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Ence obtains a net profit of 25 million euros until June, 50% less due to the temporary fall in ...

Ence obtains a net profit of 25 million euros until June, 50% less due to the temporary fall in ...  (Company news)

... the price of cellulose

Ence – Energía y Celulosa achieved a net profit of € 25 million during the first half of the year (-50%) and an EBITDA of € 92 million, 31% lower. The EBITDA of the Pulp business was € 66 million (- 42%), while the Renewable Energy increased up to € 26 million, 30% higher than the same period of 2018.

Photo: Navia pulp mill

Results have been affected by the current situation of the pulp market, marked by the contraction in demand due to the reduction of inventories in the paper industry, which have pushed down the price of pulp.

The expansion project with a new production line in Navia of 340,000 tons advances in engineering and in obtaining the necessary permits for its construction, after the freezing of investments planned in Pontevedra due to the change in criteria on the term of the concession of the Coasts Authorities.

Currently the company is focused on a program of cost reduction and optimization of the operating result, launched this July to ensure compliance with the objectives of the Strategic Plan to 2023.

On the other hand, the EBITDA of the Energy business was driven by the incorporation of the Puertollano solar thermal power plant. With the entry into operation of the two new biomass plants in Huelva and Puertollano before the end of the year, the EBITDA of this business will increase by nearly € 30 million annually to € 100 million / year.

Investments in growth and sustainability were € 157 million. The Net Debt to EBITDA ratio of the group stands at 1.8 times at the end of the semester, with a leverage of 1.2 times in the Pulp business and 3.9 times in the Renewable Energy business.

The company will pay a first interim dividend in September, of 5.1 cents per share, fulfilling its policy of distributing 50% of the net profit.
(Grupo Empresarial ENCE S.A. Divisíon de Celulosa)

DS Smith De Hoop Paper Mill Wins Royal Netherlands Paper and Board Association Health & ...

DS Smith De Hoop Paper Mill Wins Royal Netherlands Paper and Board Association Health & ...  (Company news)

... Safety Award

In June, De Hoop Paper Mill won the Royal Netherlands Paper and Board Association (Royal VNP) Health and Safety Award, recognising their journey to Vision Zero.

At DS Smith, we understand that providing a healthy and safe working environment is fundamental to operating a sustainable and responsible business. The safety of all people - employees, agency workers, contractors, customers and visitors, is our number one priority, and a cornerstone of our operations.

The Royal VNP forms part of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), which represents almost 500 companies across Europe. During the Royal VNP’s annual Fibre Future Festival DS Smith De Hoop Paper Mill were awarded the Occupational Health and Safety Cup.

The Royal VNP said:
“The company shows impressive progress in the area of ​​safe working and creates support for an ever-higher level of safety in both the management team and in the workplace.”

Over the past year DS Smith De Hoop Paper Mill has transformed its health and safety standards, which included more than twenty-five new initiatives, and training to a third of all its employees.

We’re extremely proud of the work that’s been undertaken over the past year, and to receive such a high-profile award is perfect recognition for everybody’s efforts! — Robert Jespers, Health and Safety Manager at De Hoop Mill

The work at De Hoop mill, and across all our DS Smith sites, will allow us to continue the journey towards a sustainable, world class performance, and of course ensure the health and safety of everyone that works on our sites.
(DS Smith Paper, De Hoop Mill)

Viscose Speciality Fibres against fraud with Organic Cotton

Viscose Speciality Fibres against fraud with Organic Cotton  (Company news)

Alexander Bachmann, Business Manager at Kelheim Fibres, will present a detectable viscose
fibre with a unique fingerprint structure at this year’s Global Fiber Congress in Dornbirn. With this fibre, the Bavarian viscose speciality fibre manufacturer addresses a global problem of growing proportions: For organic cotton alone, the rapidly increasing demand with simultaneously declining production volume invite fraud and counterfeiting, but also other
high-quality textiles are forged on a grand scale.

Kelheim Fibres supplies viscose speciality fibres that can serve as “marker fibres” thanks to special pigments that are firmly and permanently incorporated in the fibre structure. These marker fibres are added before yarn manufacturing and guarantee clear identification and traceability throughout the whole textile supply chain to the end product. The validation via scanner takes only a second and does not cause any damage to the product.

Kelheim’s marker fibre offers protection against fraud – protection against germs is offered by Danufil® QR (photo), that will be presented by Dr. Roland Scholz from Kelheim’s R&D team: This fibre was specifically designed for the use in disinfectant wipes. In contrast to standard viscose fibres, the positively charged Danufil® QR binds less than 10% of “quats” (quarternary ammonium compounds, a common disinfectant). Thus, Danufil® QR enables the manufacture of effective disinfectant wipes from biodegradable viscose fibres which is a clear benefit for the environment, especially as these products are designed for convenient one-time use. For this new fibre development Kelheim Fibres was recently awarded with INDA’s World of Wipes

Kelheim Fibres’ experts will be present at stand 19 at the Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress.
(Kelheim Fibres GmbH)

Avery Dennison Joins Ellen MacArthur CE 100

Avery Dennison Joins Ellen MacArthur CE 100  (Company news)

Signals Strengthened Commitment to Circular Economy

Picture: Avery Dennison joins Ellen MacArthur CE 100. (Photo: Avery Dennison)

Global labeling and packaging materials manufacturer Avery Dennison Corporation (NYSE:AVY) has joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100 (CE 100) network as part of the company’s support of a global transition to a circular economy.

Membership in the CE100 reflects Avery Dennison’s ongoing practice of joining forces with customers and suppliers across the supply chain to deliver solutions that can make a material difference in the world. The company believes that meeting evolving social and environmental needs and new business challenges can best be achieved by supporting a transition to a circular economy.

“Our size, scale, and position within the supply chain, give us a particular responsibility to aggressively act on the key principles of a circular economy--design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems,” said Deon Stander, vice president and general manager, RBIS, and corporate lead, sustainability for Avery Dennison. “After eight decades of global manufacturing leadership, we’ve learned the importance of reinventing and improving the materials and products we make, as well as how we make them.

With the circular economy as a clear orientation point, we are moving our sustainability efforts, and our business, forward and fostering bold solutions to address the sustainability challenges of our time,” he added.

Avery Dennison’s circular practices and commitments include:

- inventing materials that improve the recyclability of consumer goods;
- increasing the amount of recycled content we use in products; and
- building a global system for recycling used labeling and packaging materials.

Since 2015, Avery Dennison’s sustainability commitments have moved the company toward more circular practices. For example, the company has developed an entire range of one hundred-plus products in its ClearIntent™ Portfolio, which help customers and their end-users meet their sustainability ambitions by reducing materials consumption and shrinking their environmental footprint. This includes products like CleanFlake™ adhesive technology, which enables clean bottle-to-bottle recycling for PET containers.

In addition, Avery Dennison is reusing internal waste from its textile processing to create new yarn products and working across the globe with a number of companies to recycle liner waste to prevent it from entering landfills.
(Avery Dennison Corporation)

ANDRITZ GROUP: Results for Q2 and H1 2019

ANDRITZ GROUP: Results for Q2 and H1 2019  (Company news)

International technology Group ANDRITZ saw satisfactory business development overall in the second quarter of 2019, however development by business area differed considerably. The order intake – at just over two billion euros – reached the second highest quarterly figure in the company’s history. While sales increased slightly, the EBITA remained stable compared to the previous year.

Photo: Wolfgang Leitner, President & CEO of ANDRITZ AG

The key financial figures developed as follows:
-In the second quarter of 2019, order intake was well above the previous year’s reference figure at 2,047.1 (+17.9% versus Q2 2018: 1,736.5 MEUR). This is mainly due to the Pulp & Paper business area, which was able to increase its order intake significantly in the capital equipment segment as well as in the service segment. In the other business areas however, order intake declined. Order intake in the first half of 2019 saw very favorable development and increased to 3,705.2 MEUR (+13.3% compared to H1 2018: 3,269.3 MEUR).
-The order backlog as of June 30, 2019 amounted to 7,724.2 MEUR and increased by 9.0% compared to the end of 2018 (7,084.3 MEUR) as a result of the good order intake development in the preceding quarters.
-Sales rose in the second quarter of 2019 by 6.9% compared to the previous year’s reference period (Q2 2018: 1,472.1 MEUR) and reached 1,573.2 MEUR. The Pulp & Paper business area noted a sharp increase in sales that more than compensated for declining sales in the other business areas. Sales in the first half of 2019 amounted to 3,062.4 MEUR and increased by 10.8% compared to the previous year’s reference period (first half of 2018: 2,763.1 MEUR).
-The EBITA in the second quarter of 2019 amounted to 94.7 MEUR and was thus practically unchanged compared to the figure for the previous year’s reference period (Q2 2018: 94.6 MEUR) in spite of the rise in sales. This was due to the Metals business area, which saw a significant drop in earnings due to processing of low-margin orders and under-utilization of capacities in the Metals Forming division (Schuler). In contrast, the other business areas saw solid development and were able to increase their earnings compared to the previous year. The EBITA in the first half of 2019 amounted to 177.5 MEUR and was 6.7% higher than the previous year’s reference figure (H1 2018: 166.3 MEUR).
-The financial result decreased to -14.4 MEUR due to the significantly lower average net liquidity compared to the previous year as well as interest expenses for the Schuldscheindarlehen issued in the third quarter of 2018 (Q1 2018: -8.6 MEUR).
-As a result, net income (without non-controlling interests) dropped to 43.9 MEUR (Q2 2018: 56.6 MEUR). In the first half of 2019, the net income (without non-controlling interests) amounted to 77.5 MEUR (H1 2018: 100.6 MEUR).

With regard to the expectations for the full year 2019, ANDRITZ confirms its guidance given at the publication of the Q1 2019 results and expects a significant rise in sales compared to the previous year. In terms of profitability, the company expects the operating EBITA margin without extraordinary effects to remain unchanged at 6.9% (EBITA margin 2018 without extraordinary effects: 6.9%).

Wolfgang Leitner, President & CEO of ANDRITZ AG: “We are very pleased with the development of order intake and expect continuing good project activity in the coming months, especially in the Pulp & Paper business area. As far as weak earnings development in the Metals Forming division (Schuler) as a result of the market environment is concerned, we are confident that we can achieve a competitive cost structure and solid profitability once again in the medium term with the adjustment measures now implemented.”
(Andritz AG)

Rebuild of Gruvön PM 6 successfully completed

Rebuild of Gruvön PM 6 successfully completed  (Company news)

Voith has successfully completed the modernization of the paper machine PM 6 at BillerudKorsnäs AB in Gruvön, Sweden. As part of the rebuild project, the press section and parts of the dryer section have been modernized. BillerudKorsnäs manufactures on the PM 6 fluting for packaging paper from virgin fibers.

In the press section the existing roll press was taken out of the second position and installed in the first press position. Now a new NipcoFlex shoe press (photo) is being used as the second press. The NipcoFlex package delivered to BillerudKorsnäs is the first one which can achieve lineloads of up to 1,700 kN/m. This is only possible through an optimal combination of roll, shoe, press sleeve and press felt, which were all developed by Voith. Through the extremely high press pulse maximum dewatering is achieved with the highest paper quality. The closed web run through the press reduces sheet breaks and increases the runnability of the paper machine. Dryness and speed of the paper machine are increased simultaneously. In addition, the cantilevering structure in the shoe press position of the new press allows the use of endless felts.

For the conditioning of the press felt a ProLub cleaning system has been installed for the first time in a paper machine for packaging papers. ProLub cleans continuously the felt across the entire working width. The dryer section has been reduced by two dryers, resulting in further energy savings.

Also part of the scope of supply were MultiFlex machine clothings in the press and dryer section and an OnQ ModuleSteam steam box that ensures a uniform CD moisture profile and a higher dryness.

BillerudKorsnäs AB, headquartered in Solna, Sweden, emerged in 2012 from the merger of Billerud and Korsnäs and is one of the leading manufacturers of packaging paper made from virgin fibers.
(Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)

VPK Packaging Group posts major investments and healthy growth in 2018

VPK Packaging Group posts major investments and healthy growth in 2018  (Company news)

The 2018 results emphasize investments in innovation and sustainability. High paper prices put margins under pressure, but growth is maintained. Key drivers within the sector remain the impact of e-commerce and the focus on sustainable packaging alternatives.

Most modern production site for corrugated packaging
2018 was a year of high paper prices that put pressure on the profit margin of corrugated cardboard packaging. VPK Packaging Group invested primarily and heavily in innovation and sustainability. Major investment projects at a glance:
-In Halden, Norway, work was started on the construction of what will become one of the sector’s most modern sites in Europe. By the end of 2019, all current operations in Sarpsborg will be transferred to the brand-new ultra-low emission site.
-In Saint-Quentin, France, construction began on an automated high-bay warehouse to increase capacity and deliver a more competitive customer service.
-In the Netherlands, too, we invested in additional storage space of 20,000m². It is the final outcome of a two-year investment project aimed at doubling the capacity of our Raamsdonkveer site.
-At Blue Paper in Strasbourg, France, we are closing the loop with a new waste-to-energy plant. The residual fraction will from now on be converted on-site into thermal energy, resulting in savings in natural gas and freight transport.
-In Oudegem, Belgium, the site’s surroundings are being completely redesigned and rebuilt for increased security and liveability in collaboration with the local authorities. In addition, a new biogas engine and water treatment plant were installed, resulting in lower air and water emissions.

Pierre Macharis, CEO VPK Packaging Group: “Last year, we were confronted with extremely high paper prices. Although this constituted a source of profit for our paper division, its overall effect was that our margins as a net paper buyer of 750,000 tonnes came under pressure. Last year, we invested mainly and very heavily in the company’s future, with a number of ambitious projects aimed at innovation and development.

A look ahead at 2019: improved integration balance and market leader in tube segment
In the first half of 2019, VPK Packaging Group took over the European and Chinese divisions of Corenso, a leading manufacturer of both coreboard and finished tubes. The acquisition will add an additional €170 million to the group’s turnover this year. Corex, the group’s core division, will thus account for 16% of total turnover.

With the integration of two additional paper mills, in France and Finland, the VPK group also continues to focus on achieving a sound balance between the production of raw materials and finished products.

Trends in the sector: impact of etailers, plastic ban, focus on end user
One of the most high-impact trends in the corrugated packaging industry is the growing impact of online retailers. Amazon has already developed a set of packaging guidelines that will affect many producers in the short term. The focal points are: end-to-end customer experience, impact on the environment, cost efficiency.

The single-use plastic ban also has a marked impact on producers, who are looking for alternative packaging solutions based on renewable and biologically degradable raw materials. These trends are the drivers of innovation in the paper and cardboard sector.

Importance of qualitative sorting and increased sustainability
A key issue for the sector is the qualitative sorting and collection of recovered paper and cardboard. In this area, Belgium still scores better than neighbouring countries. It provides the basis for a circular economy, which is based on maximum recovery of raw materials.

Also within its own scope, the paper and cardboard sector will continue to focus on increasing the sustainability of production processes. We will do this by continuing to innovate in energy production, water recycling, waste reduction, as well as digitalization.

Knowledge centre and decision-making
In 2019 we will also be working on the expansion of our head office in Aalst. It is part of the group’s strategy to hire even more specialised profiles and to further optimize its role as knowledge centre within its international network. VPK thus underlines the importance of the local embedding of the growing group’s decision-making centre.
(VPK Packaging NV)

Marabu at K 2019

Marabu at K 2019  (Company news)

K 2019 is opening its doors as the entire industry faces serious pressure: plastic must become more sustainable. At the world’s leading trade fair for plastics and rubber, German ink manufacturer Marabu will be presenting products that open up entirely new possibilities.

Anyone intending to visit the 17 halls of K 2019 will probably be in need of a map: Marabu is located in hall 4 at stand C63-04, where it will be showcasing a portfolio of inks for screen, pad and digital printing that prioritise the safety of product manufacturers and consumers. These include low-migration screen and digital inks for food packaging, water-based pad and digital inks for printing children’s toys, UV LED-curable inks, and smart solutions for the automotive industry.

Low-migration UV-curable screen printing ink for PE/PP plastic food packaging
Inks for food packaging are subject to strict quality audits to verify that they are not susceptible to migration (i.e. the transfer of substances from the packaging material to the foodstuff). Marabu’s Ultra Pack UVFP range is the first and only officially approved (by Swiss Quality Testing Services, SQTS, a certified institute) for migration-sensitive PE/PP plastics – the materials most widely used for packaging foodstuffs. Moreover, the very high reactiveness of Ultra Pack UVFP inks ensures rapid curing and printing speeds of up to 5,000 items per hour.

UV LED curing for printing packaging
UV LED curing is proving increasingly popular when printing packaging. It only employs UVA-wavelength light for drying, and emits zero ozone. There is no need for an equipment warm-up period, ensuring highly efficient production. Additionally, the substrate is not subjected to high temperatures. Marabu has developed the Ultra Pack LEDC ink range specifically for the requirements of this use case. The Ultra Pack LEDC formula is ideal for a broad variety of plastics and supports both conventional UV curing and complete LED-based curing. This guarantees a flexible printing process.

