Pearson and Bertelsmann today announce that MOFCOM, the Chinese competition authority, has cleared the planned merger between Penguin and Random House without conditions. This follows regulatory approval in the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. The two companies announced their agreement to combine Penguin and Random House in October 2012 and expect to close the transaction in July.
Following completion, Bertelsmann will own 53% and Pearson 47% of Penguin Random House.
It will encompass all of Random House and Penguin Group’s publishing units in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa, as well as Penguin’s operations in China and Random House’s publishers in Spain and Latin America. Pearson and Bertelsmann believe that the combined organisation, the world’s leading consumer publishing company, will have a stronger platform and greater resources to invest in rich content, new digital publishing models and high-growth emerging markets.
Office Depot, Inc., a leading global provider of office supplies and services, today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell its 50% stake in Latin American Joint Venture Office Depot de Mexico S.A. de C.V. to Grupo Gigante, S.A.B. de C.V. (GIGANTE.MX) for the Mexican Peso amount of 8,777.36 million in cash.
The deal is conditional on receiving Mexican regulatory approval and Grupo Gigante S.A.B. de C.V. shareholder approval which Office Depot believes will be secured within 30 days. After the transaction closes, Grupo Gigante, S.A.B. de C.V. and its affiliates will have 100% ownership of Office Depot de Mexico.
In accordance with the terms of its planned merger agreement with OfficeMax, announced on February 20, 2013, Office Depot obtained the required consent from OfficeMax to proceed with the sale.
Fernhust Books today announced that it has acquired assets from John Wiley & Sons, Inc.'s (NYSE: JWa, JWb) nautical consumer publishing program. The terms of the acquisition, which closed 31 May 2013, were not disclosed.
Fernhurst acquired the digital and print assets for approximately 180 Wiley titles from its consumer nautical publishing programs. Among the titles purchased are such classics as the bestselling Rules in Practice, the Ultimate Adventure series and Cruising Companions.
"As founder of the business that was acquired to form Wiley Nautical, I am excited to become re-associated with these titles and authors. I am confident that returning this list to a group of enthusiastic sailors will be of great benefit to the sailing and water sports fraternity as well as the authors," said Tim Davison of Fernhurst Books.
"We believe that Fernhurst Books is well-positioned to provide the strategic focus and community access required for these assets to achieve their full potential and continue to flourish,” said Mark Allin, Wiley's Senior Vice President, Professional Development. "While these assets have contributed to Wiley's success to date, Wiley is reshaping its portfolio to support growth opportunities in global research, education and professional practice, and create products and services that help customers become more effective throughout their education and careers."
UPS Freight®, one of the nation's largest heavy freight carriers, announced today a general rate increase of 5.9 percent for non-contractual shipments in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The rate adjustment will take effect on June 10, 2013, and applies to minimum charge, less-than-truckload (LTL) and truckload (TL) rates, and accessorial charges. Customers will be able to view and download the new rates at ltl.upsfreight.com on June 10, 2013.
Sappi Fine Paper North America is pleased to announce today that the company was selected as a recipient of IDG's CIO magazine 2013 CIO 100 award. The 26th annual award program recognizes Sappi's Ringer Detection System project at the Somerset Mill for exemplifying the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology (IT).
"This award is really an acknowledgement of the entire cross-functional team at the Somerset Mill." said Anne Ayer, VP of Corporate Development & CIO, Sappi Fine Paper North America. "I am impressed by the collaborative efforts of the team to creatively develop a state-of-the-art solution that directly contributes to the bottom line of the mill and the company. This is also a reflection of the broader Sappi IT team objectives to work closely with our business partners in order to drive valuable innovations."
Sappi's Ringer Detection System project utilizes an innovative smart camera technology that minimizes costly downtime on paper machines by detecting defects that can occur during the production of coated paper. On an annual basis, the impact to yield by minimizing roll failures is equivalent to $1.5M.
The Board of Directors of Metso Corporation has completed a strategy study and concluded that going forward a demerger would offer the best potential for its Pulp, Paper and Power businesses as well as its Mining and Construction and Automation businesses to utilize their respective strengths in their customer industries faster and more efficiently. Metso has developed its businesses actively during the past decade through investing in the development of their global service capabilities, broadening their technology offering through substantial R&D and building their market positions through acquisitions. Both new entities would be globally leading companies in their respective markets and the next steps in their strategic development would be taken most efficiently as two separate companies, enabling more focused and crystallized strategies and operations. The increased management and board focus should also help the two independent companies in achieving stronger growth and improved profitability. This would also be expected to result in increased value for shareholders inasmuch as both companies would have their own distinct characteristics and would offer different investment profiles.
Metso’s Board has today approved a demerger plan to transfer all the assets, debts and liabilities of Metso’s Pulp, Paper and Power businesses to a newly-formed company that will be named Valmet Corporation. An application will be made to list the shares of Valmet on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki stock exchange. Following the demerger, Metso’s current Mining and Construction and Automation businesses would remain in the current company, which would continue to operate under the Metso name. Valmet would initially have the same ownership structure as Metso and would be totally independent without any cross-ownership between Metso and Valmet.
The demerger will require the approval of an Extraordinary General Meeting of Metso and the registration of the completion of the demerger with the Finnish Trade Register following the creditor hearing process pursuant to the Finnish Companies Act. If approved, the planned registration date of the completion of the demerger is December 31, 2013 and public trading in new Valmet shares on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki is expected to commence as soon as possible thereafter.
More than half, 57%, of business buyers have purchased goods for their companies online, and 37% said they expect to spend a bigger proportion of their annual procurement budgets online next year, according to Acquity Group LLC’s 2013 State of B2B Procurement Study. The digital marketing firm based its findings on an online survey of more than 200 business buyers with annual procurement budgets of $100,000 or more. Acquity fielded the survey in March and April.
Of business buyers who shop online, 58.5% said they’ve made a purchase of $5,000 or more via the web. Of those buying online, the survey found that:
• 8.7% said they spend 90% or more of their annual budgets via the web.
• 31.9% said they spend 50%-89% of their budgets online.
• 30.9% said they spend 11%-49% of their budgets online.
• 28.5% said they spend 10% or less of their budgets online.
