UPS announced fourth-quarter 2022 consolidated revenues of $27.0 billion, a 2.7% decrease from the fourth quarter of 2021. Consolidated operating profit was $3.2 billion, down 17.9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2021, and down 3.3% on an adjusted basis. Diluted earnings per share were $3.96 for the quarter; adjusted diluted earnings per share of $3.62 were 0.8% above the same period in 2021. For the fourth quarter of 2022, GAAP results include a net benefit of $299 million, or $.34 per diluted share, comprised of a non-cash, after-tax mark-to-market (MTM) pension gain of $782 million, a one-time, non-cash, after-tax charge of $384 million resulting from accelerated vesting of restricted performance units in connection with a change in incentive compensation program design, a non-cash, after-tax charge of $58 million due to a reduction in the residual value of the company’s MD-11 aircraft and after-tax transformation and other charges of $41 million.
Amazon announced that in 2022 it grew its renewable energy capacity by 8.3 gigawatts (GW) through 133 new projects in 11 countries. This brings Amazon’s total portfolio to more than 20 GW—that could generate the amount of energy to power 5.3 million U.S. homes—across 401 renewable energy projects in 22 countries. The company’s renewable energy purchases continue to add new wind and solar projects on the grids that power Amazon’s operations, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers, Amazon fulfillment centers, and physical stores around the world. With these continued investments, Amazon set a new corporate record for the most renewable energy announced by a single company in one year. The company remains the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy—a position it’s held since 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Amazon’s continued investment in renewable energy helps to accelerate growth in new regions through innovative deal structures, technologies, and cloud solutions.
Approximately three billion pizza boxes are manufactured in the U.S. each year1 and nearly 12.5 million of those pizzas are purchased for Super Bowl Sunday alone according to American Pizza Community. Pratt Industries is proud to be a producer, supplier and recycler of pizza boxes used to celebrate special occasions, from the big game to family game nights and everything in between. “Pizza is a big part of American culture,” says Bob Humberstone, Segment Director for Pratt’s pizza business. “It’s an easy go-to for serving groups, whether spontaneous get-togethers or pre-planned celebrations; making it a convenient and fast crowd pleaser.” Humberstone adds that Pratt understands pizza. Just like one pie doesn’t fit all when it comes to pizza, Pratt understands that one solution does not suffice for all pizza retailers. “National chains need reliable volume, supply chain optimization and sustainable solutions,” says Humberstone, “while regional players need help with inventory management, order flexibility, and size options. Smaller pizzerias may want to be more personal and have quick-turn options for seasonal messages tied to the local community.”
Ahlstrom has led the marketplace in the movement towards more sustainable solutions for fiber-based food packaging, and its new generation of FluoroFree® technology is achieving grease-resistance in the most challenging food packaging applications. Ahlstrom’s FluoroFree® technology has expanded to its PawPrint® line of multi-wall, fiber-based pet food packaging papers, in addition to its Tempera® Microwave Popcorn papers and Servera® Quick Service Restaurant products. For applications in need of fully sustainable packaging and grease barrier wrapping such as bouillon cubes, FluoroFree® provides the solution utilizing alternative materials to films and foils. In addition, Ahlstrom’s Genuine Vegetable Parchment products are naturally greaseproof papers that are also certified Home Compostable.
FULL-YEAR AND FOURTH QUARTER 2022 HIGHLIGHTS *Full-year 2022 net earnings (loss) attributable to International Paper of $1.5 billion ($4.10 per diluted share) compared with $1.8 billion ($4.47 per diluted share) for full-year 2021 *Full-year 2022 adjusted operating earnings* (non-GAAP) of $1.2 billion ($3.18 per diluted share) compared with $944 million ($2.41 per diluted share) for full-year 2021 *Fourth quarter net earnings (loss) attributable to International Paper of $(318) million ($(0.90) per diluted share) including a $533 million non-cash impairment of our Ilim joint venture investment; Fourth quarter adjusted operating earnings* *9% full-year revenue growth; 24% full-year operating earnings growth *Building a Better IP initiatives delivered $250 million of earnings benefit in 2022, including $75 million in fourth quarter *$2.2 billion of full-year 2022 cash provided by operations, including $761 million of cash provided in fourth quarter
Port Hawkesbury Paper Wind has submitted a proposal to the province to construct a 29-turbine wind farm. The proposed location for the Goose Harbour Lake Wind Farm covers an area of Guysborough County between Lincolnville, N.S., and Mulgrave. The company, a sister firm of Port Hawkesbury Paper, wants clearing work to begin this summer or fall, construction to start next year and for the turbines to be up and running in the summer of 2025. The 130.5 megawatts produced at the site would feed into the Nova Scotia Power transmission system and supply up to 40 per cent of the mill's electricity needs.
Following the success of its original Lewis Hamilton signature energy drink, Monster Energy has continued its ongoing partnership with the seven-time Formula One World Champion to launch a new zero-sugar version. Zero sugar is a key growth driver in the energy drink category. The new Lewis Hamilton Zero Sugar edition has a completely new formula with a refreshing peach nectarine flavour described as “stone fruits” and is made from vegan ingredients. For this all new SKU (Stock Keeping Unit), Monster needed new artwork that reflected Lewis Hamilton’s status as a global sporting celebrity. They achieved this with a unique collaboration between the champion driver and cutting-edge digital artist Mad Dog Jones (Michah Dowbak).
Key highlights Q4: *Organic* and currency neutral sales growth of 14% *Solid operating cash flow and strong balance sheet *Shift towards softer demand and declining sentiment. Quarterly data Q4: *Net sales increased by 79% to SEK 11,971 million (6,688), whereof Billerud North America accounted for SEK 4,004 million *Operating profit was SEK 1,353 million (418), including items impacting comparability of SEK -52 million (-177) *Net profit was SEK 940 million (320). Comments by the CEO: Full-year performance 2022 has been excellent. Organic and currency neutral sales growth for the year was 16%. The EBITDA margin was 19% and earnings per share increased from SEK 7.2 to SEK 20.1. The Board of Directors proposes an approximately 75% increase of dividend to SEK 7.5 per share.
The American Forest & Paper Association has released its Q4 2022 Containerboard Quarterly report. According to the report, total U.S. containerboard production decreased 5% when compared to the full year of 2021. Most containerboard grades experienced double-digit percentage declines in Q4. Drops in both domestic and export production contributed to operating rates in the 80s and in some cases the high 70s, bringing the 2022 operating rate five points below that of 2021. Recycled Medium was the only subgrade that had a single-digit percentage drop (-9%) and an increase in export production for the quarter, though exports represent a very small portion of its total production.
Stora Enso’s segment reporting was changed on 1 January 2023 due to the ongoing reorganisation of the Paper division’s operations and changes in the reporting of emerging businesses in the Packaging Solutions division. The Paper division was discontinued as of 1 January 2023 and will not be reported as a separate segment going forward. From 1 January 2023, the Maxau and Hylte sites are reported in Segment Other until the completion of the divestments. The retained Langerbrugge and Anjala sites are reported as part of the Packaging Materials division. From 1 January 2023, the reporting of the emerging businesses in the Packaging Solutions division, including Formed Fiber, Circular Solutions (biocomposites), and Selfly Stores, was transferred to Segment Other.
Stora Enso has signed an agreement to divest its paper production site in Hylte, Sweden and all its related assets to Sweden Timber, a Sweden-based sawmill and planing mill company. The enterprise value is approximately EUR 18 million. The completion of the transaction is expected in the first half of 2023. Concerning the Anjala paper site in Finland, Stora Enso has decided to discontinue the divestment process. The Hylte site transaction, along with the discontinuation of the Anjala divestment, concludes Stora Enso’s plan announced in March 2022 to divest four of Stora Enso’s five paper production sites. In line with its strategy, Stora Enso’s focus is on long-term growth for its renewable products in packaging, building solutions and biomaterials innovations. The retained Anjala and Langerbrugge sites will continue paper production and serving their respective customers. The agreement to divest the Hylte paper site to Sweden Timber has no immediate impact on production nor customer deliveries.
FY23 second quarter service performance scores covering Jan. 1 through Jan. 20 included: *First-Class Mail: 91.7% of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of 0.7 percentage points performance from the fiscal first quarter. *Marketing Mail: 93.9% of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal first quarter. *Periodicals: 85.3% of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard an increase of 0.7 percentage points performance from the fiscal first quarter.
Dotdash Meredith is cutting 7% of its staff, 274 jobs in all, across all departments. The cuts, announced in an email by CEO Neil Vogel on Thursday morning, were to take place the same day. In the email, Vogel said that the leaders and HR staff would meet with affected employees. Parent IAC recently disclosed that Dotdash Meredith suffered a 28% decline in revenue YoY in December. Driving this was an 18% falloff in digital revenue and 39% in print.
