Planned renewal of Metsä Board’s Husum pulp mill proceeds

he first phase of the renewal consists of a new recovery boiler and a new turbine. Pulp production will remain on a level permitted in the current environmental permit. On 27 August 2019, the company announced that the competent authority in Sweden, Länsstyrelsen, had decided that the planned new recovery boiler will require an amendment to the environmental permit. At the same time, the company estimated that the final investment decision on the first phase of the renewal can be made in the second quarter of 2020, at the earliest. The company aims to minimize the delay in the start-up of the new recovery boiler and turbine due to the environmental permit process. This is to enable the introduction of new cleaner and more energy efficient technology as quickly as possible, and to minimize the production interruption risk related to the old recovery boilers. To reduce the delay, the company has selected the main equipment suppliers and will make certain financial commitments for the implementation phase of the project already at the end of 2019 and early 2020, although no final investment decision will be made prior to receiving the environmental permit. The total value of the commitments will be a maximum of EUR 100 million. The total value of the investment is estimated at approximately EUR 320 million.
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1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. Reports Strong Fiscal 2020 First Quarter Revenue Growth

Total net revenues increased 10.5 percent to $187.3 million compared with the prior year period, driven by strong growth across all three of the Company’s business segments. Net loss for the quarter was $15.3 million, or ($0.24) per share, an improvement of $0.03 per share, compared with the prior year period. hris McCann, CEO, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc., said “Our strong revenue growth and improved bottom-line results for the first quarter are a continuation of the positive momentum we saw throughout last year. These results reflect the leverage we are getting from the investments we have made – and continue to make – in our iconic Harry & David and 1-800-Flowers.com brands, as well as in our BloomNet business. The double-digit revenue growth for the period reflected solid growth across all three of our business segments, highlighted by the nearly eighteen percent growth achieved in our Gourmet Foods and Gift Baskets segment. This segment benefited from strong everyday gifting at Harry & David and 1-800-Baskets.com combined with increased orders for gift baskets from wholesale customers and revenues from the Shari’s Berries brand, which we acquired in mid-August.”
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Resolute Reports Preliminary Third Quarter 2019 Results

Resolute Forest Products Inc. reported a net loss for the quarter ended September 30, 2019, of $43 million compared to net income of $117 million in the same period in 2018. Sales were $705 million in the quarter, a decrease of $269 million from the year-ago period. The third quarter of 2018 included sales from the Catawba (South Carolina) and Fairmont (West Virginia) facilities, which were sold in the fourth quarter of 2018. Excluding special items, the company reported a net loss of $34 million, compared to net income of $96 million, in the third quarter of 2018. "Ongoing weakness in market pulp pricing had a significant impact on our quarterly results," said Yves Laflamme, president and chief executive officer. "While paper has come under pressure this year and lumber markets continue their slow recovery, we are pleased with the progress in sales growth and productivity gains in the tissue business, as we continue to build our position in the segment with positive EBITDA.
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International Paper Reports Third Quarter 2019 Results

Industrial Packaging operating profits in the third quarter of 2019 were $510 million ($535 million excluding special items) compared with $507 million ($515 million excluding special items) in the second quarter of 2019. In North America, earnings increased due to improved demand for boxes and export containerboard, lower planned maintenance outage expenses and lower input costs, primarily for recycled containerboard and wood. Earnings were negatively impacted by lower export containerboard prices and seasonally higher manufacturing operations. In Europe, earnings improved driven by higher average margins and favorable manufacturing operations which benefited from continued improved performance at the Madrid, Spain mill, partially offset by seasonally lower volumes, primarily in Morocco. Printing Papers operating profits in the third quarter of 2019 were $148 million ($162 million excluding special items) versus $(33) million ($114 million excluding special items) in the second quarter of 2019. Earnings in both periods were negatively affected by the net impairment of our India Papers business, included as a special item below. In North America, earnings increased due to improved manufacturing operations and lower planned maintenance outage expenses.
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Metsä Board’s comparable operating result in January–September 2019

