The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. today announced comparable store sales in the five weeks ended December 29, 2012 increased 2.4%. Total sales increased 1.5% to $512.9 million in the current year compared with $505.2 million in the prior year period.
Year-to-date comparable store sales increased 0.6%. Year-to-date total sales increased 0.3% to $2,718.6 million, compared with $2,710.3 million in the same period last year.
Costco Wholesale Corporation today reported net sales of $11.21 billion for the month of December, the five weeks ended December 30, 2012, an increase of twelve percent from $10.05 billion during the similar five-week period last year. This year's five-week period contained an extra day compared to last year, due to the timing of the New Year's holiday, which positively impacted total and comparable sales by approximately 2%.
For the first seventeen weeks of its fiscal year ended December 30, 2012, the Company reported net sales of $34.42 billion, an increase of nine percent from $31.68 billion during the similar period last year.
Limited Brands, Inc. reported a comparable store sales increase of 3 percent for the five weeks ended Dec. 29, 2012, compared to the five weeks ended Dec. 31, 2011. The company reported net sales of $1.947 billion for the five weeks ended Dec. 29, 2012, compared to net sales of $1.868 billion last year.
The company reported a comparable store sales increase of 6 percent for the 48 weeks ended Dec. 29, 2012, compared to the 48 weeks ended Dec. 31, 2011. The company reported net sales of $9.472 billion for the 48 weeks ended Dec. 29, 2012, compared to sales of $9.590 billion last year.
The Finance Authority of Maine last week approved roughly $16 million in tax credits for two groups making investments related to Great Northern Paper Co.’s mill in East Millinocket. FAME also approved a $300,000 loan for a Maine boat builder.
FAME claims in a media release the two decisions are “expected to help create and retain 448 Maine jobs” combined, although a breakdown of how many new jobs would be created vs. existing jobs retained was not available Friday.
FAME’s Board of Directors at its meeting on Dec. 20 approved the reward of nearly $16 million in tax credits to two community development entities — Stonehenge Community Development LXI LLC and Enhanced Capital New Market Development Fund X LLC — for their investments in the Great Northern Paper mill in East Millinocket.
Enhanced Capital received a tax credit certificate for $8,125,260, while Stonehenge Community Development received a tax credit certificate for $7.8 million, according to FAME’s media release.
The tax credits are the first to be granted under the FAME-administered Maine New Markets Capital Investment Program, according to Chris Roney, FAME’s general counsel.
The program provides state tax credits of up to 39 percent to investors in qualified community development entities, such as Stonehenge and Enhanced Capital, that reinvest in qualified businesses in eligible low-income communities in Maine. The 125th Maine Legislature created the program and modeled it after the federal New Markets Tax Credit Program.
The two community development entities, which are both from Louisiana, each invested about $20 million in GNP’s East Millinocket paper mill, Roney said. So the tax credits they received were 39 percent of those investments.
Macy's, Inc. today reported total sales of $5.102 billion for the five weeks ended Dec. 29, 2012, an increase of 3.6 percent compared with total sales of $4.923 billion in the five weeks ended Dec. 31, 2011. On a same-store basis, Macy's, Inc. sales were up 4.1 percent in December as compared to December 2011.
Same-store sales increased by 2.5 percent for November and December 2012 combined as compared to the same period in 2011.
Target Corporation today reported that its net retail sales for the five weeks ended December 29, 2012 were $10,214 million, an increase of 0.8 percent from $10,138 million for the five weeks ended December 31, 2011. On this same basis, December comparable-store sales were essentially flat.
As a reminder, in Target’s third quarter 2012 earnings release the company indicated that it expected fourth quarter 2012 adjusted EPS of $1.64 to $1.74 and GAAP EPS of $1.45 to $1.55. The 19-cent difference between these ranges reflected the expected EPS impact of expenses related to the company’s Canadian market entry.
Packaging is a necessary part of a lot of food distribution, and yet remains an environmental problem when it ends up contributing to landfills and litter. We’ve already seen projects such as Canada’s Tiffin Project, which provides a small re-usable tin for takeaway customers to put their food in, but now a marketing campaign for Bob’s fast food chain in Brazil has come up with another solution – by making its packaging edible.
Conceived with the help of advertising agency NBS, the restaurant franchise wrapped its burgers in a kind of rice paper that can be eaten along with the burger. Instead of unwrapping the food, customers were able to simply bite into the wrapped product. The idea behind the campaign was to illustrate the irresistibility of the burgers, but – according to the company – there were no wrappers left in the restaurant following the campaign, suggesting the concept could provide an environmentally-friendly solution to litter.
Although the taste and texture of the paper may not have complimented the burger, Bob’s took a step towards combatting the sustainability problem with packaging. Could this campaign be implemented more permanently?
Tribune Company, the big broadcasting and newspaper group, emerged from bankruptcy protection Monday -- and is seemingly ready to be sold off to a number of potential media buyers.
With a new board of directors composed mostly of entertainment-industry veterans, the company has now exited bankruptcy after four years -- one of the longest in U.S. corporate history.
At this height, after its buyout from real-estate magnate Sam Zell in December 2008, the company had $12.9 billion in debt -- just as the economy and the media advertising market was collapsing.
Tribune chief executive Eddy Hartenstein is expected to leave -- and veteran TV executive Peter Liguori is expected to succeed him at CEO of Tribune. Liguori had been COO of Discovery Communications and before that ran two News Corp. networks: Fox Broadcasting and the FX cable network.
Tribune owns 23 local television stations -- many in key major markets -- eight daily newspapers and other media properties. It also has a minority position in the Food Network cable channel, whose majority owner is Scripps Network Interactive. It holds a 25% stake in the CareerBuilder Web site.