The latest and exciting NEW issue of The Page, the magazine produced by Two Sides to promote the sustainability and value of print, is now available! In the latest edition of The Page, we gather a number of experts to make their predictions for 2023. We expect the next 12 months will see plenty of opportunities for the print, paper and packaging industries, as well as an increased focus on sustainability. You can also read up on the success of the Love Paper and National Book Tokens competition and the new rules introduced in Europe focussing on Greenwash.
January–December 2022 compared with January–December 2021 *The carrying amount of SCA’s forest assets increased to SEK 97.9bn (84.5) as of December 31, 2022 due to continued increase in transaction prices for forest assets in Northern Sweden. *Net sales increased 10% to SEK 20,794m (18,822), which mainly related to higher selling prices in containerboard and pulp. *EBITDA increased 12% to SEK 10,194m (9,109). The increase was mainly attributable to higher selling prices. Cost increases were largely offset through control over SCA’s own value chain with a high degree of self-sufficiency in wood, energy, and logistics. EBITDA margin was 49.0% (48.4). *Operating profit increased to SEK 8,642m (7,634). *Operating cash flow was SEK 5,685m (5,216) and fully financed ongoing strategic capital expenditures.
Billerud is evaluating significant investments to transform its Escanaba mill into a world-class paperboard production facility and has applied for investment support from the State of Michigan. The Michigan House of Representatives and Senate has passed legislation approving an appropriation of up to USD 200 million in funding to support Billerud’s plans. The legislation must be approved by Michigan’s Governor, which is expected to occur within two weeks. A pre-feasibility study about Billerud’s planned conversion of the Escanaba mill to paperboard production is ongoing and planned to be completed during the first half of 2023, after which the company’s Board of Directors can make an investment decision.
Norske Skog Skogn will invest around NOK 180 million, after NOK 40-50 million in grant funding from the NOx fund, in a new thermomechanical production line (TMP) that will replace expensive recycled paper with fresh fibre. The new TMP line will reduce variable costs, significantly reduce NOx and fossil CO2 emissions, and reduce landfilled waste. Start-up is expected in the first half of 2024. Today, newsprint is produced at Norske Skog Skogn with a pulp mix, consisting of wood fiber and recycled paper. The investment will replace the use of expensive recycled paper fiber with fresh wood fiber in newsprint production. The production capacity of thermomechanical wood pulp will increase by 100,000 tonnes.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.509; Month Ago: $3.104; Year Ago: $3.348. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $4.689; Month Ago: $4.671; Year Ago: $3.690.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.750401; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.147411; American Dollar to Euro = 1.086552; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.007701; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.053372.
Packaging Corporation of America reported fourth quarter 2022 net income of $212 million, or $2.31 per share, and net income of $215 million, or $2.35 per share, excluding special items. Fourth quarter net sales were $1.98 billion in 2022 and $2.04 billion in 2021. Full year 2022 net income was $1.03 billion, or $11.03 per share, and net income of $1.04 billion, or $11.14 per share, excluding special items. Full year net sales were $8.5 billion in 2022 and $7.7 billion in 2021. In the Packaging segment, shipments per day were down (8.7%) and total corrugated products shipments, with one less shipping day, were down (10.2%) versus last year’s fourth quarter. Containerboard production was 961,000 tons, and containerboard inventory was down 66,000 tons from the third quarter of 2022 and down 46,000 tons compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. In the Paper segment, sales volume was down 14,000 tons compared to the third quarter of 2022 and down 15,000 tons from the fourth quarter of 2021.
Smurfit Kappa has announced a €6 million investment at its Sanguesa paper mill in Spain, which will see the construction and installation of up to 12,000 solar panels on land adjacent to the mill. The solar panels will reduce CO2 emissions by over 3200 tonnes annually and provide significant cost savings. Once operational, it is estimated that the panels will generate more than 10 GWh of power annually which will reduce the current external electricity consumption and dependency by 7%. The Spanish solar energy project is the latest for Smurfit Kappa which has launched similar initiatives in other plants in Spain, Colombia and Mexico to generate sustainable energy. The mill at Sanguesa is one of Smurfit Kappa’s key facilities that produces light MG kraft paper, a packaging solution widely used across industrial and consumer markets in products such as grocery bags and wrapping paper. Its customer base includes some of Europe’s largest brands.
Q4 2022 - Revenue of $1.94 billion, up 9.2 percent year-over-year or up 13.9 percent in constant currency. GAAP earnings per share (EPS) of $0.74, up $4.71 year-over-year. Prior year Q4 GAAP EPS includes an after-tax non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $4.38 per share. Operating cash flow of $186 million, down $12 million year-over-year. Free cash flow of $168 million, down $14 million year-over-year. FY 2022 - Revenue of $7.11 billion, up 1.0 percent year-over-year, or up 4.8 percent in constant currency. GAAP loss per share of $2.15, up $0.41 year-over-year. Both the current year and prior year include after-tax non-cash goodwill impairment charges of $2.54 and $4.08 per share, respectively. Operating cash flow of $159 million, down $470 million year-over-year. Free cash flow of $143 million, excluding a one-time product supply termination charge, down $418 million year-over-year.
Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. introduces Ultrahide® PC 100 Blockout Poster. Ultrahide is a high-performance, Forest Stewardship Council® Certified, 100 percent opaque blockout poster stock ideal for indoor retail, hospitality and event signage. In answer to the call for more sustainable materials to replace PVC, styrene and vinyl, Ultrahide is now made with 100 percent post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled fiber and it is curbside recyclable in the mix paper waste bin. Ultrahide is engineered for superior performance in varying moisture conditions. The bright white, uncoated printing surface is optimized for excellent photographic reproduction using offset, screen, latex inkjet, and UV inkjet printing equipment.
To better align manufacturing capacity in British Columbia with the available long-term fibre supply, Canfor is restructuring its B.C. operations by permanently closing its Chetwynd sawmill and pellet plant and temporarily closing its Houston sawmill for an extended period to facilitate a major redevelopment on the site. The Company intends to build a new, modern, globally competitive manufacturing facility that employs state of the art technology to produce high value products from the sustainable timber supply in the region. Project planning, scoping, preliminary engineering and budgeting are underway. The Company will undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the availability of economic fibre and a thorough project financial analysis, supporting a final investment decision by the end of the second quarter of 2023. Both facilities will be closed following an orderly wind down of operations that is expected to conclude early in the second quarter of 2023 and will remove approximately 750 million board feet of annual production capacity.
International Paper announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its 50% interest in Ilim SA, the holding company for its Ilim joint venture (JV), to its JV partners for $484MM (USD) equity value. The sale is subject to regulatory approvals in Russia. This transaction indicates ~$3.5 billion in total enterprise value (TEV) for Ilim based on a ~3.1X EBITDA multiple on 2022 full-year results*. The Company also received an indication of interest from its JV partners to purchase all of the Company's shares (constituting a 2.39% stake) in JSC Ilim Group for $24MM (USD) on terms and conditions to be agreed. The Company intends to pursue an agreement to sell the JSC Ilim Group shares, and to divest other non-material residual interests associated with Ilim, to its JV partners.
News Corporation announced today that the Company’s Board of Directors received a letter from K. Rupert Murdoch withdrawing the proposal to explore a potential combination of News Corp and Fox Corporation (“FOX”). In withdrawing the proposal, Mr. Murdoch indicated that he and Lachlan K. Murdoch have determined that a combination is not optimal for shareholders of News Corp and FOX at this time. As a result of this action, the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of News Corp has been dissolved. The Board would like to express its appreciation for the Special Committee’s efforts on this matter.
Savvas Learning Company, a K-12 next-generation learning solutions leader, is proud to announce that its Savvas Realize learning management system (LMS) has received the 2022 Supes’ Choice Award from the Institute for Education Innovation, a national school superintendent think tank. Savvas Realize, the K-12 education industry's most innovative LMS, was honored as the “best of the best” in the Learning Management System category. The Supes’ Choice Awards, which recognize the trailblazers and visionaries in today’s rapidly growing edtech industry, are the only edtech industry awards judged exclusively by school district superintendents. Winners in the award program’s 14 categories are selected based on their commitment to student outcomes, innovation and ingenuity, client support, interactivity, and engagement.
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index rose 0.4% in December after decreasing 2.5% in November. In December, the index equaled 115.2 (2015=100) versus 114.8 in November. “Despite the small gain in December, for-hire truck tonnage clearly decelerated during the final quarter in 2022,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “In fact, tonnage outperformed some other key metrics that drive truck freight, like housing starts and factory output during the final month of the year. This is probably because contract truckload freight is still outperforming the spot market and less-than-truckload freight after underperforming both of those sectors in 2021.” For all of 2022, tonnage was up 3.4%, which was the best annual gain since 2018.
