West Texas Intermediate fell for the fifth time in six days amid signs of economic weakness in the U.S. and Europe that threaten fuel demand.
Futures slid as much as 1.1 percent in New York. U.S. industrial production dropped the most in eight months in April, manufacturing in the New York region unexpectedly shrank in May and the euro-area economy contracted more than forecast in the first quarter. A report today will probably show U.S. housing starts slipped from an almost five-year high in April, according to a Bloomberg survey. A measure of U.S. fuel consumption fell by 584,000 barrels a day last week to 18.5 million barrels a day, Energy Information Administration data showed yesterday.
“It doesn’t look tight in the oil market for the coming five years,” Torbjoern Kjus, a senior oil analyst at DNB ASA in Oslo, said by telephone. “Spare capacity will rise, and I expect prices to continue to trend lower.”
WTI for June delivery lost as much as $1.07 to $93.23 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $93.56 at 11:03 a.m. in London.
Bertelsmann recorded a positive business performance in the first three months of the year, increasing both its operating result and net profit to record levels. With consolidated revenues from continuing operations stable at €3.63 billion (previous year: €3.66 billion), first-quarter operating EBIT increased from €279 million in the previous year to €303 million in Q1/2013. The international media company thus achieved a return on sales of 8.3 percent (previous year: 7.6 percent). Net income improved by 43 percent to €207 million (previous year: €145 million). The increase in earnings was driven by increased profitability in almost all the core businesses, and gains from the acquisition of full ownership in the music rights company BMG, which was completed at the end of March.
Thomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, said: “Bertelsmann made a successful start to the year. In a challenging market environment, our businesses again expanded their high profitability over the past few months. The results are at record levels. We also began the year with significant strides in implementing our growth strategy. In recent weeks, we have strengthened two growth platforms with the acquisition of full ownership in BMG and the takeover of the financial services provider Gothia. We are also confident that we will complete the combination of our book publishing group Random House with Penguin early in the second half of the year – since February, we have received important regulatory approvals in the U.S., Europe and other markets. These three transactions will result in considerable overall growth for Bertelsmann in 2013.”
Judith Hartmann, Chief Financial Officer of Bertelsmann, said: “We are pleased with the positive development in the first three months, but the economic conditions remain challenging. The successful placement of RTL shares in May gives us additional financial flexibility for reshaping the Group. Bertelsmann continues to generate high cash flow from operations.”
Kohl’s Corporation today reported results for the quarter ended May 4, 2013.
($ in millions) 2013 2012 Change
Sales $ 4,199 $ 4,243 (1.0)%
Comparable store sales (1.9)% 0.2 % -
Net income $ 147 $ 154 (4)%
Diluted earnings per share $ 0.66 $ 0.63 5 %
Kevin Mansell, Kohl's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, “After a slow start, sales improved considerably in April as the weather finally improved in our most weather-sensitive regions. Despite the lower than expected sales, we outperformed our earnings guidance as gross margin results and expense management were better than expected. Our inventory levels are consistent with our expectations."
Kohl’s ended the quarter with 1,155 stores in 49 states, compared with 1,134 stores at the same time last year. The Company opened nine new stores during the first quarter of 2013 and expects to open three new stores and remodel 30 stores in the Fall.
Macy's, Inc. today reported higher sales and earnings for the first quarter of 2013, the 13-week period ended May 4, 2013. Based on the ongoing momentum in our business, as well as confidence in our future performance, the company also announced a 25 percent increase in its dividend on common stock and a $1.5 billion increase in its share repurchase authorization.
Earnings for the quarter were 55 cents per diluted share, an increase of 28 percent compared with 43 cents per diluted share in the same period last year. Comparable sales grew by 3.8 percent from the first quarter last year.
Sales in the first quarter of 2013 totaled $6.387 billion, an increase of 4.0 percent, compared with sales of $6.143 billion in the same period last year. On a comparable sales basis, Macy's, Inc.'s first quarter sales were up 3.8 percent in 2013 over 2012.
Macy's, Inc.'s operating income totaled $435 million or 6.8 percent of sales for the first quarter of 2013, compared with $391 million or 6.4 percent of sales for the same period in 2012.
The Commerce Department recently released the latest edition of County Business Patterns data about the number of US business establishments in 2011. Those data indicated that commercial printing establishments declined -4.1% compared to 2010. The biggest percentage declines were in establishments with 500 to 999 employees (between about $90 million to $200 million in sales), which fell by -11.5%, and establishments with 10 to 19 employees (about $1.5 million to $3.5 million) which fell -6.7%.
The reason for the declines are numerous, from outright closure, and also acquisition or merger. Establishments can shift sizes, of course. Usually, troubled printing establishments don’t die without a protracted downward spiral. They decrease in size over time, and then, even after production stops, they still may have a few employees on the books to handle final administrative tasks like final tax returns and official dissolution.
Companies can also increase their size, as there was an increase in establishments with 1000+ employees, probably a consolidation process for that particular company. Sometimes the increase is statistically meaningless, such as a company right on the edge of an employee size interval going from 998 employees to 1001. The increase is meaningful to those four employees, but not meaningful from a total market perspective.
More than 100 million pounds of e-waste has been collected in Wisconsin since it began a statewide ban on disposing consumer electronics in landfills three years ago, state officials told The Associated Press.
"It definitely adds up when you think about how many electronics we use now and how often we replace them," said Sarah Murray, coordinator of the E-Cycle Wisconsin program, to the AP.
Televisions are at the top of the list of electronic waste, according to the report.
A recent survey by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources found that Wisconsin residents own about 7 million TVs, or about three per household, the report said. More than 24 million pounds of old TVs were collected in Wisconsin in the year ending June 30, 2012.
Sappi Fine Paper North America is pleased to announce that the company along with leading global public relations and communications firm, Burson-Marsteller received a 2013 Holmes Report Gold SABRE award. The successful campaign, The Standard 5 was recognized for its outstanding accomplishment in the Industry Sector category of Business-to-Business: Chemicals & Industrials.
As the world's largest and most sought after awards competition for the public relations industry, the SABRE Awards celebrate superior achievement in branding and reputation communications. Winning campaigns across North America, EMEA and the Asia-Pacific region demonstrate the highest level of creativity, integrity and effectiveness in their respective categories.
