HP today announced that customers can now print directly from their smartphone or tablet to more than 8,000 U.S. Walgreens stores, bringing the HP Public Print Locations (PPL)(1) network to 30,000 sites worldwide.
By downloading the free HP ePrint Service iPhone app,(2) users can order prints of their photos, which can be picked up from a local Walgreens in as little as an hour.
“Providing HP ePrint users with access to more than 8,000 Walgreens locations makes their printing experiences easy and convenient,” said Jasbir Patel, senior director and general merchandise manager, Photo and E-commerce, Walgreens. “HP’s integration of the Walgreens QuickPrints technology gives customers expanded access and provides another level of valuable engagement.”
This fall, HP ePrint mobile printing apps reached more than 6 million downloads, and the number of people printing to the HP PPL network is doubling every six months.(3) In addition, HP recently enhanced its HP ePrint Service app to feature more cloud service content, including direct integration with Dropbox and Facebook.
Catalyst Paper is marking its return to publicly traded status earlier this month by opening the market at Toronto Stock Exchange today. Catalyst President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin J. Clarke, is being joined by board member Todd Dillabough, other Catalyst executives and representatives of several key stakeholder groups to mark the event.
Catalyst’s new class of common shares began trading on TSX under the symbol CYT on January 7, 2013. This follows the successful conclusion of a reorganization conducted last year under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, through which Catalyst achieved significant debt and operating cost reductions.
“Everyone – employees, customers, suppliers and others – got behind the need to change, adapt and innovate,” says Clarke. “Starting the trading day is a great way to mark the fresh start that we’ve collectively secured.” In the spirit of communities and commerce, Clarke will be joined in initiating the siren by Adrian Dix, Member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly and Leader of the Official Opposition, and Vice-President Lorne Richmond of YPG, the country's largest directory publisher and a longstanding Catalyst customer.
Bloomsbury Publishing is issuing its Interim Management Statement in respect of the period 1 September 2012 to date.
In the four months ended 31 December 2012, Group operating profits from title sales were up year on year because of lower relative costs of production in the new digital environment and a lower returns rate as the proportion of online sales increased, in spite of a 2% decrease in title sales. Key title sales (which excludes Rights & Services) in this period have come from Paul Hollywood's How to Bake, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Three Good Things and J.K.Rowling's Hogwarts Library. E-book sales continue to show good momentum growing by 58% year on year, in the four months ended 31 December 2012, particularly in the UK.
The recent expansion of our Information division has contributed to an increasing pipeline of Rights & Services contracts. Budgeted income includes £2.7 million from contracts scheduled to be completed between now and the year end.
In November, Polpo by Russell Norman was chosen as their Book of the Year by Waterstones. In this period awards include Ghosts by Daylight by Janine di Giovanni which won the Spear's Book Awards in the Memoir category, River Cottage Veg Every Day! by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall which won the Observer Food Monthly Best Cookbook of the Year award, Stella Rimington's international thriller The Geneva Trap which is on the fiction shortlist at the Political Book Awards, The Killer is Dying by James Sallis which won the North American Hammett Prize for best crime novel and Leonardo and The Last Supper by Ross King which won the Governor General's Award for non-fiction in Canada. Two of our titles, Pig's Foot by Carlos Acosta and Ballistics by D.W. Wilson are among the Waterstones Eleven for 2013, these debut titles will receive Waterstones' full backing as potential bestsellers and literary prize contenders for the year ahead.
Oil traded near the lowest level in almost a week in New York after U.S. crude stockpiles increased and the World Bank cut its economic growth forecasts.
Futures were little changed after slipping the most in almost a month yesterday. U.S. crude supplies gained a second week and inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate, rose to a record, data from the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute showed. An Energy Department report today may show stockpiles climbed by 2.2 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey. The World Bank projects the global economy will expand 2.4 percent this year, down from a June forecast of 3 percent.
“Supply in the U.S. is increasingly comfortable as their domestic production of oil and gas burgeons,” Christopher Bellew, a senior broker at Jefferies Bache Ltd. in London
Crude for February delivery was at $93.53 a barrel, up 25 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:00 a.m. London time.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., announced today that it has acquired the assets of the FIZ Chemie Berlin, a leading provider of online database products for organic and industrial chemists. The acquisition aligns with the company’s long-term strategy to support research, learning, and professional practice through high quality content and services. Wiley is expanding its presence in Berlin with the new venture providing roles for more than 30 skilled information professionals.
“This is an outcome that represents the best combination of public investment and private enterprise, given Wiley’s deep roots in chemistry publishing and its high-profile German and international chemistry society partnerships,” said Christian Köhler-Ma, Leonhardt Rechtsanwälte, Berlin, who managed the sale of the assets.
“The FIZ suite of databases and services are a great addition to Wiley’s deep reservoir of chemical databases, journals, books and references. The FIZ products and services will enable Wiley to build a new generation of information products to help boost the productivity of chemists,” said Steve Miron, Senior Vice President, Scientific, Technical, Medical and Scholarly, Wiley.
The products include the ChemInform weekly abstracting service and reaction database (CIRX), as well as the abstracting journal Chemisches Zentralblatt, the InfoTherm database of thermophysical properties, and eLearning tools and services.
The Postal Service Board of Governors met last week to discuss a wide range of accelerated cost cutting and revenue generating measures in the face of an unprecedented set of financial challenges, heightened by the inability of Congress to pass comprehensive postal legislation. Citing the fact that the Postal Service cannot wait indefinitely for legislation, the USPS Board of Governors has directed management to accelerate the restructure of Postal Service operations to further reduce costs in order to strengthen Postal Service finances. Specifically, the Board approved restructuring initiatives and also instructed the Postal Service to revise its 2012 five-year comprehensive plan to account for current financial and liquidity conditions.