For over a decade, traditional media companies have pointed to digital media as a promising source of revenue growth -- but as 2012 draws to an end, it’s clear that this promise is still more theoretical than real, while ad dollars continue to migrate away from traditional channels. This is particularly true for broadcast radio groups and newspaper publishers, whose 2012 results have (so far) offered little in the way of digital cheer.
In the first nine months of 2012, total digital advertising revenues for the radio industry came to $561 million, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau, up 7% from about $524 million in the same period of 2011. While this is not an insignificant sum, it's just 4.6% of total radio ad revenues of $12 billion. This comes as spot advertising, the mainstay of the radio business, delivers flat growth for the year-to-date.
Traditional radio broadcasters are also lagging behind in attracting digital audiences.
The most popular digital platform created by a traditional broadcaster is probably Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio, which has attracted around 20 million registered users, up from 10 million in May of this year. Over the same period, Pandora -- perhaps the most popular pure-play digital radio platform -- has grown from 150 million users to 175 million users.
Of course, in proportional terms this means that iHeartRadio is growing faster -- and Pandora has plenty of its own problems to deal with, including how to monetize its audience and digital music royalties. But in terms of sheer numbers, Pandora’s audience is almost 10 times as large as the most popular digital offering from the nation’s largest broadcast radio group.
Newspapers are in even worse shape. For the first three quarters of 2012, total online advertising revenues came to $2.4 billion -- up just 2.4% from $2.3 billion in the same period of 2011, according to the Newspaper Association of America. The 2012 figure is also just 14.9% of total newspaper ad revenues -- around $16 billion.
M&A activity skyrocketed to prerecession levels in several major industry sectors, according to a year-end report from investment banking firm The Jordan, Edmiston Group (JEGI).
Overall, deals for the 10 media and marketing sectors measured in the report totaled $74.7 billion in 2012, up 44 percent from last year and a five-year high. In raw volume, there were a record 1,351 sales-including a flurry in the fourth quarter as sellers raced to beat anticipated tax code changes in 2013.
"The state of the media and marketing world is very healthy," says Tolman Geffs, a co-president of JEGI. "You've got continued waves of innovation as emerging companies drive new forms of effectiveness and efficiency. On the other hand, you have both corporate and private-equity acquirers who are ready, able and very willing to tap into those new sources of growth."
Sharp differences exist between b-to-b and consumer media however.
Broken down by category, b-to-b media was the largest percentage mover in the group. The sector shot up 143 percent in volume and an incredible 731 percent in dollar value, but at just $411 million (less than 1 percent of total M&A activity for the year), the small sample size accounts for much of that variation, according to Geffs.
Conversely, consumer magazines represented one of the slowest growth areas measured. Volume growth (up 34 percent) trailed the market average (50 percent), and, with purchase dollars plunging 91 percent, consumer magazines were the only group to suffer a decline in value. Sales totaled just $277 million in aggregate, down from $3.2 billion in 2011.
In silent, temperature-controlled labs in a desolate part of Hainan, China's most tropical province, rows of women in medical masks and lab coats clone trees that grow freakishly fast.
The trees have official names, such as APP-22 or DH32-29, but Wending Huang, Asia Pulp & Paper Co.'s chief forester in China, calls them his "Yao Mings" after the towering Chinese basketball star. The tiny green tissue samples, methodically implanted in petri jars, will become hardwood eucalyptus trees that need only four to six years to reach full height, up to 90 feet or more.
The test-tube forests have helped undo the long-standing natural advantage of papermaking states such as Wisconsin, where hardwood trees are plentiful but can take up to 10 times as long to reach harvesting height.
What's more, boosted by billions in government subsidies, China has been building massive new mills with automated machines that can produce a mile of glossy publishing-grade paper a minute.
Over the course of the last decade, China tripled its paper production and in 2009 overtook the United States as the world's biggest papermaker. It can now match the annual output of Wisconsin, America's top papermaking state, in the span of three weeks.
China also created the world's biggest and most efficient paper recycling scheme. It now buys about 27 million tons of scrap paper and used cardboard from around the world each year, then de-inks and re-pulps it for about two-thirds of its own paper and cardboard production.
But that is still not enough — for China's needs or its ambition.
China imports the vast majority of virgin timber and processed pulp from around the world — 14.5 million tons last year from places like Russia, Indonesia and Vietnam. That has earned the ire of environmental groups, which say China's insatiable appetite for wood pulp is destroying the world's forests. It has drawn the fire of politicians who accuse China of unfairly subsidizing its mills and dumping paper on the U.S. market, putting domestic operations out of business and an entire industry at risk.
The percentage of adult Americans who read a book this fall fell to 75% from 78% a year ago, according to new survey findings by the Pew Research Center released December 27. The survey of Americans age 16 and older found that 23% of people in the age bracket read e-books in the previous 12 months, up from 16% a year ago, while the percentage who read print books fell to 67% from 72%.
The survey, from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, was conducted from October 15-November 10 among 2,252 Americans 16 and up. The increase in e-book reading was fueled by higher ownership of digital reading devices, with the survey finding that 33% of Americans 16 and up had either a dedicated e-reader or a tablet, up from 18% in late 2011.
E-book usage among library patrons also rose in the last year, although it still remained at relatively low levels. Five percent of recent library users said they had borrowed an e-book in the past year, up from 3%; the percentage of library users who are aware that e-books are available at the library took a more significant upturn, rising to 31% from 24%.
In an ironic and creepy endnote to a year that ended with an assault weapons massacre of young children at an elementary school in Connecticut, the two “most notable” magazine launches of 2012 were (in this order) a magazine aimed at the kind of extreme gun enthusiasts who covet aforementioned assault weapons, and a magazine aimed at young children, according to an annual list published by consumer magazine trend follower, Samir Husni, a professor at the University of Mississippi, who is also known as the “Magazine Guy.”
