The Alabama Media Group is killing the print editions of The Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times and the of Mobile. All three will cease on February 26, 2023. This is part of a restructuring by parent Advance Publications that also included New Orleans’ Times-Picayune, NPR writes. Bates continues that the combined circulation of the three titles was 260,000 a decade ago, but not is down to around 30,000. In contrast, AL.com pulls a million people a day, NPR continues.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.179; Month Ago: $3.495; Year Ago: $3.285. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $4.680; Month Ago: $5.178; Year Ago: $3.571.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.738714; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.144963; American Dollar to Euro = 1.067715; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.007585; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.051140.
A customer-led, technology-enabled revolution is transforming the retail industry. That’s according to global market intelligence firm IDC, which has released its annual “FutureScape: Worldwide Retail 2023 Top 10 Predictions.” The report predicts how the worldwide retail industry will evolve. Below are IDC’s top 10 predictions: 1. By 2025, 20% of the top 100 global retailers will drive holistic business result using distributed artificial intelligence (AI) systems with integrated data across retail planning, decisions, operations, and optimization. 2. By 2025, 50% of retailers will increase data management and governance technology investments by at least 20% to obtain insights from growing amounts of data to increase omnichannel revenue.
The Paper Excellence Group, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Domtar Corporation, a global diversified manufacturer of pulp and specialty, printing, writing, and packaging papers, and Resolute Forest Products Inc., a global forest products company, jointly announced that the Canadian Commissioner of Competition has entered into a consent agreement regarding the parties' business combination. Once the combination has been finalized, Domtar will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Resolute stock for $20.50 per share and one contingent value right tied to potential duty deposit refunds of up to $500 million. The consent agreement filed by the Canadian Commissioner of Competition with the Competition Tribunal today completes one of the remaining conditions to the closing of the transaction. The transaction remains on course to close in the first half of 2023, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the other conditions to the closing of the merger. (All financial information is in U.S. Dollars)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is likely to publish a final ruling in January 2023, requiring manufacturers (including importers) to report information on PFAS manufactured or imported since Jan. 1, 2011. If the rule is finalized as proposed, manufacturers will have to report use of any materials with PFAS and stop using new products containing intentionally added PFAS. Anticipating these and future legislative limits regarding PFAS, Pregis implemented processes in its high-performance blown film operations to ensure they eliminated PFAS from incoming materials and do not include within the manufacturing process. Pregis Performance Flexibles customers can be confident that our film solutions have no added PFAS, meeting new legislative standards.
Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. announced that its facility at Jesup, Georgia has been impacted by a force majeure declared by its natural gas provider, Southern Natural Gas Company, L.L.C., due to an unscheduled outage of the Elba Express Pipeline’s Hartwell Compressor Station. Southern Natural Gas Company has asserted that, during the period of the SNG Force Majeure Event, which commenced on December 24, 2022, RYAM’s Jesup facility will be subject to a financial penalty for each MMBtu of natural gas consumed in excess of a contractually allocated amount. Based on this and other current assumptions, the Company expects the Event could reduce EBITDA by approximately $775,000 to $900,000 per day. Accordingly, if the SNG Force Majeure Event were to continue through the end of 2022, the Company estimates that its aggregate EBITDA would be approximately $6 to $7 million lower than it otherwise would have been without the financial penalty. The Company’s facility at Fernandina Beach, Florida is not affected by the SNG Force Majeure Event.
The United States Postal Service reported new delivery performance metrics for the 11th week of the first quarter for fiscal year 2023. The average time to deliver a mailpiece or package across the postal network was 2.5 days for the eighth consecutive week even as mailing and shipping traffic increased. FY23 first quarter service performance scores covering Oct. 1 through Dec. 16 included: *First-Class Mail: 91.6% of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.6 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. The current data reflects a year over year increase of 1.5 percentage points compared to the same period in the FY22 peak holiday season. *Marketing Mail: 94.1% of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a slight decrease of 0.7 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. The current data reflects a year over year increase of 2.3 percentage points compared to the same period in the FY22 peak holiday season. *Periodicals: 85.3% of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.6 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. The current data reflects a year over year increase of 4.1 percentage points compared to the same period in the FY22 peak holiday season.
Given all of the attention that the Department of Justice’s successful trial to block Penguin Random House’s purchase of Simon & Schuster drew, it can be hard to remember what other trends, challenges, and issues confronted the publishing industry in 2022. In many ways, last year the industry was still dealing with the fallout caused by the pandemic. For one thing, return-to-office policies remained in flux throughout the year; just when a publisher would announce plans to bring back employees to the office for a few days a week, another surge would come along and scuttle those plans. In addition, executives at the big publishers were meeting stiff resistance from employees on any sort of mandate to return to the office. In PW’s most recent salary and jobs survey, respondents said that the creation of work-from-home policies was the most important benefit their company established during the height of the pandemic, and the overwhelming majority of respondents were concerned that their company would soon be requiring employees to be in the office for a certain number of days each week.
The revised advice note becomes effective on 1 January 2023 and reflects the interim measure for Intact Forest Landscapes requested by Motion 23 at the FSC General Assembly. At the 9th FSC General Assembly in Bali in 2022, the FSC membership passed Motion 23:2020 and associated Implementation Note which requires the use of landscape-wide approaches adapted to local conditions and strengthened Standard Development Groups (SDGs) to improve protection of Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs). The Secretariat took immediate action and announces the publication of a revised Advice Note for IFLs to implement the interim measures required by the passed Motion 23 (including the interpretation note). Motion 65:2014, approved by the FSC membership at the 7th General Assembly in Seville in 2014, called for the protection of the vast majorities of Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs) within the FSC certified Management Units. This has been implemented through IFL-specific International Generic Indicators (IGI) in FSC-STD-60-004 V2-0, and through the Advice Note ADV-20-007-018 for areas where there are no approved Forest Stewardship Standards based on V2-0 of the IGI.
Amcor announced it completed the sale of its three factories in Russia to HS Investments, a Russian-based investor, after receiving all necessary regulatory approvals and cash proceeds, including receipt of closing cash balances. The cash and debt free consideration value is €370 million. This follows Amcor’s previously announced decision to pursue the orderly sale of its Russian business while continuing to support its people and customers as well as preserving value for shareholders. The Russian business produces flexible and cartons packaging from one site in St. Petersburg and two sites in Novgorod and employs approximately 900 people. Amcor’s three sites in Russia generated approximately 2% of total Amcor sales in fiscal 2022.
Total European shipments of graphic papers in October 2022 were down 19.2% vs. October 2021 and were down 11.4% year-to-date. Total European shipments of newsprint in October 2022 were down 11.1% vs. October 2021 and were down 7.5% year-to-date. Total European shipments of sc-magazine in October 2022 were down 26.6% vs. October 2021 and were down 15.7% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated mechanical reels in October 2022 were down 25.3% vs. October 2021 and were down 20.1% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated mechanical (improved & others) in October 2022 were down 18.0% vs. October 2021 and were down 14.0% year-to-date. Total European shipments of coated woodfree in October 2022 were down 26.5% vs. October 2021 and were down 5.0% year-to-date. Total European shipments of uncoated woodfree in October 2022 were down 13.1% vs. October 2021 and were down 10.5% year-to-date.