"It is an honor to be selected as the winner of a Gold SABRE award among a roster of outstanding campaigns," said Patti Groh, director of marketing and communications, Sappi Fine Paper North America. "Over the course of five months, The Standard 5 creatively incorporated events, social media, print, print-activated media such as augmented reality and QR codes as well as cause-related marketing — all into one campaign. The impact of this campaign has far outlasted our expectations and Sappi still receives regular requests for The Standard 5 from designers around the world over a year after its launch."
Revenue at Lagardère Publishing rose 6.6% in the first quarter ended March 31 compared to the first period of 2012, with sales up to 419 million euros. Sales were driven by a strong performance at its U.S. subsidiary, Hachette Book Group, where revenue in the quarter increased 14.9%. HBG had a string of bestsellers in the quarter, including books by James Patterson, David Baldacci and Brad Meltzer. E-book sales did well in the quarter and accounted for 34% of trade book sales at the end of the period, up from 30 a year ago.
E-book sales also were strong in the U.K. and accounted for 31% of adult net sales in the quarter compared to 24% in the first quarter of 2012. For all of Lagardere, e-book sales accounted for 12.4% of sales, up from 9.5% a year ago.
May 14, 2013 - KP Tissue Inc., which holds a limited partnership interest in Kruger Products L.P. ("KPLP"), releases the financial results for KPT and KPLP for the first quarter of 2013. KPLP is Canada's leading manufacturer of quality tissue products for household and commercial use.
KPT was created to acquire, and its business is limited to holding, a limited partnership interest in KPLP. As of March 31, 2013, KPT held a 16.9% interest in KPLP, accounted for as an investment on the equity basis. The financial results presented for KPT represent its holding in KPLP during the first quarter of 2013. The following discussion and analysis, unless identified specifically as representing the financial results of only KPT, relates entirely to the financial results of KPLP. Accordingly, the results of KPLP apply to KPT only to the extent of its holding in KPLP.
On April 15, 2013, KPLP paid a distribution to its partners. Following the reinvestment by the partners of KPLP of a portion of such distribution pursuant to KPLP's distribution reinvestment plan, KPT held a 16.9% interest in KPLP.
Q1 2013 Highlights
Revenue of $221.8 million in Q1 2013, compared to $216.2 million in Q1 2012, an increase of 2.6 percent year over year
EBITDA of $25.1 million in Q1 2013 (including $1.8 million of TAD Project start-up costs) compared to $27.2 million in Q1 2012 (including $0.8 million of TAD Project start-up costs), a decrease of 7.8 percent year over year
Net income of $11.7 million in Q1 2013 compared to $0.4 million in Q1 2012, an increase of $11.3 million year over year
During the first quarter of 2013 the Mayr-Melnhof Group stood up firmly in an environment marked by stagnating volumes and significantly intensified competition in the main market Europe. Our cartonboard mills as well as folding carton plants recorded overall high capacity utilization, whereby sales and volumes in both divisions could be maintained at the same or above the level of the comparative period. However, at EUR 38.4 million, operating profit of the Group was EUR 4.8 million or 11.1 % below the previous year. This decline was exclusively due to cartonboard production, since the folding carton business achieved an increase in profit compared to the previous year. Loss in volume owing to the planned rebuild of a key aggregate in the cartonboard mill Neuss and lower average sales prices were the major reasons for the reduction in margins at MM Karton.
Looking to the future, there are actually no indications for a recovery in the development of demand, which has slowed progressively since the beginning of the year. Our customers' planning and the visibility remain short-term, the costs of raw materials largely unchanged. Against this background, we intend to safeguard the prices of our products as best as possible and to continue to increase our share in consolidated as well as growing markets in order to secure the long-term profitability of our Group.
At EUR 496.7 million, the Group's consolidated sales again reached the previous year’s level (1Q 2012: EUR 494.9 million). Lower average prices for cartonboard could be countered by an increase in volume.
Operating profit amounted to EUR 38.4 million and was thus EUR 4.8 million or 11.1 % below the comparative value of the previous year (1Q 2012: EUR 43.2 million). The decrease chiefly results from rebuild-related non-recurring expenses and lower cartonboard prices.
West Texas Intermediate crude fell for a fifth day in its longest run of declines since October. Antitrust regulators are questioning European oil companies about possible manipulation of prices.
Futures traded near their lowest closing level in almost two weeks in New York. Crude inventories gained 1.1 million barrels last week, the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute said yesterday. A government report today may show stockpiles climbed 450,000 barrels, according to a Bloomberg survey. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc, Statoil ASA and Platts said they’re being investigated after the European Commission conducted raids on their offices in three countries.
“The world will remain well-supplied,” said Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London. “Higher prices lately have triggered a boost to capacity that will continue to outpace slack post-crisis demand growth.”
WTI for June delivery fell as much as 77 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $93.44 a barrel and was at $93.63 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:15 a.m. London time.
Meredith Corporation announced today it has acquired Parenting and Babytalk magazines and their related digital assets from The Bonnier Corporation.
Under the agreement, the readers of Parenting will receive Parents magazine effective with the September issue. Similarly, readers of Babytalk will receive American Baby magazine effective with the September issue. The companion digital site, www.Parenting.com, will operate as a part of the Parents network of digital media.
Both Parents and American Baby magazines will include popular editorial features and columns from Parenting and Babytalk to ensure that readers are being super-served with great editorial content that reflects the best of the combined products.
Financial terms were not disclosed, and the acquisitions will not have a material effect on Meredith's financial performance.
Resolute Forest Products Inc. today officially inaugurated a major power island producing green energy at its pulp and paper operation located in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The power island includes a refurbished and upgraded woodwaste boiler and a new 65-megawatt condensing turbine. Approved by Resolute in early 2011, the C$65 million project took just over 21 months to complete.
"The power island is a strategic addition to Resolute's Thunder Bay facility," stated Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. "It will reduce the mill's energy costs as well as maximize our local woodlands, sawmill, pulp and paper, and energy operations by fully utilizing forest-based biomass to produce green electricity."
The green power produced will be sold to the Ontario grid under a power purchase agreement between Resolute and the Ontario Power Authority.
Two Sides today announced the next stage of its nationwide initiative to urge major U.S. banks, utilities and telecommunication companies to end the use of misleading marketing claims about the sustainability of print and paper. Phase Two will include a second round of communication intended to initiate productive discussion with senior management in the target industries, reminding them of their responsibility to adhere to best practices for environmental marketing as outlined in the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s recently revised Green Guides.