Direct digital printing of PET bottles
Marabu’s UV-curable inkjet products can be employed in a variety of situations, and are compatible with all common print heads. The portfolio includes the Ultra Jet DUV-C line for directly printing PET packaging, including bottles and tubes, by means of an industrial single-pass method. PET bottles often come into contact with foodstuffs, so it is important that low-migration inks are used. The Ultra Jet DUV-C range has been tested and confirmed to display minimal migration. Moreover, this portfolio of UV products is suitable for de-inking. In other words, Ultra Jet DUV-C inks can be removed from PET bottles when they are recycled. Until recently, de-inking was primarily used for recycling paper.

Water-based digital printing for flexible food packaging
Flexible food packaging adapts to the shape of the product it contains, is easy to modify, user-friendly and saves on input material. Marabu offers a new water-based inkjet ink for directly printing flexible packaging materials. The formular complies with the requirements of the EuPIA Swiss Ordinance on Food Contact Materials and Articles and the Nestlé Guidance Note on Packaging Inks, i.e. confirming its suitability for food packaging. The new ink is also ideal for multi-layer packaging, and for lamination and heat sealing. It is available exclusively for machine manufacturers and system integrators.

New water-based pad and digital printing inks for toys
Product safety is an absolute must when it comes to children’s toys. This holds true for both manufacturers and their young consumers. At K 2019, Marabu will be presenting Maqua® Pad MAP, the world’s first commercially available water-based pad printing ink. This range is perfect for adding decorative elements, and for sensitive applications, such as children’s toys. Maqua® Pad MAP produces outstanding results in terms of adhesion, opacity and durability, on substrates including coated and uncoated wood, ABS, PVC, PC and pre-treated polypropylene (PP). The water-based formulation is odourless, is manufactured without the use of BPA or BPS chemicals, and has very low VOC and low PAH levels. Switching to water-based pad printing requires careful preparation. Key considerations include the correct room temperature, humidity, printers, pad hardness, cliché type, and limited use of auxiliary agents. Marabu’s water-based inkjet inks offer the benefits of digital printing, and are employed, in particular, for the personalisation/customisation of plastic toy parts. These inks can be deployed with all leading industrial print heads (e.g. Konika Minolta, Kyocera and Dimatix). Both the water-based pad and digital printing ranges have been officially confirmed to comply with the DIN EN 71-3 standard for toy safety, and are suitable for applications in line with the 2009/48/EC Toy Safety Directive.

Flexible pad printing inks for diverse applications
Marabu’s Tampa® Tex TPX offers very high adhesion and high opacity in conjunction with a flexible ink film. As numerous test prints and quality checks have now demonstrated, this best-selling pad printing ink for textiles is also ideal for other, highly challenging tasks. The extremely carefully sourced, high-purity raw materials not only comply with the strict specifications of clothing manufacturers, such as Adidas A01 und Nike RSL, they also fulfil requirements for baby products, toys and packaging. As a result, Tampa® Tex TPX is no longer restricted to prints on T-shirts, shoes and similar items. It is also perfect for other sensitive products, such as babies’ bottles, dummies (pacifiers), toys, and packaging for personal care products.

Smart printing solutions for the automotive industry
Mara® Mold MPC is a solvent-based screen printing ink for film-insert-moulded (FIM) plastic parts – in particular, those found in the automotive industry. The desired decorations are printed on the reverse of polycarbonate films and then coated with PC or PC/ABS during the FIM process. Mara® Mold MPC offers excellent mouldability and high temperature resistance in conjunction with very good adhesion to injection-moulded substrates. Marabu’s Mara® Poly P offering is ideal for aluminium trim, door sill plates and glossy logo badges. It can be combined with Mara® Pur PU to ensure high durability on aluminium parts. A dual-cure screen printing varnish rounds out the portfolio for automotive applications. Mara® Cure HY screen printing varnish delivers the desired surface effect – for both matte and high-gloss finishes.

When it comes to personalising or customising plastic parts, digital printing offers substantial advantages over screen printing. The UV-curable Ultra Jet DUV-MF was developed with wide-format graphical applications in mind. It is a highly versatile ink suitable for multiple scenarios, including printing rigid substrates, such as pre-moulded automotive components. Ultra Jet DUV-MF is also available in a LED-curable version.

Specialty ink for decorating front panels
The latest household appliances are equipped with state-of-the-art front panels and integrated touch panels. Marabu’s Mara® Panel MPA, a new range of specialty decorative inks, features an outstanding opaque white, plus a deep, non-conductive black developed for printing on the back (second surface) of popular PMMA or PC plastics. Mara® Panel MPA displays very high electrical resistance to avoid interference with the input system’s functionality. Furthermore, the range has been tested for resistance to water vapour and to common cleaning agents from leading manufacturers. In many cases, household appliances feature plastic panels within a metal housing. Marabu offers solutions for the entire device, even if individual components are made from differing materials, i.e. plastic, metal or glass.

Combined printing techniques for operator control panels
Marabu offers a combined solution for operator control panels, comprising both screen and digital processes. The PET material employed to make membrane keyboards is decorated via digital printing in conjunction with Ultra Jet DUV-A, an ink system that is compatible with screen printing methods. Benefits include shorter printer set-up times, cost-effective production of very small print runs, and customised designs for individual membrane keyboards within a single print job. The blocking layer is subsequently screen printed. There is a choice of inks available for this task, such as the solvent-based Mara® Switch MSW system with an effective opaque white, black and block-out silver or, where required, the UV-curable Ultra Switch UVSW line.

New UV-curable solution for credit cards
ID and cashless payment cards are gaining ground in the global electronic user-authentication market. Marabu’s new Ultra Card UVCC screen printing ink cures quickly, is suitable for lamination, and is ideal for printing on coated or uncoated PVC and PLA films (PLA = polylactide, a bioplastic i.e. bio-based polymer). Furthermore, the ink is excellent for embossing and it can also be easily combined with other printing methods – while offering all the advantages of UV-curable technology.
(Marabu GmbH & Co. KG)

Andrea Minguzzi becomes Executive Chairman of the Lecta Group

Andrea Minguzzi becomes Executive Chairman of the Lecta Group  (Company news)

​​Effective July 25th, Andrea Minguzzi, Group CFO, became Executive Chairman of the Lecta Group. He replaces Santiago Ramirez, who stepped down from his role.

Andrea will continue to work with Eduardo Querol, Group CEO, and the rest of the management team towards completing the transformation of Lecta to a manufacturer and distributor of value-added specialty and labelling solutions. ​

The World's Largest Dedicated Tissue Industry Trade Show is moving to Germany

The World's Largest Dedicated Tissue Industry Trade Show is moving to Germany  (Company news)

Tissue World Milan trade show and conference is the flagship show of Tissue World, the leading global event series serving the tissue industry worldwide since 1993.

The biennial event provides an international platform for tissue manufacturers, converters, jumbo roll suppliers and an exhaustive range of industry suppliers to network and source for the latest tissue industry technologies and solutions.

In 2021, the event will make its stop for the very first time in Düsseldorf, Germany. Mark your calendars and we look forward to seeing you there on 16 - 18 March 2021!
(UBM Exhibition Singapore Pte Ltd)

Graphic Packaging Holding Company Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results; Announces Acquisition...

Graphic Packaging Holding Company Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results; Announces Acquisition...   (Company news)

...of Artistic Carton Company

-Q2 Net Sales were $1,552.8 million versus $1,510.9 million in the prior year period.
-Q2 Earnings per Diluted Share were $0.22 versus $0.16 in the prior year period.
-Q2 Adjusted Earnings per Diluted Share were $0.24 versus $0.18 in the prior year period.
-Q2 Net Income was $63.8 million versus $49.4 million in the prior year period.
-Q2 Adjusted EBITDA was $267.1 million versus $235.8 million in the prior year period.
-Returned $47 million to stakeholders in Q2 through $18 million of share repurchases, $22 million of dividends, and $6 million of distributions to the GPIP Partner.
-Reached agreement to acquire Artistic Carton Company, a diversified producer of folding cartons and coated recycled paperboard (CRB).

Graphic Packaging Holding Company (NYSE: GPK), (the "Company"), a leading provider of packaging solutions to food, beverage, foodservice, and other consumer products companies, today reported Net Income for second quarter 2019 of $63.8 million, or $0.22 per share, based upon 295.7 million weighted average diluted shares. This compares to second quarter 2018 Net Income of $49.4 million, or $0.16 per share, based on 311.3 million weighted average diluted shares.

Second quarter 2019 Net Income was impacted by a net $5.8 million of special charges that are detailed in the Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures table attached. When adjusting for these charges, Adjusted Net Income for the second quarter of 2019 was $69.6 million, or $0.24 per diluted share. This compares to second quarter 2018 Adjusted Net Income of $54.5 million or $0.18 per diluted share.

"We reported strong results in the second quarter as our Adjusted EBITDA margin increased 160 basis points year-over-year to 17.2%. Second quarter Adjusted EBITDA of $267 million was ahead of our expectations driven by strong execution on pricing, performance, growth initiatives, and synergies" said President and CEO Michael Doss (photo). "Pricing improved by $40 million during the quarter reflecting the benefits of our pricing initiatives. Importantly, our pricing to commodity input cost relationship was a positive $26 million in the quarter and $41 million in the first half of 2019. We are pleased to be increasing our 2019 Adjusted EBITDA guidance to reflect continued strong execution and a more favorable pricing to commodity input cost relationship. In addition, our commercial teams have been successful in customer negotiations to reduce our pricing lags to 6-months compared to 8-months previously. This reduction is an important milestone as it provides the opportunity to adjust pricing two times per year, on average, to better reflect market conditions. Overall, we operated well in the quarter generating $22 million in performance improvements driven by a continued emphasis on cost efficiencies, benefits from capital projects, and realization of synergies."

Acquisition of Artistic Carton Company
Graphic Packaging Holding Company also announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire substantially all the assets of Artistic Carton Company through a subsidiary, subject to standard closing conditions. The business includes one coated recycled paperboard (CRB) mill located in White Pigeon, Michigan with annual production capacity of approximately 70,000 tons and two converting facilities located in Auburn, IN and Elgin, IL. The business generated $63 million in revenue during the twelve months ended June 30, 2019. The business is expected to generate approximately $10 million in annualized EBITDA including anticipated synergies over the next 12-18 months. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019.

"We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Artistic Carton as it will provide compelling optimization and growth opportunities for our paperboard mill and converting platforms in North America" said President and CEO Michael Doss. "The acquisition will drive converting end-market diversification, enhance our converting platform, and we expect will allow us to deliver significant synergies driven by paperboard integration, mill and converting manufacturing optimization, and supply chain efficiencies."

Second Quarter 2019 Operating Results
Net Sales
Net Sales increased 3% to $1,552.8 million in the second quarter of 2019, compared to $1,510.9 million in the prior year period. The $41.9 million increase was driven by $39.8 million of higher pricing and $16.3 million of improved volume/mix related to acquisitions. These benefits were partially offset by $14.2 million of unfavorable foreign exchange.

Attached is supplemental data highlighting Net Tons Sold for the first and second quarters of 2019 and 2018.

EBITDA for the second quarter of 2019 was $257.2 million, or $30.0 million higher than the second quarter of 2018. After adjusting both periods for business combinations and other special charges, Adjusted EBITDA increased $31.3 million to $267.1 million in the second quarter of 2019 from $235.8 million in the second quarter of 2018. When comparing against the prior year quarter, Adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter of 2019 was positively impacted by $39.8 million of higher pricing and $22.1 million of improved net operating performance. These benefits were partially offset by $14.2 million of commodity input cost inflation (primarily wood), $12.3 million of other inflation (primarily labor and benefits), $3.0 million of unfavorable foreign exchange, and $1.1 million of unfavorable volume/mix.

Other Results
Total Debt (Long-Term, Short-Term and Current Portion) decreased $118.1 million during the second quarter of 2019 to $3,070.6 million compared to the first quarter of 2019. Total Net Debt (Total Debt, net of Cash and Cash Equivalents) decreased $120.5 million during the second quarter of 2019 to $3,005.9 million compared to the first quarter of 2019. The Company's second quarter 2019 pro forma Net Leverage Ratio was 2.91 times Adjusted EBITDA compared to 3.13 times at the end of the first quarter of 2019.

At June 30, 2019, the Company had available liquidity of $1,455.8 million, including the undrawn availability under its global revolving credit facilities.

Net Interest Expense was $35.5 million in the second quarter of 2019, up compared to the $30.3 million reported in the second quarter of 2018, primarily reflecting higher average borrowing rates.

Capital expenditures for the second quarter of 2019 were $78.3 million compared to $81.3 million in the second quarter of 2018.

Second quarter 2019 Income Tax Expense was $23.0 million, compared to a $18.5 million expense in the second quarter of 2018.
(Graphic Packaging Holding Company)

EyeC: Comprehensive print inspection solutions at Labelexpo Europe 2019

EyeC: Comprehensive print inspection solutions at Labelexpo Europe 2019  (Company news)

During the Labelexpo Europe, September 24-27 located in Brussels, EyeC will present its comprehensive product portfolio for the inspection of labels, leaflets and flexible packaging. EyeC’s newest systems offer quality control solutions for all formats (small to large format) and materials (paper, flexible or aluminum foil). They ensure the highest quality and conformity standards throughout the entire production process, while improving processes and reducing costs.

At booth C61 in hall 4, EyeC will present its well-known artwork inspection (Proofiler Content) and pre-press proofing solutions (Proofiler Graphic) to ensure file quality and speed up approval processes. The company will also show its latest developments for pre-press inspections within modern workflows, such as Esko Automation Engine. In addition, EyeC will introduce a new advanced process that allows the EyeC software to retrieve information from pre-press workflows or imposition systems to locate items of a combo job easily and speed up the inspection of step-and-repeat files or printed products.

EyeC will also perform live demonstrations of its fast and easy-to-set-up inline inspection systems for print monitoring on a press or a rewinder. Visitors will be able to see the EyeC ProofRunner Web, installed on a Jurmet Langer 3 rewinder, inspecting narrow webs. They can also discover the EyeC Quality Link on a Rotoflex VSI 440 rewinder. The EyeC Quality Link allows printers to reduce production costs and ensure a total quality control at maximum productivity, by controlling print quality on the press and removing faulty material on the rewinder with the help of the inspection data from the press. The company will also inform about its new in-line solutions for wide web inspections up to 1,700 mm.

For the first time at Labelexpo, EyeC will showcase the EyeC Proofiler 1200 DT. With scan size up to 1,270 x 915 mm (50” x 36”), the system checks samples such as wide-web proofs and complements the well-known sample testing systems, EyeC Proofiler 400 DT Enhanced and EyeC Proofiler 600 DT, which will also exhibit at the trade show. The Proofiler DT series help companies identify print defects early during press make-ready, check the output of multiple print machines regularly, or perform efficient outgoing or incoming quality controls. In addition to its classic inspection features, EyeC will also show its unique capabilities such as its latest developments in distance measurement. This option can perform technical measurements to ensure the fit of the die in further processing.

“We are happy to present our wide range of quality control solutions at Labelexpo Europe,” says Dr. Ansgar Kaupp, CEO of EyeC GmbH. “With our comprehensive portfolio and unique inspection capabilities we support the latest requirements of printers, pharmaceutical companies and food manufacturers,” he concludes.
(EyeC GmbH)

Kimberly-Clark Announces Second Quarter 2019 Results

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

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

Executive Summary
-Second quarter 2019 net sales of $4.6 billion were even with the year-ago period. Organic sales increased 5 percent while changes in foreign currency exchange rates reduced sales by 5 percent.
-Diluted net income per share for the second quarter was $1.40 in 2019 and $1.30 in 2018.
-Second quarter adjusted earnings per share were $1.67 in 2019 and $1.59 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 $5.50 to $5.90 compared to the prior estimate of $4.85 to $5.35.
-The company is now targeting full-year 2019 organic sales growth of 3 percent and adjusted earnings per share of $6.65 to $6.80. The prior outlook was for organic sales growth of 2 percent and adjusted earnings per share of $6.50 to $6.70.

Chief Executive Officer Mike Hsu (photo) said, "We made excellent progress in the second quarter. We delivered strong organic sales growth, gross margin improvement and higher earnings per share. In addition, we generated $90 million of cost savings and returned $520 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. We also continued to launch innovations, pursue our growth priorities and increase investments in our brands."

Hsu added, "For the full year, we are raising our top- and bottom-line outlook, reflecting strong execution and an improving commodity environment. We're also increasing our growth investments behind our brands and in capabilities that will position us for longer-term success. We continue to be optimistic about our opportunities to deliver balanced and sustainable growth and create shareholder value through execution of K-C Strategy 2022."