UPM is finalizing the construction works of the new pulp mill in Uruguay and enters the final phases of the project. The start-up of the UPM Paso de los Toros pulp mill is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2023. While the project work continues intensively, the finalization of the construction works is an important milestone in the project. Since the investment decision in July 2019, over 20,000 people have been involved in the various construction sites related to the growth investment, including the construction of the UPM Paso de los Toros mill, the pulp terminal in the port of Montevideo and the 11 housing areas around Paso de los Toros.
Second quarter results were constrained by continued demand weakness, particularly at FedEx Express. FedEx Express operating income declined 64% year-over-year due to lower global volumes, partially offset by an 8% package yield increase. FedEx Express implemented previously planned and incremental cost reduction actions during the quarter to mitigate the impact of volume declines, including structural air network changes and the temporary parking of aircraft. FedEx Ground operating income increased 24% year-over-year, due primarily to a 13% yield increase and cost reduction actions. These factors were partially offset by increased purchased transportation rates, lower package volume, and higher other operating expenses. FedEx Freight operating income increased 32% year-over-year, driven by an 18% yield increase. This was partially offset by higher salaries and employee benefits and decreased shipments. Second quarter fiscal 2022 net income included a pre-tax, noncash MTM net loss of $260 million ($195 million, net of tax, or $0.73 per diluted share) related to the termination of a TNT Express European pension plan and a curtailment charge related to the U.S. FedEx Freight pension plan.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for October 2022 reflecting reported revenue for Trade (Consumer Books), Higher Education Course Materials, and Professional Publishing. The report does not include PreK-12 revenue due to delays in data collection. Total revenues across all categories, excluding PreK-12, for October 2022 were down 9.3% as compared to October 2021, coming in at $1.2 billion. Year-to-date revenues were down 5.1%, at $10.6 billion for the first ten months of the year. Trade (Consumer Books) sales were down 13.7% in October, coming in at $978.3 million.
Tetra Laval, the group which comprises Tetra Pak, Sidel and DeLaval is donating power and heat generators to a value of EUR 10 million as humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine, currently suffering major power shortages as a result of the Russian war on Ukraine. The equipment, including more than 200 generators, will be donated directly and with immediate release to Ukrainian authorities for onward distribution to the areas worst affected by the lack of power in the country. “I am grateful to Tetra Laval for its donation which helps us restore Ukraine’s energy system. Russian missile terror seriously damaged it and left millions of Ukrainians without normal access to power, water, and heating amid freezing winter temperatures. With help of partners and friends, we stand strong. In these circumstances, Tetra Laval demonstrates an example of great social responsibility and solidarity. We will always remember this and kindly encourage other responsible Swedish businesses to follow suit,” says Mr. Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
Did you know that the sense of smell is linked to the systems in the brain that evoke emotions and memory more directly than any other sensory system combined? What does this mean for marketers? It means that we can use smell to influence emotion and purchase intent. This therefore increases purchasing. In 2023, the USPS is offering a 5% postage discount if you integrate scent into your mail piece so you can not only drive additional sales, but you can also save money on postage. The purpose of this USPS promotion is to encourage sensory engagement with physical mail pieces. This is my favorite promotion that the USPS is running because you can only provide a tactile experience with direct mail. No other marketing channel can do this! Interesting Scent Facts: 75% of the emotions we generate on a daily basis are affected by smell. 81% of consumers would choose a product they can smell and touch over one they can only see. 65% of consumers can remember a memory associated with scent after a period of one year. 90% of respondents indicate the scented advertisement stood out from the clutter
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.096; Month Ago: $3.609; Year Ago: $3.293. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $4.697; Month Ago: $5.269; Year Ago: $3.578.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.735084; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.143151; American Dollar to Euro = 1.061909; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.007537; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.051275.
As ACMA attorneys Martin Eisenstein and Nat Bessey wrote in Part One) of their two-part Legal Corner series to members last month (unlocked version here for non-members too), a major issue for the industry was the effort of the Massachusetts Department of Taxation to apply the Supreme Court’s ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair retroactively and assess many ACMA members and other remote merchants retroactively for sales tax liabilities for periods prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in Wayfair. Brann & Isaacson is proud to announce that today we received a favorable, and unanimous, decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court invalidating the Department’s assessment. The Court found that absent a physical presence in Massachusetts, the Department did not have the authority to assess sales taxes based upon Internet contacts. The Court held that cookies/apps/content delivery networks do not constitute physical presence. This is a significant victory for the industry and a great holiday present. Thank you to all ACMA members and other companies for your support in this effort. link to full report: https://catalogmailers.org/member-exclusive-acmas-legal-corner-state-and-local-agencies-are-at-it-again-in-sales-tax-actions-pt-1-of-2-2/
GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. is pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its La Sarre and Béarn sawmills and its Abitibi and Témiscamingue forestry operations, as well as their related assets and business operations (the “Quebec Assets”) to Chantiers Chibougamau Ltée (“Chantiers Chibougamau”), a long-standing Quebec-based and family-controlled forestry company, for approximately $90 million in cash payable at closing, including approximately $40 million for specific working capital items (subject to customary closing adjustments). Quebec-based employees are expected to continue to be employed by Chantiers Chibougamau post-closing. GreenFirst expects to use the net proceeds from the sale to strengthen its balance sheet and continue investing in its Ontario operations. The sale of the Quebec Assets is expected to close in Q1 2023.
Proving the success of working together to advance sustainability, the Legal Forests program has been contributing to the restoration of the Villadagio property, owned by rural producers Lucas Caliari and Laís Ferrari, located in Serra Catarinense, in the city of São Joaquim (SC). The area, initially used for grazing cattle, is being transformed into an example of agroforestry - a production system that conserves permanent forest species, planted along with agricultural crops. Held by Klabin, the largest producer and exporter of paper for packaging and sustainable solutions in paper packaging in Brazil, in partnership with the Association for the Preservation of the Environment and Life (Apremavi), Matas Legal arrived in Santa Catarina in 2005, with the objective of developing conservation actions, environmental education and forest promotion, which help to protect and recover native forests, improving the quality of life of the population and enhancing local forestry development, based on the planning of properties and landscapes.
The 400,000 acres of forestland surrounding Domtar’s Windsor Mill in Quebec are a hot spot for forestry and climate research, with several projects currently taking place in partnership with organizations and universities across Canada. The company reaps benefits from these projects, including data that supports the continued Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of fiber harvested from the Domtar forest. Additionally, engaging with student-led research projects helps Domtar build relationships with young people who may consider joining Domtar in the future. “Several of the projects and collaborations — and those that will follow — contribute to strengthening and developing the reputation and performance of the Windsor Mill and our forestry practices,” he says.
