business and reputation.

The Experion® MX Q6088 Compact Scanner has all the features you need – without unnecessary size and complexity
• Designed for applications requiring only one or two scanning measurements, with a small machine direction (MD) footprint
• Accurate measurements to optimize machine operations, process efficiency, and product quality
• Environmentally hardened scanner frame for sustained performance under the harshest conditions
• Ethernet Data Acquisition (EDAQ) architecture supporting the advanced MXIR sensor and Ethernet for sensor communications
• Comprehensive diagnostics provides better visibility of analytic information at the sensor level to maintain system performance, reliability, and availability
• Incorporates Honeywell’s QCS 4.0 solution, which leverages digitization and the IIoT to transform data into actionable insights
(Honeywell GmbH)

Mimaki showcases business-enhancing 3D solution at Formnext 2019
 07.11.2019

Mimaki showcases business-enhancing 3D solution at Formnext 2019  (Company news)

Mimaki Europe announces that it will demonstrate its colour expertise in 3D printing at Formnext (19 – 22 November, Frankfurt, Germany). Visitors looking for photorealistic prototypes or models can see a broad range of applications produced by Mimaki’s 3DUJ-553 full-colour 3D printer, capable of faithfully replicating more than 10 million colours, in Hall 12.1, Stand B99.

The Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer, which will be demonstrated live at Formnext, allows bureaux, designers and product developers to create vivid, true-to-life parts due to its accurate detail and extensive colour capabilities. Mimaki draws upon the colour expertise it has perfected through its heritage in 2D printing to produce consistent and repeatable results, ensuring that users’ on-screen designs will be flawlessly replicated in real-life. Mimaki has also developed a clear resin so full transparency and semi-transparent colour can be achieved. With options to print in 19, 22, 32 or 42µm layers, the 3DUJ-553 3D printer delivers super-fine details and smooth surfaces; and thanks to a water-soluble support material that easily dissolves after printing, details are preserved during post-processing. The printer is suitable for an impressive range of applications, including car prototypes, architectural models and luxury packaging, all of which will be exemplified on Mimaki’s stand.

“The accuracy and brilliance of the vast range of colours produced by Mimaki 3D printers paves the way for some very exciting application possibilities,” comments Jordi Drieman, 3D application specialist at Mimaki. “This product is ideal for creating models and prototypes to serve a number of industries; from brands requiring true-to-life product prototypes or luxury packaging samples, to planners producing architectural models, or schools needing educational models, to entertainment businesses producing lifelike figurines, this is the perfect tool.”

In a deliberate move to increase customers’ profitability, Formnext will also see Mimaki announce a new pricing model for the build and support materials compatible with the 3DUJ-553 3D printer. Since launching its 3D print technology, Mimaki has succeeded in improving efficiencies across consumables production and supply chain management, facilitating its most recent pricing model. Mimaki delivers the highest quality 3D-printed models, and, as the company produces its own build material, these are now more accessible than ever to designers and manufacturers. Visitors to the stand will be able to discuss pricing with members of the Mimaki sales team, who will be on-hand answer any questions.
(Mimaki Europe B.V.)

Toscotec consolidates presence in Japan with new TT SYD start-up at Toyo Paper
 07.11.2019

Toscotec consolidates presence in Japan with new TT SYD start-up at Toyo Paper  (Company news)

The Japanese tissue manufacturer Toyo Paper started up a second generation TT SYD at its Shikokuchuo paper mill, Ehime prefecture, Japan.

This is Toscotec’s sixth TT SYD to be installed in Japan, following previous installations at the Marutomi Group, Oji Group and Nishinihon Eizai paper mill.

Gabriele Martinelli, Toscotec Sales Manager Asia & Pacific, says: “It is very important for us that such a high-tech market as Japan welcomes our technology, starting from TT SYD. We are happy to see another successful start-up here at Toyo Paper and confident that this TT SYD will exceed their expectations of energy efficiency. This confirms Toscotec’s presence in the Japanese market, where we are recognized as a first-rate manufacturer of advanced tissue technology”.

TT SYD’s superior drying capacity makes it the most competitive choice in the market. In order to guarantee increasingly higher performances, Toscotec continuously upgrades the design of its TT SYD, by optimizing its geometry and heat transfer efficiency.
(Toscotec S.p.A.)

Huhtamaki celebrates the inauguration of a new fiber packaging line in Russia
 07.11.2019

Huhtamaki celebrates the inauguration of a new fiber packaging line in Russia  (Company news)

Huhtamaki is celebrating the inauguration of its newest fiber packaging line in Ivanteevka, Russia. The EUR 7 million investment that was announced in November 2018 included setting up a completely new state-of-the-art egg carton line as well as modernizing one of the unit’s existing egg packaging lines. With the new line, 26 new jobs will be created in Ivanteevka. In addition, as part of Huhtamaki's continuous efforts to minimize the environmental footprint of its manufacturing operations, improvements were made to the unit’s water management system.

Photo: Molded fiber egg carton

“I would like to thank my colleagues at Fiber Packaging Russia for their hard work and contribution to the successful implementation of this investment. Our growth has been constrained by lack of capacity, but now, thanks to the new line and range extensions, we are again ready to grow with our customers”, says Gala Mansurova, General Manager for Fiber Packaging Russia. “I am delighted to have our customers, the representatives of Moscow Region Government and the Finnish Embassy as well as our CEO and President, Mr. Charles Héaulmé, join us in this very special day.”
(Huhtamäki Oyj)

DS Smith Joins FSC International
 07.11.2019

DS Smith Joins FSC International  (Company news)

Sustainable packaging company to work with FSC International and the wider industry to shape significant improvements in certification

DS Smith, the leading provider of sustainable packaging, has announced its membership of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) International, which promotes environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.

Since the acquisition and integration of Interstate Resources and more recent acquisition of Europac, DS Smith now owns over 14,000 hectares of forest assets across North America, Portugal and Spain. FSC is the world’s most trusted sustainable forest certification system. More than 200 million hectares of forest worldwide are FSC-certified, and DS Smith joins the certification system as part of its forestry stewardship policy and overarching sustainable approach to management.

Sam Jones, Sustainability Strategy Manager at DS Smith commented: “Chain of custody certification schemes have value where they credibly substantiate a sustainable product story to a consumer, usually through data and supply chain traceability and transparency. There is still work to be done and certification schemes like the FSC need to continually evolve to make use of the best methodology and technologies for collecting, analysing and sharing supply chain data. DS Smith will work with FSC to improve the sharing of e-supply chain data securely without compromising commercially sensitive information.”

Jeremy Harrison, Chief Marketing Officer at FSC International commented: “We recognise that we cannot solve complex environmental issues on our own. Collaboration with stakeholders – including with businesses like DS Smith – is crucial in continuing to develop the effectiveness of certification. Collaboration drives the innovation required to improve our system and continue to create value for the end consumer, communities and the environment.”

Forest management and chain of custody certifications are a minimum requirement for the paper and cardboard industry, and DS Smith has this in place across its global footprint to reinforce that it only has responsibly managed and sustainably harvested virgin material in its products.

This is particularly important as consumers become more and more interested in the provenance of products, which must be supported by accurate data. Today’s consumers increasingly want to know exactly from where the wood or paper was sourced, and that it was sustainably managed.
(DS Smith Plc)

T.CON establishes its first international presence
 07.11.2019

T.CON establishes its first international presence  (Company news)

Plattling-based T.CON GmbH & Co. KG has established a sales location in Austin, Texas. In founding its first international branch, the SAP consultancy has reached a key milestone towards further internationalization of its business.

T.CON is already active in 35 countries with project collaborations. The SAP Gold Partner is specialized in guiding businesses in the mill industry through the digital transformation and helping them open competitive advantages and market benefits. North America has a large number of mills and companies producing film, paper, board, felt, textiles and metal; T.CON can offer these companies an SAP and process expertise that is unique worldwide. “We have already completed more than 20 successful projects in the United States, for example, with clients such as Perlen Packaging”, explains Stefan Fiedler, a Managing Director at T.CON GmbH. “We are now making additional investments in this market, as we would like to see T.CON grow significantly in the USA.”

T.CON also develops its own software products. This steadily increasing range of applications is likewise marketed internationally. Stefan Fiedler therefore considers this first international branch a logical step. “Establishing this new branch makes collaboration with our international customers easier”, he explains. “For liability reasons and for optimum processing of license sales, it makes sense to establish our presence in this way in the United States.”

A location matching the T.CON dynamic
The new Sales Office is located in Austin, Texas. “This city is one of the most dynamic locations for technology in the United States”, says Bradley Robb, International Business Developer at T.CON. “The Austin location is a perfect fit for our company and our progressive culture.” The Texan metropolis is already home to Apple and Google, as well as various start-ups. Top-class technology conferences are held there, such as the SAP TechEd in 2020 and the annual SXSW Festival. Austin was also attractive for T.CON due to numerous potential local customers. The consultancy already has numerous projects south of the Rio Grande, many of them for automotive suppliers.

T.CON plans to make its mark in the US with its smart, quick to implement SAP system add-ons. For example, its in-house developed TRIM SUITE. The software is used by enterprises in the mill industry to ensure economical cutting planning and cost-saving trim optimization when producing paper, plastic, film, felts and other materials.
(T.CON GmbH & Co. KG)

Smurfit Kappa combines expertise with Mitsubishi HiTec Paper to create innovative food packaging
 06.11.2019

Smurfit Kappa combines expertise with Mitsubishi HiTec Paper to create innovative food packaging  (Company news)

As part of its ongoing Better Planet Packaging initiative, Smurfit Kappa has collaborated with Mitsubishi HiTec Paper, to create a new type of innovative and recyclable food-safe packaging.

Photo: The new fibre-based packaging solution from Smurfit Kappa and Mitsubishi HiTec Paper

A combination of Smurfit Kappa’s expertise in paper-based packaging and Mitsubishi HiTec Paper’s strength in coated papers has led to the first product in the new range being shortlisted as a finalist in the Swiss Packaging Awards.

The outer board-based packaging was made from Smurfit Kappa’s ground-breaking MB12 packaging solution which has a unique, built-in adsorbing technology which protects against aromas and possible migration of substances. The inner packaging, which contains Mitsubishi HiTec Paper’s BARRICOTE barrier paper, offers protection against moisture and grease and has heat-sealing properties. This unique solution demonstrates the possibility to create functional board-based packaging that is fully recyclable thanks to the optimised use of renewable raw materials in the barrier.

"It has been a very interesting and collaborative process for us working with Mitsubishi HiTec Paper on this project,” said Lars Henriksson, VP of Product Development of the Smurfit Kappa Paper Division. “The fibres that our industry-leading paper is made from are an excellent solution for a huge range of products due to a range of attributes, not least their inherent sustainability.”

Dr. Dieter Becker, Director of New Business Development & CSR at Mitsubishi HiTec Paper added: “As experts in specialty paper coatings, we brought our know-how in barrier and protective coatings to this process. “Our solutions are completely free from foil, laminates, aluminium and fluorocarbons. Instead, we rely on the highest possible percentage of biodegradable resources which is why Smurfit Kappa’s MB12 solution was the right one.”

HOBAKO AG, a Swiss producer of chocolate products, together with SCHELLING AG, its Swiss packaging provider, were the first to use the new board-based packaging solution which was shortlisted as a finalist in both the sustainability and technology categories of the Swiss Packaging Awards earlier this year.
(Mitsubishi HiTec Paper Europe GmbH)

ANDRITZ GROUP: Results for Q3 / Q1-Q3 2019
 06.11.2019

ANDRITZ GROUP: Results for Q3 / Q1-Q3 2019  (Company news)

International technology Group ANDRITZ achieved a considerable increase both in order intake and in sales in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the figures for the previous year's reference period. The order backlog reached a new record high.

As expected, earnings (EBITA) were significantly below the level of the previous year’s reference period due to the measures announced at the end of July for restructuring of the Metals Forming sector. Excluding this extraordinary effect, profitability (EBITA margin) remained at the same solid level as in the previous year’s reference period.

The Group’s financial key figures:
-In the third quarter of 2019, order intake at 2,093.9 MEUR was 42.6% higher than the figure for the previous year’s reference period (Q3 2018: 1,468.7 MEUR), thus continuing the favorable development of the preceding quarters (Q1 2019: 1,658.1 MEUR; Q2 2019: 2,047.1 MEUR). This is attributable predominantly to the Pulp & Paper business area, which was able to more than double its order intake compared to the previous year due to a large-scale order to deliver pulp production technologies. Order intake in the other business areas was approximately the same as or just below the level of the previous year’s reference period, thus reflecting the moderate general economic situation. As a result, order intake in the first three quarters of 2019 developed very favorably, rising to 5,799.1 MEUR (+22.4% compared to Q1-Q3 2018: 4,738.0 MEUR).

