Oil sinks as OPEC mulls Iran supply cut exemption, tries to get Russia on board (reuters)

Oil prices fell on Friday as OPEC discussed a potential exemption from cutting output for Iran and as the producer club sought to get heavyweight supplier Russia on board. There was also still discussion around Iran seeking an exemption from any cuts amid U.S. sanctions which already reduced its exports, OPEC delegates told Reuters. OPEC also wants to get Russia on board with cuts. Russia wants to cut its oil output by a maximum of 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the first three months of 2019, RIA news agency cited a source as saying on Friday. Click read more below for additional detail.
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Cascades doubles its production of moulded pulp packaging with acquisitions in the United States

Cascades Inc. is pleased to announce the acquisition of assets, all located in the United States , which will allow the company to double its production capacity of ecological packaging manufactured in moulded pulp. The total cost of the transaction amounts to US$37 .4 million. The effective date of the transaction is today. The acquired manufacturing plants are Urban Forest Products and Clarion Packaging respectively located in Brook, Indiana and Clarion, Iowa ; two of the top three egg-producing states in the U.S. The plants manufacture moulded pulp protective packaging that primarily serves the egg and quick service restaurant industries and have a combined workforce of just over 150 employees. Cascades also acquired a majority interest in Falcon Packaging, a leader in the distribution of egg packaging which has 31 employees in Ohio , Iowa and Georgia . Combined, these three companies have consolidated sales that exceed US$110M annually. Click read more below for additional detail.
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Ink and Hong Kong Airlines launch +852 magazine in the heart of Hong Kong

Ink has been working with Hong Kong Airlines for a little over a year. In that short time, the airline has grown quickly, new teams have joined and big plans set in motion. We saw an exciting opportunity for their inflight magazine (previously Aspire) not just to excite readers but lead the way in shaping the airline’s brand identity in the years to come. We were fortunate to be working with a team, led by the airline’s Chief Marketing Officer, George Liu, who championed the initiative from the start. His team were clear that they wanted the new magazine to celebrate their home city, and we used that as the jumping-off point for a completely new concept, unlike any other magazine in the skies. Click read more below for additional detail.
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Zanders Paper to Continue Production of Full Product Portfolio

The new Zanders Paper said that it will continue to produce its full paper product lines, while further developing some of the company's newer grades of paper and board. Terje Haglund, head of the Scandinavian investor group that acquired the company on December 1, has been active in the paper industry for more than 20 years, among others as Managing Director at Lessebo Paper in Sweden, and recently, together with a group of investors, acquired the paper manufacturer Virginal Paper (formerly Idempapers) in Belgium. “We are very much looking forward to continuing paper production at this historic industrial site. Zanders will carry on to optimize its cost structures,” Haglund said. “As a lean and healthy company, it will be well positioned to succeed in the highly competitive paper market. Zanders will continue to service its customers with the full existing product portfolio with a focus on meeting market demands.” Click read more below for additional detail.
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The John Roberts Co. Is First in US to Sign Heidelberg Subscription Contract

The John Roberts Co. of Minneapolis recently signed the first Heidelberg Subscription contract in the United States. Through its participation in this unique program, The John Roberts Co. expects to improve both its print quality and overall productivity. The John Roberts Co.s’ Subscription contract includes a new Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106-6+L as well as Prinect software, Saphira consumables, parts, performance consulting, and service. Everything will be provided by Heidelberg for a monthly fee based on the number of printed sheets produced each month. Heidelberg will also work with The John Roberts Co. to analyze their current operations and establish goals for improved production and reduced cost-per-sheet. Click read more below for additional detail.
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Sun Chemical to Increase Prices of Liquid Inks in Europe

Sun Chemical will implement a new price increase affecting its solvent- and water-based liquid inks in Europe, effective January 15, 2019. Costs have risen annually on a variety of key raw materials used to manufacture inks, including solvents, acrylic derivatives, organic pigments, and polyols and isocyanates, which are the basic building blocks for numerous resins. Additionally, the ongoing initiatives in China to enforce tighter environmental regulations at chemical plants has resulted in ongoing supply disruptions. Click read more below for additional detail.
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Publisher Revenue for eBooks Increased in October

October 2018 marked the second time in two years that publishers saw modest revenue growth in eBooks (+4.4%), with increases for the format across all trade book categories. Aside from downloaded audio, eBooks had the largest percent of revenue growth for the month, compared to October 2017. Publishers’ revenues (sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc.) were $1.16 billion in October 2018, down from $1.17 billion in 2017 (-0.8%). The trade book categories either remained flat or declined in October, while educational and scholarly publishing saw some revenue increases. For the year to date (Jan. – Oct.), revenue for trade publishers was up by $213.8 million (+3.5%). Despite the gains in trade publishing, overall publisher revenue was down by $87.2 million (-0.7%) for all tracked categories (Trade, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses). Click read more below for additional detail.
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Ulta Beauty Announces Third Quarter Fiscal 2018 Results

For the Third Quarter of Fiscal 2018 • Net sales increased 16.2% to $1,560.0 million compared to $1,342.2 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2017; • Comparable sales (sales for stores open at least 14 months and e-commerce sales) increased 7.8% compared to an increase of 10.3% in the third quarter of fiscal 2017. The 7.8% comparable sales increase was driven by 5.3% transaction growth and 2.5% growth in average ticket; • Net income increased 25.3% to $131.2 million compared to $104.6 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2017. For the First Nine Months • Net sales increased 16.3% to $4,591.9 million compared to $3,946.9 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2017; • Comparable sales increased 7.5% compared to an increase of 12.1% in the first nine months of fiscal 2017. The 7.5% comparable sales increase was driven by 4.5% transaction growth and 3.0% growth in average ticket; • Net income increased 27.9% to $443.9 million compared to $347.1 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2017. Click read more below for additional detail.
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RRD Extends Labels Capabilities with Addition of Two HP Indigo 6900 Digital Presses

R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company announced that it has added two new HP Indigo 6900 Digital Presses in Visalia, California and Wilson, North Carolina to expand its reach and enhance its existing digital asset production capabilities. The two new HP Indigo 6900 Digital Presses supplement RRD's digital assets for label production that are in use in the Midwest, creating a national network of presses that enables greater flexibility in service and delivery. “We are thrilled to have expanded our technological capabilities to become an even more complete supplier in the labels and forms markets,” said Bruce Hanson, President, RRD Labels & Forms. “The consumer market is changing rapidly, and we are actively investing in digital assets that will enable our clients to be responsive and competitive in their respective industries through creativity and non-traditional offerings. We have taken a regional approach to our asset distribution in order to facilitate shorter run-times and cost efficiencies for our clients at each opportunity.” Click read more below for additional detail.
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L Brands Reports November 2018 Sales

L Brands, Inc. reported net sales of $1.596 billion for the four weeks ended Dec. 1, 2018, compared to net sales of $1.267 billion for the four weeks ended Nov. 25, 2017. Comparable sales increased 9 percent for the four weeks ended Dec. 1, 2018 compared to the four weeks ended Dec. 2, 2017. The company reported net sales of $9.980 billion for the 43 weeks ended Dec. 1, 2018, compared to net sales of $9.077 billion for the 43 weeks ended Nov. 25, 2017. Comparable sales increased 4 percent for the 43 weeks ended Dec. 1, 2018, compared to the 43 weeks ended Dec. 2, 2017.
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