For USPS to pull itself out of its current financial difficulties, it cannot just rely on pension and healthcare reforms and high-profile cost-cutting measures – it must also find fresh ways to raise new revenue streams.
That is the central message of a new report from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) sent to Congress this week.
The report comes with a new session of Congress needing to restart the process of drawing up and passing postal reform legislation this year in order to solve the huge financial problems at the US Postal Service, with mail volumes currently falling “precipitously”.
The GAO sheds light on dozens of revenue-raising initiatives that the Postal Service has been pursuing in recent years, but also warns that many have been abandoned for various reasons including the fact that Congress decided back in 2006 to restrict USPS to providing only products and services that could be firmly defined as postal.
The GAO report looks at suggested revenue-generating ideas that arose from conversations between USPS and stakeholders since 2010.
The process identified more than 1,500 ideas, which were narrowed down into specific projects with most potential, fitting with USPS priorities including making it easier to use the mail, improving the value of the mail and growing the package business.
FutureMark®Paper Group, North America’s leading provider of responsibly made, high-recycled paper, grew its customer base for a third straight year in 2012 with the addition of respected organizations such as the American Museum of Natural History, Black & Decker, Kaplan, Kohl’s, Sam’s Club, Time Inc., Trader Joe’s and Wiley. FutureMark also significantly expanded relationships with existing customers Chick-fil-A, National Geographic and Whole Foods Market.
“FutureMark Paper Group continues to expand and grow, despite tough conditions overall in the North American market for printing paper,” said FutureMark President and CEO Steve Silver. “Our commitment to minimizing the environmental impact of paper production is really paying off. Customers value our products’ high recycled content and environmental profile. They especially seem to like that our recycled paper performs and costs the same as less green, non-recycled alternatives.”
Canfor Corporation announced today that the Company will be proceeding with capital improvement projects totalling approximately $40 million to increase productivity and recovery at its sawmill in Mackenzie, British Columbia (B.C.).
The investment will include modifications and upgrades to the sawmill, kilns and planer.
“Our fibre supply in the Mackenzie region is strong and this announcement reflects confidence in our ability to operate an internationally-competitive mill in this community,” said Don Kayne, President and CEO of Canfor Corporation.
The capital project will commence in January 2013, with anticipated completion in November 2013.
Oil dropped from the highest level in four months in New York before European finance ministers meet today to discuss the region’s debt crisis and as U.S. lawmakers vote this week on budget measures.
West Texas Intermediate futures slid as much as 0.5 percent, declining for the first time in four days. House Republicans will use the planned Jan. 23 vote on a debt-ceiling increase to try to force Senate Democrats to outline their spending plans. Finance ministers in Brussels will assess Spain, Greece and Cyprus and debate how to enact policies they promised to subdue the region’s crisis.
“In Europe, we believe things are deteriorating rapidly,” said Guy Wolf, a strategist at London-based commodities broker Marex Spectron Group Ltd. “Everyone believes the crisis has been solved. Yet politicians haven’t done anything, we have just seen markets apply less pressure.”
WTI crude for February delivery, which expires tomorrow, fell as much as 51 cents to $95.05 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $95.13 at 10:46 a.m. London time. The more active March contract was down 40 cents at $95.64.
Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, is today providing its regular January trading update. We will report preliminary results for 2012 on 25 February 2013.
In general, Pearson's businesses continue to face tough market conditions and structural industry change which we see continuing into 2013. The company continues to gain share in key markets and to benefit from its investments in digital services and developing economies.
Market conditions remained weak, as expected, in the key fourth-quarter selling season for higher education, consumer publishing and corporate advertising. For 2012 as a whole we expect to report good revenue growth at constant exchange rates, operating profit of approximately £935m (broadly level at CER), adjusted earnings of approximately 84p per share and cash conversion of close to 90%. The 2012 results will reflect the absence of a profit contribution from FTSE International (£20m of operating profit and 2.2p of EPS in 2011) and the impact of the radically-changed trading environment for Pearson in Practice, which led to the recent decision to plan to exit that business.
Meredith Corporation said today it recorded a net special charge of $7 million ($4 million after-tax, or $0.10 per share) in its fiscal 2013 second quarter. The charge was related to business realignments and selected workforce reductions designed to realize the full value of recent acquisitions, and as part of an ongoing process to optimize performance and achieve further cost efficiencies.
Meredith has aggressively scaled its capabilities to deliver content over multiple platforms to meet increased consumer demand and growing client requests for multiplatform advertising and marketing programs in the past year. As a result, Meredith has added or created approximately 300 jobs to support key strategic growth initiatives including the:
• Acquisition of Allrecipes.com, doubling Meredith's digital presence. The addition made Meredith the No. 1 digital food media company, and moved it to No. 3 in the digital women's lifestyle category.
• Addition of the EveryDay with Rachael Ray and FamilyFun brands. These moves increased Meredith's share of the U.S. magazine industry advertising revenues to its current level of nearly 12 percent.
• Purchase of ShopNation and launch of a growing e-commerce platform.
• Execution of digital, mobile, video and social expansion strategies, including creating tablet editions; developing new mobile apps; and expanding video content creation capabilities.
• Expansion and monetization of Local Media Group video content through an increase in local news programming, along with more national video content creation.
Sonoco today announced that it will raise the price for all paperboard tubes and cores by 4 percent, effective with shipments in the United States and Canada beginning Feb. 18, 2013.
"This price increase is necessary to recover recently announced paperboard price increases and other inflationary inputs impacting our converting cost," said James Harrell, vice president, Tubes and Cores-North America.
Sonoco is the largest producer of paper-based tubes and cores in North America which are used to serve the paper, textiles, plastic films and tape and specialty industries.