Last year, Two Sides contacted senior bank, utility and telecom executives, encouraging them to follow the yet-to-be-released FTC Green Guides, which say that environmental marketing claims should not exaggerate environmental impacts and must be substantiated. While some responded positively, many of the nation’s top banks, utilities and telecoms continue to tell their customers that switching to online billing and communication is better for the environment than print and paper with no verifiable or credible supporting evidence. With the release of the updated Green Guides in October 2012, the FTC made it official that that unqualified environmental language would be viewed as deceptive marketing, strengthening the Two Sides call for change.
“Two Sides has no desire to cause unnecessary negative publicity for these companies or to undermine their cost-saving and efficiency reasons for driving customers towards e-billing, but claims that print and paper are environmentally unfriendly need to stop,” says Two Sides President Phil Riebel. “Rather than call these respected companies out publicly with greenwashing complaints, we’d much prefer to amicably work with them behind the scenes to help develop messaging that meets the Green Guides standards for environmental marketing,” he says. “However, we’re prepared to use the strongest means necessary to put an end to the use of unsupported environmental claims that are potentially damaging to the paper, printing and mailing sectors which support millions of U.S. jobs.”
Quad/Graphics-Bogota will become Colombia's largest commercial printer in terms of production capacity after it installs a new, highly productive 64-page web offset press this year.
Designed for high-quality, high-page-count print work, the single-web Goss Sunday 4000 will be the largest, fastest offset press in Colombia, capable of printing up to 64 pages with each rotation of its printing cylinders. The press, scheduled to start up in the second half of July, will allow the printer to greatly expand its production of magazines, catalogs and retail inserts for customers in Colombia and other Latin American nations, according to Tony Scaringi, Quad/Graphics' President & General Manager of Latin America.
"Colombia's economy continues to grow and this new press will enable Quad/Graphics to quickly meet the print needs of marketers, retailers and publishers who are also growing in Colombia," Scaringi said, noting the nation's Gross Domestic Product increased by a better-than-expected 4 percent in 2012. "No other press in Colombia can match its speed and quality."
In addition to magazines, catalogs and retail inserts, the versatile press is well-suited for printing books and telephone directories. It will also allow the Bogota plant to increase exports to Central American nations and the Caribbean. Installation will begin in May and be completed in the July.
China Shengda Packaging Group Inc., a leading Chinese paper packaging manufacturer, today announced its financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2013.
Mr. Daliang Teng, Chief Executive Officer of China Shengda Packaging Group commented, "Our revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2013 declined slightly to $27.1 million from $28.5 million for the same period of last year mainly due to the decline in overall sales volume, reflecting continued challenges in macro environment faced by our customers. However, we are pleased to see our gross margin continue to improve, increasing approximately 34 basis points from the same period of last year and 18 basis points sequentially. We are also excited to announce that the construction of our paper mill is finally near its completion and we expect production to commence by the end of the second quarter of 2013."
First Quarter 2013 Financial Highlights:
•Revenues decreased by 4.8% to $27.1 million for the first quarter of 2013, mainly due decrease in sales volume.
•Gross profit decreased by 3.1% to $5.3 million for the first quarter of 2013 from $5.5 million for the same period of 2012. Gross margin increased by 34 basis points to 19.5% for the first quarter of 2013.
•Net income attributable to the Company's common stockholders decreased by $0.6 million, or 43.3%, to $0.9 million for the first quarter of 2013 from $1.5 million for the same period of 2012.
Appleton Papers announced today that the company changed its name to Appvion, Inc. The new name reflects the company's heritage of innovation in applying chemistry to paper and microencapsulation as a means to create value for its customers.
Commenting on the name change, Appvion's chairman, president and chief executive officer, Mark Richards , said, " Charles Boyd founded our company 106 years ago today with the belief that he could add value to paper by applying coatings to it. Since then, company employees have used their ingenuity and ability to adapt their expertise to new opportunities to prove that Mr. Boyd's idea was sound, profitable and enduring.
"Our company's success has been based on using applied chemistry to increase the performance of paper. More recently our expertise in microencapsulation has enabled us to partner with companies like Procter & Gamble to enhance the performance and value of a growing range of consumer and industrial products."
Richards added that while producing thermal, carbonless, security and other specialty coated papers will continue to be an important part of the company's product offering, adopting the name Appvion reflects the company's entry into diverse new markets and makes it clear that paper won't be the only component of the company's future success.
Governor Steve Beshear [May 9] announced Domtar Paper Company LLC plans to upgrade and add equipment at its Hawesville facility (Kentucky), retaining 452 jobs and investing up to $20 million in capital improvements.
“Domtar Paper is making a solid commitment to growing its success here in the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “This partnership will lead to the retention of 452 jobs and an investment of $20 million near Hawesville, two extremely good reasons to mark this as a time for celebration.”
Domtar Paper operates 13 mills across the world, including the Hawesville Mill, a large pulp and paper facility. The Hancock County plant makes approximately 80,000 tons of market hardwood pulp, which is used for paper production, and about 600,000 tons of printing grade paper each year.
The company plans to upgrade existing equipment and invest up to $10 million to construct a new conveyor system, which will allow Domtar to transport its product directly between the plant and the nearby Ohio River. The system is expected to lower operating expenses, reduce greenhouse gases and help retain the existing 452 jobs at the facility.
Fortress Paper Ltd. reported 2013 first quarter EBITDA loss of $2.6 million. Excluding corporate costs, combined EBITDA loss of the three business segments Fortress operated in during the first quarter of 2013 was $0.3 million in the three months ended March 31, 2013. The recently discontinued Specialty Papers Segment contributed $10.5 million EBITDA, while the Dissolving Pulp Segment and the Security Paper Products Segment generated EBITDA losses of $8.7 million and $2.1 million, respectively. Corporate costs contributed to EBITDA loss in the amount of $2.3 million.
Fortress reported a net loss (including discontinued operations) of $12.4 million, or diluted loss per share of $0.85 for the first quarter of 2013 on sales of $99.7 million. In the fourth quarter of 2012, the Company reported a net loss of $4.2 million or diluted loss per share of $0.29 on sales of $96.1 million, and for the first quarter of 2012 net loss of $10.7 million or diluted loss per share of $0.75 on sales of $61.4 million.