As 2022 comes to an end, Georgia-Pacific has launched or completed approximately $1.8 billion in capital improvement projects throughout the company. Projects include new facilities and additions as well as improvements to existing operations. These investments lead to productivity and income opportunities for local contractors who help complete the projects, stimulating each facility location's economy. Diboll Lumber-$7 million - Georgia-Pacific completed a $7 million upgrade that modernized the Diboll lumber mill in Texas and helped increase its overall production. Clarendon OSB-$40 million - Georgia-Pacific also announced a $40 million investment in its oriented strand board (OSB) facility in Alcolu, South Carolina. Muskogee Tissue-$50 million - The company announced plans to upgrade parts of its 640-acre Muskogee, Oklahoma, bath tissue, towel, and napkin manufacturing operations in May. Bradford Corrugated-$34 million - Announced in May, the Bradford, Pennsylvania, corrugated plant will undergo a significant upgrade with an investment topping $34 million for new equipment to modernize the plant's operations. Broadway Paper Mill-$500 million - A $500 million expansion began in July at the company’s Broadway mill in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The investments will significantly enhance the company's retail consumer tissue and towel business.
The struggle: material availability and consumer needs. As the struggle on critical raw materials continues to be a problem in vehicle electrification, we are going to need to mine a huge number of metals like cobalt and lithium to electrify the world’s vehicle fleet. This is where smaller batteries become important. – Currently, manufacturers of the next generation’s electric vehicles are competing on range. This means putting big and powerful batteries into future cars so they can travel farther between charges, says Otto Kivi, Senior Business Development Specialist in battery materials at Stora Enso. The solution: Lignode® by Stora Enso – an alternative to graphite. EV batteries are based on lithium-ion constructions made up of lithium, nickel, cobalt, copper, and graphite. The last-mentioned is used for the negative end of a lithium-ion battery known as the anode. While graphite deposits are not scarce, the supply of battery-grade graphite used in EV batteries is much tighter. In addition, graphite is a strictly layered material which can be slow to charge. However, Stora Enso has come up with a solution where graphite is replaced with hard carbon. Lignode® by Stora Enso has an amorphous, highly open structure enabling faster charging/discharging and higher cycling stability. This lignin-based hard carbon can replace natural or synthetic graphite either in parts or completely.
The United States Postal Service today announced that it expects to acquire at least 66,000 battery electric delivery vehicles as part of its 106,000 vehicle acquisition plan for deliveries between now and 2028. The vehicles purchased as part of this anticipated plan will begin to replace the Postal Service’s aging delivery fleet of over 220,000 vehicles. The Postal Service anticipates at least 60,000 Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV), of which at least 75% (45,000) will be battery electric. As part of this plan, a total of 21,000 additional commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) vehicles are also expected to be battery electric, depending on market availability and operational feasibility. The Postal Service also anticipates including internal combustion vehicles necessary to meet immediate vehicle replacement needs.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) conducts the Global Client Survey every two years to assess how our certificate holders and promotional licence holders perceive FSC. The learnings are vital to our continual improvement of the FSC certification system. This year 8,975 Chain of Custody and Forest Management Certificate Holders and 323 Promotional Licence Holders participated in the survey – the highest participation rate in recent years. Our sincere gratitude goes out to all respondents who filled out the survey and contributed to this outcome. The results of the 2022 FSC Global Client Survey show that about half of FM and CoC Certificate Holders surveyed perceive FSC certification as valuable for its role in protecting forest ecosystems and preventing deforestation and forest degradation, while others value improved market access and brand image, among other factors. Nearly 90 per cent of Promotional Licence Holders believe the FSC licence will help build their brand image and sustainability credentials. Most surveyed certificate and licence holders believe the importance of FSC certification will increase in the next two years.
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 2.5% in November after slipping 1.2% in October. In November, the index equaled 114.7 (2015=100) versus 117.6 in October. “For-hire truck tonnage saw the largest single monthly decrease in November since the start of the pandemic and a total drop of 3.7% in October and November,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The decreases match anecdotal reports of a soft fall freight season as well as a slowing goods-economy generally. Housing-related freight is particularly weak.”
In very early 2023, Agri-Packing Supply Inc. will open its new facility in southern Arizona, significantly expanding the capacity of its cooling and logistics business. “This new facility will add 200,000 square feet to our existing capacity,” said Sales Executive Jorge Ruiz, adding that the facility is in the Rio Rico Industrial Park in Nogales. “We are very excited to welcome new partners into this facility.” Agri-Packing is a 32 year old company devoted to the fruit and vegetable industry offering packaging and grower supplies mainly for grower-shipper exporters operating from the Pacific West Coast of Mexico. “Our three main lines of products are corrugated boxes, flexible packaging (mainly retail pouch bags), and rigid containers (clamshells and custom labels),” Ruiz said.
SCA has acquired its first wind farm with the purchase of 36 wind turbines in Markbygden in Piteå municipality, northern Sweden. The park is acquired from the German company Enercon. The acquisition is in line with the company’s previously stated goal of becoming one of the Sweden’s leading providers of fossil-free electricity generated by wind power. Twenty per cent of Sweden's installed wind power capacity is currently located on land owned by SCA. The park is located in Markbygden in Piteå municipality, which has been designated by the Swedish Energy Agency as a national interest for wind farms and consists of a total of 36 turbines with a total installed capacity of about 85 MW. The annual electricity production from the site is estimated at close to 200 GWh. Of the 36 wind turbines, 15 are located on SCA land. The remaining 21 wind turbines are operated under agreements with about 10 landowners that are valid until 2062.
Nearly 10,000 hectares of privately held Acadian forest, coastline and dunes in New Brunswick will be recognized as another effective area-based conservation measure (OECM), thanks to the visionary leadership of J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI). The initiative was shared during an event hosted by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) where global experts profiled emerging conservation solutions, presenting leadership and investment opportunities to accelerate the nature agenda. This announcement by JDI is a concrete example of a whole-of-society approach to accelerating conservation. The lands held by Saint John-based JDI boast a variety of ecosystems, which provide habitat for animals like pine marten and endangered piping plover.
Amazon will no longer sell digital magazine and newspaper subscriptions via Kindle Newsstand, starting next year. The tech giant is also phasing out its print textbook rental program, Publishers Weekly reports. Amazon issued this statement to Publishers Weekly: “Following an assessment of our print textbook rentals and our magazine and newspaper subscriptions and single-issue sales, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue these services.”
Sheridan is excited to announce the development and implementation of Sheridan Academy, a proprietary training program structured to support and sustain the continuous learning and performance improvement of the next generation of workers. Sheridan Academy provides senior level employees the opportunity to impart their knowledge, wisdom, and best practices – via a comprehensive standardized training program – to those that have a desire to grow their career with Sheridan. It is not just for new hires. Once fully developed, Sheridan Academy will outline both vertical and horizontal career development paths for operators, staff, and leadership, so that employees can grow their skills in multiple areas of the business.