-The order backlog as of September 30, 2019 amounted to 8,120.7 MEUR, thus reaching its highest level in the company’s history (+14.6% compared to the end of 2018: 7,084.3 MEUR).

-Sales rose significantly by 17.6% to 1,690.2 MEUR (Q3 2018: 1,437.7 MEUR) in the third quarter of 2019. The Pulp & Paper business area made a substantial contribution towards this, recording a significant increase in sales due to the favorable development of order intake in the preceding quarters. Sales in the first three quarters of 2019, at 4,752.6 MEUR, were also considerably higher than the previous year’s reference figure (+13.1% versus Q1-Q3 2018: 4,200.8 MEUR).

-As expected, the EBITA for the third quarter, at 6.4 MEUR, was significantly lower than the figure for the previous year’s reference period (85.9 MEUR). This is due to restructuring measures in the Metals Forming (Schuler) sector resulting from the weak international automotive market as well as measures for smaller capacity adjustments in the other business areas. Excluding these extraordinary effects of around 95 MEUR, the EBITA in the third quarter was 101.7 MEUR, and profitability (EBITA margin) at 6.0% reached the same level as in the previous year’s reference period (Q3 2018: 6.0%). The EBITA in the first three quarters of 2019 amounted to 183.9 MEUR (-27.1% compared to Q1-Q3 2018: 252.2 MEUR).

-As also announced at the end of July 2019, impairment of goodwill was made in the amount of approximately 25 MEUR during the reporting quarter.

-The net income (without non-controlling interests) fell to -31.0 MEUR (Q3 2018: 56.4 MEUR) in the third quarter of 2019 due to the extraordinary measures, goodwill impairment and the significantly lower financial result in the third quarter of 2019. In the first three quarters of 2019, the net income (without non-controlling interests) amounted to 46.5 MEUR (Q1-Q3 2018: 157.0 MEUR).

OUTLOOK
Regarding expectations for the 2019 business year as a whole, ANDRITZ confirms its guidance and expects a significant increase in sales compared to the previous year. In terms of profitability, ANDRITZ expects an unchanged operative EBITA margin before extraordinary effects of approximately 6.9% (EBITA margin 2018 before extraordinary effects: 6.9%).

Wolfgang Leitner, President and CEO of ANDRITZ AG. “In view of the weak global economy, the record order backlog of more than 8.1 billion euros provides a good basis for sales development in the coming year. Our main goals for 2020 are to process the high order backlog on schedule although it is distributed very unevenly over the business areas, implement the adjustment measures announced in the Metals Forming sector, and further optimize our cost structures in order to enhance our competitiveness.”
(Andritz AG)

UPM closes paper machine 2 in Rauma – Employee consultation processes concluded
 06.11.2019

UPM closes paper machine 2 in Rauma – Employee consultation processes concluded  (Company news)

In early September UPM announced plans to permanently close paper machine 2 in Rauma (photo), Finland. The employee consultation processes have now been completed. Paper machine 2 in Rauma will be permanently closed on 6 November 2019. The reduction of personnel is 179 (159 permanent and 20 temporary contracts not prolonged). Following the closure, SC paper production capacity will be reduced by 265.000 tonnes annually.

The production on the remaining two paper machines in Rauma will continue as before.

“The recent weeks have not been easy for us all. But in times of a continuously challenging market environment and an accentuated decline of demand for graphic papers, we have to secure the future competitiveness of UPM’s paper business and the remaining assets at the Rauma site. We have focused on finding socially acceptable solutions for the employees affected with the clear intention to diminish the impact of this closure. The consultation process was fair, open and constructive at all times,” says Anu Ahola, Senior Vice President, News & Retail, UPM Communication Papers.
(UPM)

GLATFELTER REPORTS THIRD QUARTER 2019 RESULTS
 06.11.2019

GLATFELTER REPORTS THIRD QUARTER 2019 RESULTS  (Company news)

Glatfelter (NYSE: GLT), a leading global supplier of engineered materials, reported its results for the third quarter of 2019. Due to the divestiture of Specialty Papers in October 2018, its results are classified as discontinued operations for all periods presented in this release.

On an adjusted basis, earnings from continuing operations for the third quarter of 2019 were $9.7 million, or $0.22 per share, compared with $(0.2) million, or $0.00 per share, for the same period a year ago. Adjusted earnings is a non-GAAP financial measure for which a reconciliation to the nearest GAAP-based measure is provided within this release.

Consolidated net sales totaled $232.5 million and $209.9 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Excluding the Steinfurt, Germany acquisition and on a constant currency basis, Airlaid Materials’ net sales increased by 14.2% and Composite Fibers’ net sales decreased by 4.2%.

“Glatfelter delivered another quarter of solid performance driven by continued momentum in Airlaid Materials and accelerated progress toward our previously announced cost reduction targets,” said Dante C. Parrini (photo), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “In the third quarter, Airlaid Materials had another record-setting quarter growing both volumes and net sales by nearly 50% and more than doubling operating profit over the prior year. These results were driven by a 16% increase in year-over-year shipments from our legacy business, as well as the successful integration of our Steinfurt acquisition. We continued to make progress reducing our corporate costs during the quarter and expect to exceed our 2019 targeted savings.”

Mr. Parrini continued, “Composite Fibers continued to face competitive market conditions and the resulting machine downtime from weak demand, translating to lower overall shipments of approximately 11% for the quarter. While the environment is challenging, we remain committed to maintaining our leading market positions while aggressively managing the cost structure to keep Composite Fibers competitive. Our migration from a business unit structure to a functional operating model has also brought greater focus to this part of the business through realignment of the previously announced commercial leadership team and the establishment of an integrated global supply chain function.”

“Looking ahead,” Mr. Parrini commented, “we are confident we will meet our overall cost reduction target of $14 million to $16 million by the end of 2020, which will help drive our transformation to a leaner, more agile engineered materials company. In our Airlaid Materials’ legacy business, shipments were up 13% year to date, and we expect to finish the year at or above the top end of our previously announced target of 8% to 10% volume growth for 2019. At Steinfurt, we have already achieved $6.7 million of operating profit through the first three quarters of 2019, putting us well on track to meet the upper end of our $7 million to $9 million operating profit target for the year. Finally, in Composite Fibers, we are intensifying our efforts to identify opportunities, develop new products and optimize utilization of our Dresden facility to offset the commercial headwinds in wallcover.”

Functional Operating Model Update
In September 2019, Glatfelter announced the addition of Wolfgang Laures, Ph.D., as Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain, a newly established role with responsibility for leading the Company’s integrated global supply chain organization. This completes the senior executive leadership team for the Company’s transition to the new operating structure.

Mr. Parrini said, “We have a very strong team of senior executives in place to lead the new Glatfelter. As we focus on the Company’s ongoing transformation, our priorities include commercial execution, innovation, operational excellence and cost reduction. We are confident the end result will be a stronger performing, more cash generative, growth-oriented engineered materials company.”

Third Quarter Results
Composite Fibers
Composite Fibers’ net sales decreased $11.5 million driven by unfavorable currency translation of $5.6 million and a 10.8% decline in shipping volumes. The decline in shipping volumes was primarily due to wallcover and metallized products, which were lower by 17.1% and 20.0%, respectively.

Composite Fibers’ third quarter of 2019 operating income totaled $11.1 million, $0.7 million down from the prior-year quarter. Lower shipping volumes impacted results by $2.5 million with related downtime impact of $1.3 million to manage inventory levels. Lower raw material and energy prices of $2.8 million and higher selling prices of $0.6 million more than offset $1.2 million of inflationary pressure and higher operating costs. Currency favorably impacted results by $0.8 million compared to the year-ago quarter reflecting hedging instruments that matured, more than offsetting the impact of a lower Euro translation rate.

Airlaid Materials
Airlaid Materials’ net sales increased $34.1 million primarily due to the Steinfurt acquisition and a 15.8% organic increase in shipping volumes reflecting strong growth in wipes, hygiene and table top products. Currency translation was $1.7 million unfavorable.

Operating income for the third quarter of 2019 increased $6.1 million primarily due to higher shipping volumes and the Steinfurt acquisition. Lower prices for raw material and energy outpaced selling price declines by $0.4 million and currency translation was $0.7 million favorable.

Other Financial Information
The amount of “Other and Unallocated” operating expense in our table of Segment Financial Information totaled $8.2 million in the third quarter of 2019 compared with $13.1 million in the third quarter of 2018. Excluding the items identified to present “adjusted earnings,” unallocated expenses for the third quarter of 2019 declined $4.2 million compared to the third quarter of 2018, primarily reflecting the impact of corporate cost reduction initiatives following the divestiture of Specialty Papers.

Net interest expense totaled $1.7 million in the third quarter of 2019 compared with $3.8 million in the same quarter of 2018, reflecting the savings generated from our debt refinancing completed in early 2019.

In the third quarter of 2019, the Company recorded an income tax provision of $3.1 million on income from continuing operations of $11.8 million. On adjusted pre-tax income of $13.3 million, income tax expense was $3.6 million in the third quarter of 2019. The comparable amounts in the same quarter of 2018 were $2.0 million and $2.2 million, respectively. The Company currently estimates its full-year 2019 effective tax rate on adjusted earnings to be approximately 34%, a reduction from previous tax rate guidance of 38%.

Balance Sheet and Other Information
Cash and cash equivalents totaled $57.0 million as of September 30, 2019, and net debt was $295.0 million compared with $269.1 million at the end of 2018. (Refer to the calculation of this measure provided in the tables at the end of this release.)

Capital expenditures during the first nine months of 2019 and 2018 totaled $18.0 million and $32.2 million, respectively. Adjusted free cash flow for the nine months of 2019 was $(2.4) million compared with $(35.6) million in 2018. (Refer to the calculation of this measure provided in the tables at the end of this release.)

Discontinued Operations
On October 31, 2018, we completed the previously announced sale of our Specialty Papers business unit on a cash-free and debt-free basis to Pixelle Specialty Solutions LLC, an affiliate of Lindsay Goldberg for $360 million.
The results of operations for our Specialty Papers business unit have been classified as discontinued operations for all periods presented in the consolidated statements of income.
(Glatfelter)

Mondi and Sweden's aPak drive toward efficiency and sustainability in automotive industry
 06.11.2019

Mondi and Sweden's aPak drive toward efficiency and sustainability in automotive industry   (Company news)

ScanStar award for Protector Bags: Paper-based, ‘envelope-like’ packaging streamlines efficiency, boosts sustainability

The Scandinavian Packaging Association (SPA) has honoured Mondi’s work with Sweden’s aPak AB to create a more sustainable, cost-effective and efficient method for packaging door consoles for a global truck manufacturer. The innovative ‘Protector Bags’ solution developed by Mondi recently won a prestigious SPA 2019 ScanStar award.

Mondi, a leading global packaging and paper group, and aPak, a Swedish packaging dealer, came up with an efficient, sustainable solution that greatly enhances logistics. Compared with the previous slow, tedious process to package and ship door consoles, the paper-based, ‘envelope-like’ Protector Bags have increased efficiency, reduced workload and lowered overall cost to the customer by more than 70%. The lightweight, compact, 100% recyclable bags also are sustainable by design – requiring less material, using paper instead of plastic, and halving the number of trips needed to move components from place to place.

During a visit to the facility of one of the manufacturer’s subcontractors, aPak observed the inefficient method used to handle and transport the door consoles and approached Mondi to find a suitable solution. Mondi applied its customer-centric approach called EcoSolutions, by which Mondi supports customers to achieve their sustainability goals. It’s vital to ask the right questions along the value chain to find the most sustainable and suitable solution for the specific purpose. “So we began to map and analyze the process and its different steps more thoroughly with a view to creating a more efficient and fit-for-purpose solution,” explains Claudio Fedalto, Sales Director, Mondi Paper Bags.

The award-winning Protector Bags have reduced the packaging process from minutes to seconds, and no intermediate repacking is necessary before distributing worldwide. Everything required to seal the packaging is already applied to the product. An employee can easily place the console in the bag’s ‘pocket’ and seal the pre-assembled tape in seconds. The packaging process is now less strenuous for the people involved and, since using the process is as simple as sealing an envelope, very little can go wrong, so instructions are not required.

