Print firms involved with the production of time-sensitive products are warning customers that nationwide haulage issues are resulting in delayed deliveries and the potential for additional costs to meet tight deadlines. Earlier this month the Road Haulage Association (RHA) sounded the alarm over a growing shortage of HGV drivers, and urged the government to help the industry recruit new talent. It said the current driver shortage “exceeds 60,000”. The RHA wants HGV drivers to be added to the Home Office UK Shortage Occupation List. Logistics UK, formerly the Freight Transport Association, also flagged that long-standing issues around driver shortages had been exacerbated by Brexit, which has resulted in an exodus of EU drivers.
*Net sales increased 65.2% to $1.9 billion compared to $1.2 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. The net sales increase during the first quarter of fiscal 2021 was primarily due to the favorable impact in the U.S. from improving consumer confidence, government stimulus payments and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. *Comparable sales (sales for stores open at least 14 months, including stores temporarily closed due to COVID-19, and e-commerce sales) increased 65.9% compared to a decrease of 35.3% in the first quarter of fiscal 2020, driven by a 52.5% increase in transactions and an 8.8% increase in average ticket. Compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2019, comparable sales increased 7.0%. *Gross profit increased to $753.8 million compared to $303.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. As a percentage of net sales, gross profit increased to 38.9% compared to 25.9% in the first quarter of fiscal 2020, primarily due to leverage in fixed costs due to higher sales; improvement in merchandise margins; lower salon expenses; and favorable channel mix shifts. *Operating income was $305.3 million, or 15.8% of net sales, compared to operating loss of $101.5 million, or (8.7)% of net sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. Adjusted operating loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2020 was $81.9 million, or (7.0)% of net sales. *Net income was $230.3 million compared to net loss of $78.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2020. Adjusted net loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2020 was $63.6 million.
"We’re so excited to be able to start using the HP Indigo 7K to produce elevated end products that fit a number of high-value niches that most small printers and many large ones can’t fill,” said Doug Bondon, Artisan Colour President and CEO. “We are looking forward to breaking open new opportunities for the company with this technically advanced digital press!” Part of the HP Indigo 7K’s versatility is the ability to individually configure the seven available color units based on the niche markets the shop supports. In addition to the traditional Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black inks, Artisan has chosen to dedicate one ink channel to actual (not emulated) Pantone spot colors. A very small percentage of the market has this capability, which has traditionally made smaller quantity runs more costly on an offset press. Now Artisan clients can get Pantone spot colors for their brand at the reduced cost of a digital press.
For the first quarter ended 31 March 2021 Lecta had revenue of €270.8 million versus €316.6 million in the first quarter ended 31 March 2020, a decrease of €45.8 million or -15%. This decrease was essentially attributable to COVID-19 pandemic: • Lower sales of CWF, Specialties and Purchased Products of €46.9 million or -16%, from €299.3 million in 1Q2020 to €252.4 million in 1Q2021, resulting from lower sales volumes of 35,100 metric tonnes or -12%, with 264,900 metric tonnes in 1Q2021 vs 300,000 metric tonnes in 1Q2020, and a decrease in average net sales price of 45€/t or -4.5%, with 953€/t in 1Q2021 vs 998€/t in 1Q2020; and • Higher sales of energy of €1.1 million or +6.5%, from €17.3 million in 1Q2020 to €18.4 million in 1Q2021, resulting from lower sales volumes of 19,400 MWh or -6%, with 290,300 MWh in 1Q2021 vs 309,700 MWh in 1Q2020, and an increase in average net sales price of 8€/MWh or +14%, with 63€/MWh in 1Q2021 vs 56€/ MWh in 1Q2020. EBITDA decreased by €14.7 million, or -61%, from €24.2 million in 1Q2020 to €9.5 million in 1Q2021. This decrease was essentially due to lower sales of paper in volume. It was also due to lower sales prices, lower margin on unit variable costs, and nearly stable fixed costs.
*First quarter comparable sales increased 28% year-over year, and 13% versus 2019 *Net sales of $4 billion were up 89% versus 2020 and up 8% compared to 2019 pre-COVID levels *Reported earnings per share for the quarter were $0.43, and $0.48 on an adjusted basis *Reported Operating Margin of 6.0% with Adjusted Operating Margin of 7.4% *Company raising full year outlook for sales, operating margin, and earnings per share *Sales growth up low-to mid-twenty percent range versus 2020
Net sales for the quarter increased 21.7 percent, to $44.38 billion, from $36.45 billion last year. Net sales for the first 36 weeks increased 17.7 percent, to $130.61 billion, from $110.94 billion last year. Net income for the quarter was $1,220 million, or $2.75 per diluted share, which included $57 million pretax, or $0.09 per diluted share, in COVID-19 related costs, primarily from $2 per hour premium pay. Last year’s third quarter net income was $838 million, or $1.89 per diluted share, inclusive of $283 million pretax, or $0.47 per diluted share of COVID related costs. Net income for the first 36 weeks was $3.34 billion, or $7.51 per diluted share, compared to $2.61 billion, or $5.89 per diluted share, last year.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) released its StatShot report for March 2021 reflecting reported revenue for all tracked categories, including Trade (Consumer Books), K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, and Professional Publishing. Total revenues across all categories for March 2021 were up 40.2% as compared to March 2020, coming in at $896.1 million. Year to date revenues were up 22.3%, at $3.1 billion for the first three months of the year. Trade (Consumer Books) sales were up 34.2% in March, coming in at $743.9 million, and up 24.9% year to date, with $2.1 billion in revenue.
New York lawmakers should wait until next year before taking up a broad privacy bill that would require companies to obtain consumers' opt-in consent before processing their data for ad targeting, the Association of National Advertisers urged Wednesday. "The bill was introduced in the New York Senate just two weeks ago,” Dan Jaffe, ANA executive vice president for government relations, and Christopher Oswald, ANA senior vice president for government relations, wrote Wednesday to state lawmakers. “As a result, it has not received the benefit of careful and rigorous consideration by lawmakers, which is necessary to develop a workable privacy law that will significantly impact New York businesses and consumers alike.” The proposed New York Privacy Act (SB 6701), introduced by state Senator Kevin Thomas, would also give consumers the right to access, correct and delete data about themselves.
AptarGroup, Inc. announces the launch of the company’s first fully recyclable mono-material pump for the beauty and personal care industries, called Future. In order to facilitate recycling, Future was designed using polyethylene (PE) mono-material only. Future is certified by Cyclos-HTP, the institute for Recyclability and Product Responsibility *. The innovation is also recognized “A” by RecyClass – a comprehensive cross-industry initiative that works to establish a harmonized recycling approach and traceability in Europe*. “Today we are pleased to launch our latest sustainable innovation, Future, a game changing dispensing solution. Following more than two years of design, engineering and testing, I am very proud of our team’s mono-material design and it truly reflects our commitment to a more circular economy,” said Marc Prieur, President, Aptar Beauty + Home.
Ennis, Inc. announced Jim Gingle as the new General Manager of Independent Printing, located in De Pere, Wisconsin. Independent Printing is a print solutions expert specializing in the highest quality presentation folders, commercial printing, and check products for print distributors for almost 30 years. Jim has been with Independent Printing for 10 years, holding the position of Business Development Manager in both the national and regional divisions. In addition, he has over 28 years of experience in the business forms/printing industry in sales and marketing roles.
Neenah, Inc. announces an ultra-lightweight addition to their single-use sterile packaging offering. This innovative, high-performance solution introduces the market to a durable, cost-saving alternative to kraft and synthetic-based medical packaging traditionally used for nasal swabs, syringes, and other single-use applications. “This ultra-lightweight addition brings new opportunities closer in reach with our global sterile supply chain partners,” says Valerie Henderson, Medical Packaging Product Manager for Neenah. Single-use medical devices are gaining popularity as they help lower costs, increase efficiency, and reduce the spread of infection. Most single-use devices have a shelf life of 3-5 years, making it imperative that the sterilization process remain intact from supplier to opening at the final destination. Kraft-based medical packaging, used for single-use devices, can tear or burst due to packing or transportation style. It is essential that medical packaging be durable, especially if it is lightweight.
Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals, will increase prices by 5 to 15 percent on all water treatment, process and pulp & paper product lines across the EMEA region, effective immediately or as customer contracts allow. The price increase is necessary due to the tightening of raw material supply globally and escalating energy, packaging and transportation costs.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.044; Month Ago: $2.885; Year Ago: $1.968. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.181; Month Ago: $3.078; Year Ago: $2.413.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.825629; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.156830; American Dollar to Euro = 1.214152; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009084; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.049951.
A fire that erupted late Tuesday at the Verso Paper Mill in Wisconsin Rapids is being blamed on lightning, during a storm that passed through the area. The Verso Corporation issued a statement Wednesday saying that the lightning strike caused a fire at the scrubber stack. Witnesses saw heavy smoke and flames shooting from the building after the fire broke out. The Wisconsin Rapids Fire Department brought the blaze under control at about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Domestic revenue of $10.84 billion increased 37.0% versus last year. The increase was primarily driven by comparable sales growth of 37.9%, which was partially offset by the loss of revenue from permanent store closures in the past year. Domestic gross profit rate was 23.3% versus 23.0% last year. The gross profit rate increase of approximately 30 basis points was primarily driven by improved product margin rates, including reduced promotions, and rate leverage from supply chain costs. These items were partially offset by increased installation and delivery costs. International revenue of $796 million increased 23.0% versus last year. This increase was primarily driven by comparable sales growth of 27.8% and the benefit of approximately 1,000 basis points of favorable foreign currency exchange rates. These items were partially offset by lower revenue in Mexico of $69 million, which was a result of the company exiting operations from the country, as previously announced on November 24, 2020. International GAAP gross profit rate was 23.7% versus 22.3% last year.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö advances further into the growth segment of electrification, launching its first product offering, totally dedicated to filtration media solutions for electric vehicles. Today, electricity is the fastest growing source of energy and clearly the fuel of the future. With infrastructure for electric-vehicle charging rapidly expanding, double digit annual growth is expected for electric vehicles, supporting key environmental goals of reducing air pollution and addressing climate change. It is estimated that only-electric vehicles will represent 25% of light vehicles production in 2030. Ahlstrom-Munksjö understands the market challenges and has developed several commercial solutions to address unmet customer needs for high performance filtration materials for electric vehicles. This includes filtration solutions for cabin air, transmission and cooling systems.
Stora Enso has signed an agreement to divest its Sachsen Mill located in Eilenburg, Germany, to the Swiss-based family-owned company Model Group. Sachsen Mill has an annual production capacity of 310 000 tonnes of newsprint specialty paper based on recycled paper. Under the agreement, Model Group will own and operate Sachsen Mill after the transaction is closed. Stora Enso will continue to sell and distribute Sachsen’s paper products under a contract manufacturing agreement for a period of 18 months after the closing. After that period, Model will convert the mill to the production of containerboard. All 230 employees at Sachsen Mill will move to Model Group with the transaction. “We believe Model will be a good owner to ensure long-term development of the Sachsen Mill. We will continue to serve our customers with high quality paper products from Sachsen Mill at least until the end of 2022,” said Kati ter Horst, EVP, Stora Enso’s Paper division.
Huhtamaki is setting up a new manufacturing unit in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa to serve its existing and new egg packaging customers in the KwaZulu-Natal area with a broad range of locally produced packaging solutions. The new facility will be located close to one of South Africa’s main export ports, enabling competitive exports of egg packaging for customers across East Africa. “The addition of a unit in KwaZulu-Natal is an important addition to our fiber packaging footprint in South Africa not only providing efficiencies in our service to customers in South Africa but an additional benefit in terms of proximity to a major port which will drive access to markets across East Africa. The new facility sets us up to better meet the growth of the fiber packaging sector and future demand for sustainable packaging. It also strengthens our position in the region significantly,” says Eric Le Lay, President, Fiber Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania.
FedEx will increase three peak surcharges on Express and Ground shipments beginning June 21, the carrier announced in an update Friday. Increased surcharges include Peak - Residential Delivery Charge for FedEx Express and FedEx Ground domestic; Peak Surcharges on U.S. Express Package Services, U.S. Ground Services and International Ground Services; and a Peak Surcharge on FedEx Ground Economy Package Service, all with effective dates of June 21, 2021, until further notice. Total Retail's Take: Shipping carriers continue to increase rates under the strain of large shipment volumes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement from FedEx states that the impact of the virus continues to generate elevated volumes, high demand for capacity, and increased operating costs across its carrier network. The surcharge on residential shipping will have the biggest effect on e-commerce, which will see online retailers hit with a 100 percent increase from $0.30 to $0.60 per package. Trevor Outman, co-CEO at Shipware, noted that "this will have a direct impact on all direct-to-consumer e-commerce businesses; doubling their current residential surcharge costs."
World-class paper and board packaging manufacturer Detpak has partnered with U.S.-based Eco-Products® to provide industry-leading sustainable packaging solutions in Australia and New Zealand. The partnership brings together a wealth of experience, with Eco-Products bringing a more than 30-year history in compostable foodservice products to complement a leading range of sustainable packaging solutions from Detpak. “It is my pleasure to announce that Detpak will partner with Eco-Products,” Alf said. “Detpak has long been an innovator of paper and board products and is an industry leader in the development of recyclable product solutions.
Mactac® Distributor Products is enhancing its IMAGin® PrintVinyl and PrintVinyl Grey promotional media series, providing customers more options for economical vinyl solutions. Designed for wide-format printing applications, including UV inkjet, solvent, eco-solvent, and latex digital printing, IMAGin PrintVinyl and PrintVinyl Grey has been an industry-leading promotional media for nearly two decades. It provides printability, color, and performance at an economical cost. PrintVinyl and Print Vinyl Grey products are intended for graphic application to walls, windows, and floors. The product line includes: *PV300 series: a 3.2 mil matte or gloss white, soft-calendared PVC film coated on one side with a removable or permanent pressure-sensitive adhesive and supplied with a 78# clay coated liner. *PVG300 series: a 3.2 mil gloss or matte white, soft-calendared PVC film that is coated on one side with removable or permanent, opaque, gray acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive and supplied with a 78# clay coated liner. *PVG529P: a 3.5 mil gloss or matte white, soft-calendared PVC film that is coated on one side with permanent or removable, opaque, gray acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive and supplied with a 90# Layflat liner.
