Stockholders of Domtar Corporation approved a proposal to adopt a business combination with Paper Excellence B.V. whereby Karta Halten B.V., an affiliate of Paper Excellence, will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Domtar common stock for $55.50 per share in cash pursuant to an agreement and plan of merger dated May 10, 2021 (the “Merger”). More than 81 percent (81.93%) of the issued and outstanding shares of Domtar’s common stock entitled to vote at the special meeting of stockholders were voted in favor of the Merger. In addition, the non-binding compensation advisory proposal was also approved by a majority of the shares represented at the meeting.
Record quarterly reported operating income of $1.04 billion driven by unprecedented high lumber prices and a strong operating performance across all regions; record-high quarterly sales of $2.5 billion. Results in the pulp and paper segment largely reflected materially higher Northern Bleached Softwood Kraft (“NBSK”) pulp unit sales realizations, and to a lesser extent, an 8% increase in shipments following transportation disruptions experienced in the first quarter of 2021. These factors more than offset the impact of the stronger Canadian dollar and market-related fibre cost increases in the current quarter.
Huhtamaki, a key global provider of sustainable packaging solutions for consumers around the world, has achieved an important technology breakthrough in developing next generation sustainable tube laminates. Working in partnership with LyondellBasell, Plastuni Lisses (Groupe Somater) and Groupe Rocher, Huhtamaki is launching a tube laminate with more than 40% recycled content from renewable based plastics. The laminate is primarily suitable for product applications in the cosmetics, personal care, oral care, and food sectors. The new laminate makes a significant contribution to fully circular flexible packaging solutions for these sectors. Working across the value chain where every partner has its own responsibility, LyondellBasell as the resin supplier, Huhtamaki as the laminate manufacturer, Plastuni Lisses as the tube maker and the leading cosmetics, home care and apparel company Groupe Rocher as the brand owner, Huhtamaki has successfully developed its next generation of tube laminates. For this innovative project, Huhtamaki focused on facilitating the incorporation and use of recycled materials creating recyclable products which increase the circularity of laminated tubes. To this end, it used resins from LyondellBasell’s innovative CirculenRenew polymers that are produced with renewable feedstock from bio-based sources from waste and residues such as used cooking oil, using a mass balance approach. These are certified under the ISCC PLUS standard.
Underlying revenue up 17% to £1,597m · Global Online Learning up 25% driven by strong growth in US Virtual Schools; modest growth in OPM with good underlying growth offset by discontinued programs.· Global Assessment grew 34% with growth across all divisions, following the closure of test centres and schools and exam cancellations in 2020. · North American Courseware up 2%, driven by a recovery in Canada which more than offset a 2% decline in US Higher Education Courseware. · International grew 8% with growth in courseware, clinical assessment and PTE following school, bookstore and test centre closures last year. Statutory results · Sales increased 7% to £1,597m (2020: £1,492m) reflecting underlying performance, partially offset by portfolio changes and currency movements. · Statutory operating profit £9m in H1 2021 (H1 2020: £107m), with the decrease due to the profit on disposal of Penguin Random House in 2020 and restructuring costs in 2021 partially offset by improved trading and reduced intangible charges. · Statutory EPS 2.3p (H1 2020: 6.3p).
S&P Global eported second quarter 2021 results with revenue of $2,106 million, an increase of 8% compared to the same period last year with every segment delivering revenue growth. Net income increased 1% to $798 million. Diluted earnings per share increased 1% to $3.30 primarily due to revenue growth partially offset by increased compensation-related expenses. Merger Update: S&P Global and IHS Markit continue to progress with merger integration planning. In addition, work with global regulators remains underway and we anticipate closing the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2021. Profit Margin: The Company's operating profit margin decreased 210 basis points to 54.8% primarily due to a challenging expense comparison to the second quarter of 2020 and increased compensation-related expenses, and costs related to the pending merger with IHS Markit in 2021.
Fourth-quarter service performance for July 1 through July 23 included: *First-Class Mail: Delivered 89.3 percent of First-Class Mail on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of nearly 2 percentage points from the third quarter. *Marketing Mail: Delivered 92.4 percent of Marketing Mail on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 1.4 percentage points from the third quarter. *Periodicals: Delivered 82.8 percent of Periodicals on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 3.6 percentage points from the third quarter.
*Operating cash flow increased 16% to $59.3 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $51.2 billion for the trailing twelve months ended June 30, 2020. *Free cash flow decreased to $12.1 billion for the trailing twelve months, compared with $31.9 billion for the trailing twelve months ended June 30, 2020. *Net sales increased 27% to $113.1 billion in the second quarter, compared with $88.9 billion in second quarter 2020. Excluding the $2.5 billion favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 24% compared with second quarter 2020. *Operating income increased to $7.7 billion in the second quarter, compared with $5.8 billion in second quarter 2020. *Net income increased to $7.8 billion in the second quarter, or $15.12 per diluted share, compared with $5.2 billion, or $10.30 per diluted share, in second quarter 2020.
The theory among publishers that book sales rose last year because people were reading more has been borne out in part by a survey recently released by the U.S. Department of Labor. According to the American Time Use survey, reading among people 15 years old and up increased by 21% in the May-December period in 2020 over the same period in 2019. The data shows that reading of all kinds increased from just under 17 minutes per day in 2019 in the same timeframe to just over 20 minutes in the comparable period last year. The biggest increase in daily reading came among 20 to 34 year-olds and in readers over 65. People older than 75 spent by far the most time reading last year (and every year for that matter), reading an average of 55 minutes per day in the 2020 May-December period.
Second Quarter 2021 Summary *Reported sales grew 16% driven by strong core sales growth and positive currency effects *Core sales (excluding currency effects) increased 10% mainly on double digit core growth in Beauty + Home and Food + Beverage, driven by increased demand for our innovative dispensing solutions along with price adjustments related to rising input costs *Reported earnings per share totaled $0.81 (an increase of 29% compared to the prior year) *Reported net income totaled $55 million for the second quarter (an increase of 32% compared to the prior year) and $139 million year-to-date (an increase of 43% compared to the prior year) *Cash flow from operations was $176 million in the first half of 2021 (a decrease of 23% compared to the prior year)
Mercer International Inc. reported second quarter 2021 Operating EBITDA increased to $83.8 million from $40.5 million in the second quarter of 2020 and from $82.0 million in the first quarter of 2021. In the second quarter of 2021, net income was $21.4 million compared to a net loss of $8.4 million in the second quarter of 2020 and net income of $5.9 million in the first quarter of 2021. In the first half of 2021, Operating EBITDA increased by 70% to $165.8 million from $97.5 million in the same period of 2020. In the first half of 2021, net income was $27.3 million compared to a net loss of $11.8 million in the same period of 2020.
Pro forma Q2/2021 compared with Q2/2020 (AhlstromMunksjö) • Net sales increased by 21.8% to EUR 757.3 million (621.5). At constant currency rates, net sales increased by 25% on higher volumes • Comparable EBITDA improved to EUR 95.8 million (74.0), representing 12.6% (11.9) of net sales, and was driven by significantly higher sales volumes and an improved product mix. Reported Q2/2021 • Reported operating result was EUR 32.6 million and included items affecting comparability and other items of EUR -18.2 million • Net result was EUR 5.7 million including net financial items of EUR -24.8 million and taxes of EUR -2.1 million
The Koehler Group has acquired 100% of the shares in Marienthaler Werbe-Offsetdruck GmbH & Co. KG. Since 2019 Koehler has been a majority shareholder in the company Marienthaler, which is based in Schleiden in the Eifel mountains, specializes in the production and distribution of coasters. Kai Furler, CEO of the Koehler Group, said: “In order to bring together the company’s expertise in the production of coasters, we have reached an agreement with the Uhlmann family to take over all of the shares in Marienthaler.” The Uhlmann family, which owned the company, has thus relinquished all its interests in the company. In July the Marienthaler site and company’s production plant in Schleiden have been seriously affected in recent days by the severe flooding that has taken place in the region. This is why customer orders from Marienthaler in Schleiden will be fulfilled by KATZ GmbH & Co. KG in Weisenbach, a comany of the Koehler Group. The aim is, to make the acquisition as smooth as possible for customers.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.168; Month Ago: $3.118; Year Ago: $2.190. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.278; Month Ago: $3.243; Year Ago: $2.433.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.803715; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.154754; American Dollar to Euro = 1.189000; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009120; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.050343.
Pactiv Evergreen announced that the Company has made the difficult decision to exit the coated groundwood paper business. As a result, the Company will permanently cease production of coated groundwood paper at its Pine Bluff, AR location. The Company will continue to strategically invest in the Pine Bluff mill, which will remain an essential facility in the Pactiv Evergreen operations network, serving the fiber-based beverage packaging market. Pactiv Evergreen will work directly with our coated groundwood customers to meet their product needs and support their transition to new suppliers until production ends in Q4. The Company expects to complete the closure by October 31, 2021, with shipments continuing until inventory is depleted.
At J.Schmid, we know catalogs. But we also know that in order to stay at the forefront of change and innovation you need to be a student of your craft. We’ve learned what works, what doesn’t, and where unexpected opportunities may lie. This blog series will showcase our expertise, as we take an in-depth review of well known (and lesser known) brand catalogs, uncovering triumphs and explaining mistakes, because even the best catalog can always be better. I’ve chosen a catalog from a brand that I was unfamiliar with. This was the first time I’ve seen the ROKA catalog, so it gave me a chance to view it through a fresh, unbiased lens (pun intended). These guys sell glasses. But not just any glasses. They design and make performance eyewear for athletes. Interesting concept. I’ll point out three things ROKA is doing well in their catalog, and three things they might improve upon. Hopefully these observations will help you identify strengths or weaknesses in your own book. read more at: https://www.jschmid.com/blog/catalog-critiques-making-bad-good-and-good-better/
Resolute Forest Products Inc. reported net income of $268 million for the quarter ended June 30, compared to net income of $6 million in the same period in 2020. Sales were $1,140 million in the quarter, an increase of $528 million from the year-ago period. Excluding special items, the company reported net income of $300 million, or $3.74 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $22 million, or $0.25 per share, in the second quarter of 2020. The company reported operating income of $406 million in the second quarter, compared to operating income of $6 million in the second quarter of 2020. The improvement reflects higher selling prices ($500 million) in the wood products, pulp and paper segments, offset by the stronger Canadian dollar ($39 million), higher fiber costs ($27 million), and maintenance ($14 million). At $445 million, adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter was $408 million higher than the second quarter of 2020.
*Second quarter net earnings (loss) attributable to International Paper of $432 million ($1.09 per diluted share), compared with $349 million ($0.88 per diluted share) in the first quarter of 2021 and $266 million ($0.67 per diluted share) in the second quarter of 2020 *Second quarter cash provided by operations of $766 million and year-to-date of $1.3 billion compared with $1.5 billion year-to-date in the same period of 2020 *Ilim equity earnings of $101 million, bringing year-to-date to $150 million *Share repurchases of $57 million, bringing year-to-date to $186 million *Debt reduction of $796 million, bringing year-to-date to $904 million *Monetized remaining investment in Graphic Packaging for approximately $400 million
The ad industry is urging California Attorney General Rob Bonta to withdraw a recent mandate that companies honor the “Global Privacy Control” -- a universal opt-out tool developed by privacy advocates. That mandate, which was announced earlier this month in a frequently-asked-questions response, “will cause confusion for consumers and businesses, rather than effectuating genuine user choices,” the Association of National Advertisers, Interactive Advertising Bureau, American Association of Advertising Agencies and other groups say in a letter sent Wednesday to Bonta. California's privacy law gives consumers the right to learn what personal information has been collected about them by companies, have that information deleted, and opt out of the sale of that data to third parties.
*Revenue growth of 11% *EBITDA of €781 million with an EBITDA margin of 16.7% *Corrugated growth of over 10% and over 9% versus 2020 and 2019 respectively *Accelerating investment plans to meet customer needs and capitalise on growth *Agreement to acquire 600,000 tonne recycled containerboard mill *Strong and progressive corrugated price recovery offsetting significant input cost increases *Interim dividend increased by 5% to 29.3 cent per share. Tony Smurfit, Group CEO, commented: “I am pleased to report a strong first half performance with revenue growth of 11%, EBITDA of €781 million and an EBITDA margin of 16.7%. Growth in corrugated was over 10% against the same period in 2020 and over 9% on 2019 and we continue to see strong demand for our core products.
The Ahlstrom-Munksjö Mosinee plant in Wisconsin is teaming up with Via Separations to pilot a cutting edge energy efficiency project. Together, they are validating Via Separations’ Black Liquor Concentration System, which is driven by an innovation in membrane material and system design. Black liquor is the byproduct from the kraft process when digesting pulpwood into paper pulp removing lignin and other extractives from the wood, to free the cellulose fibers and allow for the papermaking process to occur. The new system will reduce energy requirements for this process, increase mill throughput, and increase production of coproducts which are used as a heating source for the plant. “In partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Technology Validation program and Ahlstrom-Munksjö, Via Separations is proud to support this trial. We can reduce the resource requirement per unit of pulp produced by implementing a step change process intensification,” said Shreya Dave, CEO of Via Separations. "At commercial scale, the technology has the potential to provide a 64% decrease in energy demand in the evaporator process."
International technology Group ANDRITZ has received an order from ST Paper to supply a new tissue machine for its recently acquired site in Duluth, Minnesota, USA. Start-up is planned for the end of 2022. The ANDRITZ tissue machine of the type PrimeLineTM W 2000 has a design speed of 2,000 m/min and a working width of 5.65 m to produce a range of bath, napkin and towel grades. The order includes: *the approach flow equipment with double dilution capability for excellent fiber preparation *a fully cantilevered PrimePress XT Evo shoe press for gentle dewatering *a 16 ft. PrimeDry Steel Yankee with head insulation, steam and condensate systems, and high-performance Yankee hood and process air systems for energy-efficient drying *mist extraction and dust removal systems for safe operation and *a PrimeReel standard reel with turn-up equipment for excellent end product quality. ST Paper acquired Verso Corporation’s idled Duluth mill in May, with the intention to convert the mill’s production from specialty paper grades to tissue.