“At aPak we rarely talk about perfectly accomplished packaging solutions, but when it comes to Protector Bags, we are willing to make an exception.” says Magnus Sidling, Global Account Manager at aPak.
(Mondi Europe & International Division)

Ahlstrom-Munksjö interim report January-September 2019: Strong cash flow and stable profitability
 06.11.2019

Ahlstrom-Munksjö interim report January-September 2019: Strong cash flow and stable profitability  (Company news)

HIGHLIGHTS DURING AND AFTER THE REPORTING PERIOD
-Q3/2019 comparable EBITDA grew by 16.4% to EUR 83.6 million (actual EUR 71.8 million in Q3/2018)
-Strong operating cash flow of EUR 125.4 million (EUR 28.0 million)
-The market environment remained uncertain and overall rather weak
-Launched a cost saving program of at least EUR 50 million to improve competitiveness
-New products were launched including a plastic-free solution for U-shaped drinking straws and an expanded range of filter media for industrial air applications
-Exploring strategic alternatives for Decor business
-Non-binding memorandum of understanding to divest the fine art paper business

Q3/2019 VS Q3/2018 pro forma
-Net sales EUR 712.9 million (EUR 745.2 million), a decrease of 4.3%.
-Comparable EBITDA EUR 83.6 million (EUR 89.4 million), representing 11.7% (12.0%) of net sales
-Gross margin for products continued to improve, while profitability was impacted by lower volumes
-Net profit EUR 12.0 million (EUR 25.7 million), impacted by higher depreciation and amortization, as well as net financial items
-Earnings per share EUR 0.10 (EUR 0.22)
-Comparable EPS excluding depreciation and amortization arising from PPA EUR 0.22 (EUR 0.33)

1-9/2019 VS 1-9/2018 pro forma
-Net sales EUR 2,216.9 million (EUR 2,262.2 million), a decrease of 2.0%.
-Comparable EBITDA EUR 242.4 million (EUR 258.4 million), representing 10.9% (11.4%) of net sales
-Gross margin for products continued to improve, while profitability was impacted by lower volumes
-Net profit EUR 30.9 million (EUR 73.5 million), impacted by items affecting comparability, depreciation and amortization, as well as net financial items that were higher
-Earnings per share EUR 0.26 (EUR 0.63)
-Comparable EPS excluding depreciation and amortization arising from PPA EUR 0.68 (EUR 0.96)

Hans Sohlström (photo), the CEO of Ahlstrom-Munksjö comments:
Our profitability remained stable and cash flow was strong in the third quarter despite the uncertain market environment and rather weak demand. Our gross margin for products continued to improve and reached a new record. However, this positive impact was largely offset by the continued weak volumes. Excluding the machine closure in Stenay, France, our deliveries were 4% lower than in the previous year. As a result, our comparable EBITDA was EUR 84 million, on the same level as in the previous quarter. Excluding the negative EBITDA impact of EUR 6 million from bringing down inventory levels, the result was largely in line with last year’s level.

Following our increased focus and active working capital management, I am very pleased with the strong operative cash flow of EUR 125 million, which enabled us to reduce our net debt.

Savings program to support profitability
The prevailing market environment is not promising much tailwind and we are therefore proceeding with measures to improve competitiveness. We target savings with an overall impact of at least EUR 50 million for the year 2020 compared with 2019. In addition, the integration of the recent acquisitions has proceeded well, and we are on track to exceed the promised synergies.

SUBSTANTIAL STEPS DRIVING STRATEGIC PROGRESS
In September, as a result of our regular assessment of the most value creating structure for our businesses, we announced that we are exploring strategic alternatives for our Decor business. Today, we also announced that we have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to divest the fine art business in Arches, France.

In the third quarter, we completed two strategic investments. In the Insulation business, we completed the rebuild of the recovery boiler and debottlenecking of the pulp line in Billingsfors, Sweden, enabling improved environmental performance as well as higher pulp and electrotechnical paper production. In the Coated Specialties business, we expanded coating capabilities in Jacarei, Brazil. Furthermore, we also have continued to introduce new value-added products for our customers, including an expanded range of filter media for industrial air applications and an innovative plastic-free material for technically challenging U-shaped drinking paper straws.

We have implemented actions to improve our competitiveness and drive profitable growth, and we are taking action on our strategic opportunities. Therefore I have confidence in the future despite the weaker market environment.

Outlook for 2019
Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s pro forma comparable EBITDA reached EUR 330 million in 2018. At the beginning of 2019, customers reacted to signs of slowing economic growth. Demand has slowed in several product segments, and customers have reduced inventories. The overall market environment remains uncertain and demand continues to fluctuate. Ahlstrom-Munksjö will continue its efforts to improve performance and competitiveness. The gross margin for products continued to increase in the first nine months of 2019, and the targeted synergy benefits and cost reduction measures are expected to contribute positively to earnings for the full year.

In the fourth quarter of 2019 scheduled maintenance shutdowns at the Aspa, Mosinee and Thilmany pulp mills are expected to be carried out to about the same extent as in the fourth quarter of 2018, with a negative profitability impact of approximately EUR 6 million.
(Ahlstrom-Munksjö Corporation)

Lennart Holm appointed acting CEO of BillerudKorsnäs
 05.11.2019

Lennart Holm appointed acting CEO of BillerudKorsnäs  (Company news)

The Board of Directors of BillerudKorsnäs AB has appointed the current Chairman of the Board, Lennart Holm (photo), as acting CEO from November 5, 2019. Petra Einarsson leaves as CEO with immediate effect.

The work to recruit a permanent CEO will start immediately. As Lennart Holm will assume the role of acting CEO, the Board has appointed the current Board member Jan Åström as Chairman of the Board.

“BillerudKorsnäs has a historic opportunity to actively contribute to the transition towards a more resource efficient and sustainable packaging industry. It is the view of the Board of Directors that the company has not developed at the expected pace”, says Jan Åström, new Chairman of the Board.

“We are well positioned for success. The strategy is clear and the entire organization must now focus to implement it at a high pace to further create value for our shareholders, customers and our stakeholders”, says acting CEO Lennart Holm.

Lennart Holm has been a board member of BillerudKorsnäs since 2012 and has been Chairman since 2014. He has previously been, among others, the CEO and Chairman of the Perstorp Group and active in Stora Enso. Jan Åström, who has been on the Board since 2018, has extensive experience from leading positions in the pulp and paper industry. He has, among others, been the CEO of Ahlstrom Munksjö, SCA and MoDo Paper.

“The Board thanks Petra Einarsson for her contribution to BillerudKorsnäs. During her leadership, the installation of KM 7 has been completed, Bergvik Skog Öst has been divested, the strategy has been reviewed and a program to further improve health and safety has been initiated”, says Jan Åström.
(BillerudKorsnäs AB (publ))

Roland DG's TrueVIS Series Wide-Format Inkjet Printer/Cutters Earn Top Honours in ...
 05.11.2019

Roland DG's TrueVIS Series Wide-Format Inkjet Printer/Cutters Earn Top Honours in ...  (Company news)

... Three Categories from Buyers Lab 2020 Pick Awards

Roland DG, a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and printer/cutters, announced that three models of its TrueVIS series wide-format inkjet printer/cutters have earned top honours in three categories of the 2020 Pick Awards from Keypoint Intelligence’s Buyers Laboratory. This marks the second year in a row that Roland DG has earned top honours. The previous TrueVIS VG series won two 2019 Pick Awards.

Taking first place in the Outstanding Gamut Expansion Eco-Solvent/Latex 54”/64” Printer category was the VG2 series 8-colour printer/cutters with Orange ink (CMYKLcLmLkOr). In the Outstanding Enhanced CMYK Eco-Solvent/Latex 54”/64” Printer category, it was the VG2 series 8-colour printer/cutters with White ink (CMYKLcLmLkWh). And in the Outstanding Entry-Level CMYK Eco-Solvent/Latex 54”/64” Printer category, the just-launched SG2 series 4-colour printer/cutters (CMYK) took the gold.

Founded in 1961, Buyers Lab is the world’s leading independent provider of testing and analysis for the document imaging industry and has been evaluating equipment for business users for more than 50 years. Test reports released by Buyers Lab are highly regarded as an unbiased resource used by many companies and public organisations when selecting hardware devices and software solutions. The latest test reports on wide-format eco-solvent and latex inkjet printers covered products from a wide range of international manufacturers and involved comprehensive, rigorous evaluations of various aspects, including print quality, productivity and usability.

Buyers Lab’s Director of EMEA/Asia Research & Lab Services, David Sweetnam, summed up Roland DG’s TrueVIS Series printer/cutters as capable of reproducing stunning, vibrant graphics with photographic quality even at high speed. “It features a host of technical advantages to help create graphics that will truly captivate, and it is capable of printing smooth and balanced gradations across a wide colour gamut, with accurate and reliable colour reproduction,” he said.

“Models equipped with orange ink also exceeded the Adobe RGB colour space in the orange region of the spectrum, which earned it a top score amongst the products tested,” Sweetnam added. “PANTONE colour matching capabilities ensure superior colour reproduction even with four-colour models, which means colour matching of corporate colours that had traditionally been considered difficult can now be done quickly and easily. Another point to note is that this high level of reproduction is achieved not only in high-quality print modes, but also in high-productivity print modes. The series is designed to make work easier for operators, and these printers deliver exceptionally high quality and practicality that are sure to meet the strict demands of professional users involved in the production of signs and graphics.”

Roland DG’s Digital Printing Business Division President Kohei Tanabe said, “It is a great honour to receive top scores in three categories from the trusted and proven Buyers Lab. We developed the TrueVIS series with the goal of creating a printer capable of delivering the ‘Power to Excite’ to leave a lasting impression on people. The new lineup has already earned recognition from organisations and at events throughout the digital printing industry since it was launched in March of this year. These latest results are further evidence that the TrueVIS series is truly a winner when it comes quality reproduction — a feat that we are indeed proud of. We are committed to developing products that allow customers to unleash their imagination with creative possibilities, as well as helping to bring advancements to the digital printing industry.”

Roland DG’s TrueVIS series comprised of five models, including the high-end VG2 series and entry level SG2 series, with new TR2 ink and the “True Rich Color” preset, has redefined product performance for the wide format inkjet category. Since being first released in March 2019, the TrueVIS series has earned high acclaim from both customers and industry organisations, including a coveted “Innovation Award” at the 2019 ISA International Sign Expo in Las Vegas and a “Best Print and Cut Solution” in the EDP (European Digital Press Association) Awards. Most recently, the VG2 series won SGIA "Product of the Year" Awards in the "Roll-to-Roll/Solvent/Latex (under 80 inches)" and “Digital Inks – Eco-Solvent/Solvent/Latex" categories.

Kohei Tanabe accepted the prestigious awards on behalf of Roland DG at a presentation ceremony at Viscom, Milan, Italy on Saturday 12th October.
(Roland DG (UK) Ltd)

Konica Minolta enters high-volume toner print market with AccurioPress C14000 series global launch
 05.11.2019

Konica Minolta enters high-volume toner print market with AccurioPress C14000 series global launch  (Company news)

Konica Minolta, a leader in industrial and commercial printing solutions, has announced the global launch of its new AccurioPress C14000 series – its first foray into the high-volume toner printing segment - in a live broadcast to a worldwide audience from PRINTING United in Dallas, Texas USA.

The AccurioPress C14000 prints at 140 pages per minute (ppm) in A4 and is 40% faster than any other toner-based device from Konica Minolta. A second model in the series, the AccurioPress C12000, provides the same print quality and a similarly fast speed of 120 ppm.

The launch demonstrates Konica Minolta’s mission to support the transformation of its clients’ companies by sector and industry, predicting potential challenges and creating solutions together. The presses will help customers that want to expand and streamline their businesses through advanced automation, fewer human touchpoints and higher productivity with tangible effects leading to increased, high-quality output with less waste.

This new flagship cut-sheet product will maximize customer value based on opportunities for business expansion, accelerated operational efficiency and improved total cost of ownership (TCO) with faster investment return.

Until now, Konica Minolta has not produced a toner-based high production print (HPP) product. Since 2015, its AccurioJet KM-1 inkjet press has been its flagship production model with a speed of 3,000 sheets per hour, designed more for high-quality applications, similar to offset printing. The AccurioPress C6100s series for mid production print (MPP), on the other hand, are designed to support a highly responsive print room environment. The AccurioPress C14000 covers the gap between these two products in the HPP segment, offering a higher print volume and longer duty cycle to reach new commercial print customers within the HPP segment requiring high productivity, efficiency of operations and quality for direct mail, brochures and catalogues.

"This is an extremely important global initiative for Konica Minolta, especially significant because we are not currently known for toner-based high-production print equipment. We are entering the HPP segment with a really high-quality press. The similarities in quality between traditional offset and what we can do with toner is astonishing, and we have worked very hard to get here." Olaf Lorenz, General Manager DX Branding Division bei Konica Minolta, Inc.