We thought a few introductions to the team who tinkers with your brand translations was in order. After all, we’ve been playing them up as guides and experts of brand expression, but often they get reduced down to job title when we boast about our unique experiential design makeup. For one blog only, we’re putting a temporary spotlight their skills and storied pasts because it’s about time we bragged about these creative minds. Loren Zemlicka | Principal; Geoff Sabin | Principal; Kris Marconnet | Senior Designer; Julie Kimmell | Project Manager; Allyson Casey | Concept Designer; Evan Hildebrand | Architectural Designer; Jen Braga | Marketing Director; Angie Biermeier | Designer. click read more below for introductions...
It’s time to kick off the summer 2021 vacation season. For most people, the furthest they traveled from home last summer was to an essential business or a local park. This year, however, travel restrictions and lockdowns have been lifted in many areas, thanks to compliance with local mandates and vaccine availability. How do you want to spend your summer? Whether you plan to travel or explore your own backyard, make sure reading is on your to-do list. Here are some books — all printed on Domtar publishing paper — that can inspire your summer 2021 reading list. click read more below for recommendations...
Paper Excellence is pleased to announce the first barge has been successfully loaded with chips produced by Atli Chip Limited Partnership which is a new First Nations partnership for the Company. The Atli Chip Limited Partnership, situated in Beaver Cove, is majority owned by Atli Resources LP with minority stakes owned by Paper Excellence and Wahkash Contracting Ltd. Atli Resources LP is the forestry arm of the ‘Namgis First Nation. Wahkash Contracting Ltd. is a stump-to-dump logging contractor specializing in remote logging in coastal BC. “As part of this partnership, Paper Excellence also entered into a chipping services agreement to receive all the chip and hog production from the facility,” said Paper Excellence’s Chief Forester, Quinton Hayward, RPF. “This first barge of chips will be consumed by one of our four coastal mills located in Powell River, Port Mellon, Crofton and Port Alberni. It is an exciting milestone in this partnership.”
The fiberlines will have a capacity of 1,000 admt/d and 670 admt/d, respectively, and will process a mixture of eucalyptus, acacia and poplar wood chips for the production of folding boxboard (FBB). ANDRITZ will supply the main equipment – from chip washing to the storage tower – for both fiberlines, featuring the following highlights: *MSD Impressafiner for wood chip maceration to enable optimum chemical impregnation *High-consistency (HC) refining stage with TX68 refiner, including an advanced feeding system for optimum fiber development and lowest shive levels *Low-consistency (LC) refining stages with TwinFlo refiners for low specific energy consumption and well-developed fibers *Four newly developed PrimeFilter D disc filters for fiber recovery and thickening. The innovative disc filters feature the so-called HHw (high consistency, high freeness, wider space between discs) technology for advanced feeding and optimum flow conditions within the filter as well as CC bagless sectors for advanced operation and reduced maintenance.
Sears perfected the direct-to-consumer (DTC) model, long before DTC was widely known. Macy’s continued it with its legendary Christmas catalogs, as did many others, but the Sears catalog was the Gold Standard. While the catalog fell out of favor over the past 15 years or so, it is making a comeback. According to eMarketer, DTC revenues grew about 24% in 2020, and the marketing push by brands is driving much of that. DTC is the promotion and sale of products to consumers directly by the brands or manufacturers, effectively eliminating the in-store experience. While brands often do have physical retail stores, they are increasingly marketing their products directly to consumers. One of the ways they are doing that in 2021 is through catalogs mailed directly to homes. “We are seeing a huge resurgence in direct mail,” Polly Wong, president of Belardi Wong, a direct mail company for top brands such as Parachute, Levi’s, Untuckit, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma and more. much more at source: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/brands-turn-the-page-back-to-catalogs-as-powerful-dtc-marketing-tool
Global packaging manufacturer CANPACK announced it will build its second U.S.-based, state-of-the-art aluminum beverage can body manufacturing plant in Muncie, creating over time approximately 345 high-paying, local jobs by 2023. The proposed project, which represents a $380 million investment in Delaware County and the State of Indiana with the potential to expand to 425 jobs and $490 million by 2025, will be located on 139 acres of land on the southwest corner of South Cowan and West Fuson Roads in Monroe Township in Muncie. Officials from CANPACK and its owner Giorgi Global Holdings, Inc. jointly announced the new facility with state and local elected officials and economic development leaders following the Delaware County Council’s approval of the project earlier today, with economic development incentives provided by both the state and local governments. Construction of the 862,000-square-foot facility is expected to begin in mid-2021. Plant operation is slated to commence in the fourth quarter of 2022.
•Total Company net sales increased 44 percent compared with the same period in fiscal 2020, during which stores were temporarily closed for approximately half of the quarter. Sales decreased 13 percent relative to the same period in fiscal 2019, and marked sequential improvement of 720 basis points relative to the fourth quarter of 2020. •Digital sales increased 23 percent compared with the same period in fiscal 2020 and increased 28 percent compared with the same period in fiscal 2019. Digital sales represented 46 percent of total sales during the quarter. •Gross profit, as a percentage of net sales, of 31 percent increased approximately 2,000 basis points compared with the same period in fiscal 2020, primarily due to lower markdowns and leverage from higher net sales volume. Gross profit, as a percentage of net sales, decreased 260 basis points compared with the same period in fiscal 2019 as a result of deleverage on lower sales and lower merchandise margins, partially offset by permanent reductions in buying and occupancy costs. •Loss before interest and taxes of $85 million decreased from loss of $813 million during the same period in fiscal 2020 primarily due to higher sales volume as well as the decrease in SG&A expense. Last year’s loss included $280 million in charges related to COVID-19.
Total Company net sales for the three months ended April 30, 2021, increased 57.6% compared to the three months ended April 30, 2020. For the three months ended April 30, 2021, the gross profit rate increased to 32.4% from 2.0% in the prior year’s comparable period. Gross profit dollars increased by $288.8 million to $300.7 million from $11.8 million in the prior year’s comparable period. Net income for the three months ended April 30, 2021, was $54 million and record first quarter earnings per diluted share was $0.54.
Wisconsin Rapids fire officials say there’s an ongoing investigation into cause of a fire at the Verso Paper Mill on West Riverview Expressway. Multiple fire departments were called to help fight the fire Tuesday evening. It was mostly contained by 10:15pm. Witnesses say black smoke was seen rising from the part of the complex. A former employee of the mill says the fire was in the Kraft Mill where wood chips were cooked into pulp. The paper mill was opened in 1904. It was Rapids’ largest employer until it was shut down in the summer of 2020.
Consumer concerns and tightening regulations have intensified the drive for more sustainable and safe packaging. At the same time, improving performance and efficiency are important. To answer the demand Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, has introduced a collaborative 360 Service approach to deliver measurable benefits throughout the packaging value chain, from easy recyclability to brand impact, production and supply chain efficiency, reducing environmental impact, and beyond, complementing its premium paperboard offering. The Metsä Board 360 Service approach is based on the extensive paperboard and packaging expertise gained from decades of collaboration with leading global technology providers, research institutes, brand owners, converters, printers, corrugators, and logistics and IT providers. The new Metsä Board 360 Services consist of five entities: • Sustainability Service to ensure the compliance and maximise the sustainability of paperboard packaging. • Packaging Design Service to provide better consumer experiences with less environmental impact. • Technical Service uses Metsä Board’s in-depth technical expertise to help improve converting efficiency and packaging performance. • R&D Service offers extensive testing capabilities and possibilities to explore new opportunities in joint R&D projects. • Supply Chain and Digital Service enables responsive, sustainable and reliable paperboard supply across the globe.
A summary of results for the first quarter ended May 1, 2021 as compared to the first quarter ended May 2, 2020: *Net sales of $781 million, up 61% as compared to last year and up 6% as compared to pre-COVID 2019 first quarter net sales. *Digital net sales increased 45% to $403 million reflecting robust growth in every month of the quarter. *Gross profit rate improved 900 basis points to 63.4% driven by higher average unit retail on lower promotions. *Operating income of $57 million and $60 million on a reported and adjusted non-GAAP basis, respectively, as compared to operating loss of $209 million and $166 million last year, on a reported and adjusted non-GAAP basis, respectively.
A group of volunteers from Worzalla, an employee-owned book printer specializing in printing high-quality children’s books, cookbooks, and hard-cover best sellers, assembled to clean up a stretch of County Highway HH on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Volunteers cleaned up 2 miles of the highway and cleared many bags of trash and debris. Worzalla recently adopted the section of County Highway HH from R to Burbank as part of the Portage County Adopt-A-Highway program. This program allows businesses and organizations to claim a section of highway in their community in an effort to reduce litter, enhance the environment and beauty of area roadsides, and educate the public to properly dispose of litter. “Since Worzalla has such deep roots in the Portage County community, we thought it fitting to lend our support in beautifying our community through the Adopt-A-Highway program,” said Brianne Petruzalek, Vice President of Human Resources. “We appreciate the associates and their family members who came together to organize and participate in this volunteer opportunity.”
Amcor has taken another step towards its goal to provide more sustainable packaging solutions by producing the first designed to be recycled plastic packaging for powdered chocolate in Latin America. Compared to the previous packaging, this new solution reduces the package’s carbon footprint by 53% and water consumption by 84% when it is recycled. The new sachet has a high-barrier feature to protect against humidity and will be available to consumers in its 25g sachet format in Colombia this month. Working closely with the customer, Amcor has leveraged its global and local R&D resources to develop this packaging solution which meets sustainability criteria while maintaining product protection, shelf life and aesthetic appeal. Amcor was the first global packaging company to pledge to develop all its packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025.
New data shows that 44% of Brits admit to hoarding cardboard boxes – with a massive 135m believed to be sitting in our sheds, garages, and wardrobes. Over half of Brits (52%) say the amount of cardboard packaging in their homes has increased since the pandemic, with two thirds (66%) of those blaming more online shopping, and more than a quarter (28%) holding on to boxes without any clear motive - simply because “they might be useful in the future.” But the hoarding habit, while seemingly harmless, is actually keeping raw materials out of the hands of recycling companies and causing paper prices to rise. "Since the pandemic begun there’s been a major shift in consumer shopping habits and we’ve seen a huge rise in people ordering more items online, accumulating more boxes as a result. But while some put these boxes to good use – re-using them for storage, arts and crafts, or to ship other items - many boxes are sitting unused and not finding their way back into recycling streams. It means that materials are at best getting delayed in reaching recyclers, and at worse not getting to them at all." — Rogier Gerritsen, Head of Recycling at DS Smith
Copresco President Steve Johnson was recognized in Folio Magazine’s Eddie & Ozzie Awards for his Johnson’s World monthly magazine column. Johnson received praise for editorial excellence in the Business-to-Business Media & Entertainment category. Johnson’s World now appears each month in print on the last page of WhatTheyThink’s Printing News magazine and online at WhatTheyThink.com. For more than 25 years, the Eddie & Ozzie Awards have recognized excellence in engaging content and gorgeous design across all sectors of the publishing industry. This year’s winners list features the crème de la crème of content creators and designers—a pool of roughly 300 winners narrowed down from thousands of entries.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company announced the launch of a comprehensive solution, Onsite Marketing Services, which enables retailers to seamlessly manage the design, ideation, procurement, and installation of store signage and fixture solutions. Ideal for growing retailers with a network of regional locations, vehicles, and/or franchisees, RRD’s solution offers retailers access to a full suite of in-sync, in-store marketing support, including managing installation, permanent/semi-permanent procurement, site surveys, and store audits. Small staff sizes, multiple vendors, and nonconforming store profiles pose significant barriers for retailers to achieve their marketing vision. By working directly with RRD’s local and regional resources able to manage, coordinate, and schedule signage deployment and setup, the solution effectively reduces the burden on both marketing teams and store associates while improving brand compliance and enhancing the in-store experience.
Nine Dragons Paper, the biggest manufacturer of packaging paper in China, has commissioned Voith to build and deliver three XcelLine paper machines for the production of high performance testliner and white top testliner. The three lines will further strengthen the paper manufacturer’s leading position in the packaging paper segment. The commissioning of the machines is planned for 2022 and 2023. “We are delighted to have received the orders from China’s largest packaging paper manufacturer Nine Dragons and we look forward to our renewed collaboration on a partnership basis,” says Hanson Zhao, Vice President Sales & Application Asia at Voith Paper. The planned daily production volume of the three identical paper machines is especially high: approximately 2,400 metric tons each, at production speeds of 1,400 m/min. In order to meet these requirements, the components must be extremely high-performing and robust. The elaborate former design of the machines, which are equipped with a DuoFormer DII E, allows for the required speed with high basis weights at the same time.
The Koehler Group is planning to fully convert its power plant at its Oberkirch/Germany location to biomass in the coming years. This change is part of Koehler’s sustainability strategy, which includes the goal of producing more energy from renewable sources than is required for its paper production operations by 2030. Koehler Group CEO Kai Furler is thrilled with the plan: “By switching from bituminous coal to biomass as the primary fuel for our location here in Oberkirch, we will be cutting more than 150,000 metric tons of CO₂ emissions a year.” The company has had a number of extremely successful projects designed to reduce the energy consumed in its paper production operations for many years now. A few years ago, the company declared that it would be producing more energy from renewable sources than required for its own needs by 2030. This is why the company is now converting its coal-fired power plant at the Oberkirch location to biomass. With its Fuel Emissions Trading Act, the German government made it more difficult to use fossil fuels, which is why Koehler will be implementing its plans for the conversion three years earlier than originally planned.
