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.
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