The annual Digital Book World conference opened yesterday with a host of industry executives trying to make sense of a new and complex publishing reality. Highlighted by media analyst James McQuivey, a CEO panel, former Macmillan president, now venture capitalist, Brian Napack, and an impressive appearance by President Barack Obama’s digital director Ted Goff—son of publishing executive Neal Goff--this year’s conference offered perspectives on the future of the industry, market conditions and corporate consolidation, the decline of the physical bookstore and the continuing power of technology to transform how publishers do business.
Once again McQuivey, who is also publishing a new book, Digital Disruption, in February with Amazon Publishing, offered the results of a Forrester Research survey on the “digital readiness” of publishing companies, noting very quickly that Apple has sold more than 120 million (including iPad Minis) tablets worldwide, calling the figure, “a big deal.” The survey of 53 executives found 85% of respondents are “optimistic” about the digital transition and that 64% believe that publishers are “capable of competing” in the new digital marketplace and that 55% are confident that their own companies can compete (both figures are down about 10% from last year, he said.).
Respondents to the survey said that tablets (60%) were the ideal reading devices over dedidcated e-readers (23%) and that 45% of the respondents thought dedicated e-readers were “irrelevant,” though McQuivey was quick to note that “this is not necessarily the death knell of e-readers which are still very popular with voracious digital readers.” He noted however that, “I read on a 7” tablet myself.” 85% of the respondents produce apps, 45% of them say they cost to much to produce and 21% see revenue potential in producing apps. 32% of survey respondent also believe that print sales will continue to decrease and 21% believe e-book sales will continue to increase. Previous surveys have also suggested that half of all book sales will be digital by 2014 but 23% of the respondents said that has already happened at their company. McQuivey was doubtful on that last point. but acknowledged that “we’re approaching digital disruption rapidly."
Whether it’s taking stock of one’s own wealth or gawking at others,’ people’s interest in money seems limitless. So says The Wall Street Journal, which is giving personal finance the glossy treatment with a new magazine insert, WSJ. Money.
WSJ. Money is a spinoff of WSJ. Magazine, the newspaper’s luxury lifestyle insert. The title is slated to make its debut March 9 and publish four times this year. It’ll be distributed in the Journal’s weekend edition in the U.S., which has a circulation of 2.3 million. The goal is for 50 pages per issue, including 30 edit and 20 ad pages.
There’s no shortage of magazines targeted towards the rich; this past year newcomers Bloomberg Pursuits (a spinoff of Bloomberg Markets) and DuJour joined a category that includes Town & Country, Departures and ForbesLife.
The executives behind WSJ. Money said their title would be distinct visually and emotionally rich in the way it would treat the subject of personal finance. Money isn’t going to have service pieces about picking stocks and funds, but narratives about characters and lesser-known parts of the world. Leaning heavily on existing Journal staffers, including columnists Jason Zweig, Brett Arends and Kelly Greene, WSJ. Money will include such departments as My Biggest Mistake, a celebrity interview; Empire Builder, which outlines the steps a successful person took to make it big; and Family Office, a look at the world of advisors to the rich.
A large printing plant owned by Vertis has been shut down in Fort Erie, Ontario, leaving the staff without jobs or compensation. About 100 members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP) Local 425G in the Niagara region have just learned of the closure and are confronting the company’s refusal to pay out termination and severance, required under Canadian law.
“A company does not have the right to shut down without notice or compensation for the employees that have worked for them, many for most of their lives,” said Dan Wickson, President of Local 425G.
The Fort Erie plant is one of three that were not included in the purchase of Vertis by Quad Graphics. It was the only Canadian plant owned by the American company Vertis.
The John Roberts Co. (JRC) is pleased to announce the successful completion of a Service Organization Controls (SOC) 2 attestation engagement covering the trust principles of Security, Confidentially and Availability. Clifton Larson Allen issued an unqualified opinion that provides JRC’s clients an assurance that the controls the company has implemented were suitably designed to meet or exceed the prescribed criteria for each trust principle as defined by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
The evaluation criteria included a review of JRC’s policies, procedures and processes to ensure that confidential client information is handled appropriately while in the printer’s possession.
“It is critical in our business to have a secure, reliable and controlled information infrastructure,” said Michael Keene, president and CEO of John Roberts. “Security of our clients’ data is of paramount importance, and it is why we have become one of the first companies in our industry to successfully complete a SOC 2 attestation engagement.”
Wendi Breuer, vice president of sales, added, “SOC 2 is the standard that security conscious clients are using to evaluate their service providers against and we are proud to offer our clients this objective evaluation criteria. We feel it validates their decision to partner with John Roberts.”
Delhaize Group announced that it would close 33 under-performing Sweetbay stores in Florida by mid-February. The shutterings, which are part of a broader reorganization plan, amount to about one-third of the chain.
“While these decisions are difficult, especially given the impact on our associates, customers and communities, these actions will continue to enhance the performance of our overall store portfolio and further enable us to deliver profitable growth and accelerate shareholder value,” the company said in a statement.
Sweetbay will operate 72 stores after stores are closed.
Print may still be the breadwinner for most publishers, but multiplatform integration is now what’s behind any meaningful growth in ad revenue. Bringing a brand’s content and messaging across the entire media spectrum is where the fight for marketing dollars will be won. At Hearst Magazines, that concept has helped propel revenue in the first quarter above same-period 2011 levels.
“The whole idea of integration is driving business,” says Michael Clinton, president of marketing and publishing director of Hearst Magazines. “Ten years ago, Cosmo’s audience was about 17 million and change—that was it. Ten years later, the magazine audience is around 18 million but there is another 10 million that live in the Cosmo universe. These are women who go to Cosmo.com, that follow Cosmo on social media or they follow Cosmo on Sirius Radio. The expansion of the audience, because of the other platforms, allows us to work with advertisers in an integrated way through print, digital, tablets and social media—it lifts all boats.”
While the company’s revenue continues to be derived predominantly from print,?and, Clinton adds, “Will be that way for as far as the eye can see,” the company has been acquiring revenue sources from its other platforms by introducing cross platform, integrated programs to advertisers.