The Postal Service is currently implementing major cost reduction efforts throughout its retail, delivery and mail processing operations. Since 2006, the Postal Service has reduced its annual cost base by approximately $15 billion and reduced the size of its career workforce by 168,000 or 24 percent. During these unprecedented cost cutting initiatives, the Postal Service continued to deliver record levels of service to its customers.
Despite achieving record growth in its package business and stabilization of other revenues, the Postal Service continues to operate with an inflexible business model that hinders its ability to be self-sufficient. In Fiscal Year 2012, the Postal Service was forced to default on $11.1 billion in mandated payments to the U.S. Treasury, which contributed to a recorded loss of $15.9 billion.
The Postal Service continues to seek legislation to provide it with greater flexibility to control costs and generate new revenue, and encourages the 113th Congress to make postal reform legislation an urgent priority.
TC Transcontinental is pleased to announce that it has inked an extension to 2015 of its contract to provide flyer printing services to Best Buy and Future Shop, and has added distribution into the mix. With this announcement, TC Transcontinental has again proven its broad ability to meet the needs of major national customers. The new distribution services for the two major retailers will cover Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.
The printing contract, which was slated to end in March 2014, will continue to March 2015, and will now include, for the same period, flyer distribution through Publisac in Quebec. The new agreement will bring TC Transcontinental about $30 million in incremental business.
“We are very pleased to have earned the continued confidence of Best Buy and Future Shop,” said François Olivier, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The TC Transcontinental teams are proud to provide top-notch printing and distribution services. This deal demonstrates our ability to serve national clients with highly efficient expertise and state-ofthe- art technology.”
David Champion, Director of Media Solutions for Best Buy Canada added: “We are very happy to be partnering with TC Transcontinental in an expanded way, benefiting from their multi-channel media capabilities.”
SCA is a leader in the environment for publication paper products. This environmental profile is now being strengthened even further as all of SCA’s paper grades, except for newsprint, will be labelled with the EU’s Ecolabel in the copy paper and graphic paper categories.
The EU Ecolabel, which used to be known as the EU Flower, provides consumers with a guarantee that products have a lower or similar environmental impact as comparable products on the market. The criteria for the EU Ecolabel are the same for all EU countries. It is based on the environmental load of the product from the raw material to when it is disposed of; i.e. the entire lifecycle of the product, from the cradle to the grave. Requirements are in place for energy consumption, water and air pollutants, waste and chemical management, and sustainable forestry. It is a voluntary labelling scheme that is monitored every year by an independent third-party organisation.
“The EU Ecolabel will strengthen SCA’s position as a pioneer for the environment,” says vice president sales and marketing Rolf Johannesson.
50% of the fibre raw material used in publication paper with an EU Flower label has to be FSC- or PEFC-certified. FSC- and PEFC-certifications verify that the raw material of the products comes from forests that are managed by companies that show great respect for the environment and social values, and promote long-term sustainability. In 1999 SCA became one of the first paper manufacturers in the world to offer high volumes of FSC-certified publication paper. The company has also offered PEFC certification since the beginning of 2012. SCA Ortviken paper mill uses energy from renewable sources and makes rational use of its energy, giving it a uniquely low carbon footprint.
Oil traded near the highest level in almost four months in New York before reports that may show the economy recovering in the U.S. and as lower temperatures buoy demand for heating fuels.
West Texas Intermediate was little changed after climbing 0.6 percent yesterday. The U.S. East Coast and Midwest will be 5 degrees Fahrenheit (2.8 Celsius) below normal from Jan. 19 to Jan. 23, according to Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. Retail sales probably rose for a second month in December, a Bloomberg News survey of economists predicted before Commerce Department data today.
“Colder weather is helping the energy complex,” said Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, who predicts WTI may remain capped at about $95.60 a barrel. “The global oil market looks evenly balanced.”
Crude for February delivery was at $94.08 a barrel, down 6 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:40 a.m. London time.
Digital ad spending worldwide reached $102.8 billion last year, up 17.8% over 2011, and will continue to enjoy double-digital growth through 2015, according to a report by eMarketer.
eMarketer projected that digital advertising budgets will grow 15.1% this year, to $118.4 billion, putting global digital ad spending levels—including online and mobile—at 21.7% of total advertising expenditures.
North America accounts for the greatest share of all digital ad spending, at 39.0% as of the end of 2012, although the fastest growth in spending is from such emerging markets as India, Indonesia and Mexico, eMarketer said.
International Paper and Brazilian corrugated packaging producer Jari Celulose, Embalagens e Papel S.A., a Grupo Orsa company, have finalized the formation of Orsa International Paper Embalagens S.A. The new entity, in which IP will hold a 75 percent stake, includes three containerboard mills and four box plants, which make up Jari's former industrial packaging assets. Today's closing completes the transaction announced in October of 2012.
"International Paper has been in Brazil for over 50 years and we are excited about this partnership as a platform to enter the corrugated packaging business in this strategic region," said John Faraci, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "This investment fits our strategy to grow our packaging business globally and allocate capital to opportunities that deliver returns well above our cost of capital."
The value of IP's investment is approximately $470 million at today's exchange rate.
2012 was not the year of the printed book.
In a mass societal trend, electronic everything rules - and the classic, (actual) page-turning adventures of reading are on a steady fall.
According to Publishers Weekly, sales of literary works in print form - including fiction, nonfiction, and all sorts - fell over 9 percent last year.
Nielsen BookScan, which successfully tracks and compiles sales from bookstores and online market places, reported that the number was in-line with the sales rate between 2010 and 2011. Since 2010, sales have continued to dip to under 16 percent.