Canfor Pulp Products Inc. is announcing the immediate curtailment of its Intercontinental Pulp Mill, which is expected to be in place for four weeks. The curtailment is due to the lack of available economic fibre as a result of sawmill curtailments. The downtime will remove approximately 24,000 tonnes of market kraft pulp. “The sawmill curtailments occurring in BC are materially reducing the residual fibre available for pulp mills. Based on the near-term fibre outlook, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily curtail Intercontinental Pulp Mill,” said Kevin Edgson, President & CEO, Canfor Pulp. “We regret the impact the downtime will have on our employees, their families, our suppliers and the community. We are working to support them through this time.”
FY23 first quarter service performance scores covering Oct. 1 through Dec. 9 included: *First-Class Mail: 91.7 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.4 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. The current data reflects a year over year increase of one percentage point compared to the same period in the FY22 peak holiday season. *Marketing Mail: 94.1 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a slight decrease of 0.7 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. The current data reflects a year over year increase of 1.9 percentage points compared to the same period in the FY22 peak holiday season. *Periodicals: 85.5 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.3 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. The current data reflects a year over year increase of 3.5 percentage points compared to the same period in the FY22 peak holiday season.
Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2022 Financial Highlights *Adobe achieved revenue of $4.53 billion in its fourth quarter of fiscal year 2022, which represents 10 percent year-over-year growth or 14 percent in constant currency. Diluted earnings per share was $2.53 on a GAAP basis and $3.60 on a non-GAAP basis. *GAAP operating income in the fourth quarter was $1.51 billion and non-GAAP operating income was $2.02 billion. GAAP net income was $1.18 billion and non-GAAP net income was $1.68 billion. *Record cash flows from operations were $2.33 billion. *Remaining Performance Obligations (“RPO”) exiting the quarter were $15.19 billion. *Adobe repurchased approximately 5.0 million shares during the quarter.
The Book Manufacturers’ Institute (BMI) released the December results for its monthly survey on capacity and lead times for soft cover and hard cover books.. This month held fairly steady on capacities but showed lead times continuing to decline. According to responses regarding hard cover books, the average manufacturer was running at 82% of their capacity, equal to October and November. The average lead time for completed hard cover books went down to 50 days from 59 days, continuing the trend. For soft cover books, capacity usage stayed similar at 82% compared to 81% last month. The average lead time dropped to 33 days from 38 days, continuing that trend as well.
Publishers face many hurdles going into the new year, starting with loss of third-party cookies, judging by the 2023 Industry Pulse Report from Integral Ad Science, in partnership with YouGov. Publishers say they are up against the following: Decreasing access to consumer data/cookies—40%; Choosing and integrating identity systems—36%; Monetizing with/without social platforms—32%; Maximizing yield—28%; Monetizing first-party data—24%; Ads delivered alongside risky or misleading content—23%; Providing scaled audience extension, minimizing overhead—20%; Contextual targeting—19%; Poor viewability levels—8%; Ad fraud—3%
The PEFC International Board has extended the suspension of the Russian National Voluntary Forest Certification System (FCR), with the national system now suspended indefinitely. The suspension was intended to preserve the conditions for a successful long-term cooperation with PEFC Russia to support sustainable forest management in the Russian Federation in light of the current political situation. The suspension took effect as of 11 August 2022 and was initially valid until 31 December 2022.
Amcor announced the opening of its new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Huizhou, China. With an investment of almost $100 million, the 590,000-square-foot plant is the largest flexible packaging plant by production capacity in China, further strengthening Amcor’s ability to meet growing customer demand throughout Asia Pacific. The new facility is expected to employ more than 550 people, who will produce flexible packaging solutions for food and personal-care products. The plant comes equipped with the first automated packaging production line in China. This, along with high-speed printing presses, laminators, and bag-making machines, can deliver double-digit reductions in manufacturing cycle times.
The MM Group has been recognized by the global, non-profit environmental organization CDP for its leadership in transparency and performance in relation to climate change and received a place on the annual "A List". Based on data from the CDP 2022 Climate Change Questionnaire (“Climate”), MM is one of the few companies 1) to have achieved an “A” rating. In total, more than 15,000 companies were evaluated. In addition to the climate rating, MM has also disclosed data on forest management (“Forests”) at CDP and, for the first time in 2022, on water management (“Water Security”). In both categories, the MM Group also achieved an excellent rating with a "B" rating. This shows that ecological sustainability is implemented holistically at MM, taking into account goals and measures to protect the climate, forests and water bodies.
Highlights: *Increase in revenues and earnings in the Packaging Sector and the Media Sector. *Revenues of $802.2 million for the quarter ended October 30, 2022; operating earnings of $85.3 million; and net earnings attributable to shareholders of the Corporation of $60.4 million ($0.70 per share). *Significant contributions from the acquisitions completed during the fiscal year to the earnings of the Corporation.
Color Ink announces the purchase of HM Graphics of Milwaukee, WI. HM Graphics ranks among the nation’s elite, full-service commercial printing companies. For over 50 years, they have provided their clients with the highest caliber of services and craftsmanship that the printing industry has to offer. This will allow Color Ink to expand their business with the addition of highly skilled employees and the ability to offer more creative printing services…to include sheet-fed commercial printing, packaging, wide-format visual displays and fulfillment.
Ahlstrom FiltEV® Fuel Cell Air Intake filter media has won the Product of the Year award in Filter Media category by Waterloo Filtration Institute (WFI) on December 6th, 2022. This award promotes product development in the filtration and separation industry for a clean, healthy, and sustainable world and it was announced during the WFI 2022 Annual Conference. The purity of the cathode air intake is an essential parameter in the performance and the reliability of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles. By removing the finest particles and harmful gases Ahlstrom FiltEV® Fuel Cell Air Intake media protects the catalyst and the membrane and extends the fuel cell lifetime. Our proprietary technology platform, designed for high basis weight adsorbent media, delivers flexibility, outstanding performance and optimal processability to fulfill the most challenging requirements from the industry.
For 2022, Billerud received even more points than last year and thus retains its position as one of the world’s most sustainable companies in its industry sector. This year’s results from the globally recognized Dow Jones Sustainability Indices show that Billerud continues to be one of the leading companies in the Containers & Packaging category. The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices is based on the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), which is a comprehensive annual evaluation of corporate sustainability efforts and performance. The Dow Jones Sustainability World Index includes the top ten percent of more than 2500 publicly listed companies.
The Felix Schoeller Group is systematically implementing its growth program for North America. Starting in 2023, capacities at the company's sites in the USA and Canada will be significantly expanded in three steps. In the first step, a new silicone coater will be installed at the Pulaski, NY site in mid-2023. This will enable the Felix Schoeller Group to supply the North American market with domestically produced siliconized papers and films. In doing so, the company is relying not only on solvent-free silicone technology, but adding solvent-based silicone technology to their portfolio – while utilizing particularly energy-efficient and environmentally friendly technological solutions. The second step is the expansion of the paper machine capacity in Drummondville, Canada, from currently 32,000 tons to over 40,000 tons per year. This increase is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023. And finally, the specialty paper manufacturer plans to invest in the construction of a second paper machine for the North American market. The plan is to add up to 50,000 tons of capacity for the decor and release liner markets.