AAA Fuel Gage 1/18/13
National Unleaded Regular:
Current Average - $3.293/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.226/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.378/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.114/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Average - $3.897/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.925/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.872/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.845/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Exchange Rates as of 1/18/13
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 1.009433
American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.160762
American Dollar to Euro = 1.334576
American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.011124
American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.079317
Oil headed for the longest weekly rising streak in 14 months in New York after economic growth accelerated in China, the world’s second-biggest crude consumer.
West Texas Intermediate traded close to a four-month high after gaining the most in two weeks yesterday. The International Energy Agency raised forecasts for global oil demand this year as demand rises in China and said the world oil market is “tighter” than previously estimated. China’s gross domestic product rose 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, compared with 7.4 percent in the previous period, the National Bureau of Statistics said today in Beijing.
“I don’t think there will be a hard landing in China,” said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management Ltd. in Middelfart, Denmark.
Crude for February delivery was at $95.38 a barrel, down 11 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:37 a.m. London time. The contract advanced 1.3 percent to $95.49 yesterday. That was biggest gain since Jan. 2 and the highest close since Sept. 17. Prices gained 2 percent this week for a sixth straight advance, the longest run of gains since November 2011.
In an era of multiplatform media consumption, quantifying a large spectrum of metrics gets harder and harder. To provide clarity to its members, auditing agency BPA Worldwide has solidified several rule amendments that are scheduled to take effect immediately.
In May 2012, the BPA Board allowed the reporting of digital copies served through applications as qualified circulation. At the time, it was determined that through authentication via an access code tied to subscriber registration or information, media owners had the ability to identify and quantify end-users, thus enabling publishers to report this as qualified circulation.
As of the group’s December 2012 meeting, however, the BPA Board amended rules for digital copies served through apps and mobile devices. When it comes to digital subscriptions that are purchased through tablet or mobile platforms, digital circulation will be reported from copy one and for the full term of the subscription. However, the digital subscription must be authenticated through the device or app to report digital copies when sold as:
•Paid combination sales and/or bundled subscriptions for print and digital.
•Paid sponsored digital and/or tablet mobile subscriptions.
•Paid circulation with digital as a promotional incentive.
For non-paid circulation magazines with digital circulations, the recipient must authenticate the digital subscription through the device and access the magazine or publication once per every six-month reporting period.
For digital delivery with non-requestors, the BPA Board amended a rule to allow media owners to count the digital subscription, from one copy, as long as the non-requesting subscriber is given the ability to opt-out.
HP today announced that Harte-Hanks installed an HP Indigo 7600 Digital Press at its East Bridgewater, Mass. print facility to expand premium color digital print capacity and add new capabilities for customers.
"Reaching the right consumer, with the right message, using the right channel, at the right time is critical to today?s marketing success,? said Tony Paul, executive vice president, customer delivery, Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing. ?Today?s digital print quality and features make direct mail more effective in a multi-channel strategy by satisfying consumers? expectations for personalized, relevant information while enabling our customers, including national retailers, to achieve quicker speed to market. The HP Indigo 7600 print production capabilities mean that data-driven, one-to-one messaging at virtually unlimited scale is now possible."
The HP Indigo 7600 Digital Press is the fastest 13 x 19-inch format digital sheetfed press on the market today. Printing up to 160 color pages per minute in Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM), the press expands HP Indigo capacity at the plant by up to four million color pages per month.
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. today announced that net revenues for the nine-week holiday period (October 29, 2012 - December 30, 2012) increased 4.8% to $1.014 billion versus the comparable last year nine-week holiday period ended January 1, 2012. Comparable brand revenues increased 4.4%.
Laura Alber, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our holiday performance reflects the strength of our brands in a period of consumer uncertainty and intense promotional activity across the retail industry. As our overall financial performance was within our range of expectations for the holiday period, we are reiterating the financial guidance we provided for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2012 in our November 14, 2012 earnings release. We will discuss our performance in detail during our fourth quarter and fiscal year 2012 earnings call in March.”
Alber concluded, “Looking forward to fiscal 2013, we will continue to focus on our strategies to drive sustainable, profitable growth and increase shareholder value by growing our existing brands, developing new businesses, and expanding globally, including the opening of our first Australian stores. We will discuss our strategies and financial outlook for 2013 during our earnings call in March.”
The continuing challenges in European economy have significantly impacted the consumption of paper, exacerbating the effect of structural changes in paper end-uses and resulting in further decline in the demand of graphic papers in Europe. High costs and significant overcapacity continue to challenge the industry operators in Europe.
UPM is planning to permanently reduce paper capacity in Europe by a further 580,000 tonnes. The capacity reductions are planned to take place in Finland, Germany and France. The business environment also makes evident the need for streamlining of the Paper Business Group and UPM’s global functions to remain cost competitive in the new business scale.
In early January, UPM finalized the employee consultation process in UPM Stracel, France, implying reduction of 270,000 tonnes of coated magazine paper capacity. With UPM Stracel and today’s plans, UPM would reduce a total of approximately 850,000 tonnes of graphic paper capacity in 2013.
- a permanent closure of paper machine 3 at UPM Rauma mill in Finland,
- a permanent closure of paper machine 4 at UPM Ettringen in Germany,
- a sale or other exit of UPM Docelles mill in France, and
- subject to further analysis, streamlining in the Paper Business and UPM’s global functions.
If all plans will be implemented, UPM’s personnel would be reduced by approximately 860 persons. The plans would affect several countries.
According to the plan the Rauma and Ettringen machine lines would be permanently closed by the end of first half of 2013. Both machines are producing uncoated magazine paper, in total 420,000 tonnes annually.
The employee information and consultation processes will start in line with the local legislation. In case of Ettringen and Rauma the process will start immediately.