The aptly named Recoil ranked No. 1, Husni explained to online business news service CommPRO.biz, because it is “an artfully-done, gun-lifestyle magazine that is selling for as much as $125 an issue on eBay.”
Recoil’s debut issue features an HK MR556A1 on the cover as Playboy would a scantily-clad starlet, with the cover line, “Best AR Ever!” AR, presumably is an abbreviation of assault rifle. Subsequent issues featured similar assault weapon porn on their covers.
“For the gun enthusiast, this magazine is the answer to a prayer and proudly promotes the Second Amendment without apology,” Husni writes in his commentary on 2012’s magazine publishing highlights, of which No. 2 was actually Highlight’s Hello, a spinoff of the long-running children’s magazine, which Husni says is aimed at ages 0-2, although its readership likely skews on the higher end.
Oil fluctuated in New York, heading for its first annual loss since 2008, as U.S. lawmakers tried to bridge disagreements over how to avert tax increases and spending cuts that threaten the world’s largest economy.
West Texas Intermediate futures were little changed after sliding for two days as U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said there are “still significant differences” between Democrats and Republicans with one day remaining to avoid the fiscal cliff. A purchasing managers’ index for China by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics showed a reading of 51.5 for December, the highest in 19 months and the second above 50, which indicates an expansion.
“Without reaching a fiscal policy agreement, demand for U.S. oil could come off, and that could drag WTI down,” said Gordon Kwan, the head of regional energy research for Mirae Assets Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong, who forecasts oil in New York to trade between $87 and $93 a barrel next week. “The improved PMI number from China will add a cushion to oil prices, despite the deadlock in Congress.”
Crude for February delivery was at $90.91 a barrel, up 11 cent, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4 p.m. in Singapore. It earlier fell as much as 0.5 percent. Prices gained 2.4 percent last week, a third consecutive advance. They are up 2.2 percent this month, trimming the quarter’s loss to 1.7 percent.
Bobit Business Media has acquired the print and digital assets of Auto Dealer Monthly LLC (ADM), reports Modern Tire Dealer magazine, a property of Bobit Business Media.
According to the report, the acquisition includes the Auto Dealer Monthly magazine, AutoDealerMonthly.com, weekly e-newsletters Auto Dealer Monthly and Special Finance Insider, DealersChoiceAwards.com and SpecialFinanceInsider.com. Earlier this month, Bobit announced it acquired the assets of Limoforsale.com.
The transaction expands Bobit's portfolio of brands covering the auto dealer market. The company publishes industry magazine F&I and Showroom and produces the annual Industry Summit. According to Modern Tire Dealer, ADM Founder Greg Goebel will continue to serve as MC for the Special Finance Conference. Last year, ADM announced its Special Finance Conference would co-locate and join with Industry Summit.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for issuing the proposed Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order for public comment. The proposal would establish a program covering the printing and writing, kraft, containerboard, and paperboard segments of the industry. Carbonless papers and newsprint would not be included in the program.
"We need to present consumers with the facts of the renewable and recyclable nature of our products to allow them to make informed decisions, and today's actions by USDA take us one step closer," said AF&PA Board Chairman Alexander Toeldte, president and CEO of Boise, Inc. "Our industry has come together in support understand the benefits and sustainability of paper products they depend on in their daily lives."
The Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order was initiated by a panel of industry leaders. The program will be funded through an assessment of 35 cents per short ton on companies producing or importing 100,000 tons or more annually. Small producers and importers, along with converters, will not be assessed but will benefit from the promotion program. The program will be administered by a 12-person board of directors, which will carry out the activities to highlight the renewability, reusability and recyclability of paper and paper-based packaging. A referendum would be held among eligible domestic producers and importers prior to the program going into effect.
A strike that could have crippled 15 major ports on the East Coast and the Gulf and put a crimp in the nation's commerce has been avoided after dock workers, port operators and shippers agreed to a deal that extends the workers' contract, a federal mediator said Friday.
The parties settled on a 30-day extension of the contract after a meeting Thursday with Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director George H. Cohen, the FMCS said in a statement.
The parties had faced a Saturday deadline for resolving the labor dispute. The International Longshoremen's Association, which represented the dock workers, had threatened to strike a day later.
The strike would have shut down major ports, including the port of New York and New Jersey, the largest on the East Coast and the second-largest port in the U.S. to handle manufactured goods from China.
Earlier Friday, The White House had urged the parties to resolve their differences. The dispute centered on a cap to payments to dock workers based on the weight of the container cargo, known as "container royalties."
The new contract does not eliminate the royalty payments, according to Benny Holland, an executive vice president for the ILA.
Pearson, the world's leading learning company, is today announcing a strategic investment in NOOK Media, LLC, a new company consisting of Barnes & Noble's digital businesses including its NOOK e-reader and tablets, the NOOK digital bookstore and its 674 college bookstores across America.
Pearson will invest $89.5 million in cash in NOOK Media, gaining a five per cent equity stake. Following the transaction, Barnes & Noble will own approximately 78.2 percent of NOOK Media and Microsoft will own approximately 16.8 percent. Subject to certain conditions, Pearson will earn the option to purchase up to an additional five percent ownership in NOOK Media.
Pearson’s strategic investment in NOOK Media will help accelerate customer access to digital content by pairing the company’s leading expertise in online learning with NOOK Media’s expertise in online distribution and customer service. This will facilitate improved discovery of available digital content and services, as well as seamless access.