Second Quarter 2019 Operating Results
Sales of $4.6 billion in the second quarter of 2019 were even with the year-ago period. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates reduced sales by 5 percent and business exits in conjunction with the 2018 Global Restructuring Program reduced sales slightly. Organic sales increased 5 percent. Net selling prices rose 5 percent and product mix improved 1 percent, while volumes fell slightly. In North America, organic sales increased 5 percent in consumer products and 2 percent in K-C Professional. Outside North America, organic sales rose 9 percent in developing and emerging markets and 1 percent in developed markets.

Second quarter operating profit was $670 million in 2019 and $674 million in 2018. Results in both periods include charges related to the 2018 Global Restructuring Program. Second quarter adjusted operating profit was $789 million in 2019 and $774 million in 2018. Results benefited from higher net selling prices, $70 million of cost savings from the company's FORCE (Focused On Reducing Costs Everywhere) program and $20 million of cost savings from the 2018 Global Restructuring Program. On the other hand, results were impacted by $80 million of higher input costs, driven by $40 million in pulp inflation and increases in other raw materials and distribution expense. In addition, foreign currency translation effects reduced operating profit by $25 million and transaction effects also negatively impacted the comparison. Other manufacturing costs were also higher year-on-year. Advertising spending increased and general and administrative costs were higher, driven by increased incentive compensation expense.

The second quarter effective tax rate was 22.2 percent in 2019 and 24.1 percent in 2018. The second quarter adjusted effective tax rate was 22.3 percent in 2019 and 23.0 percent in 2018. The rate in 2019 benefited from certain planning initiatives.

Kimberly-Clark's share of net income of equity companies in the second quarter was $33 million in 2019 and $30 million in 2018. At Kimberly-Clark de Mexico, results benefited from organic sales growth and cost savings, but were negatively impacted by higher input costs and unfavorable currency effects.

Cash Flow and Balance Sheet
Cash provided by operations in the second quarter was $609 million in 2019 and $787 million in 2018. The decline was driven by higher tax payments and increased working capital. Capital spending for the second quarter was $253 million in 2019 and $158 million in 2018. Second quarter 2019 share repurchases were 1.3 million shares at a cost of $167 million. Total debt was $8.0 billion at June 30, 2019 and $7.5 billion at the end of 2018.

Second Quarter 2019 Business Segment Results
Personal Care Segment
Second quarter sales of $2.3 billion increased 1 percent. Net selling prices increased approximately 5 percent, volumes rose 1 percent and product mix improved 1 percent. Changes in currency rates reduced sales by 6 percent. Second quarter operating profit of $485 million increased 5 percent. The comparison benefited from organic sales growth and cost savings, while results were impacted by unfavorable currency effects, input cost inflation, higher advertising spending and other manufacturing cost increases.

Sales in North America increased 5 percent. Net selling prices increased 3 percent, driven by baby and child care, and volumes rose 3 percent. Volumes were up high-single digits in adult care, including benefits from category growth, innovations and increased marketing support. Volumes increased low-single digits in baby and child care and fell mid-single digits in feminine care.

Sales in developing and emerging markets decreased 1 percent. Currency rates were unfavorable by 13 percent, including significant declines in Latin America. Net selling prices rose 11 percent and product mix improved 2 percent, while volumes were even year-on-year. The higher net selling prices were primarily in Latin America and secondarily in China and the Middle East/Eastern Europe/Africa. Volumes increased in Eastern Europe, ASEAN and South Africa, but fell in Latin America and China.

Sales in developed markets outside North America (Australia, South Korea and Western/Central Europe) decreased 6 percent, including an 8 point negative impact from changes in currency rates. Volumes and product mix each improved 1 percent.

Consumer Tissue Segment
Second quarter sales of $1.5 billion were even year-on-year. Changes in currency rates reduced sales 4 percent. Net selling prices increased 5 percent and product mix improved slightly, while volumes declined 2 percent. Second quarter operating profit of $221 million increased 7 percent. Results benefited from higher net selling prices and cost savings. The comparison was impacted by input cost inflation, other manufacturing cost increases, unfavorable currencies, lower volumes and higher general and administrative costs.

Sales in North America increased 5 percent compared to a 4 percent decline in the year-ago period. Net selling prices rose 7 percent while volumes fell 2 percent.

Sales in developing and emerging markets decreased 4 percent. Currency rates were unfavorable by 8 percent, primarily in Latin America. Net selling prices increased 5 percent and product mix improved 1 percent, while volumes fell 1 percent.

Sales in developed markets outside North America decreased 7 percent. Changes in currency rates reduced sales by 7 percent. Net selling prices increased 3 percent while volumes fell 2 percent. The changes occurred primarily in Western/Central Europe.

K-C Professional (KCP) Segment
Second quarter sales of $0.8 billion decreased 5 percent. Changes in currency rates reduced sales by 4 percent and business exits in conjunction with the 2018 Global Restructuring Program reduced sales 2 percent. Net selling prices increased 3 percent and product mix improved 1 percent, while volumes were down 3 percent. Second quarter operating profit of $162 million decreased 2 percent. The comparison was impacted by input cost inflation, lower volumes, unfavorable currency effects and higher general and administrative costs. Results benefited from increased net selling prices and cost savings.

Sales in North America were even year-on-year. Net selling prices increased 2 percent while business exits in conjunction with the 2018 Global Restructuring Program reduced sales 2 percent.

Sales in developing and emerging markets decreased 6 percent, including an 8 point negative impact from changes in currency rates. Net selling prices rose 4 percent while volumes declined 2 percent.

Sales in developed markets outside North America were down 8 percent. Currency rates were unfavorable by 7 percent and business exits in conjunction with the 2018 Global Restructuring Program reduced sales 1 percent. Volumes fell 8 percent, while net selling prices increased 4 percent and product mix improved 3 percent. The changes occurred mostly in Western/Central Europe.

Year-To-Date Results
For the first six months of 2019, sales of $9.2 billion decreased 1 percent. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates reduced sales by 5 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 $1,325 million in 2019 and $921 million in 2018. Results in both periods include charges related to the 2018 Global Restructuring Program. Year-to-date adjusted operating profit was $1,596 million in 2019 and $1,598 million in 2018. The comparison was impacted by $215 million of higher input costs, unfavorable currency effects, other manufacturing cost increases, increased advertising spending and higher general and administrative costs. On the other hand, results benefited from organic sales growth, $125 million of FORCE cost savings and $80 million of cost savings from the 2018 Global Restructuring Program.

Through six months, diluted net income per share was $2.71 in 2019 and $1.56 in 2018. Year-to-date adjusted earnings per share were $3.33 in 2019 and $3.30 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.

Second quarter 2019 restructuring charges were $119 million pre-tax ($92 million after tax), bringing cumulative charges to $1,307 million pre-tax ($997 million after tax). Second quarter 2019 restructuring savings were $20 million, bringing cumulative savings to $215 million.

2019 Outlook and Key Planning Assumptions
The company updated the following key planning and guidance assumptions for full-year 2019:
-Net sales even to down 1 percent year-on-year (prior assumption down 1 to 2 percent).
---Organic sales growth 3 percent (previous estimate 2 percent).
Adjusted operating profit growth of 3 to 5 percent versus prior target of 1 to 4 percent.
---Inflation in key cost inputs of $150 to $250 million compared to the prior assumption of $300 to $400 million. The change is driven primarily by an improved outlook for pulp and secondarily for other raw materials including superabsorbent and polymer resin.
---Higher marketing spending and general and administrative costs than previously planned.
-Net income from equity companies higher year-on-year (prior estimate similar year-on-year).
-Adjusted earnings per share $6.65 to $6.80 compared to the prior outlook of $6.50 to $6.70.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures
This news release and the accompanying tables include the following financial measures that have not been calculated in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S., or GAAP, and are therefore referred to as non-GAAP financial measures:
-Adjusted earnings and earnings per share
-Adjusted gross and operating profit
-Adjusted effective tax rate

These non-GAAP financial measures exclude the following items for the relevant time periods as indicated in the accompanying non-GAAP reconciliations to the comparable GAAP financial measures:
-2018 Global Restructuring Program. Mentioned elsewhere in this release.
-U.S. tax reform. In the first, third and fourth quarters of 2018, the company recognized net charges associated with U.S. tax reform related matters.

The company provides these non-GAAP financial measures as supplemental information to our GAAP financial measures. Management and the company's Board of Directors use adjusted earnings, adjusted earnings per share and adjusted gross and operating profit to (a) evaluate the company's historical and prospective financial performance and its performance relative to its competitors, (b) allocate resources and (c) measure the operational performance of the company's business units and their managers. Management also believes that the use of an adjusted effective tax rate provides improved insight into the tax effects of our ongoing business operations.

Additionally, the Management Development and Compensation Committee of the company's Board of Directors has used certain of the non-GAAP financial measures when setting and assessing achievement of incentive compensation goals. These goals are based, in part, on the company's adjusted earnings per share and improvement in the company's adjusted return on invested capital and adjusted operating profit return on sales determined by excluding certain of the adjustments that are used in calculating these non-GAAP financial measures.

This news release includes information regarding organic sales growth, which describes the impact of changes in volume, net selling prices and product mix on net sales. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates and exited businesses also impact the year-over-year change in net sales.
(Kimberly-Clark Corp.)

Sappi North America: Retirement of Mark Gardner and appointment of Mike Haws

Sappi North America: Retirement of Mark Gardner and appointment of Mike Haws  (Company news)

Sappi Limited, a global leader in dissolving wood pulp as well as graphic, packaging and speciality papers, announced that Michael G (Mike) Haws (56, photo right), currently Vice President Manufacturing at Sappi North America, has been appointed as President and CEO of Sappi North America as from 1 October 2019. Mike Haws succeeds Mark Gardner (63, photo left), a 38 year veteran of Sappi in North America, who will retire at the end of September 2019. Mark Gardner has been President and CEO of Sappi North America for 12 years.

Commenting on the retirement of Mark Gardner, Steve Binnie, Chief Executive Officer of Sappi Limited said:
“I would like to thank Mark for his sterling service to Sappi over 38 years and for the support he has shown me as CEO. He is an exemplary leader both for the company and for the industry. His tenure saw massive changes as we restructured and refocused the business, a task he embraced and has executed with aplomb.”

Mike Haws joined Sappi in 2012 as Managing Director of the Somerset Mill before being promoted to Vice President Manufacturing in October 2015 with responsibility for the Somerset, Westbrook and Cloquet Mills, the Allentown sheeting facility, Safety, Research and Development and Customer Care. Prior to joining Sappi, he had extensive experience in the industry and held numerous leadership roles with St Regis, Champion International, International Paper and Verso Paper. While leading the Somerset Mill, Mike received the Pulp and Paper International (PPI) Mill Manager of the Year award in 2014.

Commenting on the appointment of Mike Haws, Steve Binnie said:
“I am pleased that we are able to ensure a smooth transition in leadership from Mark to Mike. Mike is an experienced industry leader who has been integral to the development and execution of Sappi’s 2020Vision and the investments we have made in North America to grow our dissolving wood pulp and packaging and specialities businesses. I am confident that under Mike’s leadership our business will take full advantage of the exciting opportunities for the pulp and paper industry in North America.”

“The appointment is testimony to the success of Sappi’s strong succession planning processes and the importance we place in stability and continuity during any such leadership transition.”

Mike Haws, an American, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Paper Science and Engineering from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, New York and has undertaken an executive education programme at Harvard Business School.
(Sappi North America)

Lenzing Group successfully completes expansion of pulp production at the Lenzing site

Lenzing Group successfully completes expansion of pulp production at the Lenzing site  (Company news)

-Production capacities increased to 320,000 tons p.a.
-Investments of EUR 60 mn enhance self-sufficiency and strengthen autonomy from market prices
-Project serves as a significant economic driver in the region

Lenzing AG, producer of pulp and fibers from the renewable raw material wood, has concluded its expansion and modernization drive at the pulp plant at the Lenzing site. The company invested EUR 60 mn for this purpose, increasing production capacities for dissolving pulp extracted from beech wood from 300,000 to 320,000 tons per year. The coming on stream of the additional pulp capacities over the past weeks strengthens Lenzing’s self-supply of pulp in accordance with the sCore TEN corporate strategy.

“The successful expansion brings us closer to achieving our strategic objective of increasing our self-supply of pulp to a level of 75 percent, thus making us even more resistant to price fluctuations in sourcing pulp”, says Stefan Doboczky, CEO of the Lenzing Group. “We are also pleased that this project enables us to make a further significant contribution towards strengthening the Lenzing site as well as the regional economy”, Mr. Doboczky adds.

The expansion drive was completed in less than two years. In addition to 100 Lenzing Group employees, numerous external partner companies from Upper Austria and neighboring regions were involved in implementing the project. About 40,000 working days were needed by external companies in order to install the delivered machinery on site. The Lenzing Group secured additional jobs due to the pre-production work required in the factories of these suppliers.

In line with the corporate strategy of the Lenzing Group, the self-supply of dissolving wood pulp will be successively increased in the coming years to 75 percent of consumption. At present, Lenzing’s own pulp plants in Lenzing and Paskov (Czech Republic) cover 60 percent of the Group’s pulp requirements. The Lenzing site primarily makes use of beech wood which is not suitable for producing furniture, whereas it mainly relies on spruce wood in the Czech Republic. The remaining dissolving wood pulp is sourced from a variety of hardwoods and softwoods from international partners. In this case, in the spirit of sustainability, Lenzing applies procurement rules which are just as strict as when it purchases wood for its own pulp production.
(Lenzing AG Business Unit Pulp)

Blue Tissue and A.Celli Paper: TM1 started-up

Blue Tissue and A.Celli Paper: TM1 started-up  (Company news)

On July 7th the A.Celli iDEAL® Master Tissue Machine was successfully started-up, beginning production for the Mexican customer Blue Tissue Sapi de C.V. The new turnkey plant, which includes the two-plies slitter A.Celli E-Wind® T100 rewinder, in addition to the tissue machine, integrates the existing Customer’s converting line.

The A.Celli iDEAL® was installed in the Apizaco plant, in the Mexican state of Tlaxcala, with a great teamwork between the technicians of A.Celli Group and the Customer’s staff.

This is a single machine (2700 mm pope reel width) for the production of tissue rolls with a diameter of 2500 mm, working at 2000 mpm speed, ensuring a production of 110 t/d.

An advanced version of DCS has been installed, with a very brand new graphic interface.

The Tissue Machine is also equipped with the latest generation of steel A.Celli iDEAL® forged YD.

Apizaco, which means "place of thin water" in the native language náhuatl, therefore "place with a little river", is located at an altitude of 2,424 m and in a strategic position between the capital, Mexico City, and the port of Veracruz, on the east coast.
(A. Celli Paper S.p.A.)

2019 first half-year results - Bobst Group reports slower start compared to first half of 2018

2019 first half-year results - Bobst Group reports slower start compared to first half of 2018  (Company news)

-Sales down 3% compared to H1 2018.
-Operating result (EBIT) decreased to CHF 14.8 million from CHF 35.2 million in 2018.
-Net result was CHF 7.4 million compared with CHF 24.9 million in 2018.
-Order entries decreased by 15% and backlog by 9% compared to previous year.
-Guidance for 2019 operating result (EBIT) margin reduced to lower than 5% from 6-7%.

Bobst Group recorded first half-year sales of CHF 736.8 million for the first six months of 2019, compared to the high CHF 762.5 million in the first half of 2018. The operating result (EBIT) decreased to CHF 14.8 million compared to CHF 35.2 million in 2018. The net result reached CHF 7.4 million, down from CHF 24.9 million in previous year.
The Group is facing signs of a slowdown and an increased pressure on prices. Order entries decreased by 15% and the order backlog is 9% lower than in previous year. The 2019 full year profit guidance is therefore reduced. The Group expects to achieve an operating result (EBIT) margin of less than 5% for the full year 2019 (compared to 6-7% as announced in March of this year).

During the first half of 2019, consolidated sales amounted to CHF 736.8 million, representing a decrease of CHF 25.7 million, or -3.4%, compared with the same period in 2018. Volume and price variances had a negative impact of CHF 15.0 million, or -2.0%.
The exchange rates had an overall negative impact on sales of CHF 10.7 million. The evolution due to the conversion of foreign currencies for consolidation accounts for CHF -6.7 million, or -0.9%, and the transactional impact on sales volume from our Swiss operations accounts for CHF -4.0 million, or -0.5%.

The reduction of consolidated sales was mainly driven by lower order intake compared to the first six months of 2018.

The operating result (EBIT) reached CHF 14.8 million compared with CHF 35.2 million for the same period in 2018. Slightly lower sales compared to the high level achieved in the same period of 2018, an unfavorable product mix, the increased pressure on prices in order to defend market shares, as well as foreseen increased costs associated with the digital initiatives launched by the Group have led to the reduction of the operating result (EBIT).