The process for selling the UPM Docelles mill will start immediately. The process will be given maximum six months. Docelles is producing uncoated woodfree papers, 160,000 tonnes annually.
Quad/Graphics, Inc. announces that it has completed its acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Vertis Holdings, Inc., for a net purchase price of $170 million. This assumes the purchase price of $267 million less the payment of $97 million for current assets that are in excess of normalized working capital requirements. Quad/Graphics used cash on hand and drew on its revolving credit facility to finance the acquisition.
The Company expects the acquisition of Vertis to strengthen and expand its client offering with:
An enhanced range of products, services and revenue-generating solutions;
Expanded industry vertical expertise;
Increased manufacturing flexibility and distribution efficiencies from an extended geographic footprint; and
New opportunities to help clients realize mailing and distribution cost-savings from the combined volumes and capabilities of the two companies.
"We are excited about our acquisition of Vertis and the opportunities it brings to advance our business and create value for our clients, employees and shareholders," said Joel Quadracci, Chairman, President & CEO of Quad/Graphics. "We have strengthened our retail ad insert, direct marketing and in-store marketing solutions, and have expanded our support services to include media planning and placement, and marketing services. With more talent and broader solutions, we are better positioned than ever to drive business results for our clients."
OfficeMax® Incorporated, a leader in office and facility supplies, technology and services, today announced that the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Australia honored OfficeMax Australia with two awards – Retailer of the Year 2012 and the Responsible Procurement Award 2012 – for the subsidiary's ongoing support of sustainability and responsible forest management.
It was the second consecutive year that FSC Australia awarded OfficeMax Australia as its Retailer of the Year, which pays tribute to a retailer that has helped to create a marketplace that promotes environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests. The Responsible Procurement Award recognizes an end-user organization that demonstrates a commitment to procuring FSC-certified products as part of its corporate social responsibility strategy.
"OfficeMax has deserved these two awards and is certainly leading the way when it comes to responsible procurement and retailing by throwing its weight behind FSC," said Natalie Reynolds, chief executive of FSC Australia.
The litany of bad news for newspapers is continuing in 2013, with more layoffs and reductions in frequency.
The Star Ledger of Newark, New Jersey’s largest daily newspaper, announced that it is laying off 34 employees, including 19 full-time employees and 15 part-time employees, according to the newspaper. The total will include 18 staffers from the newspaper’s editorial operations, or around 9% of the 195-person newsroom.
Explaining the cuts, Publisher Richard Vezza cited the long-term decline in print advertising, as well as the economic effects of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated New Jersey households and businesses. Advance is also laying off 12 employees at The Express-Times of Easton, PA,11 employees at the South Jersey Times, and three employees from its weekly newspapers in western New Jersey.
Separately, Digital First Media, the parent company of the MediaNews Group and Journal Register Co., announced that it is slashing the frequency of one of its smaller newspapers -- The Oneida Daily Dispatch in upstate New York -- from six to three days a week.
The new schedule includes a new Sunday edition, as well as editions on Tuesday and Thursday. Although the Dispatch is a small publication with a circulation of just 6,599 according to the Alliance for Audited Media (formerly the Audit Bureau of Circulations), the move is significant because it may foreshadow frequency reductions at other papers owned by MediaNews Group and the Journal Register Co.
Oil traded near the highest level in four months in New York as a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories countered concern that the global economic recovery may falter and curb fuel demand.
West Texas Intermediate was little changed after rising 1 percent yesterday, the most in two weeks. Crude supplies slid 951,000 barrels last week, Energy Department data showed. They were forecast to increase by 2.2 million, according to a Bloomberg survey. WTI’s discount to Brent futures narrowed to less than $15 a barrel for the first time since July after the start of an expanded pipeline that is set to pare a glut in the U.S. Midwest.
“We may see oil demand picking up in the U.S. and this could support prices,” said Gerrit Zambo, an oil trader at Bayerische Landesbank in Munich, who predicts Brent may rise as high as $120 a barrel this quarter. “But the supply situation is comfortable.”
WTI for February delivery was at $94.42 a barrel, up 18 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 10:40 a.m. London time.
Ahlstrom, a global leader in high performance fiber-based materials, provides preliminary information on net sales and operating profit excluding non-recurring items from continuing operations for 2012.
In 2012, net sales from continuing operations amounted to approximately EUR 1,011 million and operating profit excluding non-recurring items from continuing operations was approximately EUR 18 million.
Ahlstrom had previously expected net sales from continuing operations to be EUR 960 - 1,040 million and operating profit excluding non-recurring items from continuing operations to be EUR 22 - 32 million in 2012.
The operating profit excluding non-recurring items for 2012 is lower than the company had earlier anticipated because of weaker sales mix and volumes across all key markets towards the end of the year, as well as longer than expected production downtime taken during the last quarter.
The figures are based on unaudited preliminary financial results. Ahlstrom will publish its financial statements bulletin 2012 on January 31, 2013.
KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation will open a new corrugated manufacturing facility in Aurora, IL. The 192,000 square foot facility located 40 miles west of the city of Chicago will produce corrugated packaging and will also include a design lab and a technical center. KapStone expects to invest approximately $8 to $10 million in the first phase. The Aurora location will enhance KapStone's sales coverage in the Midwest, particularly in Chicago and surrounding areas.
Matt Kaplan, KapStone's President, stated, "We are excited to establish a corrugated manufacturing facility in the Chicago area, our home territory. We are very optimistic that KapStone will deliver a very high level of service and quality of corrugated products that will enable us to continue to grow our operations."
The site General Manager will be Katie Wilhelm who has an extensive career in the corrugated industry predominantly in the Chicago area.
The plea is in response to Google’s Paperless 2013 campaign which urges people to stop using paper. Verdigris wants the industry to stop using the Google search engine and related products such as Google+, Chrome or Android in the hope that Google will reconsider.