A new Gartner, Inc. survey1 found that 87% of business leaders expect to increase organization investment in sustainability over the next two years. As packaging professionals, we can help customers reach their sustainability goals while continuing to meet day-to-day business needs. As companies prioritize sustainability, its importance grows across organization departments – all of which have different day-to-day business needs to consider. Understanding customers’ unique motivations and needs will help guide impactful conversations. What are their goals? How do they measure success? What keeps them up at night?
Silgan Holdings Inc., a leading supplier of sustainable rigid packaging solutions for the world's essential consumer goods products, reported record full year net sales of $6.41 billion, a 12.9 percent increase over prior year net sales of $5.68 billion, and full year 2022 net income of $340.8 million, or $3.07 per diluted share, as compared to full year 2021 net income of $359.1 million, or $3.23 per diluted share.
As of January 1st, Trioworld’s recent acquisitions of two leading innovative high-performance stretch film UK manufacturers, Eurofilms & Quality Films, have merged into one company to strengthen their UK position and support further growth ambitions. “I am happy to announce that Sonia Griffiths, who has been a driving force in developing the hand stretch film market in the UK during her 19 years with Quality Films, will lead the joint teams of Quality Films and Eurofilms to grow our UK business,” says Per Holtstrand, Division President, Stretch Film at Trioworld Group.
As the printing industry’s need for new talent intensifies, its most thoroughly conceived partnership for workforce development is making steady progress on multiple fronts. Mariano Rivera, a legend in Major League Baseball and a philanthropist in private life, is working with printing companies and suppliers in Florida, Texas, and the Northeast to expand a vocational training program aimed at equipping underserved young people with sets of certified and highly employable job skills.
Total shipments of graphic papers in November 2022 were down 23.7% vs. November 2021 and were down 12.5% year-to-date. Total shipments of newsprint in November 2022 were down 18.8% vs. November 2021 and were down 8.7% year-to-date. Total shipments of sc-magazine in November 2022 were down 18.4% vs. November 2021 and were down 15.9% year-to-date. Total shipments of coated mechanical reels in November 2022 were down 29.2% vs. November 2021 and were down 20.9% year-to-date. Total shipments of uncoated mechanical (improved & others) in November 2022 were down 13.9% vs. November 2021 and were down 13.7% year-to-date. Total shipments of coated woodfree in November 2022 were down 36.0% vs. November 2021 and were down 8.0% year-to-date. Total shipments of uncoated woodfree in November 2022 were down 20.4% vs. November 2021 and were down 11.4% year-to-date.
The District Court of Noord-Holland declared Crown Van Gelder B.V. Bankrupt. Crown Van Gelder is a producer of varios types of paper for specific applications, such as ice cream packaging, luxury shoppers and High Speed Inkjet printers. The company was forced to file for bankruptcy since she anticipated payment obligation could no longer be met.
Executive Summary *Fourth quarter 2022 net sales of $5.0 billion, even with the year-ago period, including organic sales growth of 5 percent. *Full-year 2022 net sales of $20.2 billion increased 4 percent, with organic sales up 7 percent. *Diluted net income per share for the fourth quarter was $1.50 in 2022 and $1.06 in 2021. Full-year diluted net income per share was $5.72 in 2022 and $5.35 in 2021. *Net sales in 2023 are expected to increase 0 to 2 percent, including organic sales growth of 2 to 4 percent. Diluted earnings per share is expected to increase 2 to 6 percent, driven by an operating profit increase in the mid-to-high single digits, both versus adjusted results in 2022.
In 2021, the global consumption of paper cups reached more than 244.7 billion units. Most of them still have a non-recyclable plastic lid on. Finnish entrepreneur Matti Salonoja wanted to create an option for plastic. Stora Enso Cupforma Natura Aqua+ gave a great base for the groundbreaking solution. Matti Salonoja ended up making paper lids partly by chance. In 2008, he and his friend thought about having a business and ended up importing branded paper cups to Finland. When his friend left the company after a couple of years, Salonoja started selling cups full-time, and in 2014 he decided to get a cardboard cup machine himself. Back then, the coating on the paper cups prevented them from being recycled. During 2015, however, several cardboard manufacturers started to develop an alternative to plastic used in cups, made of water-based coated cardboard.
Cost-cutting and outright closures continue to afflict print publishing. For instance, The Fort Wayne (Indiana) Journal Gazette is eliminating its Sunday edition and placing that content in a new weekend edition that will appear on Saturdays. Last Friday, the paper announced, “All of the features readers have come to expect on Sundays – exclusive enterprise reporting, stand-alone Sports, Metro, Perspective, Business, Living and Classified/Home sections – will move to the Saturday Weekend Edition, along with color comics, puzzles, advice columns and the weekly advertising insert package."
The latest innovation from Koehler, NexPlus® Advanced, is an evolution of the Koehler Paper’s barrier concept, with the aim of replacing plastic as a packaging material where appropriate. nucao is the first chocolate manufacturer in the market to embrace paper primary packaging made from paper and has been using it for its chocolate products “nucao fruits” and “nucao nuts” since the end of 2022. Leipzig-based chocolate start-up nucao is shaking up the chocolate market. Founded in 2016, the company is currently leading the way when it comes to sustainable chocolate. nucao is the first chocolate manufacturer in the market to embrace primary packaging made from paper and has been using it for its chocolate products “nucao fruits” and “nucao nuts” since the end of 2022. The flexible packaging paper Koehler NexPlus® Advanced from Koehler Paper has an excellent oxygen, mineral oil, and grease barrier, which is necessary for applications where there is direct contact with chocolate and nuts. Making this switch enables nucao to meet a key consumer demand for greater sustainability and to lead the way in the chocolate market with how it chooses to package its products.
Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, is expanding its unique range of medium, high and very high-barrier paper-based packaging to support customers on their journey to use more sustainable packaging solutions. Thanks to Mondi’s extensive research and development activities, expertise in both paper and plastic as well as investments in new technology and increased capacity, the company has further evolved its portfolio and now offers a full range of FunctionalBarrier Papers to customers. By applying different barrier technologies, such as extrusion coatings, aqueous coatings and other very high barriers, this range of paper-based packaging solutions is fit for purpose and can be used for a variety of applications. The medium barrier solution, designed for industrial, eCommerce and personal care packaging, offers high sealability and medium water vapour protection, while the high barrier functional paper offers a medium oxygen and water vapour barrier, as well as a high grease and mineral oil barrier for frozen foods and chocolates. The very high barrier solution, for consumer food products such as coffee, cereals and confectionery, provides excellent product protection from water vapour and oxygen and ensures a long shelf life.
Prinovis management informed the 545-strong workforce at Prinovis Ahrensburg, near Hamburg, last Thursday that it would cease operations at the site by 31 January 2024. Ulrich Cordes, managing director of Prinovis and CFO of Bertelsmann Printing Group, described the decision to close the loss-making site as a difficult but unavoidable due to market conditions. The company blamed the structural decline in the European gravure printing market over the past decade driven by falling demand for high-volume magazines and catalogues.
Paper Excellence announced that it will invest nearly $50 million to upgrade its Crofton mill’s paper operations and towards reductions in its carbon footprint. The investment sees the restart of its C2 paper machine putting over 100 employees back to making paper at the site. Paper operations were recently curtailed due to weakening Chinese paper markets and escalating input costs. “This investment will enhance the development of innovative products that replace banned plastics with renewable paper while significantly reducing carbon emissions,” said Stew Gibson, Chief Operating Officer for Paper Excellence Canada. Gibson said that the Company has been working closely with Provincial and Federal Governments to restore value-added manufacturing jobs at Crofton. “The Government of Canada has contributed $14.3 million through Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program and the Government of British Columbia contributed $4.5 million in provincial funds to help make today’s announcement possible” added Gibson. The C2 paper machine will be transformed to produce stronger, water-resistant paper grades which replace single-use plastics, while the investment also reduces natural gas consumption through more efficient use of waste bark fuel in the mill’s boiler.
FY23 second quarter service performance scores covering Jan. 1 through Jan.13 included: *First-Class Mail: 90.8% of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal first quarter. *Marketing Mail: 93.9% of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal first quarter. *Periodicals: 84.7% of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal first quarter.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for November 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 November 2022 were down 14.4% as compared to November 2021, coming in at $1.0 billion. Year-to-date revenues were down 6.0%, at $11.6 billion for the first eleven months of the year. Trade (Consumer Books) sales were down 13.7% in November, coming in at $863.4 million. In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of November, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were down 22.4%, coming in at $355.2 million; Paperbacks were down 5.4%, with $274.2 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 14.9% to $19.5 million; and Special Bindings was down 15.9%, with $20.0 million in revenue.