BillerudKorsnäs is in a process with the aim of divesting the paper mill in Beetham, UK. The process is ongoing and no binding agreement to divest the mill has yet been entered into. Since BillerudKorsnäs’ machine glazed (MG) paper business has primarily been focused in Skärblacka, the strategic importance of Beetham to the rest of the group has been reduced. Beetham produces kraft paper for packaging of medical equipment, food packaging and other types of industrial applications and has a capacity of around 45 000 tonnes per year. In 2020, the facility had sales of around SEK 480 million.
Koehler Group publishes figures for 2020 financial year: Despite the worldwide impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the fall of total sales for German paper industry, the Koehler Group managed to perform relatively well in its market and maintained its competitive edge and invested more than 91 Million Euros during 2020. In the 2020 financial year, Koehler Group’s revenue fell by 11.7% to 769 million euros. The operating result of 66 million euros is significantly lower than the previous year’s figure and therefore significantly below target. Koehler Paper saw its sales volume fall by 1.5%, with the decrease essentially due to the decline caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Koehler Group’s equity grew by 29 million to 590 million euros during the previous financial year. The equity ratio therefore equals 57.2%, with a decrease in the balance sheet total, and has clearly exceeded the long-term objective of more than 40%.
Second Quarter 2021 Financial Highlights: *Record revenue of $927 million increased 4 percent sequentially, driven primarily by 5 percent higher TiO2 average selling prices and 5 percent higher zircon average selling prices *Income from operations of $150 million; Net income of $77 million *TiO2 sales volumes increased 1 percent sequentially, driven by continued recovery led by North America and Europe *Zircon sales volumes continue to be very strong, but declined 5 percent sequentially from record first quarter levels as expected. Tronox achieved another record quarter of TiO2 volumes and key financial metrics including revenue, EPS, Adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow. Second quarter revenue increased 4 percent sequentially, primarily driven by higher TiO2 and zircon average selling prices. TiO2 sales volume grew 1 percent sequentially led by growth in North America and Europe.
Metsä Board invests EUR 210 million in increasing folding boxboard capacity at its Husum mill in Sweden. The company is responding to growing demand for sustainably produced packaging materials that support the circular economy. The investment strengthens Metsä Board's position as the leading producer of folding boxboard in Europe. Metsä Board has made an investment decision to increase the annual folding boxboard capacity by 200,000 tonnes at its Husum integrated mill in Sweden. At present, the annual folding boxboard capacity of the paperboard machine BM1 is 400,000 tonnes, and after the investment it will rise to 600,000 tonnes. Additional capacity will enter the market during 2024–2025. The investment value is approximately EUR 210 million, divided in 2021–2024 and mainly in 2022–2023.
Label and Graphic Materials - Reported sales increased 25% to $1.4 billion. Compared to prior year, sales were up 17% ex. currency (up 11% vs. 2019) and up 16% on an organic basis (up 11% vs. 2019). *Label and Packaging Materials sales were up approximately 12% from prior year on an organic basis, with strong growth in both the high value product categories and the base business. *Sales increased by approximately 49% organically in the combined Graphics and Reflective Solutions businesses. *On an organic basis, sales were up high-single digits in North America, up mid-teens in Western Europe, and up approximately 20% in emerging markets. Retail Branding and Information Solutions - Reported sales increased 80% to $529 million. Compared to prior year, sales were up 73% ex. currency (up 25% vs. 2019) and up 72% on an organic basis (up 14% vs. 2019), reflecting strong growth in both the high value categories and the base business. *Intelligent Labels was up approximately 65% organically. Industrial and Healthcare Materials - Reported sales increased 49% to $197 million. Compared to prior year, sales were up 39% ex. currency (up 11% vs. 2019) and up 33% on an organic basis (up 6% vs. 2019), reflecting an approximately 60% increase in industrial categories and a high-single digit decline in healthcare categories.
Avery Dennison announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Vestcom, a privately held market-leading provider of pricing and branded labeling solutions at the shelf-edge for retailers and consumer packaged goods companies, for $1.45 billion in a cash transaction, subject to certain closing and post-closing adjustments. Vestcom uses data management capabilities to synthesize and streamline store-level data and deliver item-specific, price-integrated messaging at the shopper’s point of decision. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Vestcom is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, with roughly $400 million in annual revenue. The company has 11 U.S. production facilities and approximately 1,200 employees, with sales across multiple U.S. retail channels, including grocery, drug, and dollar. Vestcom’s solutions include stackz® pre-cut, pre-sorted self-adhering shelf labels; shelfStrips® shelf-edge planogram displays; adSigns® signage kits; and shelfAdz® branded marketing displays.
January–June 2021 (compared with 1–6/2020) • Sales were EUR 1,049.5 million (945.2). • Comparable operating result was EUR 191.3 million (94.2) or 18.2% (10.0) of sales. Operating result was EUR 185.6 million (100.3). • Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.42 (0.19), and earnings per share were EUR 0.41 (0.21). • Comparable return on capital employed was 19.3% (10.7). • Net cash flow from operations was EUR 150.7 mil-lion (152.3). METSÄ BOARD’S CEO MIKA JOUKIO: “The year 2021 has been very good for Metsä Board. Demand for our fresh fibre paperboards has been strong in all our products and in all our main markets. Sales prices have risen during the first half of the year and we see the same trend continuing in the third quarter. The order books for paperboards remain at an exceptionally high level, which also supports the outlook for the rest of the year.
JANUARY–JUNE 2021 (1–6/2020) *Sales were EUR 2,942 million (2,453). *Operating result was EUR 379 million (163). Comparable operating result was EUR 416 million (158). *Result before taxes was EUR 354 million (139). Comparable result before taxes was EUR 391 million (134). *Comparable return on capital employed was 15.0% (6.2). *Net cash flow from operations was EUR 374 million (203). President and CEO Ilkka Hämälä: "The first half of 2021 turned out to be altogether excellent for Metsä Group. The growth in demand as well as the increase in prices in the pulp business and mechanical wood products, which began during the fourth quarter in 2020, continued throughout the period. The paperboard business also continued its strong performance and there, too, the already robust demand continued to improve, due to which price levels in different market areas also took an upward turn. Demand for consumer products in tissue paper was on a significantly lower level than in the previous year, and the intermittent easing of the pandemic did not yet figure greatly in the demand for professional products.
Huhtamaki and Syntegon, the German processing and packaging technology provider, announce a breakthrough innovation for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. Push Tab® paper, the first paper-based tablet packaging, is made from renewable FSC™ certified paper and is designed to meet the stringent safety requirements of regulated pharmaceutical packaging. It provides customers a more sustainable alternative to traditional push-through packaging made of thermoformed PVC and aluminium and also helps to reduce environmental impact throughout the value chain. Push Tab® paper tablet packaging has more than 75% paper-based material sourced from FSC™ certified suppliers in Europe. Combining it with advanced barrier coating technology, Huhtamaki successfully makes the sustainable paper packaging sealable without compromising the safety, functionality, or protective properties compared to traditional mono PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) blisters. A special mechanical treatment allows consumers to push the tablet through easily without damaging the product inside. The material is further processed and formed with Syntegon's unique paper shaping technology and machinery.
Berry Global Group, Inc. announced the approval of projects that will help the Company achieve its new milestone goal to eliminate 100 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity from its operations. Berry surpassed its initial target to eliminate 1 million kWh from the Company’s operations in 2020 and is leveraging that success to reach its 100 million kWh goal. With an original deadline of September 2021, Berry is ahead of schedule in achieving these project approvals. Through the sharing of best practices, Berry team members collaborated across 324 energy saving projects to achieve record energy reduction. In addition, five million kWh were saved through improvements that did not require capital investment. These reductions in energy directly reduce Berry’s scope 1 and 2 emissions, which inherently reduce customer’s scope 3 emissions. The emissions saved from this remarkable reduction in energy is equal to the CO2 emissions to power over 8,500 homes for one year, charge 8.6 billion smartphones, and greenhouse gas emissions of 15,000 passenger vehicles for one year.1
Net income for the first six months of 2021 was $167.8 million as compared to net income of $135.8 million for the first six months of 2020. Net sales for the first six months of 2021 increased $380.0 million, or 17.2 percent, to $2.59 billion as compared to $2.21 billion for the first six months of 2020. This increase was primarily a result of higher unit volumes in each of the Dispensing and Specialty Closures and Metal Container segments, the pass through of higher raw material costs, the impact of favorable foreign currency translation and a more favorable mix of products sold in the Dispensing and Specialty Closures and Custom Container segments, partially offset by lower volumes in the Custom Container segment and a higher percentage of smaller cans sold in the Metal Container segment.
Smurfit Kappa Group plc agrees to acquire Verzuolo, a containerboard business in Northern Italy, for a cash consideration of €360 million. The Verzuolo mill owned by the Burgo Group, is situated close to the port of Savona in the northwest of Italy. The PM9 machine was newly constructed in 2002 and converted into a 600,000 tonne capacity recycled containerboard machine in 2019. Verzuolo is highly complementary to SKG’s existing business and is strategically positioned to serve both the Southern European region and other markets ensuring we continue to provide the best service to our corrugated customers. The acquisition will deliver significant synergistic benefits including technical and production optimisation, and increased containerboard integration within the Group. The cash consideration will be funded from the Group’s existing resources. It is expected that the acquisition will complete during the fourth quarter, subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approval.
Graphic Packaging Holding Company reported Net Income for second quarter 2021 of $38 million. This compares to second quarter 2020 Net Income of $52 million. Michael Doss, the Company's President and CEO said, "Strong demand continued across our markets in the second quarter as consumer preferences are driving conversions to our fiber-based packaging solutions. Increased consumer mobility and consumption outside of the home resulted in higher sales in our Foodservice markets up 22% year over year, while Food, Beverage and Consumer markets continued to show healthy growth of 4%. Our teams worked tirelessly to meet customer demand, and we swiftly implemented pricing actions to offset rising commodity input costs which impacted our results in the quarter. We expect to generate significantly higher Adjusted EBITDA in the second half of 2021 driven by price-cost recovery from the successful execution of approximately $400 million of implemented and recognized pricing actions, and continued momentum from organic sales growth and strong productivity. As we address the near-term inflationary headwinds, we remain unwavering in our commitment to introduce new and innovative packaging solutions across global markets supportive of the move to a more circular economy." Net Sales increased 8% to $1,737 million in the second quarter of 2021, compared to $1,611 million in the prior year period.
Packaging Corporation of America reported second quarter 2021 net income of $207 million, excluding special items. Second quarter net sales were $1.9 billion in 2021 and $1.5 billion in 2020. Commenting on reported results, Mark W. Kowlzan, Chairman and CEO, said, “Demand in our Packaging segment remained very strong. Our mills and plants continued to do an outstanding job of meeting our customers’ needs while managing through certain material and chemical availability issues, a tight labor market, various freight and logistics challenges, as well as the planned maintenance outages at four of our mills during the second quarter. The mills executed the planned outages extremely well and, with the help of the No. 3 machine at the Jackson Mill, provided our plants the necessary containerboard to achieve an all-time record for total box shipments. We were also able to build some much-needed inventory; however, our weeks-of-inventory supply was at a new low for this time of year ahead of an expected very busy second half. The sales groups in both the Packaging and Paper segments are doing a great job of implementing our previously announced price increases, and we continue to deliver on the numerous initiatives and capital projects to reduce costs and improve efficiencies across all of our mills and corrugated products plants. These efforts are extremely important as we continue to experience significant cost inflation across the Company as well as logistics challenges with both our inbound and outbound freight needs.”
In the first half of 2021, Group revenue totalled €2,076 million, up 5% on a like-for-like basis. Group recurring EBIT in the first half of the year totalled €3 million, up sharply by €221 million compared to a negative €218 million in first-half 2020. Lagardère Publishing recorded decade-high recurring EBIT of €110 million (€27 million in first-half 2020), with Lagardère Travel Retail reporting recurring EBIT of -€96 million, versus -€209 million in first-half 2020. The Group reported a loss before finance costs and tax of €117 million in first-half 2021 (loss of €397 million in first-half 2020), including non-recurring/non-operating items for a net negative amount of €61 million. The loss – Group share was €171 million, versus a loss – Group share of €422 million in first-half 2020.
The print and paper advocacy group, Two Sides, are excited to announce its newest member, one of the UK’s leading printers, Go Inspire Group. Go Inspire Group is a Marketing performance company that invests in their people, practices, and the latest technology so they remain efficient and are able to progress their environmental journey. “At Go Inspire Group, we know that your marketing print is more than just a piece of paper. It represents your brand and is a powerful, persuasive and proven addition to any marketing strategy.” says Patrick Headley, CEO at Go Inspire.
As expected in our most recent postal update in June, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has approved the postal rate increase that was proposed by the USPS. The PRC spent about a month reviewing the USPS’s proposal before formally announcing its approval on Monday, July 19th. Per the PRC, it confirmed that the planned price adjustments for all market dominant classes, including workshare discounts, are consistent with applicable regulations and applicable Commission directives and orders. The PRC also concluded that the planned classification changes, with some minor revisions described in the PRC Order, are consistent with applicable law. The new postal rates will become effective August 29th, and our analysis of numerous postage estimates shows that postage increases for Marketing Mail to be averaging about 8.6% for Flats and 6.6% for Letters. Mailings with in-home dates up to September 13th will pay current postage rates, with postage being paid on August 27th. This postal rate increase is unprecedented, with the PRC sanctioning and approving the USPS to increase rates higher than the 12-month rolling consumer price index (CPI). In effect, these rates will be about 4 times higher than the current CPI and are contrary to the rate increase guidelines laid out in the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act.
Modern Litho announces it will acquire the commercial printing division of Watkins Lithographic of North Kansas City, Missouri as of August 1, 2021. The acquisition increases production capacity and further enhances the company’s suite of services which include: digital and offset print, mailing, warehousing and fulfillment, and wide format services in the Kansas City and regional markets. “After the successful acquisition of James Printing in 2018, we knew we wanted to expand our Kansas City footprint. Watkins Lithographic is a great fit in terms of their customer base, employee group, equipment, and facility. We will continue to build on the Watkins Litho tradition of serving their clients well and will look to make investments that will enhance that experience,” commented Darrell Moore, President of Modern Litho.