Specialty Print Communications (SPC), a Niles, Illinois based direct mail and digital solutions provider, marked 25 years in business on May 19th with a ceremony outside its offices. From humble beginnings in 1996 as a print and promotional products provider, SPC has grown into one of the country’s largest independent marketing organizations, with nearly 400 employees providing print and digital solutions to blue chip clients in retail, etail, healthcare, financial services, automotive, travel & leisure, and other industries. To commemorate 25 years in business, SPC has partnered with One Tree Planted (www.gofundme.com), a non-profit organization focused on reforestation, which will plant 2,500 seedlings in hard-hit areas across the United States. “We really wanted to focus our positive energy outward to include our larger community.
UPM Specialty Papers is strengthening its already comprehensive selection of sustainable and recyclable packaging papers. Known for its high expertise in technically demanding papers, UPM Specialty Papers now introduces an advanced fibre-based barrier paper – UPM AsendoTM Pro. The latest example of cutting-edge packaging solutions is UPM Asendo Pro – a barrier paper made from renewable materials. UPM Asendo Pro is a two-side coated paper that provides multiple advantages as an easily recyclable monomaterial. UPM Asendo Pro’s print side provides an excellent basis for high-quality visuals. Also, in addition to advanced grease resistance and good moisture resistance, its mineral oil barrier properties keep products safe. UPM Asendo Pro is suitable for dry, greasy and frozen foods as well as wrappings where excellent print properties are vital. End-use purposes vary from non-food wrapping to food end-uses and can be easily further converted for additional barrier properties and sealability to open up even more demanding end-uses.
REI Co-op is opening its first location in Maine, bringing quality outdoor gear and renowned expertise to the Greater Portland area in fall 2021. The approximately 24,400 square-foot store will be part of the new Rock Row development in Westbrook and will serve as a home base for the co-op's 47,000 lifetime members in Maine by inspiring and enabling a life outside for all. REI will offer top-quality gear for the activities that each season offers, ranging from paddling to cold weather gear. “A part of the New England community since we opened our first store in Massachusetts in 1987, we’re thrilled to expand our regional presence with our first store in Maine,” says Becky Smith, REI’s Northeast regional director. “We are especially excited to share a passion with the community for spending time outside year-round, from trekking through the snow to paddling along the coast.”
Alzamora Group, a leading Spanish cardboard packaging manufacturer, has recently celebrated the second year of its LatCub packaging solution. The revolutionary renewable, biodegradable and fully recyclable cardboard packaging replaces the plastic ring-pull and shrink-wrap around beverage cans. This new sustainable packaging solution is produced without any plastic or tape and offers brands extensive advertising opportunities. LatCub is the first container of its kind available on the market and is a clear example of the future of packaging.
Welcome to the 16th issue of The Page, the magazine produced by Two Sides to promote the sustainability and value of print. This hard-hitting issue discusses and provided examples of the great communication deception. False claims that digital communication is better for the environment than paper are on the increase. Something that isn’t set to change as the country comes out of lockdown. You’ll also discover findings from a Two Sides report, in which the scale of paper’s environmental perception problem is laid bare, when in fact the print and paper industry has a great environmental story to tell. To read the latest issue, go to www.twosides.info/the-page
Novolex®, an industry leader in packaging choice, innovation and sustainability, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the business of Flexo Converters USA, Inc. and certain of its affiliates. The transaction is expected to close within the next 60 days. Flexo is a manufacturer of stock, custom and recycled paper bags and sacks. It is headquartered and has a manufacturing facility in Meriden, Conn. and an additional plant in Monroe, Ga. Flexo’s eligible full-time employees are expected to join Novolex. Flexo products will be sold under the Novolex Duro® Bag brand. The addition of Flexo products to the Novolex portfolio will enable Duro to support customer demand through Flexo’s production capacity. Novolex has seen a significant increase in demand for paper bags as consumer purchasing patterns have shifted.
Leading European thermoforming packaging specialists Waddington Europe, a division of Novolex®, is augmenting its revolutionary TamperVisible® range of protective packaging products to include a pioneering Hot Fill option. The TamperVisible range of products is designed for consumer peace of mind, reassuring the end user that the food inside is as safe as the day it was prepared. A snap mechanism on the corner of the pack must physically be broken to access the lid opening making an attempt to open the package visible to a consumer. The packaging line is also ideal for storage optimisation and increased shelf life as they easily fit inside most refrigerator door shelves. And now, TamperVisible Hot Fill can withstand temperatures of up to 185 F° (85°C), making it a convenient packaging option for sauces, soups, noodles, pate, ready meals and desserts such as steamed puddings, while also being microwavable. Made from high clarity rPET (recycled PET), the TamperVisible Hot Fill line offers superior shelf appeal and a clearer view of the contents unlike thicker polypropylene and crystallized PET (cPET) hot fill containers, which are typically opaque. Additionally, TamperVisible Hot Fill is available in four recycled content blends, from a minimum of 30% to Waddington Europe’s full Eco Blend™ 100 packaging made from 100% recycled content and which is also 100% recyclable. Branding and recycling information are displayed via a patented ‘clip on’ decoration, making for easy and correct separation and recycling.
Smurfit Kappa is substantially expanding its converting capacity at four manufacturing plants across the Czech Republic and Slovakia with a significant €20 million investment. The investment further highlights Smurfit Kappa’s commitment to its customers and operations in Eastern Europe. The investment consists of four major projects, three undertaken in the Czech Republic, at Smurfit Kappa facilities in Žebrák, Žimrovice, and Olomouc, and one in Slovakia at Smurfit Kappa Štúrovo. All four projects are expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Total European shipments of graphic papers in March 2021 were down 4.7% vs. March 2020 and are down 13.7% year-to-date. Total European shipments of newsprint in March 2021 were down 12.4% vs. March 2020 and are down 18.1% year-to-date. Total European shipments of sc-magazine in March 2021 were UP 2.0% vs. March 2020 and are down 13.6% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated mechanical reels in March 2021 were down 12.1% vs. March 2020 and are down 17.6% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated mechanical (improved & others) in March 2021 were UP 0.6% vs. March 2020 and are down 6.0% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated woodfree in March 2021 were down 3.1% vs. March 2020 and are down 16.9% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated woodfree in March 2021 were UP 2.4% vs. March 2020 and are down 7.1% year-to-date.
Total packaging papers & specialty packaging shipments in April increased four percent compared to April 2020. They were up one percent when compared to the same four months of 2020. The operating rate was 95.1 percent, up 9.6 points from April 2020 and up 5.2 points year-to-date. Mill inventories at the end of April increased 9,000 short tons from the previous month and were up 20,000 short tons compared to April 2020.
According to the report, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased three percent in April compared to April 2020. U.S. purchases of total printing-writing papers decreased six percent in April compared to the same month last year. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels decreased two percent when compared to March 2021. U.S. purchases of uncoated free sheet (UFS) papers in April increased 13 percent compared to last April while the inventory level decreased three percent compared to March 2021. UFS imports increased 12 percent while exports decreased 22 percent in March 2021. Coated free sheet (CFS) paper shipments decreased 17 percent compared to April 2020 while the inventory level decreased one percent compared to March 2021. CFS imports decreased 21 percent while exports increased 14 percent in March 2021. U.S. purchases of coated mechanical (CM) papers in April decreased 35 percent compared to last April while the inventory level decreased three percent compared to March 2021. CM imports and exports both decreased compared to March 2020, down nine percent and 29 percent respectively. Uncoated mechanical (UM) paper shipments decreased 21 percent compared to April 2020 while the inventory level increased 12 percent compared to March 2021. UM imports and exports both decreased compared to March 2020, down one percent and 47 percent respectively.
Graphic Packaging Holding Company announced the conclusion of its successful partnership with International Paper Company. The final tranche of the membership interests held by International Paper in Graphic Packaging International Partners, LLC (the "Partnership") were exchanged for an equivalent number of shares of Graphic Packaging common stock. As a result, Graphic Packaging now owns 100% of the Partnership. Michael Doss, the Company's President and CEO, said, "The partnership with International Paper played an important role as we established our leadership position in fiber-based consumer packaging across all three paperboard substrates. The highly integrated model we have built enables us to serve a broad set of global customers with new and innovative packaging solutions, positioning us to achieve the ambitious growth and return goals established in Vision 2025. Through the combination with International Paper's consumer packaging business, along with our other organic and inorganic growth initiatives, we have built scale across all three paperboard substrates, and have unique flexibility to quickly meet changing demand patterns for sustainable packaging solutions and deliver value for all stakeholders."
Last year was a bad one for newspaper staffs. A full 31% of papers with Sunday circulations of 50,000 or more experienced layoffs, and 11% had multiple rounds, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis. In contrast, 27% of papers saw layoffs in 2019, up from 18% in 2019. And many of them took hits. The largest papers — those with Sunday circ of 250,000 or more — were the hardest hit, with 55% suffering staff cuts. The year before, the pain was roughly similar across groups.
Unit sales of print books rose 8.8% in the week ended May 15, 2021, over the comparable week in 2020 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Adult fiction continued to see solid gains, with units up 19.2% over the week ended May 16, 2020. Within the adult segment, graphic novels continued to lead the way, with units up 188%. New releases also contributed, led by While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams, which sold about 23,000 copies in its first week. Diana Palmer’s Texas Dare followed, selling almost 22,000 copies, and Jennifer Weiner’s That Summer sold approximately 16,000 copies in its first week. Unit sales of adult nonfiction increased 3.6% compared to 2020. As in recent weeks, subcategories that were hurt by the pandemic are seeing a rebound, led by travel (up almost 100%); business and economics (up 31.6%); and history, law, political science (up 24.8%).
KP Tissue Inc. and Kruger Products L.P. announced that certain wholly-owned subsidiaries of KPLP have closed financing transactions to fund the previously announced expansion of its Sherbrooke operations. The financings, totalling $240 million, include the previously announced $165 million in investments by Investissement Québec, as well as a credit agreement between Kruger Products SB Inc. and National Bank of Canada, the Bank of Nova Scotia and CIBC who acted as co-lead arrangers and joint bookrunners. The credit agreement includes senior credit facilities in an amount of $75 million to be made available to KPSB. In connection with the financings, KPLP’s credit agreement with National Bank of Canada (acting as administrative agent) was amended to, amongst other things, increase the amount of permitted debt.
UPM Energy answers to the urgent need for power flexibility with a revolutionary energy optimisation and trading service, Beyond Spot, helping industrial businesses thrive in the energy market disruption. The service helps industrial companies solve the most common pain points of energy management: energy cost optimisation and risk management. At the same time, it answers the growing need for flexible power to balance the power grid due to the fast increase in the supply of renewable energy. The energy market is in the middle of disruption. Tightening climate goals push countries to shift towards renewable energy, which pushes the power prices down and shakes up the market dynamics. The increase in renewable energy creates dramatic fluctuations in energy supply, posing significant financial risks for large energy consumers and causing new challenges for electricity grids. In order to cope with the volatile renewable energy supply, investments in electricity grids are required, but part of the solution lies in more efficient use of flexible consumption assets through energy optimisation. Regulators and transmission system operators also aim for better balancing of supply and demand with the help of new regulation such as the fifteen-minute imbalance settlement coming in 2023 in the Nordics.
ABS Graphics, Itasca, Ill., opened its doors approximately 30 years ago and over time has evolved into a full-service operation that can handle a wide range of commercial print work, from design to offset and digital print to finishing, mailing and fulfillment. Recently, the company installed a new six-color Komori Lithrone G40 (GL640) with LED/UV to expand its already considerable capabilities and to add greater value to its bottom line. The new press replaces a 16-year-old Komori GL640 offset press with H-UV. While the older press continued to run well and produce quality images, the decision to upgrade became a matter of economics from a maintenance standpoint. Comparing those operating costs to the benefits of investing in a new press, the new press won hands down. “The purchase of a new press was really an economic decision. It just made sense from many different standpoints. It offered the technology, run speed and efficiency that we needed to continue on our growth path,” said Russ Babka, president and owner of ABS Graphics.
On the heels of last week’s House action on postal reform, the Senate this week got into the game by introducing companion legislation, the Postal Reform Act of 2021, to address USPS financial, service and transparency reforms. This bipartisan legislation, led by Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-MI) and Ranking Member Rob Portman (R-OH), is substantively identical to the legislation of the same name that was approved by the House Oversight Committee last week. The bill was introduced with strong bipartisan co-sponsorship, including nine Democrats and eight Republicans, which bodes well for committee passage and – eventually – 60 votes on final passage. Like its House counterpart, the Act focuses on key financial reforms that have been long-sought by the printing and mailing industry, including: 1) elimination the onerous retiree pre-funding requirement; and 2) integrating postal retirees’ health care into Medicare. According to Senator Portman, these two reforms alone would save $45.9 billion in savings for USPS over the next 10 years.
Aptar CSP Technologies announced that its proprietary Activ-Film™ technology was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use within a recently launched Rechargeable Implantable Neurostimulator (INS) that treats urinary and bowel dysfunction. The Activ-Film™ material is integrated into the medical device to control humidity, improve the accuracy of readings, and extend use life. Aptar CSP’s Activ-Film™ material leverages the company’s patented 3-Phase Activ-Polymer™ platform technology to manage the device’s internal atmosphere, adsorbing moisture that could otherwise accumulate and affect the implant’s stability and performance. Controlling the humidity within the device protects the battery and enables it to have little to no degradation during its use life.
