Packaging Corporation of America today reported third quarter 2012 net income of $40 million, or $0.41 per share, which included after-tax charges of $13 million, or $0.14 per share, from debt refinancing charges. Net income, excluding these charges, was $53 million, or $0.55 per share, compared to third quarter 2011 net income of $43 million, or $0.43 per share, which excludes energy project asset disposal charges.
The $0.12 per share earnings increase, excluding special items, was driven by higher containerboard and corrugated products volume ($0.07), and lower costs for energy ($0.05), recycled fiber ($0.04) and chemicals ($0.02). These items were partially offset by higher costs for labor and benefits ($0.03), interest ($0.02) and depreciation ($0.02).
Excluding special items, net income for the first nine months of 2012 was a record $142 million, or $1.45 per share, compared to $122 million, or $1.21 per share, in 2011. This earnings increase of $0.24 per share was driven by higher containerboard and corrugated products volume ($0.23), lower costs for energy ($0.14), recycled fiber ($0.08) and chemicals ($0.05) and a lower share count from share repurchases ($0.04). These items were partially offset by higher costs for labor and benefits ($0.09), depreciation ($0.07), interest ($0.06) and transportation ($0.04), and lower export pricing ($0.05).
Net sales were a record $723 million, up 8% compared to the third quarter of 2011, and year-to-date net sales were a record $2.1 billion, up 7% over 2011.
Corrugated products shipments per workday were up 5.7%, including 3.1% from acquisitions, and were up 4.0% in total with one less shipping day this year. Outside sales of containerboard were up 8,000 tons over last year’s third quarter. Containerboard production was 670,000 tons, up 20,000 tons over the third quarter of 2011. Containerboard inventories at the end of September were 9,000 tons below second quarter levels.
UPM Finesse workbook was selected as a finalist in the prestigious printing industry competition "PrintStars 2012” described as the innovation award of the German printing industry. The event took place in Stuttgart, Germany on October 9 and featured more than 420 participants and 900 companies that showed their best printed products. UPM was a finalist among 12 within the flyers, leaflets and brochure category.
UPM participated in the event by creating a printed product denominated "True consistency," a brochure consisting of 52 pages of impressive artwork, conceptualized and produced in partnership with Münich-based agency Pantos. The final work showcased a sophisticated printed product that suggests a wide variety of printing techniques options for those in the printing industry.
The "True Consistency" brochure is made of UPM Finesse paper, an exclusive wood-free coated paper renowned industry-wide for its consistent high quality.
The position of UPM Finesse as a high-quality paper is highlighted on the brochure’s image reproduction and pre-press, and from printing and finishing to bookbinding. The paint technique was of the highest technical level; hot and cold foil, iridescent pigments, special colours, embossing and die cuts were used to create an original and attractive workbook.
Ahlstrom's sales volume development during the remainder of the year is expected to be weaker than the company had earlier estimated due to lower than expected demand in key markets. Demand has been reduced due to the continued slowdown especially in the economies in Europe. In addition, recovery in China has been delayed.
Ahlstrom anticipates that its net sales and operating profit excluding non-recurring items for 2012 will be lower than the company had previously estimated.
The company now expects its net sales from continuing operations to be between EUR 1,550-1,630 million and operating profit excluding non-recurring items from continuing operations to be EUR 48-58 million. Ahlstrom had previously forecast its 2012 net sales to be EUR 1,575-1,735 million and operating profit excluding non-recurring items to be EUR 60-80 million for 2012.
Meredith Corporation, the leading media and marketing company serving American women, today announced that Traditional Home, the largest upscale shelter magazine in America which celebrates the union of timeless design with modern living, has been named to Advertising Age's 2012 Magazine A-List.
Advertising Age said the following about Traditional Home:
"There's no reason to lie down in the face of a tough economy or challenges to print publishing. Take a look at Traditional Home, which is finding younger and richer readers with TradHome, a shoppable online magazine it created last year with all-digital shelter mag Lonny, and expanded to two issues this year. But Traditional Home is also succeeding in print, where ad pages in its January through October issues increased 11.5% while monthlies as a whole slipped, according to MIN. Its October ad pages were the highest for that month since 2008. Traditional Home also increased single-copy sales in a difficult newsstand environment."
"This A-list win for Traditional Home is a true reflection of our A-team's dedication and hard work over the past two years," said publisher Beth Fuchs Brenner. "It speaks to the relevance of traditions in our family lives, and the home as the nucleus of all we hold dear. We couldn't be more excited."
Gov. Paul LePage and his forest products advisor Rosaire Pelletier are among the key players who will be invited to help the new Great Northern Paper Co. LLC celebrate its one-year anniversary on Oct. 25, the company’s spokesman said.
“It is a great achievement, and the mill and its workers have earned a moment of celebration — particularly the workers,” spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne said Friday. “This is about congratulating them for their hard work and for all the extra work and moments where they have gone above and beyond over the first year.”
Other federal and state leaders, plus leaders from the Katahdin region, are among the invited guests, Tranchemontagne said.
“It is not lost on us that a lot of people came together to reopen this mill, and they should be recognized,” he said.
Today employing 272 workers, the mill is on-track to produce about 160,000 tons of newsprint and telephone directory paper with its No. 5 and 6 machines in 2012, company officials have said.
LePage culminated weeks of hard and largely secret work by his staff and local leaders and announced on Sept. 17, 2011 that Cate Street Capital of Portsmouth, N.H., had purchased the Main Street and Millinocket paper mills on undisclosed terms.
The deal was made final on Sept. 28 and the East Millinocket mill restarted on Oct. 17, 2011, with 215 workers, though its initial restart stopped a day or two later and was postponed by about a week due to mechanical problems.
The mill had a full year of orders and as of today has a confirmed 38- to 42-day order backlog for No. 6 and customer commitments to buy paper every 30 days or so for the rest of the year. The No. 5 machine runs three days a week, officials have said. The Millinocket mill, which has been shut down since September 2008, remains shuttered and company officials are not optimistic about its restart possibilities.
Sonoco, one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, announced today that its CorrFlex point-of-purchase (POP) display and packaging services business will now operate under a new brand, Sonoco Display and Packaging.
Sonoco acquired CorrFlex in 2004. The business designs, manufactures, assembles, packs and distributes temporary, semi-permanent and permanent POP displays. It also provides contract packaging, co-packing and fulfillment and supply chain services for major consumer product companies around the world.