January–September 2019 (1–9/2018) • Sales were EUR 1,453.4 million (1,486.1). • Comparable operating result was EUR 145.3 million (191.9), or 10.0% (12.9%) of sales. Operating result was EUR 160.8 million (186.3). July–September 2019 (4–6/2019) • Sales were EUR 489.2 million (477.1). • Comparable operating result was EUR 42.5 million (41.0), or 8.7% (8.6%) of sales. Operating result was EUR 42.5 million (46.4). Metsä Board’s CEO Mika Joukio: “The negative effects of the weakening macroeconomic situation remained smaller than we expected in July–September and our comparable operating result, EUR 42.5 million, was better than we previously estimated. Good paperboard sales and wood costs, which were slightly lower than expected, improved our profitability. Particularly the delivery volumes of white kraftliners in July–September grew compared to previous quarters. Over the past year, we have defended our prices in a weakening market situation, which has been visible in the delivery volumes of our kraftliners. Profitability in the third quarter was burdened by the low price level of market pulp and the planned maintenance shutdowns of our integrated mills.
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Metsä Board to adopt Metsä Group’s Green Finance Framework

Metsä Group, which Metsä Board is a part of, has today launched a Green Finance Framework, which links sustainable development and climate change mitigation to Metsä Group’s financing activities. Metsä Board’s future financing may be arranged under this framework. The Green Finance Framework applies to environmentally sustainable investments such as increasing the share of renewable energy, improving resource and energy efficiency or reducing the water usage. The framework is based on Metsä Group’s ambitious sustainable targets for 2030.
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Oil prices face pressure as global economy slows (nasdaq.com)

Oil prices are likely to be pressured this year and next as low demand from a slowing global economy and a surge in U.S. shale output offset support from OPEC production cuts and Middle East supply risks, a Reuters survey shows. "The risk premium of prices has increased. (However) this has been somewhat concealed by the increasing fear that the world economy may cool more significantly than previously expected," Rubia added. The International Monetary Fund warned the U.S.-China trade dispute will cut 2019 global growth to its slowest pace since the 2008 financial crisis.
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Domtar and SCA: Transforming Communities Together

Visitors to Warriors’ Path State Park in Tennesse will enjoy a smoother hike this fall, thanks to the efforts of Domtar’s EarthChoice® Ambassadors (ECAs). These volunteers are committed to transforming communities where they live, work and play. In October, ECAs from our Kingsport Mill and our Ridgefields converting facility worked with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to clear trash, install steps and restore trails in the park. As part of this joint effort, our colleagues removed 35 decaying steps and replaced them with new ones, and they picked up more than 135 pounds of trash. By the end of the day, they had restored a section of pedestrian trail for public use.
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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Reports Record Billings Growth in Third Quarter

Operating Highlights: •Net sales growth of 10% in Q3 and 7% YTD •Record billings growth across the Company of 31% in Q3 and 26% YTD •Core Solutions billings growth of 50% in Q3 and 48% YTD •Extensions billings growth of 25% in Q3 and 14% YTD driven by strong Heinemann and Services •Net cash provided by operating activities of $393 million in Q3 and $127 million YTD. “The third quarter represented the second consecutive record quarter of billings growth for HMH as a public company, and we raised our billings guidance at the recent investor update event in New York City on October 17, 2019 to reflect the strength we are seeing in 2019. Early success from our cross-selling initiatives provides compelling evidence that our integrated solutions approach will help us drive sustained, positive free cash flow into the future,” said Jack Lynch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
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Metsä Group’s comparable operating result in January–September 2019

January–September 2019 (1–9/2018) •Sales were EUR 4,183 million (4,290). •Operating result was EUR 342 million (635). Comparable operating result was EUR 418 million (641). July–September 2019 (7–9/2018) •Sales were EUR 1,374 million (1,386). •Operating result was EUR 110 million (223). Comparable operating result was EUR 110 million (223). President and CEO Ilkka Hämälä: “Metsä Group’s third quarter result weakened, as expected, compared to the previous quarter. The price level of pulp in Europe continued to decline as a result of China’s lower price level. In China, the prices of softwood pulp were stable during the third quarter and took a slightly upward turn at the end of September as softwood pulp inventories approached their average level, and as a number of producers announced production curtailments attributable to the market situation and technical reasons.
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