As one of the fastest-growing brands within our Gap Inc. franchise portfolio, Old Navy continues to build an international presence and attract new customers across the globe with fun, on-trend and fashionable products at a value for the family. Last year, the Old Navy franchise business was focused on expanding in Latin America through franchise partnerships, launching for the first time in Chile, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, and most recently, in Ecuador. These latest launches in the region underscore the brand’s commitment to Gap Inc.’s ‘Partner to Amplify’ strategy, which focuses on working with best-in-class companies who are experts in their markets to reach new and existing customers while supporting the business in a new and cost-effective way.
Costco Wholesale Corporation announced that its Board of Directors has reauthorized a common stock repurchase program of up to $4 billion. This program will expire in January 2027 and replaces the current $4 billion program (adopted in 2019 and scheduled to expire April 2023), under which approximately $1.4 billion had been purchased. The Board of Directors also declared a quarterly cash dividend on Costco common stock of 90 cents per share. The dividend is payable February 17, 2023, to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 3, 2023. Costco currently operates 847 warehouses, including 583 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 107 in Canada, 40 in Mexico, 31 in Japan, 29 in the United Kingdom, 18 in Korea, 14 in Taiwan, 14 in Australia, four in Spain, two each in France and China, and one each in Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden. Costco also operates e-commerce sites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.
The Book Manufacturers’ Institute (BMI) released the January results for its monthly survey on capacity and lead times for soft cover and hard cover books. This month showed both capacities and lead times continuing to decline. According to responses regarding hard cover books, the average manufacturer was running at 72% of their capacity, down from December’s 82%. The average lead time for completed hard cover books went down to 48 days from 50 days, continuing the trend. For soft cover books, capacity usage dropped to 75% compared to 82% last month. The average lead time dropped to 29 days from 33 days, continuing that trend as well.
Taking a groundbreaking approach to delivering government and civics curriculum, Savvas Learning Company today introduced two new, innovative social studies programs, Magruder’s American Government Interactive and Civics Interactive, that are developed to provide students with the most up-to-date content and current events. Magruder’s American Government Interactive © 2023, the new edition of its premier high school program, is the first social studies curriculum in the country with continuously updated digital resources, complementing a foundational textbook. Civics Interactive © 2024, the newest and first all-digital civics curriculum in the marketplace, is designed to actively promote civic engagement for young adults in grades 6-12.
The Forest Stewardship Council is bringing together some of the most innovative technology companies in the world to help bring cutting-edge solutions to familiar problems. You would be forgiven for not thinking of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) when you think of groundbreaking technology. Our concerns tend toward the analog: trees, soil, wildlife, human beings. However, since March of 2022, FSC has convened a group of the world’s most advanced technology companies to find cutting-edge solutions to the challenges FSC faces – problems like how to root out fraud in supply chains, or help smallholders compete in global markets, to name a few. The group, called the FSC Technology Consortium, meets monthly. Convening virtually to include leaders from around the world, each meeting has an FSC topic expert share an industry problem. The group then considers possible solutions and the role information technology might play in achieving them.
As shoppers and retailers head back to more routine day-to-day activities following the holiday chaos, one activity that is likely to continue well into February is gift returns. Returns are a routine cost of doing business for online retailers as part of a positive user experience. But the holidays offer more significant challenges regarding returns, particularly when you add more brick-and-mortar stores to the situation. The National Retail Federation estimates consumers will return about 16.5 percent of their gifts. A UPS study puts that at around 23 percent - a quarter of the gifts given over the holidays. In cases where an item still has value after being returned, it is imperative to maintain the integrity of the product during shipment. The easiest way to do that is through effective packaging.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) has released the December 2022 Packaging Papers Monthly report. According to the report, total U.S. packaging papers & specialty packaging shipments in December decreased 13% compared to December 2021. Total packaging papers & specialty packaging shipments were down 4% for the year compared to 2021. Shipments of the biggest subgrade in bleached packaging papers — food wrapping — were 27,000 short tons for the month of December. Unbleached packaging papers & specialty packaging shipments in December decreased 12% compared to December 2021. They were down 2% for the year compared to 2021.
Koskisen is a Finnish wood industry company producing sawn timber and panel products, such as birch plywood, furniture, and construction boards made of chip board. Koskisen uses Stora Enso’s bio-based binder, NeoLigno® by Stora Enso, to replace fossil-based resins used in furniture boards. Both the furniture board raw material and the binder are made of wood and sourced from the production process flows of both companies. This results in all raw materials of the Zero Furniture Board being bio-based.
Together with RISE, IsoTimber and Moelven, Stora Enso has been working on the most recent development of NeoLigno – 100% fossil-free structural boards and building elements. Stora Enso has launched NeoLigno®, a revolutionary lignin-based binder for particleboard and insulation applications. We are committed to doing good for people and the planet, which is why we always look to innovate new, renewable alternatives where fossil-based materials are being used today. In this case, we asked ourselves: What if we could come up with a bio-based binding agent that keeps all the technical qualities of traditional binders while also being safe and renewable? Our answer to this question is NeoLigno® by Stora Enso.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.392; Month Ago: $3.123; Year Ago: $3.320. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $4.614; Month Ago: $4.745; Year Ago: $3.643.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.742099; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.147411; American Dollar to Euro = 1.081910; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.007672; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.052780.
S&P Global announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its Engineering Solutions business to investment funds managed by KKR, a leading global investment firm and a longstanding customer of S&P Global, for $975 million in cash, subject to customary purchase price adjustments. S&P Global currently anticipates the divestiture to result in after-tax proceeds of approximately $750 million, which proceeds are expected to be used to fund share repurchases. The agreement follows S&P Global's announced intent in November 2022 to divest the business.
At the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, nations from around the world finalized a new set of goals and targets to guide global action through 2030 to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. The goals include protecting 30 per cent of the world's land, water, and marine areas by 2030, as well as mobilizing at least USD 200 billion per year in domestic and international biodiversity-related funding from both public and private sources. FSC solutions directly contribute to the delivery of the Framework through the following indicators in the monitoring framework: *Target 10: Progress toward sustainable forest management and forest area under forest certification scheme like the Forest Stewardship Council. *Goal B: Certified forests with verified impacts on biodiversity conservation.
The Department of Commerce (DOC) shouldn’t be picking winners and losers in U.S. manufacturing markets, but that is exactly what they are doing in the case of aluminum foil imports. A “self-initiated” case by the DOC against suppliers of aluminum foil from South Korea and Thailand threatens manufacturers of flexible packaging with unwarranted duties on necessary aluminum foil for food, pharmaceuticals, and medical device packaging. These duties are not appropriate as the foil used in these applications is not manufactured in the United States in the quantity and quality needed. In fact, this foil¬—which creates the ideal barrier to bacteria, odor, sunlight, and contamination—is essential to protect the domestic food, health, and medical product supply.
Amcor announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Shanghai-based MDK. MDK generates annual sales of approximately $50 million and is a leading provider of medical device packaging, a key priority growth segment for Amcor. MDK’s coating capabilities, medical paper-based packaging offerings and customer base complement Amcor’s existing portfolio, further enhancing its leading position in the Chinese medical device packaging market. The addition of MDK also strengthens Amcor’s leadership in the broader Asia Pacific medical packaging segment, which now comprises four manufacturing sites serving the China, India and Southeast Asia markets.
Supremex Inc., a leading North American manufacturer and marketer of envelopes and a growing provider of paper-based packaging solutions, announced today the acquisition of the shares of Impression Paragraph Inc. (“Paragraph”), an integrated provider of paper-based packaging, print and point of sale products for a broad range of commercial markets. The transaction was concluded for a total consideration of approximately $26.6 million, on a cash-free and debt-free basis, subject to customary adjustments, financed through the Company’s existing credit facility. Founded more than 35 years ago, Paragraph operates two facilities located in Ville-Saint-Laurent and Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec. Its offering consists primarily of folding carton packaging and point-of-sale displays for the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, food, confectionary and retail sectors. It also provides an array of commercial, digital and wide-format printing. For the 12-month period ended October 31, 2022, Paragraph generated sales of approximately $38.6 million.
Maine Governor Janet Mills announced an award of $1,000,000 from the final round of the Forest Recovery Initiative of her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to ND Paper (NDP) for an upcoming project at NDP’s Rumford Division to enhance the efficiency of its R15 packaging paper machine. “This financial support will greatly assist our efforts to increase the efficiency of our R15 paper machine and, ultimately, the long-term sustainability of the Rumford Mill,” said Ken Liu, Group Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “With help from the State of Maine, we are able to improve critical areas on the machine that will benefit our customers and establish R15 as a leading producer of packaging papers in North America.” “The work we’re doing at our Rumford Division is a huge part of our future and our 100-year vision to thrive as a business and as a positive contributor to the communities in which we operate,” said Liu. “We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Governor Mills and the State of Maine for their support of both ND Paper and the forest products industry through this exceptional program.”