The operating result (EBIT) for Business Unit Sheet-fed decreased from a high CHF 29.7 million in the first half of 2018 to CHF 12.1 million in the first half of 2019. Lower sales in the first half of the year, a quite unfavorable product mix, pressure on prices and a lower utilization of the industrial capacities due to lower orders and the planned reduction of inventories led to this drop in operating result (EBIT). Business Unit Web-fed continues to have an unfavorable product mix and high pressure on margins. The quality campaigns launched in 2018 are progressing as planned and should bring the expected improvements. The operating result (EBIT) was CHF -21.4 million in the first half of 2019 compared to CHF -20.2 million in the first six months of 2018. Business Unit Services had to absorb the run rate effect of the significant increase in field service technicians and technical support people which was accelerated in 2018 according with the Group’s strategy. The training costs have a negative impact on the Business Unit’s operating result (EBIT), which was CHF 25.3 million in H1 2019 compared with CHF 27.4 million in the same period in 2018. All three Business Units have higher costs due to the ramp-up of the Group’s digital activities (Mouvent, BBS, IoT) which have been launched since 2017.

Net result reached CHF 7.4 million, compared to CHF 24.9 million in 2018. The decrease in net result is mainly due to lower operating result (EBIT) but also due to losses, on which no deferred tax assets are recognized since year end 2018. In the 2018 half-year results deferred tax assets on losses incurred in Germany and China were still recognized. Higher financial expenses for the set-up of a revolving credit facility and unfavorable foreign currency impacts were compensated by an exceptionally high result from associates in the first six months of 2019.

Net debt increased to CHF 117.1 million from CHF 20.7 million at the end of 2018. This is mainly due to the ongoing capital expenditure, dividends paid and the usual increase of work in progress for machines to be invoiced in the second half of the year. The consolidated shareholders’ equity reached 36.5% of the total balance sheet, compared to 33.4% at the end of 2018.

Business Unit Sheet-fed
Total bookings are satisfactory in the first half of the year, though 13% below exceptionally strong first six months in 2018, particularly for corrugated equipment. Orders are below previous year in both corrugated board and folding carton activities.

Thanks to the strong backlog at the end of 2018, machines have been shipped early in the year allowing sales to reach a similar level as in the first half of 2018. Americas are ahead of the previous year, but all the other regions are below the high levels reached in the first six months of 2018.

The outlook for the full year is positive. Some signs of slowdown are clearly visible in certain areas, where the project portfolio is reducing.

Business Unit Web-fed
Business activities in terms of bookings and turnover are lower than previous year due to a slow start in the mature markets and in China. The current threat of a trade war and brand owners’ sustainability roadmaps generate uncertainties and postponements of investments. In the emerging markets, the demand remains at a good level. We expect the second half-year to be better than the first one and to close the year at a similar turnover level as the previous year.

At the open house in Firenze Italy, held in April together with REVO partners and Mouvent, the Business Unit launched revolutionary innovations such as Digiflexo closed loop and ink-on-demand. These new features, which bring improved time to market, color control and food safety, are raising strong interest from the markets.

In the second half-year the Business Unit will be present at the LabelExpo Europe exhibition in Brussels with the world premiere for hybrid printing solutions. At the K 2019 exhibition in Düsseldorf, the Business Unit will present package solutions for sustainable and recyclable packaging. At the open house planned in San Giorgio in October, the new coating Competence Center will be officially inaugurated.

Business Unit Services
First half-year sales for the Business Unit Services are slightly above the same period in 2018. Sales increased versus last year in all regions except in Africa and Middle East. The growth has been done mainly with our contracts (maintenance plus, connected services), and associated parts revenue.

The Business Unit Services expects to see normal business development for the second half of 2019, if no major changes in the world economy or exchange rates occur. The Business Unit Services will pursue its digital and business transformation while continuing to hire and train new services technicians to increase competencies on the needed markets. The focus for the second half of 2019 will therefore be to further develop our distribution network worldwide, support web-fed services while improving the overall spare parts availability and to continue to work on customer satisfaction.

Uncertainty has increased in our relevant markets due to the geopolitical instabilities and the trade war between the US and China. In addition to these negative factors our industry is also impacted by the increased awareness of consumers and brand owners, that more sustainable packaging solutions must be found. This will bring new opportunities for Bobst Group in the mid to long term, but it slows down the current investments of our customers. Accelerated consolidation in our industry and new entrants are leading to more severe competition and price pressure that affects both machine Business Units.

At current exchange rates the Group expects 2019 full year sales on a similar level as in the previous year (2018 CHF 1 635 million). The guidance for the 2019 full year operating result (EBIT) margin, which was in the range of 6-7%, is lowered to less than 5%. The reduction in operating result (EBIT) margin is mainly due to increased price pressure in order to defend market share, a lower utilization of the industrial capacities due to lower orders, and the planned reduction of inventories.

The Group continues to invest in quality upgrades, to further improve its capabilities in growing markets and in various digitalization initiatives such as the launch of a range of digital printing products, Bobst Business System (BBS) and Internet of Things (IoT).

Bobst Group is evaluating the divestment of land and buildings in France and in the US. Bobst Lyon is investing in the expansion and modernization of its current site in Bron and consequently the Villeurbanne site will become available for sale. Discussions are taking place with interested parties and authorities with the aim to conclude the transaction in the next 12-18 months and an agreement to sell was signed on 22 July. Bobst North America is evaluating the sale of excess land which is not used for operations. Discussions are taking place with interested parties and authorities with the aim to conclude the transaction in the next 12 months.
If successful, combined proceeds from these two divestments will have an impact of around CHF 30-35 million on operating result (EBIT) and of around CHF 20-25 million on net result.

The long-term financial targets of at least 8% operating result (EBIT) and a minimum 20% return on capital employed (ROCE) remain unchanged.
(Bobst Group SA)

Ahlstrom-Munksjö develops highly functional and sustainable wax alternative papers

Ahlstrom-Munksjö develops highly functional and sustainable wax alternative papers  (Company news)

Ahlstrom-Munksjö launches ParaFree™ Wax Alternative Papers, a new generation of eco-friendly food packaging papers, arming the quick service restaurant industry with a new fiber-based solution to meet the demanding sustainability needs of the food market.

As a global supplier of specialty paper products, Ahlstrom-Munksjö dedicates vast resources to continuously pursue sustainability initiatives. The launch of ParaFree™ Papers demonstrates Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s high level of commitment to creating eco-friendly products. ParaFree™ papers are paraffin wax free, reducing the dependency on petroleum-based ingredients. With the reduction of the wax, the basis weight of the end-use product is reduced, decreasing overall material use and having a positive environmental impact on the supply chain footprint. These products, primarily used in the food packaging and fast food industries, are built with recyclability and compostability in mind.

“Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s ParaFree™ Wax Alternative Papers provide significant performance and sustainability advantages,” commented Robyn Buss, Vice President Sales and Marketing, North America Specialty Solutions. “ParaFree™ Papers provide specially formulated solutions to our customers that make the end product easy on the environment and hardworking in their applications, enabling them to maintain high-level product performance while complying with emerging food safety regulations.”

The ParaFree™ Wax Alternative Papers offer excellent water repellency and resistance to many oils and condiments. In addition to being printable on both sides, its higher brightness and opacity opposed to traditional wax papers strengthens the visibility of the consumer’s brand image and message.

ParaFree™ Papers are available with bleached or Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s trulyNatural® fiber and are paraffin-free.
(Ahlstrom-Munksjö North America Specialty Solutions)

UPM continues its strategic transformation and invests in a world class pulp mill in central Uruguay

UPM continues its strategic transformation and invests in a world class pulp mill in central Uruguay  (Company news)

UPM has made the investment decision to construct a 2,1 million tonne greenfield eucalyptus pulp mill near Paso de los Toros in central Uruguay. The highly competitive mill investment of USD 2,7 billion will grow UPM’s current pulp capacity by more than 50%, resulting in a step change in the scale of UPM’s pulp business as well as in UPM’s future earnings. Additionally, UPM will invest USD 350 million in port operations in Montevideo and local facilities in Paso de los Toros. The mill is scheduled to start up in the second half of 2022.

With a combination of competitive wood supply, scale, best available techniques and efficient logistics the mill is expected to reach a highly competitive cash cost level, approximately USD 280 per delivered tonne of pulp. This figure includes the variable and fixed costs of plantation operations, wood sourcing, mill operations and logistics delivered to the main markets. This would position the mill as one of the most competitive mills in the world and enable attractive returns for the investment in various market scenarios. Furthermore, the safety and sustainability performance of the value chain from plantations to customer delivery is expected to be on an industry leading level.

The prerequisites for the investment have been carefully prepared in cooperation with the state of Uruguay. For UPM, it has been important to ensure sustainable, competitive operations long-term and to minimise risks both in the project phase and during continuous operations. For Uruguay, the project and the infrastructure development offer significant opportunities for economic and social development.

“During the past decade UPM has developed additional plantation areas in Uruguay and created a market driven pulp business with wide customer base in growing end uses. At the same time, we have consistently improved our financial performance and achieved a truly industry leading balance sheet. We are now in an excellent position to take this transformative step and capture the opportunities of attractive, growing markets in a sustainable and highly competitive way,” says Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO of UPM.

Attractive long-term market outlook
The business fundamentals for the investment are positive given the healthy long-term demand outlook of pulp, especially in Asia. The robust market growth is based on global consumer megatrends that drive the demand for tissue, hygiene, packaging and specialty papers. The annual trend growth of global market pulp demand is estimated to be about 3%.

In the coming three years, only limited additional capacity is expected to enter the markets. In the long term, creating a competitive and sustainable wood supply forms an entry barrier which limits the rate at which new capacity can enter the market.

Competitive wood supply
The eucalyptus availability for the mill is secured through UPM’s own and leased plantations as well as through wood sourcing agreements with private partners. Over 30 years of experience in plantation operations secures well managed and productive plantations without making compromises on sustainability. Today, the plantations that UPM owns and leases in Uruguay cover 382,000 hectares. They will supply the current UPM Fray Bentos mill and the new mill near Paso de los Toros.

State of the art mill design
The pulp mill has been designed as an efficient single-line operation and represents the state-of-the-art in the pulp industry. The machines, materials, level of automation and standards enable a high operating rate and maintainability as well as high energy output, ensuring excellent safety, high environmental performance as well as low operating costs during the long life-cycle of the mill.

The mill investment is expected to total USD 2,7 billion which represents highly efficient investment level when comparing with corresponding pulp mill investments over the past few years.

The mill is designed to fully meet the strict Uruguayan environmental regulations as well as international standards and recommendations for modern mills, including the use of latest and best available proven technology (BAT). Mill’s environmental performance will be verified with comprehensive and transparent monitoring.

The mill’s initial annual production capacity is 2,1 million tonnes, and the environmental permits enable further capacity potential.

When in operation, the mill generates more than 110 MW surplus of renewable electricity providing a stable source of revenue and strengthening Uruguay´s energy balance.

Efficient logistics set-up
Efficient logistics chain is fundamental to the mill’s competitiveness and supply security in global markets. This will be secured by the agreed road improvements, extensive railway modernization and port terminal construction. These infrastructure investments also support economic activity in other sectors in Uruguay. Initial works on the central railway have been started and financing of the railway construction consortium is proceeding but is yet to be finalised.

UPM has decided the construction of a deep-sea pulp terminal in Montevideo port with an investment of approximately USD 280 million. Direct rail access from the mill to a modern deep sea port terminal creates an efficient supply chain to world markets. Montevideo deep sea port also enables synergies in ocean logistics with UPM’s existing Uruguay operations as all pulp can be delivered in full vessels directly to main markets.

UPM plans to enter into port terminal concession and rail logistic services agreements that will be recognized as lease assets and liabilities under IFRS 16 Leases. The total amount of such lease assets and liabilities is expected to be USD 200 million.

Community investments
In addition to the mill and port investments, UPM will invest in a new residential area in Paso de los Toros and provide temporary housing for the project personnel. The company will also fund the improvement of municipal waste water treatment plant and restoration of the municipal landfill in Paso de los Toros.
The local investments outside the mill fence total USD 70 million.

Significant impact on Uruguayan economy
Based on independent socioeconomic impact studies, the mill is estimated to increase Uruguay’s gross national product by about 2 % and the annual value of Uruguay’s exports by approximately 12 % after completion.

“For decades Uruguay has shown a consistent long-term vision in developing the prerequisites for industrial operations and building the foundation for foreign investment. I humbly recognize the determination with which the decision makers have made way for the country’s economic development. Today’s decision will bring many new opportunities for small and medium sized companies and educated workforce in the central part of Uruguay benefitting thousands of Uruguayans for decades to come,” says Pesonen.

In the most intensive construction phase, there will be more than 6,000 persons working on the site. When completed, approximately 10,000 permanent jobs are estimated to be created in the Uruguayan economy whereof 4,000 would be directly employed by UPM and its subcontractors. About 600 companies are estimated to be working in the value chain.

The mill will be located in one of Uruguay’s many free trade zones and pay a fixed annual tax of USD 7 million per annum. The mill’s value chain is expected to contribute USD 170 million in annual taxes and social security payments and contribute annually USD 200 million in wages and salaries.

Project schedule and capital outflow
The necessary permits have been granted and the material agreements with the Government of Uruguay have been concluded to the satisfaction of both parties.

The Public-Private-Partnership agreement between the government and the construction company for the construction of the central railway was signed in May 2019 and the financing of the construction company is being finalised.

Among other project preparations, the site works for the mill and dredging of the port are commencing immediately. The tendering for the main equipment and manning of the project is ongoing. Commitments on major capital outlays will be made in line with the railway financing and execution.
The mill is expected to start up in the second half of 2022. The main part of the total capital expenditure of USD 3 billion will take place in 2020–2022. UPM will have 91% ownership in the project and a local long-time partner which has been involved also in UPM Fray Bentos is owning 9%. UPM’s investment will be mainly financed by operating cash flow complemented by regular group financing activities.
Following today’s decision UPM increases the estimate for total capital expenditure in 2019 to EUR 450 million from the previous estimate of EUR 350 million.

Innovation meets sustainability - Sappi to present its innovative papers and packaging solutions ...

Innovation meets sustainability - Sappi to present its innovative papers and packaging solutions ...  (Company news)

... at FachPack 2019

Environmentally friendly packaging is a hot topic worldwide. Sappi has been a pioneer in the field of innovative and sustainable packaging solutions for years. The company will present its latest innovations at Stand 9-260 at FachPack in Nuremberg. Alongside barrier papers, these include the heat-sealable Sappi Seal paper. This is notable for being completely recyclable and can replace existing PE-coated packaging. The recently launched Atelier paperboard will be another focus of the trade fair presentation. This offers brilliant colour reproduction and a silky touch and feel.

Image: Sappi will be presenting various application examples using Sappi Seal, including for sugar and tea sachets, at FachPack.

Sustainable, recyclable and made from renewable materials: Sappi’s modern packaging papers fulfil all these criteria. The product range of the global manufacturer thus chimes perfectly with the leading theme for FachPack 2019, “Environmentally friendly packaging”. Thomas Kratochwill, Vice President Sales & Marketing Packaging and Speciality Papers at Sappi Europe, says of the upcoming fair: “FachPack in Nuremberg is an outstanding opportunity to learn about the breadth and quality of our sustainable solutions. After all, our products are often used as a benchmark.” When this European trade fair opens on 24 September, visitors to Sappi’s stand can expect a wide range of solutions for a vast array of packaging applications.

Paper with integrated heat sealing function
“Reducing the consumption of fossil resources in packaging is a major concern for Sappi. As such, we have developed Sappi Seal, a functional paper with integrated heat sealing functionality and a dispersion coating on the reverse side, that can replace papers with a PE coating,” explains René Köhler, Head of Business Development Packaging and Speciality Papers at Sappi Europe. Compared with existing packaging solutions, Sappi Seal uses up to 75 per cent fewer fossil resources. Production also results in 48 per cent less CO2 emissions (source: Ecochain). Another plus point is the effective moisture barrier against water vapour. Sappi Seal is suitable for primary and secondary packaging. Various application examples will be presented at FachPack, including sugar and tea sachets.

Sappi will also showcase its extensive range of Guard barrier papers. Depending on the type, these innovative packaging papers provide a barrier against grease, oxygen, water vapour, mineral oil and odours. Sappi will use selected examples from real life to demonstrate to trade fair visitors how such barrier papers can be used in many different ways. Most of these papers are also sealable.

Unlimited possibilities with folding box board
Atelier, Sappi’s new white back folding box board, has been developed with the notion of “brilliance meets function” in mind. What makes a GC1 board special is its combination of visual and physical features. Atelier combines a high specific volume with impressive rigidity and superior surface qualities, including a unique 100 per cent whiteness. The product comes in grammages of 240 to 350 grams per square metre.