The Fortress Specialty Cellulose mill is still considered to be in ramp up mode working towards full capacity and operating efficiencies. Although market prices for dissolving pulp improved in the first quarter of 2013, our sales in one quarter are typically secured by the end of the previous quarter. The combination of the lower realized dissolving pulp prices and challenges experienced at the mill contributed to disappointing results in the first quarter of 2013.
West Texas Intermediate crude traded near the lowest level in more than a week on forecasts that U.S. supplies climbed to the highest since at least 1931 amid production the IEA said is “transformative” for world markets.
Futures fluctuated in New York, after declining a third day yesterday, on speculation that rising supplies will counter signs of an economic recovery. Crude inventories probably increased 450,000 barrels to 396 million in the week ended May 10, according to a Bloomberg News survey before Energy Department data tomorrow. Growth in North American production will be as significant for markets as China’s economic boom, the International Energy Agency said.
“Supply-demand is skewed to the oversupply side,” said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management in Middelfart, Denmark. “There is currently a lot of spare capacity, and global crude overproduction. The multi-decade high in U.S. supply will keep weighing on WTI.”
WTI for June delivery was at $94.99 a barrel, down 18 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:05 a.m. London time.
Ahlstrom Corporation's Board of Directors have today signed a new demerger plan related to Coated Specialties, Ahlstrom's Label and Processing business in Brazil, and cancelled the previous Coated Specialties demerger plan. Under the signed demerger plan, all the assets and liabilities contained in the Ahlstrom Group, that belong to the Coated Specialties business in Brazil, will be transferred to Munksjö Oyj through a partial demerger. The demerger is part of the process through which Ahlstrom's Label and Processing business and Munksjö AB will be combined.
The signing of the new demerger plan and cancellation of the previous one were needed since Ahlstrom and Munksjö will not be able to receive all relevant regulatory approvals before May 27, 2013, when the demerger decision made by Ahlstrom's Extraordinary General Meeting of the Shareholders expires. As announced before, Ahlstrom expects to complete the demerger of the Label and Processing business in Brazil during the second half of 2013. Ahlstrom will later this month publish a separate invitation to a new Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting, which is required to obtain approval for the new Coated Specialties demerger plan.
Glatfelter, a global supplier of specialty papers and fiber-based engineered materials, today announced price surcharges of five percent for all beverage filtration papers, effective immediately. The announcement comes as a result of high energy and raw material costs.
Martin Rapp, Vice President and General Manager for Glatfelter's Composite Fibers Business Unit said, "With the exception of electricity which cost remains relatively flat in Europe, the cost for all raw materials and energy has continued to rise gradually in the last 18 months. This has put immense pressure on margins at a time when additional capacity is needed to support long term growing demand."
"We understand that this price increase is difficult for our customers, but the current economics are not sustainable. We have made extensive efforts in the last years to reduce our overall costs and increase efficiency in an attempt to mitigate the impact of these escalating costs on our customers. However, we have been unable to counterbalance the full impact of rising input costs in the last years."
Mr. Rapp continued, "Realistically, I do not see any relief from input cost inflation in the near-term, but we are talking and working with our customers to find ways of reducing the impact of these changes within the global supply chain."
Ahlstrom Corporation has today signed an amendment agreement with EQT, the principal owner of Munksjö, related to the proposed combination of Ahlstrom's Label and Processing business area and Munksjö AB, to create Munksjö Oyj, a leading manufacturer of specialty papers. The amendment agreement covers an additional equity investment in Munksjö Oyj and the net debt position of Ahlstrom's Label and Processing business in Europe (LP Europe) and Munksjö AB as per March 31, 2013. The agreement also details the consequences of the commitments that Ahlstrom and Munksjö AB have provided to address the competitive concerns of the European Commission with respect to the abrasive backings and pre-impregnated decor paper businesses that are part of the planned combination.
To strengthen the balance sheet and to address the consequences of the remedy proposal made to the EU Commission, the parties have agreed to make an equity investment in the new Munksjö Oyj totalling approximately EUR 28.5 million, in addition to the previously agreed EUR 100 million. The equity investment will be made by Ahlstrom, EQT and the shareholders of Munksjö AB through Munksjö AB. Ahlstrom has increased its original commitment by EUR 16.0 million to EUR 78.5 million and EQT has increased its original commitment by EUR 1.0 million to EUR 13.5 million by subscribing and paying for additional new shares in Munksjö Oyj. Munksjö AB's commitment amounts to EUR 11.5 million.
Effective with orders shipped on or after June 17, 2013, we will increase prices on our IP C2S publishing grades as follows: IP Courtland C2S (All Finishes & Weights) $1.50/cwt
All other standard differentials, upcharges, and shipping policies for all products will apply. If you have any questions regarding these changes, please call your International Paper sales representative.
Ahlstrom, a global high performance fiber-based materials company, introduces its expanded interleaved Sterile Barrier Systems (SBS) offering, Ahlstrom Reliance® Tandem. This expansion introduces SMS (Spunbond-Meltblown-Spunbond) technology into our offering. The company aims to better meet customers' needs and provide unique SBS solutions.
Ahlstrom's sterile barrier systems are a trusted and an integral part of the central sterilization department in hospitals. Previously, our interleaved offering consisted of crepe and wetlaid technologies. To help our customers stay ahead, Ahlstrom now offers a complete interleaved portfolio with the introduction of SMS into our Ahlstrom Reliance® Tandem portfolio. Ahlstrom Reliance® Tandem utilizes our newest technology, SMS, in combination with our existing technologies to provide the optimal combination of sterile barrier system sheets for sequential wrapping.
Ahlstrom Reliance® Tandem or interleaving is the concept of combining two layers of SBS sheets, each offering specialized performance for sequential wrapping. The two layers are used together to offer a high degree of flexibility in terms of performance, technology and cost for different applications.
Grainger today reported sales results for the month of April 2013. Daily sales increased 8 percent versus April 2012, and included 3 percentage points from volume, 2 percentage points from price, 2 percentage points from acquisitions and 2 percentage points from the timing of the Easter holiday, partially offset by a 1 percentage point decline from foreign exchange. The month of April 2013 had 22 selling days versus 21 selling days in April 2012. The 2013 second quarter will have 64 selling days, the same as the 2012 second quarter.
E-commerce sales grew 13% year-over-year to $50.2 billion, marking the fourteenth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and tenth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, according to comScore. It was also just the second quarter on record to surpass $50 billion in spending.
The survey also revealed that nearly half (48%) of time spent in the retail category occurred on mobile devices, with smartphones (34%) outpacing tablets (14%).