The Paperless 2013 campaign (www.paperless2013.org) claims that relying exclusively on digital communications instead of using paper benefits the environment. However, Paperless 2013 is more about getting people to use cloud storage, online bill management, accounting and e-signatures. Google and its campaign partners are using an environmental message to encourage use of their own technologies, not to aid environmental sustainability. “Their arguments are ill-founded and potentially damaging to the environment,” says Laurel Brunner, Verdigris founder.
Electronic devices cannot be recycled; paper can. Unlike paper, electronic devices are not based on a sustainable resource, but depend on oil-based plastics and rare earths neither of which can be replenished. Electronic devices require huge amounts of energy to support and maintain the content they deliver, whereas paper based content has a one-time carbon footprint. Electronic devices create an environmentally damaging waste stream that cannot easily be managed. Paper can be reused, recycled and disposed of responsibly when it reaches its end of life.
Verdigris wants enough people Go Google-less to encourage Google to reconsider its campaign. “At the very least, they might try to better understand the environmental impact of media and about what industry can to do help reduce environmental impacts,” says Laurel. “The higher the number of users, the higher Google can charge advertisers. Reduce the number and we undermine the source of Google’s income. The threat of harm to its revenue model might encourage Google to become better informed and be more responsible in its environmental positioning, particularly as relates to print and paper.”
Amid the lingering effects of the recession and an evolving business environment for the printing industry, Plum Grove Printers (http://www.PlumGrovePrinters.com) posted a dramatic 28% increase in sales during 2012 compared to 2011. Sales were up throughout the year but led by an especially strong fourth quarter-- Plum Grove posted a 55% increase in fourth quarter 2012 compared to fourth quarter 2011.
Plum Grove, which was founded in suburban Chicago in 1980, has a staff of around twenty and an environmentally-friendly ethos. Peter Lineal, the firm's founder, attributes the 2012 sales boom to businesses increasing print marketing as the economy improves.
"We are not in the business of ink-on-paper," Lineal explains. "Our business is marketing and sales growth solutions. It's not just the full-color flyer-- it's the professional art design of a postcard, mailed to your best targeted prospects as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. It's promotional products for coherent company branding. Printing and marketing pair together to increase the value of business, and we have the experience and competence to make it work."
"21st-century business is a cross-media marketing world," Lineal continues. "Businesses survive and thrive using all of the new digital marketing channels but traditional marketing continues to be very effective, especially those media you can hold in your hands and feel, and not just view on a screen."
Caraustar Industries, Inc. announced a price increase of $25 per ton on all uncoated recycled paperboard grades. The increase will be effective starting with shipments on February 15, 2013. The increase is in response to increasing costs, including raw materials, energy, transportation, labor and benefits.
There are numerous technologies available today to help consumers clean up the mess on their desk, which can lead to saving time. Many of these services are free, which will save consumers money. But, will these technologies save trees? Often people think that by using new technologies instead of print and paper, they are saving trees and making a sound environmental choice.
The choices consumers make should be based on a data-driven comparative analysis of lifecycle, carbon footprint and overall environmental impact. When companies like Google Drive and the other members of the Paperless Coalition, call for companies to "Go Paperless 2013" they don't take into account that paper and print on paper are renewable and recyclable resources. This is another example of a campaign using an environmentally-focused marketing strategy to promote its services while ignoring its own impact upon the environment. Print on paper isn't depleting our forests, overwhelming our landfills, or causing global warming.
In the United States, more trees are grown than are harvested and the volume of trees has increased 49% over the last 50 years. The amount of US forestland has remained essentially the same for the last 100 years at about 750 million acres, even though the US population tripled during the same period.
One of the benefits that makes print on paper sustainable is that paper can be 100% recyclable. Recyclability is one of paper's credentials as a renewable resource that can begin and end its life in a responsible manner. In 2011 the U.S. paper recovery rate was a record-high 66.8 percent.
Responsibly managed forests are a critical resource that benefits the environment. Forests provide wood and wood by-products that are now seen as a preferred material as society tries to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. While it takes energy to produce paper, most of it is renewable. More than 65 percent of the energy needed to produce paper products is derived from carbon-neutral biomass fuel.
As Dr. Patrick Moore, Co-Founder, Greenpeace/Chair & Chief Scientist, Greenspirit Strategies Inc., said, "To address climate change, we must use more wood, not less. Using wood sends a signal to the marketplace to grow more trees and to produce more wood. That means we can then use less concrete, steel and plastic — heavy carbon emitters through their production. Trees are the only abundant, biodegradable and renewable global resource."
Macy's president and CEO Terry Lundgren says he doesn’t know when it will happen or how. But ultimately, he believes every consumer – and ecommerce merchant – will have to pay an online sales tax.
"The states are in such (financial) trouble," Lundgren told a group of reporters during an off-site event held in conjunction with the National Retail Federation Big Show in New York on Monday. "The states are looking for revenue, and they are worried about raising any kind of taxes (on residents)."
Macy's Inc. saw its December sales grow just 3.6%, its season was saved by its ecommerce growth. Online sales for macys.com and bloomingdales.com combined were up 51.7% in December and 40.4% in 2012 year-to-date compared with the same periods in 2011.
"I'm growing (ecommerce) at 40%, and we have a $2.5 billion business already," Lundgren said." But we pay tax on our Internet sales. Pure play merchants don't. There should be fewer loopholes, there should be fewer exceptions."
The ones who get hurt the most by the loopholes are small businesses, Lundgren said.
Last year was bad for print and this year won’t be much better, according to the Advertising Consensus Forecast from the World Advertising Research Center, which predicts further declines for both magazines and newspapers in the U.S. in 2013-2014.
Following a 4% decline in 2012, the WARC forecast sees U.S. magazine ad spending decreasing 4% in 2013 and 5.1% in 2014. That prediction looks rosy compared to WARC’s forecast for U.S. newspapers, where ad spending will fall 6.7% in 2013 and 8.4% in 2014. WARC estimates that U.S. newspaper ad revenues fell 7.2% in 2012.