Among all respondents, 71% said they’d consider starting ordering online or increase their web spending if it were easier and more convenient to browse and make b2b purchases online on e-commerce sites. 71% also said they might leave an existing supplier if the new supplier had identical pricing and made searching for products and ordering easier. Many b2b buyers negotiate contracts that provide them with a tailored set of pricing terms. Those buyers may need to first request a price quote and route the quotation to several managers before placing an order, which can make the purchasing process more complicated than on a b2c e-commerce site.
HP today expanded its industry-leading portfolio(1) of HP Latex Printing Technologies with the introduction of the HP Latex 3000 Printer, helping industrial print service providers (PSPs) produce high-value applications with improved productivity, quality and versatility.
HP also announced the rebranding of its HP Designjet and Scitex latex printers and supplies. The new sub-brand for these offerings is HP Latex, demonstrating the strategic importance of latex to the HP Large Format Graphics portfolio.
HP Latex Printing Technologies were introduced in 2008 as a water-based alternative to solvent ink technologies. Since then, more than 15,000 HP Latex printers have been shipped worldwide(2) and more than 100 million square meters have been printed with HP Latex Inks. HP expects these numbers to triple by 2016, with the number of latex-printed pages growing rapidly while the number of solvent-printed pages simultaneously declines by as much as 33 percent.(3).
Electronics For Imaging, Inc. (Nasdaq:EFII), a world leader in customer-focused digital printing innovation, today announced it has acquired privately-held GamSys Software ("GamSys"). GamSys is a leader in ERP (MIS) systems for the printing and packaging industries in the French speaking areas of Europe and Africa. While financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, the acquisition is not expected to be material to EFI's Q2 or 2013 full-year results.
"We are very pleased to have GamSys join the EFI family and our continually expanding portfolio of industry-leading business automation technologies. We look forward to continuing the high-level of support for their over 400 customers in France, Belgium, Switzerland and throughout the rest of the world have come to expect as they join our large global client base," said Marc Olin, SVP/GM of EFI Productivity Software ("EPS") business unit.
GamSys, based in La Reid, Belgium, has built a base of over 400 customers in Europe over the past 14 years under the leadership of Patrick Vreven, co-founder and CEO. With EFI's acquisition, GamSys will become part of EFI's existing software applications portfolio. EFI intends to integrate support and operation of GamSys into the existing Productivity Software organization, while continuing to enhance the product's offerings. EFI GamSys clients will also be able to take advantage of integration to EFI's award winning Fiery® digital front end driving print engines from Xerox, Ricoh, Canon, Konica Minolta as well as EFI VUTEk® superwide format inkjet printers.
Brent crude fell below $100 a barrel for the first time in a month and WTI declined as signs of a slowing Chinese economy and OPEC’s decision to maintain production boosted speculation supply will outstrip demand.
Brent slid as much as 0.7 percent to $99.67 a barrel, while WTI dropped as much as 0.8 percent. Chinese manufacturing indexes showed small businesses struggling, sapping momentum in the economy of the world’s second-biggest oil user. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries maintained its output ceiling of 30 million barrels a day at a meeting in Vienna on May 31. Crude inventories in the U.S., the world’s biggest consumer of the commodity, are at the highest since at least 1931.
“We’re in the situation where the market is vulnerable to downside risk because of the supply situation with a well-covered market,” said Ric Spooner, a chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.
Brent oil for July settlement was at $99.68 a barrel, down 71 cents, on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 3:31 p.m. Singapore time. It last traded below $100 on May 2. Prices slid 2.2 percent last week and 1.9 percent in May.
WTI for July delivery was at $91.40 a barrel, down 57 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
A potential statewide ban on single-use plastic bags in California has failed -- for now.
Senate Bill 405 failed to top the 21-vote threshold needed for passage, with senators voting in favor of the measure 18-17. Four senators did not cast votes. The bill will be allowed to be reconsidered, meaning it could be back before a Senate committee or the Senate floor.
Senate Bill 405 would have outlawed grocery stores and large retailers from giving customers single-use plastic bags at checkout starting Jan. 1, 2015. The ban would have been expanded to smaller stores on Jan. 1, 2016.
"Saying plastic bags are single-use is a huge misnomer," said Sen. Ricardo Lara. "If you think plastic bags are single-use, you haven't met my mother."
Those against the measure talked extensively about the potential loss of jobs associated with the manufacturing of plastic bags in the state and how commonly plastic bags are reused.
Twin Rivers Paper Company, a leader in lightweight specialty packaging, label and publishing papers, released an optimal packaging paper for dry and wet wax applications, Acadia® Waxing. These uncoated, machine-finished papers offer high absorbency for dry wax pickup and excellent holdout for wet wax pickup resulting in superior performance for common applications such as burger, sandwich and taco wraps.
“Offering our customers more specialty packaging options is critical in this market. Acadia® Waxing answers this need by providing a packaging solution specifically designed for dry and wet wax packaging applications,” says Marcel Fortin, Business Development Manager.
Acadia® Waxing is part of a comprehensive portfolio of specialty packaging papers that converters and brand owners trust for quality, printability and overall performance. With a wide range of basis weights, advanced coatings, barrier technologies and environmentally-friendly options, Twin Rivers’ specialty packaging portfolio is the ideal choice for today’s packaging designs.
Tronox Limited on behalf of its subsidiary companies, today announced the following price increases for all Tronox titanium dioxide (TiO2) grades.
The below increases are effective June 1, 2013, or as contracts allow:
•Latin America: minimum USD $175 per metric ton
•Asia Pacific: minimum USD $175 per metric ton
•Japan: minimum JPY ¥22 per kilo
•Australia: minimum AUD $175 per metric ton
•Europe/Middle East/Africa: minimum EUR €125 per metric ton or USD $175 per metric ton in US Dollar markets
•North America: minimum USD $0.06 per pound
Other increases may be announced locally within each region.
Stora Enso and Packages Ltd. have completed the process of establishing a joint venture called Bulleh Shah Packaging (Private) Limited as announced on 18 September 2012. Stora Enso’s initial shareholding is 35% with a commitment to increase the shareholding at the agreed value to 50% at a later stage subject to certain conditions being met. The agreed value for 100% of the joint-venture company is approximately USD 108 million (EUR 83 million) on a cash and debt free basis. The cash consideration for the 35% shareholding amounted to approximately USD 39 million (EUR 30 million) in the second quarter of 2013.