Adult nonfiction took the biggest hit, where units sold fell 13 percent, while young adult works saw a slight boost of 5.4 percent in sales for the year.
Wausau Paper today announced that it commenced a process last year to identify strategic alternatives for its Paper Segment that will position the Company to focus its management efforts on continuing the growth of its highly successful tissue business.
In early 2012 the Company exited its legacy Print & Color business and narrowed the focus of its Paper Segment to specialty products with leading domestic and global positions in food, industrial and tape markets. Since that time the Company retained financial advisors to assist the Company’s board of directors in the evaluation of alternatives for the remainder of the Paper Segment.
The Company recently began the start-up phase of a $220 million tissue capacity investment at its Harrodsburg, Kentucky site. The project will accelerate growth of its Tissue Segment and further establish its “green leadership” position in away-from-home tissue markets through improved product performance and the introduction of new-to-the-market premium recycled products.
“Our Tissue Segment has demonstrated strong profitability and exceptional growth over the last decade,” stated Hank Newell, president & CEO. “We believe our shareholders’ interests will be best served through a singular focus on successfully marketing the capacity and capability of our new tissue machine and sustaining the historically strong growth and profit performance of our tissue business.”
International Paper has completed a license agreement with Smart Planet Technologies to explore the development of products using EarthCoating, a mineralized barrier coating for paperboard products. The company’s coated paperboard division plans to create a line of folding carton and cup-stock products within their Everest® and Fortress® grade lines that would improve yield and reduce plastic use while offering the same barrier properties available today. Trial work and pilot testing are scheduled for the first quarter of 2013.
The EarthCoating mineralized resins are high performance coatings that contain less plastic than traditional low-density polyethylene coatings. EarthCoating resins are heat-sealable and FDA-compliant for direct food contact.
Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 2.3% in January over the same month last year as retailers continue to urge labor and management to avoid a strike at East Coast and Gulf Coast docks, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. A strike would close 14 ports from Maine to Texas where nearly 15,000 dockworkers handle 40% of the nation’s ocean cargo.?
“The strike deadline came and went at the end of December, but the threat of closing down nearly half our nation’s port capacity has only been postponed, not eliminated,” NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said. “The uncertainty of what will happen in February has retailers implementing expensive contingency plans yet again and is a burden our economy cannot afford.”
The latest extension of contract talks between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the U.S. Maritime Alliance runs through Feb. 6 and comes after previous strike deadlines in September and October. The union and management are scheduled to meet next week under the supervision of federal mediators, but the ILA walked away from local talks affecting the Ports of New York and New Jersey earlier this week.?
The Koryazhma Mill of Ilim Group set a new production record on December 31, 2012 when its annual market product output exceeded 1.1 million tons. Production output of the Koryazhma Mill in 2012 reached 1,100,831 tons. Ilim has thus set a new European record and the Koryazhma Mill has proved its status of the biggest manufacturer of pulp and paper products in Europe.
The Mill broke its own production record of last year when market product output had exceeded 1 million tons. This is the result of joint efforts of employees and management of the Mill and entire Ilim Group.
Oil traded near a four-month high in New York, narrowing its discount to Brent crude to the least since September, after the expansion of a pipeline that may reduce a glut in the U.S. Midwest.
West Texas Intermediate climbed as much as 0.8 percent after a fifth weekly gain, the longest run of advances since August. The 500 mile (805 kilometer) Seaway line running from Cushing, Oklahoma, to Freeport, Texas, resumed service after shutting Jan. 2 to boost capacity to 400,000 barrels a day from 150,000 barrels, Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD) and Enbridge Inc. (ENB) said Jan. 11. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) said WTI’s discount to Brent will shrink to $6 a barrel in the second quarter, from $17 today.
“Cushing stocks should start to decline with the start of the extended Seaway pipeline,” said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, who predicts the spread between WTI and Brent may narrow to $15 a barrel this quarter.
Crude for February delivery rose as much as 73 cents to $94.29 a barrel and was at $94.14 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:43 a.m. London time.
Sonoco today announced that it will raise the price for all grades of uncoated recycled paperboard (URB) products by $25 per ton, effective for shipments in the United States and Canada beginning Feb. 11, 2013.
"This price increase is necessary to recover continued inflationary pressure from non-fiber-related costs, including chemicals, energy, freight, repair materials, labor and other expenses," said Marty Pignone, vice president, Primary Materials Group, North America.
The company has said that it is proceeding with its plans to raise prices of its woodfree coated sheets by February 2013 as announced in November 2012.
The cost increment will be between five and seven per cent and will vary according to range and grade. Sappi sales staff are currently in discussions with customers regarding the price hikes.
The company said in a statement: "In the light of further, sustained increases in raw materials, energy and transport costs, Sappi Fine Paper Europe has reviewed current margins for its graphic papers and will raise its prices where they have become unsustainable.
"Over recent months it has become apparent that the decline in indent prices for woodfree coated sheets over the last few months means that this business is now heavily subsidised and at current raw material prices is generating structural losses.
2012 was another tough year for magazines, with total ad pages falling 8.2% from 168,712 in 2011 to 154,838 last year, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Losses cut across most of the major magazine categories, although some individual titles did post positive results.
Out of 219 titles tracked by the PIB, 158 titles or 72% of the total experienced ad page declines. 74 titles or nearly 34% of the total experienced ad page declines of 10% or more, and 28 titles or 12.8% of the total experienced ad page declines of 20% or more.
Some of the biggest declines in percentage terms were seen at women’s interest titles, includingMartha Stewart Living, down 29% to 766 ad pages; Shape, down 22.7% to 899 ad pages; Ladies’ Home Journal, down 21.9% to 741 ad pages; Lucky, down 20.3% to 893 ad pages; men’s interest titles were not spared, however: Maxim saw ad pages decline 22.2% to 392, and ESPN Magazine slipped 16.3% to 1,084.
