Consumer confidence rebounded in August, rising 10. 5 points to the strongest reading in seven months after having fallen sharply in July. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its index of consumer confidence rose to 101.5 in August, up from a revised July reading of 91.0. It was the best showing since January.
The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) today announced that it had repurchased $10.021 million in aggregate principal amount of its 5.75% Notes due 2017 and $15.0 million of its 9.0% Secured Notes due 2022 for a total $22.9 million plus accrued and unpaid interest in a privately negotiated transaction. The company's total debt balance, after the repurchase, is now at $966.1 million.
Last week, Baker Hughes reported that the active weekly crude oil rig count rose by two to 672 for the week ending August 14, 2015. Likewise, crude oil rigs rose by six to 670 for the week ending August 7, 2015. The US active crude oil rig count rose for the fourth consecutive week despite the mammoth fall in US crude oil prices. The crude oil rig count rose by 34 over the same period. In contrast, oil rigs fell for 30 weeks in the last 36 weeks.
*Uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper shipments in July decreased 2 percent compared to July 2014, with imports of UFS increasing 26 percent year-over-year in June. *July coated free sheet (CFS) paper shipments decreased 12 percent compared to July 2014. Imports of CFS papers increased less than 1 percent in June, with exports down 15 percent. *Uncoated mechanical (UM) paper shipments decreased 14 percent when compared with July 2014. Imports of UM papers were down 12 percent in June, the 12th consecutive monthly decline. Inventories of UM increased in July, up 10 percent. *Coated mechanical (CM) shipments in July decreased 18 percent relative to July 2014. Imports of CM increased in June, up 9 percent, while exports of CM were down 19 percent, the first decrease in the past six months.
Total European shipments of Graphic Papers was up 2.7% vs. June 2014 and is down 3.2% year-to-date vs. 2014. Total European shipments of Newsprint was down 3.6% vs. June 2014 and is down 6.4% year-to-date vs. 2014. Total European shipments of SC-Magazine was down 4.7% vs. June 2014 and is down 4.3% year-to-date vs. 2014. Total European shipments of Coated Mechanical Reels was down 0.1% vs. June 2014 and is down 5.0% year-to-date vs. 2014. Total European shipments of Uncoated Mechanical (improved & others) was up 11.8% vs. June 2014 and is up 0.7% year-to-date vs. 2014. Total European shipments of Coated Woodfree was up 6.2% vs. June 2014 and is down 3.0% year-to-date vs. 2014. Total European shipments of Uncoated Woodfree was up 10.6% vs. June 2014 and is UP 0.9% year-to-date vs. 2014.
For the second quarter, net sales were $680.4 million, an increase of 1.4% compared to $671.1 million in last year's second quarter, primarily reflecting 23 net new stores for a square footage increase of 1.3% and a 0.5% increase in comparable sales. The 0.5% increase in comparable sales for the second quarter was on top of a 0.3% increase in last year's second quarter, and reflected an increase in average dollar sale partially offset by a decrease in transaction count. For the second quarter, gross margin was $366.0 million compared to $351.5 million in last year's second quarter. Gross margin was 53.8% of net sales, a 140 basis point increase from last year's second quarter, primarily reflecting a decrease in promotional activity in response to improved inventory management, and benefits from previously announced cost reduction efforts, partially offset by an increase in accrued incentive compensation.
Net sales for the second quarter decreased 9% to $380.6 million for Abercrombie and 6% to $437.1 million for Hollister. Comparable sales for the second quarter decreased 7% in Abercrombie and 1% in Hollister. Net sales for the second quarter decreased 6% to $514.5 million in the U.S. and 12% to $303.2 million internationally. Comparable sales for the second quarter decreased 4% in the U.S. and 4% internationally. Net sales from direct-to-consumer and omnichannel grew to approximately 21% of the total Company net sales in the second quarter, compared to approximately 19% of total Company net sales last year.
Midland Paper, Packaging + Supplies, one of North America's largest independent distributors of media for business communications, will be participating in the thINK 2015 Customer Conference as a Founding Partner. This exclusive event will take place in New York, New York and run from September 8 - 10. thINK 2015 is one of the largest invitation-only, hosted summits designed for senior managers and business executives who want to understand how Canon Solutions America’s production inkjet printing technology, software and solutions will help them grow their business now and in the future. Over 300 Canon Solutions America customers, industry leaders and solution partners will come together to launch thINK, a powerful community designed to connect, collaborate and inspire. “We are incredibly honored and excited to be a founding partner of this inaugural thINK customer event. Our goal at Midland is to help Canon customers across the country address their most challenging inkjet media needs with new products and solid solutions”, said David Field, Midland’s Senior Business Manager, Inkjet Technologies.
PG Paper in Kilmacolm near Glasgow acquired Trucard and associated brands, together with the Gemini range, “for a substantial sum” on Friday. A PG Paper spokesman said the company owners – husband and wife team Puneet and Poonam Gupta - planned to manufacture the paper products. “They will be tendering globally to see what kind of response they get,” he said. A statement released by the Guptas said both brands were “incredibly reputable and well-respected in the premium packaging board industry”.
Telegraph Travel, using World Bank data, have put together a fascinating map showing the total forest coverage of countries around the globe. South America, the Caribbean, Africa, south-east Asia and the South Pacific dominate, with Suriname, Micronesia, Palau, Gabon, Guyana, American Samoa and the Solomon Islands all in the top 10. The two countries in Europe with the highest forest area are Finland (72.9%), 11th, Sweden (69.2 %) A third of the United States is classed as forest, while in Britain it's 12%.