Mondi plc confirms that it has entered into an agreement to sell its three Russian packaging converting operations to the Gotek Group for a consideration of RUB 1.6 billion (around €24 million at current exchange rate), payable in cash on completion (the ‘Disposal’). The three packaging converting operations comprise a corrugated solutions plant and two consumer flexibles plants, producing a range of packaging solutions for the domestic Russian market. The loss on the Disposal is expected to be in the range of €70-80 million at current exchange rate.
Sappi Europe’s Gratkorn mill in Austria is Europe’s leading producer of coated woodfree paper on two paper machines, supporting Sappi Europe’s market leadership and in particular its core Commercial Print business. The mill has benefited from a regular investment programme, including in recent years the upgrade of the PM9 in 2019. The current upgrade and modernisation project will focus on Paper Machine 11 (PM11), which will undergo extensive modernisation of automation and electrical equipment including drives, control systems, quality control and inspection systems as well as upgrades to the coating profile and other areas. This investment will improve and consolidate Gratkorn’s position as the leading producer of Woodfree Coated paper and demonstrates Sappi Europe’s continuing commitment to the Commercial Print business and belief in the continued important role of print media.
Stora Enso has initiated a sales process for a possible divestment of its consumer board production site in Beihai, China. The divestment would also include the Group’s forestry operations in the surrounding region, which supply raw material to the Beihai site. The sales process supports Stora Enso’s strategy to focus on long-term profitable growth within the areas of renewable packaging, building solutions and biomaterials innovations. Stora Enso’s Beihai production site started operations in 2016. It has a modern mechanical pulp mill and a premium consumer board line serving the Chinese market. The annual production capacity is 250,000 tonnes of mechanical pulp and 550,000 tonnes of consumer board. Stora Enso also operates 70,000 hectares of land in the Guangxi region for eucalyptus plantations, established in 2003, for fiber supply. The combined operations employ approximately 1,000 people including the forest operations. Stora Enso owns approximately 80% of the production site and forest operations, and its local partners and International Finance Corporation (IFC) own the remaining share. Stora Enso will work together with all stakeholders to complete the divestment process.
Seven UPM packaging papers are now proven to be industrially compostable, marking another step on UPM Specialty Papers’ sustainability journey. Seven packaging papers have recently been certified as industrially compostable, according to the EN13432 standard: *Barrier papers: UPM PregoTM, UPM AsendoTM *Coated one side papers: UPM FlexPackTM, UPM UniquePackTM, UPM UniquePackTM Strong *Specialty kraft papers: UPM SolideTM Lucent
High energy costs, rising postal tariffs and other inflationary factors are here to stay. In response to increased needs for affordable direct mail inkjet paper with high quality print results, Crown Van Gelder recently launched their extended portfolio of Crown Letsgo High Performance, with 140 and 180 gsm - 7 and 9 pt caliper - for stiff but lighter one piece mailers and direct mail cards. This extended range is commercially available in Europe and North America from January 2023. It will make the difference for many printers and their customers, to enable printed messaging to remain an important part of their marketing strategy. Inkjet printing is becoming a main stream method for every market segment needing print as a functional part for communication, promotion and visibility. More, but smaller orders, the need for personalization, fast response and acceptable cost are the main drivers. Inkjet treated and inkjet coated substrates will be a vital part of this growth, supporting vibrant print results, lower drying requirements (energy savings), reduced ink consumption and faster speed compared to non-treated or offset coated substrates. Contact your Midland sales professional for additional details on this product.
Costco Wholesale Corporation announced its operating results for the first quarter (twelve weeks) of fiscal 2023, ended November 20, 2022. Net sales for the first quarter increased 8.1 percent, to $53.44 billion from $49.42 billion last year. Net income for the quarter was $1,364 million, $3.07 per diluted share, compared to $1,324 million, $2.98 per diluted share, last year. This year’s results included a charge of $93 million pre-tax, $0.15 per diluted share, primarily related to downsizing our charter shipping activities, and a tax benefit of $53 million, $0.12 per diluted share, related to stock-based compensation. Last year’s results included a write-off of certain information technology assets of $118 million pre-tax, $0.20 per diluted share, and a tax benefit of $91 million, $0.21 per diluted share, related to stock-based compensation.
Lee Enterprises is on course with its digital transformation, judging by its Q4 and fiscal 2022 results. The publisher, which now bills itself as a digital-first subscription platform, reported total digital revenue of $65 million in Q4, a 31% increase YoY. In contrast, overall revenue was flat at $194 million. The results were similar for fiscal 2022: Total operating revenue was $781 million, down 2% from the prior year. But digital revenue grew by 27% to $240 million.
In separate court filings this week, lawyers for Amazon and the Big Five publishers said that a revived class action suit accusing them of colluding to fix e-book prices is not significantly different from the case that was dismissed in September for lack of evidence, and should not be allowed to go forward. “Defendants’ actions remain better explained as independent, self-interested business decisions than as an illogical conspiracy to entrench Amazon at the publisher defendants’ expense,” reads a letter from the publishers’ lawyers, requesting a pre-motion conference ahead of filing a formal motion to dismiss. “To state a claim, plaintiffs must—but fail to—allege concerted action and a specific intent to monopolize.”
Phoenix Innovate (PI), a leading marketing communications firm headquartered in Troy, Mich., has acquired Carmel, Ind.-based UN Communications Group, Inc. The leadership and staff at UN will remain on and are thrilled to integrate the strengths of both companies with a focus toward creating a new standard for effective marketing solutions. “Our ability to serve our clients' brand awareness and marketing supply chain needs got a big boost today,” said Denise Purvis, President of UN. “The addition of strategic marketing, application development and data analytics expertise Phoenix Innovate provides will help our clients achieve a new level of integration, automation and increased ROI. The combination of our talented team members will continue to create game-changing marketing solutions for our clients.”
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.315; Month Ago: $3.805; Year Ago: $3.338. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $5.132; Month Ago: $5.357; Year Ago: $3.608.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.734347; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.143749; American Dollar to Euro = 1.056270; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.007373; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.050635.
“We’ve made tremendous progress improving our service performance in the past year thanks to investments under our Delivering for America plan and an organization-wide commitment to better serving our customers,” said Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General and CEO. “We are headed in the right direction but there is more work to be done to deliver the reliable service the American people expect and deserve.” Final FY2022 USPS service performance scores showed: *First-Class Mail: 91.0 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an 8.3 percentage point improvement from FY21 (82.7 percent). *Marketing Mail: 93.3 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a 5.7 percentage point improvement from FY21 (87.6 percent). *Periodicals: 83.7 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a significant 8.1 percentage point increase over FY21 (75.6 percent).