Crown Holdings, Inc. has issued an interim sustainability report to track its recent environmental, social and governance (ESG) accomplishments and offer insight into its future strategy. Entitled "Enduring Values, Continuous Progress," the report highlights the completion of the Company's first sustainability goals and its plan to raise the bar for future performance based on five pillars of action with the launch of its Twentyby30 program. The Company's progress was achieved during a year of unprecedented demand for metal packaging and the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Report highlights include: *The Company's 2020 Sustainability Goals were fulfilled – and surpassed – ahead of schedule. The targets, focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and decreasing energy consumption, were established in 2016 against a 2015 baseline and scheduled for completion by December 31, 2020. *Crown exceeded its goal of 30% renewable electricity by the end of 2020. *The mission and strategy behind Crown's Twentyby30 program, a robust initiative that addresses topics of urgent global concern and reflect the priorities of its internal and external stakeholders.
The American Forest & Paper Association released the 61st Paper Industry Capacity and Fiber Consumption Report, indicating overall U.S. paper and paperboard capacity declined 1.6 percent in 2020, compared to the average decline of 1.1 percent per year since 2011. Notably in 2020, containerboard capacity expanded, continuing a decade-long trend, and reaching a record high of 40.4 million tons. Tissue paper capacity has also been trending upward, increasing for the past five years, as well as eight of the last 10 years. Meanwhile, U.S. mill consumption of recovered fiber reached the second-highest level in the past decade. The increase was driven by mill consumption of corrugated, the largest grade of recovered fiber, which reached a record high of 22.8 million tons in 2020. Boxboard was the only packaging grade to decline last year, however survey responses indicate a slight rebound in 2021.
In a time of renewed emphasis on reducing waste, paper recycling rates for products and packaging set the industry apart. Many states have introduced legislation, called extended producer responsibility bills, that target how consumer products are disposed after use. Several of these proposals aim to make producers responsible for managing the disposal of various goods in an effort to keep them out of landfills. Examples include mattresses, plastic packaging, chemicals, electronics and more. Paper-based packaging has been included in some proposals, but the good news is paper recycling rates are already high. Even during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, which saw an increase in single-use everything, 65.7 percent of paper consumed in the United States was recycled, according to research by the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA).
The Felix Schoeller Group is expanding its Facestock product portfolio. With PrimePaper F005 and F026, the company is launching two new product types for direct contact with food that are free of harmful substances and FSC certified. The speciality paper manufacturer with headquarters in Osnabrück has also produced a free report on the subject of inkjet printing. Interested parties can find valuable information on the growth trend in digital label printing and the interaction between ink and paper. "We are delighted to introduce two new label solutions for food use to our customers," says Senta Becker, Global Product Manager Label Printing at the Felix Schoeller Group about the new Facestock products PrimePaper F005 and PrimePaper F026. "Both products are free of harmful substances and FSC-certified," Mrs Becker continues on the expansion of the product range of the Osnabrück-based speciality paper manufacturer, which offers Facestock materials for a wide range of applications, including labels for bottle labelling or packaging from the health & personal care and cosmetics sectors.
Several Koehler flexible packaging paper have been certified by the environmental services provider Interseroh and awarded the „Made for Recycling“ seal. This includes Koehler NexPlus® Advanced, Koehler NexPlus® Seal Pure and Koehler NexPlus® Seal Pure MOB. Among other things, the after-life aspects of collection, sorting and recovery were analyzed. With this seal, the environmental services provider Interseroh certifies that the paper has a very good recycling capability. With Koehler NexPlus®, Koehler Paper is meeting the rapidly growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions - and this extends beyond just the food industry. Koehler NexPlus® paper has a barrier coating with various capabilities and characteristics. In particular, these include barriers for odors, greases, oils, water vapor, or gases, which combine with the paper's inherent capabilities, such as high strength properties and a natural feel, to create a strong overall concept. The advantage of Koehler’s NexPlus® barrier paper is that it is manufactured from sustainable raw materials. After use, it is classified as wastepaper and is thus a sought-after recycled raw material.
Sappi Europe announces the appointment of Flavio Froehli as Vice President, Marketing & Sales with immediate effect for the entire Sappi Europe portfolio reporting to Marco Eikelenboom, Chief Executive Officer, Sappi Europe. Flavio holds an MBA from University of Minnesota and Vienna University of Economics & Business. He is an experienced marketing & sales executive with an extensive background in the Paper, Packaging & Pulp industry. Flavio joined Sappi as Sales Director, Graphics with the acquisition of M-real Graphics in 2008. Since joining Sappi, he was involved in several change initiatives. In his latest capacity as Director, Business Strategy & Development, appointed in 2018, he was also in charge of leading a cross-functional, cross-business team of collaborative experts accelerating Sappi’s transition into growth markets by identifying, evaluating, and selecting products that are today being manufactured on originally Graphics-dedicated machines.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.042; Month Ago: $2.878; Year Ago: $1.926. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.176; Month Ago: $3.079; Year Ago: $2.412.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.830190; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.155479; American Dollar to Euro = 1.218656; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009191; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.050207.
In an effort to demonstrate that it’s much more than a paper company, Midland Paper Packaging + Supplies has officially shortened its name to MIDLAND as part of a comprehensive rebranding initiative. The fresh approach, from the new logo and tagline to the updated brand messaging, reflects a modern distribution company with an eye toward the future. For more than a century, Midland has been a leader in paper distribution. But over the past two decades, it has evolved into much more than that. Today Midland is a dynamic company with a broad range of offerings. In addition to a full complement of paper offerings, MIDLAND offers solutions in sustainable packaging, automation equipment, and direct-to-consumer marketing and consulting. Given MIDLAND’s recent rapid sales growth and market diversification, the company underwent an exercise in brand clarity, starting with the name change. “By shortening our name to simply MIDLAND, we avoid being pigeon-holed into a single category, and are able to broaden our appeal beyond just paper. This is a logical evolution for our brand and will help unify our messaging” said Executive Vice President Jim O’Toole. With a renewed emphasis on performance and exceeding expectations, Midland’s mission is to deliver on commitments in its three core segments: • Packaging materials and custom design solutions • Paper and Specialty Media solutions for a variety of applications • Direct-to-consumer Marketing strategy and consulting. “At MIDLAND, performance matters. Delivering on our commitments is more than just our mission statement. It’s what defines us. It’s in our DNA” added O’Toole. “Our strength is our wide-ranging network of knowledge. We have a team of industry veterans for every service offered and our experience is unmatched. When people engage MIDLAND, they don’t just get one person – they get access to an entire network of experts.” said Mike Graves, MIDLAND’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
Disrupt. Delight. Drive. Three words that, together, form a mandate for our catalogs. From crowded mailboxes our books need to stand out and garner attention; pay off that attention with content that creates desire, and – ultimately – compel our customers to click, call or visit. It’s a tall order. And that first piece, Disrupt, is the 1st priority. If it doesn’t happen, the other two won’t. We could mail an 11” x 17” oversized book. That will get noticed. So would a ‘scratch and sniff’ cover? But most of us don’t have budget to add a bunch of bells and whistles just to make us louder than the other guys. I’m particularly mindful of this as I wade through the current flood of women’s clothing catalogs in my own mailbox, most of them conveying the long-suffering Spring + Early Summer + Mother’s Day mashup: covers graced with women pouring each other glasses of Rosé, or bikes with flower-filled baskets. Make no mistake: this is not a judgement, but a shared burden. What can we do—any of us—to stand out in a sea of perpetual sameness, when all we have to work with is the traditional, two-dimensional real estate of a catalog cover? For the rest of the story, go to: https://www.jschmid.com/blog/stand-out-in-a-sea-of-sameness/
The company reported earnings per share of $0.97 for the first quarter ended May 1, 2021 compared to a loss per share of $1.07 for the first quarter ended May 2, 2020. First quarter operating income was $572.1 million compared to a loss of $317.7 million last year, and net income was $276.6 million compared to a loss of $296.9 million last year.
L Brands, Inc. announced the appointment of Chief Financial Officers for the standalone Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret businesses. Upon the completion of the spin-off of Victoria’s Secret, which is targeted to occur in August 2021, Wendy Arlin, currently SVP of Finance and Controller for L Brands, will become Bath & Body Works CFO, and Tim Johnson, previously CFO and Chief Administrative Officer for Big Lots, will become Victoria’s Secret CFO. As previously announced, current L Brands CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer will retire at that time.
Stora Enso arranged a virtual inauguration ceremony to celebrate the successful conversion of the Oulu Mill which was transformed from paper production into high-quality kraftliner production. The Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin, inaugurated the mill. Oulu is Stora Enso’s second successful conversion, following Varkaus Mill, inaugurated in 2016. The EUR 350 million conversion project proceeded according to plan, from the investment decision made in May 2019 to the start of the commercial deliveries in the first quarter of 2021. The current ramp-up phase is proceeding ahead of plan, and the customer feedback has been positive. The new machine is estimated to reach its designed annual production capacity of 450 000 tonnes by the end of the June 2021. “Stora Enso has a long and proud history of being able to transform, innovate and embrace the future. Today’s inauguration celebrates a successfully completed project. Packaging already today represents more than 40% of our total sales. The additional kraftliner capacity in Oulu enables us to further strengthen Stora Enso’s offering in the global markets with significant room for growth,” says Annica Bresky, Stora Enso’s President and CEO. The product, AvantForteTM by Stora Enso, has three fibre layers, making it the strongest kraftliner in Stora Enso’s portfolio.
Stora Enso and Vogue Scandinavia have formed a strategic partnership to replace plastics in magazine packaging. As a part of the partnership, Stora Enso will provide Vogue Scandinavia with sustainability and packaging design expertise. A renewable, carbon neutral eco-package concept will be available for the first issue of Vogue Scandinavia, to be published in August this year. As a part of the partnership, Stora Enso will provide Vogue Scandinavia with renewable magazine packaging, along with packaging design and automation services. The Vogue Scandinavia magazine packaging aims to be fully carbon neutral, with a renewable, low-carbon raw material and energy efficient production. The remaining emissions are offset by using the CarbonZero service by Stora Enso, in collaboration with compensation partner South Pole. Stora Enso will provide Vogue Scandinavia with advisory services for sustainable materials and cradle-to-grave life-cycle assessments. Stora Enso will also support Vogue Scandinavia in transparent sustainability reporting.
Winfried Schaur has been appointed as Executive Vice President, Technology and Mika Kekki as Executive Vice President, UPM Plywood as of October 1, 2021. Both will be members of UPM’s Group Executive Team and report to Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO. They will succeed Jyrki Ovaska and Mika Sillanpää who both will retire at the age of 63 at the end of 2021. Winfried Schaur is currently the Executive Vice President, UPM Communication Papers and member of the Executive Team. He has held several senior positions in UPM’s paper business since 2001. Mika Kekki is currently the Vice President, Production & Operations, responsible for UPM’s eight plywood mills and production related support functions. He has held several management positions in UPM and preceding companies since 1994.
*First quarter net sales and earnings exceed expectations and company raises full year 2021 financial outlook *First quarter net sales increase 69.5% *First quarter diluted earnings per share of $0.09; adjusted diluted earnings per share(2) of $1.05 *Strengthened financial position during the quarter, reducing long-term debt by over $500 million and ending with $1.6 billion in cash *Raises full year 2021 net sales to increase in the mid-to-high teens percentage range as compared to 2020, operating margin to be in the range of 5.7% to 6.1% and adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $3.80 to $4.20, excluding any non-recurring charges
2K30 includes real, measurable goals, close cooperation with Pregis partners, vendors and customers worldwide, and an open invitation for like-minded companies and individuals to join the company in doing better. The goal is to contribute to protecting and preserving the planet for generations to come. Working hand in hand with its network and forming new alliances, by the year 2030, Pregis will: *Reduce its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 25% *Eliminate 1 million customer reshipments *Save 15 million new trees from harvest *Make 100% of Pregis products recyclable, reusable, or with a minimum 30% reduced reliance on new fossil-based ingredients *Achieve 100% product and process waste reduction at Pregis facilities globally *Invest $15 million in circular, scalable, and sustainable material, process and waste solutions globally *Make a positive impact on 25 million lives
American Bible Society, a 205-year-old Christian ministry and Bible publisher, entrusted Sheridan with the printing of their new commemorative Faith and Liberty Bible to coincide with the May 1, 2021 opening of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center located on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall. Both the Faith and Liberty Bible and the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center serve as educational resources to explore the Bible’s integral role in American history—illuminating the influence of the Bible on individuals in key historical and personal moments. “The Faith and Liberty Bible allows readers to uncover the significant influence of the Bible on the American experience. Each of the 813 included articles and quotes were reviewed by a team of scholars of American history, law, and religion,” says American Bible Society Managing Director of Ministry Impact – Operations, John Greco. “Sheridan did a magnificent job of bringing this beautiful Bible to life.” Utilizing Sheridan’s high quality, four color, web offset printing capabilities, the role of the Bible in America’s history is told with each turn of the page.
TC Transcontinental announced the relocation of TC Transcontinental Printing’s in-store marketing (ISM) product printing activities from the recent acquisitions of Holland & Crosby and Artisan Complete Limited to Transcontinental Brampton, in order to propel its growth in the promising ISM market. The ISM group, which already generates significant revenues, will see further growth with the addition of yet another major Canadian retailer, bringing more than 20 million $ in new business annually. To bring brands to life, Transcontinental Brampton will also be opening an Innovation Laboratory this summer for customers to test products on different types of shelves. Focused on retailers and global brands, the ISM Group’s offering includes the conception, design and building of the full range of indoor and outdoor signage, displays, fixtures and furniture for retail spaces, whether made from paper, cardboard, plastic, wood or metal.