"When we purchased CorrFlex, it made sense at the time to maintain the CorrFlex name because of its brand recognition in the marketplace. But our brand today has become more aligned with Sonoco, and it only makes sense that we make this transition," said Jeff Tomaszewski, general manager, Sonoco Display and Packaging.
"Clearly, the new name and brand more accurately describe what we do – display and packaging. But it also allows us to better leverage the Sonoco name – its long history, financial strength and reputation as a low-cost global leader in customer-preferred packaging."
Grainger today reported results for the 2012 third quarter ended September 30, 2012. Sales for the 2012 third quarter of $2.3 billion increased 8 percent versus $2.1 billion in the 2011 third quarter. There were 63 selling days in the quarter, one less than in 2011. Sales on a daily basis increased 10 percent versus the 2011 third quarter.
During the third quarter, the Company recorded a $70 million pre-tax reserve for a settlement in principle to resolve pricing disclosure issues relating to government contracts with General Services Administration (GSA) and United States Postal Service (USPS). The proposed settlement, which covers 12 years of sales to the GSA and 10 years of sales to the USPS, remains subject to the approval of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). In addition, the company has established a $6 million pre-tax reserve for resolving tax, freight and miscellaneous billing issues with these government customers.
Excluding the reserve, net earnings increased 11 percent and earnings per share of $2.81 increased 12 percent. Including the reserve, reported net earnings for the third quarter decreased 15 percent to $155 million versus $182 million in 2011 and earnings per share of $2.15 decreased 14% versus $2.51 in 2011.
Sales in the 2012 third quarter increased 8 percent, 10 percent on a daily basis, with 11 percent daily sales growth in July, 10 percent in August and 9 percent in September. The 10 percent increase in daily sales in the quarter included 3 percentage points from acquisitions and a 1 percentage point decline attributable to unfavorable foreign exchange. Daily organic sales for the quarter increased 8 percent including 4 percentage points from volume and 4 percentage points from price. Daily organic sales growth by month was as follows: 8 percent in July, 7 percent in August, and 8 percent in September.
Company operating earnings of $254 million for the 2012 third quarter decreased 16 percent. Excluding the reserve, operating earnings increased 9 percent to $330 million. This earnings growth was driven by higher sales and improved gross profit margins. The increase in the company's gross profit margin and expenses were driven by a number of factors that are examined at the segment level that follows.
N-Photo was awarded the prestigious Consumer Magazine of the Year title at the Pixel Trade Awards on Friday 12th October.
Editor Chris George collected the award in front of an audience of luminaries from the imaging industry. It is the first time any Future photography title has won the award, and completes a remarkable first year for the title which launched in November 2011. N-Photo bagged the top award ahead of sister title, Future’s Digital Camera, and IPC’s Amateur Photographer.
It brings N-Photo’s awards tally to three this year: in April 2012 it won two British Media Awards for ‘Social Media and Marketing Innovation’ and ‘Consumer Magazine Innovator of the Year’, beating shortlisted rivals including Cosmopolitan, The Economist, Good Food, and The Huffington Post.
Its Pre-launch Email Campaign has also been shortlisted in November’s PPA Customer Direct 2012 Awards.
As part of its harmonious multichannel customer experience, Musician's Friend recently debuted a digital, interactive catalog. The musical instrument Internet retailer aims to use the catalog to propel e-commerce and build customer engagement.
“This is an interactive, commerce-enabled portable catalog. Within it, it's connected to our commerce platform so you have a shopping experience available to you within the catalog itself,” says Musician's Friend's director of brand experience Ryan Villiers.
According to Villiers, the built-in commerce component separates the publication from other digital catalogs.
“Any other form of a digital catalog that you might have seen actually takes you out of the experience if you want to purchase a product. The interesting thing about this experience is that it keeps you in the catalog while you're going through the shopping experience,” Villiers says. “As you shop within the catalog, it collects that data, makes a call to our shopping cart, adds the item to the shopping cart, and then allows the user to continue to shop within the catalog or to pass through to our payment processing system to finalize the purchase.”
By teaming up with Zmags' Verge platform for the interactive catalog, Musician's Friend is providing its musician customers with the personal, hands-on experience of shopping for a guitar through the inclusion of 360-degree photos, video, static imagery, audio samples, and swiping action,Villiers says.
Buckeye Technologies Inc. announced the release today of its 2012 Sustainability Report. This report (which summarizes calendar year 2011 results) highlights Buckeye’s continuing efforts to reduce fossil fuel usage, water usage, solid waste production, and air emissions. Buckeye has reduced greenhouse gas emissions which are generated by fossil fuels and purchased electricity by over 10% per ton since 2007, and now generates 77% of its total energy needs from renewable biomass. In addition, significant reductions of water used daily were achieved (down 6% since 2007) while reducing wastes by 30% since 2007. The report also shares information about Buckeye’s social impacts, including employees’ impressive response to a renewed corporate-wide commitment to safety, reducing the Total Incidence Rate from 3.5 to 2.0 during the reporting period.
Buckeye announced separately in May 2012 that our Foley plant located near Perry, FL, achieved certifications from three internationally recognized organizations that promote responsibly managed forests: the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI), and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC™). These certifications followed a rigorous year-long process of developing documents, manuals and procedures to guide fiber procurement and track fiber chain of custody. The purpose of these certifications is to ensure that companies which use forest resources meet society’s needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Buckeye is committed to monitoring and reviewing its sustainable forestry programs and to continually improving and broadening the practice of sustainable forestry. Certification to these standards further demonstrates Buckeye’s commitment to meeting customer demand for products that are derived from forest fiber that is legally harvested and well-managed.
Oil traded close to a four-day low in New York amid concern that the global economy is weakening, threatening to curb demand for fuels.
Futures slid as much as 1.1 percent. Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer said the world is “awfully close” to a recession, adding to concern raised at annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund last week. Hedge funds and other speculators trimmed bets that oil will rise, data from regulators showed on Oct. 12. Iran reiterated an offer to suspend domestic production of medium-enriched uranium before European officials meet to discuss tighter sanctions on the Persian Gulf country.
“The crude market is currently well supplied and prices will remain volatile before refinery demand picks up throughout the fourth quarter,” said Guy Wolf, a strategist at London- based commodities broker Marex Spectron Group Ltd., who predicts Brent crude will recover toward $125 a barrel by year-end.
Crude for November delivery fell as much as $1.04 to $90.82 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its weakest level since Oct. 9, and was at $91.61 at 11:03 a.m. London time.