AAA Fuel Gage 12/28/12
National Unleaded Regular:
Current Average - $3.279/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.415/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.243/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.114/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Average - $3.917/gallon
Month Ago Average - $4.020/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.824/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.845/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Exchange Rates as of 12/28/12
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 1.005079
American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.160428
American Dollar to Euro = 1.319652
American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.11618
American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.076998
Oil headed for the biggest weekly gain since August in New York as U.S. lawmakers scheduled talks aimed at averting automatic tax increases and spending cuts that threaten the economy of the world’s largest crude consumer.
West Texas Intermediate climbed as much as 0.7 percent, extending this week’s advance to 2.5 percent. Congressional leaders plan to meet with President Barack Obama today, seeking to resolve a budget impasse before at least $600 billion in fiscal measures take effect on Jan. 1. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced the chamber will meet Dec. 30 for its first Sunday session in more than two years. U.S. stockpiles shrank last week, an industry report showed yesterday.
“Prices could jump if U.S. politicians strike a deal on avoiding the fiscal cliff,” said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management Ltd. in Middelfart, Denmark, who predicts Brent, the benchmark grade for half the world's oil, will be little changed in the first quarter, averaging $112 a barrel. “If no deal is struck, prices are likely to trade sideways at current levels.”
WTI for February delivery climbed as much as 62 cents to $91.49 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $90.90 at 10:42 a.m. London time.
Book sales had a strong showing in the week leading up to Christmas with sales rising 24% over the prior week at outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan. The 27.3 million print units sold during the week ended December 23, moreover, was a 5% increase over the last week before Christmas in 2011 when 26.1 million units were sold.
Gains were driven by the children’ categories with nonfiction up 19% and fiction ahead 7%. The adult categories had more modest gains with fiction sales increasing 2% and nonfiction up 1%.
Sales through retail and clubs rose 6% in the most recent week over 2011, while sales through mass merchandisers and other retails were 3% down compared to last year. Frontlist and backlist titles performed about the same with frontlist up 5% in the week and backlist units ahead 4%. Sales in BookScan’s South Atlantic region had the biggest gain in the week with sales up 12%, while sales were weakest in the Middle Atlantic where they were flat with 2011.
Jeff Kinney’s The Third Wheel was the top selling title in Christmas week at outlets that report to BookScan, though its 186,214 units sold was actually 4% behind the sales volume in the previous week. Bill O’Reilly took second and third place in the week with Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln. The Racketeer and Proof of Heaven rounded out the top five bestsellers. And how did the book of the year do as a Christmas present? Fifty Shades of Grey landed in ninth place in Christmas week, selling a shade under 65,000 units.
2009 was miserable. 2010 wasn’t much better. 2011 was a little bit worse. And 2012 looks to be, in a word, crappy.
Magazines can’t seem to catch a break, as the ongoing transition to digital media continues to undermine print advertising, still the main source of revenue for most big publishers. According to the Publishers Information Bureau, total ad pages fell 8.6% in the first nine months of 2012, compared to the same period last year.
That follows a decline of 3.2% for the full year 2011, which followed a flat 2010, which looked positively spectacular compared to drops of 25.6% in 2009 and 11.6% in 2008 -- blows from which the industry has never recovered.
Indeed, taking a somewhat longer perspective, the total number of ad pages at publications tracked by PIB has fallen from 179,339 in the first three quarters of 2006 to 110,483 in the first three quarters of 2012. That’s a 38.4% drop in six years -- not quite as bad as the newspaper business, where revenues are down by half, but a steep enough decline to prompt New York Times media columnist David Carr to warn in August: “Now, like newspapers, they seem to have reached the edge of the cliff.”
There is no solace to be found in circulation numbers, which confirm the decline of print audiences across a range of categories. According to the latest report from the Alliance of Audited Media (formerly the Audit Bureau of Circulations), in the first half of 2012, newsstand sales fell, for example: 5.7% at Cosmopolitan; 18.5% at the Economist; 20.5% at Elle; 6.8% at Glamour; 8.6% at GQ; 13.3% at In Touch Weekly; 14.6% at Ladies’ Home Journal; 20% at Maxim; 17.6% at Martha Stewart Living; 9.5% atMen’s Health; and 18.5% at People.
Of course, there is a glimmer of hope (and maybe more) in the rise of tablet computers, which magazine publishers immediately identified as a natural channel for the digital versions of their products. One out of every four Americans now owns a tablet computer, according to Pew, and the number rises to a third when e-readers are included.
Business-to-business media revenue shows a continued migration to digital advertising, according to ABM’s 2012 third-quarter BIN Report. Compared to the corresponding quarter in 2011, print ad revenue dipped by $121 million, but over the same periods, online ad sales more than made up the loss, rising $161 million. With event revenue basically flat for the quarter, the entire industry seems to be holding steady compared to last year.
The b-to-b digital ad revenue figures, estimated by ABM from IAB’s Advertising Revenue Report, saw mobile ad revenue rise 41 percent, with email advertising rising 26 percent and rich media increasing 25 percent. The contributions made by online classifieds, directories and sponsorships dipped approximately 2 percent. Overall, digital ad revenue rose to $1,011 million, up 16 percent ($161 million) compared to the third quarter of 2011. This is the first time that quarterly digital ad revenue has topped $1 billion for the b-to-b media industry.
Event revenue for the third quarter totaled $2,767 million, down 0.2 percent compared with the third quarter of 2011. Event revenue, provided by CEIR, remains the largest component of the b-to-b pie, eclipsing print, digital and data sources.
Print ad revenue declined 7 percent to $1,795 million in the third quarter, compared to the corresponding quarter of 2011, as reported by IMS. Some vertical segments are seeing advancing revenue this year, however, including both the agriculture and travel categories, which have seen cumulative print ad growth over 10 percent during the first nine months of 2012.