Printing technologies mature in a good way when they outgrow their finicky special needs. Offset presses used to bedevil operators with their unstable ink-water balances. The wild card for digital toner presses was controlling the heat of fusing. In the early days of production inkjet printing, the head-scratcher was getting the droplets to behave properly on the surface of the substrate — a difficulty that initially held adoption of the process back. Those obstacles have mostly vanished, and in inkjet’s case, the greatly improved compatibility with paper has moved the technology well into the mainstream of print production. Printers running late-model inkjet devices find that, for the most part, they no longer have to use the specially pre-treated papers to which first-generation inkjet presses were limited. House stocks, including offset grades, work fine, saving printers money and letting them and their customers continue to play by familiar rules of paper specification. Some new inkjet equipment eliminates the need for pre-treated papers with the help of in-line dispensing units that apply conditioning fluids to the substrate before the laydown of the ink.
Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. is expanding its popular Envi Card Stock portfolio with the introduction of Envi PC 100 Card 28 pt., crafted from 100% post-consumer waste fibers. In the last 10 years, more than 10 billion gift, membership, and loyalty cards have been produced on Envi Card by the world’s leading retailers, restaurants, hotels, and brands. This is a testament to the viability of converting PVC card programs to engineered paper. The “Un-Plastic® alternative,” a drop-in replacement for legacy plastic and PVC substrates, will be particularly attractive to issuers looking to enhance their sustainability portfolios. Envi Card has been qualified by printers and card manufacturers around the world. Like all Envi Card Stock materials, Envi PC 100 Card is manufactured in the U.S. and is FSC® certified, manufactured carbon neutral (VERs), and made with 100 percent renewable Green-e certified wind-powered electricity (RECs) under a third-party certified ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.
Broadleaves trees improve forest growth and yield and increase the diversity of forest species. Biodiversity helps forests to face the changing climate conditions and thrive. “If we achieve this goal, one fifth of all trees on sites that accommodate birch will be broadleaves. The increased amount will strengthen both tree species and many of other forest species and improve forests’ capacity to endure adverse weather conditions and insect damage caused by climate change,” says Risto Laaksonen, UPM’s Director, Forestry. According to Laaksonen, increasing the share of broadleaves trees also increases coniferous trees' strength to grow, at least according to current knowledge. At the same time, the competition within this more diverse group of species will become more intense. This brings balance to the ecosystem and reduces the risk that one species will overpower the others and cause damage.
Best known for generating innovative brand solutions while serving the local community, Oregon, WI-based printer, Thysse, announces a series of additions to its team and services through the acquisition of Badger Group. A longtime asset to Fort Atkinson-area businesses, Badger Group is reputed for their direct mail, print services, and digital marketing expertise. Combining forces and relocating to Oregon offers Badger Group clients increased capacity for current services, a larger team to focus on every project, and additional offerings in vehicle graphics, signage and large format, creative services, promotional items, inventory and distribution. The transition is already underway and progressing smoothly, as both businesses run on the same Print Management Information System (MIS) and are structured similarly to assist clients. “Badger Group has been family owned and operated since 1975, and we’re thrilled to combine both companies’ rich history and extremely knowledgeable teams,” said Badger Group President/Owner Sally O’Brien. “The move is a very positive one for us, as we can now offer our clients additional brand development options while continuing to deliver exceptional service. We’re thoughtfully planning our transition so there are very few changes to client and staff relationships and no delays to current or scheduled projects.”
Bolger Printing, a provider of commercial printing services, has invested in a new HP Indigo 100K Digital Press to expand digital print capacity and support growing demand for high-impact printing applications using personalized data. The new HP Indigo 100K press is Bolger’s second investment in HP Indigo digital printing in less than two years, following the installation of an HP Indigo 12000 HD Digital Press in 2019. As a result, Bolger is now decommissioning two offset presses with the installation of the 29 inch HP Indigo100K, offering a new benchmark in digital sheetfed productivity with nonstop printing of tens of thousands of B2 duplex sheets every day. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bolger is a traditional commercial printer that has rapidly expanded into providing full-service mail and multichannel communications solutions for its audiences using data-driven workflows, including its innovative SmartQ platform for marketing automation.
*First quarter comparable sales grew 22.9 percent, on top of 10.8 percent growth last year. *Store comparable sales increased 18.0 percent, on top of 0.9 percent growth last year. Digital comparable sales grew 50 percent, on top of 141 percent growth a year ago. *Same-day services (Order Pickup, Drive Up and Shipt) grew more than 90 percent, led by growth in Drive Up of 123 percent. *More than 95 percent of Target's first quarter sales were fulfilled by its stores. *The Company gained more than $1 billion in market share in the first quarter, on top of a $1 billion share gain in first quarter 2020. *First quarter GAAP EPS of $4.17 was 643.2 percent higher than last year.
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 0.3% in April after increasing 2.3% in March. In April, the index equaled 114.7 (2015=100) compared with 115.1 in March. “After a revised increase in March of 2.3%, the April index declined just slightly,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The outlook is solid for tonnage going forward as the country approaches pre-pandemic levels of activity, with strong economic growth in key areas for trucking – including retail, home construction and even manufacturing. “Additionally, the index increased on a year-over-year basis for the first time since March 2020. Part of the reason for the gain was due to an easy comparison with when the index fell significantly in April 2020,” he said. “But I’m expecting increases, albeit smaller than April’s, on a year-over-year basis going forward. Trucking’s biggest challenges are not on the demand side, but on the supply side, including difficulty finding qualified drivers.”
Sonoco ThermoSafe and Cathay Pacific Cargo announced an expanded global partnership agreement for the leasing of the new Pegasus ULD® temperature controlled bulk shipping container. The agreement enables pharmaceutical freight forwarders to lease Pegasus ULD® containers directly from Cathay Pacific Cargo. Sonoco ThermoSafe’s Pegasus ULD® is the world’s first FAA and EASA-approved passive bulk temperature-controlled ULD container for pharmaceutical use, which enables it to speed through international air freight handling and customs processes at the lowest possible cost. With a focus on sustainability, the Pegasus is engineered with composite materials, offering a lighter solution that is also substantially more damage-resistant than traditional metal containers. Additionally, the Pegasus ULD® contains a fully integrated, FAA-approved telemetry system, providing real-time, cloud-based data on payload and ambient temperature and key environmental factors, precisely synchronized with GPS location.
Aptar Food + Beverage leveraged the benefits of two high-performance products, PolkaLite, a lighter version of the Polka closure (-1.3g), and the award-winning SimpliCycle recyclable valve to bring to manufacturers and consumers the highest levels of performance, convenience and sustainability in a closure that is reliable throughout the product life cycle. PolkaLite is a recyclable closure designed to use less raw materials. It not only helps brands in complying with packaging regulations and potentially achieve eco-taxes reduction, but it also appeals to environmentally conscious consumers who are committed to using products that are recyclable. PolkaLite, when paired with SimpliCycle, is a dispensing solution that is recyclable at the end of use, without compromising on performance. SimpliCycle, recently awarded the Best CSR/Sustainability Initiative at the World Food Innovation Awards ceremony in March 2021, is easily separated from the PET recycling stream and has the ability of being recycled with both PE and PP.
Mactac® is expanding its role as a leading member of the CELAB (Circular Economy for Labels) global consortium, announcing the naming of company leaders to the consortium’s executive boards. Ed LaForge, President and Chief Executive Officer for Mactac, will serve as vice president of CELAB’s global executive board, and Kevin Clunie, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Mactac Performance Adhesives Group, will serve as vice president of CELAB’s North America branch executive board. Additionally, Brittany Eppley, Mactac’s Marketing and Communications Manager will play a leading role on the CELAB North America branch communications team. Mactac’s parent company, LINTEC, is also a member of the organization within the CELAB Europe regional branch.
The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), the leading authority in sustainable printing certifications, announced today that its sister organization, SGP Foundation Inc, earned the Silver GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency. This is the second level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information. SGP Foundation is moving forward in its mission to provide education and awareness of sustainability best practices to the printing industry. “Since 2016, we have been building a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing education on sustainable practices for and in the printing industry,” said Jonathan Graham, SGP Foundation chair. “We are pleased to now share our organization’s transparency in a user-friendly and highly visual manner. By updating our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile to the Sliver level, we can now easily share more information with our supporters as well as GuideStar’s online community of donors, grantmakers and the public.”
R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company announced that its Board of Directors has approved an amendment of the Company’s stockholder rights plan. The amendment raises from 10% to 15% the level of beneficial ownership of RRD common stock the acquisition of which by a person or group (other than certain passive institutional investors) would result in the rights becoming exercisable. The Rights Plan is scheduled to expire on August 28, 2021. The Board has noted that, in light of present circumstances, there is continuing potential for one or more persons or groups to gain undue influence over or control of RRD through open market accumulations or other tactics. Accordingly, the Board expects that under current circumstances it would approve an extension of the Rights Plan and submit the Rights Plan to stockholders for ratification at the Company’s 2022 annual meeting of stockholders. As currently contemplated by the Board, if such stockholder ratification were obtained, the Rights Plan as so extended would expire on August 28, 2022; otherwise, the Rights Plan would expire at the close of business on the first business day following the certification of the voting results for the Company’s 2022 annual meeting of stockholders. The intent of the Rights Plan is to promote the best interests of all stockholders, and, if the Rights Plan is extended in August of this year, all stockholders will have the opportunity to vote on the Rights Plan in May 2022 at the Company’s 2022 annual meeting of stockholders.
Last year BillerudKorsnäs and Haver & Boecker published a total of nine sack packaging norms. These norms cover the basics and some of the most critical factors that need to be taken into account when powdered goods are packed. The reactions in the market show that the norms support the work of bulk goods manufacturers. They provide a helpful guideline for determining the optimal packaging process and the perfect sack packaging for products to be filled. BillerudKorsnäs and Haver & Boecker have decided to jointly develop further norms after receiving positive feedback worldwide. The sack packaging norms contain recommendations for the development and use of packaging solutions and processes and define basic standard know-how or standard procedures. They provide orientation for questions that manufacturers of bulk materials are confronted with on a daily basis.
Domtar Corporation announced it will expand its Jesup, Georgia based Engineered Absorbent Materials (EAM) facility. The project will play an integral role in helping the company grow its position as a leading global absorbent materials and technology business offering fluff pulp and airlaid nonwoven materials. "This expansion is a strategic step toward strengthening our value proposition as an essential partner to absorbent hygiene customers around the world," Lewis Fix, Domtar vice president, commercial pulp and airlaid, said. Domtar's EAM facility has been developing and manufacturing innovative, high-quality absorbent core solutions since 1998. This expansion project will add a large scale Dan-Web airlaid production line to the facility. The machine will be fully operational in 2022, enhancing Domtar's ability to supply both domestic and global customers with unique absorbent materials solutions.
Hello Everyone, We need your help to ensure Congress knows protecting printed package inserts (PI) is a priority! The ECL & Printed Literature Business is once again under attack from a Pharmaceutical lobbying group trying to remove the use of printed literature and other forms of extended content. As you know this is a significant threat to our industry, the good thing is that it is easy for us to start to TAKE ACTON and fight back. It is vitally important that we all support this initiative. It will take support from everyone, and everyone you know, to get the attention of our leaders in Washington DC. Below are the details on how to participate in a campaign being run by PPLA, the Pharmaceutical Printed Literature Association. This campaign is an all-out effort to protect the printed literature/ECLs produced by our all the Pharma Literature printing sites across the entire country. There has been recent movement by another lobbying group (comprised mostly of larger generic drug manufacturers) to have printed literature that is provided to pharmacists/professionals eliminated entirely…our position is that we do not oppose making the information available to professionals electronically but do oppose eliminating the paper format entirely – for 2 reasons, ensuring patient safety and protecting against job losses within the Pharma Literature/ECL Printing Industry. click read more for details...
The Home Depot® reported sales of $37.5 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2021, an increase of $9.2 billion, or 32.7 percent from the first quarter of fiscal 2020. Comparable sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2021 increased 31.0 percent, and comparable sales in the U.S. increased 29.9 percent. Net earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2021 were $4.1 billion, or $3.86 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $2.2 billion, or $2.08 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2020. For the first quarter of fiscal 2021, diluted earnings per share increased 85.6 percent from the same period in the prior year.
Comparable sales up 62.5% on an owned basis and up 63.9% on an owned plus licensed basis versus 2020. Comparable sales down 10.5% on an owned basis and down 10.0% on an owned plus licensed basis versus 2019. Trend improvement compared to a 17.1% owned plus licensed comparable sales decline in the fourth quarter of 2020. Digital sales grew 34% over first quarter 2020 and grew 32% over first quarter 2019. Digital penetration was 37% of net sales, a 6-percentage point decline from first quarter 2020 when stores closed, but a 13-percentage point improvement over first quarter 2019. Gross margin for the quarter was 38.6%, up from 17.1% in first quarter 2020 and up 40 basis points from first quarter 2019. Improvement due to increased merchandise margin was largely driven by inventory productivity and the execution of the Polaris strategy.
Total revenue was $138.3 billion, an increase of $3.7 billion, or 2.7%. Revenue was negatively affected by approximately $4.2 billion related to recent divestitures in Walmart International. Excluding currency2, total revenue would have increased 2.1% to reach $137.4 billion. Walmart U.S. comp sales1 increased 6.0% with market share gains in grocery. Operating income increased 26.8%. Walmart U.S. eCommerce sales grew 37% with strong results across all channels, contributing approximately 360 basis points to comp sales. Sales more than doubled over the last two years. Consolidated operating income was $6.9 billion, an increase of 32.3%, with strength across the company. Recently divested businesses in the U.K. and Japan contributed operating income of $289 million, or $0.07 of EPS.
We are proud to announce that The Stationers’ Company has awarded Two Sides a Stationers’ Warrant Crest for 2021. The Stationers’ Company Warrant Scheme, launched in 2014, recognises excellence within the Communications and Content industries in the form of annual recognition. The warrant seal of excellence may be used on products, to promote products, or by organisations that meet the highest standards of excellence as assessed by the team of judges. “We are pleased to award Two Sides with the Stationers’ Warrant Crest, for their information led campaign which promotes the sustainability of print, paper and paper packaging. The materials produced by Two Sides are educational and easily accessible for the industry to use.” – Christine Geer, Chair of the Warrants Committee.