Factoring in the absence of political and Olympic advertising, Magna Global downgraded its U.S. ad spending forecast to $154.4 billion next year, up 0.8% over this year. In its July forecast, Magna had projected growth of 0.9% next year.
This year, political and Olympic advertising will help boost U.S. ad spending growth 4.6% over last year, Magna said in the report.
The ad category experiencing the most growth this year will be digital media (up 12.8%), followed by television (9.0%) and out-of-home advertising (4.2%).
Print advertising has continued to suffer this year. Magna projected ad spending in newspapers will be down 8.6%, while magazines will be down 7.5%.
Amcor announces today, the sale of three flexible packaging plants in Australasia. These sites were acquired as part of the Aperio acquisition and focused on non-core industrial and agricultural markets.
The purchaser is Integrated Packaging, a privately-owned Australian business, and the transaction is subject to ACCC approval. The sale consideration is $22 million and was based on the same EBITDA multiple as Amcor paid for Aperio.
Synergies from the Aperio acquisition are not impacted by the sale and remain at $25 million by year three.
Disney has announced it will be eliminating paper connected to the destruction of endangered forests and animals from its operations and licensees, while maximizing recycled content and fiber sourced from Forest Stewardship Council-certified forestry operations. The company’s new policy calls for the elimination of paper products from illegally harvested woods; from High Conservation Value Areas (such as endangered forests and areas of old growth) being degraded by poor land use practices; from areas where paper fiber is harvested in violation of internationally accepted instruments protecting the rights of indigenous or forest-dependent peoples; from areas that have been converted from natural forests to plantations and other land uses after November 1994; and from plantations using genetically-modified trees.
The commitment also means Disney will not be sourcing from controversial paper giants Asia Pulp and Paper and Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings. APP is reportedly the third largest paper company in the world.
Disney also says it will work to reduce paper consumption, and increase the recovery of paper and packaging for recycling.
Disney is the world’s biggest publisher of children’s books and magazines. The new paper policy will be applied to the company’s entire global operations and those of its supply chain. The commitment includes Disney’s media networks, theme parks, resorts, cruise ships, and all its product packaging, copy paper and book publishing, as well as the 3,700 licensees that use Disney characters. It will also influence the operations of 25,000 factories in more than 100 countries that produce Disney products, including 10,000 in China.
The company says its policy is the culmination of two years of conversations between executives and the Rainforest Action Network. Disney says it will continue to work with non-governmental organizations to identify and prioritize regions with poor forest management and high rates of deforestation.
Beginning early next year, the Postal Service will introduce a First-Class Mail Global Forever Stamp. The new stamp will allow customers to mail letters anywhere in the world for one set price of $1.10, and is among new mailing and shipping services filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission today.
The price for First-Class Mail single-piece letters will increase by just a penny when prices change in Jan. The new 46 cent Forever stamps will allow customers to mail letters to any location in the United States. Forever stamps are always good for mailing a one-ounce letter anytime in the future regardless of price changes.
Highlights of the new single-piece First-Class Mail pricing, effective Jan. 27, 2013 include:
•Letters (1oz.) — 1-cent increase to 46 cents
•Letters additional ounces — unchanged at 20 cents
•Letters to all international destinations (1oz.) — $1.10
•Postcards — 1-cent increase to 33 cents
The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) will review the prices before they become effective Jan. 27, 2013. Today’s Shipping and Mailing price filings will be available on the PRC website at www.prc.gov and the new Mailing Service prices will also be available at http://pe.usps.com.
The production of notebooks induces significant environmental impacts. However, these impacts are seldom considered by consumers in their purchasing decisions. Against this background, the Federal Agency of Environment in Germany commissioned the Öko-Institut e.V. and the Fraunhofer IZM with a study to address following questions:
1.What is the share of different life cycle phases in the total greenhouse gas emissions of a notebook.
2.When are the environmental impacts, which are associated with the production, distribution and disposal of a new notebook, compensated as a result of energy efficiency gains in the use-phase of the new notebook.
3.Which energy efficiency gains should be possessed by a new notebook, if the replacement of the older and less energy efficient notebook can be justified under the consideration of environmental concerns.
The results show that production phase, with about 56% (214 kg CO2e in 5 years) of the total greenhouse gas emissions of a notebook, casts a significantly higher impact than the use phase. Moreover, the environmental impacts of the production phase of a notebook are so high, that they cannot be compensated in realistic time-periods by energy efficiency gains in the use phase.
In the case of a 10% increase in the energy efficiency of a new notebook as compared to the older one, replacement of the older notebook can only be justified after 33 to 89 years, if environmental concerns are considered.
Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. (President: Yoshio Haga) is pleased to announce the completion of construction of diverting the existing continuous digester for producing dissolving pulp at Kushiro Mill (Kushiro, Hokkaido), with a ceremony held to celebrate the completion of construction on October 11.
Construction had been proceeding since spring this year as the Company sought to expand its dissolving pulp business on the back of rising demand for dissolving pulp in recent years. The amount invested is about 2.2 billion yen. The production of dissolving pulp using an existing continuous kraft pulp digester is the first of its kind in Japan. It has been decided that the company will receive a subsidy for the development of equipment for the verification and evaluation of advanced technologies, a project organized by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to support innovation hubs.
Going forward, verification and assessments will be conducted and the production scale will expand to 30,000 tons a year.
No recession here. Well, at least not for Google...or Facebook. According to the latest report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC Us, Internet ad revenues hit a record $17 billion in the first half of 2012, a gain of 14% over the same period in 2011. Despite economic sluggishness that many businesses and media companies hoped were gone, there seemed to be no sign of a slow-down as the year progressed. The quarterly online spend was also up 14% over the same second quarter of last year, $8.7 billion vs. $7.7 billion.
Leading the way in terms of growth, mobile advertising topped $1.2 billion for the first half, up 95% from the $636 million same period last year.
Also proving a continued center of growth, digital video was up 18% to $1 billion.
But Google's core business proved to be the main driver. Search marketing showed no signs of giving up share to other media, since its spend was also up 19% to $8.1 billion in the first half.
There is one cautionary note to magazine brand publishers, however. Display advertising continued to show relatively sluggish growth overall, up only 4% from the same half year in 2011 to $5.6 billion. Display was responsible for 33% of overall ad revenues online in the first half of the year. "Ramifications of this data are significant, especially for players who are dependent upon display-based advertising," he writes in a research brief. "The industry is not growing, as most types of advertisers generally choose to buy audiences rather than the context in which those audiences appear.