Chakravarthi, chief executive officer and managing director, Ecobliss India, says, packaging is growing. And in emerging markets like India the growth is double or more than the national GDP.
Today, packaging aims to perform in all three dimensions of sustainability: people (social), profit (economy) and planet (environment).
The primary objective of packaging is protecting the product. Apart from this basic function, a good package should be cost-efficient, provide value to generate revenue, should be user-friendly in terms of handling, enlightening the user about the product. Paper and paperboard-based packaging fulfills all this checklist. And can form a good package.
Product packaging is considered as the silent salesman. An innovative package has an ability to attract the attention of a customer and boost product sales. This is complemented by the packaging material which provides a tactile experience to the customer.
Paperboard packaging provides opportunities for new designs, shapes, surfaces and finishes and at the same time it offers brand owners the flexibility to design packaging that will entice consumers to select the product.
Creation of wealth is a top priority in any industry. Besides adding value to a product and preserving the quality, packaging serves the need to create and preserve the wealth created by other industries.
Products such as water, milk, biscuits, medicines, processed and semi-processed foods, fruits and vegetables, edible oils, electronic goods, machinery etc demand packaging to increase their shelf-life and ensure usability till they reach the end-user.
With the “on-the-move” lifestyle which is being adapted, the key in packaging is to promote the demand for freshly packaged goods.
Starting with its January/February 2013 issue, Cooking Light will leverage the Digimarc Discover platform to digitally watermark every recipe included in the magazine so that it is scannable. Using the free Digimarc Discover app consumers can use their smartphones to scan recipe photos to be automatically connected to the recipe page on sister-site, MyRecipes.com. Once there, they can save it to their recipe file, share favorites with friends, organize menus, and make grocery shopping lists.
Cooking Light will promote the new feature on the cover of the January/February issue and use a red icon throughout the issue with simple instructions to let consumers know the recipe images on that page are interactive.
The January/February 2013 issue of Cooking Light is available on newsstands December 28, 2012, and the Digimarc Discover App is available from the iTunes App Store and Google Play.
Chicago-area newspaper publishers are retrenching as the year draws to a close, with major cost-cutting initiatives from Sun-Times Media and the Tribune Co. Most recently, Sun-Times Media announced that it will close six of its suburban newsrooms with an eye to consolidating all editorial and production activities in the company’s main Sun-Times building in downtown Chicago.
Sun-Times Media will close suburban newsrooms in Aurora, Glenview, Gurnee, Joliet, Tinely Park and Merrillville, Indiana, and relocate about 70 employees, including editors and production personnel, to the Sun-Times headquarters building.
Suburban reporters will work from the field or from home via laptops and mobile devices. Some workers involved in production may be laid off. In addition to saving money on rent and streamlining production, Sun-Times execs said the moves are part of a push to transition to a “digital first” company.
As noted, Sun-Times isn’t the only Chicago publisher cutting back.
Earlier this week, the Tribune Co. revealed that its flagship newspaper, The Chicago Tribune, will be dropping its contract with the Associated Press in early January, along with a number of other Tribune papers, including The Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel, South Florida Sun-Sentinel,Hartford Courant, Morning Call of Allentown, PA, and the Daily Press of Newport News, VA. The Los Angeles Times is the only Tribune paper that will continue its membership in the AP.
Brent crude traded near the highest level in one month as U.S. lawmakers prepared to resume budget talks and the United Arab Emirates said it arrested members of a terror cell that was planning attacks on oil-exporting nations.
Futures were little changed in London after rising the most in five weeks yesterday. President Barack Obama and legislators returned to Washington for talks aimed at averting more than $600 billion in tax gains and spending cuts that start Jan. 1. The U.A.E. coordinated with Saudi Arabian officials to arrest members of the terror group who had equipment needed for their attacks, according to the official WAM news agency.
“The arrests in the U.A.E. appear to have had a big impact with lower liquidity in the oil market,” said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management in Middelfart, Denmark, who predicts Brent will average $112 a barrel in the first quarter. “Fundamentals look pretty balanced.”
Brent for February settlement fell 31 cents to $110.76 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 11:15 a.m. local time. The volume was 37 percent less than the 100-day average.
As if Superstorm Sandy and the looming fiscal crisis weren't enough, a potential strike by thousands of dock workers from Boston to Houston threatens to shock the economy as early as this weekend.
Business groups and state officials in recent days have called on President Obama to intervene, and use emergency powers to "avoid a coast wide port shutdown." They warn it could cost billions, citing estimates that a 10-day port lockout in 2002 cost $1 billion a day -- and caused a major backlog in shipments.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is the latest to enter the fray and call for White House intervention. But a port strike would affect more than the East and Gulf coasts, where all these ports are located. It could choke supply chains across the country. Groups ranging from the automobile industry to the National Retail Federation to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the Cheese Importers Association of America are warning of dire consequences.
"Failure to reach an agreement resulting in a coast wide shutdown will have serious economy-wide impacts," those and dozens of other groups wrote to Obama last week. They said "just the threat of a shutdown" has forced many businesses to enact costly "contingency plans."
At issue is a labor dispute between the International Longshoremen's Association, which represents dock workers, and the U.S. Maritime Alliance, which represents port operators and shipping companies.
Buried within Wal-Mart’s Web site, beneath the red sales banners and loud holiday graphics, is a magazine called BeautyScoop. Thousands of stores also carry it, and it was mailed to millions of the store’s customers.
Most big retailers fill their stores with custom-published shoppers that double as cheaply made catalogues, highlighting product in stock and coupon dispensers.