Berry Global Group, Inc. announced investment in renewable energy through the use of a long-term virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) aligned to provide the equivalent electricity requirements of the Company’s Spanish operations. In its Impact 2025 sustainability strategy, Berry commits to minimizing its absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 25 percent by 2025 vs. a 2019 baseline. This target was validated as being in line with the Paris Agreement and limiting warming to 1.5°C by the Science Based Targets initiative earlier this year. Agreements in renewable energy are a prioritized strategy to support its operational goals while additionally investing in reducing overall energy demand. The VPPA investment will support the construction of a solar park in Guadalajara, which will greatly reduce the Company’s carbon footprint in Spain with a reduction of approximately 20,000 tons per year. Sites benefitting from the agreement include Tarragona, Madrid, Pamplona, La Caniza, and two in Barcelona. Tarragona is the primary site, with 70 percent of Berry’s energy consumption for the country. Achieving this broader impact comes with partnership across the value chain, including Berry’s chosen VPPA partnership with renewable energy leader Axpo Iberia.
ePac is excited to announce the launch of Certified Child Resistant (CR) Resealable pouches made with Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) materials. This was made possible due to an innovative collaboration between ePac, Presto, and Charter NEX. Virag Patel, ePac’s COO commented: “The teamwork between Charter, Presto, an ePac has been phenomenal, and the key to being able to bring this innovation to market. With Presto’s focus on child safety, Charter’s GreenArrow™ film engineered for sustainability, and ePac’s focus on child resistant pouches and sustainability, we’re proud to announce its commercial availability”.
The Group's consolidated sales amounted to EUR 641.3 million in the first three months of 2021 and thus almost reached the previous year's level (Q1 2020: EUR 646.6 million). At EUR 61.2 million, the operating result was 5.2% or EUR 3.4 million below the previous year's figure (Q1 2020: EUR 64.6 million). An increase in the packaging division was offset by a decline in the cartonboard division. Financial income of EUR 0.5 million (Q1 2020: EUR 0.4 million) was offset by financial expenses of EUR -3.6 million (Q1 2020: EUR -2.1 million). The “other financial result - net” was EUR 0.5 million (Q1 2020: EUR -0.1 million). The profit for the period fell slightly from EUR 45.1 million to EUR 43.9 million.
HP Inc. announced HP Indigo Secure, a suite of never-before-seen security and brand protection solutions. These solutions help security printers and print service providers protect their customers from counterfeiters and other product threats, the impact of which is estimated to reach $4.2 trillion, globally, in the next few years. HP also announced the new HP Indigo 6K Secure Press, the first HP Indigo digital press designed especially for the security printing market, delivering end-to-end security solutions featuring multi-security layers printed in one pass, in a secure environment. HP Indigo Secure solution includes hardware, software, media, and inks for security printing and brand protection, based on proprietary HP Indigo LEP technology and industry-leading partner solutions. It offers printers the ability to mix and match a wide range of innovative and advanced security elements and designs that are easy to print and hard to copy.
The Spanish private research organisation CARTIF has completed the first assessment focusing on the environmental and social performance of Metsä Group’s Kuura textile fibre. Kuura is still in a R&D phase and the production process to make it is currently being tested and further developed at a tonne per day demo plant in Äänekoski, Finland. The outcome of the assessment conducted by CARTIF is very good for Kuura. In regard to environmental performance, when comparing to other commercial man-made cellulosic fibres (viscose and lyocell), and to cotton, Kuura shows the lowest impact on climate change, supporting its viability as a sustainable solution in the market of textile fibres (see Figure 1). More specifically, the use of local, sustainably managed wood raw material combined with the use of fully fossil free energy obtained from the existing industrial mill site and with a novel process for the production of Kuura textile fibre result in a product with a clear climate change mitigation potential compared to the use of existing commercial textile fibres.
Heeter’s acquisition of Duke Printing is sparking something new for our clients – new services, new innovations, new solutions. Founded more than 75 years ago, Heeter is known for our continual evolution and innovation in the printing industry. We take pride in being first to market with technologies that enhance production with speed, personalization, and quality. *We were the first commercial printer in the United States to operate Ricoh’s flagship inkjet VC70000 press. *We have aligned with several strategic partners to ensure continuity and uptime for our clients, never falling behind on a project or a deadline. *We find effective and efficient ways to get every job done to the highest standards. It’s with these values and commitments in mind that we have made a strategic acquisition of another print and mail company, Duke Print & Mail Solutions, of Cleveland, Ohio.
Verso Corporation announced the completion of the sale of the company's closed mill in Duluth, Minnesota, to ST Paper 1, LLC, effective May 13, 2021. "Since the idling of the Duluth Mill in July 2020, we have been working diligently to find a viable and sustainable alternative for the Duluth Mill," said President and Chief Executive Officer Randy Nebel. "We are pleased to have found a buyer who plans to operate the Duluth Mill in the future, providing local employment opportunities and serving the local business community and residents of the Duluth area."
Ahlstrom-Munksjö has completed an investment in one of its filtration material production lines in Binzhou, China. The machine rebuild adds production capacity and new capabilities that will further enhance the product portfolio. The production line will be able to deliver the highest performing oil, fuel, air and industrial filtration materials, which will strengthen Ahlstrom-Munksjö's offering and service for the Asian customers. The investment plan was initially announced in January 2020. "This investment reinforces our commitment to our customers in Asia," says Kathrin Hueppe, Head of Asia, Filtration & Performance Solutions business area. "Improving our capability in the Binzhou plant allows us to serve their growing needs in high-performance filtration.”
Stakeholders from around the world are invited to give feedback on the revised national forest certification system for Japan. Deadline for comments is 16 July. Give your feedback now! SGEC/PEFC Japan revised the country’s national forest certification system following the entry into force of the revised 2018 PEFC Sustainable Forest Management standard. After revising the national system in line with PEFC requirements, SGEC/PEFC Japan submitted the revised system to PEFC. The national system is now undergoing the PEFC assessment process, carried out by an independent PEFC Registered Assessor. It must pass this assessment to maintain its PEFC endorsement.
On May 13, 2021, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved two separate but related bills addressing USPS finances and operations. The first, the bipartisan Postal Service Reform Act of 2021 (H.R. 3076 (PDF)), was approved by voice vote, making it now eligible for a floor vote in the US House of Representatives. The bill was introduced two days prior to committee consideration following a painstaking effort to craft a bipartisan document. Lead sponsors were Committee Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Ranking Member Rep. James Comer (R-KY) along with original co-sponsors Government Operations Subcommittee Chair Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Ranking Member Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC). The bill was approved by the committee without amendment or any audible dissension, and included bipartisan agreed upon elements such as: codifying six-day delivery, requiring postal employees to enroll in Medicare at eligibility age, and elimination of the requirement that USPS pre-fund its retiree health benefits for 75 years into the future.
In the ongoing work to challenge conventional packaging, BillerudKorsnäs and Aisa are today launching a collaboration that opens up outstanding new possibilities in tube packaging made of paper. With BillerudKorsnäs FibreForm® you can replace plastics on tube shoulder and sleeve without compromising on user experience. BillerudKorsnäs FibreForm® is a unique low-carbon material that allows the tube to keep its shape when squeezed, without traces, and that makes it unique compared to tubes made of other fibre material. FibreForm ® allows for up to ten times deeper embossing than regular paper, resulting in unique 3D effects and a memorable tactile experience. “We will never compromise with user experience. FibreForm® is a unique material and this collaboration is another application where we can help brand owners on their journey towards sustainable packaging”, says Lovisa Westergren, Sales Director FibreForm ® at BillerudKorsnäs.
Glatfelter Corporation (NYSE: GLT), a leading global supplier of engineered materials, today announced it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Georgia-Pacific’s U.S. nonwovens business for $175 million, subject to customary purchase price adjustments. The transaction includes an airlaid manufacturing operation in Mount Holly, NC along with a nonwovens product development operation in Memphis, Tenn.
Graphic Packaging Holding Company and CVC Capital Partners Fund VI announced a definitive agreement under which Graphic Packaging will acquire AR Packaging Group AB, Europe's second largest producer of fiber-based consumer packaging, for approximately $1.45 billion in cash, subject to customary adjustments. The combination enhances Graphic Packaging's global scale, innovation capabilities, and value proposition for customers throughout Europe and bordering regions. With a broad set of industry-leading packaging solutions, design expertise, and expanded geographic reach, the combined company will be uniquely positioned to capture continued organic growth opportunities across existing and new global customers and markets. The proposed acquisition of AR Packaging is expected to add $1.1 billion in annual sales and $160 million in annual Adjusted EBITDA.
E-commerce has seen years’ worth of growth in a short few months. Consumers, stuck at home, have rapidly become habituated to purchasing online, which has benefited online marketplaces and publishers with strong affiliate and e-commerce programs of their own. But for publishers with a strong print portfolio the question has become how they can use those print products to open the funnel to e-commerce revenue without being too interruptive. Bauer is betting on the advancement of image recognition technology to close that gap between print and digital. Both Grazia and Heat are set to incorporate new scannable images – without the need for QR codes or watermarks – from May 17. These images, once scanned, will then take readers directly to a storefront for more information and purchase options.
For the Three Months Ended April 3, 2021: Net sales increased 42% to $247.6 million, compared to $174.4 million during the same period last year. Gross profit increased 57% to $145.2 million, or 58.6% of net sales, compared to $92.5 million, or 53.0% of net sales, in the first quarter of 2020. Operating income increased 148% to $40.0 million, or 16.2% of net sales, compared to $16.2 million, or 9.3% of net sales, during the prior year quarter. Net income increased to $30.5 million, or 12.3% of net sales, compared to $8.5 million, or 4.9% of net sales, in the prior year quarter.
The U.S. Postal Service announced today Douglas Tulino, a 41-year veteran of the service, has been appointed deputy postmaster general, reporting directly to Postmaster General and CEO Louis DeJoy. The appointment is effective immediately. Tulino also becomes a member of the Postal Service’s Board of Governors and continues in his current role as chief human resources officer (CHRO). Tulino assumes the deputy role as the Postal Service continues to implement “Delivering for America,” the 10-year plan unveiled on March 23 to restore service excellence and financial sustainability to one of America’s most treasured institutions and a vital part of the nation’s infrastructure.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) presented the 2021 Leadership in Conservation Award to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and SFI-certified company West Fraser, today. The winners were recognized for their innovative leadership in connecting sustainable forest management with Canada’s commitment to protected and conserved areas. The Government of Canada is committed to conserving 25% of its land and 25% of its oceans by 2025 and is working toward 30% for each by 2030. SFI, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and West Fraser are collaborating to ensure that conservation outcomes in Canada’s sustainably managed forests are fully recognized and contribute toward Canada’s Target 1 goals for conservation protection. The Target 1 Challenge is an investment by the federal government in projects that add to Canada’s protected and conserved areas across the country. “The winners are taking an innovative approach to the pathway to Target 1, by facilitating an objective assessment of managed forestlands,” said Paul Trianosky, Chief Conservation Officer at SFI. “Validating and confirming the role of sustainable forest management, including those forests certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard, will help meet Canada’s conservation goals, and make clear the contributory value of managed forests at a large scale.”
Total revenue for the three-month period ended March 31, 2021, was $53.6 million, representing an increase of 2.3% from the equivalent quarter of 2020. Revenue from the envelope segment was $38.3 million, representing a decrease of 2.3% or $0.8 million, from $39.1 million in the equivalent quarter of 2020. Revenue from the packaging and specialty products segment was $15.3 million, an increase of 15.6% or $2.0 million, from the corresponding quarter of 2020. EBITDA increased by 22.1% to $9.4 million in the first quarter of 2021, up from $7.7 million in the first quarter of 2020. Net Earnings were $4.1 million (or $0.15 per share) for the three-month period ended March 31, 2021, compared to $2.6 million (or $0.09 per share) for the equivalent period in 2020.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today announced that 65.7 percent of paper consumed in the United States was recycled in 2020, maintaining a recycling rate that has been consistently high for over a decade. Since 2009, paper recycling has met or exceeded 63 percent—nearly double the rate the U.S. paper industry achieved in 1990. Meanwhile, U.S. mill consumption of old corrugated containers (OCC) reached a record level in 2020 of 22.8 million tons. The recycling rate for OCC was 88.8 percent, and the three-year average was 92.4 percent. “In an unprecedented and dynamic year defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, almost two-thirds of paper was recycled and transformed into new sustainable paper products,” said AF&PA President and CEO Heidi Brock. “The resilience and commitment of our industry is notable, as is engagement of consumers in the paper recycling process. The result is a consistent and high rate for paper recycling.”
Kimberly-Clark Professional announced a donation of over 1 million face masks and cleaning products to school districts across the country. The donation, consisting of Kimberly-Clark Professional™ General Purpose Face Masks, Scott® 24 Wipes and Scott® Gel Hand Sanitizer with Moisturizers, will support over 235,000 K-12 students, faculty and administrators in nearly 400 schools across 15 states where Kimberly-Clark employees live and work, including locations in Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin, among others. "We know that many schools across the country are still in need of proper supplies to help protect students and faculty as they work to finish the school year strong," said Susan Gambardella, President, Kimberly-Clark Professional North America.
UPM has signed an agreement to sell its Shotton newsprint mill site in North Wales, United Kingdom and all related assets to Eren Paper Ltd, a subsidiary of Modern Karton Sanayi Ve Ticaret A.Ş., the containerboard and corrugated packaging business of the Turkish industrial conglomerate Eren Holding. The closing of the transaction is planned for late Q3 2021. Eren’s plan is to integrate the Shotton site into its existing business units and to make further investment at the site. All 190 employees currently working at UPM Shotton will be part of the transaction. Newsprint production is planned to stop by 30 September 2021 and Eren will take over responsibility for the mill as of 1st October 2021. While the concrete timeline for the conversion plans will be communicated by Eren, it is already known that the Renewable Energy Generation plant and Material Recovery and Recycling Facility (MRRF) will continue operations throughout the conversion process, corresponding to their role in the regional utility infrastructure.