Together in cooperation with customers, Ahlstrom has developed a new portfolio that consists of the most effective solutions for the plasterboard market. FibRoc® Plasterboard is a new offering of protective and durable solutions for high performance plasterboard applications. What differentiates it from other solutions on the market is that it is a combination of glass, synthetic and natural fibres, delivering excellent dimensional stability, good protection, durability and reduced environmental impact in all high performance application areas. “Our high performance solutions for plasterboards deliver excellent fire and moisture resistance,” says Pierre Mary, Vice President, Nonwovens. “Delivering protection against flame spread, protecting against moisture and producing no mold growth in wet and humid environments, ensuring better indoor air quality.” he adds.
Drytac, the leading international manufacturer of self-adhesive materials for the large-format print and signage markets, is delighted to announce the appointment of Cathy Radoncic as its new Northeast Territory Manager for the US, with immediate effect. Cathy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Drytac team, having worked in the print industry for more than 35 years across a range of management roles with both manufacturers and suppliers. In this management role of Northeast Territory Manager, Cathy will be responsible for Drytac’s operations in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
Mondi worked closely with Noel Alimentaria to identify the best possible packaging solution for their range of plant-based and meat food. The collaboration resulted in Noel Alimentaria choosing Mondi’s PerFORMing paper-based tray to pack its rebranded range of sliced plant-based food and vegetarian burgers ‘Verday’. Verday is used by Marks and Spencer’s for its ‘Plant Kitchen’ range in the UK and supplied to Nordic markets for ham and charcuterie products. Being formable, the trays can be moulded and adapted to a range of different-sized food products, with high symmetrical stretch for uniform formability, ideal for shallow food trays. PerFORMing offers strong barrier protection against moisture and oxygen, keeping the food fresh throughout the storage and distribution process. The trays consist of 80% paper compared to the industry standard where they are made of 100% plastic, which means the plastic content of the tray has been greatly reduced. The paper tray is designed for recycling and passed the recyclability tests by German institute PTS (Papiertechnische Stiftung, method RH:021/97).
A study released today by R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company (RRD) found that amid concerns of an economic recession or downturn, organizations see a strategic opportunity to gain market share through increased marketing spend, according to 73% of marketers surveyed. Despite widespread talk about budget cuts, more than half of respondents (54%) expect their organization’s overall marketing budget to increase this year. Findings from RRD’s Optichannel Opportunity Report, which surveyed 300 in-house marketing decision makers, show many marketers are primed to invest the extra budget in print channels, as social media turmoil complicates the digital landscape. More than two-thirds of respondents agree recent large-scale changes to social platforms have influenced their digital marketing strategy. Of this group, 71% have reallocated budget from digital to direct mail, brochures, signage and other print channels.
West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. announced today that it will indefinitely curtail its Perry Sawmill in Florida later this month. Today’s decision is the result of high fiber costs and softening lumber markets. The indefinite curtailment of Perry Sawmill will impact approximately 126 employees and will reduce West Fraser’s US lumber production by 100 million board feet. West Fraser expects to mitigate the impact on effected employees by providing work opportunities at other West Fraser operations. High fiber costs at Perry and a low-price commodity environment have impaired its ability to profitably operate. The indefinite curtailment of Perry Sawmill better aligns our production capacity with demand.
Between Nov. 26 and Dec. 30, the Postal Service accepted 11.7 billion mailpieces and packages into the network with an average delivery time of just 2.5 days.* The Postal Service also released FY23 second quarter service performance scores covering Jan. 1 through Jan. 6. Data for the reporting period shows the average time to deliver a mailpiece or package across the postal network was just 2.6 days. Quarterly data included: *First-Class Mail: 89.4% of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.6 percentage points from the fiscal first quarter. *Marketing Mail: 93.6% of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal first quarter. *Periodicals: 84.5% of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal first quarter.
Both Metsä Group and VR are companies with major role in the society and they therefore play an important part in improving environmental performance and responsibility. The companies are intensifying their cooperation on sustainability in logistics and have agreed a new joint target to halve emissions from transport covered by their cooperation by 2030. In addition, Metsä Group aims to transfer some of its current road transports to railways. For Metsä Group, the measures would represent a total emission reduction of around 14,000 tCO2e per year, which is equivalent to more than 25,000 average lorry journeys. Metsä Group and VR have set up a joint working group to define concrete ways to achieve the emissions reduction target. The measures include the electrification of the rail network, more efficient train concepts and the use of diesel made from renewable raw materials.
Tweddle Group is pleased to announce that Todd Headlee has been named the new President of the company. An experienced executive with a background in digital transformation technology, Mr. Headlee succeeded the retiring Mark Berkey in the role on January 9, 2023. Headlee most recently served as Head of Products and Platforms at 1898 & Co., a global business and technology consultancy. His 30-year career includes work across the automotive and energy sectors, a unique combination that will help Tweddle Group assist its OEM partners as they increasingly pivot toward electric vehicles.
People are tired of looking at screens. Since February 2020, the number of weekly virtual meetings has risen around 150%, with the amount of time people spend in those meetings up around 252% — that is a lot of time staring at screens all day long. For marketers looking to reach that same audience, online or mobile ads are losing their effectiveness as people seek to step away from the digital world when they end their workday. This is where direct mail comes in — a medium that has never gone away, but is seeing a resurgence post-pandemic. “There has been a permanent change in how mail is being used as a marketing channel,” Gary Masse, CEO of IWCO Direct, points out. “Now mail is the channel that breaks through the digital clutter to gain your prospects’ attention, while being coordinated with online channels to drive greater response in all channels.” Deloitte’s “2021 Connectivity and Mobile Trends Survey” found that the average household now has an average of 25 connected devices, with 38% of households connecting additional devices in the past few years.
Nearly 20 printing companies are interested in hiring at least some of the 656 LSC Communications workers who are set to be laid off by March 31. Many of those jobs, however, are not in the Lancaster area. LSC announced last week it planned to shutter its two Lancaster city plants amid a decline in demand for catalogs and magazines. “Sixteen printing companies have reached out to us directly so far,” Melissa Noebes, senior vice president LSC Communications, told LNP | LancasterOnline. “At least a half dozen are in the greater Lancaster area. A few more are located just across the Maryland border. In addition, we have inquiries coming in from printing companies around the country, many of whom are offering generous relocation packages.” She did not respond to a request to provide names of the companies.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.285; Month Ago: $3.245; Year Ago: $3.304. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $4.615; Month Ago: $4.890; Year Ago: $3.593.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.746262; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.148696; American Dollar to Euro = 1.081597; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.007780; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.052911.
For many years, Mitsubishi HiTec Paper's matt inkjet papers have established themselves as the standard in the market. Now the Bielefeld-based speciality paper manufacturer has revised the entire matt portfolio of its jetscript® inkjet media. The new generation of matt inkjet papers with basis weights from 70 to 228 g/m² impresses with a whole range of product improvements. The optimised coated ink-receiving layer enables particularly vivid, lifelike and brilliant colours. The homogeneous, even surface of the new papers is particularly noticeable with large-area prints. The higher optical ink density optimises the reproduction of dark and black shades in particular. The application areas of the new inkjet papers range from large-format and poster prints in retail and at the POS, direct mailings, publishing and brochures to photos and photo books.
Import patterns appear to be returning to normal pre-pandemic levels amid a slowdown in cargo. With a pandemic-driven surge finally over, monthly import cargo volume at the nation’s major container ports has fallen below the 2 million TEU mark and should remain there through most of this spring, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates. “After nearly three years of COVID-19’s impact on global trade and consumer demand, import patterns appear to be returning to what was normal prior to 2020,” Hackett Associates founder Ben Hackett said. “Nonetheless, as inflation eases and consumer spending returns, we project that growth will slowly return going into the second half of the year.”
InTech magazine, the flagship publication of the International Society of Automation (ISA) will soon be all tech: it is ending its print edition and will now be published only in PDF format six times a year. It seems appropriate—if a little belated—that the ISA publication would go all-digital. The magazine found in a reader survey that 67% read InTech's digital edition, which is delivered via email. And 38% visit visit www.ISA.org/InTech to read there. But 46% never pick up a paper issue.