With the American Magazine Conference coming up next week, the MPA (the Association of Magazine Media) has unleashed research showing that magazines are gaining traction and building audiences via digital platforms, including smartphones.
In one new study, “Magazine Media Readers and Their Smart Phones,” GfK MRI examined the media consumption habits of adults 18-34 with a focus on their ubiquitous handheld devices, especially Apple iPhones and Android devices, as well as attitudes toward content sharing, advertising, QR codes and e-commerce.
Among the study’s main findings: among adults ages 18-34 who read magazines and own a smartphone, 83% have accessed or downloaded a magazine branded app via a digital newsstand, downloading an average of 2.6 magazine apps, while more 35% use a newsreader to view magazine digital content. Eighty-six percent have accessed digital magazine content on their smartphone from home, while 43% read the content at work, and 31% during their commute.
In terms of content categories, the most popular magazine apps for smartphones are food, news and sports magazine apps, followed by celebrity/entertainment and science/technology. Seventy-seven percent say that pictures and photo galleries enhance the smartphone magazine reading experience.
On the advertising front, 66% read or tap on advertisements appearing in digital magazines on their smartphones, and 65% have snapped QR codes, Microsoft Tags or other links in response to ads. Moving to e-commerce, three out of 10 respondents said they would like to be able to buy products and services directly from articles and features in magazine content on smartphones.
In a blow to the Authors Guild, a federal judge dismissed the group's copyright infringement lawsuit against five universities that worked with Google to digitize millions of books. U.S. District Court Judge Howard Baer in New York ruled Tuesday that the universities' "mass digitization project" is protected by fair use principles. The project involves creating digital copies of books, making them searchable, and allowing blind people to access the books via software that converts text to speech or conveys it tactilely.
"I cannot imagine a definition of fair use that would not encompass the transformative uses made by defendants’ [mass digitization project] and would require that I terminate this invaluable contribution to the progress of science and
cultivation of the arts," Baer wrote in a sweeping 23-page opinion.
The litigation against the universities dates to September of 2011, when the Authors Guild brought a copyright infringement lawsuit against the HathiTrust -- a joint digital book-storage project of the University of Michigan, University of California, University of Wisconsin, Indiana University and Cornell University.
The National Federation of the Blind intervened in the lawsuit in favor of the universities. The organization argued that the HathiTrust's digital library was "revolutionary" for blind people. "Without the [HathiTrust], the blind are relegated to second-class academic citizenship -- one without the privilege of access to the print collections of university libraries. With the [HathiTrust], the blind have the same comprehensive access to the print collections of university libraries as the sighted," the group argued.
Web sales increased 5.4% year over year in September, just under the 5.9% pace of August, among small and midsized retailers indexed by Dydacomp, a provider of order management software. Books led the way growing 19%, while sporting goods slowed to less than half its August growth rate of 32% with a September sales increase of 15%.
“Sporting goods continued strong, but slowed down from its strong summer season growth,” says Fred Lizza, CEO of Dydacomp. Ten of the 15 retailer categories indexed by Dydacomp showed declines in September. Among the categories showing the sharpest declines were jewelry, down 45%; music/video/DVD, down 18%; home furnishings, down 16%; and consumer electronics, down 13%.
The Dydacomp SMB Index, prepared for Internet Retailer, is based on data compiled from more than 1.5 million orders per month at more than 1,500 e-commerce operators—accounting for about $200 million in combined monthly retail sales. The retailers are users of Dydacomp’s order management software.
AAA’s Fuel Gage Report as of 10/12/12
National Unleaded Regular:
Current Average - $3.810/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.858/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.405/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.114/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Average - $4.127/gallon
Month Ago Average - $4.119/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.795/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.845/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Exchange Rates as of 10/12/12
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 1.023339
American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.159568
American Dollar to Euro = 1.297024
American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.012746
American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.077770
Oil headed for its first weekly gain in a month in New York after claims for U.S. jobless benefits dropped to the lowest level in four years and increasing Middle East tensions prompted concern crude supplies may be disrupted.
Futures were little changed after rising 0.9 percent yesterday. First-time unemployment claims fell to 339,000 last week, the lowest since February 2008, according to Labor Department data. Brent oil traded near the highest premium in a year to West Texas Intermediate grade after Turkey said a Syrian plane that it grounded contained munitions, while Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said Europe is prepared to tighten sanctions on Iran.
“The potential for a blow-up in the Middle East is being reflected in that persistently wide spread between Brent and WTI,” said Michael McCarthy, a chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney. “Jobless claims were better-than-expected.”
Crude for November delivery was at $92.19 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 12 cents, at 3:20 p.m. Singapore time. The contract yesterday climbed 82 cents to $92.07.
Sonoco, one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, today announced that Marty F. Pignone has been named vice president, Paper North America, effective December 1, 2012. Pignone will replace John M. Grups, 61, division vice president and general manager, who will be retiring from Sonoco following a 36-year career.
In this position, Pignone, 55, will have responsibility for Sonoco's 12 uncoated recycled paperboard mills in the United States, Canada and Mexico and related support functions. He reports to John Colyer, vice president, Paper and Industrial Converted Products.
"Following John's decision to retire after nearly four decades with Sonoco, it was important that we installed a seasoned paper manufacturing veteran to head this manufacturing-intensive operation," said Colyer. "Marty previously led our North American paper mills for eight years and implemented several key safety and operating excellence initiatives that improved performance during his tenure. In this new role, we're asking him to improve operating performance and safety near-term, while further developing our paper manufacturing management team."
Pignone joined the Company in 1997 and was elevated to division vice president and general manager of Paper, North America in 2000. He became vice president, Global Manufacturing in 2009 and later vice president, Operating Excellence, where he has led the Company's global manufacturing improvement initiatives as well as supply management and product quality improvement. Pignone graduated in 1978 from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and received a Master of Science in business administration from Stanford University in 1991. Prior to joining Sonoco he worked for General Electric and Kodak.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today outlined its financial priorities for next fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2014 at its annual conference for the investment community and reinforced its focus on growth, leverage and returns. The company’s plans include a reduction in capital expenditures that will drive comp and new store growth, operating leverage and productivity initiatives and expansion in global e-commerce, including acquisitions.