On the positive side, ad pages increased 22.9% at Ebony to 702; 18.5% at Allure to 1,397; 17.3% at Food Network Magazine, to 1,042; 13.2% at OK Weekly, to 1,192; 12.1% atPeople en Espanol to 1,067; 11.9% at Marie Claire to 1,599; and 11.1% at Harper’s Bazaar to 1,840.
Total magazine ad pages tracked by the PIB have declined by over a third in the last decade. In 2006 the PIB tallied 252,122 magazine ad pages. Last year’s tally of 154,838 represents a decline of 38.6% over six years.
Clearwater Paper Corporation today announced publication of its initial Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, demonstrating the company's commitment to sustainability and outlining our undertaking for continuous improvement.
The CSR will serve as a benchmark against which to measure the company's progress on several key metrics. The report pledges resource investments in strategies and projects that reduce the company's environmental footprint associated with water, air, greenhouse gas emissions, waste and energy.
"Sustainability has been part of our DNA for more than a century," said Linda Massman, president and CEO of Clearwater Paper. "This report formalizes our long-demonstrated commitment to doing business in a way that is good for people, good for the environment, and good for the future of the company."
Specifically, Clearwater Paper's CSR outlines the company's goals to reduce water consumption by 20 percent, energy consumption by 15 percent, manufacturing solid waste to landfills by 20 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2017. The full CSR report can be viewed at: www.clearwaterpaper.com.
AAA Fuel Gage 1/11/13
National Unleaded Regular:
Current Average - $3.313/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.315/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.382/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.114/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Average - $3.909/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.971/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.868/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.845/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Exchange Rates as of 1/11/13
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 1.016651
American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.160791
American Dollar to Euro = 1.327537
American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.011243
American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.079244
Oil fell in London, erasing a weekly gain, as concern that accelerating inflation in China will impede steps to stimulate growth countered a drop in crude production in Saudi Arabia.
Brent futures declined as much as 1.4 percent and headed for their first weekly decline in three weeks. China’s inflation climbed more than forecast to a seven-month high, potentially limiting scope for policy easing. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, reduced output in December to the lowest in 19 months, according to a Persian Gulf official with knowledge of the kingdom’s energy policy.
“Today the market’s attention turns back to Chinese macro numbers,” said Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, who predicts Brent will struggle to advance to more than $113 a barrel.
Brent for February settlement dropped as much as $1.53 to $110.36 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange and was at $110.75 at 11:41 a.m. local time. Prices are 0.5 percent lower this week.
Best Buy Co., Inc. today announced revenue of $12.8 billion for the nine weeks ended January 5, 2013 compared to $12.9 billion for the nine weeks ended December 31, 2011.
Best Buy’s Domestic segment online channel delivered revenue of $1.1 billion, a 10 percent revenue increase compared to the prior-year period, driven by a traffic increase. Best Buy’s strong online performance was recognized by various third parties, in particular:
ComScore indicated Best Buy was in the top three most trafficked websites for the Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday
Experian data ranked Best Buy as the No. 3 retail website on Cyber Monday with 9.3 million visits
Domestic comparable store sales for the period were flat. The company recorded positive comparable store sales growth in mobile phones, tablets/eReaders and appliances. In contrast, comparable store sales in entertainment, televisions and computing declined.
The International segment comparable store sales decline of 6.4 percent was driven by comparable store sales declines in Canada and China. Sales results for all countries in the International segment other than Canada are reported on a one-month lag.
Aeropostale, Inc., a mall-based specialty retailer of casual apparel for young women and men, today announced that total net sales for the nine-week period ended December 29, 2012 decreased 6% to $645.0 million, from $682.6 million for the nine-week period ended December 31, 2011.
Comparable sales, including the e-commerce channel, for the nine-week period ended December 29, 2012 decreased 8% compared to a 9% decrease last year. Comparable store sales, excluding the e-commerce channel, decreased 9%, compared to a 10% decrease last year.
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. today announced that total sales for the quarter-to-date period ended January 8, 2013 increased 5%. Consolidated comparable store sales, including the online business increased 5%, compared to a 13% increase for the same period last year. Excluding the online business, comparable store sales increased 1%, compared to a 12% increase last year.
Management reiterates its fourth quarter EPS guidance of $0.54 to $0.56 per diluted share and mid single-digit consolidated comparable store sales growth. This compares to an adjusted EPS from continuing operations of $0.39 last year, representing growth of 38% to 44%. The guidance excludes the potential impact of store impairment charges and tax settlements. During December, the company repurchased 5 million shares of its common stock for a total of $105 million. The company estimates diluted shares outstanding for the fourth quarter and full year 2012 of approximately 202 million and 201 million, respectively.
Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc., announced today that its fourth fiscal quarter same-store sales through January 6, 2013 increased 1% on a continuing operations basis. The Company also disclosed that it expects its gross margin percentage for the fourth quarter to be in the range of 21% to 22%, which represents an increase of approximately 200 to 300 basis points over the same period a year ago. This compares to previous guidance of 22% to 25%. Based on this gross margin trend, the Company expects non-GAAP loss per share from continuing operations to be at the lower end of its previously announced guidance range of $(0.09) to $(0.17), compared to $(0.20) in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.
"A shift in holiday traffic toward the end of December resulted in a greater proportion of sales during the peak promotional period versus what we had planned," said Gary H. Schoenfeld, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Overall, we continue to be encouraged by our results as we are on track to complete both the quarter and the year with positive comparable store sales, higher margins, continued leverage of our cost base, and improved inventory productivity, all of which are contributing to substantial improvement in our pre-tax operating results."