U.S. newspapers’ ad revenues have declined every year since 2006, according to the Newspaper Association of America, tumbling from $49.4 billion in 2005 to $23.9 billion in 2011, the latest year for which full figures are available from the NAA. Combining the NAA figures with WARC’s forecast, total newspaper ad revenues will continue to drop from around $22.2 billion in 2012 to $20.7 billion in 2013 and $19 billion in 2014.
Meanwhile, according to the Publishers Information Bureau total magazine ad revenues (based on official rate cards) have declined from $27.5 billion in 2007 to about $21.1 billion in 2012. Combining these figures with the WARC forecast, revenues will sink to $20.3 billion in 2013 and $19.2 billion in 2014.
A separate forecast released by eMarketer in September sees smaller decreases in U.S. magazines’ print ad revenue over the next few years, with drops of 0.4% and 0.3% in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The consultancy estimated U.S. magazines’ total print ad revenues at around $15.2 billion in 2012. The same forecast has newspapers’ print ad revenues declining 6.1% in 2013 and 4% in 2014, to about $17.3 billion.
HP today announced that customers can now print directly from their smartphone or tablet to more than 8,000 U.S. Walgreens stores, bringing the HP Public Print Locations (PPL)(1) network to 30,000 sites worldwide.
By downloading the free HP ePrint Service iPhone app,(2) users can order prints of their photos, which can be picked up from a local Walgreens in as little as an hour.
“Providing HP ePrint users with access to more than 8,000 Walgreens locations makes their printing experiences easy and convenient,” said Jasbir Patel, senior director and general merchandise manager, Photo and E-commerce, Walgreens. “HP’s integration of the Walgreens QuickPrints technology gives customers expanded access and provides another level of valuable engagement.”
This fall, HP ePrint mobile printing apps reached more than 6 million downloads, and the number of people printing to the HP PPL network is doubling every six months.(3) In addition, HP recently enhanced its HP ePrint Service app to feature more cloud service content, including direct integration with Dropbox and Facebook.
Catalyst Paper is marking its return to publicly traded status earlier this month by opening the market at Toronto Stock Exchange today. Catalyst President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin J. Clarke, is being joined by board member Todd Dillabough, other Catalyst executives and representatives of several key stakeholder groups to mark the event.
Catalyst’s new class of common shares began trading on TSX under the symbol CYT on January 7, 2013. This follows the successful conclusion of a reorganization conducted last year under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, through which Catalyst achieved significant debt and operating cost reductions.
“Everyone – employees, customers, suppliers and others – got behind the need to change, adapt and innovate,” says Clarke. “Starting the trading day is a great way to mark the fresh start that we’ve collectively secured.” In the spirit of communities and commerce, Clarke will be joined in initiating the siren by Adrian Dix, Member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly and Leader of the Official Opposition, and Vice-President Lorne Richmond of YPG, the country's largest directory publisher and a longstanding Catalyst customer.
Bloomsbury Publishing is issuing its Interim Management Statement in respect of the period 1 September 2012 to date.
In the four months ended 31 December 2012, Group operating profits from title sales were up year on year because of lower relative costs of production in the new digital environment and a lower returns rate as the proportion of online sales increased, in spite of a 2% decrease in title sales. Key title sales (which excludes Rights & Services) in this period have come from Paul Hollywood's How to Bake, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Three Good Things and J.K.Rowling's Hogwarts Library. E-book sales continue to show good momentum growing by 58% year on year, in the four months ended 31 December 2012, particularly in the UK.
The recent expansion of our Information division has contributed to an increasing pipeline of Rights & Services contracts. Budgeted income includes £2.7 million from contracts scheduled to be completed between now and the year end.
In November, Polpo by Russell Norman was chosen as their Book of the Year by Waterstones. In this period awards include Ghosts by Daylight by Janine di Giovanni which won the Spear's Book Awards in the Memoir category, River Cottage Veg Every Day! by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall which won the Observer Food Monthly Best Cookbook of the Year award, Stella Rimington's international thriller The Geneva Trap which is on the fiction shortlist at the Political Book Awards, The Killer is Dying by James Sallis which won the North American Hammett Prize for best crime novel and Leonardo and The Last Supper by Ross King which won the Governor General's Award for non-fiction in Canada. Two of our titles, Pig's Foot by Carlos Acosta and Ballistics by D.W. Wilson are among the Waterstones Eleven for 2013, these debut titles will receive Waterstones' full backing as potential bestsellers and literary prize contenders for the year ahead.
Oil traded near the lowest level in almost a week in New York after U.S. crude stockpiles increased and the World Bank cut its economic growth forecasts.
Futures were little changed after slipping the most in almost a month yesterday. U.S. crude supplies gained a second week and inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate, rose to a record, data from the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute showed. An Energy Department report today may show stockpiles climbed by 2.2 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey. The World Bank projects the global economy will expand 2.4 percent this year, down from a June forecast of 3 percent.
“Supply in the U.S. is increasingly comfortable as their domestic production of oil and gas burgeons,” Christopher Bellew, a senior broker at Jefferies Bache Ltd. in London
Crude for February delivery was at $93.53 a barrel, up 25 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:00 a.m. London time.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., announced today that it has acquired the assets of the FIZ Chemie Berlin, a leading provider of online database products for organic and industrial chemists. The acquisition aligns with the company’s long-term strategy to support research, learning, and professional practice through high quality content and services. Wiley is expanding its presence in Berlin with the new venture providing roles for more than 30 skilled information professionals.
“This is an outcome that represents the best combination of public investment and private enterprise, given Wiley’s deep roots in chemistry publishing and its high-profile German and international chemistry society partnerships,” said Christian Köhler-Ma, Leonhardt Rechtsanwälte, Berlin, who managed the sale of the assets.