BeautyScoop is something else. It has a model on the cover, for one. Its own logo — the name in a large type underneath a smaller Wal-Mart tag. Though wafer-thin — it runs just 12 pages — and produced on glossy stock, it is as close as a store catalogue can come to a magazine. And there are editorial features.
“We’ve got loads of helpful tips and how-to’s,” the copy reads. “At Wal-Mart’s Every Day Low Prices — along with expert advice from the editors of Allure, Glamour and Lucky.”
Glamour, for instance, answered questions from its Twitter followers about “pretty girl problems,” like thinning eyebrows.
News Corporation today filed an initial Form 10 Registration Statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The filing is in connection with the Company’s previously-announced intention to separate its businesses into two independent, publicly-traded companies.
Today’s Form 10 filing initiates a process of providing details about the new News Corporation and the manner in which the separation will occur. The new News Corporation will comprise a range of market-leading brands in newspapers, information services and integrated marketing services, digital real estate services, book publishing, digital education, as well as sports programming and pay-TV distribution in Australia.
Oil was little changed in New York amid concern that U.S. lawmakers will miss a year-end budget deadline, threatening to weaken the American economy.
Futures traded in a 66-cent-a-barrel range as Democrats and Republicans discussed how to avoid more than $600 billion in tax gains and spending cuts, known as the fiscal cliff, which are scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. Failure to reach agreement would push the U.S. into recession for the first half of 2013, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said.
“It looks like there may be a series of small deals,” said Bill O’Grady, chief market strategist at Confluence Investment Management in St. Louis, which oversees $1.4 billion. “It may end up being more of a fiscal slope than a cliff.”
Crude oil for February delivery slipped 5 cents to settle at $88.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume for all West Texas Intermediate oil futures traded was down 81 percent from the 100-day average.
Kantar Media, a unit of WPP's consultancy group Kantar, announced it has acquired AdGooroo, a provider of global digital media intelligence. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition will enhance Kantar's digital media measurement and analysis capabilities, particularly its insight into display, video, ad networks and paid-search advertising trends, the company said.
AdGooroo has 4,000 marketer and agency clients worldwide. The company provides data on competitors' keywords, ad creative, backlink data, campaign statistics and budgets.
“We are committed to measuring all media, and digital media is obviously an important component to that,” said Terry Kent, CEO of Kantar Media North America, in a statement. “Paid search, in particular, is a complex, fragmented medium with many different inputs,” he said, calling AdGooroo's methodology “the best in the market for measuring paid search.”
American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement today regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of its final Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT), Incinerator, and Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) rules.
“While we need to study the rule in more depth, we will be looking for improvements from the December 2011 re-proposed rules on the use of biomass residuals as fuels, compliance time, and overall achievability. However, several billions of dollars in capital spending will be necessary to comply. This is a significant investment for an industry still recovering from the economic downturn, especially in light of the growing cumulative regulatory burden we face.
“We appreciate the amount of time and energy that the EPA, many members of Congress, governors, and other stakeholders have taken to fully understand our concerns related to this final rulemaking. Throughout this process, we maintained an open and healthy dialogue with EPA and provided extensive data and comments in the hope that rules would be developed that are achievable and affordable for our industry.”
Due to rising input costs and inflation, Twin Rivers Paper Company would like to inform you that effective with shipments on or after January 21, 2013, we will implement a price increase for Label, Packaging and Specialty grades. Pricing for the following grades will increase by $40.00/ton or $2.00/cwt:
Bladepak®; Alliance®; Acadia®; All other Specialties
Twin Rivers Paper Company values your business and appreciates your ongoing support.
NewPage Corporation announced today that it has successfully completed its financial restructuring and has officially emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection pursuant to its Modified Fourth Amended Chapter 11 Plan (the "Plan"), confirmed on December 14, 2012, by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington.
In conjunction with the Plan, NewPage closed on its exit financing, consisting of a $500 million term loan facility led by Goldman Sachs Lending Partners LLC and a $350 million revolving credit facility led by J.P. Morgan Securities LLC.
"This is an exciting day for all of us at NewPage," said George F. Martin, president and chief executive officer. "We have successfully completed our restructuring, and we have emerged as a financially sound company. This step helps to solidify our position as the leading North American producer of printing and specialty papers. We look forward to continuing to provide our customers with exceptional service and high-quality products, operating safe and efficient mills and being a responsible community member."
Mr. Martin continued, "I would like to thank our customers and suppliers for their support during this process. I would also like to extend my gratitude to our employees for their hard work and tireless dedication throughout the reorganization and the challenging period leading up to it."
Walgreen Co. today announced earnings and sales results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 ended Nov. 30.
Net earnings determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for the fiscal 2013 first quarter were $413 million or 43 cents per diluted share, compared with $554 million or 63 cents per diluted share in the year-ago quarter.
Adjusted fiscal 2013 first quarter net earnings were $553 million or 58 cents per diluted share, compared with adjusted net earnings of $619 million or 71 cents per diluted share in the year-ago quarter. This year’s adjusted first quarter results exclude the negative impacts of 6 cents per diluted share in acquisition-related amortization costs, 4 cents per diluted share from the quarter’s LIFO provision, 3 cents per diluted share in costs related to Hurricane Sandy, and 2 cents per diluted share related to the company’s acquisition of USA Drug and related store closures.
First quarter sales decreased 4.6 percent from the prior-year quarter to $17.3 billion. Brand-to-generic prescription drug conversions negatively impacted sales by $883 million or 4.9 percentage points in the first quarter.
Front-end comparable store sales (those open at least a year) decreased 2.0 percent in the first quarter compared to the prior-year quarter, customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 4.2 percent and basket size increased 2.2 percent.
Voith said that it will supply Modern Karton with a new paper machine for Modern Karton's paper mill in Corlu, Turkey.