„By increasing the efficiency of customer workflow from beginning to end, we aim to achieve the number one position in the high-production print market." Koji Sugie, Executive Officer/Konica Minolta Inc., Division President of Professional Print Business

Konica Minolta’s IQ-501 Intelligent Quality Care enhanced auto inspection options offer expanded inspection performance, verifying print quality and now detecting streaks and spots as well as blemishes. The high-quality prints mean maximum stability even during long run jobs, while better registration and quality increases total print volume. The new presses offer a highly reliable duty cycle of 2.5 million, with double the toner capacity of earlier models.

"The IQ-501 is a differentiator for us. While other manufacturers have similar technology, we believe our unique, inline auto inspection unit will separate us from the pack of comparable devices." Olaf Lorenz, General Manager DX Branding Division bei Konica Minolta, Inc.

Konica Minolta recognizes the launch of the AccurioPress C14000 and C12000 as a major opportunity to enter into the high-production print equipment segment. Both the AccurioPress series of printers and the IQ-501 Intelligent Quality Care are designed and offered to the market exclusively by Konica Minolta.

Specific details on the new AccurioPress Series:
-The unique features of the AccurioPress 14000 series make these products ideal for customers looking to increase productivity through efficiencies and speed to grow their business.
-Output speeds of 140 and 120 ppm, plus the high resolution equivalent to 3600x2400 dpi and enhanced media capability up to 450 gsm, combines breathtaking speeds with outstanding image quality and unparalleled media flexibility.
-New duplex banner printing up to 900mm, simplex banner length capability of 1300mm, envelope and embossed media printability gives customers the opportunity to print new types of work, such as four-panel gatefold brochures and book covers for finishing offline.
-To further improve efficiency and output, envelope printing can be accomplished using the standard fuser.
-Finally, new technology used in the print engine dramatically improves image quality on textured paper stocks.

Other features:
-Paired with Konica Minolta’s enhanced IQ-501 Intelligent Quality Care Unit, the new press automatically and continuously measures and corrects colour so the first print in a run matches the last. Two-dimensional registration correction has also been improved through the higher output resolution.
-The automatic media detection sensor comes standard on these models, detecting the stock and assigning the appropriate tray, eliminating time consuming paper settings and operator error. These attributes result in streamlined operator time, reduced print waste and increased productivity.
-New accessories for the units include the TU-510 Versatile Trimmer Unit, an inline, four-edge trimmer, creaser and perforator that allows full bleed finishing support for banners, booklets, direct mail and a dedicated business card cutting option.
-Additionally, the LS-507 Large Stacker supports higher speed, permits banner bypass and offers operators the advantage of offloading while the machine is still running, another new benefit added to Konica Minolta’s AccurioPress expanded line.
-Convenient color management and job management utilities are available with the Konica Minolta’s proprietary controller.
-A customizable operation screen makes the products extremely easy to operate.
-Other third party controller options include the latest Fiery and Creo models.
(Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH)

Study confirms 70 % less climate impact from paper packaging
 05.11.2019

Study confirms 70 % less climate impact from paper packaging  (Company news)

BillerudKorsnäs is offering an innovative paper, FibreForm®, to make laminates for trays used in food packaging. Now, a recent life cycle assessment performed by RISE, Research Institutes of Sweden, shows that a packaging tray made from FibreForm has up to 71% less global warming impact compared to trays made of only plastic.

- The life cycle assessment study is the first of its kind that compares the environmental profile of plastic-based trays against paper. The difference in climate impact is substantial, says Michael Sturges, who lead the study at RISE.

The main reason for the lower global warming potential is that the FibreForm laminate requires less energy in production than plastic. In addition, the tray can be recycled as paper in most European countries, which reduces the end-of-life impact. The first tray made of FibreForm was released to the market about 10 years ago and further improved together with production partners.

- We developed FibreForm to challenge conventional packaging with the objective to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging. The 3D-formable material makes it strong and stable. We believe that we create a sustainable growth by offering alternative packaging possibilities together with our partners, says Hein van den Reek, Business Director Solutions at BillerudKorsnäs.

The tray made of FibreForm is approved for food contact and can be found in retail stores as a packaging for cheese, meat, fish and similar food. The material can be formed in existing thermoforming lines and press-forming equipment on the market, meaning that food processors, brand owners and retailers can make an easy switch in their production.

The life cycle assessment performed by RISE compares FibreForm trays with conventional EPS trays and APET/PE laminated plastic trays. The study encompasses all stages of the product life cycle, from raw material production to landfill or recycling. At 20.0 kg CO2e per 1,000 trays consumed and disposed of, the FibreForm tray offers a 62% saving in global warming potential compared to the EPS tray and a 71% saving compared to the APET/PE tray. The work has been peer reviewed by Intertek, a global leader in the field of verification and assurance.
(BillerudKorsnäs AB (publ))

Domsjö Fabriker reduces staffing
 05.11.2019

Domsjö Fabriker reduces staffing  (Company news)

​​Domsjö Fabriker will save SEK 100 million through a restructuring program. This means that all costs will be reviewed.

Revenue should be increased through improved quality of the three main products cellulose, lignin and bioethanol.

The use of consumables such as chemicals, steam etc is reviewed as well as all agreements with suppliers, contractors, consultants etc.

As part of the restructuring program, the organization will be changed, with the aim to reduce staffing by 50 FTE from today's almost 400.

It will be done through natural retirement and other solutions, but in the end, we might have to terminate people.

"Of course, this is a very sad situation, but it is necessary for the future. I am convinced that Domsjö Fabriker will come out stronger from this", says Björn Vedin, CEO.

The restructuring program covers the entire business, and trade union negotiations will start shortly. The goal for the new organization is to be manned by the end of November.
(Domsjö Fabriker AB)

ECO RFID highlighted as the first sustainable RFID tag by EECC
 05.11.2019

ECO RFID highlighted as the first sustainable RFID tag by EECC  (Company news)

The European EPC Competence Center (EECC) has released its annual UHF Tag Performance Survey (UTPS) validating RFID tag models available in the market. The study is targeted at experts, and it is considered the most important and comprehensive source of data for deployment of UHF RFID tags. This year the study focused on circular economy and sustainability in day-to-day processes.

The newly released report highlights Stora Enso’s ECO RFID tags as the first sustainable alternative in the market. A selection of our ECO RFID tags were measured in the study with excellent results.

The ECO RFID tag technology enables RFID tags to be produced on 100% renewable paper label, without the plastic layers or harmful chemicals found in traditional tags. This makes the tags recyclable and renewable. The ECO labels are RAIN RFID certified and meet all relevant industry standards, while being cost neutral.
(Stora Enso Oyj)

UPM's President and CEO Jussi Pesonen to continue in his current position until further notice
 05.11.2019

UPM's President and CEO Jussi Pesonen to continue in his current position until further notice  (Company news)

At the request of UPM-Kymmene Corporation’s Board of Directors Jussi Pesonen (photo) will continue as President and CEO until further notice. According to his executive contract he was entitled to retire in November 2020 at the age of 60.

Jussi Pesonen has informed the Board that he is not available for re-election to UPM’s Board of Directors in the annual general meeting of 2020.

He has served as the President and CEO of UPM-Kymmene Corporation since 2004 and as a member of the Board of Directors since 2007.
(UPM)

Clearwater Paper Reports Third Quarter 2019 Results
 04.11.2019

Clearwater Paper Reports Third Quarter 2019 Results  (Company news)

Clearwater Paper Corporation (NYSE:CLW) reported financial results for the third quarter of 2019.

The company reported net sales of $445.2 million for the third quarter of 2019, which were $18.7 million or 4.4% higher than net sales of $426.5 million for the third quarter of 2018. The increase was due to higher net paperboard and tissue pricing from previously announced price changes and higher retail tissue shipments. These items were partially offset by lower non-retail tissue shipments primarily resulting from the sale of the company's mill in Ladysmith, Wisconsin in August 2018.

Net loss determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, for the third quarter of 2019 was $11.0 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, compared to net earnings for the third quarter of 2018 of $34.4 million, or $2.08 per diluted share. The decrease in net earnings was due to planned major maintenance at the company's Lewiston, Idaho mill, higher input costs for pulp and wood fiber and increased depreciation and interest expense. Excluding certain non-core items identified in the attached Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures, third quarter 2019 adjusted net loss was $8.3 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, compared to third quarter 2018 adjusted net earnings of $22.3 million, or $1.35 per diluted share.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, were $28.1 million for the third quarter of 2019, compared to $71.0 million for the third quarter of 2018. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $30.9 million, compared to third quarter 2018 Adjusted EBITDA of $50.1 million. The decrease was due to the planned major maintenance at the Idaho mill in the third quarter of 2019.

“Compared to our outlook, we performed well during the third quarter, with continued strong pulp and paperboard production and higher retail tissue shipments, which enabled us to achieve solid results,” said Linda Massman, president and chief executive officer. “We successfully completed the major maintenance outage at our Lewiston, Idaho mill and determined we will move into 2020 with no planned major maintenance outages. Our new Shelby, North Carolina facility is meeting all customer quality expectations on ultra and premium grades and we are currently meeting our targeted production volume. We are also happy to report that tissue sales have increased 8% year over year. Our long-term focus remains on improving our operational capabilities to ensure we are well-positioned to generate cash flow to de-lever our balance sheet.”

THIRD QUARTER 2019 SEGMENT PERFORMANCE
Consumer Products
Net sales in the Consumer Products segment were $228.5 million for the third quarter of 2019, up 8.0% compared to third quarter 2018 net sales of $211.6 million. This increase was due to higher retail tissue volumes sold, higher average prices for both retail and non-retail tissue products and a favorable mix shift to a higher percentage of retail shipments, partially offset by the impact from the divestiture of the Ladysmith, Wisconsin mill in August 2018. In the third quarter of 2019, converted case shipments reached 13.2 million cases, an increase of 11.6% compared to 11.8 million cases shipped in the third quarter of 2018, due to growth in business with both new and existing customers.

Segment operating loss for the third quarter of 2019 was $4.4 million, compared to operating income of $21.7 million in the third quarter of 2018. After adjusting for certain non-core items identified in the attached Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures, adjusted operating loss was $4.4 million for the third quarter of 2019, compared to an adjusted operating loss of $1.0 million for the same period in 2018. The increased operating loss was primarily due to higher internal pulp costs due to planned major maintenance at the Idaho mill and higher depreciation expense resulting from the completion of the Shelby mill expansion. Adjusted EBITDA for the segment was $14.6 million in the third quarter of 2019, up from $13.4 million in the third quarter of 2018. The increase was primarily due to improved retail shipment volumes, pricing and mix, partially offset by higher maintenance costs and lower non-retail tissue shipments resulting from the divestiture of the Ladysmith mill.

Tissue Sales Volumes and Prices:
-Total tissue volumes sold were 86,408 tons in the third quarter of 2019, a decrease of 2,452 tons or 2.8% compared to 88,860 tons in the third quarter of 2018. Retail volumes represented 92% of total volumes sold in the third quarter of 2019, up from 79% in the third quarter of 2018. Converted product cases shipped increased 11.6% to 13.2 million in the third quarter of 2019, compared to the 11.8 million cases shipped in the third quarter of 2018.
-Average tissue net selling prices increased 10.7% to $2,635 per ton in the third quarter of 2019, compared to $2,381 per ton in the third quarter of 2018. The increase was due to a significant reduction in parent roll sales resulting from the divestiture of the Ladysmith mill, previously announced price increases and a higher mix of ultra-quality tissue products.

Pulp and Paperboard
Net sales in the Pulp and Paperboard segment were $216.6 million for the third quarter of 2019, up 0.9% compared to third quarter 2018 net sales of $214.8 million. The increase was due to higher paperboard prices from previously announced increases, partially offset by lower sales volume.

Segment operating income and margin for the third quarter of 2019 were $17.1 million and 7.9%, compared to $38.3 million and 17.8%, respectively, for the third quarter of 2018. Adjusted EBITDA for the segment was $28.3 million in the third quarter of 2019, compared to $47.7 million in the third quarter of 2018. The decrease in operating income and adjusted EBITDA was primarily due to planned major maintenance at the company's Idaho mill, partially offset by higher paperboard prices.

Paperboard Sales Volumes and Prices:
-Paperboard sales volumes were 214,537 tons in the third quarter of 2019, a decrease of 1.6% compared to 218,135 tons in the third quarter of 2018.
-Paperboard average net selling price increased 1.9% to $1,004 per ton for the third quarter of 2019, compared to $985 per ton in the third quarter of 2018.