Total European shipments of graphic papers in May 2021 were UP 27.3% vs. May 2020 and are down 2.5% year-to-date. Total European shipments of newsprint in May 2021 were UP 8.5% vs. May 2020 and are down 9.9% year-to-date. Total European shipments of sc-magazine in May 2021 were UP 17.0% vs. May 2020 and are down 2.9% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated mechanical reels in May 2021 were UP 25.6% vs. May 2020 and are down 6.1% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated mechanical (improved & others) in May 2021 were UP 13.5% vs. May 2020 and are UP 1.7% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated woodfree in May 2021 were UP 49.8% vs. May 2020 and are down 2.5% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated woodfree in May 2021 were UP 46.7% vs. May 2020 and are UP 5.7% year-to-date.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö will restart one of its saturator in its Turin plant in Italy to support strong demand for high performance filtration media. “Based on current strong customer demand, we see a need to expand our saturating capacity,” said Giuseppe Costa, VP Filtration EMEA and APAC. “We have evaluated various options and came to the conclusion that restarting the saturator we already have in place in Turin is the quickest and most reliable way to bring qualified capacity to the marketplace in a very short period,” he added. This decision follows a series of investments announced by the group in the last few years to strengthen the company’s industrial platform and support demand growth in the industrial and engine filtration industry globally.
MIDLAND has just launched a new and innovative Specialty Media catalog for offset, digital and inkjet sheet fed printers. The all-inclusive catalog merges major sheet fed print technologies into one unique publication. Offset, HP Indigo, Dry Toner and Inkjet substrates are all featured within one book. “The Specialty Media catalog is a one-stop shop product guide that gives our customers the opportunity to find the correct printable substrate without having to thumb through multiple catalogs,” comments David Field, General Manager of Midland’s Specialty Paper & Film Division. The new product guide features synthetic papers, rigid media, window and walls films, pressure sensitive papers, integrated substrates, magnetic media and specialty paper products. “These are all products that are of high value to our customers and their end users and are application driven” added Field. The catalog is segmented into the following categories: • Non-Adhesive Synthetic • Adhesive Synthetic • Adhesive Paper • Specialty Substrates. “Our customers are going to be blown away by this updated version of the Specialty Media Catalog”, said Mike Ratcliff, President of Midland’s Specialty Paper & Film Division. “This is more than just another catalog. It is a tool for our customers to use for their customers for all of their high value print projects – it gives them a window into what’s possible”.
Sustainability is playing an increasingly larger role in the lives of young consumers, particularly among Millennials (born 1981-1996) and Generation Z (born 1997 and after). This trend is expected to continue as Gen Z consumers enter the workforce and start setting up their own households. As a result, the Paper and Packaging Board’s “How Life Unfolds” Campaign® is launching a new sustainability-focused effort to more appealing to young consumers. “As our consumer audience begins to age up, we need to keep reaching out to younger generations with important sustainability messaging,” explains Mary Anne Hansan, president of the Paper and Packaging Board. “They are worried about the environment, have heard stories about recycling not being worthwhile and have misperceptions about the health of U.S. forests. That’s why we’ve created a campaign set to reach a younger audience with content that is both entertaining and educational.” The new effort is based in part on findings from The Hartman Group’s “Sustainability 2019: Beyond Business as Usual” study of American consumers aged 18-73. Researchers found that sustainability is “a cultural value and defining concern for today’s consumer,” and that “consumers increasingly hold companies and governments responsible for sustainability than individuals,” even as they adjust their own behaviors to lessen their personal environmental footprint.
The Koehler group is investing in the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF) with the aim of actively fostering the development of sustainable innovations and technologies. The ECBF is the first growth investment fund to be dedicated exclusively to projects in the field of the bioeconomy in Europe, including the accompanying circular economy. With a targeted fund size of EUR 250 million, the ECBF is set to become an important international financial instrument and to contribute to making Europe climate-neutral by 2050. The circular economy conserves natural resources, and is one of the prerequisites for reaching the EU’s climate objectives in order to become climate-neutral by 2050. The Koehler Group is currently working on a range of innovations with a focus on circular economy concepts. “When developing innovations, we not only make use of internal expertise, but also rely on collaborations and start-ups. Our involvement in the ECBF will hopefully help to ensure that targeted funding is provided for promising technological developments,” Dr. Karrer continues. This not only pertains to technologies for Koehler Paper, but also to a range of other activities and business models within the Koehler Group.
CJK Group, Inc. has announced that it has rebranded three of its print facilities as Sheridan sites. Bang Printing is now Sheridan Minnesota, Hess Print Solutions is now Sheridan Ohio, and Webcrafters Inc. is now Sheridan Wisconsin. With this rebranding, Sheridan now maintains eight printing locations in the US; the existing five being Sheridan Michigan, Sheridan Grand Rapids, Sheridan Kentucky, Sheridan New Hampshire, and Sheridan Pennsylvania. CJK Group Inc. is also parent company to KnowledgeWorks Global Ltd., a full-scale content services organization with locations in the US, India, and the UK. Uniting all print facilities under one name and a centralized management structure affords all Sheridan print customers more flexibility, increased capacity, and a wide array of publishing services. The markets Sheridan serves include book, journal, magazine, catalog, and commercial print.
Target Corporation and Ulta Beauty shared details about the highly anticipated Ulta Beauty at Target, slated to begin rolling out in more than 100 Target stores nationwide and online with more than 50 specially curated prestige brands this August. The differentiated retail concept pairs Ulta Beauty's industry authority with Target's beloved experience, bringing a one-of-a-kind beauty experience to millions of guests. The companies are planning for these experiential "shop-in-shops" to reach a total of 800 Target stores across the country in the coming years. "As the retail and beauty industries continue to evolve, we take pride in being leaders that continually redefine and elevate guest experiences. Ulta Beauty at Target reflects our commitment to drive the industry forward and keep our guests meaningfully engaged," said Kecia Steelman, chief operating officer, Ulta Beauty. "Our dynamic teams have worked together to create a disruptive, exciting way to discover prestige beauty with a thoughtfully curated assortment and knowledgeable, approachable experts to serve as beauty gurus."
Fourth-quarter service performance for July 1 through July 16 included: *First-Class Mail: Delivered 89.3 percent of First-Class Mail on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of nearly 2 percentage points from the third quarter. *Marketing Mail: Delivered 92.0 percent of Marketing Mail on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 1 percentage point from the third quarter. *Periodicals: Delivered 83.0 percent of Periodicals on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of nearly 4 percentage points from the third quarter. The Postal Service’s continued improvement despite seasonal effects from the Independence Day federal holiday anticipated during for the period of July 10 to July 16.
Few people in the industry have been willing to venture a prediction on how the book business will finish 2021, but in a July 21 presentation on industry print unit sales through the first half of the year, NPD BookScan analyst Kristen McLean laid out three possible scenarios. All outcomes assume that the rapid gains in print unit sales the industry has posted so far this year will slow in the last six months of 2021. Indeed, McLean noted that, since the end of what she called an historic first quarter, the year-to-date growth rate has lost about one point per week; in other words, growth was up 29% at the close of the first quarter and ahead 18% at the end of the second quarter. At present, she said, sales appear to be steadily gliding back to a more normal performance.
The PEFC Balkan Forest Certification Scheme was submitted to PEFC for endorsement earlier this month. The public consultation, which is your chance to give your feedback on this new system, will run from 4 August to 2 October. Our national members for Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, and Slovenia developed a harmonized framework for their national forest management standards to create this regional system for the Western Balkans. This is the second regional system submitted for endorsement. It follows the Congo Basin regional system, which is currently under assessment. By developing a regional system, it enables our members to maximise their impact and reach, share resources and knowledge, and reduce the costs in developing and running a forest certification system.
The American Trucking Associations praised the introduction of the Modern, Clean, and Safe Trucks Act of 2021 by Senators Todd Young (R-Indiana) and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland). The bipartisan legislation would repeal the 12% federal excise tax on heavy-duty trucks, which currently adds approximately $22,000 to the cost of a new tractor-trailer. “The federal excise tax on heavy trucks is a relic from the First World War that’s now serving to keep cleaner, safer trucks off of our nation’s roads today,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of American Trucking Associations. “By repealing this antiquated tax, Congress can deliver a win for the environment, highway safety, manufacturing jobs and supply-chain efficiency. We thank Senators Young and Cardin for their bipartisan leadership in advancing a common-sense solution to the benefit of American truckers and the motoring public.” Although technological advances have made the latest tractor-trailers cleaner and safer than ever before, the FET creates a disincentive for motor carriers to modernize their fleets by placing a punitive surcharge on investments in new equipment. As a result, the average age of a truck on the road today is nearly ten years old.
Timm will be responsible for delivering operational excellence and growth of Pregis’ blown film and converting operations in the new Anderson, South Carolina facility, as well as the Grand Rapids, Michigan location. The company recently announced a $80 million investment in the new South Carolina operation which will be serving food, CPG, medical, and converter market segments with engineered, customer-focused flexible packaging solutions tailored to the dynamic needs of brand owners and suppliers. “We view growth in specialty films as one of our top strategic imperatives. As the leader of this business, Dave will be charged with delivering on our aggressive goals through organic business growth and strategic expansion. He will oversee the significant investments we’ve made in our operations and build out a center of excellence with the vision of being the first choice in the market. As we look to the future, Dave will reinforce the Pregis Purpose to ‘Protect, Preserve, Inspyre’ by innovating, providing manufacturing excellence and delivering flexible packaging solutions that are driven by our Pregis 2K30 sustainability plan,” said Kevin Baudhuin, president and CEO, Pregis.
Net sales amounted to SEK 8,982m (9,480). The lower sales level was related to the discontinued publication paper operations and the divestment of Wood Supply UK. Excluding these effects, net sales increased by 17%, driven by higher selling prices in all product areas. EBITDA improved 78% to SEK 3,619m (2,031). The increase was mainly attributable to higher selling prices in all product areas, but also to good production and a stable, low cost level. EBITDA margin was 40.3% (21.4). Operating profit increased to SEK 2,927m (1,228); Operating cash flow amounted to SEK 1,581m (614); Earnings per share increased to SEK 3.25 (1.34)
Sales of $4.7 billion in the second quarter of 2021 increased 2 percent versus the prior year. Organic sales decreased 3 percent as volumes declined 4 percent while the combined impact of changes in net selling prices and product mix increased sales approximately 1 percent. In North America, organic sales decreased 11 percent in consumer products and 4 percent in K-C Professional. Second quarter operating profit was $613 million in 2021 and $925 million in 2020. Results were impacted by lower sales volumes and $345 million of higher input costs, driven by pulp, other materials and distribution costs. Other manufacturing costs were higher, including inefficiencies from lower production volumes. Results benefited from higher net selling prices, $115 million of cost savings from the company's FORCE (Focused On Reducing Costs Everywhere) program, $30 million of cost savings from the 2018 Global Restructuring Program and lower marketing, research and general expense.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.155; Month Ago: $3.072; Year Ago: $2.187. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.270; Month Ago: $3.222; Year Ago: $2.434.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.795663; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.154431; American Dollar to Euro = 1.177453; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009048; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.049796.
Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO, comments on the Q2 results: “UPM delivered a very good second quarter, and rapid recovery of our earnings continued. In the exceptional economic environment, demand for UPM’s products was strong, and overall, our price increases more than offset rising input costs. At the same time, our transformative growth projects continued on schedule and on budget, and we are in an excellent position going forwards. Our Q2 sales increased by 15% to EUR 2,384 million, and comparable EBIT was up by 51% rising to EUR 307 million from the lockdown affected Q2 of last year. Operating cash flow increased to EUR 308 million. Net debt at the end of June was EUR 750 million, and our financial position remains strong with EUR 2.5 billion in cash funds and unused committed credit facilities. The most notable improvement was seen in UPM Biorefining, where pulp and sawn timber prices soared, and the business area made its best second quarter ever. Result was held back by the scheduled maintenance shutdown at the Fray Bentos pulp mill in Uruguay, and a shutdown due to a fire at the Lappeenranta biorefinery in Finland."
Q2 2021 in brief: *Net sales increased 10% to EUR 877 million (EUR 797 million) *Reported EBIT was EUR 75 million (EUR 70 million) *Reported EPS was EUR 0.50 (EUR 0.44) *Comparable net sales growth was 14% at Group level and 20% in emerging markets *The impact of currency movements was EUR -35 million on the Group’s net sales and EUR -4 million on EBIT. H1 2021 in brief: *Net sales increased 2% to EUR 1,679 million (EUR 1,642 million) *Reported EBIT was EUR 147 million (EUR 153 million) *Comparable net sales growth was 6% at Group level and 13% in emerging markets *The impact of currency movements was EUR -81 million on the Group’s net sales and EUR -8 million on EBIT
Total revenues across all categories for May 2021 were up 11.1% as compared to May 2020, coming in at $1.1 billion. Year to date revenues were up 23.4%, at $5.1 billion for the first five months of the year. Trade (Consumer Books) sales were up 7.9% in May, coming in at $685.2 million, and up 23.2% year to date, with $3.5 billion in revenue. In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of May, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were up 18.7%, coming in at $252.8 million; Paperbacks were up 14.5%, with $229.9 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 15.1% to $19.2 million; and Board Books were down 4.8%, with $9.0 million in revenue.
There is a worrying trend from organisations who increasingly want to move their customer communications online, particularly bills and statements. Typically, this decision is made for cost reasons, but misleading claims about the environment are being used all too often instead. This is commonly referred to as Greenwashing. A study, conducted by the not-for-profit organisation Two Sides and independent research company Toluna, aims to understand changing consumer perceptions towards print and paper. The study found that consumers overwhelmingly want the right to choose how they receive their communications (digitally or printed) from organisations. 76% of UK consumers (74% EU) want this choice. Defaulting people online without a choice to save cost, will impact those most vulnerable and at risk in our communities. In the UK, 6.3% of all adults have never used the internet (Office of National Statistics, 2020). Often, it is the most vulnerable members of society that depend on traditional, postal, transactional mail. The move to an online only society risks leaving older people, the disabled, rural dwellers and those on low incomes disconnected.
Net sales for the second quarter of 2021 were $1.38 billion, up 11.0 percent from last year's second quarter sales of $1.25 billion. This growth was driven by an improvement in volume/mix, higher selling prices mostly implemented to offset inflation and a favorable impact from foreign exchange. GAAP net loss attributable to Sonoco in the second quarter of 2021 was $(334.1) million, or $(3.34) per diluted share, a decrease of $389.3 million, compared with income of $55.2 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, in 2020. Gross profit was $262.7 million in the second quarter of 2021 compared to $248.0 million in the same period in 2020. Quarterly gross profit as a percentage of sales declined 92 basis points year over year to 19.0 percent.