The joint venture will to a large extent provide packaging products to key local and international customers in the fast-growing Pakistani market.
“We are pleased that we can now start to operate the new joint venture in Pakistan. The market has growing demand for packaging products and paperboard that offers an attractive growth opportunity for us,” says Mats Nordlander, Executive Vice President, Stora Enso Renewable Packaging.
DuPont announced today that it will increase prices on all of its titanium dioxide (TiO2) products sold in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Asia Pacific regions effective July 1, 2013, or as contracts allow as follows:
•$200 per metric ton (USD), for DuPont™ Ti-Pure® titanium dioxide (TiO2) grades sold in the Asia Pacific and Latin America regions.
•$200 per metric tonne (USD) for DuPont™ Ti-Pure® titanium dioxide (TiO2) grades sold in the dollar markets or 160 Euros per metric tonne in Eurozone markets in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
•Eight cents per pound (USD) for DuPont™ Ti-Pure® titanium dioxide (TiO2) grades sold in the North America region with the exception of DuPont™ RPS Vantage™ titanium dioxide products sold into paper and paperboard applications, which will be managed separately.
DuPont Titanium Technologies is the world's largest manufacturer of titanium dioxide, serving customers globally in the coatings, paper and plastics industries. The company operates plants at DeLisle, Miss.; New Johnsonville, Tenn.; Edge Moor, Del.; Altamira, Mexico; and Kuan Yin , Taiwan; all of which use the chloride manufacturing process. The company also operates a mine in Starke, Fla. Technical service centers are located in Paulinia, Brazil; Mexico City, Mexico; Mechelen, Belgium; Dzerzhinskiy, Russia; Kuan Yin , Taiwan; Ichon, Korea; Shanghai, China; Hyderabad, India; and Wilmington, Del., to serve the Latin American, European, Middle Eastern, Asian and North American markets.
Demand for meat, poultry, and seafood packaging is forecast to increase 3.2 percent annually to $9.7 billion in 2017. Gains will be driven by increased meat, poultry, and seafood production along with accelerated foodservice revenue increases.
Prospects for packaging will further benefit from the significant shift to case-ready packaging among grocery retailers as well as the growing share of smaller sized items and items that are further processed for convenience of preparation. Heightened demand for single portion and other smaller sized products will reflect the significant level of one and two person households in the US as well as efforts among processors and retailers to hold down selling prices, especially in beef. These and other trends are presented in Meat, Poultry, & Seafood Packaging, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
Flexible packaging demand growth will outpace that of rigid packaging as a result of solid prospects for pouches and high barrier film, along with inroads into rigid packaging due to sustainability benefits via reduced material use and significantly lower shipping costs. Rigid packaging growth will be limited by maturity and/or competitive drawbacks in corrugated boxes, metal cans, folding cartons, and paperboard sleeves.
Poultry packaging applications will achieve the fastest growth through 2017, driven by poultry’s advantages of lower cost and a more favorable nutritional profile. Meat will continue to be the largest application though growth will slightly trail the overall average. While seafood applications will accelerate from their 2007-2012 performance, advances will lag the overall average due to the growing share of seafood demand that is met by imports.
Print reading audiences are on the rise, according to spring 2013 data released this week by measurement firm GfK MRI. Of the 181 titles surveyed, about 42 percent or 76 titles saw print audience size increase by 5 percent or more from spring 2012 to spring 2013.
About 35 publications saw audiences grow from 5 to 10 percent, while 41 saw gains of 10 percent or more. In all, 11 titles grew audience by more than 20 percent year-over-year, including:
•Diabetic Forecast saw an increase of 48.73 percent
•Veranda saw its audience increase by 32.52 percent
•Yoga Journal saw a gain of 31.18 percent
•Mother Earth News reported an increase of 27.72 percent
•Costal Living saw a jump of 26.95 percent
•Food Network Magazine grew its audience by 25.56 percent
•Diabetic Cooking saw an increase of 25.04 percent
•United Hemispheres grew by 24.93 percent
•Elle Decor reported a gain of 23.92 percent
•Life & Style Weekly saw a jump of 23.22 percent
While these publications reported gains when comparing spring 2012 to spring 2013, several also saw declines. About 15 publications reported losses between 5 percent and 10 percent, with 12 losing 10 percent or more. The biggest loser was Meredith’s FamilyFun magazine, which reported a drop of 23.28 percent, while Mansueto Ventures’ Inc. saw a drop of 21.52 percent. IDG’s PCWorld magazine saw a drop of 21.25 percent, and Bauer Publishing’s Star magazine also reported a double-digit loss of 16.50 percent.
When comparing fall 2012 to spring 2013, the number of publications losing 5 percent or more increased slightly, with 32 publications reporting a decrease in audience. About 23 publications saw declines from 5 to 10 percent, with 9 losing 10 percent or more.
Flint Group’s innovative exposure technology, nyloflex® NExT,has been globally established for flexographic printing and offers a variety of advantages to the user. It shows outstanding results in the reproduction of flexo printing plates and significantly improved printing quality. For flexible packaging, it enables an excellent ink transfer, particularly in solids. In corrugated printing, a considerable reduction in fluting can be observed. nyloflex® NExT technology provides high reproduction quality and long-term stability. Moreover, all the advantages of Flat Top Dots and surface screening can be utilised.
Now with the new nyloprint® NExT technology, Flint Group Flexographic Products launches an exposure unit for letterpress plates, which is targeted to the security and banknote printing as well as the high-end segment of labels, tubes, cups and can printing.
The innovation is based on the latest generation of UV-A LEDs (> 250 mW/cm²), which allow a more precise image reproduction of the finest relief elements and gradations. Compared with conventional light sources, the high-power LEDs enable a virtual 1:1 copy of the digital data onto the printing plate, thus optimising the reproduction accuracy of the digital data. The exposing speed of the LED bars can be customised to specifically define dot shape and shoulder angle. Additionally, the finest highlights and open shadows increase the image contrast.
AAA Fuel Gage 5/31/13
National Unleaded Regular:
Current Average - $3.612/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.522/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.620/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.114/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Average - $3.874/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.882/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.928/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.845/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Exchange Rates as of 5/31/13
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.967196
American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.162923
American Dollar to Euro = 1.299060
American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009954
American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.077491
West Texas Intermediate crude headed for a third weekly decline after U.S. stockpiles climbed to the most in more than 80 years. Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said in Vienna that prices are reasonable.
