Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, fell 1.7% to $48.86 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading down 2.2% at $45.91 a barrel. Later on Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, will release its latest weekly data for the U.S. oil inventory levels. The report will be followed Wednesday by data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Both reports registered a fall in inventories last week.
Unless a package is particularly hard to open, such as the plastic clamshells that imprison electronics, the first time most consumers consciously consider packaging is when it's empty. But by the time they toss it away (hopefully into a recycling bin), the package has served myriad roles--most underappreciated--in the food and beverage value chain. The principal role of food packaging seems so obvious: protection from physical harm, spoilage and food-borne pathogens as it extends the shelf life of food in its processed state. But there are many more roles that are not top-of-mind to food and beverage manufacturers--yet they should be, as they impact almost every facet of their businesses, including the bottom line.
Verso Corporation (NYSE: VRS) confirmed today that the New York Stock Exchange has suspended trading in Verso's common stock, effective immediately, and has commenced proceedings to delist the stock from the NYSE. The NYSE took this action when the trading price of Verso's common stock decreased to $0.15 per share this afternoon. The NYSE, in interpreting its continued listing standards, has determined that a trading price of $0.15 or less per share is "abnormally low" and, therefore, is cause for suspension of trading and delisting from the NYSE. Verso's common stock will begin trading in over-the-counter markets effective immediately. The suspension and delisting are unrelated to Verso's business operations and do not constitute a default under any of Verso's credit agreements and debt securities.
Södra reported a strong earnings trend for the first eight months of the year. Operating profit rose to SEK 1,660 million (1,012), sales increased to SEK 12,186 million (11,429) and the operating margin was 14 percent (9). "Södra is performing well. A healthy second four-month period has finished with a historically strong overall result for the Group for the period through August. This is largely due to high price levels for finished goods and mainly to a favourable currency situation - but also because Södra is becoming an increasingly efficient, innovative and value-generating Group," said CEO Lars Idermark. Operating profit for the second four-month period amounted to SEK 718 million (509) and sales to SEK 5,943 million (5,591), which yielded an operating margin of 12 percent (9).
Sonoco (NYSE:SON), one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, has expanded its line of FlatStack® paperboard tier sheets to include FlatStack® Ultralight™, a value-priced alternative to lightweight gypsum and paperboard sheets. “The new Ultralight option offers our customers exceptional performance for a great price,” said Michael Krawson, account manager for sheets. “Plus, it comes straight from our paper mills, meaning we can assure consistency in quality and security of supply.”
Investing heavily in school computers and classroom technology does not improve pupils' performance, says a global study from the OECD. The think tank says frequent use of computers in schools is more likely to be associated with lower results. The OECD's education director Andreas Schleicher says school technology had raised "too many false hopes". The report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development examines the impact of school technology on international test results, such as the Pisa tests taken in more than 70 countries and tests measuring digital skills.
UPM's FSC® group certification scheme for private forest owners in Finland has passed a milestone of 100,000 hectares of certified forest. Since 2012, UPM has offered an FSC forest certification service to private forest owners. UPM's FSC group certificate (FSC® C109750) provides private forest owners with a reliable and internationally recognised means of ensuring that their forests are managed responsibly and according to the latest practices. The FSC certificate is mainly targeted at large and medium-sized forest estates, where it provides most benefits for the forest owners. "An increasing number of forest owners in Finland have become interested in certifying their forests to the FSC scheme. They know that the demand for FSC certified wood is high,” says Eija Kuusisto, Key Account Manager at UPM Wood Sourcing and Forestry. "UPM promotes the advancement of the FSC forest certification in Finland. FSC certified wood creates new opportunities for our businesses in the highly competitive end-use markets. We are looking to increase the share of FSC certified fibre in our operations, with an emphasis on sourcing near our mill sites.”
"PEFC has the unique ability to facilitate the link between global aspirations for sustainable forest management and on-the-ground implementation of responsible practices", said Thorsten Arndt, Head of Communication at PEFC International, at the World Forestry Congress in Durban last week. "While various factors have helped to increase the uptake of certification globally, the increased interest in PEFC stems from our focus of working with, and giving ownership to, local organizations and people in elaborating their vision of sustainable forestry."
Mondi Group has signed an agreement for the acquisition of 100% of the outstanding share capital of Ascania nonwoven Germany GmbH (“Ascania”) from Schloss Neugattersleben Group, a private equity investment group for a total consideration of EUR54m on a debt-and-cash-free basis (5.7x LTM EBITDA). Ascania is a producer of nonwoven fabrics and nonwoven composites used as components in personal care products. The business operates from one site based in Aschersleben, Germany. Ascania is a key supplier of nonwovens for diaper elastic laminates to Mondi. The business employs around 150 people and will be integrated into Mondi’s Consumer Packaging Business Unit.
Group management at Holmen is in the midst of a regrouping process after the company’s technology director Staffan Jonsson passed away after a period of illness. Ola Schultz-Eklund will succeed Staffan Jonsson as technology director and Fredrik Nordqvist will become CEO of the Holmen Energi business area. Ola Schultz-Eklund will be taking over the role of technology director. He is currently director of business development and innovation and was previously managing director at the mill in Workington. The technology director is a member of Group management, reporting directly to the Group President.