The new PM 5 will produce light-weight packaging paper.
The scope of supply includes the entire process line.
According to Voith, PM 5 will be a particularly sustainable machine, especially as it consumes little fresh water. Using the technology supplied by Voith ensures that consumption of resources is kept as low as possible. For example, due to installation of the innovative FlowJec dosing system in the approach flow system of the PM 5, it is possible to exactly coordinate the use of chemicals.
In addition, the OnV EnergyProfiler software localizes and visualizes all the energy consumption in the paper production.
Modern Karton itself will set up a power plant on the mill site to utilize the residual materials from the manufacturing process and generate energy.
PM 5 will have a speed of 1,500 m/min and wire width of 8,180 mm. The new machine will produce around 400,000 metric tons of packaging paper with a basis weight of 70 to 160 g/m².
‘Tis the season for revamping magazines, with a number of publications unveiling new looks both in print and online. This week brought redesign announcements from Prevention and Atlantic Media, which are both giving themselves a makeover.
Prevention is getting a new design and editorial focus, according to Adweek, which first reported the news. Led by Senior Vice President and Editorial Director Anne Alexander and publisher Lori Burgess, the redesign aims to makePrevention more relevant and appealing to its target audience of women in their 40s-60s. As part of the transformation, Adweek writes, the magazine is moving away from portraying readers as “Doctor Mom” and adopting a tone that is more “encouraging, uplifting, almost indulgent,” according to Alexander.
The redesign also includes better photography, fewer celebrities on the cover, and a price bump, from $3.59 to $3.99.
Meanwhile, Atlantic Media has unveiled a new Web site for its corporate brand, with the goal of better highlighting its digital properties, including Quartz and The Atlantic Wire, as well as the digital presence of The Atlantic magazine and National Journal. The company’s brands are showcased with a selection of stories presented in picture-tile format. Also included in the makeover is a new logo that reworks the “compass” in an eye-catching way.
Bold and boastful hipster-targeted media conglomerate Vice is getting into fashion.
While the magazine has been on the edge of culture--including fashion--since inception, it's never been a fashion brand. The acquisition of British style title i-D brings them into that realm.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Vice is so excited to work with the guys at i-D magazine, one of the only fashion publications in the world we actually respect," says Andrew Creighton, president of Vice, in a release. "We know digital, i-D knows style, and together we're going to give the world the gift of eye-catching, mind-blowing, video-driven fashion content."
i-D founder Terry Jones and his wife, Tricia, will remain with the magazine as minority partners. Current staff will "join forces with Vice's operations and continue to generate content for i-D."
Total European shipments of graphic papers were down 3.6% vs. November 2011 and are down 3.9% year-to-date.
Total European shipments of newsprint were down 5.3% vs. November 2011 and are down 3.3% year-to-date.
Total European shipments of sc-magazine were down 0.2% vs. November 2011 and are down 4.5% year-to-date.
Total European shipments of coated mechanical reels were down 8.8% vs. November 2011 and are down 6.9% year-to-date.
Total European shipments of uncoated mechanical reels were up 4.7% vs. November 2011 and are down 2.8% year-to-date.
Total European shipments of coated woodfree reels were down 1.3% vs. November 2011 and are down 2.5% year-to-date.
Total European shipments of uncoated woodfree reels were down 2.0% vs. November 2011 and are down 2.9% year-to-date.
National Unleaded Regular:
Current Average - $3.232/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.426/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.206/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.114/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Average - $3.920/gallon
Month Ago Average - $4.003/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.843/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.845/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Exchange Rates as of 12/21/12
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 1.009311
American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.160478
American Dollar to Euro = 1.321498
American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.011888
American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.077868
Oil declined the most in more than two weeks because of concern that U.S. lawmakers may fail to avert spending cuts and tax increases that threaten the economy of the world’s biggest crude consumer.
West Texas Intermediate dropped as much as 1.6 percent, paring a second weekly gain, after House Speaker John Boehner scrapped a plan to allow higher tax rates on annual income above $1 million, throwing talks on budget issues known as the fiscal cliff into turmoil. Oil rose a fifth day yesterday, the longest rally since September, after government data showed the U.S. economy grew at a 3.1 percent annual rate in the third quarter, higher than a previous estimate of 2.7 percent.
“We are seeing a negative reaction to Republicans rejecting the latest proposal on tax hikes,” Andrey Kryuchenkov, a commodities analyst at VTB Capital in London, said in an e-mail. “It could have a U.S. demand impact.”
WTI for February delivery fell as much as $1.45 to $88.68 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest drop since Dec. 6, and was at $88.98 at 11:25 a.m. London time. Prices are up 2.6 percent this week.
U.S. mobile ad spending is growing faster than previously expected, spurred by the success of so-called “native” ad formats like Facebook's mobile news feed ads and Twitter's Promoted Products, according to a report by eMarketer.
EMarketer forecasts that overall spending on mobile advertising in the U.S., including display, search and message-based ads, will reach beyond $4.0 billion by year's end, up 180.0% over 2011. In September, the consultancy had projected slower growth of 80.0%, to $2.6 billion. Google Inc. is set to control a 56.6% share of the U.S. mobile advertising market by year's end, ahead of Facebook Inc., Pandora Media and Twitter, in that order.
The company also projected that U.S. mobile ad spending will reach $7.2 billion in 2013 and nearly $21.0 billion by 2016, a forecast that eMarketer said was "a significant upward revision."
The American Forest & Paper Association released its November 2012 Kraft Paper Report on Dec. 18.
Total Kraft paper shipments were 120.4 thousand tons, a decrease of 11.2 percent compared to the prior month. Bleached Kraft paper shipments increased year-over-year 21.2 percent. Unbleached Kraft paper declined 15.7 percent year-over-year. Total month-end inventory increased 4.3 percent to 76.0 thousand tons this month compared to October 2012 month-end inventories.