“Our momentum in delivering strong results continues, and we are investing for the future by creating an even stronger business,” said Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. President and CEO Mike Duke. “Strong business fundamentals are driving our top line and bottom line results. We are delivering on the productivity loop and being even more disciplined about our operating expenses and capital spending. We have a deliberate approach to how we will grow, how we will deliver further operating leverage and continue to deliver strong returns to our shareholders.
“We will continue to expand our physical presence through a variety of formats across our markets, while also investing in initiatives to enhance our operational excellence and further new e-commerce opportunities,” Duke added.
The company reaffirmed its most recent capital expenditure forecast of $12.6 billion to $13.5 billion for the current fiscal year. The fiscal 2014 capital plan will range from $12.0 to $13.0 billion. The capital expenditure budget covers growth for comp and new stores, logistics and supply chain expansion, investments to drive productivity and reduce expenses, and global e-commerce expansion.
Walmart also confirmed that it remains on track to meet its commitment of reducing operating expenses as a percentage of sales by 100 basis points over five years, beginning with the current fiscal year. Savings continue to be realized through lower expenses and productivity initiatives, and the savings are reinvested in lower prices and improved international profitability.
Sustainability is at the heart of everything Sappi Fine Paper Europe does. Throughout the entire paper chain, Sappi continually invests in its surrounding environment, the communities that the company works in, and the people and partners that they do business with. What they really care about is building a prosperous future for everyone involved. Their new website, www.sappipositivity.com
is focused on sharing their experience and know-how in this realm, making sustainability an everyday reality for all, and inspiring others to join and build momentum.
Building on Sappi’s very successful Positivity Campaign, the website brings new and relevant information to stakeholders in an accessible and interactive format, responding to their ever-increasing information needs. In a nutshell, visitors to the website will be able to discover positive paper stories, Sappi’s green paper trail, as well as facts and figures and useful downloadable content. Sappi Fine Paper Europe’s recently published first regional Sustainability Report (2011), is one of the many sources of information for the website.
Jens Kriete, Environmental Manager at Sappi Fine Paper Europe said, “Informing and inspiring is part of Sappi’s essence. As a result of our experience with sustainability in the paper sector, we’re able to respond to the increasing information needs of our customers, while at the same time, inviting them to discover even more about who we are and what we do. Our new website is an exciting platform allowing us to connect with our stakeholders, something which is very important to Sappi.”
Nekoosa Coated Products announced that it has created the world's first antimicrobial carbonless paper by adding Biomaster® silver ion technology, a non-toxic, naturally occurring antimicrobial technology to protect against the spreading of bacteria. Biomaster is manufactured by BiomasterUSA, LLC.
According to Nekoosa, Biomaster silver ion technology will not affect the paper's properties such as dry toner/laser compatibility or carbonless image permanence, and does not cause product degradation, discoloration or deterioration.
Nekoosa's carbonless and bond papers protected with Biomaster silver ion technology are suitable for any high traffic environment such as hospitals, classrooms, exam rooms, offices, clinics and daycares, the company said.
Fully loaded in-store mobile POS technology might be the wave of the future, but for Urban Outfitters, the future is now. The traditional cash register is a thing of the past.
Urban Outfitters chief information officer Calvin Hollinger told analysts last week that the company is using a combination of iPod Touch and iPad devices equipped to handle not only point-of-sale transactions, but also returns and restocking. Urban Outfitters began deploying handheld devices running on a mobile POS solution two years ago.
"Two or three weeks ago, we placed our very last register order," Hollinger said during the analysts' presentation. "Once we successfully make sure this iPad [POS] works in all the stores, all stores will be designed and equipped with iPod Touches and iPads."
Besides freeing up space in retail stores, mobile POS also provides a financial break: The iPod Touch device -- "fully loaded, fully installed" -- is about $500 and a register is about $5,000, Hollinger said. The iPad tablet device, which can be mounted on a swivel arm at a cash wrap station, is $1,000 fully installed.
Hollinger is excited about the mobile devices' out-of-stock application, which takes advantage of the company's ability to access inventory from anywhere in its system.
For years, the United States has looked to Asia-Pacific markets as the model for mobile innovation.
According to eMarketer, however, stateside spending on mobile Internet advertising will top all other countries in the world for the first time this year.
Until this year, Japan was the world’s largest market for mobile advertising, with spending reaching $1.36 billion in 2011 -- up from $1.01 billion in 2010. Mobile advertising is more mature in Japan, however, which means growth is far lower than in North American markets.
As such, eMarketer estimates that spending on mobile Internet ads in Japan will grow 27% to $1.7 billion in 2012 versus 35% growth in 2011.
Mobile Internet advertising spending in the U.S. is expected to grow nearly 97% to $2.3 billion in 2012 -- up from $1.16 billion last year.
Worldwide, mobile ad spending should hit $6.4 billion this year, according to eMarketer.
FiberMark, a manufacturer of specialty cellulose and synthetic fiber-based printing media, announces an exclusive manufacturer's representative agreement with PrintLAT to increase sales and support to Latin America.
"We are excited to have PrintLAT onboard to expand growth and provide exceptional support to Latin America for FiberMark wide-format inkjet products," said Dr. Robert Conforti, Sr. Vice-President of Business Development, for FiberMark.
"FiberMark brings new and exciting products to the PrintLAT portfolio, offering increased value to our distributors," Said David Pachon, President of PrintLAT.
Oil advanced in New York amid concern that escalating tensions between Syria and Turkey may disrupt supplies from the Middle East. Brent’s premium to West Texas Intermediate crude widened to the most in almost a year.
Futures rose as much as 0.9 percent after Turkey seized cargo on a Syrian passenger plane and on unconfirmed reports of the discovery of weapons parts and military communications gear. The Middle East accounts for about 33 percent of world oil supplies, according to BP Plc. The American Petroleum Institute said yesterday that U.S. crude inventories rose 1.6 million barrels last week, and the Energy Department is forecast to report a 1.5 million barrel gain for the period today.
“The unrest between Syria and Turkey is a lit powder keg,” said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management in Middelfart, Denmark, who predicts Brent crude may advance to $120 a barrel this month. “The general supply-demand situation is balanced, walking a tightrope between weaker growth projections and the risk of supply disruptions.”
WTI for November delivery increased as much as 83 cents to $92.08 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was up 72 cents at $91.95 at 11:36 a.m. London time.
Global advertising spending will grow to $676.17 billion in 2016 from $538.70 billion this year, according to eMarketer's annual “Global Media Intelligence Report.”
Much of the growth is from the Asia-Pacific region, where more than 1 billion people now use the Web at least once a month—almost 47% of the total global Web usage, according to eMarketer.