"The first quarter of 2013 was fairly strong for online retailers, with total e-commerce sales surpassing $50 billion for only the second time on record," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "While the year-over-year growth rate of 13% remained healthy, it was a point or two below that of the preceding quarters. One potential explanation for this mild deceleration is the payroll tax increase, which went into effect in 2013 and which removed some disposal income from Americans' wallets.”
Fulgoni added that, as long as job growth continues and consumer sentiment remains positive, the outlook for e-commerce in 2013 remains bright.
Forest companies belonging to the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) today announced their ongoing commitment to the landmark Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) by agreeing to dedicate more than $4 million to implementation over the next two years. Companies will also work with their environmental partners to raise additional resources to redouble efforts aimed at moving the historic accord forward.
The commitment comes as the CBFA is about to celebrate its third anniversary and work is accelerating right across the country on the twin pillars of protecting the environment including threatened woodland caribou while ensuring a viable forest products industry. The agreement first signed on May 18, 2010 by Canadian companies and conservation groups is the largest and most complex deal of its kind ever reached anywhere in the world.
“Our member companies are truly committed to this deal and have agreed to this additional contribution of funds to ensure the CBFA can be implemented effectively.” says the President and CEO of FPAC, David Lindsay. “We fully intend to continue the dedicated and hard work now underway to achieve the ambitious goals of the agreement to protect both the ecological values of the boreal while allowing for continued economic development in the communities which depend on the forest.
Lindsay says the additional $4 million will further help the scientific rigour, planning, mapping and consultations across the boreal. This commitment is in addition to the hundreds of people in the forest industry already dedicated to CBFA implementation.
Crude-oil shipments jumped to a six-month high as Asian demand will probably lead the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to expand output, according to Morgan Stanley.
Bookings of oil tankers from the Middle East, the largest loading region, rose 27 percent from last week to 79 million barrels, 55 percent above the prior four-week average, Fotis Giannakoulis, a New York-based analyst at the investment bank, said in an e-mailed report today. Asia-bound cargoes accounted for two-thirds of the charters, he said.
The hires helped rates for very large crude carriers on eastbound voyages rise 22 percent last week, reaching $10,000 a day for the first time in three months, according to Giannakoulis. Seasonal demand accounted for most of the increase, with spot bookings in the last four weeks down 14 percent compared with a year ago, he said.
“Crude chartering activity increased sharply last week to the highest level in over six months,” Giannakoulis said in the report. “OPEC production is likely on the rise, with Far East flows driving the incremental demand.”
About a third (33.8%) of the b-to-b and consumer publications audited by BPA Worldwide reported digital circulation for the second half of last year, the organization said. A total of 520 print titles reported digital circulation for the six-month period ended Dec. 31, a 2.8% increase over the year-earlier period. BPA Worldwide said digital circulation now accounts for about 22% of its audited qualified circulation.
Patagonia yesterday launched an internal fund to invest in environmentally responsible startups focused on clothing, food, water, energy and waste.
In a May 6 letter announcing the in-house venture fund, called $20 Million & Change, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard — a long-time advocate of corporate environmental stewardship — said the company intends to help “like-minded, responsible start-up companies bring about positive benefit to the environment.”
The fund’s name, Chouinard says, is a nod to the starting amount, $20 million, with the ability to grow and “change the way business is done.”
The company has not yet identified startups to invest in; a Patagonia spokesperson tells Environmental Leader that most funding will be in the $500,000 to $5 million range and will include equity investments and minority and majority partnerships, as well as joint ventures.
With the launch of this fund, the company has also reorganized Patagonia and its other businesses within a new holding company called Patagonia Works. Chouinard says Patagonia Works is dedicated to using business to help solve the environmental crisis.
The U.S. Postal Service ended the second quarter of its 2013 fiscal year (Jan. 1 – March 31) with a net loss of $1.9 billion. The Postal Service continues to grow revenue and reduce expenses by using the tools available to it under existing law. However, without passage of comprehensive legislation to provide the Postal Service with a workable business model for today’s marketplace, large quarterly financial losses will continue.
"To return the Postal Service to solvency requires a comprehensive approach, which is reflected in our updated Five-Year Business Plan," said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe. "The plan provides an achievable roadmap to restore financial stability and preserve affordable mail service for the American public. The major elements of the plan must be pursued and executed within a short window of opportunity to avoid unsustainable losses and potentially becoming a long-term burden to the American taxpayer."
The Postal Service needs to save $20 billion annually by 2016. Many of the savings cannot be achieved without the following legislative action: Require a USPS Health Care Plan (resolves the Retiree Health Plan prepayment issue); Refund the FERS overpayment and adjust the FERS payment schedule; Adjust delivery frequency (six-day package/five-day mail delivery); Streamline the governance model; Allow USPS the authority to expand products and services; Require a defined contribution retirement plan for future postal employees; Provide instructions to arbitrators to consider USPS’s financial condition in interest arbitration awards; Reform workers’ compensation
The Postal Service has already reached its debt limit of $15 billion. It also has defaulted on $11.1 billion due for retiree health benefits in 2012 and also expects to default on an additional $5.6 billion on September 30, 2013. In addition, the Postal Service owes an estimated $17 billion on future workers’ compensation claims. "These obligations of nearly $50 billion and continuing losses highlight the need for immediate legislative reform to give us the latitude to execute on our Five-Year Plan and improve our ability to repay these obligations and return to profitability," said Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett.
JoS. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. announces that earnings for the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 are expected to be approximately $0.27 to $0.30 per diluted share, compared with $0.53 per diluted share in the first quarter of 2012. Actual results will depend on, among other things, adjustments that may arise from the normal quarter-end processing. The first quarter of fiscal year 2013 ended May 4, 2013; the first quarter of fiscal year 2012 ended April 28, 2012.
Commenting on the earnings update, R. Neal Black, President and CEO of JoS. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. stated: "While we were able to control our expenses and improve our advertising efficiency in the quarter, our gross margin was down primarily due to higher inventory sourcing costs and lower average selling prices due mostly to increased percentage of sales of winter clearance products. In addition, our sales declined approximately 3%, primarily in April. Like many other retailers, we were also affected by the unseasonably cool weather. On the positive side, our Direct Marketing business, primarily on the Internet, continued to perform well, with double-digit sales growth. The Company continues to maintain a strong balance sheet and, despite the slow start to the new year, the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 will still be profitable."