“The FIZ suite of databases and services are a great addition to Wiley’s deep reservoir of chemical databases, journals, books and references. The FIZ products and services will enable Wiley to build a new generation of information products to help boost the productivity of chemists,” said Steve Miron, Senior Vice President, Scientific, Technical, Medical and Scholarly, Wiley.
The products include the ChemInform weekly abstracting service and reaction database (CIRX), as well as the abstracting journal Chemisches Zentralblatt, the InfoTherm database of thermophysical properties, and eLearning tools and services.
The Postal Service Board of Governors met last week to discuss a wide range of accelerated cost cutting and revenue generating measures in the face of an unprecedented set of financial challenges, heightened by the inability of Congress to pass comprehensive postal legislation. Citing the fact that the Postal Service cannot wait indefinitely for legislation, the USPS Board of Governors has directed management to accelerate the restructure of Postal Service operations to further reduce costs in order to strengthen Postal Service finances. Specifically, the Board approved restructuring initiatives and also instructed the Postal Service to revise its 2012 five-year comprehensive plan to account for current financial and liquidity conditions.
The Postal Service is currently implementing major cost reduction efforts throughout its retail, delivery and mail processing operations. Since 2006, the Postal Service has reduced its annual cost base by approximately $15 billion and reduced the size of its career workforce by 168,000 or 24 percent. During these unprecedented cost cutting initiatives, the Postal Service continued to deliver record levels of service to its customers.
Despite achieving record growth in its package business and stabilization of other revenues, the Postal Service continues to operate with an inflexible business model that hinders its ability to be self-sufficient. In Fiscal Year 2012, the Postal Service was forced to default on $11.1 billion in mandated payments to the U.S. Treasury, which contributed to a recorded loss of $15.9 billion.
The Postal Service continues to seek legislation to provide it with greater flexibility to control costs and generate new revenue, and encourages the 113th Congress to make postal reform legislation an urgent priority.
TC Transcontinental is pleased to announce that it has inked an extension to 2015 of its contract to provide flyer printing services to Best Buy and Future Shop, and has added distribution into the mix. With this announcement, TC Transcontinental has again proven its broad ability to meet the needs of major national customers. The new distribution services for the two major retailers will cover Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.
The printing contract, which was slated to end in March 2014, will continue to March 2015, and will now include, for the same period, flyer distribution through Publisac in Quebec. The new agreement will bring TC Transcontinental about $30 million in incremental business.
“We are very pleased to have earned the continued confidence of Best Buy and Future Shop,” said François Olivier, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The TC Transcontinental teams are proud to provide top-notch printing and distribution services. This deal demonstrates our ability to serve national clients with highly efficient expertise and state-ofthe- art technology.”
David Champion, Director of Media Solutions for Best Buy Canada added: “We are very happy to be partnering with TC Transcontinental in an expanded way, benefiting from their multi-channel media capabilities.”
SCA is a leader in the environment for publication paper products. This environmental profile is now being strengthened even further as all of SCA’s paper grades, except for newsprint, will be labelled with the EU’s Ecolabel in the copy paper and graphic paper categories.
The EU Ecolabel, which used to be known as the EU Flower, provides consumers with a guarantee that products have a lower or similar environmental impact as comparable products on the market. The criteria for the EU Ecolabel are the same for all EU countries. It is based on the environmental load of the product from the raw material to when it is disposed of; i.e. the entire lifecycle of the product, from the cradle to the grave. Requirements are in place for energy consumption, water and air pollutants, waste and chemical management, and sustainable forestry. It is a voluntary labelling scheme that is monitored every year by an independent third-party organisation.
“The EU Ecolabel will strengthen SCA’s position as a pioneer for the environment,” says vice president sales and marketing Rolf Johannesson.
50% of the fibre raw material used in publication paper with an EU Flower label has to be FSC- or PEFC-certified. FSC- and PEFC-certifications verify that the raw material of the products comes from forests that are managed by companies that show great respect for the environment and social values, and promote long-term sustainability. In 1999 SCA became one of the first paper manufacturers in the world to offer high volumes of FSC-certified publication paper. The company has also offered PEFC certification since the beginning of 2012. SCA Ortviken paper mill uses energy from renewable sources and makes rational use of its energy, giving it a uniquely low carbon footprint.
Oil traded near the highest level in almost four months in New York before reports that may show the economy recovering in the U.S. and as lower temperatures buoy demand for heating fuels.
West Texas Intermediate was little changed after climbing 0.6 percent yesterday. The U.S. East Coast and Midwest will be 5 degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 Celsius) below normal from Jan. 19 to Jan. 23, according to Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. Retail sales probably rose for a second month in December, a Bloomberg News survey of economists predicted before Commerce Department data today.
“Colder weather is helping the energy complex,” said Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, who predicts WTI may remain capped at about $95.60 a barrel. “The global oil market looks evenly balanced.”
Crude for February delivery was at $94.08 a barrel, down 6 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:40 a.m. London time.
Digital ad spending worldwide reached $102.8 billion last year, up 17.8% over 2011, and will continue to enjoy double-digital growth through 2015, according to a report by eMarketer.
eMarketer projected that digital advertising budgets will grow 15.1% this year, to $118.4 billion, putting global digital ad spending levels—including online and mobile—at 21.7% of total advertising expenditures.
North America accounts for the greatest share of all digital ad spending, at 39.0% as of the end of 2012, although the fastest growth in spending is from such emerging markets as India, Indonesia and Mexico, eMarketer said.
International Paper and Brazilian corrugated packaging producer Jari Celulose, Embalagens e Papel S.A., a Grupo Orsa company, have finalized the formation of Orsa International Paper Embalagens S.A. The new entity, in which IP will hold a 75 percent stake, includes three containerboard mills and four box plants, which make up Jari's former industrial packaging assets. Today's closing completes the transaction announced in October of 2012.