As a leading global manufacturer of label stock for the digital printing market, UPM Raflatac knows how important it is to match the right label materials to the right printer. The company’s innovative Label Material Finder for Digital Printers tool has recently undergone a series of upgrades to make it even easier for converters to learn which of UPM Raflatac’s high-quality and sustainable paper and film labeling materials will perform best on their printers. This innovative tool provides up-to-date and accurate product information about UPM Raflatac's digital label stock materials as well as star ratings for how they will perform on various digital printers, ranging from small desktop models to industrial-scale digital presses. Go to: https://www.upmraflatac.com/products-and-services/services/print-house-services/printer-recommendation-tool-ratings-and-oem-information/ to access UPM Raflatac’s upgraded Label Material Finder for Digital Printers tool. It is also available for registered users on the MyRaflatac customer platform.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.039; Month Ago: $2.862; Year Ago: $1.866. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.160; Month Ago: $3.078; Year Ago: $2.417.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.824625; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.155365; American Dollar to Euro = 1.212374; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009151; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.050486.
Copresco has installed a General Binding Corporation G2 punch to expand its binding capabilities for digitally printed books, manuals and publications. “Combined with our Konica Minolta press, the GBC G2 provides professionally printed, punched and ready-to-bind documents—in one easy step,” notes Copresco President Steve Johnson. With the new punch, along with two existing James Burn AlphaDoc punches, Copresco now has the option of preprint, inline, or post press punching for maximum flexibility and faster turnaround of loose-leaf, plastic coil and double loop wire bound books. “This assures that even with our growing production volumes Copresco will honor its Copies Overnight commitments,” Johnson says.
Sustana a manufacturer of premium, sustainable recycled fiber and paper products, announces the appointment of Emily Olson to Director and Sustainability Ambassador. In this new role, Emily will be an ambassador for driving Sustana Group’s sustainable products, strategy, and circular economy initiatives across Sustana Fiber and Rolland, advancing the group’s leadership in providing sustainable recycled products to the paper industry. This leadership position reflects Sustana’s continued commitment to drive sustainability within the paper and packaging sector. Emily’s strategic vision, using systemic-based strategies and the capability to provide solutions for corporate sustainability goals, regenerative initiatives, and circular economy, will bring together Sustana’s key offerings of sustainable recycled closed-loop solutions for consumers and brands.
*Net Sales — Net sales were $706 million in the first quarter of 2021, down 14% from the same period in 2020, primarily due to the economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, and ongoing print industry volume pressures. The first quarter decline represents a third quarter of sequential revenue improvement during the pandemic, as compared to a 21% decline in the fourth quarter of 2020, a 28% decline in the third quarter of 2020 and a 38% decline in the second quarter of 2020. *Net Earnings (Loss) From Continuing Operations — Net earnings from continuing operations were $10 million or $0.19 diluted earnings per share in the first quarter of 2021, an increase of $19 million compared to the first quarter of 2020, which recorded a net loss of $9 million or $0.17 diluted loss per share. *Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities — Net cash provided by operating activities increased by $28 million to $73 million in the first quarter of 2021, as compared to $45 million in the same period in 2020, primarily due to improvements in working capital.
Stora Enso is today launching its latest lignin-based innovation, NeoLigno® by Stora Enso. NeoLigno is a fully bio-based binder system without formaldehyde and isocyanates, thus, providing healthier indoor and working environments. Hazardous chemicals aren't always visible to the naked eye, yet they may be in homes or products used every day. Stora Enso is on a mission to replace such products with renewable materials. The new binder NeoLigno demonstrates the unique properties and potential of lignin. Lignin is nature's second most common macromolecule after cellulose. It is found in all plants and makes up to a third of the composition of wood. Lignin is a renewable raw material free from toxic substances and fully traceable to its area of origin. NeoLigno is a bio-based, high-performing alternative for industries currently using fossil-based binders or hazardous chemicals. Initial target applications for NeoLigno are in particleboards and insulation materials used in the building and construction industry.
Gap Inc. has entered into an agreement to sell Intermix, a leading omni-channel fashion boutique for customers seeking a highly curated shopping experience, to private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners. Altamont Capital Partners intends to acquire the entire Intermix business, including all store leases, e-commerce and assets. This transaction is another milestone as Gap Inc. continues to execute against its Power Plan 2023, with acute focus on growing its purpose-led, billion-dollar lifestyle brands by leveraging the power of its portfolio and its platform. In April, Gap Inc. completed a transaction to sell Janie and Jack, a leader in premium children’s apparel and accessories, to Go Global Retail.
First Quarter 2021 Summary *Total reported sales of $2.4 billion, down 13% versus last year *GAAP operating income of $55 million and net income of $53 million, or $0.95 per diluted share, versus $80 million and $45 million, or $0.84 per diluted share, respectively in the prior year *Operating cash flow of $86 million and adjusted free cash flow of $79 million, versus $188 million and $173 million, respectively in prior year *$1.7 billion of total available liquidity including $753 million in cash and cash equivalents
The ODP Corporation announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously approved a plan to pursue a separation of the Company into two independent, publicly traded companies, each with a unique and highly focused strategy and investment profile: *ODP – a leading provider of retail consumer and small business products and services distributed via approximately 1,100 Office Depot and OfficeMax retail locations and an award-winning eCommerce presence, officedepot.com; and *“NewCo” – a leading B2B solutions provider (ODP’s Business Solutions Division contract business, Grand & Toy and ODP’s independent regional office supply distribution businesses) serving small, medium and enterprise level companies. NewCo will also own the Company’s newly formed B2B digital platform technology business, including BuyerQuest, as well as the Company’s global sourcing office and its other sourcing, supply chain and logistics assets.
The New York Times Company announced first-quarter 2021 diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of $.24 compared with $.20 in the same period of 2020. Operating profit increased to $51.7 million in the first quarter of 2021 from $27.3 million in the same period of 2020, as higher digital-only subscription revenues and, to a lesser extent, higher digital advertising revenues more than offset lower print advertising, print subscription and other revenues.
With the shrunken American book printing industry enjoying a revival, Wisconsin's Worzalla, an employee-owned book printer specializing in high-quality children’s books, cookbooks, and hardcovers that services many of the country's largest publishers, has begun the final phase of a three-part effort to expand its printing capacity. The last round of upgrades features a $10 million investment that covers the addition of a new casemaker with a wide range of casemaking applications and a non-stop case feeder for cutting and making covers of books. Worzalla has also purchased a Goss Sunday 2000 32-page Double Web Press that provides a broad range of print formats and page configurations. Installation of the press is expected to be complete later this year, and is projected to increase Worzalla’s large book format capacity by 30%. Over the last several years, the company has spent more than $30 million on new manufacturing equipment. In addition, Worzalla is looking to hire 40 new employees for a range of positions.
Highlights - Nine Months Ended March 31, 2021 •GAAP Net Income of $684 million, up 58%; GAAP earnings per share (EPS) of 43.8 cents per share, up 63%; •$55 million Bemis cost synergies year to date; expect approximately $70 million in FY21 and well positioned todeliver at least $180 million by end of fiscal 2022; •Quarterly dividend higher than this quarter last year at 11.75 cents per share; •Approximately 2% of outstanding shares repurchased year to date;
Metsä Group and forest owners planted 270 million seedlings in Finnish forests between 2010 and 2020. This summer, the figure will increase by more than 35 million seedlings. Metsä Group supplies forest owners with native tree species that occur naturally in Finland. Under the Finnish Forest Act, a new forest must always be established after felling. This can be done through natural regeneration, or by sowing seeds or planting seedlings. Planting is the fastest and surest way to create a new forest. To secure biodiversity, individual trees from the previous generation are always left in the forest. “We supply forest owners with species that occur naturally in Finland – pine, spruce and silver birch – for use in forest regeneration. This helps preserve forest nature in the state to which our native species have adapted,” says Teppo Oijala, Metsä Group’s Forest Manager. In the decade between 2010 and 2020, Metsä Group supplied forest owners with a total of 270 million seedlings and 9,000 kilograms of pine seeds.
*Operating income was $55 million, $67 million favorable to the comparable period in 2020, driven by higher prices for lumber and commodity High Purity Cellulose along with stronger cellulose specialties volumes *Driven by higher book income tax expense, first quarter loss from continuing operations was $27 million, $2 million unfavorable to the comparable period in 2020; expect minimal cash taxes in 2021 *First quarter Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations of $91 million was up $64 million from the comparable quarter in 2020 primarily driven by higher lumber and High Purity Cellulose commodity prices along with stronger cellulose specialties volumes *Generated $21 million of Free Cash Flow for the quarter driven by higher prices partially offset by seasonal working capital build; expect $50 million from cash tax refunds during the next 12 months *Announced sale of lumber and newsprint assets for approximately $214 million, subject to inventory value adjustment, with a closing expected in the second half of the year, focusing the Company on its core High Purity Cellulose business, and the opportunity to further leverage sustainable, bio-based solutions
Skookumchuck Pulp has recently received three different administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) from the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy for non-compliance events that occurred between 2017 and 2020. Skookumchuck Pulp’s performance has not changed significantly over the last two years; however, all the AMPs the mill has received in its 53-year history have occurred in the last two years. The BC Ministry of Environment has begun using this tool more frequently with all industrial operators in the province. Click read more below for details of the issues and responses.
International technology Group ANDRITZ has been awarded orders from Nine Dragons Paper, China, to supply equipment and key process technologies for five of their mills. The scope of supply on EPS basis includes the following equipment: *A white liquor plant with a capacity of 10,500 m3/d, including a recausticizing plant and an ANDRITZ LimeKiln. The recausticizing plant delivery includes a green liquor cooler, a LimeSlake slaker-classifier, three causticizer tank agitators, a drum filter for dregs handling, a LimeWhite filter for white liquor filtration to achieve high white liquor quality, and a LimeDry filter for efficient lime mud filtration to ensure high lime mud dryness and consequently a low heat consumption in the kiln. The ANDRITZ LimeKiln, with a capacity of 950 t/d burnt lime, will be equipped with a high-efficiency LimeCool sector cooler. *A recausticizing plant with a capacity of 5,800 m3/d. *Two ash re-crystallization (ARC) systems with ash handling capacities of 400 t/d and 200 t/d respectively, to treat the ash from the electrostatic precipitator by decreasing the chloride and potassium content while recovering sodium and sulphate. *A recausticizing plant with a capacity of 5,800 m3/d. *An ash re-crystallization (ARC) system with an ash handling capacity of 200 t/d to treat the ash from the electrostatic precipitator by decreasing the chloride and potassium content while recovering sodium and sulphate. *Three recausticizing plants with a capacity of 2,500 m3/d each.
Mondi has partnered with SILBO, a Polish leading producer of compostable packaging, to create a paper-based high-strength packaging for the Irish farm potato business Meade Farm Group. The innovative bags replace hard-to-recycle plastic with paper, a renewable resource enhanced with a bio-based coating and are certified as compostable2. Working closely for two years, SILBO, Meade and Mondi developed the FSC®-certified bag using speciality kraft paper to ensure strength in handling while providing barrier properties to keep the produce fresh. The bag has multiple sustainability features: a corn starch-based netting for a small cut-out window, water-based ink and Mondi’s biodegradable Sustainex® coating, which provides heat sealing and moisture barrier protection. The packaging has been launched across Ireland, Poland, France and Germany, winning the silver Fruit Logistica Innovation Award. The new solution helps Meade to achieve its sustaina-bility goals: using packaging that is reusable, recyclable, renewable or compostable wherever possible.
Sappi North America, Inc. released its 2020 Sustainability Report, illustrating Sappi's continued commitment to sustainable development. The report highlights the ways that Sappi remained innovative and prosperous during the COVID-19 pandemic; its commitment to employee safety and third-party collaborations for sustainability initiatives; and ambitious plans to meet its strategic business goals for 2025. "In 2020, we continued to build on our sustainability commitments and created a foundation of new strategies to tackle our global business goals which will guide us into 2025," said Mike Haws, President and CEO, Sappi North America. "We are confident in our capacity to grow as a business while contributing toward building a circular, sustainable economy." Sappi North America's 2020 results exhibit its commitment to innovation, sustainability and business growth throughout its communities.
Twin Rivers Paper Company’s Edmundston pulp mill recently completed a biomass cogeneration unit maintenance shutdown; a project which began in the middle of April. In planning for more than a year, the project was designed to maintain and refurbish the co-generation unit to ensure green power continues to flow to the grid uninterrupted. “The last 14 months have been a challenge for everyone with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the last number of months have been a roller-coaster for the Edmundston region as case counts have risen and fallen back down again,” says Brian McAlary, Vice-President Development, Technical & Export Sales.