"For the remainder of 2013, we will continue to focus on our goal of returning to previous levels of gross margin rates and advertising productivity. As such, we will continue to test, evaluate and refine our merchandising and advertising offerings to optimize the appeal to our customers. Additionally, starting this spring, we have introduced new and more focused casual assortments and additional slim-fit suit inventories responding to customer demand," continued Mr. Black.
Consumer magazine publishers still generate a massive 78% of their total revenues from their print products, according the fourth annual Publishing Futures report.
The survey of senior magazine executives predicts the figure will fall to 71% over the next two years, while income from the publishers’ digital brands will rise from 8% to represent 15% of total revenue during the same period.
By comparison, the survey found B2B publishers make only 40% of their revenue from print products, partly due to their increased focus on brand extensions through events.
The Publishing Futures report launched at today’s Professional Publishers Association’s Publishing+ conference at the Hilton London Metropole. It predicts that advertising and sponsorship will retain a stable share of publisher’s total revenues over the next two years, declining slightly from the current 36% of total revenues to 35% by 2014.
Digital will play a greater role in magazine ad revenues, growing its share from 17% to 27% in the next two years. The report also found that multi-channel advertising packages were increasingly leading to sponsorship deals rather than traditional advertising positioning.
The economic climate is causing continued challenges to publishers, the survey found, hitting advertising budgets and circulation and putting pressure on rates. Publishers also felt threatened by advertisers speaking more directly with their customers using information from their own databases.
George F. Martin, president and chief executive officer, NewPage Corporation, has been named winner of the 2013 PIMA Executive of the Year Award. The award is PIMA’s highest honor and is bestowed on senior-level executives in the pulp, paper or converting industries for excellence in management and outstanding contributions to the industry as a whole.
“During an exemplary career in senior management and operations spanning 29 years in the industry George Martin has exemplified the strong leadership skills and vision that are absolutely critical for success in today’s global pulp and paper business,” said Larry N. Montague, TAPPI president and CEO. “His leadership and hard work provided important contributions to NewPage’s growth and emergence as one of North America’s leading printing and specialty paper producers. His accomplishments as a leader and his many contributions to the industry make him an outstanding choice as PIMA Executive of the Year.”
Post Master General and CEO Patrick Donahoe of the U.S. Postal Service painted a grim picture during his State of the USPS presentation to attendees at the American Catalog Mailers Association’s 2013 National Catalog Forum on May 8.
According to Donahoe, in 2003 the USPS delivered 51 billion pieces of mail, this year they deliver 21 billion pieces.
“It’s almost a $14 billion loss,” said Donahoe. “We have lost that much volume, when you are in the catch up mode like we are you never get ahead unless you put a business plan through.”
According to Donahoe, with the loss of money, infrastructure goes and employees are forced to take lower wages and mailers are paying higher prices
“We don’t want to do that,” Donahoe said. The USPS, he said, is $15 billion in debt with another $16 billion in deferred payments for health benefits, so they are looking at over $30 billion dollars in debt.
Expenses exceed revenue and the gap is growing. The bottom-line is with pre-funding and once pre-funding ends there is a substantial gap the postal service needs to fill, according to Donahoe.
“The labor costs represent 78% of postal service costs, we’ll probably never get under 70%,” said Donahoe.
Plans are in place however to address the issues in front of the postal service. Plans begin with addressing health care, network consolidations and the postal service has eliminated 21 thousand delivery routes.
Gap Inc. today reported net sales for the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 increased 7 percent compared with the first quarter of fiscal year 2012 and that April 2013 net sales increased 5 percent compared with last year.
“We are pleased with our sales performance this month, led by our largest brands, Gap and Old Navy,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and chief executive officer of Gap Inc.
Net sales for the first quarter, which ended May 4, 2013, were $3.73 billion compared with $3.49 billion for the first quarter last year. In addition, net sales for the four-week period ended May 4, 2013 were $1.21 billion compared with net sales of $1.15 billion for the four-week period ended April 28, 2012.
AAA Fuel Gage 5/10/13
National Unleaded Regular:
Current Average - $3.560/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.572/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.739/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.114/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Average - $3.881/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.983/gallon
Year Ago Average - $4.060/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.845/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Exchange Rates as of 5/10/13
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.997260
American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.162783
American Dollar to Euro = 1.300603
American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009843
American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.082984
West Texas Intermediate crude fell a second day, trimming a third weekly gain, as rising supplies countered signs of economic growth.
Futures slid as much as 0.8 percent, extending yesterday’s 0.2 percent drop, as the dollar gained versus the euro, damping the appeal of commodities priced in the U.S. currency. Brent crude retreated 0.5 percent, leaving its premium versus WTI at $8.18 a barrel. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a report today that spread may narrow to $5 in the third quarter.
“Oil prices continue to move in the opposite direction to equities with a slightly weaker tone on the back of a stronger U.S. dollar,” said Michael Hewson, a market analyst at CMC Markets Plc in London who expects WTI to peak at $98 this year. “Perceptions of weak demand need to change for oil prices to move higher. WTI needs to take out this years highs at $98 and Brent needs to take out $107 to suggest a move higher.”
WTI for June delivery dropped as much as 83 cents to $95.59 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $95.73 as of 11:07 a.m. London time.
Phoenix-based SkyMall Inc. has named Kevin Weiss as its new CEO.
Weiss will work closely with SkyMall employees as well as Christine Aguilera and Marie Foster, presidents of in-flight and loyalty businesses, respectively, to further the firm’s expansion. Weiss has more than 30 years of sales, marketing and technology experience to SkyMall.
He comes to SkyMall, a subsidiary of Phoenix-based Najafi Cos., from Author Solutions, a self-publishing company, where he most recently served as president and CEO. Before his time at Author Solutions, Weiss was president of McAfee Inc.
“SkyMall is an iconic brand with access to innovative products and a unique operating platform,” Weiss said in a statement. “I look forward to engaging with our company’s customers, partners, team members and shareholders to continue expanding and growing the enterprise.”
SkyMall is fortunate to have someone with Weiss’ expertise and experience at the helm, said Najafi CEO Jahm Najafi.
Erik Heilman - Director, Government Affairs
If you’re reading this, you’re either online right now or you’ve printed it out. You chose which method – electronic or paper – you preferred. That’s the principle behind AF&PA’s view that people should be able to choose whether to pay bills, communicate with friends and colleagues, read a book, etc. electronically or on paper. Unfortunately, many government agencies don’t see it that way.