Flint Group Packaging Inks, one of the largest ink and coatings suppliers to the global print and packaging industry, has enhanced its solvent-based range of inks and coatings for European customers. The new ONECode range is designed simplify the flexible packaging printing process, reducing process waste and increasing ease in doing business. "Under the ONECode brand, we have built a new product hierarchy including six new brands," says Kim Melander, Vice President & General Manager for Packaging Inks Europe, "These ink systems, developed to unlock the complex landscape of flexible package printing, to connect, clarify, and bring transparency to the flexible packaging printing industry.” Mr. Melander continues, “Flint Group Packaging Inks’ ONECode range will guarantee printers and converters innovative, reliable, and sustainable ink solutions that deliver the highest performance possible from your most simple to your most demanding applications.”
Scott® 24 Hour Sanitizing Wipes – Kimberly-Clark Professional's pre-saturated wipes with a patented formulation – has been named the winner of the 2021 World of Wipes (WOW) Innovation Award at the WOW International Conference. A team of technical specialists from The Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry ( INDA ) chose Scott® 24 over 23 submissions. The product was honored for its innovation across the entire wipes value chain. Scott® 24 Hour Sanitizing Wipes are registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for disinfecting against numerous strains of bacteria and viruses – including SARS-CoV-2. These pre-saturated wipes quickly disinfect and maintain surface sanitization against bacteria for a full 24 hours, even after multiple touches.
Trayforma by Stora Enso is a new wood fibre-based material composition designed for microwavable food tray packaging. The renewable material is free of PET, has a very low share of PP and a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional meal tray products. The material contains up to 95% wood fibres, making it widely recyclable in most existing carton packaging recycling schemes. Microwavable meals are typically packed in fossil-based PET trays as the material is safe for heating. Stora Enso’s Trayforma material replaces fossil-based plastics with renewable, light-weight paperboard that significantly lowers the carbon footprint of each tray. By changing to recyclable, low-carbon trays, brand owners and retailers selling microwave ready-meals can act on circular economy commitments.
For the eighth consecutive year, Midland Paper is a co-sponsor for the Inkjet Summit 2021 to be held July 26 – 28, 2021 in Austin, Texas. The Inkjet Summit is an exclusive invitation-only, hosted event designed for senior managers and business executives who want to understand how inkjet technology trends, software, consumables and finishing solutions will impact their businesses and help them shape their strategies for the future. David Field, Midland Paper’s General Manager for Specialty Paper & Films, will present a ‘Case Study’ illustrating effective print media options across a multitude of different production inkjet platforms. “The production inkjet equipment market continues to expand with OEM press announcements unveiled at a rapid rate, including a whole new wave of sheet fed inkjet options. In addition, new OEM inkjet presses are being developed for web and sheet fed configurations which adds to the complexity for printers who are aiming to make an inkjet equipment investment decision.” “We offer consultative advice for printers who plan on entering the production inkjet market. Midland Paper is truly OEM and Paper agnostic when it comes to objective advice in todays’ evolving production inkjet market”, quotes Mike Ratcliff, President of Midland Paper’s Specialty Paper & Film Division.
• Sales increased by 22.6% to EUR 2 592 (2 114) million, due to higher deliveries and prices. Sales excluding Paper increased by 28.4%. • Operational EBIT increased to EUR 364 (178) million, due to higher prices and volumes, especially in Biomaterials, Wood Products, and Packaging Materials. Operational EBIT excluding Paper increased to EUR 413 (216) million. • Operational EBIT margin increased to 14.0% (8.4%). Excluding Paper, the operational EBIT margin was 19.1% (12.9% • The value of forest assets, including leased land and Stora Enso's share of Tornator, increased to EUR 7.4 (5.4) billion. The forest valuation method was changed in Q4/2020 to market based valuation in Sweden. • Strong cash flow from operations amounted to EUR 463 (363) million. Cash flow after investing activities was EUR 339 (239) million. • Net debt decreased by EUR 314 million to EUR 2 975 (3 289) million.
The two companies will partner to provide circular solutions to the market. The investment in a complete recycling solution is set to significantly improve recycling throughout Central and Eastern Europe. The partnership, that follows a comprehensive feasibility study, sees the introduction of a large-scale carton repulping line at Stora Enso’s Ostrołęka production unit in Poland. The line will triple the annual recycling capacity of used beverage cartons in Poland from 25 000 to 75 000 tonnes. This will allow recycling of the entire volume of beverage cartons sold in the country and the ones coming from neighbouring countries, including Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The total investment is EUR 29.1 million. Stora Enso will invest EUR 17 million into a new repulping line that will recover the carton fibers. Tetra Pak along with Plastigram will invest a total of EUR 12.1 million to build an additional line. It will recover and separately recycle the polymers and the aluminium, using a patented separation technology. Both lines will be operational in the beginning of 2023.
Stora Enso’s pilot facility for producing bio-based carbon materials from lignin has started operations. This follows the company’s EUR 10 million investment announced in 2019. Pilot production of Lignode® by Stora Enso, wood-based carbon for batteries, is currently being ramped up. Applications include electric vehicles and consumer electronics as well as large-scale energy storage systems. The global battery market is projected to grow tenfold over the next decade as battery producers seek more sustainable materials for the electrification of mobility. Since sustainability is becoming a top priority for the automotive industry, car manufacturers and battery producers are focusing heavily on reducing carbon emissions in electric cars. Today, fossil-based carbon is used in the anodes of rechargeable batteries. By converting lignin separated from wood into carbon-based anode materials, the synthetic and non-renewable graphite material can be replaced.
Bloomsbury experienced strong trading for the first four months of its financial year, with year-on-year sales growth of 28%, maintaining momentum from the prior year's outstanding performance. Consumer division revenues were 26% ahead of last year, with strong print and e-book sales. Adult revenues grew by 17% and Children's revenues by 32%. Bestsellers included Tom Kerridge's Outdoor Cooking, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Silver Flames and Lisa Taddeo's Animal. UK Consumer print sales growth was ahead of the market.* Non-Consumer division revenue was 31% higher than last year, with Academic and Professional growth of 35%, driven by continued strong demand for Bloomsbury Digital Resources, which was 41% ahead of last year. Special Interest revenue increased by 23%. In June, our revenue benefitted from the two most recent strategic acquisitions: Head of Zeus delivered £859k, within Consumer Adult, and Red Globe Press delivered £478k, within Non-Consumer Academic and Professional.
The Postal Service’s proposal appears to target mail that consistently fails to meet service performance goals and has the most opportunity for improvement. However, the Commission is concerned that the Postal Service did not conduct any operational or pilot testing of its proposed service standard changes. The Commission finds this lack of testing problematic as mail processing is complex and requires timely execution to provide reliable service performance. In addition, the Commission notes that the Postal Service’s estimated annual cost savings for the proposed service standard changes do not indicate much improvement, if any, to the Postal Service’s current financial condition. Rather, the estimated cost savings from extending the service standard would be eliminated by additional costs associated with the growth in packages. Therefore, it is not clear that the tradeoff between financial viability and maintaining high-quality service standards is reasonable. Likewise, the Postal Service concludes that any reduction in First-Class Mail and Periodical volume due to its proposal will be modest, but that conclusion is premised upon analysis of customer satisfaction and demand that relies on numerous unproven assumptions. The Commission encourages the Postal Service to consider the full recommendations outlined in its advisory opinion prior to implementing its plan. The Postal Service should: *Regularly update and publicly communicate realistic targets throughout its implementation *Ensure cost savings are realized but balanced with and not prioritized over maintaining high-quality service standards *Closely monitor the implementation of its plan to determine whether the new potential surface transportation network actually increases efficiency and capacity utilization *Monitor more closely customer satisfaction going forward, particularly for customer and mailer segments that the change may most impact *Be more transparent in the feedback it receives from stakeholders and keep its plan flexible to the needs of customers, stakeholders, and the general public *Not rely upon its filed econometric analysis to estimate the impact of the proposed service changes on volume
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.5% in June after falling 1% in May. In June, the index equaled 111.6 (2015=100) compared with 113.3 in May. “Tonnage has definitely flattened out, on average, over the last six to nine months,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The good news is that it remains slightly above 2020 levels. “Supply chain issues are likely putting some downward pressure on tonnage,” he said. “But it is also likely that tonnage isn’t growing as much as it could because of industry-specific supply constraints. This index is dominated by contract freight, and the for-hire truckload carriers have seen their tractor counts fall because they are having difficulty finding qualified drivers. It is difficult to move more tonnage with less equipment, which is why we are seeing strong volumes in the spot market as shippers scramble to get loads moved.”
Pregis is announcing a $80 million investment in a new, state-of-the-art blown film extrusion facility in Anderson, South Carolina. Headed by industry veterans, the 168,000 square foot facility will feature multiple newly-installed lines that will be producing the latest engineered films to be used downstream to manufacture performance-oriented, packaging solutions for food, CPG and medical applications. The plant will also include a world-class film laboratory to develop and test materials. In keeping with Pregis’ previously announced 2K30 environmental goals, the Anderson facility will also feature the latest in energy-efficiency in manufacturing and other plant functions.
Allen Press announced today that Mark Kohlhase has been named Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Kohlhase had been serving as the Interim CEO since January 2020. As CEO, Kohlhase will continue overseeing all aspects of the company and setting long-term strategic goals and objectives. “Providing excellent customer service has been and continues to be my primary focus,” Kohlhase said. “As CEO, I believe that a servant leadership approach and a laser-like focus on our customers’ well-being will help us create long-term stability for Allen Press.” Kohlhase will continue to focus on the core competencies of commercial printing and scholarly publishing services that are Allen Press mainstays.
DS Smith has proposed sale of its De Hoop paper mill in the Netherlands to De Jong Packaging for a cash consideration of €50 million (c. £43 million). The mill produces c.370k tonnes of mainly heavier grades of recycled paper per annum. The sale supports our strategy to have a “short paper” position in Northern Europe where there is a greater amount of external paper capacity available to the Group and also further aligns our internal paper production with our priorities in light-weight fibre-based packaging solutions for FMCG and e-commerce customers.
International technology Group ANDRITZ has launched CircleToZero®, a holistic program for the pulp-producing industry with the goal of providing strong support to customers in their efforts to achieve maximum, sustainable production, aiming at zero emissions and zero waste production. Pairing in-house innovations with ANDRITZ’s proven and state-of-the-art technologies, CircleToZero will enable the pulp-producing industry to either eliminate or make use of side streams in pulp production and convert by-products into new added-value products.
Strong sales growth continued throughout the second quarter, driven by volume growth, product mix and higher prices. Sales volumes increased compared to the same period last year despite different timing in the maintenance schedule. Profitability continued to strengthen with excellent cash flow delivery in the second quarter. Halfway into 2021, we experienced strong demand and a good sales momentum for all our product segments. *Net sales grew by 6% to SEK 6 504 million (6 156) Excluding currency effects net sales grew by 9% *Adjusted EBITDA* increased by 14% to SEK 883 million (774) *Operating profit amounted to SEK 404 million (245) *Net profit was SEK 311 million (202) *Earnings per share amounted to SEK 1.50 (0.98)
Canfor Corporation is announcing the curtailment of approximately 115 million board feet of production capacity at its Canadian sawmills during the third quarter of 2021 due to the significant supply chain challenges and transportation backlog in Western Canada as a result of the extreme wildfire conditions. “The wildfires burning in Western Canada are significantly impacting the supply chain and our ability to transport product to market. As a result, we are implementing short-term production curtailments at our Canadian sawmills beginning July 26. We are developing site specific plans to minimize the impacts to our employees and contractors,” said Stephen Mackie, Executive Vice President, North American Operations, Canfor.
Unilever, together with Mondi, have developed a new high barrier paper-based packaging material for Unilever’s Colman’s dry Meal Maker and Sauces range by reducing plastic, increasing paper content, and consequently ensuring recyclability in the existing UK paper waste stream. By replacing the previous unrecyclable multi-material laminate with recyclable paper packaging, Mondi supports Unilever in its sustainability targets. The aluminium, as well as all unnecessary plastic layers of the previous material, were eliminated. This resulted in a new packaging solution with paper content of 85% and an ultra-thin functional plastic layer that seals the packaging, and provides barrier protection for the food. Mondi and Unilever’s R&D teams identified this layer as the minimum acceptable protection needed to ensure a long shelf life while maintaining high quality and reducing food waste.
Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals, is joining forces with Pulpex Limited and its global consortium partners to collaborate on the ongoing evolution of the Pulpex eco-friendly paper bottle. Pulpex is a new world-leading sustainable packaging technology company established by venture management firm Pilot Lite and spirits producer Diageo. The company has developed the world’s first widely recyclable PET-free paper bottle made from sustainably sourced pulp. As a technology partner, Solenis will provide chemical solutions to optimize the PET-free paper bottle, including surface treatments to enhance its functional and visual properties. The Pulpex technology allows for embossing, debossing, labeling and direct printing with food-safe colored pigments and dyes to fit brand needs.
Bookstore sales continued their strong rebound from the lows of spring 2020. According to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau, bookstore sales soared 130% in May over May 2020, rising to $632 million. Last April and May saw the weakest bookstore sales performances of 2020, with sales in May 2020 totaling just $275 million. Compared to May 2019, May sales this year were down 9.2%.
The Association National Voluntary Forest Certification System, our member for Ukraine, is the latest national forest certification system to achieve PEFC endorsement. “The date 19 June 2021 has become a holiday for our organisation, the day our system was endorsed by PEFC,” said Mariya Maha, the National Secretary for the Association National Voluntary Forest Certification System. “It was a long, two-year path, with a lot of a challenges, but also with a lot of a small wins and the greatest thing is that we have made plenty of strong connections with all stakeholders.” After developing the national system in line with PEFC requirements, the Association submitted the system to PEFC for endorsement in 2020. The national system then underwent the PEFC assessment process, carried out by an independent PEFC Registered Assessor, as well as a public consultation.