Notable items include: *Record second quarter North American per day box shipments up 5.5% compared to the prior year quarter *Successfully implementing published PPW price increases across all major paper grades *Quarterly dividend of $0.24 per share declared by Board of Directors, an increase of $0.04 per share, or 20%, as separately announced *Net sales of $4.4 billion, flat to the prior year quarter despite $189 million of lost sales due to the impact of the ransomware incident and winter weather (“the Events”) *The lost sales and operational disruption from the Events had a negative impact of $80 million pre-tax, or $0.23 per share, on both earnings per diluted share and Adjusted Earnings Per Diluted Share
With Mark Petersen’s retirement May 21, 2021 as Sr Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Catalyst Paper is pleased to announce the following changes within the Sales & Marketing Organization. Christophe Kusel, Director of International Sales, will take on the role and responsibilities in a promotion to Vice President, Paper Sales & Marketing reporting to Patrick Corriveau, Vice President, Catalyst Paper and Packaging. The US sales organization, Catalyst Paper (USA) Inc, as well as Richmond BC based Business Operations and Customer Service will report through to Christophe. Jean Buckwalter has been promoted to Vice President Specialty Sales, reporting to Christophe. Jean will continue to see to the nurturing and sales of our ongoing focus in the Food and Specialties arena. Sarah Walters, VP Paper & Packaging Sales will report to Christophe and see to the continued success of our printing & writing Coated sales strategy, as well as taking on a leadership role for the Catalyst packaging initiatives.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö is exploring strategic options for its Decor business, including the possibility of divesting the business. The review process, first announced on September 17, 2019, has been impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak. In 2020, the Decor business saw strong customer demand with tailwinds from increased consumer spending on furniture and domestic refurbishments as a consequence of structural changes related to working from home accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. For the full year, comparable EBITDA increased, partly driven by higher raw material efficiency, and reached 14% of sales in the fourth quarter. In the past months, Ahlstrom-Munksjö has progressed with the carve-out of Decor with the objective of enabling the business to operate as a stand-alone entity. Decor has also been discussing opportunities for partnering with leading Chinese suppliers to create a more global leader with strong presence in Europe, South America and Asia.
Second Quarter Highlights (all comparisons made to the March 2020 quarter) *Net sales of $3.4 billion, a 13 percent increase *5 percent organic volume growth *Operating income up 17 percent to $333 million *Operating EBITDA up 9 percent to $590 million *Net income per diluted share up 40 percent to $1.32 *Raising fiscal 2021 operating EBITDA guidance from prior mid-point by $50 million to $2.25 billion *Increasing fiscal 2021 organic volume growth assumption from 4 percent to now 5 percent
Consumer complaints to Keep Me Posted (KMP) increased throughout the pandemic as service providers altered or removed paper communication preferences at an alarming rate. For years, banks, utilities, telecoms and other companies have encouraged and even incentivized their customers to voluntarily opt in to digital correspondence on their accounts. Over time however, many service providers have replaced carrots with sticks and charge punishing fees for paper bills and statements. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a laundry list of major corporations have taken advantage of widespread disruptions to proactively assault longstanding communications preferences. Far too many stopped asking consumers to opt in to electronic bills, statements and other important notices, and instead just switched their account holders from paper to digital communication without prior consent. These anti-consumer practices show no sign of fixing themselves, but there is a silver lining. In many instances, consumers can reclaim their preferences for paper communications, free of charge, by taking a few proven steps.
Net sales of $1.3 billion increased 8% as reported. Currency contributed $25 million, or approximately 2%, to net sales as compared to first quarter 2020. Net earnings in first quarter 2021 were $106 million, or $0.68 per diluted share, as compared to net earnings of $115 million, or $0.74 per diluted share, in first quarter 2020. The effective tax rate in first quarter 2021 was 34.0%, as compared to 22.2% in first quarter 2020. The current year effective tax rate was unfavorably impacted by legislative and administrative changes to enacted foreign statutes.
Pregis is formalizing its wide-ranging sustainability initiatives into seven concrete goals to be achieved by the year 2030. Here’s what they are. By the year 2030, Pregis will: Eliminate one million unnecessary reshipments. Reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. Save 15 million new trees from harvest. Make 100 percent of Pregis products recyclable, reusable, or with a minimum 30 percent reduced reliance on new fossil-based ingredients. Achieve 100 percent product and process waste reduction at Pregis facilities globally. Invest $15 million in circular, scalable, and sustainable material, process, and waste solutions at our facilities globally. Make a positive impact on 25 million lives.
Commercial printers are well aware of the benefits of offering package printing, and are taking action to add it to their service offerings. Many factors are removing entry barriers and accelerating commercial printers’ migration into packaging. Ongoing progress in technology innovation, digital printing, early adopter successes, process simplification, customer demands, and fierce competition are all forces enticing and enabling commercial printers to offer labels and other types of packaging. Labels, folding cartons, corrugated containers, and flexible packaging are all print applications typically in high demand and cannot be easily replaced by digital media. A recent NAPCO Research survey of brand owners reveals packaging is a growth opportunity. More than half of brand owners participating in the survey report increasing use of labels, folding cartons, corrugated packaging, and flexible packaging (Figure 1). While this survey was conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, NAPCO Research’s ongoing 2020 print provider surveys tracking business conditions indicate packaging has been a resilient application.
What makes a packaging concept not only functional and visually appealing, but also able to interact with our senses when it comes to sound, touch, taste, or smell? That’s the challenge for this year’s design students in BillerudKorsnäs’ Packaging Impact Design Award, PIDA. A competition aiming to highlight young talents and their ideas – but also to push the development of packaging design even further. This year PIDA offers a new, modern, and digital format, that enables a larger audience to be part of this exciting event. PIDA stands for innovation, creativity, and youthful curiosity. This is where we meet the packaging designers of tomorrow, who challenge the conventional and truly awaken the senses. This year’s event is the 16th event since the start of the competition back in 2005 and the competition has engaged thousands of students throughout the years. This year we are not only developing the competition into a modern, digital event, but we are also expanding geographically by including design schools in the USA in the competition. During May and June, BillerudKorsnäs will host the competition at four events: Sweden, France, Germany, and a joint event for the UK and the USA. In September, an international winner will be selected in a Grand Finale at Luxe Pack Monaco.
The Gregor Calendar Award competition has a history spanning more than 70 years and is organized by Graphic Club Stuttgart e.V. and the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing Construction, with the Association of Printers and Media of the State of Baden-Württemberg acting as a project partner. Perhaps more importantly, however, the competition has long been known as an important catalyst for the creative industry. It should come as no surprise then that around 600 calendars from Germany, Europe, Israel, and Japan were submitted for this year’s competition. Or that two of the winners used Koehler paper. “The United Nations declared 2021 the ‘International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor,’ and the extraordinary ‘International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor’ calendar tackles this topic with powerful color compositions, interesting graphics, and beautiful illustrations while undergirding everything with facts on the problem. With a stellar design and a splendid printed presentation, it truly raises awareness of the issue while leaving a lasting impression.” That was the jury’s explanation for the award presented for the calendar. The project was the result of a collaboration between Koehler and Quedlinburg Druck GmbH, the Druckerei Erdenberger print shop, and the Landsiedel|Müller|Flagmeyer creative agency, and used Koehler recycled paper. More specifically, it was printed on creative print, diamond, 210 gsm – premium recycled paper that combines a natural paper look and feel, elegant aesthetics, and superlative properties for further processing.
Since 2008, the Carbon Balanced Paper initiative has been responsible for balancing 190,000 tons of CO2 and preserving high conservation value land. MIDLAND is now offering Carbon Balanced Paper in North America, administered by the Sustainable Paper Group, and in partnership with the World Land Trust (WLT), an international conservation charity. This is a well-established and successful program in Europe with over 3,000 organizations taking positive action by choosing carbon balanced paper to preserve the most critically endangered places on earth, acre by acre. The launch in North America will help organizations reduce the carbon footprint of their printed media and meet their commitments toward carbon reduction by addressing the unavoidable carbon emissions from the paper manufacturing process. At the same time, choosing Carbon Balanced Paper allows organizations to simply and effectively differentiate themselves as market leaders in environmental responsibility. “MIDLAND is excited to announce the first major Carbon Balanced Paper initiative in North America. Many of our customers have stated objectives to reduce their net carbon impact, and Carbon Balanced Paper is an effective and credible tool to help them achieve these important sustainability goals.”, states David Goldschmidt, President of Midland’s National division.
Meredith Corporationannounced that it has agreed to sell its Local Media Group to Gray Television, Inc. for $2.7 billion in cash and will focus exclusively on its National Media Group ("NMG") portfolio post-close. Under the terms of the transaction, Meredith's National Media Group will be spun out to shareholders as a standalone publicly traded company retaining the Meredith Corporation name, with shareholders receiving cash consideration per share of approximately $14.50 and 1-for-1 equity share in post-close Meredith. The transaction was unanimously approved by Meredith's and Gray's Board of Directors. Following the LMG sale, Meredith will focus on accelerating the growth of its iconic brands including PEOPLE, Better Homes & Gardens, and Allrecipes, which deliver trusted, actionable content for every aspect of consumers' lives. The more focused company will continue producing and delivering content for 95% of U.S. women, many of whom are primary decision makers for the household.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö invests in a new post-screening system at its Aspa pulp mill, in Sweden, in order to produce even cleaner ECF (Elementary Chlorine Free) and UKP (Unbleached Kraft Pulp) specialty pulp. The new post-screening is expected to be fully commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2021. In addition to facilitating even cleaner and purer pulp, the new post-screening system will increase the production capacity and allow expansion to new customers and market segments with high demand for clean pulp world-wide. “I am very happy for this investment which is strategically important for us going forward to further establish us as a market leader in pure and clean bleached and unbleached Kraft Pulp”, says Anders Jansson, Head of Sales Specialty Pulp. The post-screening system will be installed during the planned annual autumn maintenance stop.
Sales for the quarter increased 2.8% as compared to the first quarter of 2020. Excluding revenues from the now divested Fabory and China businesses from the prior year results, and removing the impact from foreign currency translation, daily sales increased 5.9% as compared to the first quarter of 2020. Sales growth was fueled by both the High-Touch Solutions (N.A.) and Endless Assortment segments. Foreign exchange contributed a 1.1% favorable impact during the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter of 2020. There were 63 sales days in the first quarter of 2021 versus 64 sales days in the first quarter of 2020. Gross margin for the first quarter of 2021 was 35.5%, a 190 basis point decline over the prior year quarter. The unfavorable variance was driven almost entirely by a pandemic-related inventory adjustment in the U.S. business on certain non-core SKUs, which are selling below cost based on current market-relevant pricing. ely 30 basis points. Reported operating earnings for the first quarter of 2021 of $358 million were up 126% versus the first quarter of 2020, primarily due to charges taken in the first quarter of 2020 related to the now divested Fabory business. On an adjusted basis, operating earnings for the quarter of $358 million were up 4% versus the first quarter of 2020.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) welcomes the release of the 2021 Special 301 Report by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The report, which highlights key markets in which publishers have significant copyright concerns and face market-access barriers, is a critically important tool for policymakers to use in identifying issues that impede the ability of U.S. copyright owners to compete in foreign markets. China is once again listed as a Priority Watch List country, as online piracy and the sale of counterfeit products on ecommerce sites continue to be significant problems. Canada also remains on the Watch List, with the Report noting that the U.S. government “remains deeply troubled by the ambiguous education-related exception added to the copyright law in 2012, which reportedly has significantly damaged the market for educational publishers and authors.”
Unit sales of print books rose 24.3% in the week ended Apr. 24, 2021, over the comparable week in 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. At this time last year, sales were beginning to recover from declines early in the pandemic and were almost flat with the comparable week in 2019. In the most recent week, adult nonfiction unit sales jumped 44.3% over sales in the category during the week ended Apr. 25, 2020, as five of the top 10 adult nonfiction bestsellers were new releases. World Traveler by the late Anthony Bourdain and his longtime collaborator Laurie Woolever took the top spot in the category, selling more than 50,000 copies. George W. Bush’s Out of Many, One was in the fourth place, selling almost 28,000 copies, followed by Cook This Book by Molly Baz, which sold about 22,000 copies. Adult fiction sales increased 33% over 2020.
PEFC-certified cardboard has replaced plastic packaging around the cider can packs by UK cider maker Thatchers, significantly reducing the company’s use of plastic. Thatchers has introduced PEFC-certified board for its four and ten-can packs of ciders. Using certified cardboard for packaging is one more important step in Thatchers’ commitment to the environment. The company first started its ground-breaking initiative five years ago, introducing new duo-wing cardboard packs for its best-selling ciders. Around 100 tonnes of plastic have been saved during this time. Through this innovation, Thatchers has also been able to wipe out its use of the much-maligned plastic rings. In the last twelve months, Thatchers has saved around 20 million plastic rings from being discarded, eliminating their potential harm to the environment.
Sonoco announced it is increasing prices for all rigid paper containers and closures sold in North America by 9.5 percent, effective with shipments on, and after, June 3 , 2021. According to Ernest Haynes, Division Vice President and General Manager, Rigid Paper and Closures, North America, this price increase is necessary to recover rapidly rising costs for key raw materials used to produce rigid paper containers and closures. “Due to the rising inflationary cost of adhesives, laminate structures, recovered paper and steel, we are experiencing input cost pressures that simply cannot be absorbed,” Haynes said. “These inflationary cost increases have been compounded by the after-effects of Winter Storm Uri on the adhesives industry along with incredible demand in the steel marketplace."
Ennis, Inc. announced Jeff Monarch as the new General Manager of PrintXcel, located in Fairhope, Alabama. PrintXcel has more than 50 years of experience in printing products and services including checks and forms, direct mail, label form products, multipart mailers, online ordering and print procurement solutions and more. Jeff has been at the PrintXcel facility in Fairhope, Alabama for 31 years. He started in 1990 as a bailer, then became a press operator, and in 2006, he was promoted to Production Manager. In his new role, he will utilize his experience to continue to evolve and grow the business.
Sun Chemical will increase prices across its portfolio of publication inks in North America, effective June 1, 2021. The continued escalation of raw material costs, increasing international and domestic freight rates, and shortages of key material inputs into the printing ink supply chain, have all contributed to this price increase. “These inflationary pressures require us to raise prices in this market,” said Chris Parrilli, President of North American Inks, Sun Chemical. “Our goal is to continue to deliver the world class support and services our customers expect in order for them to meet their business objectives. We understand the pressures the publication markets face and will continue to investigate all opportunities to mitigate these inflationary pressures on an ongoing basis.”