“This folding box board allows branded products to be showcased to striking effect at the point of sale. Atelier’s ability to enhance the look of products is particularly evident in packaging for perfumes, cosmetics, beauty and skincare, fashion items and high-quality confectionery,” says Lars Scheidweiler, Product Group Manager Paperboard at Sappi Europe, describing the product’s features. Some initial examples of items produced using Atelier will be presented to trade fair visitors.

Also, on display will be an array of packaging examples created using the Algro Design premium solid bleached board. It has been a firm fixture with many international branded goods manufacturers for years. Among other features, solid bleached board (SBB) is characterised by its vivid colour rendering, high contrast and optimal running properties. It also has a unique silky feel and resistance to UV light.

Papers for other packaging applications
The virgin fibre liner, Fusion Topliner, with its remarkable visual impact, will be on display to demonstrate the new potential in corrugated board applications, such as shelf-ready packaging and consumer goods packaging. The trade fair display will be rounded off by various flexible packaging products and label items for a wide range of food and non-food applications.
(Sappi Europe S.A.)

Bekaert sells Solaronics SA to Argynnis Group AB

Bekaert sells Solaronics SA to Argynnis Group AB  (Company news)

Bekaert and Argynnis Group AB of Sweden signed and closed an agreement regarding the sale of all shares of Solaronics SA to Argynnis. The transaction covers the production facility in Armentières (France) and an international sales & services network.

An in-depth analysis showed that the further growth potential of the drying business of Bekaert Combustion Technologies be best secured by entrusting its future potential to an organization combining the competences of two complementary industry players.

The divestment of the drying activities is a confirmation of Bekaert's strategic focus on steel wire transformation and coating technologies, the Group's core competences.

CPH Group: 2019 Half-year report: Encouraging business performances in all three divisions

CPH Group: 2019 Half-year report: Encouraging business performances in all three divisions  (Company news)

The CPH Group generated net sales of CHF 267.5 million in the first six months of 2019, a 1.3% improvement on the prior-year period. All three business divisions reported encouraging operating results. Group first-half earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were raised 15.0% to CHF 32.0 million, and the net result of CHF 27.2 million was a 20.1% improvement on January-to-June 2018.

The first six months of 2019 saw challenging business conditions. The trade dispute between the USA and China and continuing Brexit uncertainties in Europe both contributed to a cooling of economies worldwide. The slower pace of growth in its sales markets was also felt by the CPH Group, whose net sales for the period of CHF 267.5 million were 1.3% above their prior-year level. “On the plus side, our order volumes were high and our plant and equipment remained well utilized,” says Peter Schildknecht (photo), CEO of parent company CPH Chemie + Papier Holding AG. Adjusted for currency factors, the Group’s net sales growth for the period amounted to 2.1%.

With sales price increases outpacing the rises in materials costs, the CPH Group’s first-half earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) showed a disproportionately high 15.0% increase to CHF 32.0 million. “The resulting EBIT margin of 12.0 per cent is the highest that we have recorded since CPH was first listed on the Swiss stock exchange in 2001,” Peter Schildknecht continues. The net result for the period was raised 20.1% to CHF 27.2 million. At 52%, the balance sheet equity ratio was brought back towards 60% after the repayment of the CHF 120 million bond on 10 July 2019. Personnel numbers increased slightly to 1 092 employees.

The Chemistry Division benefited from continued strong demand for the molecular sieves used to purify natural gas and ethanol and to produce concentrated oxygen. The deuterated compounds segment, which has been based in Rüti since the end of 2018, showed very favourable trends: in addition to its traditional analysis applications, the business made new inroads into the attractive OLED screen market. Having concluded its strategic realignment, the Chemistry Division focused on expanding its marketing activities in the first-half period. Net sales were raised, but EBIT showed a slight decline because higher volumes of other operating income had been recorded for the prior-year period.

On the Paper Division front, supply and demand for newsprint and magazine paper were virtually equal at the beginning of 2019, permitting further increases in paper prices. Renewed overcapacities developed worldwide, however, in the course of the first-half period. The reasons for this lie in the continued structural decline in the demand for such paper products. With growing industry overcapacities, the second half of 2019 may well bring a reduction in paper prices in European markets. The Paper Division maintained its first-half net sales at their prior-year level, and was able to further raise its EBIT for the period through a combination of higher prices and effective cost management.

With its new finishing and logistics centre in Brazil, the Packaging Division has substantially improved its market position and achieved an above-average increase in its sales in the Latin American market. Elsewhere, the Suzhou coatings plant now holds the requisite product licences for China, which will enable the operation to supply blister films directly to the key Chinese market. The Packaging Division’s European markets saw only modest growth in the first-half period. Despite this, the division still achieved a new record net sales result. And with another increase in the proportions of high-value products sold, the division’s EBIT margin was also further improved in the first-half period.

Full-year outlook
– The CPH Group expects to see a substantial slowdown in economic growth for 2019 as a whole, and reaffirms the prediction for its business development which it issued at the beginning of this year. “Provided currency rates remain largely stable in the second six months, we expect to report full-year net sales, EBIT margin and net profit results for 2019 that are around their prior-year levels,” Peter Schildknecht confirms.
(CPH Chemie + Papier Holding AG)

DS Smith appoints Emma Ciechan as Finance Director for the Paper Division

DS Smith appoints Emma Ciechan as Finance Director for the Paper Division  (Company news)

Emma Ciechan (photo) has been appointed as Finance Director for the Paper Division.

Ciechan joined v as Director of Planning and Performance Management in November 2016 from Guardian Media Group, where she was Group Financial Controller. The paper division employs 3000 people and produces over 4 million tonnes of sustainable paper products from 14 mills across 10 countries.

Ciechan joined the Group in 2016 to build and lead the Financial Planning and Analysis group finance function, as the business moved from FTSE 250 to FTSE 100, and expanded her role to manage the company’s sustainability strategy. During this time, she has been successful in developing and rolling out the company’s nine long-term and ambitious sustainability targets, including a commitment to build a diverse, engaged and respected workforce. As part of this, in 2018, DS Smith’s Graduate Recruitment Program achieved equal recruitment of both female and male graduates. Whilst no targets for female representation have been set, this is an encouraging sign that recruitment and career progression opportunities are unbiased and are genuinely focused on the best talent available. Reaching a higher standard of diversity is key to DS Smith’s continued success and encouraging the female workforce to choose careers in manufacturing remains a key priority for the business.

Commenting on her success at DS Smith and her new post as Finance Director for the Paper Division, Ciechan said; “A year after joining DS Smith, I was delighted when I was offered the opportunity to lead the Sustainability team, in addition to retaining my core Financial Planning and Performance Management role. The Sustainability team are a group of passionate sustainability experts who, I hope, benefitted from my team leadership, experience and drive to deliver positive change.”

"I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead and the opportunity to work with the senior management team within our Paper division. DS Smith’s recent initiatives around paper making, such as our work on coffee cup recycling and our insights around plastic replacement in the supermarkets, could have a significant impact on some of the biggest challenges in our society." — Emma Ciechan, Finance Director at DS Smith Paper

Following on from Ciechan’s appointment, the Sustainability Team will now come under the leadership of Greg Dawson, Director of Corporate Affairs at DS Smith, further embedding the sustainability targets into the corporate affairs strategy.
(DS Smith Plc)

Stora Enso invests in producing bio-based carbon materials for energy storage

Stora Enso invests in producing bio-based carbon materials for energy storage  (Company news)

Stora Enso is investing EUR 10 million to build a pilot facility for producing bio-based carbon materials based on lignin. Wood-based carbon can be utilised as a crucial component in batteries typically used in consumer electronics, the automotive industry and large-scale energy storage systems. The pilot plant will be located at Stora Enso’s Sunila Mill in Finland.

The investment in making carbon materials for energy storage further strengthens Stora Enso’s opportunities to replace fossil-based and mined raw materials as well as to connect sustainable materials to ongoing technology innovations.

Lignin is one of the main building blocks of a tree. Today, the lignin produced at Sunila Mill, Lineo™ by Stora Enso, is used, for example, to replace fossil-based components in phenols for adhesives. With the new investment, Stora Enso will pilot the processing of lignin into a carbon intermediate for electrode materials. This lignin will be converted into so called hard carbon anode materials for lithium-ion batteries with properties similar to graphite. Such batteries are used daily in mobile phones and similar portable devices, power tools, electric vehicles, in industrial applications, in stationary energy storage and grid units, and so on.

“This investment is another step on our transformation journey to explore new ways to replace fossil-based, scarce and high-cost materials with renewable alternatives. Using wood-based lignin for technical carbon material offers an exciting opportunity. With the pilot facility we will continue to build on our long-term work in extracting lignin from biomass to create more value from it. We will target the rapidly growing battery market in which companies are looking for high-quality, attractively priced and sustainable materials,” says Markus Mannström, Executive Vice President of Stora Enso’s Biomaterials division.

The construction of the pilot facility will begin before the end of 2019 and is estimated to be complete by early 2021. Decisions about commercialisation will follow after evaluating the results of the pilot-scale production.

Stora Enso has been producing lignin industrially at its Sunila Mill in Finland since 2015. The mill’s annual production capacity is 50 000 tonnes making Stora Enso the largest kraft lignin producer in the world.
(Stora Enso Oyj)

Magnus Björkman appointed President of Södra Cell

Magnus Björkman appointed President of Södra Cell  (Company news)

Magnus Björkman (photo) has been appointed President of the Södra Cell business area. Magnus has been Acting President of the business area since 1 March 2019 and will remain a member of Group Senior Management and report to the President and CEO, Lars Idermark.

Magnus has a Master of Science in Engineering and holds an MBA from the Stockholm School of Economics. He began working at Södra in 2006 and has held several senior positions in the company over the years, including head of the pulp mill at Mörrum and, since 2012, Director of Sales and Marketing at Södra Cell. He has many years of industry experience from senior positions with other companies, including Stora Enso and Tetra Pak.

“Magnus is a leader with high ambition, drive and a market focus, and in his previous roles at Södra, has made a major contribution to Södra Cell’s favourable results. I am convinced that Magnus will continue to contribute to our Group strategy for sustainable and profitable growth together with our customers,” said Lars Idermark.

“I am delighted to be entrusted with the continued development of Södra Cell. Our success is measured by our customers’ success. We have a favourable market position and together with our dedicated employees, I am looking forward to further strengthening our position,” said Magnus Björkman.

Magnus will assume his new role on 1 August 2019.
(Södra Cell AB)

A.Celli Paper and MG TEC Group for two Ribo Tissue E-WIND® T100

A.Celli Paper and MG TEC Group for two Ribo Tissue E-WIND® T100  (Company news)

A.Celli Paper has signed a sales contract with MG TEC Group for the supply of two latest-generation E-WIND® T100 rewinders (photo), which are destined to the Dej plant in Romania.

With a width of 2850 mm, they will use high quality tissue paper, with basis weight range from 14 up to 21 gsm; they are equipped with four unwinders each and reach an operating speed of 1600 mpm, producing finished rolls with a maximum diameter of 2500 mm.

The advanced software, present on the two machines, manages in an extremely intelligent way the control of the web tension, preventing or minimizing the loss of bulk during the winding phases, thus maintaining the high quality of the product throughout the process.
(A. Celli Paper S.p.A.)

GSE unveils Windows 10-based automation controls for Colorsat® ink dispensing ...

GSE unveils Windows 10-based automation controls for Colorsat® ink dispensing ...  (Company news)

... systems and adds new functions to Ink manager software at Labelexpo Europe 2019

Picture: The Colorsat Switch dispensing system suited for label printing applications

At Labelexpo 2019, GSE (stand 7D59) will present its comprehensive ink logistics solutions, including dispensing systems, tabletop proofers and management software, for eliminating waste, assuring quality and accelerating processes in label and packaging printing.

The stand highlights will be the introduction of new Windows 10-based automation controls on GSE’s Colorsat dispensing systems and releases version 5.1 of the Ink manager software package, with new reporting, scheduling and machine connectivity features. The software features enable the management of inks with greater efficiency, security, accuracy and flexibility throughout the workflow. Live demonstrations will take place daily on the stand, with the possibility of one-to-one presentations on request.

GSE’s modular Colorsat dispensing systems provide the standard for fast, accurate mixing and dispensing of flexo, gravure and screen inks for label and packaging applications. UV, aqueous and solvent inks are covered. For labels, Colorsat Switch (using exchangeable buckets) and Colorsat Match (with fixed refillable storage tanks) dispense in 1kg to 10kg volumes. Benefits are reduced setup times, 30 percent ink-yield improvements, a cleaner kitchen and better stock management. Colorsat Compact, for higher-volume packaging applications, can accommodate up to 34 base inks and varnishes, from which it can prepare 20kg mixtures for the press in less than two minutes.

The enhancements of the dispensing software enable easier integration of the ink preparation process with other elements of the workflow. In turn, this brings faster decision-making and further efficiencies.

“The introduction of Windows 10-based controls in combination with version 5.1 Ink manager software means GSE Colorsat dispensing systems can connect more easily with other machines and software packages, reducing human input and the risk of error,” says Maarten Hummelen, marketing director, GSE. “The enhanced controls feature a more compact design and fewer parts, for easier and more efficient maintenance, and come with at least 10 years of security updates. There is also a Windows 10 upgrade package to keep current Colorsat customers up to date with state-of-the-art controls technology.”

GSE Ink manager software performs numerous functions that improve efficiency in ink use and processes relating to ink preparation. This includes reusing ink in more complex ways, real-time stock reporting, per-job ink costings, ink batch tracking and machine connectivity, allowing integration with ink formulation and management information software.

“GSE Ink manager version 5.1 features new reports that provide better information about performance of the ink management system, allowing users to continuously improve their workflows,” says Hummelen.

The new version can create data about ink stocks, when they are booked in after purchasing or returned from the press. Easily retrievable information may be contained, such as expiry date, supplier, batch code and amounts used per job, providing greater traceability of inks at every step in the process and more accurate job costings. There are also options for controlling automatic conveyors, blenders and agitators and scheduling ink blending times per formula. It also comes with new grid features like filter rows, search boxes and sum lines.

GSE Ink manager offers greater modularity, with new options such as integrated data export, ink returns, order management, traceability and supply chain management, so users may specify the software solution suited to their business needs.

Also at the stand, the GSE-affiliated company, Print Proof Solutions, will present the Perfect Proofer Evolution Series table-top wet-proofing system for flexo applications. Using the same consumables as those on the press, the Perfect Proofer gives a precise, predictable results, to an accuracy of within 1 DeltaE of the target colour on the press.
(GSE Dispensing B.V.)

Ready for the future of papermaking with DuoShake Digital Generation

Ready for the future of papermaking with DuoShake Digital Generation  (Company news)

-Papermaking 4.0: Voith shaking unit transitions to digital age
-Several new features like real-time data monitoring, even via mobile devices
-Improved process reliability and machine availability

With its new DuoShake DG (Digital Generation), Voith is taking the next step on its journey to Papermaking 4.0. The control and automation functions of the shaking unit for optimum fiber orientation during sheet formation have been comprehensively upgraded to equip the system for the future of paper production. The new features significantly improve process reliability and machine availability.

Photo: New control and automation functions increase process reliability and machine availability.

With more than 20 years on the market, the Voith DuoShake has been indispensable in helping paper producers to improve paper quality and process efficiency. The system optimizes fiber orientation through high-frequency shaking of the breast roll, which results in excellent sheet formation of all paper grades and a low tensile strength ratio. Thanks to this product update, papermakers can now benefit from several new user-friendly operating features as well as smart automation functions.

Real-time data monitoring
All relevant operating parameters can now be entered on site via a fixed operator panel or optional use of mobile devices like tablets or smartphones. The web-based software used is a customized development from Voith. For maximum transparency, a cockpit interface provides users with a real-time display of all main parameters, for instance availability, stroke accuracy and drive frequency.

Modern data visualization
The visualization of the elements displayed is state-of-the-art and well-arranged; the touch controls are very intuitive. Important information – for example on hydrostatic pressure as well as air, oil and motor temperature – is presented as an easy-to-see traffic light system. A customizable notification system for warning messages allows for fast response times if needed.

Remote monitoring using mobile devices
Convenient remote monitoring means all operating parameters and other machine data can be viewed from mobile devices (Android, iOS) anywhere and at any time. Access permissions can be defined individually for each user.

Optimized service function for maintenance
DuoShake DG records actual operating times. Real-time data on maintenance intervals and service life of the most important machine components, like motor and coupling, ensure a simplified yet reliable maintenance planning process. The actual operating condition is known at all times. If maintenance becomes necessary, the shutdown can be planned and scheduled to be as efficient as possible.

Trend analysis and cloud connection
DuoShake DG features an innovative trend function for identifying and analyzing faults. In the event of faulty operation, an instantaneous evaluation allows for immediate intervention. With the help of a context analysis designed for a longer period of time, processes can also be systematically optimized.