*GAAP Results: Revenue of $515 million (-3% vs. prior year), Operating Income of $57 million (-22% vs. prior year), and EPS of $0.68 (-31% vs. prior year) *Fiscal 2023 Outlook: Wiley is lowering its revenue outlook at constant currency due to consumer spending and enrollment headwinds in Academic & Professional Learning. Reaffirms full year outlook for Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow; Adjusted EPS trending to lower end of range mainly due to rising interest expense. “Despite the challenging economic environment, we continue to see good underlying momentum in our core growth areas of Research Publishing, Research Solutions, and Corporate Talent Development,” said Brian Napack, President and CEO. “This quarter’s results were weighed down by difficult market conditions in our publishing lines in Academic & Professional Learning. We are aggressively managing costs to offset these challenges while continuing to scale our growth offerings in line with favorable long-term trends.”
Pregis® recently added digital printing capabilities at production facilities across North America, offering customers high-impact protection and impactful brand messaging with the Pregis EverTec™ curbside recyclable padded mailer. Due to the substantial growth of ecommerce, the demand for packaging options that are sustainable, durable, cost-effective, and also visually impressive is on the rise. With the added digital printing capability, Pregis customers can create custom-designed mailers with full-color images, multi-colored designs, logos, and brand messages to deliver colorful, eye-catching packages.
Georgia-Pacific’s Brewton Containerboard mill recently announced its plans to invest $160 million to modernize its operations. The project involves upgrades to the facility’s pulp processing systems that will reduce energy and chemicals consumption, other environmental emissions, and allow for more paper production.
Sole Source Capital LLC, an industrial-focused private equity firm, today announced that its portfolio company, ID Images (“IDI”), a premier provider of product identification solutions, has acquired Summit Labels and Precision Label in separate transactions. The acquisitions bring the total number of add-on investments for IDI to seven since becoming a Sole Source Capital portfolio company in August 2021, with the company’s most recent acquisition of Hickman Label announced just last month. Terms of the transactions were not disclosed. Jointly-owned Vancouver, Canada-based Summit Labels and Calgary, Canada-based Precision Labels are both manufacturers of prime labels for the food & beverage, industrial, and nutraceutical end markets. The companies’ Canadian facilities expand IDI’s presence across Canada while increasing its exposure to digital printing and prime label offerings. In addition, the companies' design and marketing teams often collaborate with clients to help create branding strategies through custom labeling.
With the latest development—Koehler NexPure® OGR—Koehler Paper, a leading provider of papers with a disruptive barrier function for packaging solutions, is adding another sustainable solution to its portfolio for the fast-food market. Consumer demand for sustainable products and packaging has been evident in the fast-food sector for some time now, which is why system catering is also increasingly looking for solutions in this field. Back in October, Koehler launched Koehler NexPure® Wrap, a paper designed for burger packaging with extremely low grammage, onto the fast-food market. Now, with Koehler NexPure® OGR, the company is bringing an oil- and grease-resistant, sustainable paper onto the market, which will be suitable for packaging foods such as fries, sandwiches, wraps, and burritos.
Sustana, the sustainable fiber and paper industry leader, has joined the United Nations (UN) Global Compact initiative. Sustana’s engagement in the UN Global Compact — a voluntary leadership platform for the development, implementation, and disclosure of responsible business practices – reflects its longstanding and continued adherence to sustainable practices and its ongoing support for the Ten Principles focused on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. “With this announcement, Sustana is proud to continue its commitment to developing solutions to move society toward a greener, more circular future,” said Fabian de Armas, Chief Executive Officer for Sustana. “Over the years, Sustana has proven to be a leader in the sustainable pulp and paper business,” said Jeffrey Crawford, Vice President of Sustainability for Sustana. “We look forward to partnering with the UN Global Compact, its US and Canada Local Network members, and companies throughout our value chain to help move the world toward a sustainable future through responsible business action.”
The Cup Collective, a programme founded by Stora Enso and Huhtamaki to capture the value of used paper cups through recycling at an industrial scale, has welcomed its first partners. The new partners include McDonald’s, SSP - The Food Travel Experts, C2 Centre, and the National Railway Company of Belgium (SNCB), all further supporting the initiative’s ability to significantly increase paper cup recycling volumes in Europe. The Cup Collective initiative, which is the first of its kind in Europe, aims to recycle half a billion paper cups in Europe within the first two years. The first paper cup collection bins are now available in public venues throughout Brussels including restaurants and transit hubs. Collected cups are recycled in facilities in the region including Stora Enso’s site in Langerbrugge, Belgium. Partnership in the Cup Collective is open to a wide range of stakeholders both within and outside of the value chain including food service providers, retailers, transportation services, waste collectors and management services, and other actors across Europe.
The New York Times scored a coup on Tuesday both online and in its legacy medium, print. General Electric took over all of the paper’s pages, running 22 full-page color ads and five partial pages in a seven-figure campaign that also includes ads on desktop and mobile homepages, on three section webpages, in audio form on the podcast "The Daily" and in two newsletters briefings. It's the first time ever that all of the paper’s real estate has been taken over by a single advertiser. The package was designed to promote GE’s coming split into three separate companies: GE HealthCare, GE Aerospace, and GE Vernova, all publicly traded, the Boston Globe reports.
The Chilean System for Sustainable Forest Management Certification has been submitted to PEFC for assessment. The public consultation, which is your chance to give your feedback on this revised system, will run from 12 December 2022 to 9 February 2023. tPEFC Chile revised the country’s national forest certification system following the entry into force of the revised 2018 PEFC Sustainable Forest Management standard.
Canfor Corporation is announcing a temporary reduction in Canadian production due to very weak market conditions. The production will be reduced through curtailments at all solid wood facilities in B.C. and Alberta. This will remove approximately 150 million board feet in December and January. The curtailments will start to be implemented on December 19, 2022 and will range from one to four weeks across its Canadian operations. The Company will continue to adjust operating rates to align with market conditions and anticipates that the majority of its BC facilities will operate below full capacity in the New Year. “Due to the significant decrease in demand for solid wood products and challenging economic conditions, we are temporarily curtailing production in Canada. We will be working to mitigate the impacts on our employees by providing support and identifying meaningful work during the downtime,” said Don Kayne, President and CEO, Canfor.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for September 2022 reflecting reported revenue for Trade (Consumer Books), Higher Education Course Materials, and Professional Publishing. The report does not include PreK-12 revenue due to delays in data collection. Total revenues across all categories, excluding PreK-12, for September 2022 were down 1.4% as compared to September 2021, coming in at $1.4 billion. Year-to-date revenues were down 4.5%, at $9.3 billion for the first nine months of the year. Trade (Consumer Books) sales were down 2.6% in September, coming in at $917.5 million.
Highcon announced a $8M investment by Sealed Air Corporation in the context of a strategic collaboration between the two companies. The scope of the strategic collaboration includes the following components: *Developing new product offerings, expansion into new segments and enabling manufacturing efficiencies by leveraging Highcon technology *$8M investment in the form of convertible debt and 15% warrants to be converted by the 5th anniversary of the Effective Date at a price of 3.1 NIS per share. *Additional warrants to be granted against possible future purchases up to $20 million of Highcon's products and services over a period of 3 years.