The International Longshoremen's Association and a coalition of shipping companies have spent months negotiating a new master contract governing wages, benefits and other issues for workers up and down the East and Gulf coasts. And recently a federal mediator brokered a last-minute deal in late December that averted a Dec. 30 strike, giving both sides until Feb. 6 to finalize a master contract.
But the National Retail Federation noted Thursday that the negotiations are a two-tier process and could be jeopardized if talks over contracts setting local conditions at individual ports run into trouble.
If they can't get the local agreements finished, they won't be able to vote on the master contract," said Jonathan Gold, NRF's vice president for supply chain and customs policy.
"This uncertainty creates a lot of unease among retailers and others who rely on the ports," Gold said. "And it's been ongoing since last year."
After two extensions that pushed off potential strike dates, Gold said businesses that ship through East and Gulf coast ports are having to once again hope for the best while planning for the worst.
"Companies for a third time are looking at contingency plans, and these contingencies are not cheap."
In the lead-up to the earlier strike dates, shippers have had to re-route cargo or adjust their booking schedules.
The U.S. Postal Service has decided it will pull the plug on its Mail Works Guarantee test.
Mail Works Guarantee, launched in 2011, suffered from high barriers to entry: To participate, advertisers were required to have ad budgets of at least $250 million but little previous involvement in direct mail. If participants then boosted their direct mail by more than 500,000 pieces but failed to meet mutually agreed-upon metrics of success, USPS guaranteed a postage refund of up to $250,000.
“However, during the first year of the test, no customers committed to using the mail in a way that would qualify for MWG,” the USPS said in a statement. “Accordingly, the Postal Service will not pursue the MWG market test any longer.”
USPS said it remains committed to testing the feasibility of “new products and ideas.”
UPM announces a production curtailment at its Pestovo sawmill in Russia, and begins negotiations with employees. The negotiations will affect all of the approximately 180 sawmill employees. Starting today, production at the mill will be curtailed to the level necessary to fulfil the on-going contracts. At the same time UPM announces a search for a buyer for the Pestovo mill production area for restructuring or reorientation of production.
The measures taken in Pestovo follow UPM’s renewed Timber business strategy announced in April 2012. UPM concentrates on the development of sawmills closely integrated with the company’s pulp and paper mills. Sawmills have a central role in UPM’s wood sourcing supply chain as their by-products are used in the production of pulp, paper and energy.
"The profitability of the sawmills and further processing units located furthest from our integrated mills has been weak for a long time, and Pestovo sawmill is no exception," says Anssi Klinga, Senior Vice President, UPM Timber.
Scholle Packaging, a leading provider of flexible performance packaging solutions, announced today that they have acquired controlling interest in the assets of the Brazil-based packaging manufacturer Flexpack.
Flexpack designs, manufactures and provides stand-up pouch packaging, barrier films, and performance packaging for the Latin American market, for applications such as: processed meats, sauces, fresh pasta, dairy products, nuts, automotive fluids, healthcare, and pharmaceutical products.
"Flexpack's excellence in customer service, focus on quality manufacturing, and their ability to deliver unique, market-driven products makes them a natural addition to the Scholle brand," said Scholle Corporation President and CEO Leon Gianneschi .
Dr. Richard Heath , Vice President of New Ventures for Scholle Packaging said: "Growth in performance packaging solutions is a key part of Scholle's business strategy. Stand-up pouch solutions complement our core bag-in-box product offering very well, especially in the growing Latin American market, which is why Flexpack is such a good fit for us. We feel the Flexpack product line and manufacturing competencies will benefit greatly from Scholle's decades of aseptic processing and fitment engineering experience and we look forward to aligning our new combined product offerings with market needs in the region."
Two Sides today announced that International Paper has become a member, joining with other companies across the graphic communications value chain to promote the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper.
“At International Paper, our sustainability efforts are driven by our desire to make IP better,” says Clay Ellis, vice president and general manager, Commercial Printing Papers. " Joining with Two Sides to help correct environmental misconceptions about print and paper and to promote the sustainability of our industry provides the opportunity for International Paper to further enhance our own wide-ranging sustainability education efforts.”
“Print and paper have a great environmental story to tell, and Two Sides is pleased that International Paper will be part of our growing U.S. effort to educate Americans about the uniquely sustainable nature of print and paper,” says Two Sides President Phil Riebel. “Made from one of the earth’s few truly renewable resources – trees from responsibly managed forests – paper is the most recycled commodity in the world. Nearly 68 percent of paper produced in the United States is recovered for recycling. In addition, the demand for responsibly grown wood fiber to make print and paper products provides a long-term financial incentive for private landowners to manage their land sustainably instead of selling it for development – the biggest contributor to U.S. forest loss,” he says. “And the print, paper and mailing supply chain supports millions of U.S. jobs.”
Sappi Fine Paper North America today announced the approval for its $2.5 million capital project to re-build a specialty paper coater at its Westbrook Mill in Westbrook, Maine.
According to Sappi, the project involves an upgrade in the web handling, coating and drying capabilities of #20 coater, which will result in expanded manufacturing capacity, allow for use of a wider range of raw materials and improve energy efficiency.
"This is tremendous news for Westbrook Mill," said Donna Cassese, Managing Director, Westbrook Mill, SFPNA. "Over the past few years, we have made significant gains in safety, yield, equipment reliability, and productivity; all of which have strengthened our market position globally. These accomplishments helped set the stage for the decision to invest in our Classics line."
The Westbrook Mill makes specialized release papers. The Classics line is used to provide the textures and patterns for synthetic fabrics used in automobiles, fashionable footwear and apparel as well as decorative laminate surfaces found in flooring, kitchens, and baths, Sappi said.