According to the report, total printing-writing paper shipments increased 10 percent in June compared to June 2020. U.S. purchases of total printing-writing papers increased 16 percent in June compared to the same month last year. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels decreased four percent when compared to May 2021. U.S. purchases of uncoated free sheet (UFS) papers in June increased 16 percent compared to last June while the inventory level decreased three percent compared to May 2021. UFS imports decreased five percent while exports increased 33 percent in May 2021. Coated free sheet (CFS) paper shipments decreased four percent compared to June 2020 while the inventory level decreased six percent compared to May 2021. CFS imports decreased six percent while exports increased 58 percent in May 2021. U.S. purchases of coated mechanical (CM) papers in June increased 41 percent compared to last June while the inventory level decreased three percent compared to May 2021. CM imports and exports both increased compared to May 2020, up 29 percent and 41 percent respectively. Uncoated mechanical (UM) paper shipments decreased nine percent compared to June 2020 while the inventory level decreased five percent compared to May 2021. UM imports and exports both increased compared to May 2020, up 26 percent and 52 percent respectively.
Total packaging papers & specialty packaging shipments in June increased three percent compared to June 2020. They were up two percent when compared to the same six months of 2020. The operating rate was 90.2 percent, up 1.6 points from June 2020 and up 5.0 points year-to-date. Mill inventories at the end of June decreased 17,000 short tons from the previous month and were down 9,000 short tons compared to June 2020.
Total containerboard production in June increased nine percent compared to June 2020. It was up five percent when compared to the same six months of 2020. June 2021 production of containerboard for export decreased 15 percent compared to the same month last year; it was down 25 percent year-to-date. The containerboard operating rate was 92.7 percent, up 1.4 points from June 2020 and up 1.4 points year-to-date. Mill inventories of containerboard at the end of June decreased 74,000 short tons from the previous month and were down 76,000 short tons compared to June 2020.
Total boxboard production in June remained essentially flat (-0.1 percent) compared to June 2020. It was also essentially flat (-0.2 percent) when compared to the same six months of 2020. The boxboard operating rate was 92.7 percent, down 1.0 points from June 2020 and essentially flat (+0.4 pts.) year-to-date. Solid Bleached Boxboard production in June decreased eight percent compared to June 2020. It was down four percent when compared to the same six months of 2020. Recycled Boxboard production in June increased five percent compared to June 2020. It was down one percent when compared to the same six months of 2020. Unbleached Kraft & Gypsum production in June increased five percent compared to June 2020. It was up six percent when compared to the same six months of 2020.
International technology Group ANDRITZ has received an order from Shandong Huatai Paper Industry Shareholding to upgrade an existing BCTMP (bleached chemi-thermo-mechanical pulp) plant to become the world’s largest mechanical pulping line for P&W (Printing & Writing) paper production at the mill in Dongying, Shandong province, China. Start-up is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2022. ANDRITZ will rebuild two existing high-consistency (HC) refiners as well as the existing screw presses, disc filters and screens, and supply new equipment for all other process steps. The upgrade project features the following technological highlights: *New MSD Impressafiner with the latest IIoT features for optimum wood chip maceration and chemical impregnation *New Side-Entry Plug Feeder (SEPF) feeding system for constant and efficient HC refiner feeding *Rebuild of the existing HC refiners, including the Hydraulic Commander, to enable fully autonomous monitoring and control *New DCS system as a future-oriented control system for the new fiberline
The U.S. Postal Service reported initial fourth-quarter service delivery performance data that showed continued improvement from the third quarter across all First-Class, Marketing and Periodical mail categories. Fourth quarter service performance for July 1 through July 9 included: *First-Class Mail: Delivered 90.6 percent of First-Class Mail on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of more than 3 percentage points from the third quarter. *Marketing Mail: Delivered 91.6 percent of Marketing Mail on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with third quarter performance. *Periodicals: Delivered 84.7 percent of Periodicals on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of more than 5 percentage points from the third quarter.
The streak is over. The long run of unit sales of print books posting weekly sales gains over the comparable week in 2020 came to an end last week, with units falling 1.3% compared to the week ending July 11, 2020, at outlets the report to NPD BookScan. The decline is the result of continued pressure on nonfiction sales, particularly adult nonfiction, the industry’s largest category. Print sales fell 10.2% compared to a year ago in adult nonfiction. Last year at this time, books on race and social justice spurred by the #blackoutbestsellerlist campaign continued to sell in large numbers, taking up six of the top ten slots at the time. And John Bolton’s The Room Where It Happened, which was #1 on the category bestseller list, sold nearly 57,000 copies in the comparable week last year.
We’re partnering with One Tree Planted to plant more than 50,000 new trees across Europe and North America over the next five years as part of our commitment to protecting biodiversity and supporting the natural environment. This partnership is a new addition to the existing forestry and tree planting activity across our company. We’re committed to protect forests and enhance biodiversity wherever we operate by 2025. Through the DS Smith Charitable Foundation, we agreed to fund a tree for each of our 29,000 employees this year. The first wave of 15,000 trees will be planted in forests in Western Jutland, Denmark and in the Nucsoara commune of Argeș County, Romania. The remaining 14,000 trees for this year have been earmarked for other planting initiatives in Europe and North America.
Every barista knows that serving the perfect take-away coffee is not just about the coffee, but also about the entire customer experience. Packaging plays an essential role in delivering the best experience for consumers. “We have been observing take-away coffee aficionados and have focused on developing innovative sustainable packaging solutions to overcome the obstacles standing in the way of the ultimate experience. Whether your coffee is hot or cold, we have figured it out. Let me tell you how,” says Neal McCone, Category Director, Quick Service Restaurants and Specialty Coffee, Fiber and Foodservice Packaging at Huhtamaki.
Sun Chemical has launched two new color travel effect pigments, Reflecks™ MD Midnight Cherry and Reflecks™ MD Midnight Sapphire, to join its Reflecks™ MultiDimensions product family. These two blackened metallic-like effect pigments based on calcium sodium borosilicate, utilize innovative multilayer technology that delivers intense chroma, color travel, and sparkle. With a new patent-pending process, the absorption colorant is embedded within the coating, aiding in easier and faster formulation as well as benefitting the end customer by minimally staining the skin. Both new products utilize color travel. Reflecks™ MD Midnight Cherry shifts from red to green and Reflecks™ MD Midnight Sapphire shifts from blue to red. The intensity of the color travel is enhanced by the built-in background color using a cutting-edge process that embeds the absorption colorant into the coating layers. This process also aids in faster and easier formulation.
ANDRITZ Inc., a member of international technology Group ANDRITZ, has been selected by Domtar Corporation to provide equipment and technical services for conversion of a power boiler and a recovery boiler at their Kingsport paper mill, in Kingsport, TN, USA. As part of this state-of-the-art conversion, the Kingsport Mill needed to repurpose their steam generation equipment. ANDRITZ will convert an existing recovery boiler into a natural gas-fired power boiler with back-up fuel oil capability by supplying the main equipment, including low NOx burners and associated fuel and air systems. ANDRITZ will also provide equipment for the mill to modify an existing bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) power boiler so that it can accommodate a change in fuels from wood and sludge firing to corrugated cardboard (OCC) rejects, natural gas, and fuel oil firing. The scope of supply also includes boiler cleaning devices, pressure part upgrades, material handling equipment, air/flue gas system upgrades, and environmental equipment to enable the mill to meet the highest environmental standards.
Norske Skog’s EBITDA in the second quarter of 2021 was NOK 17 million, a decrease from NOK 112 million in the first quarter of 2021. The markets are still somewhat impacted by the Covid-19 imposed restrictions, but are expected to improve during the second half of the year as a result of substantial capacity closures and expected sales price increases. As announced earlier, Norske Skog’s board of directors made a EUR 250 million investment decision to convert one machine at the Golbey (France) industrial site from newsprint to recycled containerboard. This is the second major step of the two planned European conversion projects in the group’s strategy of establishing Norske Skog as a leading independent European producer of recycled containerboard. Cash flow from operations was NOK -190 million in the quarter compared to NOK 163 million in the previous quarter, mainly due to a combination of low sales prices and higher energy and recovered paper costs during the quarter. Operating earnings in the second quarter of 2021 were NOK -277 million compared to operating earnings in the first quarter of 2021 of NOK 204 million. The quarter was negatively affected by restructuring expenses, mainly related to the closure of the Tasman mill, amounting to NOK 160 million. Net loss in the quarter was NOK 355 million compared to a net profit of NOK 194 million in the previous quarter. Net interest-bearing debt was NOK 779 million at the end of the second quarter, with an equity ratio of 41 %.
With the rise of e-commerce, many brands are experiencing leakages, costly returns and brand reputation damage when trying to force traditional brick-and-mortar liquid packaging formats through the rigors of the online fulfilment supply chain. Liquibox and WestRock, two leaders in sustainable packaging, present a Ships In Own Container (SIOC) bag-in-box solution for Amazon that delights consumers, reduces waste and ensures products arrive undamaged. The combination of Liquibox's first-to-market recycle-ready Liquipure™ flexible packaging, its wide portfolio of dispensing taps and fitments and WestRock's high impact Meta® box designs, means the most optimal e-commerce liquid format is now within reach for beverage, liquid food and home care brands that want to grow in online retail. Through this partnership, customers have access to a turn-key solution to start selling online in no time that covers everything from packaging, service and testing needs to the filling and mandrel case forming equipment. Bag-in-box is one of the fastest growing segments in the liquid packaging market, expected to reach over 2 billion liters of global volume annually by the year 2024 (source: GlobalData).
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.163; Month Ago: $3.075; Year Ago: $2.201. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.270; Month Ago: $3.217; Year Ago: $2.438.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.794091; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.154536; American Dollar to Euro = 1.179405; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009073; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.050337.
Domtar Corporation announced it will restart a paper machine at its Ashdown, Arkansas, mill to add the capacity necessary for the company to meet increasing customer demand. After a period of time to ramp up production, the machine is expected to resume full operation in January 2022, allowing Domtar to add 185,000 tons of uncoated freesheet capacity to its manufacturing network. The strategic initiative will help the company maintain its leadership position in the North American uncoated freesheet paper market and deliver the service and quality its customers expect. The company estimates the restart will cost approximately $10 million. A portion of the increased paper capacity may be utilized to increase thermal coated paper capacity at Domtar's West Carrolton, Ohio, facility to meet improving demand for its thermal point of sale paper.
European Commission has yesterday, 14th of July, published an extensive set of proposals on climate and energy policies, framing the pathway to carbon neutrality by 2050. These proposals begin a lengthy process to agree on the details. UPM is committed to supporting EU’s climate goals and has committed to the UN’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C. “We are in a unique position to offer positive climate impact through sustainable forestry, emission reductions in operations and by providing climate-friendly alternatives for substituting fossil consumption. The proposal sets a clear signal for the need to reduce emissions and focus on zero-emission energy”, states Stefan Sundman, Vice President, Public Affairs, UPM. In recent years, UPM has strongly invested in innovations that provide renewable drop-in solutions to substitute fossils. For example, UPM has invested heavily in biorefineries that provide new sustainable alternatives in advanced biofuels and biochemicals.
PEFC is embarking on a four-year journey with the ASEAN Furniture Industry Council (AFIC) to improve sustainability outcomes throughout the furniture supply chain in the ASEAN region. As consumers worldwide demand sustainable products across a variety of fields, every industry must adapt to satisfy their requests. Furniture customers are no different, and sustainable furniture is a highly sought-after product. Furniture supply chain sustainability and responsible procurement are critical to make sure that we all benefit from the many products that forests provide now, while ensuring these forests will be around for generations to come. AFIC and PEFC are therefore starting on a strategic four-year sustainability roadmap to promote furniture supply chain sustainability and responsible procurement.
Trees and wood fiber are more than just the renewable natural resources from which we make our everyday products. They serve as an important source of renewable energy. In 2020, 73 percent of the energy for our pulp and paper mills came from renewable sources. This is better than the industry average of about 65 percent, according to the American Forest and Paper Association. Our mills also generated the equivalent of 71 percent of their electricity needs, reducing their dependence on the grid. This renewable energy comes from biomass — byproducts from our manufacturing process, such as black liquor, bark and wood residues. Unlike coal or other fossil fuels, energy captured from biomass results in net zero emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the long term. Biomass (wood, wood waste and biofuels) is the United States’ largest source of domestic renewable energy, supplying more energy than wind and solar combined.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö is dedicated to providing sustainable alternatives to non-renewable plastic materials in everyday life. Two new technologies further this goal, solidifying the important role that paper will play in an eco-friendly future. EnduraFlex™ technology creates stretch in crepe and extensible papers, resulting in a product that can compete with alternative flexible materials. Extensible papers are structured to accommodate stretch; the surface of the paper is not affected by its inherent flexibility. Likewise, crepe papers produced with EnduraFlex™ technology showcase new levels of stretch without compromising appearance or functionality. The end uses of EnduraFlex™ papers are widely variable, ranging from use in construction materials to e-commerce and decorative packaging solutions. HydroSize™ papers offer a sustainable alternative to traditional waterproof materials. Ahlstrom-Munksjö has developed enhanced water resistance within paper fibers and structure, preventing product saturation. The resulting papers are able to repel water and other liquids for long periods. This new technological opportunity provides consumers with a water resistant option in several different areas, including agriculture, gardening and various e-commerce packaging solutions such as cold chain insulated packaging.
L Brands, Inc. reported net sales of $2.351 billion for the nine weeks ended July 3, 2021, compared to net sales of $1.369 billion for the nine weeks ended July 4, 2020. Second quarter 2020 sales were negatively impacted by the closure of stores for approximately half the quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales for the first nine weeks of the second quarter of 2021 increased 12 percent compared to sales of $2.101 billion for the same period of 2019. Bath & Body Works net sales were $1.239 billion for the nine-week period ended July 3, 2021, compared to net sales of $743.5 million for the nine weeks ended July 4, 2020. Bath & Body Works sales for the first nine weeks of the second quarter of 2021 increased 48 percent compared to the same period of 2019. Victoria’s Secret net sales were $1.112 billion for the nine-week period ended July 3, 2021, compared to net sales of $625.7 million for the nine weeks ended July 4, 2020. Victoria’s Secret comparable sales for the first nine weeks of the second quarter of 2021 increased 3 percent compared to the same period in 2019.
Verso Corporation confirmed that it has received an unsolicited proposal from Atlas Holdings LLC regarding a potential transaction to acquire all outstanding shares of Class A common stock of Verso for $20.00 per share in cash. Consistent with its fiduciary responsibilities, Verso's Board of Directors, in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, will carefully review and evaluate the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interests of Verso and its stockholders. Verso stockholders need take no action at this time.