Amcor has announced a five-year deal with ExxonMobil to purchase certified-circular polyethylene material in support of its target to achieve 30% recycled material across its portfolio by 2030. The volume of material will increase incrementally each year, and is expected to reach 100,000 metric tons annually at the end of the five-year period. Made possible by ExxonMobil’s ExxtendTM technology for advanced recycling, Amcor intends to leverage this material across its global portfolio, with a particular focus on the healthcare and food industries, which are required to meet stringent safety requirements for recycled plastic. The agreement expands upon Amcor’s initial purchase of certified-circular polyethylene material from ExxonMobil earlier this year.
Twin Rivers Paper Company has reached a definitive agreement to sell its softwood lumber mill in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, to eastern Canadian lumber manufacturer and North American forest products leader Groupe Lebel. Group Lebel is a longtime supplier to Twin Rivers Paper. The transaction includes a long-term supply agreement for the Plaster Rock mill to continue providing Twin Rivers Paper with by-product chips and biomass utilized by the company’s pulp and cogeneration operations in Edmundston, New Brunswick.
The ISO 9001 certificate is the world's most recognized international certification standard for a quality management system. It provides guidance for companies that aim to ensure products and services consistently meet quality requirements. As an ISO 9001:2015 certified site, Mactac Minneapolis has a systematic quality management system in place and is committed to cost and waste reduction, continuous improvement, regulatory compliance and more. ‘At Mactac, we believe quality is key to a successful business and our sustainable quality culture is at the core of everything we do,’ said Jennifer Zenar, director of quality at Mactac.
It is no secret that the U.S. printing business had been battered for years as the popularity of digital formats significantly reduced demand for magazines, catalogs, and other printed materials. While sales of books held up better than those of their print counterparts, many of the largest printers worked across multiple product lines. And as a result, some of the industry giants (R.R. Donnelley, Quad Graphics) underwent wholesale makeovers, while smaller companies either closed or merged to cope with the plunge in demand. At a spring webinar presented by PW and Westchester Publishing Services, Jim Fetherston, president and CEO at the printer Worzalla noted that when the pandemic hit and book sales unexpectedly surged, North American printing capacity was at “historic low levels,” which led to demand exceeding capacity for the first time in years.
Flexible packaging is used by the food and beverage, personal and home care industries as well as pharmaceutical, to protect the countless life-enhancing and life-saving products that we use every day. And demand is increasing rapidly. The world’s population is projected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030 and surpass 9.7 billion by 2050, necessitating a significant increase in food production. Global supply chains will need to adapt to this growth, and flexible packaging will play a critical role in helping to deliver safe and affordable products to consumers, improving accessibility no matter where they are. Flexible packaging protects products that are vital to society. It offers functionality benefits as it is lightweight yet durable, protecting and preserving food efficiently during transportation and storage, extending its shelf life, minimizing food waste, and boosting affordability and accessibility. While flexible packaging has huge benefits during use, everyone across the value chain must equally take action to address its end-of-life.
Paper Excellence is one of the industry leaders that joined the Action Declaration on Climate Policy Engagement in support of governments to address climate change. The initiative was developed by Corporate Knights and Global 100 Council COP27. The Action Declaration outlines how industry in the movement to decarbonize the economy will support ambitious action to close the say-do gap on countries’ emission reduction by: *supporting climate change actions aligned with the Paris Agreement when engaging with policymakers; *working with their major industry/trade associations to advance alignment with the Paris Agreement; and *monitoring and disclosing climate policy alignment for their companies and their major industry/trade associations.
During the summer, most of the leading shippers announced their annual peak season surcharges and retailers were already braced for expected increases. However, it was recently discussed in an earnings call that FedEx and UPS are additionally increasing their general delivery rates by an average 6.9 percent. New rates will go into effect December 27 for UPS, and on January 3, 2023, for FedEx. Further, USPS also announced a general rate increase which will go into effect on January 22, 2023. Heading into the new year, these news reports might give some operations teams pause; however, it is important to remember that the right packaging strategy is one of the best ways to mitigate the overall impact an increase in shipping charges may have on the bottom line. Most brands can find savings when auditing their existing packaging procedures, especially when working with a provider that is constantly innovating to create value for customers. Are you using the most effective packaging material? Could you free up space or use less material?
Ennis, Inc. announced its acquisition of School Photo Marketing in Morganville, New Jersey. School Photo Marketing provides printing, yearbook publishing and marketing-related services to over 1,400 school and sports photographers servicing schools around the country. Keith Walters, Chairman, President & CEO of the Company, stated, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring School Photo Marketing, their employees, and their customers into the Ennis family. This addition brings with it many exciting possibilities to service this new channel with products produced through Ennis manufacturing operations.” School Photo Marketing operates through a similar wholesale manufacturer-distributor-end user channel as Ennis currently operates.
Fiscal 2022 Third Quarter Operating Results Overview: *Total net sales were $177.8 million, a decrease of $28.2 million or 13.7%, compared to $206.1 million last year. Total comparable net sales, including both physical stores and e-commerce ("e-com"), decreased by 14.9%. *Gross profit, including buying, distribution, and occupancy costs, was $54.6 million, or 30.7% of net sales, compared to $76.7 million, or 37.2% of net sales, last year. *Operating income was $6.3 million, or 3.6% of net sales, compared to $29.0 million, or 14.1% of net sales, last year, due to the combined impact of the factors noted above. *Net income was $5.1 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, compared to $20.8 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, last year. Weighted average diluted shares were 30.0 million this year compared to 31.4 million last year.
For the Third Quarter of Fiscal 2022: *Net sales increased 17.2% to $2.3 billion compared to $2.0 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2021 primarily due to the favorable impact from the continued resilience of the beauty category, retail price increases, and the impact of new brands and product innovation compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2021. *Comparable sales (sales for stores open at least 14 months and e-commerce sales) increased 14.6% compared to an increase of 25.8% in the third quarter of fiscal 2021, driven by a 10.7% increase in transactions and a 3.5% increase in average ticket. *Gross profit increased 22.0% to $962.8 million compared to $789.5 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2021. *Operating income increased 27.3% to $361.9 million, or 15.5% of net sales, compared to $284.2 million, or 14.2% of net sales, in the third quarter of fiscal 2021. *Net income increased 27.5% to $274.6 million compared to $215.3 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2021.
WestRock Company announced it has completed the acquisition of the remaining interest in Grupo Gondi for $970 million plus the assumption of debt. The transaction is immediately accretive to earnings, subject to customary purchase price allocations. The acquisition of Grupo Gondi includes four paper mills, nine corrugated packaging plants and six high graphic plants throughout Mexico that produce sustainable packaging for a wide range of end markets in the region. This acquisition will enhance the Company’s leading position in the growing Latin American containerboard, paperboard and consumer and corrugated packaging markets.