There are some disturbing rumors about some items that appeared in the USPS’s Annual Compliance Report (ACR), which was filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission on December 28th. In the report, the USPS issued a formal response to the PRC’s 2010 ruling that the Standard Flats (SF) product is “underwater” and its rate must be increased until it covers its costs:
•There’s still plenty of work that needs to be done on SF cost containment; work executed by the USPS with guidance from advocacy groups, such as ACMA. Automation is supposed to provide much cost relief, but FSS success remains an open item. In any case, we believe there is evidence of excess capacity and that operations need tightening.
•Until (or unless) SF costs are reduced and SF covers its costs, the USPS proposed in this year’s ACR a provisional annual increase for SF, to begin next year and run for three straight years to 2016. The rate is CPI times 1.05 or 5% above the average for all other mailers, assuming the entire CPI cap is used. For instance, if the cap is 3%, this means that the average increase for SF would be 1.05 x 3% = 3.15%.
•The USPS points out that any proposed rate schedule is speculative, because it relies on “numerous assumptions” typically based on anticipated market conditions at the time of such potential rate hikes. The USPS Board of Governors will evaluate market conditions and business strategy concerns each year. (In other words, we read this as a rough statement of intent – and only for right now.)
The USPS’s 2012 ACR contained the aforementioned SF rate increases only to comply with an order from the PRC that came five months after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled on the appeals case, United States Postal Service v. Postal Regulatory Commission. This was the case in which the USPS challenged the PRC’s right to make its order for SF rate increases in the Commission’s 2010 ACD. (ACMA submi tted briefs in that case supporting the USPS’s argument.)
While it is tempting to squeal like a stuck pig over this, we should also remember that there are many others calling for a much larger rate of increase, including some who actually make policy decisions. Personally, we feel the USPS tried to strike a middle ground between what catalogs could handle and the amount required to be responsive to PRC concerns.
Oil rose to its highest level in almost three months in London amid signs of growth in China, the world’s second-largest fuel consumer, and as Saudi Arabia, the biggest crude exporter, reduced supplies.
Brent futures advanced as much as 1.4 percent to the highest since Oct. 18 after China’s customs agency reported overseas sales jumped 14 percent in December from a year earlier, exceeding the 5 percent median forecast in a Bloomberg survey. The nation imported 271 million metric tons of crude last year, 6.8 percent more than in 2011, according to the Beijing-based General Administration of Customs. Saudi Arabia reduced its crude production in December to a 19-month low, said a Gulf official with knowledge of the kingdom’s energy policy.
“The Chinese data is allaying concerns of a hard landing,” said Christopher Bellew, a senior broker at Jefferies Bache Ltd. in London, who predicts Brent crude may advance to $115 a barrel this month. “Saudi Arabia will need to rein in output this year after making up for outages in 2012, and the latest numbers suggest they’re doing this.”
Brent for February settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange rose as much as $1.53 to $113.29 a barrel. It was at $112.95 as of 11:54 a.m. local time.
Research company Warc has downgraded its global ad spending forecast to 4.0% growth this year, down from an August forecast of 4.9% growth. It cited continued uncertainty about the global economy in making its revision.
Next year, global ad spending will increase 5.5%, Warc projects.
The fastest-growing advertising medium this year will be online, with spending surging 13.8%. All other media will show modest growth to declining spending, including cinema (up 3.8%), TV (up 3.2%), out-of-home (up 2.9%), radio (up 2.0%), magazines (down 2.5%) and newspapers (down 2.7%).
The countries showing the most growth in ad spending this year will be Russia (up 12.3%), China (up 10.9%), Brazil (up 9.8%) and India (up 8.5%), Warc said. Ad spending in the U.S is expected to be up only 2.2% this year.
The Burgo Group plant in Verzuolo (Cuneo) has obtained its EMAS registration from the Ecolabel and Ecoaudit board of the Italian Department for the Environment.
This is a very important result for this paper mill where the Group was founded more than a century ago.
On October 22nd, 2012, during renewal of the EMAS registration for the Company’s plants in Toscolano Maderno (Brescia) and Mantova, it was decided to extend the same certification to the Verzuolo site; the ruling is valid for all the facilities until April 22nd, 2015.
EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) is a system that companies and organisations sign up to voluntarily, undertaking to monitor and improve their environmental efficiency, and providing the control authority and local population a tool to assess their environmental impact.
Urban Outfitters, Inc., a leading lifestyle specialty retail company operating under the Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People, Terrain and Urban Outfitters brands, today announced record net sales for the two months ended December 31, 2012.
Total Company net sales for the two months increased to $666 million or 15% over the same period last year. Comparable retail segment net sales, which include our comparable direct-to-consumer channel, increased 9% while comparable store net sales decreased by 1%. Direct-to-consumer returns at stores are charged against store sales. Excluding these returns comparable store net sales would have been low single-digit positive. Comparable retail segment net sales increased 33% at Free People, 10% at Urban Outfitters and 5% at Anthropologie. Direct-to-consumer net sales increased by 38% for the period and wholesale segment net sales increased 21%.
"We are pleased to announce a 15% increase in our Holiday sales, driven by strength in all brands," said Richard A. Hayne, Chief Executive Officer. "I am proud of the teams' execution as they delivered better product with more disciplined inventory management leading to improvement in regular price sales."
For the 11-month period ended December 31, 2012, total Company net sales increased to $2.6 billion or 12% over the same period last year. Comparable retail segment net sales increased 6% while comparable store net sales decreased by 1%. Direct-to-consumer net sales increased by 29% for the period and wholesale segment net sales increased 11%.
During the 11 months ended December 31, 2012, the Company opened a total of 46 new stores including: 15 Free People stores, 16 Urban Outfitters stores, 13 Anthropologie stores, 1 BHLDN store and 1 Terrain garden center, and closed 1 Anthropologie store.