Paperboard production at the Metsä Board Husum mill has resumed to normal production levels following a fire at the pulp mill's wood chip conveyor on 18 June. The mill's folding boxboard line (BM1) and white kraftliner production line (BM2) have reached full production levels. The paperboard production was run at lower-than-normal capacity during the pulp mill’s standstill. Production at Husum pulp mill's hardwood pulp line has restarted this past weekend and production at the softwood pulp line is currently estimated to restart by the end of this week. Normal pulp production levels are expected to be resumed within the next week.
Count on SPC for creative that drives results. Our talented team was recognized by the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing (CADM) Tempo Awards for producing a campaign that boosted response by 44% against the control. SPC won four awards across three categories: *First Place in the Direct Mail Category *First Place for Copywriting *Second Place for Copywriting (additional submission) *Third Place for Art Direction. Award nominees are judged by industry experts with extensive experience and understanding of successful direct marketing programs, an eye for unique and engaging tactics, and overall understanding of direct response best practices.
Mail order and publishing executives once followed every hiccup within the U.S. Postal Service. Their businesses depended on it. Those days aren’t over for publishers, judging by an article that appeared last week in The Washington Post. Periodical rates could leap by 8% on Aug. 29, a potentially devastating hit to struggling community newspapers, forcing them to reduce staffs and distribution, critics say. Such a hike could be the tipping point for survival for those publishers, Paul Boyle, senior vice president at the News Media Alliance, told WaPo. However, the USPS contends the impact will not be that serious.
Aptar Food + Beverage’s Freyung site in Germany is excited to announce the achievement of the ISCC* PLUS Certification, a chain of custody certifications based on the mass balance model, that enables the use of resin from recycled mixed plastics feedstock or bio-based renewable feedstock. Consumer Product Goods (CPG’s) companies around the globe are increasingly searching for recycled polypropylene (rPP) materials for food products, but currently, rPP is not approved for food-grade products in Europe by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK. However, for companies in Europe who want access to recycled content polyolefins for food packaging, there is a solution that involves the ISCC PLUS ‘mass balance approach’. Aptar’s approach verifies, along the entire supply chain, the flow of materials.
Mondi Group and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), announce a three-year partnership to identify science-based viable responses to climate-related threats to forests and forest-based industries. This partnership comes at a crucial time when drought, extreme weather events and outbreaks of forest pests and diseases are causing severe damage to forests in many parts of the world. Joining forces to mitigate the impact of climate change is vital for people’s wellbeing, biodiversity, the economy and the forest industry, in particular.
Sappi Limited announces its partnership with EcoVadis, a global leader in third-party evaluations of business sustainability performance. The two companies will collaborate to assess the sustainability performance of Sappi’s suppliers through proactive ratings and evaluations using EcoVadis’ methodology. As a global forest products leader, Sappi produces pulp, paper and biomaterials made from woodfibre sourced from well-managed forests and plantations. Sappi’s partnership with EcoVadis demonstrates its commitment to sustainability by empowering the company to gain a clearer view of its supply chain and suppliers, evaluate and promote responsible business practices, and scale its collective contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as outlined in its Thrive25 business strategy.
Mt. Royal Printing, Baltimore, MD-based full-service print production company, has made tuck-in acquisitions of two Pennsylvania firms, Spectrum Printing, Inc., East Petersburg, and Shuman Heritage Printing Co., LLC, York. Graphic Arts Advisors, LLC (GAA), Mountain Lakes, NJ, an M&A advisory and consulting firm focused exclusively on the printing, packaging, mailing, marketing materials production, and related graphic communications industries, represented Mt. Royal in the transactions. Spectrum and Shuman represent the latest strategic transactions by the fourth-generation, family-owned Mt. Royal, which has used acquisition as a growth strategy for the past 15 years. The acquisitions represent Mt. Royal’s first foray outside of the greater Maryland / Washington, DC / Northern Virginia market.
Nordstrom and ASOS announced that Nordstrom has acquired a minority interest in the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands. This investment will help drive the growth of these brands globally, setting the stage for Nordstrom and ASOS to sit alongside a new wider strategic partnership. This innovative partnership will involve unprecedented collaboration and alignment, redefining the traditional retail/wholesale model. Whilst ASOS will retain operational and creative control of the Topshop brands, a shared ownership model will ensure close collaboration between the U.S. retailer and ASOS, driving a stronger future for the iconic Topshop brands worldwide. Nordstrom is a leading multichannel retailer, with unmatched physical and digital reach in North America, operating two powerful brands with over 350 physical stores and sites that attract almost 2 billion annual visits. The retailer has been the exclusive distributer of Topshop and Topman in the U.S. since 2012 when they became the first to bring the brand to the U.S. market. Nordstrom will now have the exclusive multi-channel retail rights for Topshop and Topman in all of North America, including Canada and own a minority stake globally. The retailer will also become the only brick and mortar presence for these brands worldwide.
Give your challenging pressure-sensitive applications a strong base with Linerset, Lecta’s new release liner. The Linerset paper range guarantees high performance for all your self-adhesive materials in labelling, graphic films, tapes and industrial applications. Linerset CCK and Linerset CCK Duo are the first products from this new release liner range. Linerset CCK is a one-side clay-coated release paper for siliconization with good dimensional stability and lay-flatness. Available from 55 to 135 g/m², lower substances are generally used for labelling and the higher substances for graphic film applications. Linerset CCK Duo is a two-side clay-coated release paper for siliconization with a special reverse side treatment. With good dimensional stability as well and extra lay-flatness, the 120 to 135 g/m² substances from have been specially developed for graphic film applications. Additional Linerset glassine and Linerset SCK release liners will also be available soon in order to expand the new Linerset range.
Hearst Magazines announced that Runner’s World is the recipient of two prestigious awards, a Pulitzer Prize and a National Magazine Award, both in the Feature Writing category, for “Twelve Minutes and a Life,” a story about the tragic killing of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. The announcement was made by Hearst Magazines President Debi Chirichella. “Twelve Minutes and a Life,” published in Runner’s World’s September/October 2020 issue and written by contributor Mitchell S. Jackson, examines racism in running in America and recounts the last 12 minutes of the young Black man’s life as he was chased and fatally shot while jogging near his home. “Hearst has a long history of important reporting and storytelling in serving our communities,” said Hearst President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Swartz. “Runner’s World’s remarkable piece, covering a crucial topic and a devastating incident in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, is a significant example of our duty as journalists to tell these stories. Congratulations to Mitchell S. Jackson and the Runner’s World team on these well-deserved honors from two of the most prestigious awards in our industry.”
In the first half of 2020, unit sales of print books surprised many in the industry by posting a 2.9% increase over the same period in 2019 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan, overcoming a slump in sales in early spring following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Print sales finished 2020 up 8.2% over 2019, and that strong performance continued into 2021, with units jumping 18.5% in the first six months over the comparable period in 2020. With the exception of the juvenile nonfiction category, all the major publishing categories had double-digit sales increases in the first half of the year. Backlist had the strongest gains, up 21.4%, but frontlist sales were also solid, rising 12.4%. The increase in the first half of 2021 was led by the adult fiction category, where units rose 30.7%. The top seller in the category was Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds, which sold more than 558,000 copies since its release in early February (see “2021 Bestselling Print Books [So Far],” p. 6). The other top sellers in adult fiction were a mix of new releases and backlist titles.
Two Sides, are excited to announce its newest member, Pepper Communications Ltd. The planet positive marketing communications company that holds the environment at the heart of its operations. Pepper’s bespoke climate friendly production facility offers a complete end-to-end print solution to help solve clients’ direct mail challenges through bespoke campaigns and designs. The quality of their facilities enables them to offer a complete service from design and pre-press through to delivery and fulfilment. Their success is not only due to their quality of work; it is down to the passion from the team of craftsmen onboard and the way they treat their clients and the environment. “At Pepper, we don’t settle for a job well done, we strive for the ‘WOW’ factor. We ensure quality and speed to market, whilst ensuring our impact on the environment is climate positive always.” says Jake Whitford, Operations Director at Pepper Communications.
To meet customer demand for sustainable direct thermal printing labels, Neenah announces the market launch of water-dispersible DISPERSA® DT (Direct Thermal), an innovative extension to its popular DISPERSA® portfolio. DISPERSA DT was developed as a sustainable solution for applications such as food rotation labels and reusable plastic container labels. Using the innovative technology developed for their paper-based DISPERSA line, Neenah added a direct thermal print coating to DISPERSA DT labels that are designed to disperse in water along with any imprinted or handwritten graphics. “In direct thermal printing, media selection has a direct impact on the life of the print head. Our proprietary direct thermal coating is less abrasive which contributes to less coating residue build up on the print heads and more life out of your equipment,” says Kelli Clark, Label Product Manager for Neenah.
The U.S. Postal Service reported third quarter FY 2021 service performance improvements over the second quarter across First-Class Mail, Marketing Mail and Periodicals. The quarter was USPS’s strongest quarterly service performance for all mail categories since the third quarter of FY2020. Third quarter FY2021 (covering the weeks of April 1 through June 30) performance numbers include: *First-Class Mail: 87.5 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a more than 9 percentage point increase over the second quarter. *Marketing Mail: 91.0 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a nearly 6 percentage point increase over the second quarter. *Periodicals: 79.2 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a nearly 8 percentage point increase over the second quarter.
Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $18.92 billion for the retail month of June, the five weeks ended July 4, 2021, an increase of 16.9 percent from $16.18 billion last year. For the forty-four weeks ended July 4, 2021, the Company reported net sales of $161.09 billion, an increase of 18.1 percent from $136.37 billion last year. This year’s June retail month had one fewer shopping day versus last year, due to the calendar shift of Memorial Day. This shift negatively impacted sales by approximately one and one-half to two percent.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis has signed into law a privacy bill that will require companies to honor people's requests to opt out of targeted advertising -- including requests that consumers make through browser settings or other global mechanisms. With the move, Colorado is joining California, Virginia and Maine in requiring companies to allow state residents to wield more control over ad personalization. Colorado's "Protect Personal Data Privacy" (SB 21-190), signed Wednesday and slated to take effect in July of 2023, obligates companies to allow state residents opt out of the processing of their personal data for ad targeting. Personal data includes information that's “linked or reasonably linkable” to identified or identifiable individuals -- which covers a great deal of data used for personalized ads.
Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. is pleased to introduce the AccurioPress C7100 series, digital color presses packed with innovative technologies to create more profitable business opportunities. From intelligent automation and enhanced finishing to flawless quality, advanced capabilities and exceptional durability, customers have the power to grow their businesses through a press that works smarter. Succeeding the highly successful AccurioPress C6100 Series, the new AccurioPress C7100 model runs at 100 pages per minute (ppm) with the AccurioPress C7090 at 90ppm. With a focus on optimizing performance, offering new and advanced print products, and growing the entire business, the AccurioPress C7100 series serves more customers and completes more jobs with innovative technologies that power success. “Key to the development of the AccurioPress C7100 and AccurioPress C7090 was building a press that works smarter, not harder, with new technologies geared to provide stability, reliability and productivity to make businesses more profitable,” said Dino Pagliarello, Senior Vice President, Product Management and Planning.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.143; Month Ago: $3.067; Year Ago: $2.189. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.260; Month Ago: $3.202; Year Ago: $2.439.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.800388; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.154314; American Dollar to Euro = 1.185789; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009086; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.050218.
Huhtamaki, a key global provider of sustainable packaging solutions, is launching Futuro, the first 100% plastic free egg carton for cooked colored eggs, across markets in Europe. This innovation is especially relevant to the German market, where hard-boiled eggs or “Bunte Eier” remain a popular snack and an addition to lunch or dinner, with more than 80 million packs sold yearly. Hard-boiled eggs are currently regularly packed and sold in plastic packaging for sale in supermarkets. “This is a step forward in helping our customers meet their sustainability targets and drive a circular economy. By simply switching to our fiber based Futuro cartons, Germany could eliminate almost 2,400 metric tons of plastic from packaging for eggs yearly”, says Hilbrand van Dijk, Sales & Marketing Manager at Huhtamaki.
Truck driver shortages, widespread port congestion, and skyrocketing container costs are among the biggest challenges facing the book industry supply chain for the rest of the year and into 2022, panelists on a July 6 BISG webinar looking at freight and shipping issues agreed. Book International’s v-p of global business development David Hetherington said that, in all his time in the book business, he has never seen such pressure building in the supply chain as is happening now. He predicted that things could get worse as more buying shifts online and more packages need to go directly to consumers’ homes. Hetherington, along with Ryan Forbes of Readerlink and Susie Scally of the international logistics firm Meadows Wye, also agreed that now is not the time for publishers to negotiate with trucking companies or the major delivery services. The lack of freight capacity is a real issue, Forbes said, and companies don’t need to yield on price.
Sonoco announced new commitments to advance its environmental progress by setting ambitious goals to reduce its global greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement – to limit global temperatures to warming to well-below 2° C above pre-industrial levels. These emission reduction targets have recently been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Sonoco has committed to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2030 from a 2020 base year. The Company has also committed to reduce absolute scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 13.5 percent from a 2019 base year by working with its customer and suppliers to develop innovative packaging solutions that reduce packaging waste and improve recyclability. In addition, the Company is actively studying necessary operational changes, technology developments and market changes that would be required to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emission by 2050.
Sonoco provided a progress report on Project Horizon, its $115 million investment to transform its corrugated medium machine in Hartsville, S.C. to a state-of-the-art uncoated recycled paperboard operation with annual production capacity of 180,000 tons. “The conversion of our corrugated medium machine (#10 machine) to URB is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2022, and there are a number of significant construction projects underway that will modernize the infrastructure of the entire Hartsville Mill Complex and allow for more efficient and safe handling of raw materials and finished goods,” said Tim Davis, Division Vice President and General Manager, Paper & Adhesives, U.S./Canada. A key element of Project Horizon is construction of a new stock prep system to provide approximately 650 tons per day of recycled fiber to the rebuilt #10 machine and other Hartsville cylinder machines.
Aptar will leverage YAT’s expansive market insight database, focused on specific consumer skincare needs and skincare profiles, and will use YAT’s in-depth experience in customized turnkey solutions as well as online product distribution and promotion to bring new solutions to market. The collaboration will significantly bolster Aptar’s product and service offerings in China, along with innovation capabilities, by combining Aptar’s expertise in innovative, sustainable and quality manufacturing of packaging solutions together with YAT’s profound understanding of the Chinese consumer, concept design and development expertise, digital marketing capabilities and ingredient based influencer pool, which are increasingly essential in accelerating new product launches that are well received by the market.