As an optional service from Voith, an interface can be used to provide a connection between DuoShake DG and the Voith digital platform OnCumulus – a scalable, flexible and expandable data hub for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The transmission of data and trends to Voith and an analysis and tweaking of the operating parameters by Voith experts result in increased availability, which then improves the overall efficiency of the paper machine.
(Voith Paper GmbH & Co KG)

Toscotec to supply an AHEAD-2.0L tissue line on a turnkey basis to Paloma in Slovenia

Toscotec to supply an AHEAD-2.0L tissue line on a turnkey basis to Paloma in Slovenia  (Company news)

The Slovak Hygienic Paper Group appointed Toscotec as turnkey supplier of a new tissue line at Paloma mill in Sladki Vrh, Slovenia.

The delivery is scheduled for March 2020 and the start-up for June 2020.

The turnkey supply includes one AHEAD-2.0L tissue machine, equipped with a second generation Steel Yankee Dryer TT SYD, Toscotec’s shoe press technology TT NextPress and gas-fired hoods TT Hood-Duo. The net sheet width is 5,500 mm, the maximum operating speed is 2,000 m/min and the production is 220 tpd. The AHEAD-2.0L machine will replace the mill’s existing PM6 and will manufacture high quality toilet tissue, kitchen towel and napkins for household and professional use in the AfH segment.

Toscotec will provide its proprietary Distributed Control System TT DCS and a complete electrification system. The scope also includes stock preparation equipment and accessories, Toscotec’s patented TT SAF (Short Approach Flow), the machine’s dust and mist removal systems and a shaft puller.

As part of a comprehensive service package, Toscotec will supply onsite erection, supervision, commissioning and start-up, as well as training programs to the mill’s personnel.

Following a capital increase by the private-owned investment fund Eco Investment in 2016, and the integration into the Slovak Hygienic Paper Group (SHP) group, the Slovenian tissue supplier Paloma aims to become the leading manufacturer of hygienic paper products in the Adriatic region and beyond.

Richard Zigmund, CEO of SHP Group, says: “When we decided to invest in new capacity at Paloma’s production base, we started looking for a machinery supplier who could manage and successfully complete complex turnkey projects. Toscotec proved to have the right credentials to support our strategic program and supply the state-of-the-art technology we need to set Paloma’s manufacturing at full capacity.”

“This new project strengthens Toscotec’s position as the leading turnkey supplier in tissue” says Alessandro Mennucci, CEO of Toscotec, “we look forward to working with Paloma, who has a longstanding tradition in the production of hygienic paper products and has built a strong team of highly specialized professionals. Based on their investment targets, we developed a fully customized design aimed at improving the mill’s energy efficiency and manufacturing processes, in step with this capacity increase.”
(Toscotec S.p.A.)

Laakirchen Papier commits further to sustainable publication paper production

Laakirchen Papier commits further to sustainable publication paper production  (Company news)

In the middle of this year, Laakirchen Papier AG invested around EUR 4 million in the process optimisation of its paper machine 11 (PM 11, photo) for the manufacture of eco-friendly publication papers. This measure represents both a commitment on the part of the Upper Austrian mill to continue to produce graphic papers for the printing industry and a clear indication of its role as a highly responsible and environment-conscious industrial enterprise.

Laakirchen Papier AG, which is a Heinzel Group subsidiary, is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of publication papers. The mill produces over 300,000 t of super calendered, uncoated natural paper for advertising materials, magazines and newspaper supplements. Around 95 per cent of this output is delivered to European printers, publishers, chain stores and catalogue producers. The remainder is exported to customers in overseas markets.

Despite the fact that the demand for graphic papers is steadily falling, Laakirchen Papier continues to believe that this segment still offers major potential. This is due in particular to the fact that in its key markets the demand for SC papers for offset printing is actually rising. Accordingly, the outlay on the PM11 by the Upper Austrian mill is intended to ensure that its customers continue to receive outstanding product quality and punctuality of delivery.

An investment in efficiency and sustainability
Laakirchen Papier has spent a total of roughly EUR 4 million on the process optimisation of the PM 11 and has thus both improved the machine’s efficiency and taken another step towards resource-friendly paper production. The PM 11 has actually been manufacturing SC papers on the basis of 100 per cent recycling paper since 2017 and the related raw material switch from primary to secondary fibres has facilitated a considerable reduction in energy consumption and a cut in CO2 emissions by a fifth. However, in order to both raise the output of the PM 11 via an increase in its speed and achieve greater plant availability, it was necessary to modify the sheet stabilisation and invest in control and electronical components. As company CFO, Franz Baldauf, explains, “We wish to be a reliable partner to our customers, that apart from quality and flexibility, also demonstrates a clear commitment to sustainability. As a result of the optimisation investment we can guarantee top product quality and reliable plant availability.” Following a four-day shutdown at the beginning of June, the PM11 has resumed successful operation.
(Laakirchen Papier AG)

Development consent granted for Kemsley Paper Mill Combined Heat and Power plant

Development consent granted for Kemsley Paper Mill Combined Heat and Power plant  (Company news)

The Secretary of State, following on from a recommendation by the National Infrastructure Planning organisation, has granted development consent for a new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant at our Kemsley Paper Mill in Kent.

The new CHP plant, referred to as K4, is being developed in partnership with E.ON and will replace the existing CHP plant at Kemsley, helping to power the mills recycled paper making operations.

Colin McIntyre, Chief Executive for DS Smith Paper and Recycling Divisions, commented: “We are delighted that the government has given its planning consent to allow us to start work on a new Combined Heat and Power Plant at our recycled paper mill in Kent.”

"Partnering with E.ON to develop a state-of-the-art solution to meet our long-term energy requirements is a vital element to achieve this ambition and we expect to see a 36,000 tonnes per year carbon reduction from improved efficiency at the new facility." — Colin McIntyre, Chief Executive for DS Smith Paper and Recycling Divisions

The new CHP plant, which will be located on the south-eastern part of the Kemsley site is planned to be commissioned in mid-2021 and comprises of a gas turbine (52MW), Waste Heat Recovery Boilers (105MWth steam) and Steam Turbine (16MW).
(DS Smith Paper, Kemsley Mill)

Stora Enso Oyj Half-year Report January–June 2019

Stora Enso Oyj Half-year Report January–June 2019  (Company news)

Fit for the future, protecting profit and cash flow
Bergvik Skog transaction completed

Q2/2019 (compared with Q2/2018)
-Sales decreased by 2.1% to EUR 2 608 (2 664) million.
-Operational EBIT margin was 11.0% (12.3%), above 10% for the eighth consecutive quarter. Operational EBIT was EUR 287 (327) million.
-Operating profit (IFRS) was EUR 142 (317) million.
-EPS decreased to EUR 0.08 (0.28) and EPS excl. IAC was EUR 0.22 (0.31).
-Strong cash flow from operations amounted to EUR 548 (357) million.
-The net debt to operational EBITDA ratio at 2.2 (1.3) increased temporarily slightly over the target level of 2.0, due to the restructuring of Bergvik Skog (impact 0.6) and the adoption of IFRS 16 Leases (impact 0.3).
-Operational ROCE was 11.3% (15.5%)

Q1–Q2/2019 (year-on-year)
-Sales were EUR 5 242 (5 243) million, similar to the comparison period.
-Operational EBIT of EUR 610 million decreased by 12.3%, mainly due to increased wood costs.

Outlook for 2019
Further 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 down for Stora Enso’s businesses in general and demand decline is escalating for European paper. Costs are forecast to increase in 2019 compared to 2018. Stora Enso will implement additional Profit Protection measures to mitigate these cost increases and the geopolitical uncertainties. Due to the current uncertainties in the business environment Stora Enso will not comment on estimated sales development in the outlook.

Guidance for Q3/2019
Q3/2019 operational EBIT is expected to be in the range of EUR 200–280 million. During the third quarter, there will be annual maintenance shutdown at the Beihai, Imatra, Heinola, Ostrołęka, Enocell and Veitsiluoto mills. The total maintenance impact is estimated to be on the same level as in Q3/2018 and EUR 30 million more than in Q2/2019.

Stora Enso’s CEO Karl-Henrik Sundström (photo) comments on the second quarter 2019 results:
“We continued our transformation with two major steps during the quarter. Firstly, we finalised restructuring of our Swedish forest holdings by dividing Bergvik Skog with its shareholders. Currently we have a direct holding of 1.4 million hectares of forest in Sweden. This transaction increased our forestland holding by over 250 000 hectares and gives us better access to competitive raw material supply for the future. The direct ownership of forestlands improves our opportunities to further develop sustainable forest management, thus strengthening our competitiveness and self-sufficiency. This is important for us, as we strongly believe in the bioeconomy and the future business opportunities it offers to us. The average value per hectare in our balance sheet is 2 000 euros in Sweden. In the restructuring of Bergvik Skog AB, we decided to increase our part of the Swedish forest holdings, while one of the other major owners recently decided to sell with the price of 3 700 euros per hectare. Further, using the price statistics from LRF Konsult for smaller lots, the price per hectare has been 5 700 euros.

The second major step in the transformation was our announcement of converting Oulu paper mill to kraftliner packaging board production. This is another action that shows our determination to grow in the packaging sector and reduce our exposure in the declining paper business. We have quite recently completed a similar project successfully when we converted one paper machine at Varkaus Mill to kraftliner. We have a proven track record in machine conversions.

We reached double-digit operational EBIT margin for the eighth consecutive quarter, despite the further geopolitical uncertainty that impacted Stora Enso’s trading conditions. This materialised in a sales decline, and we have decided to intensify our profit protection measures. We increased the profit protection programme's target from EUR 120 million to EUR 200 million. I am impressed by the actions we have taken throughout the organisation. The programme is proceeding ahead of plan, and EUR 60 million of the cost savings have already been achieved.

Our cash flow from operations was strong at EUR 548 million and we will continue on this path. We have intensified working capital management, addressing inventories is important in this economic environment. The focus on profit protection and cash generation is an opportunity to make us more fit for the future.

The Consumer Board division improved its profitability year-on-year mainly due to successful selling price increases. The other divisions were clearly impacted by deteriorated trading conditions and they are addressing costs vigorously. The Biomaterials and Wood Products divisions were able to reach their strategic operating capital targets during the quarter. This was an especially great achievement as Stora Enso is facing challenging markets.

We continue our proactive portfolio management and evaluate expansion in Wood Products to respond to the renewable materials construction demand in line with the global megatrend of green building. Stora Enso has initiated a feasibility study for a possible cross laminated timber (CLT) unit with 120 000 m³ capacity in connection with our Ždírec sawmill in the Czech Republic and a new 60 000 m³ construction beam mill located at the Ybbs sawmill in Austria.

We are also investing in bio-based carbon materials for energy storage in Biomaterials division at Sunila Mill in Finland. We are building a pilot facility for producing bio-based carbon materials based on lignin. Wood-based carbon can be utilised as a crucial component in batteries typically used in consumer electronics, the automotive industry and large-scale energy storage systems.

In Consumer Board we introduced DuraSense White and Cupforma Natura Solo. DuraSense is a biocomposite with a lower carbon footprint suitable for replacing plastic packaging components as such caps, lids and other types of food contact closures. Cupforma Natura Solo is a new renewable paperboard for paper cups. It is applicable for hot and cold drinking cups, as well as for ice cream packaging. It is produced without a traditional plastic coating layer and designed for full fibre recovery in a recycling process. These are two good examples of replacing fossil-based materials with renewable ones in the bioeconomy.

As regards sustainability, Stora Enso was featured as a world leader in societal impact in a report by BCG (Boston Consulting Group).

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)

Valmet's Half Year Financial Review January 1 – June 30, 2019: Orders received increased to ...

Valmet's Half Year Financial Review January 1 – June 30, 2019: Orders received increased to ...  (Company news)

... EUR 1.1 billion and Comparable EBITA to EUR 69 million

April–June 2019: Orders received amounted to EUR 1.1 billion
-Orders received increased 25 percent to EUR 1,083 million (EUR 865 million).
---Orders received increased in the Pulp and Energy, Paper, and Services business lines and remained at the previous year’s level in the Automation business line.
---Orders received increased in South America, North America, EMEA and Asia-Pacific, and decreased in China.
-Net sales increased 7 percent to EUR 901 million (EUR 844 million).
---Net sales increased in the Services and Automation business lines and remained at the previous year’s level in the Paper, and Pulp and Energy business lines.
-Comparable earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (Comparable EBITA) were EUR 69 million (EUR 61 million), and the corresponding Comparable EBITA margin was 7.7 percent (7.2%).
---Profitability improved due to increased net sales and higher gross profit.
-Earnings per share were EUR 0.26 (EUR 0.23).
-Items affecting comparability amounted to EUR -5 million (EUR -4 million).
-Cash flow provided by operating activities was EUR -44 million (EUR 3 million).

Photo: Valmet President and CEO Pasi Laine

January–June 2019: Orders received increased and profitability improved
-Orders received increased 9 percent to EUR 1,918 million (EUR 1,756 million).
---Orders received increased in the Pulp and Energy, Automation and Services business lines and remained at the previous year’s level in the Paper business line.
---Orders received increased in South America and Asia-Pacific, remained at the previous year’s level in EMEA, and decreased in China and North America.
-Net sales remained at the previous year’s level at EUR 1,587 million (EUR 1,575 million).
---Net sales increased in the Services and Automation business lines and decreased in the Pulp and Energy, and Paper business lines.
-Comparable earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (Comparable EBITA) were EUR 117 million (EUR 82 million), and the corresponding Comparable EBITA margin was 7.3 percent (5.2%).
---Profitability improved due to higher gross profit.
-Earnings per share were EUR 0.47 (EUR 0.29).
-Items affecting comparability amounted to EUR -3 million (EUR -7 million).
-Cash flow provided by operating activities was EUR -14 million (EUR 22 million).

Guidance for 2019 unchanged
Valmet reiterates its guidance presented on February 26, 2019 and confirmed on April 1, 2019, in which Valmet estimates that net sales in 2019 will increase in comparison with 2018 (EUR 3,325 million) and Comparable EBITA in 2019 will increase in comparison with 2018 (EUR 257 million).

Short-term outlook
General economic outlook
Global economic growth is forecast to ease to a weaker-than-expected 2.6% in 2019 before inching up to 2.7% in 2020. Growth in emerging market and developing economies is expected to stabilize next year as some countries move past periods of financial strain, but economic momentum remains weak.

Emerging and developing economy growth is constrained by sluggish investment, and risks are tilted to the downside. These risks include rising trade barriers, renewed financial stress, and sharper-than-expected slowdowns in several major economies. Structural problems that misallocate or discourage investment also weigh on the outlook. Growth among advanced economies as a group is anticipated to slow in 2019, especially in the Euro Area, due to weaker exports and investment. (The World Bank Global Economic Prospects, June 2019)

Short-term market outlook
Valmet reiterates the good short-term market outlook for services, automation, pulp, and board and paper, and the satisfactory short-term market outlook for energy, and tissue.

President and CEO Pasi Laine: Orders received exceeded EUR 1 billion and profitability improved
“In the second quarter of 2019, orders received increased in the Pulp and Energy, Paper, and Services business lines and remained at the previous year’s level in the Automation business line. Valmet’s orders received increased to over EUR 1 billion, lifting the order backlog to a new record-high level of EUR 3.2 billion. Net sales increased and Comparable EBITA improved. The Comparable EBITA margin was 7.7 percent in the second quarter, 0.5 percentage points higher than a year ago.

During the quarter, Valmet completed the acquisitions of GL&V and J&L Fiber Services Inc. These acquisitions strengthen Valmet's services business and complement our technology offering for the pulp and paper industry customers. They also further strengthen Valmet’s capabilities globally and our local presence especially in North America. Following the acquisitions, the number of Valmet’s employees has increased to a total of 13,622.”
(Valmet Corporation)

PMP and APP partnership enters the next level - APP will strengthen their fleet with 18 new ...

PMP and APP partnership enters the next level - APP will strengthen their fleet with 18 new ...  (Company news )

... Intelli-Tissue® EcoEc 1600 Premium machines

PMP (Paper Machinery Producer) is supporting the dynamic development of one of the biggest pulp and paper companies in the world for almost 20 years. One of the significant examples of our partnership was the delivery 25 Intelli-Jet V® Hydraulic Headboxes for both, tissue and paper machines.

On 24 of May, 2019 APP has decided to award PMP with another project. This time scope of supply covers (18) eighteen complete Tissue Machines to APP’s new mill in Rudong Jiangsu, China. APP has decided to execute the project together with PMP, due to excellent cooperation in the past and the state-of-the-art technology implemented by PMP worldwide. APP has chosen Intelli-Tissue® EcoEc 1600 Premium, from a wide span of tissue making solutions offered by PMP. It is a perfect match for APP, thanks to premium tissue quality provided from the 1st day, very low media consumption, high capacity of the machine and high efficiency (over 95%). Furthermore, the project has a high return on investment what sealed the agreement between both companies.