Urban Outfitters, Inc. announced that Francis Pierrel, President, Urban Outfitters Group, has left the Company. We appreciate the contributions he made during his tenure and wish him well in his future endeavors. Urban Outfitters, Inc. offers lifestyle-oriented general merchandise and consumer products and services through a portfolio of global consumer brands comprised of the Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People, FP Movement, Terrain, Urban Outfitters, Nuuly and Menus & Venues brands.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.448; Month Ago: $3.765; Year Ago: $3.378. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $5.132; Month Ago: $5.310; Year Ago: $3.632.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.744287; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.142397; American Dollar to Euro = 1.053514; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.007454; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.052144.
Domtar Corporation announced that President and CEO John Williams’ retirement date will be June 30, 2023. Williams has planned to leave the company after fourteen years in his leadership role; however, he will continue as a part-time advisor regarding strategic growth opportunities. Additionally, to continue Domtar’s forward momentum, Steve Henry, currently Senior Vice President of Packaging, has been appointed to the role of Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) effective immediately. As EVP and COO, Henry will lead the pulp, paper and packaging operations and commercial functions at Domtar, while Williams will continue to lead all corporate functions until his retirement. “On behalf of Domtar and the Management Committee, I want to thank John for his leadership and commitment to our employees, customers and communities over the past fourteen years,” said Henry. “He joined the company during a recession and has navigated ever-changing industry dynamics and economic fluctuations to transform Domtar into the strong pulp, paper and packaging company that it is today. I am honored to build on his legacy and continue serving our stakeholders.”
Stora Enso has received regulatory approval from the EU Commission to proceed with the acquisition of De Jong Packaging Group, announced in September 2022. Closure of the transaction is still ongoing and expected to be finalised at the beginning of 2023.
The Irish Forest Certification System has been submitted to PEFC for assessment. The public consultation, which is your chance to give your feedback on this revised system, will run from 12 December 2022 to 9 February 2023. PEFC Ireland revised the country’s national forest certification system following the entry into force of the revised 2018 PEFC Sustainable Forest Management standard. To provide you with additional information about this revised national system, we are holding a webinar on 12 December at 10:00 CET. Register for the webinar at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcqdO6uqz4jE9xv-OtPmwwbPuGtmgMmLzzG
Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $19.17 billion for the retail month of November, the four weeks ended November 27, 2022, an increase of 5.7 percent from $18.13 billion last year. For the twelve-week first quarter ended November 20, 2022, the Company reported net sales of $53.44 billion, an increase of 8.1 percent from $49.42 billion last year. For the thirteen weeks ended November 27, 2022, the Company reported net sales of $58.36 billion, an increase of 7.9 percent from $54.10 billion last year.
As part of a growing ad-industry recognition that ad fraud isn’t just the illegal theft of marketers’ working media dollars, but also unethically funds nefarious parts of the media ecosystem, the Institute for Advertising Ethics (IAE) is updating its professional certification program to include a new module focusing explicitly on fraud. The module, which was developed in partnership with the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM), is mainly educational and is designed to inform advertisers, agencies and others in the supply chain about the “serious ethical issues surrounding” ad fraud in their media-buying decisions.
The Postal Regulatory Commission released its advisory opinion on a Postal Service plan to revise the critical entry times (CETs) for some categories of Periodicals mail. The CET is the latest time a mailpiece may be tendered to the Postal Service and still have the day count when measuring that mail’s service performance. (Docket No. N2022-2). Specifically, the Postal Service proposes to standardize four of the five Periodicals CETs (i.e., CETs for all non-palletized Periodicals mail). Instead of the current CET range of 0800-1400 for the affected categories of Periodicals mail, the Postal Service proposes that all of those categories would share a CET of 0800. The Postal Service asserts that this change would “promote simplification of mail processing operations, and hence more effective allocation and use of processing personnel and equipment.” The Commission’s evaluation of the Postal Service’s proposal finds: *The proposed changes will likely enable the Postal Service to project more easily and accurately the Periodicals volumes and, therefore, will likely improve Periodicals processing. *The proposed changes are likely to result in more efficient use of the Postal Service’s equipment, particularly its bundle/package sortation machines. *A subset of affected Periodicals mailers have indicated that they will not be able to achieve the revised CETs and are likely to have an additional service day added to the delivery of their mailpieces. *The Postal Service has not analyzed how the expected impact on Periodicals mailers would affect Periodicals volumes, worksharing, or the recipients of Periodicals mail.
Silgan Holdings Inc. announced that it entered into a new amended and restated stockholders agreement with its co-founders, D. Greg Horrigan and R. Philip Silver, which amends the existing stockholders agreement to remove the contractual right of the co-founders of the Company to nominate for election all Directors of the Company so long as they and their affiliates held a certain amount of shares of Common Stock of the Company. The co-founders of the Company and their affiliates still as of today hold more than such amount of shares of Common Stock of the Company. Under the new amended and restated stockholders agreement, the co-founders, so long as they and their affiliates own at least five percent of the Common Stock of the Company, retain the right to nominate one nominee for election as a Director of the Company, which nominee must be one of the co-founders. As a result of the new amended and restated stockholders agreement which removed the contractual right of the co-founders of the Company to nominate for election all Directors of the Company, the Board of Directors of the Company established a Nominating Committee of the Board of Directors which consists of all of the independent Directors of the Company. The primary responsibility of the new Nominating Committee of the Board of Directors of the Company will be to assist the Board of Directors in identifying qualified candidates as nominees for the Board of Directors of the Company.
KGL PubFactory, the online hosting division of KnowledgeWorks Global Ltd. (KGL), has announced another longstanding customer contract renewal, this time with international social science publisher, Brill. Having doubled its web business over the past six years, Brill will continue to take advantage of the latest enhancements of the PubFactory platform in an extended relationship. Brill publishes more than 2,000 books and reference works per year, in addition to almost 600 journals—including 42 fully Open Access titles—mainly in the humanities, social sciences, and international law. Brill has expanded in recent years through acquisitions of Dutch biological sciences publisher, Wageningen Academic Publishers, and German humanities publisher, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Verlage.
Worzalla, an employee-owned book printer specializing in printing high-quality children's books, movie tie-in books and cookbooks, raised nearly $50,000 for the United Way of Portage County's Live United, Give United campaign. Money raised for the campaign will go to United Way programs that help Portage County families in need. "Worzalla associates know that when we all come together, we can have a great impact on our community. For at least the third year in a row, Worzalla associates raised funds for the United Way of Portage County" said Kendra Robinson, Worzalla's United Way Campaign Coordinator. "With a mission of bringing people and resources together to achieve measurable results that improve people's lives and strengthen our community, the United Way continues to support the new and ongoing challenges the less fortunate face."
Mondi, a global leader in sustainable packaging and paper, recognized in two categories at the Sustainable Packaging News Awards 2022 for the circular economy and the overall category. The Tesco shopping bags, made from EcoVantage paper produced at Mondi’s Štětí mill in the Czech Republic, shows how suppliers can work with retailers to develop circular systems and turn waste back into a valuable resource. Mondi’s EcoVantage paper combines the strength, printability and appearance of a fresh fibre top layer with the sustainability advantages of a recycled fibre inner layer.