The American Forest & Paper Association has released its November 2012 Printing-Writing Paper Report.
According to the report, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 4 percent in November compared to November 2011. Three out of the four major printing-writing grades posted decreases compared to last November, with coated free sheet posting the only year-over-year increase.
Additional key findings:
·November shipments of coated free sheet (CFS) papers increased year-over-year for the sixth time in the past 12 months. CFS shipments increased 1 percent when compared to November 2011 to 330,800 tons, the fourth highest total in 2012.
·While uncoated free sheet (UFS) papers shipments decreased 2 percent compared to November 2011 to 705,500 tons, October exports increased year-over-year for the third consecutive month. Year-to-date shipments of UFS paper are down 3 percent compared to the same months in 2011. Exports of UFS increased year-over-year in October, up 15 percent. Year-to-date UFS exports are up 11 percent in 2012 compared to same 10 months in 2011.
·November uncoated mechanical (UM) paper shipments decreased 24 percent when compared to November 2011, the twentieth consecutive month of year-over-year decline.
·November shipments of coated mechanical (CM) papers decreased 5 percent compared to November 2011. Year-to-date shipments of CM are down 5 percent compared to the same 11 months in 2011.
A record achievement was announced by EFI™ today — that the company has sold more than one million liters of UV-curable ink during the first eleven months of 2012. This reflects the continuing increase in popularity for the company's wide-format and narrow web portfolios, with diversity in creativity, application opportunities and material capabilities resulting in more output being generated using the company's inkjet technologies.
"Our company-record sales of one million liters of UV-curable ink in an eleven-month period confirms EFI's position as a leader in the inkjet arena with reliable, cost-effective and more environmentally-friendly inks for the digital marketplace," explains Scott Schinlever, senior vice president and general manager of inkjet solutions at EFI. "Reaching this milestone is yet another indication that EFI is producing high quality ink formulations, combined with wide format printing system technologies that meet the demand for greater profitability through producing shorter runs with superior print quality at production speeds. We've experienced 12 consecutive quarters of over 20% year-over-year UV ink volume growth, which indicates that customers utilizing our technology are experiencing business growth."
Södra and Mayr Melnhof Karton have signed a Letter of Intent where Mayr Melnhof Karton intends to purchase 100% of the shares in Södra Cell Folla AS and thereby take over Södra's pulp mill in Follafoss.
Mayr Melnhof Karton intends to resume operations at Folla as soon as possible, hopefully early in 2013. The parties' intention is to close the deal during the first quarter of next year.Södra's pulp mill in Follafoss, Norway, has a capacity of 105,000 tpy of CTMP pulp. Södra announced its intention to divest the mill earlier this year. Mayr Melnhof, based in Vienna, is a world leader in the field of coated, recycled cartonboard and Europe's leading manufacturer of folding cartons. The group's business is focused on MM-Karton and MM-Packaging.
Discover Financial Services today reported net income of $551 million or $1.07 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2012, as compared to $513 million or $0.95 per share for the fourth quarter of 2011. The company’s return on equity was 23%.
Fourth Quarter Highlights
Total loans, credit card loans and Discover card sales volume all grew 6% from the prior year.
Credit card net charge-offs reached historic lows with a net charge-off rate of 2.29%. Credit card loan delinquencies over 30 days past due increased 5 basis points sequentially to 1.86%.
Payment Services pretax income was down 21% from the prior year to $33 million. Transaction volume for the segment was $49.0 billion in the quarter, an increase of 13% from the prior year.
Tetra Pak has acquired Minneapolis-based Filtration Engineering Company, Inc., the US market leader in membrane filtration technology for the dairy and cheese industries.
Filtration Engineering, a privately-held company established in 1982, specializes in the design, construction and commissioning of membrane filtration systems used in the areas of milk, whey and specialised waste treatment systems. The company employs 39 people.
The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, combines Filtration Engineering’s expertise in spiral membrane technology with Tetra Pak’s existing ceramic membrane systems portfolio, expanding Tetra Pak’s broad-based portfolio of system and application knowledge for dairy, cheese and whey processing applications.
“The acquisition of Filtration Engineering strengthens our portfolio of products, solutions and services for dairy and cheese applications as well as provides us with additional knowledge and competence,” said Tim High, Executive Vice President Processing Systems, Tetra Pak.
Rite Aid Corporation today reported improved financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 1, 2012. The company reported revenues of $6.2 billion, net income of $61.9 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, and Adjusted EBITDA of $295.3 million, or 4.7 percent of revenues.
Revenues for the 13-week quarter were $6.2 billion versus revenues of $6.3 billion in the prior year third quarter. Revenues decreased 1.2 percent primarily due to the impact of the introduction of lower cost generics on pharmacy same store sales as well as store closings.
Same store sales for the quarter decreased 1.5 percent over the prior year 13-week period, consisting of a 1.1 percent increase in front end sales offset by a 2.7 percent decrease in pharmacy sales. Pharmacy sales included an approximate 924 basis point negative impact from new generic introductions. The number of prescriptions filled in same stores increased 3.6 percent over the prior year period, which includes the benefit of additional prescriptions resulting from the Walgreens/Express Scripts dispute. Prescription sales accounted for 67.8 percent of total drugstore sales, and third party prescription revenue was 96.5 percent of pharmacy sales.
Net income was $61.9 million or $0.07 per diluted share compared to last year’s third quarter net loss of $52.0 million or $0.06 per diluted share. The improvement in net income resulted primarily from an increase in Adjusted EBITDA as well as a lower LIFO charge.