All eighteen (18) Tissue Machines will be designed and manufactured with the same concept to produce tissue from 11,5 up to 22,0 gsm at the reel. Machines are designed for a maximum speed of 1600 m/min. Intelli-Tissue® EcoEc 1600 platform is a perfect balance between achieved capacity and optimum energy savings.

In the scope of supply of each machine, there are PMP’s core technological items such as:
• Intelli-Jet V® - 5-channel, single layer, hydraulic headbox. Implementation of Intelli-Jet V® headbox secures hydraulic stability, sheet edge quality, perfect basis weight profile as well as low electric power consumption of the fan pump.
• Intelli-Former® - Crescent Former type, a compact design with the optimum catch of the jet beam from the headbox and efficient dewatering.
• Intelli-Press® - Single press design with a cantilevered framework. Intelli-Press® is equipped with Intelli-SPR® - Suction Pressure Roll dia. 1421 mm with PU cover and high Nip load up to 115 kN/m. This solution enables to maximize the amount of water removed from the sheet while keeping product quality at the highest level, lowering media consumption and boosting machine capacity.
• Intelli-YD® - Steel Yankee Dryer dia. 18 ft (5480 mm) manufactured with the highest quality, certified materials, with optimized shell structure what brings high drying efficiency with ultra-low media consumption.
• Intelli - Cap™ – Exhaust Cap over the Yankee Dryer assures efficient moisture removal at the same time providing a significant decrease of media consumption compared to conventional solutions.
• Intelli-Reel® - Reel providing efficient, high speed, continuous paper winding and perfect parent roll structure.

As an addition, PMP has provided parts of approach flow equipment, mechanical drives, steam & condensate system, lubrication system, hydraulic system, wet dust & mist removal system, machine controls, as well as all necessary training, shop floor assembly and start-up supervision.
New machines will strengthen APP position on Chinese tissue market adding capacity of premium products with low green footprint thanks to ultra-low media consumption provided by PMP’s Intelli-Tissue® EcoEc line.
(PMPoland S.A.)

UPM Half-Year Financial Report 2019: Margin management delivered continued earnings growth

UPM Half-Year Financial Report 2019: Margin management delivered continued earnings growth  (Company news)

Q2 2019 highlights
-Sales grew by 1% to EUR 2,605 million (2,589 million in Q2 2018).
-Comparable EBIT increased by 3% to EUR 345 million (334 million).
-Cost environment started to moderate, fixed costs decreased mainly due to lower maintenance activity.
-Operating cash flow increased to EUR 436 million (328 million).
-Net debt decreased to EUR 366 million (401 million).

H1 2019 highlights
-Sales grew by 4% to EUR 5,298 million (5,102 million in H1 2018).
-Comparable EBIT increased by 4% to EUR 719 million (689 million).
-Sales prices were higher, outweighing the impact of increased variable costs.
-Operating cash flow increased to EUR 756 million (542 million).
-UPM decided to close paper machine 10 at UPM Plattling, Germany.

Jussi Pesonen (photo), President and CEO, comments on Q2 results:
“The second quarter of the year marked the 25th consecutive quarter of increased earnings for UPM. This is a remarkable achievement, all the more so as economic growth remains modest, particularly in Europe. UPM has the tools to drive results in changing market conditions. Our operating model has enabled us to maintain good margins, which has had a favourable impact on our earnings. During the quarter, the cost environment started to moderate, too.

Our sales grew by 1% and comparable EBIT increased by 3% to EUR 345 million. Operating cash flow was strong, at EUR 436 million. Our balance sheet is truly industry leading. In the second quarter, we paid a dividend of EUR 693 million, and net debt at the end of the quarter was EUR 366 million.

UPM Biorefining reported a stronger second quarter than last year despite lower pulp prices. There was a consistent customer demand for pulp and our deliveries increased compared with the same quarter last year. Biofuels saw strong customer demand and performed very well. Maintenance activity was significantly lower than last year.

UPM Communication Papers reported a solid result. Prices remained at a good level, but the second quarter result was held back by the impact of reducing inventories. The development of paper demand in Europe has been somewhat weaker than last year. To ensure competitiveness, UPM Communication Papers is maintaining stringent cost control and asset optimisation. The closing of PM10 at UPM Plattling, Germany, was finalised in July, and the conversion of PM2 at UPM Nordland, Germany, continues.

UPM Raflatac reported stable earnings. Sales growth continued, although the slow economic environment, particularly in Europe, is impacting the demand for labels. Raflatac is continuing the fixed-cost reduction programme it started earlier in the year.

UPM Specialty Papers was able to recover earnings due to lower pulp costs, solid customer demand and slightly improved prices in the Asian fine paper markets. To stay on this track, Specialty Papers is continuing its cost management and product development initiatives. In addition, the ongoing investments at UPM Nordland and UPM Changshu are progressing well and will support our growth in a highly competitive way as of next year.

UPM Energy had an excellent quarter with a perfect combination of higher hydropower and nuclear power generation volumes, higher electricity sales prices and lower costs.

UPM Plywood maintained its profitability. Production at the UPM Chudovo, Russia, plywood mill expansion will commence during the third quarter, further improving the competitiveness of the business.

UPM is in great shape, competitive and financially strong. Our strategic spearheads for growth and transformative projects provide us with significant long-term opportunities for value creation and earnings growth.

Preparations for the new world-class pulp mill in Uruguay are progressing towards a potential investment decision. Initial works on the central railway have been started and financing of the railway construction consortium is proceeding but is yet to be finalised. In UPM Biochemicals and in UPM Biofuels our work on preparing growth initiatives continues.

UPM is ready to seize the opportunities offered by bioeconomy. We firmly believe in growing sustainable businesses that offer solutions to global challenges. Our innovations create value and business opportunities for an era in which the world is no longer dependent on fossils.”

Outlook 2019
The global economic growth is estimated to continue in 2019, albeit at a slower pace than in 2018. There are, however, significant uncertainties related to this, including trade negotiations between China and the US, growth in China, the undefined nature of Brexit and political uncertainties in several countries. These issues may have an impact on the global economic growth and on UPM’s product and raw material markets during 2019.

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

In 2019, demand growth is expected to continue for most UPM businesses, albeit at a modest pace. Demand decline is expected to continue for UPM Communication Papers.

In H2 2019, pulp prices globally are expected to be lower than in H1 2019. Paper prices in Europe and North America are expected to be moderately lower. Also input costs are expected to decrease in H2 2019 compared with H1 2019. UPM will continue measures to reduce both variable and fixed costs.

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

Xeikon consolidates its operations in Belgium

Xeikon consolidates its operations in Belgium  (Company news)

Established in 1988, Xeikon started the revolution in digital full colour printing out of a former Agfa production site in Mortsel, near Antwerp in Belgium. There, yet unknown to the outside world, it built the very first DCP-1 machine that was to be launched at Ipex 1993.

In 2002, it moved its headquarters – including R&D, manufacturing and innovation center – from Mortsel to a brand new building in Lier, Belgium. Since 2008, the company’s head office is based in Eede, the Netherlands, just across the northern Belgian border.

Last year, Xeikon celebrated its 30th anniversary and 25 years of digital printing. Under the motto ‘PastPrintFuture’, it also got ready for a new future with Flint Group as its new owner, and inkjet technology as an added part of its broadened digital portfolio. In 2018, it opened both an inkjet and a toner technology competence center in Lier to strengthen its R&D efforts and stay ahead at a technological level. The consolidation to Belgium is the next logical step in the consolidation process to continue growing as a leader in chosen digital production applications.

Benoit Chatelard, who took the helm in 2017, is convinced that Xeikon is in the right position to leapfrog the competition, and he is making sure the company is in the right shape – and in the right place – to do so: the transfer to Lier is a gradual process that started in January 2019. The main activities will be transferred by July 1, 2019, and at the end of the year, the Eede location will be closed. All customers, partners and suppliers will be informed in due time.
(Xeikon Manufacturing and R&D Center)

Henkel Introduces EPIX Technology

Henkel Introduces EPIX Technology  (Company news)

New EPIX Technology Drives Sustainable Alternatives and Enables Increase in Curbside Recycling

Henkel’s Packaging and Consumer Goods Division introduces a new product technology to support sustainable packaging materials. EPIX™ technology is a portfolio of materials and chemistries that enhance paper products and offer an alternative to single-use convenience items. EPIX™ expands paper functionality and improves performance while maintaining the sustainability and recyclability of the package.

The demand for more sustainable alternatives necessitated development of technologies designed for curbside recycling programs in consumable products and packaging. From straws and cups to eCommerce packaging, EPIX™ technology enhances the paper experience. Henkel’s EPIX™ technology was employed in a collaboration with eCommerce giant Amazon to develop a single-stream, curbside recyclable package.

“Henkel is proud of its shared commitment to the environment with Amazon in advancing sustainable and innovative packaging solutions – especially given the increase in purchases and deliveries associated with Prime Days,” said Michel Bilodeau, Corporate Vice President, Packaging, Henkel Corporation. “At Henkel, we understand the changing market dynamics and consumers’ desire for more sustainable products.”

Amazon is currently deploying the EPIX™ sustainable packaging technology in selected markets. The package created with EPIX™ technology recently received the “widely recycled” classification and will soon carry the How2Recycle® nationally harmonized label. Look for the new curbside recyclable packaging and learn more at

Created with consumers in mind, Henkel’s consumer goods and packaging business offers high-impact solutions for fast moving consumer goods companies.
(Henkel Corporation)

Parliamentary State Secretary Visits Koehler Paper Group

Parliamentary State Secretary Visits Koehler Paper Group  (Company news)

Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Parliamentary State Secretary for the Federal Ministry of Environment, visits Koehler in Oberkirch to discuss projects and visions. It is clear that SMEs and the paper industry can benefit from political support.

“Your opportunities are excellent across the board,” says Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, impressed by the presentation at Koehler Paper Group. The Parliamentary State Secretary for the Federal Ministry of Environment was in Oberkirch at the invitation of the company to get an idea of the family business’s activities.

Sustainability is Part of the Company Strategy
In a short presentation, Kai Furler, CEO of Koehler and representing the company's eighth generation, explained the company’s strategy, which has focused consistently on sustainability for several years. He not only focused on the paper side of the business, but also on innovation, renewable energy and the new business areas that Koehler is tapping into.

The area of paper for flexible packaging is of particularly great importance and is a driver for the company’s large-scale investment at the Kehl site. Koehler is embarking on the production of this type of paper and is developing barrier paper, which, thanks to the application of substances, can replace the function of plastics in packaging. “The advantage of this paper is that they can be recycled as waste paper,” says Furler.

Paper: The Classic Raw Material for Recycling
Furler and Schwarzelühr-Sutter agree that paper plays an important role in closing material cycles. Paper has always been a material that is superbly suited to recycling. There are effective and well-functioning paper recycling systems in this country. In Germany, around 75 percent of total paper consumption is recycled. Paper can be successfully recycled multiple times. Paper that is based on recycled waste paper fiber have an additional environmental benefit and is used to good purpose where 100 percent virgin fiber content is not required (i.e. applications not having direct contact with foodstuffs). Furthermore, paper production uses an unlimited source of renewable raw material that does not compete with the acreage used in food production.

Koehler also has many exciting approaches in the area of renewable energy. Not only was the company recently able to lay the foundations for another biomass combined heat and power plant, but the two fossil-fueled power plants at the Oberkirch and Greiz sites are also taking promising steps towards turning their backs on coal power, thereby supporting the achievement of national climate targets.

SMEs Are the Backbone of the German Economy
The energy sector is particularly dear to the Parliamentary State Secretary’s heart, as she herself entered politics through the anti-nuclear power movement. The 56-year old Social Democrat’s constituency is in Waldshut-Hochschwarzwald and she has been a member of the German Bundestag since 2005. She is also the first woman to head the Board of Trustees of the German Environmental Foundation (DBU).

During the visit, it became clear that politics has a strong and highly innovative partner in Koehler for their efforts, but it also became clear that SMEs need political support in return. After all, SMEs form the backbone of the German economy.
(Papierfabrik August Koehler SE)

KAPAG Karton + Papier AG and Oppboga Bruk AB join forces

KAPAG Karton + Papier AG and Oppboga Bruk AB join forces  (Company news)

The two producers of multiply paper and paperboard will share synergies across markets and products

KAPAG Karton + Papier AG (KAPAG), a leading producer of multiply paper and paperboard, and Oppboga Bruk, principal supplier of multiply paperboard for sign and display, announced that they joined forces on 17 July.

Mr. Alexander Meyer (photo), the managing owner of KAPAG who acquired the majority stake in Oppboga Bruk, is delighted about the takeover. “As key players in this niche industry we will be able to better respond to the rapidly changing market environment”, he says.

“Thanks to our cooperation we will make use of synergies across markets and products, strengthen R&D and share resources”, agrees Andrew Robinson, Managing Director of Oppboga and now minority shareholder in the company.
The current owner of Oppboga, Mr. Lennart Larsson, has sold the majority of his shares in the context of succession planning. “It has always been very important to me to safeguard the long-term position of the business.” All current employees will be retained within both organisations.
(KAPAG Karton + Papier AG)

Pasaban completes the expansion of its corporate facilities and lays the foundations for the ...

Pasaban completes the expansion of its corporate facilities and lays the foundations for the ...  (Company news)'s future

The building works, which were completed at the beginning of 2019 have allowed to implement a new layout, to expand the offices by one floor and to renovate the building's façade.

Focused on obtaining greater added value projects, Pasaban concentrates on improving its organisational efficiency and banks on innovation and a close customer service.

Immersed in a growth phase, the Guipuzcoan company is expanding its facilities by 1000 m2 by building works that started at the end of 2017 and the completion of which has allowed for expanding the offices by one floor and implementing a more efficient layout at its assembly plant. Moreover, the company is carrying out an organisational reconfiguration aimed at improving the efficiency of its processes and value-enhancing each and every one of its employees.

“We continue to invest in creating a solid and profitable project for the future that provides value to our customers and in which people feel committed”. Daniel García, MD of Pasaban.

At its facilities, Pasaban now has more than 130 direct employees and exports about 90% of its production, placing itself as a reference company in the market in its product range. Dedicated to the design and manufacture of high-tech customized machinery for the paper and cardboard converting, Pasaban has a global presence with over 500 customers and 700 machine installation and commissioning in 45 countries.

Its product range includes paper and cardboard sheeters, paper winders, ream wrapping machines and technical service and maintenance solutions. Thus, its natural market is and has historically always been the large paper and cardboard mills and converters, where most of the demand for its solutions continues to reside. Moreover, in recent years a growing demand has been detected in an even more specific market such as the one for security paper. In the latter case, Pasaban has managed to position itself as one of the market leaders, providing value with solutions capable of industrialising the application of high-security features to paper money.

Innovation and customer service
In a market in which the technical assistance and maintenance service is crucial, capital equipment companies find it necessary to accompany their customers throughout the entire life cycle of the machines. Aligned with this need, Pasaban is committed to enhance its technical service and to continue to strengthen its direct contact with its customers.

With regards to its R&D, Pasaban's plans towards expanding the portfolio of ‘converting’ machines capable of covering emerging business segments with more flexible solutions but with the quality level that has characterised the Guipuzcoan company for decades.

Pasaban has spent years improving the solutions it provides with increasingly automated machines and advancing with regards to machine-person usability. Thus, in the realm of Industry 4.0, the projects are focused on the integration of the software in the cloud for its equipment units and in the digitalisation of the quantitative data in order to improve their efficiency.

Adaptability capacity
Founded in 1928, Pasaban has evolved by not only grounding itself on organisational and structural changes but also on cultural ones. Thus, for its Managing Director, Daniel García, the key success to the past 90 years of business lies in the company's adaptive capacity, whilst it bases the added value of its products on customisation in order to provide comprehensive solutions adapted to each customer.

After a good 2018, Pasaban is preparing itself for a new competitive paradigm in which it must once again demonstrate its capability to adapt and innovate in product, process and people management in order to continue being a reference in its business segment.

“Customer trust is earned by demonstrating commitment. That is why we strive to continuously work to accompany our customers in their challenges”.
(Pasaban S.A.)

ABB launches new Winder Performance Optimization to maximize capacity and productivity

ABB launches new Winder Performance Optimization to maximize capacity and productivity  (Company news)

ABB’s patented solution optimizes winder performance for improved availability, product quality and asset life.

Technology leader in digital industries ABB introduces Winder Performance Optimization, a digital solution for papermakers seeking to maximize asset performance, convert to different paper grades and/or increase machine speed, without replacing existing winders. The new solution works by benchmarking winder performance, implementing improvements, monitoring to sustain performance and—uniquely—further optimizing productivity by applying online calculations that continuously adjust winder acceleration and deceleration targets. This optimization aligns capacity to demands and can improve productivity significantly; recent implementations have provided 8 percent improvement.