The following open letter has been sent to Eric Schmidt of Google and highlights Two Sides’ concerns that Google and others are trying to promote their services as environmentally preferable to print and paper when there is significant evidence that electronic communication, and Google’s activities in particular, carry a significant and increasing environmental footprint.
Mr. Eric Schmidt
Chairman of the Board and CEO
Mountain View, CA 94043
Dear Mr Schmidt,
We read with some incredulity the news of Google’s encouragement to consumers to “Go Paperless in 2013.” This initiative is accompanied by pictures of trees and U.S. recycling data that presumably is intended to highlight the environmental benefits that will arise from “going paperless.”
Google is joined in the project by U.S. based organizations HelloFax, an online fax service; Manilla, an online bill management service; HelloSign, an e-signature service; Expensify, an online expense reporting service; Xero, an online business accounting service; and Fujitsu, which makes the ScanSnap scanner.
While the products and services delivered by Google are to be admired, this new initiative is clearly another example of a self-interested organization using an environmentally focused marketing campaign to promote its services while ignoring its own impact upon the environment.
Roundy's Supermarkets, Inc., a leading mid-west retail grocer with more than 150 stores has renewed their contract with Grandville Printing Company (GPC) to digitally print in-store shelf tags, price signs and posters every week.
Roundy's utilizes GPC's Nexgen™ program where shelf edge tags and price signs are delivered bursted and boxed in plan-o-gram order by aisle for each individual store.
Roundy's started working with GPC in April 2010 by piloting the Nexgen™ program in four (4) of its stores. During that time, Roundy's partnered with GPC's creative and technology team to take full advantage of the Nexgen™ "just-in-time" four-color variable data print engine capability. "Roundy's continues to expand the use of our program and we look forward to meeting their needs in the future," said Chris Nunez , Director of Digital Printing for GPC. Roundy's tags are now centrally printed using HP Indigo™ digital presses, cut and packaged in plan-o-gram order, boxed and delivered every week for delivery to the stores. In addition to the hours of store's weekly labor savings, Roundy's pricing and marketing departments now have the ability to make changes faster and benefit from relevant messaging to consumers at the shelf.
Oil halted a two-day advance in London amid signs of rising inventories in the U.S., the world’s biggest crude-consuming nation.
Brent futures were little changed after adding 0.5 percent yesterday. U.S. crude supplies increased 2.4 million barrels last week, according to the American Petroleum Institute. An Energy Department report today may show inventories rose 2 million barrels, a Bloomberg News survey of 11 analysts showed. Gasoline and distillate stockpiles also climbed, the API said.
“Inventories will likely rise in the spring,” said Andy Sommer, a senior oil analyst at Axpo Trading AG in Dietikon, Switzerland, who predicts Brent will remain at about $110 this month. “Supply and demand in the market are pretty much balanced, with a slight deficit, but that is a normal seasonal pattern. We see downside risk once we come into the spring.”
Brent for February settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange slipped 19 cents to $111.75 a barrel as of 12:10 p.m. local time.
Norske Skog has confirmed that around 110 staff at its mill in Kawerau will be made redundant, following the closure of one of its paper machines at the plant today.
The redundancies will become effective over the next three to four months.
They were signalled in September when Norske Skog said it would halve production at the mill partly due to falling demand for newsprint.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union delegate Bruce Habgood said the machine would be closed down by 6am this morning.
''It's been an unpleasant situation for everyone... but it's been dealt with as professionally as possible.''
He knew of several affected staff who had found new jobs. ''But unfortunately, given how depressed the eastern Bay of Plenty is, let alone the Bay of Plenty as a whole, there's going to be a quite a few people who have no jobs to go to.''
A Norske Skog spokesman said a significant number of staff affected by the machine closure had been redeployed at the mill.
The company had offered those being made redundant assistance in gaining new employment, including help with preparing CVs and interview training.
The mill will continue to operate one paper machine, and produce newsprint for the New Zealand, Australian and Pacific Island markets.
Norske Skog said in September the decision to close the machine was driven by falling demand and unfavourable exchange rates that made large-scale exports to Asia unprofitable.
Cascades Tissue Group said that it has achieved Green Seal Standard, GS-1 re-certification of Sanitary Paper Products for its entire line of Cascades® and North River® away-from-home towel and tissue products.
In September 2011, Green Seal made major revisions to its GS-1 standard. The standard was first established more than 20 years ago for products such as bathroom tissue, facial tissue, paper towels, napkins, wipes and placemats. Overall, it sets the environmental, health, and social requirements for sanitary paper products and comprehensively addresses environmental life-cycle issues spanning raw materials, manufacturing, packaging and product use and performance.
The re-certification encompasses 114 branded products, all made from 100 percent recycled fiber, the company said.
“Cascades has offered Green Seal-certified paper towels and tissue since 2005,” said Dr. Arthur Weissman, President and CEO of Green Seal. “In achieving certification to the revised GS-1 standard, the North River and Cascades products continue to represent leadership in sustainability in this industry.”
Yankee Publishing Inc., an institution in New Hampshire (it is based in Dublin) and New England through the bimonthly Yankee (launched in 1935) and the since-1792 weather-forecasting annual The Old Farmer's Almanac (acquired by YPI in 1939), announced on Jan. 4 the purchase of Manchester, N.H.-based McLean Communications. All of McLean's properties are New Hampshire-endemic, which are led by New Hampshire magazine, New Hampshire Business Review and Parenting New Hampshire.
McLean's custom publishing unit publishes Celebrate New Hampshire for the state's liquor commission and annuals for the Manchester and Nashua chambers of commerce. They complement YPI's The Official New Hampshire Visitors' Guide for the state's division of tourist development and New Hampshire Ski and Snow magazine.