Futures retreated 0.8 percent in New York. U.S. crude inventories rose 3 million barrels last week to 397.6 million, the highest level since at least 1931, government data showed. Supplies were projected to drop in a Bloomberg survey. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said today he’s comfortable with OPEC’s current output target, speaking before the group met to decide its production policy. Kuwait, Venezuela and two other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said they expected the group to keep its output ceiling unchanged.
A cut in OPEC’s target of 30 million barrels a day will be “very unlikely” as “most of the OPEC countries seem to be satisfied with the status quo,” Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said today.
WTI for July delivery was at $92.82 a barrel, down 79 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:13 a.m. London time.
R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company announced today that it has been awarded an agreement to provide eBook services and digital content fulfillment to Harlequin. Under the terms of the agreement, which renews and expands the companies' relationship, RR Donnelley will provide eBook conversion services, asset management, delivery to Harlequin's business partners and retailers as well as digital content fulfillment. Services will be provided using RR Donnelley's LibreDigital platform.
Harlequin will also use RR Donnelley's new LibreDigital eBook distribution platform called Harvest when it becomes available in the summer of 2013. This electronic portal provides publishers with access to hundreds of retailers in 75 different marketplaces and allows titles to become available immediately upon release. A preview of the Harvest technology platform will be available at the BookExpo America conference through June 1 in New York City.
"Harlequin is unique in the publishing industry, combining leading imprints, a successful consumer reader service, innovative websites and forward-looking technology," stated Brent Lewis, Harlequin's Executive Vice President of North American Marketing & Digital. "We believe that RR Donnelley complements these qualities with its own forward-looking technologies and that they will further enhance our readers' experiences."
Three times may or may not be a charm for Newsweek, which could change hands again for the third time in as many years, according to an internal memo toNewsweek staff from CEO Baba Shetty and editor-in-chief Tina Brown, announcing that the company is up for sale.
The news of the planned sale comes not long after Newsweek’s current owner, IAC chairman Barry Diller, admitted that buying the company was a “mistake.”
Shetty and Brown wrote that after the sale, Newsweek will again operate as an independent brand, separate from The Daily Beast Web site founded by Brown with backing from Diller in 2008. They explained the decision as a move to refocus their efforts onThe Daily Beast, while noting that Newsweek is on course to break even by the fourth quarter of this year, following stringent cost-cutting measures.
The memo also emphasized that a Newsweek sale is conditional. “We will only do this sale if it reflects the value we’ve created. If not, we'll continue to operate it as now.”
Newsweek has already traded hands several times in the past few years. The Washington Post Co. sold Newsweek to Sidney Harman, a stereo magnate, for a negligible sum along with the assumption of financial liabilities to the tune of $47 million in August 2010.
In March Iggesund Paperboard’s new biomass CHP plant in Workington, England came online. The company’s paperboard mill has thereby switched its energy source from fossil natural gas to biomass.
The new biomass boiler involves an annual reduction of fossil carbon emissions equivalent to the emissions from more than 58,000 cars, each driven 20,000 kilometres per year. As well as now being self-sufficient in electricity and heat, the mill will also be able to supply both green electricity and heat to local residents. On 28 May the new biomass plant was inaugurated.
With its 400 employees Iggesund Paperboard in Workington is the UK’s only producer of folding box board. Incada, the paperboard made at the mill, is constructed of a central layer made of mechanical pulp produced on site, which gives a low weight combined with high stiffness. The outer layers are made of purchased chemical pulp to create high whiteness and good printability.
"For more than a decade now Iggesund Paperboard has invested to raise the standard of what was originally a very ordinary paperboard mill to one that is state of the art," comments Ola Schultz-Eklund, the mill’s managing director.
Costco Wholesale Corporation announced today its operating results for the third quarter (twelve weeks) and the first thirty-six-weeks of fiscal 2013, ended May 12, 2013. Net sales for the quarter increased eight percent, to $23.55 billion, from $21.85 billion last year. Net sales for the first thirty-six weeks increased eight percent, to $71.10 billion, from $65.54 billion last year.
Net income for the quarter was $459 million, or $1.04 per diluted share, compared to $386 million, or $.88 per diluted share, last year. Net income for the first thirty-six weeks was $1.42 billion, or $3.23 per diluted share, compared to $1.10 billion, or $2.50 per diluted share, last year. Net income for the thirty-six weeks was positively impacted by a second quarter $62 million ($.14 per diluted share) tax benefit in connection with the portion of the special cash dividend paid in December 2012 to the Company 401(k) plan participants.
Costco currently operates 627 warehouses, including 449 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 85 in Canada, 33 in Mexico, 24 in the United Kingdom, 15 in Japan, nine in Taiwan, nine in Korea and three in Australia. The Company plans to open up to an additional nine new warehouses prior to the end of its fiscal year on September 1, 2013.
West Texas Intermediate crude traded near a four-week low after an industry report showed U.S. stockpiles rose the most in a month. The oil market is balanced, Saudi Arabia said before OPEC meets tomorrow.
Futures dropped as much as 0.8 percent in New York after falling 2 percent yesterday. U.S. crude inventories climbed 4.4 million barrels in the seven days to May 24 for a fifth weekly gain, the American Petroleum Institute said. Government data today may show supplies shrank, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Current prices are suitable for producers and consumers, Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said. The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for Chinese economic growth.
“The market is getting more worried about China, with the latest figures disappointing,” said Thina Saltvedt, an Oslo-based analyst at Nordea Bank AB, who believes the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will maintain its current target. “With the U.S. also looking like pulling back liquidity from the market, people are worried about future growth in the world’s two largest economies.”
WTI for July delivery was at $92.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 71 cents, at 10:35 a.m. London time.
The Financial Times has launched fastFT, a digital feed of exclusive breaking news items and comments typically ranging from 100 to 250 words in length.
The service will be updated around the clock Monday through Friday. Staffed by eight journalists located in New York, Hong Kong and London, fastFT will include posts from FT journalists around the globe, as well as guest contributors.
The dispatches are presented in rolling format with the most recent update at the top. They appear on the right side of the FT homepage and on a separate fastFT website. With a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes, fastFT can be accessed on desktop devices at FT.com and on smartphones and tablets with a mobile browser or the FT Web App (app.ft.com).