Taxes
The company's consolidated GAAP tax rate for the third quarter of 2019 was a benefit of 44.3%, compared to a provision of 9.6% in the third quarter of 2018. The tax benefit in the current quarter resulted from the pre-tax loss for the quarter.
(Clearwater Paper Corporation)

UPM invests in Germany to reduce costs and emissions while increasing flexibility to ...
 04.11.2019

UPM invests in Germany to reduce costs and emissions while increasing flexibility to ...  (Company news)

... participate in electricity markets

UPM will strengthen its cost competitiveness and reduce its CO2 emissions by 5 % by investing in a Combined-Heat-Power (CHP) plant at its Nordland paper mill (photo) in Dörpen, Germany. The new facility supports the German energy transition “Energiewende” by contributing to the stability of the public power system.

The EUR 95 million investment to a new, highly efficient 80 MW gas fired power plant is financially attractive and further improves UPM’s environmental performance. The investment has a payback time of 3 years. The plant, planned to go on grid in Q3 2022, will cover the mill’s heat demand while enabling active participation in the increasingly volatile German electricity markets.

Annual cost savings of more than EUR 10 million will start as of 2023. The investment is estimated to decrease UPM’s CO2-footprint by 300 000 tonnes (scope 2). UPM has proven the concept at its Schongau mill in Bavaria with good results.

The investment supports the phase out of coal power generation in Germany and is in line with the government’s goal of a 65% share of renewable electricity in total electricity consumption by 2030. The plant will be built under the German Combined-Heat-Power Cogeneration Act.

“This investment will provide a stable and economically predictable power and heat supply, significantly strengthening the competitiveness of the four graphic and speciality paper machines at UPM Nordland. By providing flexible generation capacity, the CHP plant will support overall system stability and integration of increasing renewable power generation. As an energy intensive industry player, we thereby take an active role in the transformation of the German energy system towards a minimal carbon footprint”, says Winfried Schaur, Executive Vice President, Communication Papers.
(UPM)

Sappi North America Announces Partnership with the American Forest Foundation and GreenBlue ...
 04.11.2019

Sappi North America Announces Partnership with the American Forest Foundation and GreenBlue ...   (Company news)

...on New Forest Sustainability Platform

The Forests in Focus platform will optimize multiple public data sources to support sustainability commitments


Sappi North America, Inc.
, a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper, packaging products and dissolving wood pulp, today announced a partnership with the nonprofit organizations American Forest Foundation (AFF) and GreenBlue to support the Forests in Focus sustainability risk assessment. The goal of Forests in Focus is to provide customers, brand owners and investors with user-friendly analyses of the sustainability strengths and risk profile of forested lands across specified landscapes.

Utilizing credible, scientific-based information gathered by third parties, the platform is designed to complement existing forest certification programs and provide an account of sustainability for U.S. woodbaskets, in the context of global supply systems. As an early adopter and investor in the program, Sappi will leverage the new technology to support and validate its sustainability claims and to monitor risks and further strengthen its supply chain.

"Continuously improving and strengthening our sustainability practices is a foundational principle for Sappi, particularly within our forestry initiatives. It's imperative that we understand and advocate for the benefits of responsible forest management within the context of the renewable and low-risk nature of U.S. woodbaskets. This platform is a step forward and will provide the industry with data-based information at a level effective for educating key stakeholders," said Rebecca Barnard, Forest Certification Manager, Sappi North America. "Through the Forests in Focus platform we will be able to provide global customers and brand owners with scientific analyses on the condition of the forested landscape across a wide array of relevant criteria. This is especially for family owned woodlands, where there is otherwise a significant gap in information. This will enable us to provide meaningful assurances of our promise of sustainable sourcing, and reinforce our commitment to consistency and transparency."

GreenBlue's Forest Products Working Group (FPWG) and AFF partnered to develop Forests in Focus to fill a void in sustainable sourcing. The platform utilizes a vast complex, publicly-available dataset from the U.S. Forest Service, NatureServe and other sources, and distills the information into understandable metrics and trends for companies in the forest product supply chain.

The platform empowers users to define, measure and communicate their commitment to sustainable forest management with a new level of transparency into supply chains, powered by data visualization and aggregation. In addition, Forests in Focus aims to connect industry leaders like Sappi, drive sustainable sourcing conversations forward and facilitate investment in family landowner engagement to deliver forest positive impacts. Collectively, individual and family-owned land account for more than one-third of all forests across the U.S., more forest land than the federal government manages on behalf of the public. These lands are owned by more than 21 million individual owners, in small tracts that average 67 acres in size. According to the Forest Service, these lands collectively supply more than 50 percent of the wood harvested and flowing into supply chains in the U.S.

"Forests in Focus will provide more transparency to companies that source wood fiber, so they can have confidence that their supply from family woodlands is consistent with the values of sustainability and respect for the environment. This in turn will help sustain existing and support new markets for forest products for these families, giving them the income needed to continue to manage sustainably," said Tom Martin, President and CEO of AFF.

"If market forces can align around a shared understanding of the real issues facing forests in a region, the potential for positive impact is immense. Forests in Focus provides companies that opportunity," said Nina Goodrich, Executive Director of GreenBlue.

The public launch of the Forests in Focus platform is set for summer 2020.
(Sappi North America)

DS Smith Aschaffenburg Paper Mill receives the 'Blossoming Company' Award
 04.11.2019

DS Smith Aschaffenburg Paper Mill receives the 'Blossoming Company' Award  (Company news)

On the 21st of October 2019 at official ceremony in Feucht, near Nuremberg, a team from DS Smith Aschaffenburg paper mill received the Blossoming Company award, which was recognition of their outstanding achievements in protecting valuable local environmental resources.

Our Aschaffenburg paper mill was not only the first Bavarian paper mill to receive this award but was also the first company in the Bavarian Lower Main region to be recognised by the Ministry of Environment and Consumer Protection within the framework of the Bavarian Blossom Pact.

On the picture from left to right: Traugott Reis, Envinronment and H&S Manager – DS Smith Paper Deutschland GmbH; Ulrich Albert, Managing Director – DS Smith Paper Deutschland GmbH; Katharina Gritzka, Assistant to the Managing Director and Communications Coordinator - DS Smith Paper Deutschland GmbH; Thorsten Glauber, Bavarian State Minister for the Environment and Consumer Protection, Thorsten Glauber (MdL)

The Blossom Pact is an initiative for insect protection that aims to preserve and strengthen the diversity of species within the Bavarian region. In winning the Blossoming Company Award DS Smith had to demonstrate a commitment to protecting endangered habitats by designing their open spaces to preserve environmental resources and allow insects to thrive and flourish in natural conditions.

Staff and management from the paper mill have been involved in a variety of sustainability initiatives which have been recognised by the Ministry as to significantly contributing to an improved local environment. Activities included engaging with the Nature Conservation Authority of the City of Aschaffenburg and various horticultural experts, through to compiling inventories of existing green areas and native plants whilst actively being involved in wildlife and floral conservation – including the removal of plants not native to the local environment and the installation of insect hotels.

Commentating on receiving the award, Ulrich Albert MD at DS Smith Paper in Aschaffenburg said:
"Everyone here at Aschaffenburg, and indeed across DS Smith, are delighted to receive this recognition – it is testament to the hard work and dedication put in by everyone at the mill. At DS Smith, as part of our purpose to redefine packaging for a changing world, we are committed to being a responsible neighbour in the communities in which we operate."

Mr Albert continued; “We are proud of what we have achieved to date, but our work to protect the local environment does not stop here. We’ll continue with all the work we are doing, and we have may plans to include; perennial and tree planting, setting up more insect hotels and bird nesting boxes and the exciting installation of a peregrine falcon nest box with a live video monitoring feed, which we will share across our organisation and the wider community”.

"I am grateful to you that you also live the image of a community spirit in your businesses here and also show your contribution to the outside world for more species protection and more biodiversity." — Thorsten Glauber, Bavarian State Minister for the Environment and Consumer Protection

The ceremony was attended by companies and organisations receiving the Blossoming Company award including DS Smith. As DS Smith Paper Deutschland GmbH is the first company in Aschaffenburg and surrounding area to receive the award, Jürgen Herzing, Mayor of Aschaffenburg City, Marc Busse Head of Aschaffenburg’s Office for Environmental and Consumer Protection, and Andreas Elsner, Head of Innovation at Aschaffenburg Chamber of Industry and Commerce joined DS Smith for the presentation of the certificate.
(DS Smith Paper Deutschland GmbH)

General Data Company Installs New FB-Line from Nilpeter
 04.11.2019

General Data Company Installs New FB-Line from Nilpeter  (Company news)

General Data Company, Inc. of Cincinnati, OH, has recommitted to Nilpeter, installing a new 13’’ FB-Line, adding further options and capabilities to an already impressive portfolio of specialized medical products. Nilpeter USA is pleased to continue its long-standing partnership with General Data.

Improvements and Adaptations
The relationship between the two companies dates back to 1994, a handful of years before Nilpeter’s acquisition of Rotopress, that established the Danish machine manufacturer’s platform in the Pan-American markets, Nilpeter USA.

“We bought our first Nilpeter press in 1994, which was coined “Rotopress” at the time. It was a 6-colour 10” press, and it quickly became a workhorse given its capabilities, speeds, and ease of use. We have since bought several more presses from Nilpeter, all based off the experience with that first machine. Nilpeter has been a valued partner with General Data and has been willing to take our recommendations of improvements to their engineering teams, adding our adaptations to their future models. Given that partnership, and their willingness to work with their customers, we have continued to purchase Nilpeter presses for our shop floor and integrated them with other equipment (butt splicers, turrets, digital units, coaters, etc.). Having ran that first press myself for a number of years, I can personally say that I have found Nilpeter machines to be one of the easiest presses for operators to learn and use to their full potential,” says Thomas E. Gornall Jr., Plant Superintendent, General Data Company, Inc.

The Mark of a Great Relationship
At Nilpeter USA, the shared history, not to mention willingness to grow, is greatly appreciated. “I’ve had the pleasure to work with General Data for the past 25 years. You know the relationship is good when you can walk through the back door unannounced, and head straight to the pressroom. I actually installed their first machine in 1994, and a few more, before moving into sales. The new FB-3300S installed last month will add new opportunities to their already long list of specialized medical products. With UV/hot air and auto registration, this servo-driven machine can run thin films one minute and 14 pt tags the next. We look forward to working with General Data as we both grow during these next 25 years,” adds Tom Strunk, Senior Sales Consultant, Nilpeter USA, Inc.

High Recommendations
“We have upgraded to a new Nilpeter FB-Line, a 13’’ flexo press. The press itself is great, very operator friendly, and you can easily run high-quality labels off these presses. We have transitioned all of our medical labels to the new FB press. The automatic registration is easy to work with and you can run just about any high-quality flexo job out there. I would recommend one of Nilpeter’s FB-Lines to any print company out there,” says Roy Ratliff, Production Supervisor, General Data Company, Inc.

Exceeding Estimated ROI
“I have over 30 years experience travelling around the USA and overseas in the converting industry. I have worked with, operated, and serviced just about every flexographic press or support equipment in our past and current markets. With this knowledge and hands-on experience, Nilpeter is my “go-to” for converting equipment. A visit to their Cincinnati, Ohio, site reaffirms my confidence in their leadership and comfort level in the equipment. They have risen to the top of our industry. Our estimated ROI on the new FB-Line has been blown away by the actual numbers. I wish to congratulate the engineers and assembly team - and sales, too - with a job well done,” David Clark, Vice President of Manufacturing, General Data Company, Inc., concludes.
(Nilpeter USA Inc.)

UPM Interim Report Q3/2019: UPM reports good performance and strong financial position
 01.11.2019

UPM Interim Report Q3/2019: UPM reports good performance and strong financial position   (Company news)

Uruguay decision drives significant future earnings growth

UPM Interim Report Q3/2019: UPM reports good performance and strong financial position – Uruguay decision drives significant future earnings growth

Q3 2019 highlights
-Sales decreased by 6% to EUR 2,493 million (2,650 million in Q3 2018)
-Comparable EBIT decreased by 19% to EUR 342 million (420 million)
-Sales prices decreased in pulp, outweighing the impact of lower variable costs in all business areas
-UPM announced the transformative investment in Uruguay for significant future earnings growth, and further plans to safeguard competitiveness in UPM Communication Papers
-Operating cash flow increased to EUR 500 million (405 million)
-Net debt decreased to EUR -2 million (4 million)

Q1–Q3 2019 highlights
-Sales grew by 1% to EUR 7,791 million (7,752 million in Q1–Q3 2018)
-Comparable EBIT decreased by 4% to EUR 1,061 million (1,109 million)
-Operating cash flow increased to EUR 1,256 million (947 million).
-In July, UPM announced a USD 2.7 billion investment in a 2.1 million tonne eucalyptus pulp mill near Paso de los Toros, Uruguay
-In July, UPM closed Paper Machine 10 at UPM Plattling, Germany
-In September, UPM announced plans to close Paper Machine 2 at UPM Rauma, Finland, to sell UPM Chapelle newsprint mill in Grand-Couronne, France, and to establish a new Business Services Hub in Wroclaw, Poland.

