Total Kraft paper shipments were 124.4 thousand short tons, 3.1 percent lower than December 2014. Bleached Kraft paper shipments decreased slightly to 9.4 thousand tons compared to December’s 9.7, while unbleached Kraft paper shipments decreased from 118.7 thousand tons to 115. Overall, shipments for the first month of 2015 were 6.3 percent lower than January 2014. Total month-end inventories increased to 83.3 thousand tons.
Containerboard production was 1 percent higher compared to December 2014 and 3.9 percent higher than January of last year. The month-over-month average daily production was 1 percent higher. The containerboard operating rate for December increased to 96.2 percent from December’s 94.7 percent.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, Office Depot reported an operating loss of $61 million and a net loss available to common stockholders of $84 million, or $0.15 per share. In the fourth quarter of 2013, the reported operating loss was $118 million and the net loss available to common stockholders, was $144 million, or $0.34 per diluted share. For the full year 2014, Office Depot reported an operating loss of $275 million compared to an operating loss of $205 million in the full year 2013, and a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $354 million, or $0.66 per share, compared to a net loss of $93 million, or $0.29 per share in the full year 2013.
Funds advised by One Equity Partners (OEP) have sold the Duropack Group to the packaging company DS Smith for approximately US$340 million. The transaction is subject to approval from the relevant antitrust authorities and is likely to close in Q2 2015. OEP acquired the company in 2009 when it acquired the majority of Constantia Packaging AG and subsequently delisted it from the stock market. “The Duropack Group is well positioned in the growing packaging industry. Rob Jan Renders and the management team, along with all the employees of Duropack, have done an excellent job in advancing Duropack’s customer offering and market position.
Net earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 were $1.4 billion, or $1.05 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $1.0 billion, or $0.73 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2013. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, diluted earnings per share increased 43.8 percent from the same period in the prior year. Sales for fiscal year 2014 were $83.2 billion, an increase of 5.5 percent from fiscal year 2013. Total company comparable store sales for fiscal year 2014 increased 5.3 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were positive 6.1 percent for the year.
The car manufacturer BMW has recently announced a new partnership with tech start-up Tamoco to add NFC chips to their print magazine adverts. This would allow the reader to tap their phones and instantly download the app for BMW’s new electric car range. The technology works on the same principles as contactless payment, and integrating this into the printed page has been hailed as the ‘next big thing’ in print advertising. But are NFC chips all they’re cracked up to be?
When Source Interlink exited the magazine distribution business at the end of May, 2014, retailers that collectively represented 30% of the U.S. market were suddenly without service with no way to get fresh magazine product. It was the largest disruption in the history of the magazine distribution industry, considering that Anderson News represented slightly more than a 25% market share when they closed their doors in early 2009. Total U.S. sales dropped by over 26% in units and nearly 20% in dollars in the third quarter, 2014. These figures include sales for all retail accounts, including those that had no service disruption. The sales for stores previously serviced by Source were estimated, based on several factors. Considering that some product delivered by Source was discarded by retailers, it was impossible for MagNet to get an accurate sales number for titles and issues delivered by Source, that were off-sale in the third quarter.
Publishers got a shock when the USPS announced a rate hike for periodicals of close to 2 percent last month, but it turns out the blow won’t be that bad. A calculation error discovered by the Postal Regulatory Commission last week, and acknowledged by the USPS on Wednesday, means the average increase for periodical delivery will be 1.34 percent, instead of the 1.965 percent originally announced. Dead Tree Edition first reported the finding.
Ports are coming back to life along the U.S. West Coast after dockworkers resolved a nine-month labor standoff, though the cargo backlog from ships waiting offshore may take eight weeks to clear. The five-year contract reached Friday after U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez imposed a deadline for a deal, averted a shutdown of 29 ports that would have cost the U.S. economy $2 billion a day. The strife had reduced productivity at West Coast ports by as much as half since November, with California citrus fruit bound for Asia spoiling on the docks, while carmakers flew in components at more than 10 times the cost of sending them by sea.
Oil extended a weekly decline as Libya restarted a crude pipeline halted by a fire and the U.S. idled fewer drilling rigs than in previous weeks. West Texas Intermediate lost as much as 2.5 percent after falling 4.6 percent last week. Oil fields in eastern Libya resumed pumping to the port of Hariga after a pipeline was repaired, according to state-run National Oil Corp. The number of rigs targeting oil in the U.S. shrank by 37 to 1,019 last week, the fewest in service since July 2011, data from Baker Hughes Inc. showed on Friday. It was the smallest cut in seven weeks.