The benefits of optimizing existing winders are many. The solution is cost-effective and easy to implement – requiring limited or no shutdown of the winder. Bottlenecks caused by larger, faster machines in the production process can be reduced and winder capacity maximized without compromising quality. KPIs are continuously monitored and analyzed to enable preventive maintenance and increased uptime. In regenerative mode, the solution feeds energy back into the system while decelerating winder drives, enabling mills to be more energy efficient.

“We understand the importance for papermakers to ensure their existing winders are able to handle demands of different grades, various roll orders with high quality and productivity improvement needs,” said Shankar Singh, global product manager, ABB Digital Solutions. “Our goal with this product is to help mills get improved productivity out of their existing winders, without the need to invest heavily in new equipment. With several existing installations around the world, we are pleased that papermakers are already realizing the benefits of improved winder performance and productivity by utilizing our patented solution’s unique ability to continuously adjust winder speed.”

Further advantages of ABB Winder Performance Optimization include the ability to monitor and improve roll set quality, and improved utilization of machine reel capacity. Local and remote dashboards enable instant, straightforward data visualization, with advanced analytics and daily analysis of performance, control (speed, load share, tension) and roll set performance carried out by ABB experts. Customers also benefit from configurable alerts to highlight performance falling outside site-specific thresholds.

ABB Winder Performance Optimization is part of ABB Ability ™ Performance Optimization solution suite, whose offerings focus on maximizing equipment and process performance to ensure efficient operations. The Ability™ platform enables structured monitoring and analysis of KPIs and drives system performance to make sure the winder productivity is maximized.
(ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd)

Essity Half-year Report 2019

Essity Half-year Report 2019  (Company news)

JANUARY 1 – JUNE 30, 2019
(compared with the corresponding period a year ago)
-Net sales increased 8.6% to SEK 62,724m (57,741)
-Organic net sales increased 4.1%
-Organic net sales increased 4.7%, excluding the lower sales of mother reels due to production closures
-In emerging markets, which accounted for 37% of net sales, organic net sales increased 9.6%
-Operating profit before amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets (EBITA) increased 5% to SEK 6,412m (6,080)
-Adjusted EBITA increased 7% to SEK 6,922m (6,468)
-Adjusted EBITA margin was 11.0% (11.2)
-Higher raw material and energy costs had a negative impact of SEK 1,300m on earnings
-Profit for the period increased 15% to SEK 4,430m (3,857)
-Earnings per share increased 15% to SEK 5.73 (4.98)
-Adjusted earnings per share increased 16% to SEK 6.60 (5.68)
-Cash flow from current operations increased to SEK 5,336m (1,855)

Photo: Essity President and CEO Magnus Groth

During the quarter the Group continued to report strong organic net sales growth and the adjusted EBITA margin rose. The implemented price increases had a positive impact on both organic net sales growth and profitability.

Our investments in sales and marketing, primarily in Asia and Latin America, contributed to higher growth. In addition, we launched innovations that strengthened our customer and consumer offering and improved the product mix. For example, in China we re-launched Feminine Care with Libresse V-Comfort and invested in local production. In Incontinence Products, we strengthened our product offering in the healthcare sector with TENA ProSkin.

Efficiency efforts are according to plan and we have achieved significant cost savings. Our raw material and energy costs were higher during the quarter, although the market prices for such items as pulp are demonstrating a declining trend, albeit from a high level.

In terms of our ongoing activities to contribute to a sustainable and circular society, we have established additional sustainability targets for packaging with a special focus on plastic packaging. We have also decided to invest in sustainable alternative fiber technology for tissue production.

The Group’s net sales increased 7.9% in the second quarter of 2019 compared with the corresponding period a year ago. Organic net sales, excluding the lower sales of mother reels, increased 4.3%. Including the lower sales of mother reels, organic net sales increased 3.9%, of which volume accounted for 2.0% and price/mix for 1.9%. Organic net sales were positively impacted by a better price/mix and higher volumes in all business areas. In emerging markets, which accounted for 36% of net sales, organic net sales increased 9.9%, while the increase in mature markets was 0.7%.

The Group’s adjusted EBITA in the second quarter of 2019 increased 11% compared with the corresponding period a year ago. Earnings were positively impacted by higher prices and volumes as well as a better product mix and cost savings. Cost savings amounted to SEK 322m, of which SEK 147m was related to the Group-wide cost-savings program. The Group-wide cost-savings program is proceeding according to plan and at the end of the second quarter of 2019, the annual rate of savings was approximately SEK 690m. Higher raw material and energy costs had a negative impact of SEK -250m on earnings, which corresponds to a negative impact on the adjusted EBITA margin of -0.8 percentage points. Furthermore, stock revaluations, due to lower raw material prices, had a negative impact on earnings. Investments to increase growth entail higher sales and marketing costs, although these costs were lower as a proportion of net sales. Higher distribution costs had a negative impact on earnings. The Group’s adjusted EBITA margin increased 0.3 percentage points to 11.6%. The adjusted return on capital employed was 12.9%. Operating cash flow increased 105%, primarily related to operating cash surplus and changes in working capital. Earnings per share increased 12% to SEK 3.24.
(Essity Aktiebolag)

DS Smith: Starpack Gold Award for the e-commerce Morocco Gold packaging

DS Smith: Starpack Gold Award for the e-commerce Morocco Gold packaging  (Company news)

Last June the 27th, the Morocco Gold manufacturer won a Starpack Gold Award at London for its e-commerce packaging designed and produced by DS Smith consumer France in the 'Consumer experience - Home delivery' category.

Photo: A very nice example rewarded of the 5 easy's of DS Smith e-commerce packaging: easy to source, to pack, to ship, easy for customers and to recycle. Congratulations to the teams !

This packaging, neutral from the outside to avoid shrinkage, conveys the high value of the product once opened thanks to a high quality litho printing inside; both on the pack and the fitment which protects an extra virgin oil bottle.

Judges commented that the packaging was very impactful, very simple to open. They also appreciated its sustainable conception: no excess packaging, without plastics additional fitments, 100% cartonboard, easy to flatten and recycle. Morocco gold underlined the ease of storage and assembly.
(DS Smith Packaging France)

Lacquer savings - optimized performance with SteppedHex

Lacquer savings - optimized performance with SteppedHex  (Company news)

The family-owned company M&E Druckhaus boasts more than 130 years of experience in the printing and publishing industry. Together with Meinders & Elstermann, Zecher and Dortschy carried out a test on the topic of lacquer consumption and potential savings. For this test, the standard engraving for matt lacquer was compared to the Zecher SteppedHex engraving. After every 20,000 sheets, only the roller was replaced. With all other process parameters left unchanged, a lower lacquer consumption of 15% was observed with the SteppedHex engraving.

The print shop manager Höcker-Gödecker from M&E summed up the positive results as follows: "The test showed that with the roller from Zecher compared to the 10 cm³ roller, over a production of 20,000 sheets, we used significantly less lacquer. The saving was 15%, without changing any of the following processes: Same drying times before cutting/folding and no changed abrasion resistance."

From an economic point of view, this technology is a viable alternative to the standard 10 cm³ rollers used so far, as with considerably less varnish consumption the same good results are achieved. The customer’s requirements and high expectations were more than met with the SteppedHex engraving.
(Zecher GmbH)

Nilpeter to Introduce New Solutions to the Market at Labelexpo Europe 2019

Nilpeter to Introduce New Solutions to the Market at Labelexpo Europe 2019  (Company news)

Picture: Nilpeter will introduce new solutions on its FA-Line flagship presses at Labelexpo Europe 2019

Under the 100-year anniversary banner, Nilpeter will exhibit two of its FA-Line flagship flexo presses at Labelexpo Europe 2019. The FA-Line presses will feature a number of new, groundbreaking technologies.

New Technologies
The first FA-Line press on display is 17’’ wide, features cold foil and lamination, as well as Nilpeter’s new high-speed Semi-Rotary Die-Cutting unit. Introduced to the market for the first time, this press will run in combination with two new technologies: the High-Build InkJet Varnish and High Opacity White InkJet units.
Nilpeter will demonstrate the press’ versatility and value-adding capabilities within Wine & Beverage applications.

Effective Flexible Packaging
The second press on the show floor is the all-new multi-substrate 22’’ FA-Line. It features a new 22’’ Quick-Change Die station, UV-lamination, and UV-LED drying. With this press, Nilpeter will demonstrate how to effectively print various Food & Beverage flexible packaging applications throughout the show.

Join Nilpeter as they raise a glass to mark the company’s 100-year milestone, and display exciting new developments at Labelexpo Europe 2019 – as always in Hall 7, stand 7B39 & 7B35, Brussels Expo.
(Nilpeter A/S)

MIAC 2019: 6000 visitors from 53 countries - we are waiting for you in Italy!

MIAC 2019: 6000 visitors from 53 countries - we are waiting for you in Italy!  (Company news)

MIAC 2019 - 9.10.11 October 2019 - Lucca/Italy

Machinery and plants for the production of Paper and Paperboard and for the converting of Tissue Paper

MIAC Exhibition is an international meeting point that allows you to compare the technologies and business proposals of 270 companies present at the Exhibition.

Taking part in MIAC means being one of 6000 Visitors from across the globe who meet in Lucca in October of each year for their professional updating and to consolidate and discover new business opportunities in the paper industry sector. MIAC: an event not to be missed!

Visiting MIAC means obtaining a full overview of the technology and equipment available to the paper industry sector (production of Paper and Paperboard and converting of Tissue Paper). At MIAC you will discover the latest developments in machines, systems and avant-garde solutions to improve the management of the various stages in the paper production cycle. 270 Exhibitors are waiting for you in Lucca/Italy in October!
(Edipap Srl)

Successful startup of Star Paper Mill - Abu Dhabi - UAE

Successful startup of Star Paper Mill - Abu Dhabi - UAE  (Company news)

On behalf of our Managing Director Mr. Majid Rasheed, we are extremely delighted to announce the successful commissioning and startup of our new Tissue Paper machine in ICAD 2, Abu Dhabi. The 1st reel of tissue Jumbo reel was produced on 14th of July 2019.

Star Paper Mill, a new and modern tissue paper manufacturing mill spread over 27,000 sqm, is located in the growing Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD), UAE. Our machine has been purchased from the world-renowned machinery manufacturer M/S RECARD Spa, Italy. It is a DCT Crescent Former Tissue machine with the latest flexi-nip shoe press technology, enabling us to achieve higher bulk and softness. The machine deckle is 3.6 m having two rewinders with a capability of rewinding upto 4 ply. The annual production capacity would be about 40,000 tonnes of world class prime quality virgin tissue paper.

We are striving to follow the best environmental practices and to source the pulp from responsibly managed forests including FSC certified. We will offer products that are manufactured to the highest standard of quality, together with the flexibility to meet the diverse needs of our valued customers locally & internationally.

SPM will produce a wide spectrum of hygienic tissue paper Jumbo Reels in various grades ranging from the most delicate 12.5 gsm to 38 gsm towels viz. Facial, Toilet, Napkin, Kitchen Towel, Maxi, Centerfeed, Auto-cut, Industrial Rolls and Hand Towel.

Our specialisation will be in value added products such as low gsm facial tissue, ultra-soft and smooth tissue, lotionised tissue with a satin finish, bonded napkins, multicolor printable white napkin tissue and very high wet strength towels. We will also be producing pastel shades tissues.
(Star Paper Mill Paper Industry LLC)

Smurfit Kappa expands global network of recycling plants

Smurfit Kappa expands global network of recycling plants  (Company news)

Smurfit Kappa has opened a new recycling plant in the Tuscan region of Italy, strengthening its recovered paper service in the region.

Smurfit Kappa Marlia will process approximately 15,000 tonnes of recovered paper annually and this is expected to increase to 25,000 tonnes next year. The new plant is strategically located in the district where 60% of Italian containerboard and 90% of tissue paper is produced.

The Marlia depot works closely with the local council, supermarkets and businesses to collect used paper and board which is transported to the Smurfit Kappa Ania Paper Mill in Lucca where it is used as raw material to produce new containerboard.

Speaking about the new facility, General Manager, Luca Mannori, said: “We are delighted to have this new plant up and running, which is further evidence of our ongoing commitment to sustainable development and an important addition to the region.

“Paper-based packaging is 100% recyclable. All corrugated, solid board and folding carton can be put through a process to make it into another box in less than 14 days, demonstrating a truly closed loop approach.”

Henri Vermeulen, Vice President of Smurfit Kappa Recovered Paper added: “Paper recovery is a key part of the circular economy. As part of our Better Planet Packaging initiative we are using our long-term experience in recycling to develop even more sustainable packaging concepts.

“The new Marlia plant will play a significant part in ensuring the permanent availability of enough good quality recovered paper to guarantee the demands of all our customers in the chain.”

Smurfit Kappa has long been committed to best practice in recycling and has a global network of specialist recycling plants.
(Smurfit Kappa Group Headquarters plc)

Klingele Group opens new logistics centre in Werne

Klingele Group opens new logistics centre in Werne  (Company news)

Picture: The new warehouse means that the logistics can be amalgamated at one site

The Klingele Group, one of the leading independent manufacturers of corrugated base paper and corrugated cardboard packaging, opens a new logistics centre at its Werne site. It covers an area of 15,500 m2 and has now created space for over 20,000 pallets in combination with the existing warehouse capacities.

Centralised logistics saves costs and reduces CO2 emissions
The Klingele Group is investing in the modernisation of its entire logistics and tripling its logistics capacities at the Werne site with the expansion of the logistics centre in North Rhine-Westphalia. The reason for the investment of 10 million euros: Klingele's customers are increasingly using just-in-time deliveries, where goods are supplied precisely when the delivery is required on site. This requires a modern and efficient infrastructure, flexibility and optimal organisation. Also given the fact that there is an increase in prices for warehousing costs, customers are increasingly accepting the offer of storing packaging directly in Klingele's logistics centre and ordering from consignment stock as required.

The new logistics centre replaces three external warehouses in Bergkamen, Hamm and the Netherlands. The amalgamation of logistics in a large centre reduces transport costs, CO2 emissions and truck traffic by saving on up to 25 truck journeys a day. In addition, it will now be possible to better utilise the trucks.

Customers benefit from improved delivery and product quality
The logistics centre has been built as a bulk storage warehouse for a high level of efficiency when loading trucks and seamless customer service. By equipping the centre with RFID technology, this also optimises the processes in the internal logistics. Goods are easy to find through the warehouse management system with precise bay location; goods are booked in and out automatically via a link to the SAP system. As a result, the customer benefits from a speedy delivery where errors can be largely eliminated.

“Efficient logistics have become an important part of our business model with the changing requirements in the market,” states Dr. Jan Klingele, Managing Partner. “We are reducing the burden on the environment and improving the quality of life in our surrounding area with our new logistics centre. This is particularly important to us as a family-run company.” “We were able to complete the construction not only relatively quickly, but also in a trustworthy cooperation with our local partners,” add the responsible managers at the Werne site, Amir Mirsakarimi and Christian Stangrecki. “Throughout the entire process, we have benefited from short communication channels and fast coordination, both with our developers and with the competent authorities of the town of Werne.
(Klingele Papierwerke GmbH & Co KG)

BillerudKorsnäs and The Paper Straw Co to launch the first U-Bend paper straw

BillerudKorsnäs and The Paper Straw Co to launch the first U-Bend paper straw  (Company news)

Together with the Paper Straw Co, BillerudKorsnäs has developed the first functional 180° U-Bend straw, made out of paper. The straw is made to be used for individual drink cartons such as juice, milk and water. The long term market potential as well as positive sustainability impact is extensive.

BillerudKorsnäs has just filed a patent of the U-Bend paper straw in cooperation with The Paper Straw Company, who will produce the straw in Manchester, England and in the US. The end-users will be consumers buying individual drink cartons filled with juice, milk or water. Made out of FibreForm, a uniquely shapable paper patented by BillerudKorsnäs, the U-Bend paper straw is durable and recyclable. The straw based on materials from sustainably sourced forests is also biodegradable, resulting in a positive impact on pollution and littering compared to plastic straws.

”The U-Bend straw is the first paper straw that is 180° bendable. It can be used together with existing drink packaging. Today many billion bendable straws are produced in a year which means that the potential for our business and our contribution to a more sustainable packaging world is, to say the least, considerable.” says Emma Hellqvist, Formable Solutions at BillerudKorsnäs.

At this moment, we are ready to go into industrial trials with the goal to be able to commercialise by the end of this year. The key to success lies in the efforts of innovation, collaboration and strong partnerships - in this case with The Paper Straw Co owned by Hoffmaster Group. Aardvark® Straws is part of Hoffmaster Group and will enable the production of the U-Bend paper straw for the US-market.

“We are excited to expand our line of paper straw offerings with the patent pending U-Bend paper straw.” Says Geert Pijper, Co-Founder The Paper Straw Co.
(BillerudKorsnäs AB (publ))

Last database update: 09.08.2019 14:51 © 2004-2019, Birkner GmbH & Co. KG