Jussi Pesonen (photo), President and CEO, comments on the Q3 results:
“Q3 was a milestone quarter in our strategic transformation. The biggest news during the quarter was the decision to proceed with the new, highly competitive pulp mill investment in Uruguay, which represents a step change in the scale of our pulp business, as well as in UPM’s future earnings. We are in a unique position as we proceed with the execution and preparation of major future growth projects. At the same time, we are continuously taking action to ensure our competitiveness.

UPM’s good business performance continued during Q3. The decelerating economy, especially in Europe, is impacting our product markets, and sales prices decreased in line with our expectations. We succeeded in maintaining margins at the same level as in the first half of the year.

In comparison to the corresponding quarter last year, which saw record-high pulp prices, our sales decreased by 6% and comparable EBIT by 19% to EUR 342 million. Compared to the previous quarter of the present year, earnings stayed at the same level. Operating cash flow was very strong, totalling EUR 500 million. Consistently strong cash flow and a debt-free balance sheet provide a solid foundation for our growth investments.

In UPM Biorefining, earnings were affected by lower pulp prices as expected. Operationally, however, the quarter was strong. Both UPM Pulp and UPM Biofuels achieved record production, and UPM Biofuels reported its best quarterly result ever.

Once again, UPM Communication Papers achieved a solid result. Through continuous fixed and variable cost management, we succeeded in countering the headwind from the market demand and prices. To ensure competitiveness going forward, UPM closed PM10 at UPM Plattling, Germany, in July, and in September we announced plans to close PM2 at UPM Rauma, Finland, and sell UPM Chapelle newsprint mill in Grand-Couronne, France.

UPM Specialty Papers succeeded in making a profitability turnaround. The business benefited from lower pulp costs and strong customer demand, especially in Asia. Our internal cost-management measures also had visible results.

UPM Raflatac’s margins are recovering gradually, due to disciplined management efforts. To stay on this positive track, various margin, product-mix and cost-management initiatives will be continued.

UPM Energy reported another excellent quarter thanks to higher market prices and skilful optimisation of hydropower generation in the extremely dry hydrological conditions of Finland.

UPM Plywood faced strengthening headwind in the markets. Adjusting to slowing demand led to labour co-operation negotiations and temporary layoffs in Finland. On a positive note, production commenced at the mill expansion in UPM Chudovo, Russia, which is further improving competitiveness.

After careful preparation, we made the decision to build a new, world-class pulp mill in central Uruguay. We are swiftly proceeding from preparation to planning and execution. Construction permitting and preliminary works on the mill site and in the Montevideo port have begun. The state of Uruguay has commenced construction of the railway, and suppliers are recruiting workforces. The USD 2.7 million investment in a highly competitive 2.1 million tonne eucalyptus pulp mill will raise UPM’s pulp capacity by more than 50% and significantly contribute to future earnings.

Our other transformative projects are progressing, too. Release-liner expansions in UPM Nordland and UPM Changshu will be completed by the end of the year, and technical and commercial studies into biochemicals and biofuels are ongoing in Germany and Finland. In these businesses, we are driving the change towards a world beyond fossils. They represent exciting business opportunities for UPM in vast new markets.

UPM firmly believes in growing sustainable businesses that offer solutions to global challenges. During the quarter this commitment was recognised with top ratings by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, United Nations Global Compact LEAD and MSCI ESG Ratings. I am very proud of these recognitions from respected institutions.”

Outlook 2019
The global economic growth is estimated to continue in 2019, albeit at a slower pace than in 2018. There are significant uncertainties related to global economic growth, including global trade tensions. Growth has slowed down in Europe, particularly in Germany. These issues may have an impact on the global economic growth and on UPM’s product and raw material markets.

UPM reached record earnings in 2018. UPM’s business performance is expected to be at a good level in 2019.

In 2019, demand growth has continued for most UPM businesses, albeit at a modest pace. Demand decline has continued for UPM Communication Papers.

Fair value increases of forest assets are not expected to contribute materially to comparable EBIT in 2019.

In Q4 2019, the average pulp price for UPM businesses is expected to be lower than in Q3 2019. UPM Biorefining is affected by the scheduled maintenance shutdown at the UPM Fray Bentos pulp mill. UPM Communication Papers is positively impacted by the annual energy related refunds.
(UPM)

Cutting-die dieboards for every requirement - Marbach offers an extensive portfolio.
 01.11.2019

Cutting-die dieboards for every requirement - Marbach offers an extensive portfolio.   (Company news)

Marbach offers an extensive portfolio of dieboards. The suitable dieboard can be selected according to the requirements of the customer or the particular order.

The dieboard forms the basis of a cutting-die. The contours of the packaging are first inserted into the dieboard, then the cutting and creasing rules are positioned and finally the appropriate rubber coating is applied.

Dieboards for standard requirements
For standard requirements Marbach offers multiplex dieboards made of high-quality birch wood. Due to its slow growth, birch wood is very firm and even. This makes it very laser-capable. And thus very suitable as the basic material for a cutting-die. The crosswise gluing gives the multiplex dieboard the stability it needs and ensures a long service life.

Those who also want to do something for the environment should decide in favour of the Marbach greenplate when choosing their dieboard. This dieboard consists of 30 % birch and 70 % secondary material. It too, is very laser-capable. This environmentally friendly secondary material comes from sustainable forestry. Due to its design, the greenplate is subject to only minimal height tolerances. This makes it ideal for use with embossing and braille. Its flatness and good technical properties ensure optimum pressure conditions during the die-cutting process.

Dimensionally stable dieboards
So-called dimensionally stable dieboards are used when demands on durability and precision are higher during die-cutting. Due to material choice and construction, they are designed to remain dimensionally stable even under hygroscopic influences and strong climatic changes.

The Marbach solidplate is the entry-level model in the class of dimensionally stable dieboards. The solidplate is based on two steel plates applied to the proven Marbach greenplate core. Due to the steel surface, this construction enables a quick and easy rubber change. Multiple reknifing is possible for long runs.

The dieboard made of duramar is the flagship in the class of dimensionally stable dieboards. Glass-fibre-reinforced plastic is combined with steel plates. Depending on how these elements are combined, different versions of the duramar dieboard are available: eco, plus or performance. These dieboards are also non-hygroscopic. They are distinguished by their high dimensional stability and extremely long service life. They can be reknifed often and have an outstanding accuracy of fit, even with large machine formats.

The aluminium dieboard stands for very special requirements. It is not only stable, but also has a high thermal conductivity. This makes it ideally suited as a heatable dieboard. For die-cutting and creasing of plastics. But also for the highest hygienic requirements.

Head of Business Development, Jan Brunner: "Our dieboards are as individual as the needs of our customers. Depending on the order, layout, quantity and requirements, we work with our customers to select the right dieboard for optimum die-cutting results and maximum performance in the production of packaging. This gives our customers the assurance that they are using the perfect tool for their requirements. Leading to the best possible results."
(Karl Marbach GmbH & Co. KG)

BillerudKorsnäs Interim Report January–September 2019 - Strong financial position
 01.11.2019

BillerudKorsnäs Interim Report January–September 2019 - Strong financial position   (Company news)

Key highlights
-Underlying sales and profitability growth excluding the KM7 impact
-Strong balance sheet after sale of a majority stake in Bergvik Skog Öst
-Increased focus on efficiency and profitability

Quarterly data
-Net sales declined by 4% to SEK 5 833 million (6 054), driven mainly by volume and mix impact of KM7 start-up.
-Adjusted EBITDA was SEK 639 million (893), negatively impacted by KM7 start-up effects of around SEK 280 million.
-Operating profit was SEK 149 million (513).
-Net profit was SEK 5 754 million (363), including profit from discontinued operations of SEK 5 677 million.
-Earnings per share amounted to SEK 27.83 (1.76). Adjusted earnings per share were SEK 0.48 (1.85).

Q4 Outlook
-The market for Division Board is expected to be stable.
-Weaker market conditions in some segments, particularly brown sack paper and kraft paper for industrial use, with an increased pricing pressure.
-Slightly lower total cost of fibre due to lower pulpwood prices.

COMMENTS BY CEO PETRA EINARSSON (photo)
“The start-up effects for KM7 have been significant and the underlying sales and earnings grew”

Demand for sustainable packaging remains high and BillerudKorsnäs’ market position and know-how are creating good opportunities for long-term growth. However, in the third quarter uncertainty in the global board and paper market increased and the fibre costs remained at historic high levels.

In the short term, revenues and earnings are being impacted by start-up effects of the new board machine at Gruvön, with a negative impact on sales growth compared with the equivalent period last year of 5 percentage points, and on EBITDA of approximately SEK 280 million in the third quarter. When adjusting for the KM7 start-up effects underlying adjusted EBITDA grew in the quarter. The ramp-up of KM7 is continuing and the machine is producing good quality materials that are receiving positive customer feedback and the production availability is improving. For the remainder of the year we will be focusing on increasing availability of the machine and the certification process is planned to start in the first half of next year. For years ahead the KM7 investment at Gruvön will provide BillerudKorsnäs with a platform for growth in attractive and steadily growing segments. When fully ramped up in 2023, this machine is expected to produce 550 000 tonnes annually.

The completion of the Bergvik Skog Öst transaction took place on 30 August and implied a positive cash flow of SEK 7.6 billion and a capital gain of SEK 5.6 billion, reported in the third quarter result. The cash was used to repay loans and our debt ratio is now 1.8 which is significantly better than the long-term target of below 2.5.

A review of our long-term strategy was completed during the third quarter and resulted in four strategic priorities for the next five years; Drive performance, Drive profitable growth by creating customer value, Accelerate speed in innovation and Expand our solutions business. As part of the strategic priority on performance and to ensure long-term profitability we have introduced a cost reduction programme. Measures include purchasing savings, personnel reductions and efficiency improvements. The programme is expected to generate structural savings of around SEK 600 million in 2021. In order to improve safety and production stability we are setting new standards and implementing group-wide working practises.

Sustainability is integrated into all parts of our strategy and we are proud to continue being named the most sustainable packaging company and one of the most sustainable companies in the world as being included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index World.

For the fourth quarter, the market for Division Board is expected to be stable, but we foresee a weaker market in some segments for Division Paper with increased pricing pressure.

BillerudKorsnäs has a strong position in relatively resilient product segments. Combined with our strong financial position and our strategic initiatives, this gives me confidence that we are well equipped to meet an economic slowdown. At the same time, the potential for replacing plastic and capturing the increasing demand for fibre-based packaging has never been greater.
(BillerudKorsnäs AB (publ))

Domtar Commits to Pursuing Forest Stewardship Council® Certification of Wabigoon, ...
 01.11.2019

Domtar Commits to Pursuing Forest Stewardship Council® Certification of Wabigoon, ...  (Company news)

...Trout Lake Forests In 2020, 2021


Domtar Corporation
(NYSE: UFS) (TSX: UFS) announced a pledge to pursue new Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) certification standards for the Canadian government lands that the company manages in the Wabigoon forest (in 2020) and Trout Lake forest (in 2021).

FSC launched a comprehensive new standard for responsible forest management in Canada in June. The updated standard consolidates what were four existing regional standards into one for the country. Recommendations range from physical solutions, such as buffer zones around waterways, to social ones, regarding gender equity and engagement with indigenous communities.

“We are proud to continue our work in sustainable forestry, expanding our certification efforts to Trout Lake and also bringing the Wabigoon into certification to the new FSC standards,” said Paige Goff, vice president of sustainability at Domtar.

Domtar remains committed to FSC and independent certification of forest management in the areas where the company operates, particularly the forests that supply the Dryden Mill in Ontario, the Wabigoon and Trout Lake Sustainable Forest Licences.

Domtar’s work with FSC and other stakeholders and Indigenous communities assures customers, investors, communities and consumers that Domtar lives up to sustainable forestry principles.

“FSC Canada applauds Domtar’s initiative to implement the new Forest Management Standard for responsible forestry on their forest management lands,” said Francois Dufresne, President of FSC Canada. “This commitment will help deliver critical solutions to 21st century forestry in Canada.”

Applying a new FSC standard requires time to interpret and operationalize the nuances of the recommendations on the ground. This transparent process involves multiple stakeholders, which is why the timeline stretches to 2020 and 2021.