"International Paper has been in Brazil for over 50 years and we are excited about this partnership as a platform to enter the corrugated packaging business in this strategic region," said John Faraci, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "This investment fits our strategy to grow our packaging business globally and allocate capital to opportunities that deliver returns well above our cost of capital."
The value of IP's investment is approximately $470 million at today's exchange rate.
2012 was not the year of the printed book.
In a mass societal trend, electronic everything rules - and the classic, (actual) page-turning adventures of reading are on a steady fall.
According to Publishers Weekly, sales of literary works in print form - including fiction, nonfiction, and all sorts - fell over 9 percent last year.
Nielsen BookScan, which successfully tracks and compiles sales from bookstores and online market places, reported that the number was in-line with the sales rate between 2010 and 2011. Since 2010, sales have continued to dip to under 16 percent.
Adult nonfiction took the biggest hit, where units sold fell 13 percent, while young adult works saw a slight boost of 5.4 percent in sales for the year.
Wausau Paper today announced that it commenced a process last year to identify strategic alternatives for its Paper Segment that will position the Company to focus its management efforts on continuing the growth of its highly successful tissue business.
In early 2012 the Company exited its legacy Print & Color business and narrowed the focus of its Paper Segment to specialty products with leading domestic and global positions in food, industrial and tape markets. Since that time the Company retained financial advisors to assist the Company’s board of directors in the evaluation of alternatives for the remainder of the Paper Segment.
The Company recently began the start-up phase of a $220 million tissue capacity investment at its Harrodsburg, Kentucky site. The project will accelerate growth of its Tissue Segment and further establish its “green leadership” position in away-from-home tissue markets through improved product performance and the introduction of new-to-the-market premium recycled products.
“Our Tissue Segment has demonstrated strong profitability and exceptional growth over the last decade,” stated Hank Newell, president & CEO. “We believe our shareholders’ interests will be best served through a singular focus on successfully marketing the capacity and capability of our new tissue machine and sustaining the historically strong growth and profit performance of our tissue business.”
International Paper has completed a license agreement with Smart Planet Technologies to explore the development of products using EarthCoating, a mineralized barrier coating for paperboard products. The company’s coated paperboard division plans to create a line of folding carton and cup-stock products within their Everest® and Fortress® grade lines that would improve yield and reduce plastic use while offering the same barrier properties available today. Trial work and pilot testing are scheduled for the first quarter of 2013.
The EarthCoating mineralized resins are high performance coatings that contain less plastic than traditional low-density polyethylene coatings. EarthCoating resins are heat-sealable and FDA-compliant for direct food contact.
Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 2.3% in January over the same month last year as retailers continue to urge labor and management to avoid a strike at East Coast and Gulf Coast docks, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. A strike would close 14 ports from Maine to Texas where nearly 15,000 dockworkers handle 40% of the nation’s ocean cargo.?
“The strike deadline came and went at the end of December, but the threat of closing down nearly half our nation’s port capacity has only been postponed, not eliminated,” NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said. “The uncertainty of what will happen in February has retailers implementing expensive contingency plans yet again and is a burden our economy cannot afford.”
The latest extension of contract talks between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance runs through Feb. 6 and comes after previous strike deadlines in September and October. The union and management are scheduled to meet next week under the supervision of federal mediators, but the ILA walked away from local talks affecting the Ports of New York and New Jersey earlier this week.?
The Koryazhma Mill of Ilim Group set a new production record on December 31, 2012 when its annual market product output exceeded 1.1 million tons. Production output of the Koryazhma Mill in 2012 reached 1,100,831 tons. Ilim has thus set a new European record and the Koryazhma Mill has proved its status of the biggest manufacturer of pulp and paper products in Europe.
The Mill broke its own production record of last year when market product output had exceeded 1 million tons. This is the result of joint efforts of employees and management of the Mill and entire Ilim Group.
Oil traded near a four-month high in New York, narrowing its discount to Brent crude to the least since September, after the expansion of a pipeline that may reduce a glut in the U.S. Midwest.
West Texas Intermediate climbed as much as 0.8 percent after a fifth weekly gain, the longest run of advances since August. The 500 mile (805 kilometer) Seaway line running from Cushing, Oklahoma, to Freeport, Texas, resumed service after shutting Jan. 2 to boost capacity to 400,000 barrels a day from 150,000 barrels, Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD) and Enbridge Inc. (ENB) said Jan. 11. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) said WTI’s discount to Brent will shrink to $6 a barrel in the second quarter, from $17 today.
“Cushing stocks should start to decline with the start of the extended Seaway pipeline,” said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, who predicts the spread between WTI and Brent may narrow to $15 a barrel this quarter.
Crude for February delivery rose as much as 73 cents to $94.29 a barrel and was at $94.14 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:43 a.m. London time.
Sonoco today announced that it will raise the price for all grades of uncoated recycled paperboard (URB) products by $25 per ton, effective for shipments in the United States and Canada beginning Feb. 11, 2013.
"This price increase is necessary to recover continued inflationary pressure from non-fiber-related costs, including chemicals, energy, freight, repair materials, labor and other expenses," said Marty Pignone, vice president, Primary Materials Group, North America.
The company has said that it is proceeding with its plans to raise prices of its woodfree coated sheets by February 2013 as announced in November 2012.
The cost increment will be between five and seven per cent and will vary according to range and grade. Sappi sales staff are currently in discussions with customers regarding the price hikes.
The company said in a statement: "In the light of further, sustained increases in raw materials, energy and transport costs, Sappi Fine Paper Europe has reviewed current margins for its graphic papers and will raise its prices where they have become unsustainable.
"Over recent months it has become apparent that the decline in indent prices for woodfree coated sheets over the last few months means that this business is now heavily subsidised and at current raw material prices is generating structural losses.