The report said China is poised to become the world's second-largest ad market in 2013 and the second-largest digital advertising market in 2014, behind the U.S. in both categories.
As a result, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to surpass North America in total ad spending in 2014.
During the next four years, global spending on mobile ads will grow to $25.3 billion annually, up from $6.6 billion this year, the report found.
The PM2 paper machine at the Norske Skog mill at Kawerau will close on January 9, a Norske Skog spokesperson confirmed today.
The closure of one of the mills newsprint machines, which produces 145,000 tonnes of 685cm newsprint and improved newsprint each year, will halve the production of the mill.
The mill employs 290 staff and the closure is likely to result in layoffs, although the mill will not disclose how many people will lose their jobs.
“At the moment we are under consultation with many areas of the mill. It is inappropriate comment on how many and when, it’s quite an involved process we have to go through. A lot of decisions haven’t been made about that yet.”
There are also no plans in place about the future of the PM2 newsprint machine. The spokesperson is unable to say if it will be simply turned off and left, or removed.
The permanent shut down of half the mill’s capacity was announced by the mill’s Norwegian owners in September.
Quad/Graphics, Inc. and Vertis Holdings, Inc. today announced the execution of an agreement through which Quad/Graphics will acquire substantially all of the assets comprising Vertis’ businesses for $258.5 million, which includes the payment of approximately $88.5 million for current assets that are in excess of normalized working capital requirements. Upon completion, the acquisition will enhance Quad/Graphics’ position as a leader in the production of retail advertising inserts, direct marketing and in-store marketing solutions while providing continuity, financial stability and continued business investment for Vertis’ clients and employees.
Quad/Graphics intends to use cash on hand and draw on its revolving credit facility to finance the acquisition of Vertis. Vertis expects to generate approximately $1.1 billion in revenues and approximately $60 million in EBITDA, adjusted for restructuring, impairment and other transaction-related expenses, during fiscal year 2012. After taking into account significant anticipated synergies, Quad/Graphics expects that the acquisition will be accretive to earnings, excluding any non-recurring integration costs. The combined entity will realize efficiencies and cost-savings derived from a superior and more efficient operating platform, expanded volume-driven mailings and more efficient procurement programs.
Clients will benefit from an enhanced range of products, services and revenue-generating solutions; expanded industry vertical expertise; increased manufacturing flexibility and distribution efficiencies from an extended geographic footprint; and new opportunities to realize mailing and distribution cost-savings from the combined volumes and capabilities of the two companies.
Pulp fiction has helped to rescue a Canadian company in distress.
A leaner Catalyst Paper Corp. has slashed the amount of newsprint in its production lines and shifted attention to new opportunities, emboldened by a recent contract to supply book-grade paper for a steamy bestseller.
The pulp and paper company’s Powell River mill on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, which began as a newsprint producer 100 years ago, has proven to be adept at changing with the times, said Lyn Brown, Catalyst’s vice-president of marketing and corporate responsibility.
Earlier this year, the Powell River site earned a coveted spot as one of the major manufacturers of specialty paper that was used in the publication of the erotic trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey. In the case of the blockbuster book, Catalyst supplied its “Electrabrite” paper grade, Ms. Brown said. “We have become nimble from a production perspective. Helping supply the book-grade paper for the must-read novel is an indication of how flexible our equipment is,” she said, noting that the Powell River plant no longer makes newsprint.
Richmond, B.C.-based Catalyst’s road to recovery comes as newsprint demand in North America continues on a steady decline. The privately held company emerged from bankruptcy protection last month and is now focusing on meeting demand for specialty paper. It closed its recycled-newsprint mill in Arizona on Sept. 30, noting that North American newsprint demand has fallen more than 10 per cent annually since the end of 2008.
Walgreens today received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2012 SmartWay Excellence Award, the organization’s highest recognition for demonstrated leadership in supply chain goods movement. The award – recognizing Walgreens as an industry leader in freight supply chain efficiency, performance and environmental sustainability – was announced at the American Trucking Associations Annual Management Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas.
By optimizing routes to be more efficient and creating more effective ways to decrease empty miles when no product was being hauled, Walgreens fleet decreased its carbon footprint by nearly 15 percent between 2010 and 2011, according to SmartWay data. The fleet serves all of the company’s locations within the continental U.S. More than 3,000 companies participate in the SmartWay program. Of those, Walgreens is one of 40 companies to receive this award.
“Walgreens is always looking for innovative ways to improve performance when it comes to efficiency and environmental sustainability,” said Reuben Slone, Walgreens senior vice president of supply chain management. “We continue exploring new technologies and strategies to improve fuel efficiency, lower costs and encourage stewardship of the environment.”
The Global Port Tracker report released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates found that import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 9.9% in October as merchants wrap up the annual shipping cycle for holiday merchandise.
“NRF’s annual forecast says retailers should see solid growth during the holiday season this year and these cargo numbers back it up,” NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said. “Increased imports show that retailers have gauged the market and expect increased sales.”??
U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.42 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in August, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 6.7% from July and 3.3% from August 2011. One TEU is one 20-ft. cargo container or its equivalent.??
September was estimated at 1.49 million TEU, up 8% from last year, and October is forecast at 1.45 million TEU, up 9.9%.
August, September and October are the three busiest months of the year as retailers bring merchandise into the country for the holiday season, and volume for the three months combined is up 7%.
The ad industry is continuing to ramp up the pressure on Microsoft to retreat from its decision to activate do-not-track headers by default in Internet Explorer 10.
"A 'default on' do-not-track mechanism offers consumers and businesses inconsistencies and confusion instead of comfort and security," the self-regulatory group Digital Advertising Alliance said on Tuesday.
The organization added that it won't require members to honor do-not-track headers from people who use the Internet Explorer 10 browser. While the ad group previously indicated that it won't require publishers and ad networks to respect do-not-track signals set to "on" by default, Tuesday's statement was the most definitive to date.
"It is not a DAA Principle or in any way a requirement under the DAA Program to honor a DNT signal that is automatically set in IE10 or any other browser," the group stated. It noted that the Council of Better Business Bureaus -- which enforces the industry's self-regulatory principles -- as well as the Direct Marketing Association won't sanction companies that ignore do-not-track signals from Microsoft's IE10 browser.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau praised the DAA for taking a position against "machine-driven" do-not-track browser standards, saying that they "restrict consumer control and freedom of choice."