Effective with all orders shipping on or after July 1, 2013, FutureMark Paper Co. is increasing the transaction price of all Coated Groundwood publication grades.
This increase ($2.00/cwt ($40/short ton) applies to: Connection 76 Bright; Connection 80 Bright; Choice; Choice/Book Matte. All grades, basis weights and finishes are included.
PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, is going to provide extensive support to companies and certification bodies to ensure a smooth transition to the revised Chain of Custody requirements. While there is an official transition period of nine month, PEFC is already experiencing strong demand for further information from companies eager to demonstrate compliance with European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) requirements.
"We welcome the overwhelmingly positive feedback to our 2013 standard, which we only published last Friday," said Ben Gunneberg, PEFC Secretary General. "We have been preparing a range of capacity building activities and tools to make it as easy as possible for certified companies to implement the revised requirements, and for non-certified companies to obtain PEFC Chain of Custody certification."
dELiA*s, Inc., a multi-channel retail company primarily marketing to teenage girls, today announced the results for its first quarter of fiscal 2013.
dELiA*s, Inc. results for the first quarter of 2013 reflect its Alloy business as a discontinued operation for all periods presented. As previously disclosed, the Company has retained Janney Montgomery Scott LLC to assist in the potential disposition of the Alloy brand. All financial results in this press release are for continuing operations only unless otherwise stated.
First Quarter Fiscal 2013 Highlights:
Total revenue decreased 14.6% to $35.2 million from $41.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Revenue from the retail segment decreased 14.4% to $24.7 million, including a comparable store sales decrease of 7.1% and an 8% reduction in store count. Revenue from the direct segment decreased 15.3% to $10.5 million.
Consolidated gross margin was 23.8% compared to 31.6% in the prior year quarter, primarily due to increased inventory reserves, as well as lower merchandise margins in the retail segment.
Loss from continuing operations was $9.2 million compared to a loss from continuing operations for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 of $4.3 million. Overhead expenses previously allocated to the Alloy business have now been reallocated to continuing operations for both fiscal 2013 and 2012. These costs were approximately $1.5 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2013.
Please be advised that, effective July 1, 2013, US pricing on shipments from Catalyst Paper (USA) Inc. will increase as noted for the following grades:
Grade $US Price
Pacificote $1.50/cwt ($30.00/short ton)
Electracote Brite $2.00/cwt ($40.00/short ton)
Electracote $2.00/cwt ($40.00/short ton)
Increase applies to all brightness, finishes, and basis weights.
Tetra Pak® today announces the inauguration of its latest world-class factory at Chakan, near Pune, in India. The plant is designed to meet growing demand for Tetra Pak processing and packaging solutions across India, South and Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
The €120 million (INR 700 crores) facility marks a significant milestone in Tetra Pak’s increasing presence in the Indian subcontinent.
Said Tetra Pak President and CEO Dennis Jönsson: “Tetra Pak started its market operations in India 26 years ago with a strong belief in the country’s growth potential. In 1997 we inaugurated our first factory here. We appreciate the trust and belief that the Indian dairy and beverage industry has in Tetra Pak. Today, India ranks among our fastest growing markets. Investing in this factory demonstrates our strong commitment to supporting our customers to meet growing consumer demand in the region.”
Sales for the first quarter ended May 4 fell 7.4%, to $104.5 million, at Books-A-Million and the net loss increased to $3.7 million from $1.9 million in last year’s first quarter. Comparable store sales fell 6.8%. Excluding sales from digital reading devices, comp sales were down 5.8%.
Company CEO Terry Finley said that results were “slightly below our expectations” as the chain had trouble overcoming last year’s strong sales of The Hunger Games series and Fifty Shades of Grey. BAM said as the growth in e-book sales slows, it saw good gains in its general merchandise category as well as a “solid performance from booksamillion.com.” Finley noted that after a strong first part of the quarter, the comparisons to Grey coupled with an "unremarkable" publishing schedule led to a soft April. Within the books category, graphic novels, diet & health, biography and a number of children's segments did well.
Finley said BAM is again facing "extraordinary headwinds" in the current quarter due to last year's Fifty Shades success and a "modest" publishing schedule. The retailer will continue to look for local opportunities to open new stores in the year.
A. Schulman, Inc. announced today that it has reached an agreement in principle to purchase Network Polymers, Inc., a U.S. niche engineered plastics compounding and distribution business, for approximately $50 million, subject to completion of due diligence. The transaction is anticipated to close within the next few months.
"We have demonstrated a strong commitment at A. Schulman to grow through opportunistic and strategic acquisitions as well as organic growth. Network Polymers is an excellent fit with our ongoing strategy as we continue to enhance our niche engineered plastics business in the U.S.," said Joseph M. Gingo, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, A. Schulman. "Network Polymers will provide greater penetration in key markets such as building and construction, agricultural products, and lawn and garden. It also brings strong technical expertise and a seasoned sales force that will help to leverage existing A. Schulman products and expertise to a wider customer base. In addition, the combination will expand our distribution business in the U.S."
"The highly talented teams at both Network Polymers and A. Schulman share a passion for providing custom formulations that meet the most demanding customer needs and applications," said Alan Woll, Chief Executive Officer, Network Polymers, Inc. "Our organizations have complementary products and technologies, and we expect our similar cultures to fit together well; therefore, we believe this is an exciting opportunity to become part of A. Schulman's global organization."
Network Polymers is a leading single source provider of thermoplastic resins and alloys. The company offers a broad spectrum of custom resins and alloys to meet customer-specific product design and manufacturing requirements. Network Polymers is also the exclusive producer of the Centrex® ASA family of products as well as the Diamond Polymer brand of ABS, ABS/PC, ASA and ASA/PC thermoplastic products. The company operates a 72,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Akron, Ohio, and employs approximately 70 people. It recorded revenues of $65.3 million in fiscal 2012.
Digital publishing consultancy Mequoda Group released results of a recent survey that examined the usage and content consumption of tablet owners. According to the survey, the 1,293 respondents are fairly spendy and a significant portion engage with digital magazines on a monthly basis.
Another notable result indicates that 26 percent of respondents prefer the tablet version of the magazine over its print counterpart. The Mequoda team reads a fair amount of significance into this metric, especially given the growth rate of tablet ownership over the last few years.