Carbon sequestration efforts can help address climate change. Among the efforts championed by scientists and politicians, trees could be among the most significant. With more than a century of experience and expertise in sustainable forestry, we see the many environmental benefits of trees and responsibly managed forests. Our work with forest certification organizations and landowners has contributed to keeping the forests near our pulp and paper mills healthy and profitable. We source wood responsibly, with 41 percent of our wood deliveries in 2020 coming from third-party certified forests, and we are committed to keeping forests as forests by planting more trees to replace those that are used to produce paper and wood pulp.
Mondi extends its Color Copy original flagship range with extra-long digital formats (with lengths up to 1200mm) to meet the growing demand for digitally printed applications and allows for a host of new print applications. The papers offer the highest possible quality in digital colour printing and provide customers the choice between different long-sheet applications, (personalised for each customer), both in large scale or single items. Color Copy original ELDFs are compatible with all major printing machine manufacturers e.g. Konica Minolta, Ricoh, Xerox, Canon and others. The range is both FSC® and EU Ecolabel certified as well as part of the Green Range, Mondi´s umbrella trademark for sustainable paper solutions, and has a ColorLok® certification for excellent colour reproduction and faster drying in inkjet printing. "It is always our goal to produce high quality products that meet evolving needs and are sustainable by design. Color Copy original ELDFs are the perfect addition to our longstanding product range as we keep pushing the barrier in innovation." Johannes Klumpp, Marketing & Sales Director at Mondi Uncoated Fine Paper
Corporate giants are increasingly making ambitious climate policies, pledging to slash emissions and become more sustainable in the coming years. Companies from Google to Estée Lauder have made a pledge. These commitments create ripple effects throughout the supply chain, pushing other firms to become more sustainable themselves if they want to do business with the corporate giants. “It’s in [suppliers’] best interest to get on board with sustainability and show results,” Phil Riebel, the president of Sustainable Paper Group, tells NPTA’s Lauren Liacouras in the latest PaperChain Chat. Sustainable Paper Group has a tool that makes it easy for the paper industry to prioritize sustainability: the Environmental Paper Assessment Tool (EPAT). Riebel describes EPAT as a “sustainability scorecard for paper products and paper-based packaging.” EPAT uses more than 25 metrics to measure and examine the environmental footprint of different paper products. Watch the full interview on Youtube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btufIaIBZVs
Marco Hilty, (49), Ph.D. in Business Administration from University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), has been appointed President, Flexible Packaging and a member of the Global Executive Team at Huhtamaki as of September 1, 2021. He will report to President and CEO Charles Héaulmé and will be based in Ronsberg, Germany. Marco joins Huhtamaki from Rubicon, a software platform that provides smart waste and recycling solutions for businesses and governments worldwide. Prior to Rubicon, he held several leadership roles with Amcor in Switzerland and in the United States, covering Group Sales and Commercial Excellence, lastly as Vice President for Amcor Flexibles in North America. Prior to Amcor, Marco worked as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company in the United States and Switzerland.
PawPrint™ Pet Food Packaging Papers offer sustainable alternatives for flexible pet food packaging needs. PawPrint™ papers provide pet food brand owners functional yet visually attractive pet food packaging – inside and out- to help them eliminate the need for single-use plastic with a more sustainable alternative. “The marketplace is constantly moving to more sustainable, recyclable and chemical-free options for packaging, including pet food packaging,” said Jeff Murphy, V¬ice President of Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s Food Packaging business. “Our FluoroFree® technology, in addition to our other continuous innovations, are best positioned to help brand owners meet these goals.”
Leading retailers H&M Group, Ingka Group (IKEA), Kingfisher plc and Walmart today launched a new climate change initiative – the Race to Zero Breakthroughs: Retail Campaign – in partnership with the COP26 High Level Climate Action Champions and supported by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Retailers have pledged their support to accelerate a movement in the retail industry to drive climate action and encourage other retailers to set out their plans to achieve 1.5 degree aligned carbon reduction targets. The retail sector faces unprecedented challenges due to climate change, which have only been accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The imperative to take action to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius has never been higher. Despite bold actions from some leading retail brands, a decarbonization pathway for the sector is notably absent, with only 5% of retail businesses – by total global industry revenues – having committed to taking action to limit global warming in accordance with the Paris Agreement goals.
Two Sides North America is pleased to announce that DPI Direct (www.dpidirect.com) has joined our community of advocates for the sustainability of print, paper and paper-based packaging. Headquartered in Poway, California, DPI Direct specializes in UV-offset, Indigo digital, labels and large format printing, and offers a wide array of marketing services, from direct mail and trade show booths to retail signage and point-of-purchase displays. “Printers are on the front lines when it comes to educating brands, retailers and other stakeholders about the inherent sustainability of print and paper, so we’re especially excited to have a premier West Coast printer like DPI Direct join Two Sides,” says Two Sides President Kathi Rowzie. “Small and medium size printers like DPI Direct are a key part of our network and our education efforts, helping us reach many print buyers who want to make sustainable communications choices but often don’t know the facts about paper’s contributions to a more sustainable, circular economy.”
ePac Flexible Packaging announced they have entered into a global agreement with Scantrust to bring smart, connected packaging solutions to brands of all sizes, including small and medium-sized businesses. Through ePacConnect, which was announced in October of 2020, ePac and Scantrust together offer secure, serialized QR codes on all of its packaging and provide access to a suite of Scantrust applications for consumer engagement, brand protection, and track and trace. With ePacConnect, all packaging can be born digital, each with a unique digital identity. When scanned by a simple smartphone camera, every package becomes a gateway to 2-way communication between brands and consumers. The companies expect billions of pouches to be produced with ePacConnect over the coming years.
Tetra Pak has today been recognised as one of the world’s 50 Sustainability and Climate Leaders. The leading food processing and packaging solutions company has been acknowledged for its commitment to pioneer a sustainable future, with a documentary showcasing its fascinating journey. The video features interviews with members of Tetra Pak’s Global Leadership Team, highlighting how the role of food sector in tackling climate change is becoming even more imperative. They explain why accelerating de-carbonisation and collaborations is critical to lead the sustainability transformation of the food packaging industry – addressing complex and multi-faceted challenges such as global warming, circularity and biodiversity. Food is a critical but often overlooked element of the climate issue. The global food system accounts for 26% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions1, while 8% of total emissions are caused by food waste2.
Paper Excellence announced that it recently donated 9,000 jack pine seedlings to the James Smith Cree Nation. James Smith Cree Nation is located on Treaty 6 territory, approximately 60 kilometres east of Prince Albert. The jack pine is native to Saskatchewan and produces excellent habitat for local plant and animal species. The seedlings planted this year will grow to become a forest on the James Smith Cree reserve. “Paper Excellence understands the importance of being good neighbours and greatly values its relationships with Indigenous communities,” said Carlo Dal Monte, Vice President Energy and Strategic Development for Paper Excellence. “We’re pleased to be able to make this donation to the James Smith Cree Nation and, in a small way, support their connection to the land and desire to invest in sustainable forestry.”
ANDRITZ is providing – on EPCC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Civil Construction) basis – four of the six most important process islands in the pulp mill: *A complete Wood Processing Plant using ANDRITZ’s proven technologies. *An ANDRITZ HERB Recovery Boiler with high steam parameters of 101 bar(a) and 515°C to maximize power generation. *Two environmentally friendly hardwood Fiberlines, for capacities of 2.6 to 2.8 million t/y of kraft pulp or 1.5 million t/y of dissolving pulp. *Two innovative EvoDry Pulp Drying Systems for the most energy-efficient pulp drying based on the high-capacity Twin Wire Former technology. *ANDRITZ is also supplying a Non-Condensable Gas (NCG) treatment system that enables safe and environmentally friendly treatment of all types of diluted or concentrated malodorous gases, thus meeting the strictest environmental and social requirements.
“Der Papyrer von der Goeltzsch,” a collaborative project between companies Koehler Paper, RISSMANN, druckpartner and bellazinnfigur, focuses on two traditional handcrafts: namely, paper production and tin casting. These two traditional materials also have a big future too. Paper and tin are natural products that provide a real sensory experience. The project stands for outstanding craftsmanship, responsible production, sensory materials, and sustainable use of resources. Above all, it shows how sustainability and high-quality packaging can be combined to produce luxury items. Koehler Paper came up with the idea of producing sustainable yet high-quality packaging, containing a historical tin figure. The limited-edition box contains a high-quality printed and finished booklet containing interesting information on the “Papyrer von der Goeltzsch”, as well as a postcard and a tin figure. “Our recycling paper are a sustainable alternative for use in luxury packaging, with no compromises made in terms of quality, reliability or appearance. The ‘Papyrer von der Goeltzsch’ project is a great example of this,” stresses Udo Hollbach, CEO of Koehler Paper at the Greiz mill.
Designed as one of the most efficient specialty paper machines in the world, Koehler Paper commissioned Voith's production line 8 at its Kehl mill at the end of October 2019 - after a previous project time of only around two and a half years. Thanks to ongoing optimization, the company recently achieved a groundbreaking level of performance for the production of around 40 gsm base paper at a continuous speed of more than 1,400 m/min. Thanks to intensive cooperation, permanent project support and continuous optimization from Koehler and Voith, the line achieved an average speed of 1,410 m/min over a period of 24 hours as well as a maximum value of 1,432 m/min - a world record for the MG paper machine.
Norske Skog has expanded its partnership with Ocean GeoLoop to support development, testing and commercialisation of their highly promising Carbon Capture, Storage and Utilisation (CCS/CCU) technologies. Through this partnership, Norske Skog aims to pursue the opportunity to become CO2 net negative, and to explore economically viable models for utilisation of biogenic CO2. “The green shift has been a key priority at Norske Skog for several years. In Norway in 2020, our fossil CO2 emissions were just above 15,000 tonnes out of Norway’s total of approximately 50 million tonnes. The reduction of fossil CO2 emissions has with significant success been incentivised by Governments and international organisations, but limited attention has been given to biogenic CO2 emissions. As Norske Skog is approaching zero fossil CO2 emissions in Norway, we will start to explore economically viable opportunities for utilisation of biogenic CO2.
Platinum Equity announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals used in water-intensive industries, from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (“CD&R”) and BASF in a transaction that implies an enterprise value for Solenis of $5.25 billion. As part of the transaction, Solenis is expected to merge with Sigura Water, an existing Platinum Equity portfolio company the firm acquired in 2019, for a total combined transaction value of approximately $6.5 billion. The combined company is expected to generate approximately $3.5 billion of revenue and serve a diverse range of customers around the world in consumer, industrial and pool water treatment markets. Founded in 1907 and headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, Solenis is a global leader in supplying innovative specialty chemicals and services for process, functional and water treatment applications to consumer and industrial markets.
Unit sales of print books rose 6.4% in the week ended June 26, 2021, over the comparable week in 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Adult fiction sales increased 28.1%, and the gains were achieved without any new releases making a splash. The President’s Daughter by James Patterson and Bill Clinton remained #1 on the category list, selling more than 30,000 copies. Two books released early this spring had good weeks: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry sold more than 21,000 copies, good enough for fourth place on the adult fiction list, and Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid was fifth, selling more than 18,000 copies. YA fiction sales jumped 49.6% over the week ended June 27, 2020, as books propelled by exposure on #BookTok continued to do well. Two such books, They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, finished first and second on this week’s category list, selling more than 17,000 copies and nearly 9,000 copies, respectively. The juvenile fiction category’s 11.2% sales increase was due in part to a new book: Alice Schertle’s Time for School, Little Blue Truck was #1 in the category, selling just over 24,000 copies.
Stakeholders from around the world are invited to give feedback on the revised Danish forest certification system. Deadline for comments is 2 September. Give your feedback now! PEFC Denmark revised the country’s national forest certification system following the entry into force of the revised 2018 PEFC Sustainable Forest Management standard. The Danish system was submitted to PEFC after being revised in line with PEFC requirements. 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.
The CANPACK Group is proud to announce that it was awarded a ‘White CSR Leaf’ by POLITYKA weekly, an award that had been assessed in cooperation with Deloitte and the Responsible Business Forum. In addition to receiving this accolade, CANPACK was also recognised as a ‘best practice’ organisation when it came to reducing its carbon footprint. The prestigious ‘White CSR Leaf’ accolade from POLITYKA weekly is awarded to companies that have been the most socially engaged over the last ten years. This year’s jubilee edition focused on company projects that reduced a business’s impact on the natural environment and climate, as well as initiatives to counter the economic and social effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Every year, the ranking is also accompanied by a review of initiatives supporting the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Out of over 100 initiatives supporting sustainable development, the most up-to-date practices that brought measurable and significant effects were recognised.
Cascades Inc. is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. to sell its 57.6% equity interest in Reno De Medici S.p.A. for an all-cash price of €1.45 per share, corresponding to a total net cash consideration of approximately €315.3 million. The purchase price is not subject to adjustment, except in case of potential leakages of value to the seller, provided that RDM's 2020 dividend that was paid to the shareholders in May 2021 will not be considered a leakage. The selling price represents a 24% premium to RDM's 90-day volume weighted moving average share price, and a 6.9x multiple to RDM's last twelve months adjusted operating income before depreciation as of March 31, 2021. Upon closing of the recently announced acquisition of Eska Group, the RDM group operations will grow to nine mills and five specialized cutting and sheeting centers across Europe and the USA.
The new 298,000 square foot facility will be located in McDonough, Georgia and is the latest in a series of investments in protective packaging manufacturing facilities to support e-commerce demand. Pregis recently announced two manufacturing facilities in Texas, one in Bethel, Pennsylvania, in addition to an existing facility in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. The McDonough facility will be producing the recently rebranded Pregis EverTec™ mailer which features lightweight, recyclable all-paper cushioned construction. Pregis is currently looking to fill 80 new manufacturing positions there, with room to expand production and employment opportunities in the future. In total, the new EverTec manufacturing locations are expected to create approximately 450 new jobs.
