Urban Outfitters, Inc. which operates a portfolio of global consumer brands comprised of Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People, Terrain, Urban Outfitters and Nuuly brands and the Menus & Venues division, announced a preliminary net loss of $138 million and preliminary loss per diluted share of $1.41 for the three months ended April 30, 2020. Total Company net sales for the three months ended April 30, 2020, decreased 31.9% over the same period last year to $588 million. Comparable Retail segment net sales decreased 28%, driven by negative retail store sales due to mandated store closures, partially offset by low double-digit growth in the digital channel. By brand, comparable Retail segment net sales decreased 19% at Free People, 24% at Urban Outfitters and 33% at the Anthropologie Group. Total Retail segment net sales decreased 28%. Wholesale segment net sales decreased 74%.
UPM has newly adopted the target of doubling the amount of broadleaved trees growing in company-owned forests in Finland. In the light of current research data, increasing the proportion of broadleaved trees improves the forest’s growth and yield as well as its species diversity and resistance to climate change. UPM plans to increase the proportion of broadleaved trees to one fifth of all tree species growing in habitats that are suitable for birch. The dominant tree species growing in Finnish forests are typically pine and spruce. The decision to increase broadleaved trees is an important and timely move. “It makes sense from every angle. It will improve our yield capacity and also safeguard biodiversity. It will additionally ensure that our forests stay healthy and better equipped to resist the altered conditions caused by climate change. In the multi-purpose forestry sector, we strongly rely on native tree species,” says Sauli Brander, SVP, UPM Forest.
Global sustainable food packaging leader Huhtamaki and international charity WasteAid have announced a €900,000 (£800,000) partnership to drive community-level circular economy innovation in Vietnam, India and South Africa for a two-year period. To mark its 100-year anniversary, Huhtamaki is donating €3 million to global sustainability initiatives with a local impact - acting today, educating for tomorrow and funding innovation for the future, making a difference where it matters most to help address global sustainability challenges and build circular economy initiatives. The Huhtamaki funded project will provide financial support to WasteAid to deliver education and training on waste management and circular systems. It will enable WasteAid to work with key stakeholders in Johannesburg (South Africa), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) and Guwahati (Assam, India) to fast-track and amplify local solutions that create value and reduce waste and pollution, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The Company's total comparable sales grew 10.8 percent in the first quarter, reflecting comparable digital sales growth of 141 percent. Total revenue of $19.6 billion grew 11.3 percent compared with last year, reflecting sales growth of 11.3 percent and a 7.7 percent increase in other revenue. Operating income was $468 million in first quarter 2020, down 58.7 percent from $1,135 million in 2019. First quarter operating income margin rate was 2.4 percent in 2020 compared with 6.4 percent in 2019. First quarter gross margin rate was 25.1 percent, compared with 29.6 percent in 2019. This decrease reflected the net impact of actions taken by the Company's merchandising teams, including costs and inventory impairments related to the rapid slowdown in Apparel & Accessories sales, unfavorable category mix as guests stocked up on lower-margin categories like Essentials and Food & Beverage, and higher digital and supply chain costs, driven by unusually strong digital volume as well as investments in team member wages and benefits. First quarter SG&A expense rate was 20.7 percent in 2020, compared with 20.8 percent in 2019. First quarter SG&A results reflected higher compensation costs, including investments in wages and benefits, which were more than offset by the net impact of other factors, including leverage from strong sales growth.
Financial Highlights: *Profit before taxation and highlighted items* grew by 9% to £15.7 million, up from £14.4 million in 2018/19 *Revenues increased to £162.8 million (2018/19: £162.7 million) despite the impact of coronavirus on our Chinese sales in January and February *Profit before taxation grew by 10% to £13.2 million (2018/19: £12.0 million) *Net cash of £31.3 million at 29 February 2020, up 14% (2018: £27.6 million)
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for March 2020 reflecting reported revenue for all tracked categories, including Trade (consumer publications), K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses. Total sales across all categories for March 2020 declined 8.4% as compared to the third month of 2019, reaching $667 million. Year-to-date sales were flat with an increase of just 0.3%, totaling $2.6 billion for the first three months of 2020. Trade sales were up 0.8% as compared to March of 2019, coming in at $560 million. Year-to-date Trade sales were up 2.6%, totaling $1.67 billion for the first three months of the year.
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index contracted 12.2% in April after increasing 0.4% in March. In April, the index equaled 104.9 (2015=100) compared with 119.5 in March. “April’s monthly decline was the largest in 26 years when there was a labor strike in April 1994,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Considering that April factory output and retail sales plummeted, the large drop in truck freight is not surprising. However, not all fleets saw large declines in April. Those hauling food for grocery stores and those involved in the on-line retail supply chain outperformed most other fleets. Some fleets witnessed very large declines in freight last month.” March’s gain was revised down to 0.4% from the 1.2% increase reported in our April 21 press release.
Novolex™, a leader in packaging choice, sustainability and innovation, is introducing new non-fluorinated, grease-resistant wraps and clamshells. Manufactured by Novolex brands Bagcraft® and Burrows Packaging™, the new products include sandwich wraps, sandwich bags, bakery bags, chip bags, deli bags and micro-flute clamshells. These new non-fluorinated products all offer performance quality comparable to grease-resistant products made with conventional materials. Bagcraft and Burrows selected some of their most popular products to offer alternative stock versions that are both non-fluorinated and grease-resistant.
Smurfit Kappa is taking another step forward in its sustainability journey by signing a commitment to align its CO2 target with the Science Based Target (SBT) initiative. The move follows on from the packaging leader recently revealing in its 2019 Sustainable Development Report that it has reduced its fossil CO2 emission intensity by almost a third (32.9%) since 2005. The SBT is a collaboration between the UN Global Compact, WWF, CDP and World Resources Institute (WRI). The initiative champions science-based target setting as a powerful way to boost companies’ competitive advantage in the transition to a low-carbon economy and focuses in particular on validating their CO2 reduction targets in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
IWCO Direct, a leading provider of data-driven direct marketing solutions, welcomes John Ashe as its new Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Jim Andersen. Steel Connect, Inc. announced the appointment of Ashe earlier today. Ashe joins IWCO Direct from Lucas-Milhaupt, a global manufacturer of metal-joining products and associated fabrication services, and a business unit of Steel Partners Holdings L.P., where he was President and Chief Executive Officer since 2018. He was previously Senior Vice President and General Manager at OMG, Inc., a business unit of Steel Partners, which is a global supplier of specialty fasteners and products for commercial and residential construction applications. Ashe was with OMG from 1992 to 2018. Ashe will report directly to Warren Lichtenstein, Executive Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer of Steel Connect, Inc.