In fact, in a blog post about the study, Mequoda CEO Don Nicholas predicts that in seven years, 65 percent of U.S adult Internet users will prefer digital magazines to the print version.
The survey also shows that about 47 percent of tablet owners have spent between $1 and $99 in the last 12 months, but 39 percent have spent $100 or more.
Ingram Content Group Inc. and Courier Corporation (Nasdaq: CRRC), today announced that they will be working together to offer an array of global content services for publisher clients. Courier will use Ingram’s print-on-demand and digital distribution services, and Ingram will use Courier’s printing capabilities to streamline workflow and speed delivery to retailers and readers worldwide.
Through this relationship, Courier will now offer an expanded range of print-on-demand and distribution services, both for its mainstream publishing customers and for self-publishers. At the same time, Courier Publishing imprints such as Dover Publications will use Ingram’s Print To Order channel capabilities to make backlist titles available immediately throughout Ingram’s global distribution network.
“Combining our expertise in process management and print production with Ingram’s channel connections and global scale creates an extraordinary opportunity for authors, publishers and retailers,” said Courier Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James F. Conway III. “In today’s competitive environment, it’s imperative to be fast, flexible and efficient in getting content out to consumers. Thanks to our collaboration with Ingram, publishers will have more and better choices than ever in content management, physical and digital production, and global distribution.
“In addition, through Courier’s recent acquisition of FastPencil, thousands of self-publishers also stand to benefit by gaining access to capabilities previously reserved for the top of the industry.”
“Ingram is proud to work with Courier to integrate digital and print into one seamless, effective service,” said John Ingram, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ingram Content Group. “Courier’s scale efficiencies combined with our print on demand capabilities and worldwide reach will help clients achieve global distribution in the most efficient manner possible.”
Chico's FAS, Inc. today announced its fiscal 2013 first quarter financial results.
For the first quarter, when excluding non-recurring acquisition and integration costs related to the Boston Proper acquisition, the Company reported net income of $51.7 million, a decrease of 4.2% compared to net income of $54.0 million in last year's first quarter, and earnings per diluted share of $0.32, flat to a record $0.32 per diluted share in last year's first quarter. Including non-recurring acquisition and integration costs, the Company reported net income of $51.1 million, a decrease of 4.7% compared to net income of $53.6 million in last year's first quarter, and earnings per diluted share of $0.31, a decrease of 3.1% compared to $0.32 per diluted share in last year's first quarter.
For the first quarter, net sales were a record $670.7 million, an increase of 3.1% compared to $650.8 million in last year's first quarter, primarily reflecting 114 net new stores for a square footage increase of 9.0%. Comparable sales for the first quarter were flat following a 9.6% increase in last year's first quarter, reflecting higher transaction count offset by a decrease in average dollar sale. The comparable sales results primarily reflect the impact of an unusually cool spring and the cycling of strong comparable sales last year.
The Chico's/Soma Intimates brands' comparable sales decreased 2.8% following an 8.8% increase in last year's first quarter for a two-year stack of 6.0% and the White House | Black Market ("WH|BM") brand's comparable sales increased 6.4% following an 11.3% increase in last year's first quarter for a two-year stack of 17.7%.
For the first quarter, gross margin was $386.8 million compared to $378.6 million in last year's first quarter. As a percentage of net sales, gross margin was 57.7%, a 50 basis point decrease from last year's first quarter, primarily reflecting higher promotion of seasonal merchandise during an unusually cool spring and investment in new distribution automation partially offset by lower incentive compensation.
West Texas Intermediate crude fell before data likely to show a decline in U.S. gasoline stockpiles as OPEC delegates in Vienna indicated the group will leave its output target unchanged at this week’s meeting.
Futures dropped as much as 0.9 percent in New York after gaining for the first time in a week yesterday as U.S. consumer confidence rose to the highest in five years. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will keep its production limit at 30 million barrels a day at a May 31 meeting in Vienna, said two delegates who asked not to be identified because the decision isn’t yet final. An Energy Information Administration report tomorrow may show gasoline supplies dropped 650,000 barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey.
“OPEC will be a non-event, as the key producers seem quite happy with the status quo,” said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “In the inventory report, gasoline stock change will be most important to watch,” with the U.S. entering the peak summer driving season, he said.
WTI for July delivery was at $94.47 a barrel, down 54 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:31 a.m. London time.
Domtar Corporation today announced the signing of a definitive agreement for the acquisition of privately-held Associated Hygienic Products ("AHP"), the largest manufacturer and supplier of store brand infant diapers in the United States, from DSG International for $272 million. The closing of the transaction is expected by the end of the second quarter of 2013, subject to customary closing conditions.
"The market for store brand infant diapers is growing steadily in North America driven by high quality products and a strong value proposition. The acquisition of AHP will provide meaningful market expansion opportunities and innovative product development capabilities with our existing Personal Care business, as well as synergies to the bottom line," said John D. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of Domtar. "This will be our fourth transaction in Personal Care in two years, and with it the division will reach over $200 million in annualized EBITDA by 2017. This earnings runway is part of our Company-wide goal of having $300-$500 million in annualized EBITDA from growing businesses over the next four years."
AHP manufactures and markets infant diapers in the United States with established long-term relationships in the retail distribution channels. AHP operates two large modern facilities, a 376,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Delaware, Ohio and a 312,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Waco, Texas. The company also has administrative offices and operates a distribution center in Duluth, Georgia. AHP has 621 employees and has annual run rate sales and EBITDA of $320 million and $31 million respectively.
It is anticipated that the integration to Domtar's Personal Care division will provide annualized synergies of $10 million within two years. The synergies will come from a combination of lower purchasing costs, a reduction in general and administrative costs and sharing of best practices in manufacturing and product development.
Please be advised that, effective with shipments on or after July 1, 2013, Resolute Forest Products will raise its Coated & SC paper prices by amounts specified below (see primary grades listed). The products impacted by the price increase include, but are not limited to, the following:
ResoluteSCA; ResoluteSCB; ResoluteSNC; ResoluteGloss & ResoluteBrite 76 = + $40 US/st
ResoluteBrite 80 & ResoluteMax 84 = + $30 US/st
The increases will be applicable to all basis weights and finishes, and all up charges apply.