Because the Wabigoon is already certified under the current FSC standard, it will be audited sooner. The company plans to have the area audited in the first half of 2020 and the certification completed before the end of next year. The Trout Lake forest area requires a full certification audit, to ensure that Domtar’s management meets all of the rigorous principles of the new standard and to allow for collaboration with stakeholders and Indigenous communities. The certification work is currently anticipated to be finished during the first half of 2021.
(Domtar Inc.)

Kimberly-Clark Announces Third Quarter 2019 Results
 31.10.2019

Kimberly-Clark Announces Third Quarter 2019 Results  (Company news)

Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE: KMB) reported third quarter 2019 results and raised its outlook for full-year 2019 organic sales growth and earnings per share.

Executive Summary
-Third quarter 2019 net sales of $4.6 billion increased 1 percent compared to the year-ago period. Organic sales increased 4 percent.
-Diluted net income per share for the third quarter was $1.94 in 2019 and $1.29 in 2018.
-Third quarter adjusted earnings per share were $1.84 in 2019 and $1.71 in 2018. Adjusted earnings per share exclude certain items described later in this news release.
-Diluted net income per share for full-year 2019 is expected to be $5.75 to $6.00.
-The company is now targeting full-year 2019 organic sales growth of 3 to 4 percent and adjusted earnings per share of $6.75 to $6.90. The prior outlook was for organic sales growth of 3 percent and adjusted earnings per share of $6.65 to $6.80.

Chief Executive Officer Mike Hsu (photo) said, "We delivered excellent third quarter results and we are raising our full-year outlook. We achieved strong improvements in organic sales, profit margins and earnings per share in the quarter. In addition, we continued to launch innovations, pursue our growth priorities and increase investments in our brands. We also generated $95 million of cost savings and returned approximately $570 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. I'm encouraged by the progress we're making this year while we invest more for longer-term success. We continue to be optimistic about our opportunities to deliver balanced and sustainable growth through execution of K-C Strategy 2022."

Third Quarter 2019 Operating Results
Sales of $4.6 billion in the third quarter of 2019 increased more than 1 percent compared to the year-ago period. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates reduced sales by 2 percent and business exits in conjunction with the 2018 Global Restructuring Program reduced sales slightly. Organic sales increased 4 percent. Net selling prices rose 4 percent and product mix improved 1 percent, while volumes fell 1 percent. In North America, organic sales increased 4 percent in consumer products and 5 percent in K-C Professional. Outside North America, organic sales rose 5 percent in developing and emerging markets and 1 percent in developed markets.

Third quarter operating profit was $915 million in 2019 and $669 million in 2018. Results in both periods include charges related to the 2018 Global Restructuring Program. Results in 2019 also include a gain on the sale of a manufacturing facility as part of the restructuring.

Third quarter adjusted operating profit was $859 million in 2019 and $798 million in 2018. Results benefited from higher net selling prices, $50 million of cost savings from the company's FORCE (Focused On Reducing Costs Everywhere) program and $45 million of cost savings from the 2018 Global Restructuring Program. Input costs decreased $10 million, driven by lower raw material costs. Advertising spending increased and selling, general and administrative costs were higher, including increased incentive compensation expense. Other manufacturing costs also rose year-on-year. Foreign currency translation effects reduced operating profit by $15 million and transaction effects also negatively impacted the comparison.

The third quarter effective tax rate was 22.8 percent in 2019 and 23.9 percent in 2018. The third quarter adjusted effective tax rate was 21.5 percent in 2019 and 19.6 percent in 2018. The rate in 2018 benefited from certain planning initiatives.

Kimberly-Clark's share of net income of equity companies in the third quarter was $31 million in 2019 and $23 million in 2018. At Kimberly-Clark de Mexico, results benefited from organic sales growth and cost savings.

Cash Flow and Balance Sheet
Cash provided by operations in the third quarter was $886 million in 2019 and $692 million in 2018. The increase included benefits from improved working capital and lower pension contributions. Capital spending for the third quarter was $298 million in 2019 and $219 million in 2018. Proceeds from dispositions of property in the third quarter of 2019 included approximately $200 million from the previously mentioned sale of a manufacturing facility as part of the 2018 Global Restructuring Program.

Third quarter 2019 share repurchases were 1.6 million shares at a cost of $214 million. The company expects full-year repurchases of $800 million, consistent with the original target range of $600 to $900 million. Total debt was $7.8 billion at September 30, 2019 and $7.5 billion at the end of 2018.

Third Quarter 2019 Business Segment Results
Personal Care Segment
Third quarter sales of $2.3 billion increased 2 percent. Net selling prices increased 3 percent, volumes rose 1 percent and product mix improved 1 percent. Changes in currency rates reduced sales by 3 percent. Third quarter operating profit of $490 million increased 5 percent. The comparison benefited from organic sales growth and cost savings. Results were impacted by unfavorable currency effects, other manufacturing cost increases, higher advertising spending and increased selling, general and administrative costs.

Sales in North America increased 4 percent. Net selling prices increased 2 percent and product mix improved 1 percent, both driven by baby and child care. Volumes were up 1 percent overall. Volumes increased double-digits in adult care but were down mid-single digits in baby and child care compared to a mid-single digit increase in the year-ago period.

Sales in developing and emerging markets increased 3 percent. Net selling prices rose 6 percent and product mix improved 1 percent, while volumes were even year-on-year and currency rates were unfavorable by 5 percent. The higher net selling prices mostly occurred in Argentina, the Middle East/Eastern Europe/Africa and China. Volumes increased in Eastern Europe, ASEAN and South Africa, but fell in Latin America.

Sales in developed markets outside North America (Australia, South Korea and Western/Central Europe) decreased 3 percent, including a 6 point negative impact from changes in currency rates. Product mix improved 2 percent and volumes rose 1 percent.

Consumer Tissue Segment
Third quarter sales of $1.5 billion increased 1 percent. Net selling prices increased 5 percent, while volumes declined 2 percent and changes in currency rates reduced sales 2 percent. Third quarter operating profit of $264 million increased 25 percent. Results benefited from higher net selling prices, cost savings and lower input costs. The comparison was impacted by other manufacturing cost increases, lower volumes and increased selling, general and administrative costs.

Sales in North America increased 3 percent compared to a 5 percent decline in the year-ago period. Net selling prices rose 8 percent, while volumes fell 4 percent and product mix was off 1 percent.

Sales in developing and emerging markets increased 1 percent. Net selling prices and product mix each improved 1 percent, while currency rates were unfavorable by 2 percent.

Sales in developed markets outside North America decreased 4 percent, including a 5 point negative impact from changes in currency rates. Net selling prices increased 2 percent.

K-C Professional (KCP) Segment
Third quarter sales of $0.8 billion decreased 1 percent. Changes in currency rates and business exits in conjunction with the 2018 Global Restructuring Program each reduced sales 2 percent. Net selling prices increased more than 3 percent and product mix improved 1 percent, while volumes were down 2 percent. Third quarter operating profit of $176 million increased 10 percent. Results benefited from increased net selling prices and cost savings. The comparison was impacted by lower volumes, other manufacturing cost increases, unfavorable currency effects and higher selling, general and administrative costs.

Sales in North America increased 4 percent. Net selling prices increased 4 percent and volumes rose 1 percent, while business exits in conjunction with the 2018 Global Restructuring Program reduced sales approximately 2 percent.

Sales in developing and emerging markets decreased 2 percent, including a 2 point negative impact from changes in currency rates. Volumes declined 5 percent, while net selling prices rose 4 percent.

Sales in developed markets outside North America were down 7 percent. Currency rates were unfavorable by 5 percent and business exits in conjunction with the 2018 Global Restructuring Program reduced sales 1 percent. Volumes fell 7 percent, while product mix improved 4 percent and net selling prices increased 2 percent. The changes occurred mostly in Western/Central Europe.

Year-To-Date Results
For the first nine months of 2019, sales of $13.9 billion were down slightly. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates reduced sales by 4 percent and business exits in conjunction with the 2018 Global Restructuring Program reduced sales slightly. Organic sales increased 4 percent. Net selling prices rose 4 percent and product mix improved 1 percent, while volumes fell 1 percent.

Year-to-date operating profit was $2,240 million in 2019 and $1,590 million in 2018. Results in both periods include charges related to the 2018 Global Restructuring Program. Year-to-date adjusted operating profit was $2,455 million in 2019 and $2,396 million in 2018. Results benefited from organic sales growth, $175 million of FORCE cost savings and $125 million of cost savings from the 2018 Global Restructuring Program. The comparison was impacted by $205 million of higher input costs, unfavorable currency effects, other manufacturing cost increases, increased advertising spending and higher general and administrative costs.

Through nine months, diluted net income per share was $4.65 in 2019 and $2.85 in 2018. Year-to-date adjusted earnings per share were $5.18 in 2019 and $5.01 in 2018.

2018 Global Restructuring Program
In January 2018, Kimberly-Clark initiated the 2018 Global Restructuring Program in order to reduce the company's structural cost base and enhance the company's flexibility to invest in its brands, growth initiatives and capabilities critical to delivering future growth. The company expects the program will generate annual pre-tax cost savings of $500 to $550 million by the end of 2021. As part of the program, Kimberly-Clark expects to exit or divest some low-margin businesses that generate approximately 1 percent of company net sales. To implement the program, the company expects to incur restructuring charges of $1,700 to $1,900 million pre-tax ($1,350 to $1,500 million after tax) by the end of 2020. Through the third quarter of 2019, the company has incurred cumulative restructuring charges of $1,251 million pre-tax ($964 million after tax) and generated cumulative savings of $260 million.

2019 Outlook and Key Planning Assumptions
The company updated the following key planning and guidance assumptions for full-year 2019:
-Net sales down slightly year-on-year (prior assumption even to down 1 percent).
-----Organic sales growth 3 to 4 percent (previous estimate 3 percent).
-----Foreign currency exchange rates unfavorable by 4 percent (prior estimate 3 to 4 percent).
-----Exited businesses in conjunction with the 2018 Global Restructuring Program expected to reduce sales slightly (no change).
-Adjusted operating profit growth 4 to 5 percent (prior target 3 to 5 percent).
-----Inflation in key cost inputs in the lower half of the previously estimated range of $150 to $250 million.
-----Currency effects slightly more unfavorable than previously assumed.
-Adjusted effective tax rate toward the low end of the prior estimate of 23 to 25 percent.
-Adjusted earnings per share $6.75 to $6.90 compared to the prior outlook of $6.65 to $6.80.
(Kimberly-Clark Corp.)

Packaging Corporation of America Reports Third Quarter 2019 Results
 31.10.2019

Packaging Corporation of America Reports Third Quarter 2019 Results  (Company news)

Packaging Corporation of America (NYSE: PKG) reported third quarter 2019 net income of $180 million, or $1.89 per share, and net income of $182 million, or $1.92 per share, excluding special items. Third quarter net sales were $1.8 billion in 2019 and 2018.

Reported earnings include $.02 per share of special items expense in the third quarter of 2019, primarily for the disposal of certain fixed assets related to the previously completed conversion of the No. 3 paper machine at our DeRidder, Louisiana mill to containerboard, and $.05 per share in the third quarter of 2018, primarily for certain costs related to discontinuing paper operations associated with the conversion of the No. 3 paper machine at our Wallula, Washington mill to linerboard. Excluding special items, the ($.31) per share decrease in third quarter 2019 earnings compared to the third quarter of 2018 was driven primarily by lower prices and mix ($.36), and lower volume ($.03), in our Packaging segment, lower volume in our Paper segment ($.03), higher converting costs ($.06), higher operating costs ($.01), and other costs ($.02). These items were partially offset by higher prices and mix in our Paper segment $.09, lower annual outage expenses $.09, and lower freight and logistics expenses $.02.

In the Packaging segment, corrugated products shipments were up 1.9% in total and per day, over last year’s third quarter. Containerboard production was 1,070,000 tons, and containerboard inventory was down 30,000 tons from the second quarter of 2019 and down 51,000 tons compared to the third quarter of 2018. In the Paper segment, lower volumes in the third quarter of 2019 compared to last year were primarily due to discontinuing the paper business at the Wallula Mill.

Commenting on reported results, Mark W. Kowlzan (photo), Chairman and CEO, said, “In our Packaging segment, we continued to run our containerboard system to demand in a very cost-effective manner. Our mills supplied the necessary containerboard to achieve new shipment records in our box plants, and our inventory was below last year’s and second quarter levels. Average domestic prices were about where we expected based on the changes in the published domestic containerboard prices from earlier this year, however our corrugated products mix was slightly better. In the Paper segment, volumes for our office paper and converting grades were slightly above the third quarter of 2018. Prices and mix were higher than last year’s third quarter, but moved lower compared to the second quarter of 2019, although at a slower rate than the published index prices.”