Savvas Learning Company, a K-12 next-generation learning solutions leader, is pleased to announce that it has been named to the 2023 GSV 150, a list of the world’s most transformative private companies in education. Savvas was chosen from more than 4,000 private companies revolutionizing the world of education technology, from Pre-K-12 to workforce learning. GSV Ventures evaluated these companies on five criteria — revenue scale, revenue growth, active learner reach, international reach, and margin profile — to determine the global GSV 150 list.
Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, has started an environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure for a folding boxboard mill it is planning to build in Kaskinen, Finland. The company submitted an EIA programme to the South Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) on 22 December 2022 in accordance with the Act on Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure. The programme is open for public comment and opinion from 12.01.2023 to 10.02.2023. The EIA procedure addresses the environmental impacts of Metsä Board’s folding boxboard mill planned on the existing mill site in Kaskinen. The results of the impact assessment will be considered in the project’s ongoing planning and decision-making process. The assessment will provide information to support decision making, increase citizens’ access to information and their opportunities to influence the process.
It looks like rough going for the commercial printing industry in 2023, with labor shortages, cost inflation, supply chain disruptions continuing, and the American economy slowing appreciably. But even the harshest business climates bring opportunity. Some industries hold up well, creating pockets of growth, and market share and quality employees become available as the unprepared retrench or fail. Keys to capturing the opportunity include acting on leading indicators, marketing for the times, and superior focus and execution. The 162 commercial printing companies that participated in the “2022-23 PRINTING United Alliance State of the Industry Survey” (SOI) spoke frankly about their expectations for the coming year. Just 25.3% expect business conditions to be better than this year, 40.4% about the same, and 34.3% worse.
Interfor Corporation announced plans to reduce its lumber production output in the first quarter of 2023 by at least 100 million board feet, or 8% of quarterly capacity, as economic conditions and market uncertainty continue to impact lumber demand. This temporary reduction in output is expected to be mostly concentrated outside of Interfor’s US South operating region. The Company currently expects to resume its normal operating schedule in April 2023, but will closely monitor market conditions and adjust its production plans accordingly
Following extensive analysis of its operating footprint and the long-term supply of economic residual fibre, Canfor Pulp Products Inc. (TSX: CFX) is announcing the decision to permanently close the pulp line at its Prince George Pulp and Paper Mill, which will result in a reduction of 280,000 tonnes of market kraft pulp annually. The Specialty Paper facility at the site will continue to operate. “In recent years, several sawmills have permanently closed in the Prince George region due to reductions in the allowable annual cut and challenges accessing cost-competitive fibre. This has had a material impact on the availability of residual fibre for our pulp facilities and we need to right-size our operating platform. As a result, we have made the very difficult decision to shut down the pulp line at Prince George Pulp and Paper Mill and will continue to operate the Specialty Paper facility,” said Kevin Edgson, President and CEO, Canfor Pulp. Over the next few months, the Company will be following an orderly wind down process. The pulp line is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2023 and is anticipated to impact approximately 300 positions across the organization by the end of the year.
Learning technology company HMH and NWEA, a not-for-profit, research and educational services organization serving K-12 students, announced today they have signed an agreement for HMH to acquire NWEA. Upon closing, NWEA will operate as a division of HMH, with its current offerings, including its flagship assessment—MAP Growth—remaining under the NWEA brand. NWEA assessment solutions will be integrated with HMH curriculum on HMH’s platform to create a combined offering that links interim assessment to instruction. HMH is a portfolio company of Veritas Capital, a private investment firm that focuses on companies that provide technology and technology-enabled solutions to government and commercial customers worldwide. By combining NWEA’s assessments with HMH’s curriculum, HMH is expected to deliver a holistic solution for educators that helps them understand how students are growing academically and what areas need the most focus to maximize that growth. Most importantly, this solution will turn insights from assessments into content recommendations that help teachers address student-specific skill gaps and advance student learning.
Gannett is closing ThisWeek Westerville News & Public Opinion both in print and online, effective Jan. 26, according to the Gannett paper The Columbus Dispatch. According to the Dispatch, the decision is part of a broader digital transformation that will allow the company to concentrate its reporting strength on the Dispatch and Dispatch.com. “This decision helps ensure the success of the core Columbus Dispatch product,” said Edwina Blackwell Clark, executive editor of The Dispatch.
Colbert Packaging Corporation announced the installation of two new Eterna blanking die cutters. The Eterna Line ECUT 1060 Elite ER is a welcome addition to Colbert’s Kenosha, WI, and Elkhart, IN, production facilities, adding die-cutting capacity to complement recent printing press installations. The precision-tight registration of the Elite ER delivers precise cutting, especially critical to the stringent packaging quality requirements of the pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods industries. As an added benefit, tooling is compatible with Bobst Group Technology, the recognized standard for packaging equipment.
The ISCC PLUS certification reinforces the Pregis Purpose to ‘Protect, Preserve, Inspyre.’ It is the latest example of the company achieving milestones in support of its sustainability strategy and commitment to providing high-performing products while enabling a circular economy. This third-party certification enables Pregis to produce solutions that are classified as circular, bio-circular, and/or bio-base. Becoming ISCC PLUS certified highlights our commitment to supporting customers in boosting a circular economy. The ISCC PLUS certification includes the mass balance chain of custody option, providing traceability along the supply chain.
The book printing market is experiencing high levels of demand and a continued resurgence among consumers for physical books. While a good problem to have, it could be a problem nonetheless as we move into 2023. Kevin Spall, senior VP at Scholastic, offers a perspective on this from the publishing side, explaining: “Publishers are full, having overbought because demand was high and capacity was low. We bought inventory to be prepared. And now, as demand softens, we still have inventory. The need to reprint is less certainly than it was a year ago when the demand was just starting to spike, and those are not issues that are going to go away quickly.” Demand has soared in 2022, according to the Book Manufacturers Institute’s (BMI) "State of the Book Industry 2022” report. The printed book market remains on an upward trajectory, continuing to build on the momentum of 2020, when COVID-19 kept people at home and interest in reading surged.
Monadnock Paper Mills, a manufacturer of technical specialty and premium printing and packaging papers, announced that Brigitte O’Connor has joined the Company as Southeast Regional Sales Manager. Brigitte has more than 25 years of experience in the industry with a strong background in graphic communications, paper, packaging and printing. Most recently, she was a senior account executive for Standard Press, Atlanta, GA, where she demonstrated strong territory growth through strategic and educational initiatives. Previously Brigitte held sales and account development roles for Unisource Worldwide and Fox River Paper.
Mondi, a global leader in sustainable packaging and paper solutions, has received eight awards in five categories at this year’s WorldStar Global Packaging Awards. The WorldStar Awards recognise the best ideas, innovations and technologies on the market, with a focus on sustainability, product protection and end-user convenience. They are open to entries from packaging companies around the globe. Mondi’s 2023 WorldStar Award winners are: Mono Formable PP, category: food; RetortPouch Recyclable, category: food; EasyTray, category: Fresh fruits and vegetables; NoTamperBox, category: ecommerce; Corrugated-board Wedge, category: transit; TrapezeBox, category: food; Turbocharger, category: transit; Eco Multi Rack, category: other.
CTI Paper USA, a leading full-service supplier of premium printing and converting substrates, has launched COLORMATES®, a comprehensive new line of printing papers featuring high-bright favorites and fashion-forward colors. The new uncoated text and cover papers target merchants, commercial and in-plant printers, as well as converters and brand marketers/designers in the U.S. and Canada. A new COLORMATES® swatchbook and print demonstration is now available. COLORMATES® is Forest Stewardship Council certified and produced elemental chlorine free. The premium line—in 20 colors including one bright white—is available in 111-lb. cover and 81-lb. text, folio and cut-size, with select matching envelopes. Applications include dry toner, laser and offset printing as well as converting and high-end packaging.
To kick off the new year, Kohl’s is donating more than $500,000 to more than 20 nonprofits serving families in Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties through the Kohl’s Hometown Giving Program. The Kohl’s Hometown Giving Program, now in its fifth year, is an important part of the retailer’s local community support and provides another funding opportunity for nonprofits looking to expand and develop their programming to further enhance the health and wellness of families. “Kohl’s is such a big part of the greater Milwaukee area, so it’s especially important that we give back here through our philanthropic work in a significant way,” said Tara Geiter, Kohl’s director of community relations. “We’re proud to provide funding through Kohl’s Hometown Giving Program, among many other local initiatives, to help support our communities through the incredible, impactful work these nonprofits are doing year-round to enhance and improve family health and wellness.” Grants range from $5,000 to $25,000 and are made possible through the Kohl’s Cares® merchandise program, which sells children’s books and plush toys and donates 100 percent of the net profit to health and wellness organizations nationwide.