Tetra Pak® today announces the global launch of LightCap 30; a high density polyethylene (HDPE) cap made from sugar cane.
TINE, a leading dairy producer, distributor and exporter, based in Norway, is the first brand in Europe to use these bio-based caps. Its Piano vanilla sauce, TINE iced coffee, iced tea and chocolate milk will be packaged in the Tetra Brik Aseptic Edge with bio-based LightCap 30.
“As one of Norway’s largest users of packaging, it is important that we use our resources optimally and prioritise sustainability. This is a business imperative for us. Tetra Pak’s TBA Edge, which is made from about 75% renewable resources, now comes with bio-based cap, offering us the opportunity to further enhance the environmental profile of our products”, said Björn Malm, Sustainability Manager, at TINE.
The renewable polyethylene used in LightCap 30 starts out as sugar cane. The cane is crushed and the juice fermented and distilled to produce ethanol. Through a process of dehydration, ethanol is converted into ethylene, which is then polymerised to produce the polyethylene used to manufacture the cap.
The second issue of SURFER Magazine’s award-winning women’s surf magazine, SALTED, hits newsstands June 11. The debut issue earned a 2013 MAGGIE Award in the Best Annual & Custom Publication category and also had the highest in sell-through of any special issue produced by SURFER. Issue 2 promises nearly 100 pages of female surf content—including massive photo features, interviews with the best and most interesting surfers, adventures to far-off locales, health, fashion and more. Some of the many female surfers featured in Issue 2 include Malia Manuel, Kassia Meador, Steph Gilmore, and Lisa Andersen.
“For the second issue, we wanted to really show how broad female surfing is, so we included features that span all ages, locations, and sectors of the surf world,” says SURFER Managing Editor Janna Irons, who edited the issue. “There’s a profile on one of the most progressive female surfers on the planet, Malia Manuel, as well as one on one with one of the greatest female surfers of all time, Lisa Andersen. There are trips to Iceland, China, and Mexico, and a massive photo feature of beautiful images from all over the globe. We also included a feature on the best female big-wave surfers, where they discuss the dangers and motivations for surfing massive waves. Plus, we threw in a short fashion feature, an op-ed, and a collection of smaller features on interesting characters in the surf world. There really is a ton of great content in the issue that I’m super excited about.”
“We are proud to create a special issue that really showcases the women in the sport,” says Publisher Tony Perez. “The caliber of female athletes has never been this high, and their performances have never been better. And thanks to the endemic support for the girls, we are able to produce this amazing product.”
SALTED’s debut issue landed on newsstands last summer to major acclaim and readers have been asking for more ever since. Female surf content has been scarce in the media in recent years leaving female surf fans hungry for this kind of female focused content.
R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company today announced that it has been awarded a multi-year multi-million dollar agreement by Williams-Sonoma, Inc. that renews and significantly expands the companies' relationship. Under the terms of the agreement RR Donnelley will provide printing, sophisticated co-mailing and mailing logistics services for all of Williams-Sonoma, Inc.'s catalogs.
A premier specialty retailer of high-quality products for the kitchen and home in the United States and globally, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.'s catalog titles include Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen, PBdorm, Pottery Barn Bed & Bath, Pottery Barn Outdoor, Williams-Sonoma, Williams-Sonoma Home, West Elm, Rejuvenation as well as its recently launched Mark and Graham, Agrarian and West Elm Market.
Patrick Connolly, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Williams-Sonoma, Inc. stated, "Catalogs play an integral role in our multi-channel merchandising strategy and they must reflect the quality of our brands. We are pleased that RR Donnelley will be producing these important communications for all of our concepts."
In addition to catalogs and mailing logistics RR Donnelley also provides Williams-Sonoma, Inc. with commercial printing, direct mail, labels and financial printing.
The 2013 PEFC Chain of Custody standard, published today, offers companies an efficient mechanism to demonstrate compliance with EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) requirements. The standard was revised over the past 18 month to satisfy the specific conditions of emerging and existing legislative and regulatory processes, with a particular focus on the EUTR.
The EUTR, which entered into force in March 2013, prohibits illegally harvested timber from being placed on the EU market. It sets out mandatory procedures designed to minimise the risk of illegal timber being sold and applies to both imported and domestically produced timber and is therefore relevant for companies globally.
Key changes to the 2013 Chain of Custody standard include:
Expanded definition of controversial sources to include EUTR-specific requirements such as compliance with trade and customs legislation in addition to legislation relating to international, national, or local legislation concerning forest-related activities.
Additional information requirements on tree species and origin to satisfy information needs of various legislative and regulatory processes such as the EUTR
The PEFC Due Diligence System (DDS) is now an integral element of the PEFC Chain of custody standard and mandatory for all certified entities and all material, including certified material.
Enhanced scope of prohibited material to include conflict timber
PEFC will provide extensive support to ensure a smooth transition to the 2013 standard, including webinars, FAQs, and face-to-face training sessions. More information will be published shortly.
Overall, business-to-business media revenues are growing, due to an upward trend in B2B trade shows which, together with digital advertising, more than offset the continuing decline in print advertising.
The American Business Media’s Business Information Network reported that total revenues grew 3.4% from $24.6 billion in 2011 to $25.5 billion. Revenue from trade shows increased 4.4% from $11.2 billion to $11.7 billion, while print revenues fell 4.8% from $7.8 billion to $7.5 billion.
The print result is roughly in line with the consumer magazine industry, where total print advertising revenues fell 3% over the same period, according to the Publisher’s Information Bureau.
Digital was another bright spot for B2B, with digital advertising increasing 15.9% from $3.5 billion to $4.1 billion. Revenue form data and business information services increased 7.3% from $2 billion to $2.19 billion. Thus, in 2012 digital advertising contributed about 16.2% of total B2B revenues, up from 11% in 2008, while print advertising kicked in 29.4%, down from 37% in 2008. Trade shows contributed 45.8%, the same proportion as 2008, and data and business information services accounted for 8.6%, up from 6% in 2008.
Looking to the future, ABM was cautiously optimistic, noting the results of a January survey of B2B media CEOs in which 58% said that business conditions were positive, while 35% were neutral and just 7% were negative. 60.5% expected business conditions to be even better next year, while 37% were neutral and 2% negative.
China is the second largest country worldwide in terms of corrugated production. Unfortunately printing on most of the boxes is still quite simple, just to fulfil a transportation function.