“Looking ahead to the fourth quarter,” Mr. Kowlzan added, “in our Packaging segment we expect slightly lower prices as the remaining impact of the published domestic containerboard price decreases from earlier this year work through our system, and lower export prices. We also expect a seasonally less rich mix in corrugated products and slightly lower shipments with one less shipping day. Containerboard sales volume will be lower as we continue to run to demand and work towards building some inventory prior to year-end in preparation for first quarter 2020 scheduled maintenance outages at our three largest containerboard mills. In our Paper segment, volumes are expected to be seasonally lower along with lower average prices. With anticipated colder weather, energy costs will be higher, and we expect certain other operating and converting costs to be higher as well, which includes the costs associated with the start-up of our new Richland, WA box plant during the quarter. Scheduled maintenance outage costs are also expected to be higher than the third quarter. Considering these items, we expect fourth quarter earnings of $1.70 per share.”
(PCA Packaging Corporation of America)

The investment cost of Finnpulp's bioproduct mill is updated to 1.6 billion euros
 31.10.2019

The investment cost of Finnpulp's bioproduct mill is updated to 1.6 billion euros  (Company news)

The investment cost of Finnpulp’s planned bioproduct mill in the city of Kuopio in Eastern Finland has been updated to 1.6 billion euros. The new estimate is based on completion of a feasibility study during the summer and is close to 200 million higher than previous estimate in 2016.

The increase is based on the increase of construction costs and elaboration of the planning. For instance, the updated plan includes construction of a sizeable biocoal plant. The use of 6.7 million cubic meters of roundwood results in large amount of bark, which is estimated to amount to approximately 10% of the volume of the wood. Bark accumulated during the summer cannot be optimally utilized in energy production.
Biocoal replaces coal and peat

According to Martti Fredrikson, CEO of Finnpulp, the biocoal plant can solve problems relating to storage and logistics of bark. The biocoal plant enables valuable biofuel to be optimally utilized regardless of the season, while minimizing the waste heat.

Estimated annual biocoal production is up to 100 000 tons. Biocoal will replace coal, but also peat. The technology is based on Finnish innovation.

In the new cost estimate, Finnpulp also plans implementation of the tertiary cleaning of waste water to ensure compliance with conditions of the environmental permit set by Vaasa Administrative Court.
Bioelectricity: Two times larger than Kuopio’s need

The maximum bioelectricity produced by the mill to the market is 1.2 TWh, which is two times larger than the annual consumption of the city of Kuopio or the amount of electricity required by all planned 250 000 electric cars in Finland in 2030.

According to Fredrikson, the updated investment cost is final, and no further changes are expected.
(Finnpulp)

Stora Enso Oyj Interim Report January–September 2019
 30.10.2019

Stora Enso Oyj Interim Report January–September 2019  (Company news)

-Continued focus on cash and costs
-Profit protection programme target increased to EUR 275 million

Q3/2019 (compared with Q3/2018)
-Sales decreased by 7.1% to EUR 2 402 (2 585) million.
-Operational EBIT decreased to EUR 231 (358) million.
-Operating profit (IFRS) was EUR 170 (363) million.
-EPS decreased to EUR 0.09 (0.27) and EPS excl. IAC was EUR 0.13 (0.31).
-Strong cash flow from operations amounted to EUR 488 (457) million. Cash flow after investing activities was EUR 347 (319) million.
-The net debt to operational EBITDA ratio at 2.2 (1.1) was slightly above the target level of 2.0.
-Operational ROCE was 8.7% (16.7%).

Q1–Q3/2019 (year-on-year)
-Sales were EUR 7 644 (7 828) million, due to decreased prices and volumes.
-Operational EBIT was EUR 841 (1 054) million, due to decreased prices and volumes and increased variable costs.

Outlook for 2019
Deteriorating trading conditions caused by geopolitical uncertainties related to trade wars and a possible hard Brexit are expected to impact Stora Enso negatively. Demand growth is forecast to slow for Stora Enso's businesses in general, and the decline in demand for European paper will continue. Due to the profit protection programme, costs are forecast to remain roughly at the same level in 2019 as in 2018. Stora Enso is still implementing additional profit protection measures to mitigate negative financial impacts of the current situation.

Guidance for Q4/2019
Q4/2019 operational EBIT is expected to be in the range of EUR 100–180 million. During the fourth quarter, there will be annual maintenance shutdown at the Fors, Ingerois, Skoghall, Varkaus, Montes del Plata and Skutskär mills. The total maintenance impact is estimated to be at the same level as in Q4/2018 and in Q3/2019.

Stora Enso’s CEO Karl-Henrik Sundström (photo) comments on the third quarter 2019 results:
“As a company, we are preparing for the next market upturn through our profit protection programme which is proceeding ahead of plan. Since we were out early in launching it, we are building the prerequisites for a better and more profitable future when the cycle turns. It is important to take advantage of today's situation to build a more future-proof company by being one step ahead and working proactively. To advance even further, we have increased the target to EUR 275 million from EUR 200 million and extended the programme until the end of 2021.

Sales during the quarter decreased due to lower prices and volumes. We also saw a sharp decrease in operational EBIT for the same reasons. Approximately EUR 40 million of cost reduction have been achieved during the quarter. Imagine if we would have had this based on last year’s cost levels. This is a foundation for a leaner and more efficient organisation ready for when the cycle turns. Cash flow from operations was strong, due to proactive working capital management.

Given our focus on our raw material, I am pleased that we will establish a new Forest division from the beginning of 2020. It will include our Swedish forest assets and our 41% share of Tornator with the majority of the forest assets located in Finland. Moreover, it covers our wood supply operations in Finland, Sweden, Russia and the Baltics. As a major player in the bioeconomy, access to wood is critical for our business.

Looking at our divisions, we see continued price increases in Consumer Board; in Packaging Solutions, the corrugated market is benefiting from lower containerboard prices; in Biomaterials, we note that the Chinese market is showing positive signs and in Wood Products, the margin protection continues.

As regards our transformation journey, the conversion of Enocell pulp mill from softwood to dissolving pulp has been finalised, and the gradual ramp up is starting. Our dissolving wood pulp can be used in exciting new ways to help shape the fabric of a green future. As part of our focus on our growth areas, we have also divested our 60% equity stake in the Dawang paper mill in China.

In our constant endeavours for sustainability in all dimensions, we are proud that our Sustainability Report 2018 – for the second year in a row – has been included in the top ten sustainability reports globally. This is according to the latest Reporting matters publication by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). We have also received the highest rating for sustainability communications in a study assessing 95 companies listed on the Nasdaq OMX Stockholm Large Cap Index in Sweden.

To sum it up: The changed market environment creates a need to be better prepared and we use this time now to get ready for the next upturn. I am pleased that we started to take measures early on.

It is soon time for me to hand over the torch to my successor, Annica Bresky, who will step in to her new position as President and CEO as of 1 December 2019. I have enjoyed my time with Stora Enso tremendously. I am especially pleased with the progress that all of us have made in becoming the renewable materials company, sustainable in all dimensions. I wish Annica all the best in this exciting role.

As always, I would like to thank our customers for their business, our employees for their dedication, and our investors for their trust.”
(Stora Enso Oyj)

Voith builds world’s largest and fastest kraftliner machine for Ilim Group
 30.10.2019

Voith builds world’s largest and fastest kraftliner machine for Ilim Group  (Company news)

Picture: With XcelLine paper machines, Voith offers efficient paper production of every paper grade on a new level

- Production of up to 600,000 tons of kraftliner per year
- Project scope includes two BlueLine refining lines, one XcelLine system, drive components, comprehensive training measures and the Process Line Package (PLP)
- Integrated Papermaking 4.0 components increase efficiency, product quality and machine availability

Ilim Group, Russia's largest pulp and paper producer with an annual production volume of more than three million tons, will significantly expand its production capacity in a project now underway. As part of an extensive investment program, the company plans to produce up to 600,000 tons of kraftliner per year at its new plant in Ust-Ilimsk, Eastern Siberia, starting in 2021. The key partner in this project is the technology group Voith, which is working with Ilim Group on this scale for the first time.

As part of the Process Line Package (PLP), Voith assumes full responsibility for the project. The experts for the entire papermaking process ensure that the plant in Siberia starts up safely, on schedule and with precisely coordinated components. The PLP reduces the number of required interfaces and contact persons and simplifies the entire project handling, which ultimately also reduces costs.

As a full-line supplier, Voith is able to provide all system components including screens for each section, as well as comprehensive Papermaking 4.0 digitizing technologies. In addition, the globally positioned group is responsible for the electrical equipment and the entire drive system of the plant. A comprehensive training program on the new machine is also part of the project scope.

“Voith is partnering with Ilim Group in this historical and outstanding project. It will become a milestone for the Russian pulp and paper industry, and we are proud to contribute with our deep experience and latest innovations,” says Christoph Müller-Mederer, President Projects EMEA at Voith Paper.

The centerpiece of PM 1 in Ust-Ilimsk is a XcelLine of the latest generation. With a wire width of 10,300 millimeters, the Ilim Group plans to produce up to 2,150 tons of kraftliner per day with basis weights between 80 and 175 grams per square meter. This will make the new machine the most powerful of its kind in the world. The production speed of 1,200 meters per minute also represents a top performance.

OnCare.Health and OnCare.Asset as well as OnEfficiency.Strength are among Voith’s Papermaking 4.0 digitalization technologies that ensure consistently high product quality and reliably efficient manufacturing. In Ust-Ilimsk, OnCare.Health monitors the current status of the system at all times, registers even the smallest malfunctions and their causes, alerts the papermaker and independently works out optimization measures. In combination with the intelligent maintenance management system OnCare.Asset, this enables a significant increase in machine availability.

In addition to the record-breaking XcelLine machine, two BlueLine stock preparation systems are also included – one for hardwood pulp, the other for softwood pulp. They ensure exact compliance with the composition of the pulp. Voith's technology thus sets the course for maximum product quality right from the start of the process.

The preassembled equipment will be erected directly at the construction site in Ust-Ilimsk. In addition to the XcelLine and the BlueLine, components supplied by Voith will include a FlowJec dosing system for additives, the former section with two Fourdrinier machines equipped with MasterJet Pro F, a ModuleJet II and DuoShake, EcoCal hard calender, the drying section with CombiDuoRun dryers and a Sirius reel with EcoChange and VariFlex Performance winder. The delivery of the 79-ton Nipco-P roll represents a particular challenge for the project.
(Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)

SK HVC and Bluemats plan first multilayered carton recycling facility in the Netherlands
 30.10.2019

SK HVC and Bluemats plan first multilayered carton recycling facility in the Netherlands  (Company news)

Smurfit Kappa has joined with companies HVC and Bluemats to unveil an ambitious plan for the first full beverage carton recycling plant in the Netherlands.

When it comes to recycling, beverage cartons, for example those used for fruit juice or milk, currently pose an infrastructural challenge as they have to be split into three materials: paper, plastic and aluminium. The planned new facility will have the capability to quickly split and sort the components of the drinks cartons so the materials can be used to create new products. Single-use coffee cups, which also have multi-layered materials, are also included in the scope of the plan.

Over half of the beverage cartons used in the Netherlands are incinerated or disposed of in general waste channels, with the remainder being exported to other countries for recycling. A new domestic facility would therefore be an enormous benefit from both an environmental and logistics perspective.

Smurfit Kappa brings long-term expertise in paper-recycling installations to the project which has been awarded a European LIFE grant. HVC brings sustainable waste collection experience to the project while Bluemats will handle and separate the plastics and aluminium.

Henk Hoevers, VP of Paper Technology at Smurfit Kappa, said: “We are excited about being involved in a project that has the potential to solve a very big challenge and potentially push the high recycling rate of paper even further than the current 85%.

“Together, our three companies plan a state-of-the-art installation that can deal with this specific multi-material reject stream. Using all three separated streams of paper, plastic and aluminium for further recycling is unique.

“This plan is very much in line with the circularity that embeds all our operations and aligns with our Better Planet Packaging initiative which seeks to reduce packaging waste.”

Dennis Froeling, Business Developer with HVC, added: “At this time, multi-layered cartons are being recycled elsewhere in Europe, mainly in Germany.

“We would like to ensure that the multi-layered cartons that come from our sorting centre in Heerenveen and from SUEZ in Rotterdam are being recycled in the Netherlands. By doing this we are connecting the entire chain from collection, to transport through to the sorting and processing of raw materials.”

Plans for the new facility will be further developed ahead of a final decision in the next six months.
(Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)

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