Total Company net sales for the two months ended December 31, 2022 increased 2.3% compared to the two months ended December 31, 2021. Total Retail segment net sales increased 1%, with comparable Retail segment net sales increasing 2%, partially offset by a 1% negative impact of foreign currency translation. The increase in Retail segment comparable net sales was driven by low single-digit positive growth in digital channel sales and low single-digit positive growth in retail store sales. By brand, comparable Retail segment net sales increased 15% at the Free People Group and 7% at the Anthropologie Group and decreased 10% at Urban Outfitters. Wholesale segment net sales decreased 22% driven by a decrease in Free People wholesale sales primarily due to a decrease in sales to department stores. Nuuly segment sales increased 150% due to a 153% increase in our subscribers during the two months ended December 31, 2022, as compared to the prior year period. For the eleven months ended December 31, 2022, total Company net sales increased 5.1% compared to the eleven months ended December 31, 2021. Comparable Retail segment net sales increased 4%, driven by high single-digit positive growth in retail store sales due to increased store traffic and low single-digit positive growth in digital channel sales. Wholesale segment net sales decreased 3%, primarily driven by a decrease in Free People Group wholesale sales primarily due to a decrease in sales to department stores, partially offset by an increase in sales to specialty accounts. Nuuly segment sales increased 176% due to a 187% increase in our subscribers during the eleven months ended December 31, 2022, as compared to the prior year period.
CJK Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has completed an agreement to acquire the assets of venerable print and publishing services company Allen Press, located in Lawrence, Kansas. This acquisition is unique for CJK Group in that it will supplement and expand services and capabilities to both the Sheridan print operations in addition to its KnowledgeWorks Global Ltd. (KGL) content solutions company. Allen Press originated in 1935 as a family-owned company serving a local print market and grew to incorporate a wide variety of editorial, production, marketing, and digital services tailored to the needs of independent society and association publishers. The print facility will be renamed Sheridan Kansas, bringing the number of Sheridan’s print locations across the country to a total of ten.
The print and paper advocacy group, Two Sides, is excited to announce its newest member, PDS (Print Data Solutions), the Northamptonshire-based print management company. With over 20 years’ experience in print management, Print Data Solutions has a long pedigree of service that has enabled the business to grow year on year. PDS continues to evolve, providing innovative and bespoke design and print management solutions to a wide variety of clients working in many different industries.
Paper Excellence Canada announced it has donated $50,000 to the Canadian Red Cross. A majority of the donation will support ongoing emergency management operations in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, while a donation of $20,000 was made earlier this fall to Nova Scotia Red Cross in response to Hurricane Fiona. Paper Excellence Canada currently has operations in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia. “The Red Cross is a constant, comforting presence across the world, but that is especially true here at home in Canada, so we are very pleased to be supporting the Red Cross in the provinces where Paper Excellence Canada operates,” said Graham Kissack, Vice President EH&S and Corporate Communications for Paper Excellence Canada.
De Jong Packaging Group, one of the largest corrugated manufacturers in the Benelux, is now officially part of Stora Enso. This acquisition will advance Stora Enso’s strategic direction, accelerate revenue growth and build market share in renewable packaging in Europe. The acquisition of De Jong Packaging Group will begin a new phase of renewable packaging solutions within Stora Enso. On top of Stora Enso’s existing corrugated facilities, De Jong Packaging Group has 16 sites in total in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and the UK. Most of the sites are corrugated converting and packaging wholesale facilities and they include two corrugators, 16 processing machines and 46 tray erectors. Together they produce 2,5 million boxes a day. De Jong Packaging Group’s core business is corrugated converting where its product portfolio includes corrugated trays, regular slotted boxes (‘American boxes’), specialty folding boxes, corrugated sheets as well as other products like solid board boxes. Services include custom box designs, tray erecting, packaging automation, pre-printing and logistics services.
Stora Enso has completed the acquisition of the Netherland-based company De Jong Packaging Group, one of the largest corrugated packaging producers in the Benelux countries. The acquisition announced in September 2022 with an enterprise value of approximately EUR 1,020 million was closed today following regulatory clearances and employee consultation. The acquisition will significantly strengthen Stora Enso’s presence in European packaging markets and provide an entry into the corrugated packaging market in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the UK. With the acquisition, Stora Enso’s Packaging Solutions division will increase its corrugated packaging capacity by approximately 1,200 million m2 to more than 2,000 million m2, including De Jong Packaging Group’s ongoing expansion projects. De Jong Packaging Group’s full year 2022 sales is estimated at approximately EUR 1 billion. Its product portfolio and geographic presence complement and enhance Stora Enso’s offering, especially in fresh produce, e-commerce and industrial packaging.
FY23 preliminary first quarter service performance scores covering Oct. 1 through Dec. 30 included: *First-Class Mail: 90.1% of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.1 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. The current data reflects a year over year increase of 1 percentage point compared to the same period in the FY22 peak holiday season. *Marketing Mail: 94.0% of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a slight decrease of 0.8 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. The current data reflects a year over year increase of 1.8 percentage points compared to the same period in the FY22 peak holiday season. *Periodicals: 84.7% of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.1 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. The current data reflects a year over year increase of 3.8 percentage points compared to the same period in the FY22 peak holiday season.
Envoy Solutions announced that it has acquired Flowood, Miss.-based Delta Packaging & Supply. The industry-leading packaging distributor offers a wide range of flexible packaging materials, automated packaging equipment, and efficient packaging solutions to a broad range of industries. Delta Packaging & Supply partners with manufacturers to provide its clients with direct pricing on a long list of industrial packaging products, custom poly bags and film, tapes, strapping, machines, and more. For more than 35 years, the company's packaging innovations have provided cost savings for its clients throughout the U.S. The acquisition expands Envoy Solutions' national footprint, particularly in the Southeast where it has established a strong and growing presence in packaging solutions. "Delta Packaging & Supply will be an excellent fit for our differentiated business model of like-minded companies," said Mark M. Fisher, CEO of Envoy Solutions. "Johnie Weems runs a highly valued company with a great team who will help us continue to grow our packaging capabilities. As we build upon our progress in the Southeast, we will continue to enhance efficiency so we can deliver the best solutions to our clients."
Lacerta Group announced that on December 21 it acquired the production facility and other assets of Portage Plastics Corporation and PPC Investments, LLC (together, “Portage Plastics”), a manufacturer of thermoformed packaging products based in Portage, WI. As part of the transaction, Lacerta has hired over 50 Portage Plastics employees. Lacerta is a leading North American provider of innovative and sustainable thermoformed packaging solutions, primarily made from PET. Lacerta offers a comprehensive product portfolio and in-house design capabilities, with a particular focus on customers in the prepared food and fresh produce sectors. Lacerta is a market leader in fully recyclable packaging containing post-consumer resin, which is increasingly gaining importance as its customers seek out more sustainable options to reduce their carbon footprint. “We are excited to acquire a great manufacturing site in Portage Wisconsin and welcome a talented group of dedicated associates to the Lacerta family,” said Peter Lennox, CEO of Lacerta. “This transaction is an important step in Lacerta’s growth story and will allow us to better serve our expanding customer base in the Midwest and Central United States.”
LSC Communications is closing both of its printing plants in Lancaster County. More than 650 employees will be out of work when the plants close on March 31. LSC spun off from R.R. Donnelley in 2016. R.R. Donnelly, based in Chicago, has a history in Lancaster dating back to 1960. It was one of the world's leading printing companies. LSC operates printing plants on Harrisburg Pike and Greenfield Road. The plants printed department store catalogs and telephone directories and later moved into online mapping.
Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $23.80 billion for the retail month of December, the five weeks ended January 1, 2023, an increase of 7.0 percent from $22.24 billion last year. For the 18 weeks ended January 1, 2023, the Company reported net sales of $82.16 billion, an increase of 7.6 percent from $76.34 billion last year.
Disrupt. Delight. Drive. Three words that, together, form a mandate for our catalogs. From crowded mailboxes our books need to stand out and garner attention; pay off that attention with content that creates desire, and – ultimately – compel our customers to click, call or visit. It’s a tall order. And that first piece, Disrupt, is the 1st priority. If it doesn’t happen, the other two won’t. We could mail an 11” x 17” oversized book. That will get noticed. So would a ‘scratch and sniff’ cover? But most of us don’t have budget to add a bunch of bells and whistles just to make us louder than the other guys. I’m particularly mindful of this as I wade through the current flood of women’s clothing catalogs in my own mailbox, most of them conveying the long-suffering mashup: covers graced with women pouring each other glasses of Rosé, or bikes with flower-filled baskets. Make no mistake: this is not a judgement, but a shared burden.