Entertainment news source Variety has been sold by Reed Elsevier to digital media and publishing company Penske Media Corporation (PMC). The deal is estimated to be for about $25 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Reed Business Information [RBI], a division of Reed Elsevier, announced in March that was putting Variety up for sale—the announcement followed rumors of a possible sale that circulated in 2010. The company has spent the last three years divesting its U.S. magazine properties. In April 2010, 23 RBI titles (including Building Design + Construction, Graphic Arts Blue Book and Professional Builder, among others) shuttered.
The historic ‘gan bei’ drinking ritual in China, which is the equivalent of the “Cheers!” toast in the U.S., is being modernized with Anheuser-Busch InBev's (AB InBev) launch of Budweiser in premium metal packaging featuring a full aperture end. The new 200 diameter end was developed by Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCK) (Crown) (www.crowncork.com
) specifically for this project and represents the first commercial application of full aperture ends in Asia. Branded the 360 End™, the innovation allows the entire can lid to be removed, turning the can itself into a drinking cup.
The 150ml package is slated for limited release in China, with nightclubs and the popular karaoke scene as primary end-use targets.
“China has overtaken the U.S. as the world’s largest beer market, and younger consumers represent a large part of the country’s consumption of 40 billion liters of beer each year,” said Ricardo Dias, Vice-President of Procurement for AB InBev APAC. “The ‘gan bei’ can is a brand new product with a very specific goal: enhancing the drinking experience for Budweiser consumers, who have increasingly sophisticated taste. The unique size, ultra high quality graphics and full aperture end will also reinforce the positioning of Budweiser as a premium brand for aspiring and affluent Chinese consumers.”
Costco Wholesale Corporation announced today its operating results for the 17-week fourth quarter and the 53-week fiscal year 2012 ended September 2, 2012.
Net sales for the 17-week fourth quarter were $31.52 billion, an increase of 14 percent from $27.59 billion in the 16-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 ended August 28, 2011. Net sales for the 53-week fiscal year 2012 were $97.06 billion, an increase of 12 percent from $87.05 billion in the prior 52-week fiscal year.
Net income for the 17-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 was $609 million, or $1.39 per diluted share, compared to $478 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, during the 16-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.
Costco ended its 2012 fiscal year on September 2 with 608 warehouses in operation, including 439 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 82 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 22 in the United Kingdom, 13 in Japan, nine in Taiwan, eight in Korea, and three in Australia. The Company plans to open up to 14 new warehouses before the end of calendar year 2012. The Company also operates Costco Online, an electronic commerce web site, at www.costco.com and at www.costco.ca in Canada.
Oil declined from the highest price in a week in New York on speculation that crude stockpiles climbed in the U.S., the world’s biggest user of the commodity.
Futures slid as much as 0.7 percent after surging 3.4 percent yesterday amid increased tension in the Middle East. Crude inventories probably rose 1.5 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey before an Energy Department report tomorrow. The American Petroleum Institute will release separate supply data later today. London-traded Brent prices are still high and Saudi Arabia will work toward “moderating” them, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said yesterday.
“We’re still in an oversupply situation,” said Filip Petersson, a commodities strategist at SEB AB in Stockholm, who predicts Brent crude will average $110 a barrel this quarter. “There’s upside risk on the geopolitical side, but then of course there are headwinds from slowing growth.”
Crude for November delivery dropped as much as 68 cents to $91.71 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $92 at 9:46 a.m. London time.
NewPage Corporation today announced that it is strengthening its commitment to the uncoated freesheet market segment and broadening its reach for its Ideal® products.
"NewPage continues to diversify into new market segments in order to meet the evolving needs of our customers, as well as position us as a long-term, sustainable supplier," stated Kris Morrow, commercial product manager for NewPage uncoated grades.
Ideal attributes include a 92 brightness, brilliant blue-white shade, excellent ink holdout and optimal opacity. Ideal meets the exacting needs of any print application while remaining within a tight budget. It is recommended for end use such as annual reports, brochures, catalogs, coupons, direct mail, financial documents, newsletters and manuals.
Ideal provides superior versatility and is a good choice for the most demanding printing applications. It is designed to perform in heatset web, coldset web and sheetfed printing applications.
Morrow added, "Ideal is known for its top tier properties that meet rigorous printing and finishing demands. Its smooth, even surface yields a high-quality look and feel for a printed piece, and its consistency and reliability allows printers and converters to feel confident in their ability to maximize operational efficiencies."
Quad/Graphics, Inc., announced today that it has reached a new, $900 million-plus agreement with Time Inc. that significantly extends and expands its magazine print work for the venerable New York publisher. Under the multi-year agreement, Quad/Graphics will handle more than 85% of the print work for 19 titles that are among the most popular magazines in America, including Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, Money, Real Simple, Fortune, Essence and Golf. The work represents a 35% increase in incremental Time Inc. print volume for Quad/Graphics over the term of the agreement, beginning in January 2014.
Guy Gleysteen, Senior VP of Production at Time Inc., said the new agreement reflects his company’s confidence in Quad/Graphics to continue to deliver superior services for both weekly and monthly magazine production. “We strive for continuous improvement in our operations with the goal of delivering increasingly timely and relevant content through all of our magazine brands,” he said. “Aligning the majority of our magazines with Quad is going to provide a unique opportunity for the two companies to drive innovation and efficiency.”
“We are pleased to be growing our business relationship with Time Inc., and capitalizing on our leading nationwide magazine platform to print more titles and more volume in more places,” said Joel Quadracci, Chairman, President & CEO. “Under this new agreement, Time Inc. has entrusted us with the vast majority of its magazine work, and we will continue to deliver the timely service and quality product they have come to expect from us, a progressive print partner.”
SG360°, a Segerdahl Co. and leading direct marketing solutions provider, announced the purchase of two new Komori Lithrone G40 presses (GL640) for its production facility here. These state-of-the art offset sheetfed presses deliver the speed and efficiency required to respond to short delivery deadlines for all types of print applications.
“We are proud to add the cutting-edge Komori GL640 presses to our production capabilities,” commented Rick Joutras, CEO of SG360°. “This has been an exciting month for SG360°. We have a new name, new identity, a redefined business and now two new Komori presses. We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities for us to increase productivity for our clients, enabling them to connect the right messages with their customers faster and more efficiently.”
Yoshiharu Komori, chairman, president and CEO of Komori Corp., toured the printer’s facilities with Joutras and other team members on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.
Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, said there is "big momentum" for federal legislation that would allow states to require online retailers to collect sales tax – but thinks it would throw the ecommerce world into chaos.
"It's a nightmare coming your way," DelBianco said at last month's National Etailing and Mailing Organization of America fall directXchange conference. "It would be a pretty crushing burden to handle."
Should one of the three pending bills (Main Street Fairness Act, Marketplace Equity Act, and Marketplace Fairness Act) become law, DelBianco said ecommerce and catalog companies would receive free software to help administer the collection of sales tax. "It's free the way a puppy is free," DelBianco said. "It's a nightmare coming your way."
If enacted, the collections of sales tax by online retailers would repeal the 1992 Supreme Court decision, Quill Corp. vs. North Dakota, which said states are not allowed to require out-of-state companies to collect sales taxes unless that company has a physical presence, such as a store or warehouse, in the state. Small companies (those with sales of $1 million or less nationally or less than $100,000 in a given state) would be exempt from the requirement.
Burdening remote sales, including ecommerce, with unrealistic administrative tax burdens will increase the cost of doing business on the Internet, DelBianco said. Pending legislation would require ecommerce sites and catalogs to calculate tax rates for over 9,600 tax jurisdictions, each with its own rates and sales tax holidays; file returns for each of the 46 taxing states; endure potential tax audits from 46 state tax authorities; and invest in computer systems changes and additional accounting resources, DelBianco said.
While it is hard for anyone to argue that print advertising is on a growth path, the magazine industry’s trade association, MPA, wants us all to look beyond beleaguered ad pages and newsstand sales for signs of success. As one of the first moves just three weeks into her tenure as new president and CEO of the MPA, Mary Berner says she asked for an audit of all the metrics around magazines. “It occurred to me that the conversation about magazine media is skewed, in that it only captures traditional ways of looking at magazines,” she tells minonline. PIB and ABC numbers around ad pages and circulation are all necessary and fine, but they no longer measure the sum total of what she prefers labeling “magazine media.” According to the MPA count off of recently issued Kantar research, the number of discrete brands advertising across magazine print, tablet and digital platforms is up 57% since 2010 when the iPad first appeared. Kantar found that 9,536 brands were buying into magazines on or more of the three platforms in the first half of 2010, but 14,949 brands advertised in the first half of this year.
To be sure, as almost all measures show, ad pages have been in steady decline in print publications for several years, apart from select bumps and rebounds in some categories. But after years of bad news and bad press surrounding the magazine industry’s decline, Berner is resolved. “The idea is to take the reins of what the conversation is pegged around,” she says. “I am not saying that we aren’t going through challenging times. Every business is going through transformation.” But the digital revolution that has disrupted almost every segment of he American economic holds great upside for magazine media, she contends. “The story is quite good,” she says.
On an audience basis, magazines may still be struggling to monetize eyeballs, but the reach remains. Citing GfK MRI research, the MPA says that combined unduplicated audience for magazines grew 4% across print and all digital platforms between sprint 2011 and spring 2012.
Tablets are especially promising for the industry, Berner says. In fact, according to Kantar’s research, tablets are helping to drive the expansion of magazine media’s ad base. In the first half of 2012 3,374 unique brands were working with magazine media on their tablet products, Berners says, per Kantar. “Of the growth [in overall advertisers for magazines] two-thirds was from new brands going onto tablets,” she says. In addition to the number of discrete advertisers buying into magazine brands on one of their platforms, magazines have broken through as major players in the tablet space. By MPA’s count, 13 of the top 15 highest grossing apps in the iPad Lifestyle section of the iTunes App Store are magazine-branded apps. The sheer number of apps have increased steadily, now standing at 1728 magazine-brand iPad apps (per McPheters & Company’s iMonitor).
Google Inc. has reached a legal settlement with publishers over its program of digitizing copyrighted books, providing it with an opening to sell more digital books through its Google Play online store, the company says.
“By putting this litigation with the publishers behind us, we can stay focused on our core mission and work to increase the number of books available to educate, excite and entertain our users via Google Play,” David Drummon, Google’s senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer, said in a statement released yesterday by Google and the Association of American Publishers.
A Google spokeswoman adds that Google expects the settlement to lead to more digital books available for viewing and for sale online. Google lets consumers searching for books through its Google Books site to read up to 20% of a chosen book; to make a purchase, they can then click to Google Play to purchase a digital book that can be read on the web or via mobile devices.
Google still faces a lawsuit by authors who complain the search engine is infringing their copyrights.
This week’s agreement settles a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against Google in 2005 by five publishers: McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., John Wiley & Sons Inc., Simon & Schuster Inc., Pearson plc’s Pearson Education Inc. and Penguin Group. The publishers had sought to prevent Google from digitizing copyrighted books and journals for its Google Library Project. A call to the Association of American Publishers, which announced the settlement with Google this week, was not immediately returned.
Active Interest Media (AIM) and Restore Media have agreed to partner in production of their historic home and building brands, the companies announced today.
AIM bought consumer publications Old House Journal and New Old House from Restore Media in 2007. Those two brands, as well as Restore's two professional titles, Period Homes and Traditional Building, are involved in the current deal.
The arrangement, negotiated over the past six months and involving the print, digital and tradeshow properties, puts the companies on "a specific path to an acquisition," according to Andy Clurman, president of AIM.
The brands will remain financially and editorially independent of one another for the time being, but will work together on sales and marketing in an effort to "build and rebuild the business in an improving housing market," he says. Depending on the success of the relationship, AIM may choose to acquire Restore Media at some point during the next three years. A price has not yet been determined.
Oil halted a two-day slide as optimism that European finance ministers will make progress in taming the region’s debt crisis countered signs that crude supplies are excessive amid a global economic slowdown.
West Texas Intermediate crude gained as much as 1.1 percent after the European ministers welcomed Greece’s determination to cut spending and reshape its recession-wracked economy. The commitment improves chances that regional aid will keep flowing and stop Greece from abandoning the euro. U.S. oil supplies probably rose after crude production climbed to the highest level in more than 15 years and imports increased, a Bloomberg survey showed before an Energy Department report on Oct. 11.
“The continuing tension between bullish and bearish factors will keep oil trading in a range in the very short- term,” said Christopher Bellew, a senior broker at Jefferies Bache Ltd. in London, who predicts Brent crude will slip to about $110 a barrel.
Crude for November delivery climbed as much as $1 to $90.33 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $89.56 at 11:43 a.m. London time.