Smurfit Kappa Group, one of the world's largest integrated manufacturers of paper-based packaging products with operations in Europe and the Americas, is pleased to announce that it has completed the acquisition of Cartonbox, a folding carton company located in Monterrey, in the north-east of Mexico. The acquisition represents an important milestone for the Company as it strengthens its participation in the paper packaging solutions business in Mexico, expands its footprint to four folding carton locations in the country, and reaffirms its commitment to paper-based packaging as the core strategic business for the Company.
BillerudKorsnäs is introducing two new low grammages of their flagship cartonboard product, CrownBoard Prestige®. Made at KM7, the world’s most modern board machine, the two new low grammages are particularly interesting for the graphical industry. CrownBoard Prestige® 170 and 200 gsm combine an excellent printing surface with strength and shapeability. The technical properties of the board are due to the capabilities of KM7, including advanced coating technology and state-of-the-art online quality monitoring. Despite the low basis weights, it is a strong board, made of 100% primary wood fibres built up in a 3-ply structure. Thanks to the strength, it is possible to choose a light grammage to reduce packaging weight. With CrownBoard Prestige®, this can be done without compromising packaging performance.
Lecta has published its new 2020 Environmental Report, highlighting actions and improvements carried out over the last two years. As a responsible company firmly committed to sustainability, minimizing our environmental footprint is one of our main objectives. In a year marked by the devastating impact of the pandemic and the consequent loss of production efficiency, the new report shows how the primary environmental goals of this period were still achieved. It further defines new commitments for the future and an overall goal to return to the extraordinarily positive trends in our environmental parameters prior to COVID-19. The report also underscores the considerable organizational effort made in response to the pandemic to ensure to the greatest degree possible the health and safety of everyone who is part of Lecta, while maintaining operations and service to our customers, who serve essential market segments.
The U.S. Postal Service provided updated third quarter service performance data through the week of June 25th which shows consistent and improved delivery performance across all First-Class, Marketing and Periodical mail categories since the second quarter. Performance numbers below include the weeks of April 1 through June 25: *First-Class Mail: 87.5 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on-time against the USPS service standard, a more than 9 percent increase over the second quarter. *Marketing Mail: 90.9 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a nearly 6 percent increase over the second quarter. *Periodicals: 79.2 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a nearly 8 percent increase over the second quarter.
Fiction rode to the rescue again to lift up unit sales of print books 6.4% last week over the week ended June 27, 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Adult fiction sales increased 28.1%, young adult fiction sales jumped 49.6%, and juvenile fiction sales were up 11.2% over last year. The jumps offset continued weakness in adult nonfiction, the industry’s biggest category, where sales fell 8.7%. The big gain in adult fiction unit sales was notable since the increase was achieved without any new releases making a splash. The President’s Daughter by James Patterson and Bill Clinton remained #1 on the category list, selling more than 30,000 copies. Two books released early this spring had good weeks: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry, released on May 11, sold over 21,000 copies, good enough for fourth place on the adult fiction list; and Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, which came out on June 1, was fifth on the list, selling over 18,000 copies.
Novolex, an industry leader in packaging choice, innovation, and sustainability, announced it has acquired the business of Flexo Converters USA, Inc. and certain of its affiliates. The intention to acquire was originally announced May 17. Flexo is a manufacturer of stock, custom and recycled paper bags, and sacks. A family-owned business, Flexo was founded in 1994. It is headquartered and has a manufacturing facility in Meriden, CT and an additional plant in Monroe, GA. 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 and sacks as consumer purchasing patterns have shifted.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.126; Month Ago: $3.086; Year Ago: $2.179. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $3.245; Month Ago: $3.185; Year Ago: $2.438.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.805443; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.154360; American Dollar to Euro = 1.182332; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.008972; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.050121.
Silgan Holdings Inc. announced that, as part of the continuation of its long-term succession planning, its Board of Directors has appointed Adam J. Greenlee as Chief Executive Officer of the Company, effective September 1, 2021. Mr. Greenlee will also continue as President of the Company. Mr. Greenlee joined Silgan in 2005 and ran its North American Closures operations prior to being appointed Executive Vice President of the Company in October 2007. Mr. Greenlee was named Chief Operating Officer of the Company in 2009 and was appointed President of the Company in April 2019. Tony Allott has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Company since March 2006, only its second CEO since its founding in 1987. Mr. Allott will continue to serve as Executive Chairman of the Company. “Adam and I have worked closely together on every major activity of Silgan for the past decade and he has been responsible for the oversight of each of our operating businesses in recent years. Just as importantly, Adam understands and personifies the unique culture of our Company and has consistently shown his ability to deliver results as Silgan has continued on its path of growth and success. While I am sure his leadership will explore new ideas and opportunities, I am equally confident it will be founded on the ideals and principles that have served us so well in the past,” said Tony Allott, Chairman and CEO.
Neenah, Inc. announced a number of operational changes consistent with the Company’s commitment to accelerating growth, strengthening margins, and creating value for customers and shareholders. Actions include: *Investing $13 million in new release liner coating capacity in support of its growing specialty coatings business and the recent ITASA acquisition *Restarting an idled Fine Paper & Packaging asset in support of its premium packaging business *Ceasing operations at its Appleton, Wisconsin facility. “These actions will drive accretive value and accelerate efforts toward our long-term revenue growth goal of 5% annually with strong, consistent margins. Both the investment in coating capacity for release liners and the start-up of an idled asset in support of premium packaging are aligned with our strategy to extend our capabilities into larger, growing markets with customers that value unique, premium solutions,” said Julie Schertell, Neenah’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Closing a facility is always a difficult decision and not one we take lightly. This decision is not a reflection of our employees or their efforts, as the team has consistently worked hard to overcome obstacles, improve safety and drive results. We'll continue to provide innovative filtration solutions and serve customers from our other manufacturing facilities in Europe and North America.”
The Book Manufacturers Institute (BMI) recently commissioned well-known pollster Frank Luntz to find out how parents view the effectiveness of various learning materials, including books, textbooks and workbooks. The most definitive conclusion was that virtually every parent wants physical materials as part of student learning. 85% of parents want physical books in some form, and 88% think they are important and essential learning tools. In summarizing the study results, Luntz said, “With parents keenly aware of the shortcomings of online learning thanks to the pandemic, this finding is only surprising in its intensity and uniformity. Every demographic and geographic subgroup agrees: printed materials are essential to student learning.”
With pandemic lockdowns as a backdrop, banks, utilities, telecoms and other large service providers boosted their efforts to switch customers from paper to electronic communication over the last 15 months, and with those efforts came a new wave of misleading environmental claims about paper – greenwashing. The Two Sides Anti-Greenwashing Campaign mobilized to push back against this tide of new claims in January after a 10-month pandemic-related interruption, and wins have been steadily increasing. Thanks to this renewed effort, 14 companies have changed or removed misleading environmental claims related to print and paper so far this year, including large banks, utilities and notably, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, whose communications reach 44 million Americans or 15% of the U.S. population. This is in addition to seven wins in 2020 on greenwashing cases that were already in progress.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Heidi Brock issued the following statement in response to the Oregon Legislature passing the Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act (SB 582). “AF&PA looks forward to working with Oregon Governor Kate Brown and the Department of Environmental Quality DEQ to make sure that highly recycled materials, like paper, are not penalized or forced to subsidize plastic recycling. While well-intended, SB 582 has significant consequences for small businesses and manufacturers, including the paper and wood products industry, which employs more than 28,000 people in Oregon. “Oregon’s Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act may make sense for hazardous or hard-to-recycle materials. However, paper is a recycling success. Almost two-thirds of all paper was recycled last year, and for over a decade, paper recycling has met or exceeded 63 percent. AF&PA members have a demonstrated record making our products more sustainable and circular. We look forward to working on an implementation plan that recognizes the recycling and sustainability success of paper.”
Stora Enso has completed the co-determination negotiations concerning the closing down the pulp and paper production at its Kvarnsveden site in Sweden. The closure will take place by the end of the third quarter of 2021. In April 2021, Stora Enso announced a plan to permanently close down pulp and paper production at its Kvarnsveden site due to the declining paper market. As a result of the co-determination negotiations regarding the Kvarnsveden site, pulp and paper production will be closed permanently by the end of the third quarter of 2021.The customer service centre located at Kvarnsveden will be closed down by the end of 2021. Power plant will continue to operate, however only for the purpose of district heating and for maintaining buildings onsite. When the co-determination plan was announced in April, the maximum personnel impact was estimated to be 440 people. Following the closure decision, co-determination negotiations regarding personnel impact and the related redundancies will begin shortly. No lay-offs will be executed before these negotiations have been concluded.
Combined sales of comics periodicals and graphic novels in North America continued to climb in 2020, reaching approximately $1.28 billion, according to a joint estimate by pop culture trade news sites ICv2 and Comichron. The new estimate represents a 6% increase over 2019 combined sales. ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp said that in the face of a global pandemic, lockdowns, and widespread economic dislocation, consumer demand for comics and graphic novels continued to grow. “The challenges of retailing in the pandemic had profound impacts on the market, including the acceleration of trends that have been in place for years,” he reported.
WBA third quarter sales from continuing operations increased 12.1 percent from the year-ago quarter to $34.0 billion, an increase of 10.4 percent on a constant currency basis1, reflecting strong growth in the International segment, aided by the formation of the company's joint venture in Germany during the fiscal year, and solid growth in the United States segment. Operating income from continuing operations was $1.1 billion in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $1.7 billion in the year-ago quarter, primarily due to $2 billion non-cash impairment charges in the year-ago quarter related to goodwill and intangible assets in Boots UK. Total net earnings attributable to WBA were $1.2 billion compared with a loss of $1.7 billion in the year-ago quarter, reflecting non-cash impairment charges in the previous period, increased operating income in both segments and earnings from the company's equity method investment related to Option Care Health; this was partially offset by a higher effective tax rate driven by discrete items in the year-ago quarter. Total adjusted net earnings in constant currency increased 79.5 percent to $1.3 billion.
The Fashion for Global Climate Action initiative calls on the fashion industry to acknowledge the contribution of the sector to climate change and our shared responsibility to strive towards climate neutrality for a safer planet. Through collective action and bold leadership, we have the power to make this fast and drastic transformation. By signing the Charter, PEFC demonstrates our commitment to playing our part to ensure the fashion sector is on the path to a low-carbon future. We express our intent to support implementation of the principles enshrined in the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action in accordance with our mandates and to work collaboratively with our peers and relevant stakeholders to develop, implement and enhance the climate action agenda in fashion.
Sonoco announced it has entered into a new five-year $750 million revolving credit facility (the “Credit Agreement”) with a syndicate of banks. The Credit Agreement replaces an existing credit facility entered into on July 20, 2017, and reflects substantially the same terms and conditions. “We are pleased to upsize our prior $500 million committed credit facility with a new $750 million revolver and extend the maturity date for an additional five years. This new credit facility provides us with additional financial flexibility and reflects our strong credit profile. It also illustrates the solid relationships with our commercial banks,” said Julie Albrecht, Sonoco Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
Intertape Polymer Group Inc. announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Nuevopak Global Limited (“Nuevopak”) for approximately $43.8 million in total cash consideration, consisting of $34.8 million to be paid at closing and the remaining amount, subject to certain post-closing adjustments and potential contingent consideration, to be paid within three years from the date of closing. All amounts are in US dollars. Nuevopak designs and develops a range of machines to provide void-fill and cushioning protective packaging solutions. Nuevopak currently supplies IPG with paper dispensing machines and converted paper for protective packaging distribution in North America. Nuevopak is a privately held company headquartered in Hong Kong with subsidiaries in Jiangmen, China and Scheden, Germany that serve customers around the world, providing protective packaging solutions using a combination of world-class innovation and specialized industry experience. This acquisition is expected to further enhance IPG’s protective packaging business and strengthen its product bundle, thereby supporting IPG’s vision to be a global leader in packaging and protective solutions. The acquisition is also expected to enable IPG to secure dispensing machine supply, vertically integrate its paper converting operation, and expand market share in this growing, sustainability-focused market.
The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), the leading authority in sustainability certification for the printing industry, announced today that the Meyers Printing Companies, Inc. achieved SGP certification for its Minneapolis, MN facility. “Meyers believes in integrity and an important part of this is our environmental compliance and stewardship,” said Chris Dillion, President at Meyers. “Integrity is a central part of who we are. And to us, integrity and sustainability are intertwined. If you’re not thinking about how your work impacts those around you and those who will come after you, are you really working with integrity?” As a certified SGP printer, Meyers is committed to exceeding sustainability targets by reducing waste, conserving energy, sourcing sustainable materials, creating a safe workplace, continuous improvement, and lowering our carbon footprint. Each year sustainability projects are identified and tracked to document areas of improvement; an audit by the third-party certification organization occurs every two years.
Paper Excellence announced it has been voted one of Canada’s 2021 Best 50 corporate citizens by Corporate Knights. This is the fourteenth time that the company has achieved the Best 50 award with Corporate Knights. (Previous awards were presented to Catalyst Paper which is now wholly owned by Paper Excellence.) Paper Excellence operates six pulp and paper facilities in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The Best 50 award is judged using key performance indicators that relate to the organization’s raw resource use, emissions profile, social performance, safety performance, and percentage of revenue from clean sources.
2020 was a turbulent year and 2021 still is. Everybody around the world is dealing with the massive impact of the Corona (COVID-19) virus. It also impacted the results of Crown Van Gelder in 2020 but we were able to write black figures. Our priority was to protect the health of our employees and maintain the service to our customers within the given circumstances. After two years of research in 2020 Crown Van Gelder developed Crown Native with the Dutch agricultural cooperative Cosun Beet Company as a strategic partner. The agricultural process residue from Cosun’s production process, beet pulp, forms a valuable resource for the paper and Crown Van Gelder succeeded in creating paper made out of 20% beet pulp, thus achieving environmental gains in several areas. Crown Van Gelder will start selling paper made with sugar beet fibres in 2021.
Kimberly-Clark published its annual report on sustainability, providing the first update on the company's global progress toward its 2030 sustainability strategy and goals, aimed at addressing the social and environmental challenges of the next decade with commitments to improve the lives and well-being of 1 billion people in underserved communities around the world with the smallest environmental footprint. "Reflecting on the past year, I am incredibly proud of how Kimberly-Clark and our people responded in a powerful way when the world needed us the most," said Mike Hsu, Chairman and CEO, Kimberly-Clark. "We know the hard work is still ahead of us, and growing for good means that we must be bolder and act faster to help address the social and environmental challenges facing our customers, consumers, communities, and the planet."