As the pioneer of the notion of High Conservation Values, FSC certification benefits biodiversity by protecting rare and threatened species and their habitats as required by FSC standards. However, data about this impact is not systematically available. In fact, global biodiversity data is insufficient, not comparable, and most importantly, does not aim to capture the true value of nature in society. For this reason, FSC will work with partners including IKEA, Tetra Pak, Procter & Gamble, Kingfisher, SCA, Essity, and WWF International, as well as knowledge and technology partners, to understand how it can provide better biodiversity data about FSC certified forests and create a framework for companies to make claims on biodiversity related to their FSC-certified products.
The print and paper advocacy group, Two Sides, is excited to announce its newest member, KPM Group, a print production, mail and media company based in Sevenoaks, Kent. “KPM Group are delighted to become a member of Two Sides. We work hard to understand our customer’s business challenges, to pinpoint where we can add value. As sustainability is an increasing factor on many of our customers minds, the facts that Two Sides have collected will help us to tell a positive environmental story around direct mail and in turn, help provide value to our customer’s DM campaigns.” says Marian Lively, Managing Director for KPM Group.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.290; Month Ago: $3.380; Year Ago: $3.301. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $4.677; Month Ago: $5.058; Year Ago: $3.575.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.732057; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.145740; American Dollar to Euro = 1.049720; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.007428; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.051805.
Mittera has acquired Atlanta-based commercial printer, Geographics, Inc. Geographics is the leading web, sheetfed, digital printing, and fulfillment company in the greater Atlanta region. With nearly 100 employees, Geographics has a well-known track record of providing superb print solutions to clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. “With this acquisition, Geographics customers will now have access to one of the most robust manufacturing platforms, and complete suite of creative, marketing, data, and technology solutions in the country”, said Jon Troen, CEO of Mittera, “all delivered by a group of knowledgeable professionals with the core focus of providing the best customer experience in the industry.”
Publishers had a reasonably good year in 2022, but 2023 could be rocky, judging by new research by the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM). In 2022, 67% saw an increase in digital subscriptions, and 40% reported increased web traffic. But 80% experienced rising production costs, and 53% were hit with distribution challenges. The survey was limited to 30 executives at AAM-audited publishers. This is not projectible, but it does provide a snapshot. Of those respondents, 82% said advertising would continue to be a main source of revenue, while 57% expect digital subscriptions would be a primary source, and 54% said the same about print subscriptions.
The Postal Regulatory Commission voted unanimously to designate Commissioner Mark Acton as vice chairman of the Commission effective January 1, 2023, succeeding Commissioner Ann Fisher. Agency regulations provide that the commissioners elect a member to serve as vice chairman for a term of one year. Commissioner Mark Acton was reappointed to the Commission by President Barack H. Obama on December 12, 2016, for a third term of continued public service extending until October 14, 2022, and was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 10, 2016. President George W. Bush first nominated Mr. Acton as a postal rate commissioner on November 7, 2005, and he was confirmed by the Senate on August 3, 2006. Prior to his appointments, Mr. Acton served as special assistant to the chairman of the Postal Rate Commission and assisted in managing all aspects of agency operations.
In response to the global climate and energy crisis, Hachette Livre—the parent company of Hachette Book Group—has announced an ambitious carbon reduction strategy that aims to cut 30% of the company’s carbon emissions by 2030. Dubbed its “30/30 Strategy,” Hachette aims to reduce emissions annually by 2.5% by reconfiguring its operations to be greener and more energy efficient. According to a December 21 press release, the company is targeting Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, including a “30% reduction in the proportion of books that are shredded, a 26% reduction in carbon intensity of paper manufacturing, an 18% reduction in carbon intensity of book printing and binding, and 1% and 1.5% annual reductions in upstream and downstream freight respectively.”
WBA first quarter sales decreased 1.5 percent from the year-ago quarter to $33.4 billion, an increase of 1.1 percent on a constant currency basis. Operating loss was $6.2 billion in the first quarter compared to operating income of $1.3 billion in the year-ago quarter. Operating loss in the quarter reflects a $6.5 billion pre-tax charge for opioid-related claims and litigation. Net loss in the first quarter was $3.7 billion compared to net income of $3.6 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Modern Litho-St. Louis, a full-service commercial printer and mailer, announces it has acquired Scotts Printing of Rolla effective December 31st, 2022. Serving similar clientele, Scotts Printing operation pairs well with the business model of Modern Litho’s St. Louis facility, located on The Hill at 5111 Southwest Ave. “Scotts Printing has had a successful presence in the regional print industry for many years with well-established customer relationships and high standards of service. We are grateful to have them on board and look forward to a bright future,” commented Skip Bray, Modern Litho- St. Louis President.
In 2023, Domtar is celebrating 175 years of manufacturing products people use every day. Our company is built on more than a century of anticipating what our customers need and what consumers want to buy for everyday living. Our story is one of successful reinvention, and as we continue to change and grow, we take confidence from our strong legacy. Our next chapter begins now. Our roots trace back to 19th-century England. That’s when Henry Potter Burt established Burt, Boulton Holdings Ltd. His company specialized in treating lumber to prevent decay, and business boomed as demand for railway ties and wharf pilings grew in Europe and North America. As the company grew, he moved to Canada and founded Dominion Tar and Chemical Company in 1903. We grew along with Canada’s industrialization and diversified over the years, making products including chemicals, consumer products, construction materials, and paper and packaging. Over the years, we purchased other facilities and companies across North America, some of which are integral parts of Domtar today.
Canfor Corporation is announcing an extension of sawmill curtailments in British Columbia (B.C.) due to ongoing weak market conditions and the lack of available economic fibre. The production capacity will be reduced through two-week curtailment extensions in January at select solid wood facilities in B.C. This will remove approximately 21 million board feet in addition to the 150 million board feet previously announced on December 5, 2022. The Company will continue to adjust operating rates to align with market conditions and the available supply of economically viable timber.
The Postal Regulatory Commission unveiled its 2023-2028 Strategic Plan. The Plan is robust and resilient, allowing the Commission to anticipate changes to the postal system and to adapt as necessary to ensure transparency and accountability of the United States Postal Service. The four Strategic Goals identified encompass the Commission’s priorities and strategic focus throughout 2023-2028: Strategic Goal 1: Anticipate and adapt to an evolving postal system through a responsive and trusted regulatory framework. Strategic Goal 2: Enhance and expand communication of accurate and relevant regulatory information to postal stakeholders, policymakers, and the general public. Strategic Goal 3: Develop an internal infrastructure to support and strengthen our regulatory capabilities through adaptive policies, efficient processes, and scalable platforms. Strategic Goal 4: Build an organization that will attract, develop, and retain a diverse workforce of experts.
GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. announces the retirement of its Chief Executive Officer, Rick Doman, for personal reasons effective December 31, 2022. GreenFirst’s Chairman, Paul Rivett, has temporarily assumed the role of Executive Chair and interim CEO in order to ensure the focus of the company during this transition, including continuing the progress of initiatives that are underway and beginning the search for a new executive to replace the retiring Mr.Doman. Mr. Doman will continue as a Director of GreenFirst, and Marty Proctor has become Lead Independent Director.
Trioworld Group has signed an agreement to acquire the Canadian based Malpack Ltd. and US based Malpack Corp. (collectively, Malpack), a leading player in solutions for high-performance stretch film in the transit packaging segment. Malpack supports customers in the areas of distribution, beverage, food, consumer goods, e-commerce, and other industrial packaging. Trioworld is very pleased to welcome Malpack to the Trioworld group. As a North American leader in high-performance stretch film, Malpack has grown impressively over the past years. Based on a superior product portfolio consisting of innovative stretch films and a superior service level, Malpack now serves customer from coast to coast in US and Canada. The company is well-invested, and management is focused on strengthening their offering with circular solutions which is in line with Trioworld’s ambition to be the circular leader in the load security and transit packaging market.
Stora Enso has completed the divestment of its Nymölla paper production site in Sweden, and all related assets to Sylvamo, a US-based global producer of uncoated paper. The divestment announced on 15 September 2022 was closed today after regulatory approvals. The enterprise value of the transaction is approximately EUR 150 million. The Nymölla site’s capacity is 485,000 metric tonnes of woodfree uncoated office papers, with Multicopy as the leading paper brand. Based on the 2021 figures, the divestment is expected to reduce Stora Enso’s annual sales by approximately EUR 290 million. Subject to closing date adjustments, Stora Enso will book a one-time disposal loss of approximately EUR 25 million (including currency translation adjustments) in its IFRS operating profit in the first quarter of 2023, as an item affecting comparability.
FY23 first quarter service performance scores covering Oct. 1 through Dec. 23 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 1.8 percentage points compared to the same period in the FY22 peak holiday season. *Marketing Mail: 94.0% of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a slight decrease of .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: 85.1% of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.7 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. The current data reflects a year over year increase of 3.9 percentage points compared to the same period in the FY22 peak holiday season.