“We expected an increase, but the degree of increase is on the higher side of expectations,” Eugene Lindell, a senior analyst at JBC Energy GmbH in Vienna, said Tuesday by phone. “The Asian market is a little bit stronger compared to the last months,” and Aramco’s adjustments reflect that strength. The narrowing of the April discount is a reflection of “stellar refining margins” in Asia, Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultants Energy Aspects Ltd., said by e-mail from London. Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., which provides prices for crude shipped the previous month, raised its main Murban grade to $56.55 a barrel in February from $46.40 in January, according to an e-mailed statement from the company on Wednesday.
Midland Paper, Packaging + Supplies, the third largest distributor of media for business communications in the U.S, is proud to announce the recent addition of John Fulton to its Specialty Paper & Film Division Sales Team. John’s territory responsibilities will encompass Northern California, the Pacific Northwest and the Mountain States. With over 10 years of experience in specialty paper & film sales, Fulton’s addition creates what is arguably the strongest specialty substrates sales force on the West Coast. See John’s Linkedin Profile at www.linkedin.com/pub/john-fulton/70/242/415 .
The direct mail industry is undergoing an unprecedented transformation. Digital inkjet technology is allowing marketers to combine consumer data with creative strategies to produce more personal and relevant direct mail offers that are increasing return on marketing investment (ROMI). IWCO Direct, a leading provider of direct marketing solutions, continues to lead this digital transformation as the first company in the U.S. to purchase the full-color cut-sheet digital inkjet Océ VarioPrint® i300 (formerly called the Niagara) and the full-color continuous feed inkjet Océ ImageStream® 3500 from Canon Solutions America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A. The equipment is expected to be installed at its Chanhassen digital technology center and operational by early May. The arrival of the Océ VarioPrint i300 and ImageStream 3500 has been highly anticipated by industry analysts, direct marketers and marketing services providers alike. A video on the features of each of these technologies is available for viewing.
Appleton Coated has premiered a new Utopia Two (U2®) Web stocking program focused on the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest markets. Darin Dodd, Appleton Coated’s vice president sales explains, “Starting today this new program, which we are calling Utopia Web Now, gives our customers what they have been asking for – a more robust U2 Web stocking commitment in both our Vail, Pennsylvania Distribution Center (DC) and Remington, Indiana Master DC. We can service many major markets in both the Northeast and Great Lakes areas with next-day delivery on U2 Web rolls.”
Hubert Joly, Best Buy president and CEO, commented, “In the fourth quarter, our teams delivered positive comparable sales, improved profitability and continued progress in our Renew Blue transformation. This resulted in a 1.3% increase in revenue to $14.2 billion and a 23% increase in non-GAAP diluted EPS to $1.48 versus $1.20 last year, primarily driven by growth in the Domestic segment. A compelling merchandise assortment and strong multi-channel execution drove these better-than-expected results as we capitalized on the product cycles in large screen televisions and mobile phones. These two categories were the primary drivers of our year-over-year revenue growth, and more than offset weakness in the tablet category which was impacted by material industry declines.” Joly continued, “On a full year basis, we continued to make progress against the two main problems we had to solve that we outlined in November of 2012 – declining comps and declining operating income rate. In fiscal 2015, we stabilized comparable sales and delivered incremental non-GAAP SG&A reductions of approximately $420 million, resulting in non-GAAP operating income rate expansion of 80 basis points and a 26% increase in non-GAAP diluted EPS to $2.60.
Verso Corporation (NYSE: VRS) today announced the release of a report titled Identifying and Mapping Vernal Pools on State Forest Lands in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (UP). The report documents the results of a year-long collaboration between Verso, the Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI, a program of Michigan State University Extension), the Michigan Forest Products Council (MFPC), and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), to identify and map vernal pools in the UP region, where Verso procures wood for its pulp and paper production. The goal of the project was to enhance the understanding of vernal pools' distribution and ecology in Michigan and how to effectively identify, manage and conserve them. "The results of this project will greatly assist Verso, the MDNR, the MFPC and other partners with forest planning and harvesting efforts, and help facilitate sustainable forest management practices," said Jim Contino, Verso senior director, fiber supply.
Costco Wholesale Corporation ("Costco") (NASDAQ: COST) today announced it has entered into a new co-brand credit card program agreement with Citi and an acceptance and co-brand incentive agreement with Visa. The implementation of these agreements is subject to the purchase of the existing co-brand credit card portfolio by Citi. Under the terms of the agreements, Citi, the world's largest issuer of consumer credit cards, would become the exclusive issuer of Costco's co-brand credit cards and Visa will replace American Express as the credit card network for Costco in the United States and Puerto Rico beginning April 1, 2016.
Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc., a family-owned manufacturer that delivers high-performance specialty papers for the technical, packaging and printing markets, today announced that Paul Fedkenheuer and Mark Skahan have joined the company as Senior Technical Sales Managers. Further, Al Bobst, currently a Senior Technical Sales Representative, has been promoted to the position of Director of New Business Development. Al’s many years of experience with Monadnock’s grade lines and capabilities will be of great value as the company continues to explore new and extended markets for substrates.
Despite challenging economic conditions and the drop in China's overall imports, Europe's leading recovered fiber exporter — the UK — still succeeded in shipping out larger volumes last year, according to latest figures from the country's Confederation of Paper Industries and HM Revenue & Customs. Combined, UK exports of all grades climbed 4.4% to 4.436 million tonnes in 2014 from 4.248 million tonnes in the previous year. Overseas shipments of corrugated and kraft edged 2.1% higher to 2.458 million tonnes while mixed paper deliveries to customers abroad soared 29.2% to 1.414 million tonnes. These gains more than offset steep declines for the high grades (-34.5% to 103 802 tonnes) and for newspapers and magazines (-21.6% to 460 199 tonnes).
Time Inc. continues to lead the magazine media industry with a total gross audience of over 392 million across its multi-platforms and formats, as evidenced by the latest Association of Magazine Media (MPA) Brand Audience Report*. The report covers 151 magazine media brands from 34 companies, representing 95% of the reader universe, for the January 2015 period. The brands across Time Inc.’s portfolio are represented in every category when it comes to monthly audience, reinforcing the company's clearly defined category leadership.