Recently, federal agencies have been eliminating services and communications such as social security documents, tax documents, and savings bonds in a paper format forcing them to electronic-only formats. What’s more, citizens relying on these services aren’t given a choice in the matter. To spotlight this problem, Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI) teamed with Congressman Mike Michaud (D-ME) to introduce a non-binding resolution in the US House of Representatives that says the federal government should take all appropriate measures to ensure that citizens continue to be provided with paper-based information, products and services, and public notices while providing the ability for all citizens to opt-in to electronic delivery if they so choose.
The fact is, millions of Americans cannot access information in electronic formats or simply prefer paper documentation. Perhaps you know someone who doesn’t have reliable internet access or doesn’t want to be told they have to receive things in an email only. According to a recent survey done by Consumers for Paper Options, 72% of respondents said the government should continue to provide important documents and records in paper form. The move to digitize all forms of communication disadvantages nearly 30% of American households without Internet access, 45% of seniors who do not own a computer, and 8% of the population who choose to not maintain a bank account.
Paper and digital formats can be complementary; those who wish to receive paper-based communications and documentation should have that choice and not be forced to digital delivery or forgo the information or service altogether.
First Quarter 2013 NewPage Holdings Quarterly Report & Exhibits
2013 FIRST QUARTER FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
• Net sales were $756 million in the first quarter of 2013 compared to $760 million in the first quarter of 2012.
• Higher sales volume and improved product mix were more than offset by lower average paper prices in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of 2012.
• Average paper prices were $887 per ton in the first quarter of 2013 compared to $906 per ton in the first quarter of 2012.
• Paper sales volume increased to 826,000 tons in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 821,000 tons in the first quarter of 2012.
• Net loss was $11 million in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a net loss of $123 million in the first quarter of 2012. The improvement was the result of cost reduction initiatives, as well as lower reorganization items and lower interest expense due to the elimination of our pre-petition debt upon our emergence from bankruptcy proceedings.
Neenah Paper, Inc. today reported adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $0.74 per diluted common share in the first quarter of 2013 compared to adjusted earnings of $0.77 per share in the first quarter of 2012. Without adjustments, reported earnings in the first quarter of 2013 were $0.73 per diluted share and compared to $0.54 per share in the prior year period. Adjusted earnings excluded costs of $0.01 per share in 2013 to integrate brands purchased from Southworth in January 2013 and excluded costs of $0.23 per share in 2012 for acquisition costs and a pension settlement charge. Adjusted earnings are reconciled to comparable GAAP figures later in this release.
Adjusted earnings per share of $0.74 in the first quarter of 2013 included the impact of $0.07 per share from a higher effective tax rate in 2013. Adjusted operating income of $22.3 million was slightly above prior year with increases in Fine Paper offsetting lower income in Technical Products. The impact of the higher effective tax rate more than offset benefits of higher operating income and lower interest expense in 2013.
Net sales of $213.2 million in the first quarter of 2013 increased eight percent compared with the first quarter of 2012. Revenues increased in both segments, with growth in Fine Paper aided by additional volumes from acquired brands.
Yankee Holding Corp. and The Yankee Candle Company, Inc. today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 30, 2013. Yankee Holding Corp., a direct subsidiary of YCC Holdings LLC, is a holding company that was formed in connection with the Company's Merger with an affiliate of Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC ("MDP") on February 6, 2007 (the "Merger"), and is the parent company of The Yankee Candle Company, Inc.
Net sales for the first quarter of 2013 were $163.4 million as compared to net sales of $155.1 million during the first quarter of 2012, an increase of $8.3 million or 5.4%. Retail sales were $89.2 million for the first quarter of 2013 as compared to $81.0 million during the first quarter of 2012. Sales from the Company's Wholesale segment were $43.6 million during the first quarter of 2013, as compared to $50.2 million during the first quarter of 2012. Sales in the Company's International segment were $30.6 million during the first quarter of 2013, compared to $23.9 million during the first quarter of 2012.
The Company recorded a net loss of $1.7 million during the first quarter of 2013 compared to a net loss of $3.5 million during the first quarter of 2012.
Verso Paper Corp. today reported financial results for the first quarter of 2013. Results for the quarters ended March 31, 2013 and 2012 include:
• Operating loss of $1.1 million in the first quarter of 2013, compared to operating loss of $12.3 million in the first quarter of 2012.
• Net loss of $38.4 million in the first quarter of 2013, or $0.72 per diluted share, compared to net loss of $73.9 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2012.
• EBITDA of $22.3 million in the first quarter of 2013, compared to ($10.5) million in the first quarter of 2012, and Adjusted EBITDA before pro forma effects of profitability program of $20.1 million in the first quarter of 2013, compared to $25.3 million in the first quarter of 2012 (Note: Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure and is defined and reconciled to net income later in this release).
Verso's net sales for the first quarter of 2013 decreased $42.1 million, or 11.2%, compared to the first quarter of 2012, reflecting an 11.2% decline in total sales volume, which was driven by the closure of the Sartell mill in the third quarter of 2012. The average sales price per ton was consistent with the same period in the prior year. Verso's gross margin was 12.4% for the first quarter of 2013 compared to 10.1% for the first quarter of 2012.
Verso reported net loss of $38.4 million in the first quarter of 2013, or $0.72 per diluted share, which included $2.9 million of net gains from special items, or $0.05 per diluted share, primarily due to unrealized gains on energy-related derivative contracts and gains on the sale of our Sartell mill and Fiber Farm LLC. Verso had a net loss of $73.9 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2012, which included $34.9 million of charges from special items, or $0.66 per diluted share.
First Quarter 2013:
• Revenue of $470 million; adjusted EBITDA of $73 million; adjusted EBITDA margin of 15.5 percent
• Mineral Sands segment revenue of $298 million; adjusted EBITDA of $157 million
• Vertical integration on plan, as 69 percent of feedstock revenue derived from intercompany sales, up from 59 percent in fourth quarter 2012
• Although average market prices declined, Tronox CP titanium slag pricing up versus fourth quarter last year as portion of legacy sales contracts priced below market expired
• Zircon recovery continues with revenue up 6 percent sequentially driven by 47 percent volume growth
• Pigment segment revenue of $288 million; adjusted EBITDA of ($37) million
• Pigment revenue up 13 percent versus fourth quarter last year, driven by 23 percent volume increase to reach highest level since third quarter 2011; selling prices declined 8 percent
Tom Casey, chairman and CEO of Tronox, said: "Our first quarter financial results came in as we expected, strong in Mineral Sands and soft in Pigment. However, pigment volumes increased by 23 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2012 to the highest level since the third quarter 2011. We have now seen volume increases for two consecutive quarters and believe this may signal the end of artificially low demand levels caused primarily by customer destocking that occurred in 2012. In addition, zircon volumes increased 47 percent from the fourth quarter 2012. Our vertical integration continues on plan with more than two-thirds of our titanium feedstock sales going to our Pigment business. Our finished pigment inventory reduced from 81 days to 71 days and the average utilization rate across our pigment plants remained in the mid-70s percent range."