In a successful cooperation, Bobst, Esko and Flint Group recently achieved a real break¬through in corrugated post printing by starting the initiative “Flexo Goes Green”, which stands for sustainability, productivity and quality. All the project partners keep driving for more advanced corrugated post printing, in order to serve and support the vast needs of boxes in China. During the Sino-Corrugated 2013 fair in Shanghai they presented a corrugated box called “Flexo Goes Green”, which gained a lot of attention.
The box was printed with Flint Group’s non-toxic water-based ink, FLEXOPAK C, and photopolymer printing plate, nyloflex® ART 284 Digital, on a Bobst VISION-160 press, the prepress work was delivered by Esko. The outcome was so distinctive and impressive, that visitors were really surprised: high resolution with a wide tonal range, excellent solid ink transfer and coverage as well as clean printing with high speed. Thanks to the state-of-the-art technology provided by the three partners, the result demonstrates that post printing with an extremely high quality can become reality in the Chinese flexo market. This technology enhances the sales function of the corrugated box with high eye-catching moments. Now, corrugated post printing is not only an alternative to pre-printing by offset but also an excellent solution in means of sustainability, productivity and quality.
Total European shipments of Graphic Papers was down 1.0% vs. April 2012 and is down 4.6% year-to-date.
Total European shipments of Newsprint was down 4.4% vs. April 2012 and is down 6.5% year-to-date.
Total European shipments of SC-Magazine was up 0.2% vs. April 2012 and is down 3.8% year-to-date.
Total European shipments of Coated Mechanical Reels was down 3.2% vs. April 2012 and is down 7.1% year-to-date.
Total European shipments of Uncoated Mechanical was up 14.3% vs. April 2012 and is up 4.8% year-to-date.
Total European shipments of Coated Woodfree was down 5.1% vs. April 2012 and is down 5.0% year-to-date.
Total European shipments of Uncoated Woodfree was up 4.3% vs. April 2012 and is down 2.7% year-to-date.
Catalyst Paper announced that it has sold its Elk Falls industrial site and related assets to Quicksilver Resources Canada Inc., a Calgary-based corporation with extensive natural gas holdings. The $8.6 million sale was signed and closed today.
Sale of the approximate 1,200-acre parcel includes a fully serviced, 400-acre industrial site and adjacent property near Campbell River. The site formerly housed a paper and pulp mill which began operation in 1952, was indefinitely curtailed in 2009 and closed permanently in 2010. Work has been underway since then to prepare the site for sale and redevelopment for other industrial uses.
Catalyst Paper manufactures diverse specialty mechanical printing papers, newsprint and pulp. Its customers include retailers, publishers and commercial printers in North America, Latin America, the Pacific Rim and Europe.
Catalyst operations support 7,000 direct and indirect jobs and generate nearly $2 billion in annual BC economic impact. With a combined annual production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes, company facilities are located in Crofton, Port Alberni, Powell River, Surrey and Nanaimo.
Destination XL Group, Inc., the largest multi-channel specialty retailer of big & tall men's apparel and accessories, today reported operating results for the first quarter of fiscal 2013.
For the first quarter of fiscal 2013, total sales were $93.6 million compared with $95.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. Comparable sales for the first quarter decreased 0.5% compared with the same period of the prior year. On a comparable basis, sales from the retail stores increased 0.8% while the direct business decreased 6.0%. The increase in the retail stores was primarily driven by the DXL stores that had a comparable increase of 17.7%, which represented 22.1% of the Company's comparable retail store sales. Comparable sales for the 23 DXL stores that have been open for more than one year increased 4.7%.
The 6.0% decrease in comparable direct sales during the first quarter was primarily related to a 60.0% decline from catalogs, which was partially offset by a 5.1% increase in e-commerce sales. In response to lower catalog sales, the Company has intensified its digital marketing efforts, which include emails, web searches, Internet banners, and affiliate sites. During the first quarter, the number of catalogs distributed and impressions were reduced by 56.0% and 70.0%, respectively. The catalog component of direct sales dropped to 6.4% from 15.2% during last year's first quarter.
For the first quarter of fiscal 2013, gross margin, inclusive of occupancy costs, was 47.5% compared with gross margin of 47.7% for the first quarter of fiscal 2012. The decrease of 20 basis points was the result of occupancy dollar growth of 2.6% and reduced sales, offset slightly by an increase of 50 basis points related to merchandise margins.
Brent crude advanced to its highest in a week, and West Texas Intermediate snapped a four-day drop, before the release of consumer confidence and housing data in the U.S., the world’s largest consumer of the commodity.
Brent gained as much as 1.6 percent in London amid forecasts that the Conference Board’s index of consumer sentiment, to be released today, probably climbed this month to its highest level since November. WTI slid as much as 1 percent earlier after the energy minister for the United Arab Emirates said global oil demand will stay “relatively weak.” OPEC is forecast to keep its supply target unchanged on May 31.
“The U.S. recovery is advancing, rather than accelerating,” said Guy Wolf, global head of market analytics at Marex Spectron Group in London. “On a relative basis, the U.S. remains the best growth spot of the major economies, but on an absolute basis things are not great.”
Brent for July settlement rose as much as $1.59 to $104.21 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, the highest intraday level since May 21. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $9.23 to WTI. The spread was $8.85 a barrel yesterday, the widest based on closing prices since May 15.
WTI for July delivery rose as much as 71 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $94.86 a barrel and was at $94.81 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 11:18 a.m. London time.
Dollar Tree, Inc., North America's leading operator of discount variety stores selling everything for $1 or less, reported its results for the quarter ended May 4, 2013 ("first quarter"). Consolidated net sales for the first quarter were a record $1.87 billion, an 8.3% increase compared to $1.72 billion reported for the quarter ended April 28, 2012 ("first quarter 2012"). Comparable store sales increased 2.1%, on top of a 5.6% increase for the first quarter 2012.
Earnings per diluted share for the first quarter were $0.59, an 18.0% increase compared to earnings per diluted share of $0.50 reported for the first quarter 2012.
- Earnings per diluted share increased 18.0%, to $0.59
- Consolidated net sales increased 8.3%, to $1.87 billion
- Comparable store sales increased 2.1%
- Operating margin increased 70 bps to 11.6%