With all of the synergy, it is no surprise that McLean president/publisher (since 1995) Sharon McCarthy said that "YPI was my first choice" after the company's parent, Bryn Mawr, Pa.-based Independent Publications Inc., announced its intention to sell the unit last fall.
Terms of the transaction were not announced, but the Dec. 28, 2012, closing ensured the lower capital gains rate prior to the Jan. 1, 2013, passage of new tax laws designed to keep the U.S. from going over the "fiscal cliff."
Irving Paper has a new target to beat in 2013 as it ends 2012 with record-breaking production. The team of over 300 employees pulled together to make 408,214 tonnes of quality specialty grade paper. While production has increased, the team has worked hard to reduce the mill’s impact on the environment. Over the past five years, Irving Paper has achieved a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent of about 20,000 cars off the road.
Saint John is the province’s forestry hub; and Irving Paper is a significant contributor to the local economy, generating about $30 million in wages and buying over $132 million a year in goods and services from New Brunswick suppliers. The mill is also active in the community – including volunteering with the award-winning PALs program at Glen Falls School, revitalizing local playgrounds, and supporting meal programs.
Turkey's first Speedmaster XL 162 from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is destined for packaging print shop Sentez Packaging Group (SENTEZ), a Selcuklu Holding affiliate in Istanbul. The Speedmaster XL162 six-color press with coating unit, elevated feeder and delivery and logistics will be installed end of the first quarter 2013. With its new press and a workforce of around 450, the company will move to a new 50,000 sqm building to centralize its print production.
"After intensive investigations and discussions, I am certain that we will manage to achieve the planned high quality printing and productivity standards with the new press from Heidelberg", says SENTEZ operation manager Hakan Çilingir. Prior to their purchase decision, SENTEZ had been working with equipment from a competitor. The company decided on the new large-format investment after thorough testing at Heidelberg with their own jobs in terms of stability, speed, quality, cost efficiency and make-ready times.
Main reason for the investment is the group's intention to considerably boost their productivity. Straightforward operation and robust technology deliver the reliability in production that will place the company's economic success on a firm footing.
"We have a close business relationship to Heidelberg Turkey, and we feel confident with the local service team's reputation in the market. Since we plan to increase our export ratio and intend to meet our customers' demands without restrictions of any kind, we have chosen Heidelberg as a reliable partner to ensure a long-term sustainable production," underlines owner and managing director Süleyman Öncel.
SENTEZ operates a total of three production sites in Istanbul. In addition to sheetfed offset print production, the company also runs production lines for flexo and rotogravure printing.
With mergers and acquisitions now hitting prerecession levels, it’s no surprise that Metrocorp Inc., the publisher of Boston and Philadelphia magazines, is expanding its reach by acquiring a majority stake in Slice Communications.
This small Philadelphia-based boutique public relations and social media agency that was founded in 2008 works with a variety of clients in the technology, professional services, customer services and non-profit sectors.
The roots of the deal began growing in 2012 after Slice Communications executed some successful social media campaigns for clients of Boston and Philadelphia magazines.?
“They went extremely well,” Staci Bender, founder and principal of Slice Communications, tells FOLIO:. “That was what really propelled this forward. We had a really good working relationship and for Metrocorp, they wanted to further engage and develop their community strategies with the insights and analytic tools that Slice brings to the table. Being a social media and public relations agency, that really interested them moving forward—being able to offer some of these services to their clients.”
Slice Communications will continue to function as an independent business unit within Metrocorp, with Bender and her team overseeing day-to-day operations and management of the business.
Oil rose, trading near the highest level in almost four months in New York on estimates that U.S. refiners boosted crude use and amid signs of an economic recovery in Europe.
West Texas Intermediate futures advanced as much as 0.5 percent, the third consecutive daily increase. Refineries probably raised their average run rate last week by 0.2 percentage points to 90.6 percent, according to a Bloomberg survey ahead of an Energy Department report to be released tomorrow. Economic confidence in the euro area increased more than economists forecast in December, data from the European Commission in Brussels showed today.
“Oil has a moderate up-side bias due to improving market sentiment and a slow tightening of the supply-demand balance,” said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, who predicts Brent will rise to $118 a barrel this quarter. “But tightening doesn’t mean the market is tight, just that the oversupply is shrinking.”
Crude for February delivery was at $93.78 a barrel, up 59 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:28 a.m. London time.
The U.S. Postal Service posted a net loss of $816 million for the month of November, the second month of its fiscal year. Of that amount, $467 million was due to a required prepayment into the USPS Retiree Health Benefit fund, which the Postal Service has defaulted on paying for the past two years.
Despite the November loss, fiscal year-to-date results have been mixed. While November mail volume declined by 3.4%, it is up 2.8% year to date. Similarly, total revenue was down 1.3% in November but up 2.2% for the first two months of the fiscal year, and standard-mail revenue, used most often for marketing mailings, was down 4.3% in November but up 3.0% year to date.
First-class mail, the USPS' most profitable product, accounting for 43% of total revenue, continued to decline both in November (off 5.0%) and year to date (down 2.0%).
The Rottneros Group has decided to continue to produce groundwood pulp at Rottneros Mill. The initiative to improve the groundwood mill's process has resulted in the mill producing and marketing a new grade with properties that are particularly attractive to board manufacturers.
There are plans to produce between 40,000and 50,000tonnes of groundwood pulp in 2013 and it will constitute the new board grade as well as current printing paper grades.
The Board of Rottneros announced in May 2012 that it had entered into negotiations concerning the termination of continuous groundwood pulp production at Rottneros Mill. Negotiations, which were concluded mid-year, resulted in the organisation having to reduce its staff by around 50 posts. Twenty or so employees are now being offered continued work.