Casey continued: "We continue to anticipate the global market for pigment to strengthen in the second half of this year. Our financial position is strong. We have built strategic flexibility. Our markets are beginning to reflect increasing demand. Our integration plan is on track to more fully demonstrate the material cost advantages it gives us as we capture margin at both feedstock and pigment levels. As a result, we have the ability to pay a regular dividend yielding an attractive return, while at the same time evaluate strategic opportunities to expand our scale relative to the market without expanding supply in a currently over-supplied market. We remain confident in the long term value creation potential of our business and intend to deliver that value to our shareholders."
R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company today introduced Roundtable, a cloud-based document management platform designed to enhance the speed and security of global business collaboration. The Roundtable solution provides clients with a platform to securely manage and share content internally as well as externally with professional advisors, counsel and consultants.
"We provide a continuum of services that enable secure collaboration and document review ranging from Roundtable to our Venue® virtual data room solution," said Tom Juhase, President of RR Donnelley's Financial Services offering. "Roundtable offers an affordable, quickly implemented means of boosting security and flexibility for everyday document management. Its versatility allows users to interact from their desktops or mobile devices."
Built with RR Donnelley's industry-leading content management resources and incorporating capabilities from technology providers including Google and Microsoft, the Roundtable platform offers an intuitive, user-friendly interface. It allows professionals to quickly and securely upload, store and share files of virtually any type from anywhere in the world.
Summary for the quarter
•European business impacted by lower prices and higher pulp costs
•Specialised Cellulose projects on track, major shuts completed
•Profit for the period US$7 million (Q2 2012 US$58 million)
•EPS 1 US cent (Q2 2012 11 US cents)
•Operating profit excluding special items US$40 million (Q2 2012 US$125 million)
Commenting on the result, Sappi Chief Executive Officer Ralph Boettger said:
"The Specialised Cellulose and North American businesses continue to perform well and the investments in the conversions at the Ngodwana and Cloquet Mills have progressed according to plan. Dissolving wood pulp production is scheduled to start at these two mills during the 3rd quarter. As indicated in the previous quarter, we expected operating profit for the second quarter to be lower than that of the first quarter. The actual performance was weaker than expected however, due to weaker European market conditions and an inability to implement any meaningful coated graphic paper price increases in Europe during the past quarter. This led to a weak overall group performance.
"Looking forward, market conditions for our paper businesses, particularly in Europe are expected to continue to be weaker than previously envisaged. The price increases in Europe, to date, have not been sufficient to restore margins given rising input costs. Despite the interventions and major cost reductions that have taken place, we expect the European business to only achieve a breakeven operating profit excluding special items for the full year. This performance necessitates further action and we are evaluating a number of options that could result in capacity and cost reductions in our European business. Further measures are also being implemented in the Southern African business. The Specialised Cellulose and North American businesses are expected to continue to perform according to plan.
"Notwithstanding the weak European performance, and the impact of the commissioning and start-up of the two major dissolving wood pulp projects, we believe that the group will at worst breakeven at the net profit excluding special items level for the full year. We expect net debt to peak at approximately US$2.4 billion in the third quarter and thereafter to decrease to approximately US$2.2 billion by the end of the financial year.
"Despite the generally tough market conditions and the once-off impact of our major transitionary projects on the current year's performance, our actions and investments will position the group well for improved performance from 2014 onwards."
News Corporation today reported $9.54 billion of total revenue for the three months ending March 31, 2013, a $1.14 billion or 14% increase over the $8.40 billion of revenue reported in the prior year quarter. Approximately 55% of the revenue increase reflects growth at the Cable Network Programming, Filmed Entertainment and Television segments, partially offset by lower revenues at the Publishing segment. The balance of the growth primarily relates to the inclusion of Sky Deutschland AG (“Sky Deutschland”) and Fox Sports Australia revenues.
The Company reported third quarter total segment operating income(1) of $1.36 billion, as compared to $1.31 billion reported a year ago. The improvement was led by operating income growth at the Company’s Cable Network Programming, Filmed Entertainment and Television segments. The third quarter results included $42 million of costs related to the ongoing investigations initiated upon the closure of The News of the World as compared to $63 million in the corresponding period of the prior year. This year’s third quarter results also included $25 million of costs related to the proposed separation of the Company’s entertainment and publishing businesses. Excluding these costs from both years, third quarter adjusted total segment operating income of $1.43 billion increased $54 million or 4% from $1.38 billion reported in the third quarter of the prior year.
The Company reported quarterly net income attributable to stockholders of $2.85 billion ($1.22 per share), as compared to $937 million ($0.38 per share) reported in the corresponding period of the prior year. This quarter’s pre-tax results included $2.43 billion of income in Other, net, principally related to gains on the acquisition of an additional ownership stake in Sky Deutschland and the sale of the ownership stake in SKY Network Television in New Zealand, as well as a $11 million gain from the Company’s participation in British Sky Broadcasting’s (“BSkyB”) share repurchase program, which is reflected in Equity earnings of affiliates. These gains were partially offset by $56 million of restructuring charges, primarily related to the Company’s international newspaper businesses. Excluding the net income effects of these items, the costs related to the investigations in the U.K. and the proposed separation of the Company’s entertainment and publishing businesses, along with comparable items in both years, third quarter adjusted earnings per share(2) was $0.36 versus the adjusted prior year quarter result of $0.37.
Costco Wholesale Corporation today reported net sales of $7.98 billion for the month of April, the four weeks ended May 5, 2013, an increase of seven percent from $7.48 billion during the similar period last year.
For the thirty-five weeks ended May 5, 2013, the Company reported net sales of $69.00 billion, an increase of nine percent from $63.59 billion during the similar period last year.