HIGHLIGHTS: • Record-high Operating Cash Generation¹ and Adjusted EBITDA²: R$5.5 billion and R$6.8 billion, respectively. • Average pulp price of US$757/ton in 4Q18, despite the weak Chinese market in late 2018. • Cash cost impacted by inputs pegged to USD: R$602/ton, up 4.8% from 2017. • Consolidation of paper price increase in the domestic and export markets, with record-high LTM³ Adjusted EBITDA of R$1,064/ton. • Capital discipline: investments aligned with initial budget. • Dividends: Proposal of distribution in the amount of R$ 600 million. Click read more below for additional detail.
2018 and Fourth Quarter Highlights: • Reported operating income of $609 million for 2018; adjusted shareholder net income of $488 million, or $3.83 per share and a return on invested capital of 19% • Fourth quarter adjusted operating loss of $(3) million and sales of $1.03 billion; adjusted shareholder net loss of $(28) million, or $(0.23) per share • Net debt of $156 million, or 6.2% net debt to total capitalization, at December 31, 2018 • Announced acquisition of 70% of the VIDA Group of Sweden (“VIDA”) for 3,990 million Swedish Krona (approximately CAD$580 million), adding 1.1 billion board feet annual capacity of high-quality spruce and pine products • Announced phased acquisition of Elliott Sawmilling Co., Inc. (“Elliott”) over a period of two years, for US$110 million, adding 210 million board feet of high-value Southern Yellow Pine lumber annual capacity. Click read more below for additional detail.
2018 and Fourth Quarter Highlights: • Record 2018 operating income of $247 million; net income of $184 million, or $2.83 per share and a return on invested capital of 37% • Record-high annual sales of $1.4 billion in 2018, surpassing previous record by 15% • Fourth quarter operating income of $16 million and sales of $290 million; net income of $14 million, or $0.21 per share. Canfor Pulp had an exceptionally strong year in 2018, reporting record-high operating income of $246.6 million, net income of $2.83 per share and a return on invested capital of 37%. Click read more below for additional detail.
According to the January 2019 Printing-Writing Monthly report from AF&PA, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased eight percent in January compared to January 2018. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels increased three percent from December 2018. •U.S. purchases of uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper decreased seven percent in January from the same month one year ago. The inventory level of UFS papers increased two percent in January compared to December. •U.S. purchases of coated free sheet (CFS) papers decreased two percent in January when compared to January 2018. Inventories meanwhile remained essentially flat compared to last month. •U.S. purchases of uncoated mechanical (UM) papers decreased one percent year-over-year in January. U.S. purchases of coated mechanical (CM) paper increased seven percent in January. Inventory levels at the end of January when compared to December increased for both grades of paper.
According to the poll, more people support Northern Pulp’s plan for a new wastewater (effluent) treatment facility than oppose it: • 36 percent support • 21 percent neither support or oppose • 27 percent oppose • 16 percent don’t know. The margin of error for the total sample is ± 4.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. “Our proposed new facility will keep all untreated wastewater on site and ensure only treated wastewater ever leaves Northern Pulp property,” said Jean Francois Guillot, Paper Excellence Canada Vice President, Operations East. “These changes will make us one of the most environmentally responsible mills in North America.” Click read more below for additional detail.
German paper mill Scheufelen has filed for insolvency again, according to German media reports. The Lenningen-based company was resurrected as Scheufelen GmbH in July 2018 after securing investment from Berlin-based Green Growth Fund 2/Wermuth Asset Management, Hamburg-based Nordia Invest and Scheufelen Equity Partners. Its predecessor Papierfabrik Scheufelen had filed for insolvency at the end of January 2018. The German press has now reported that the company filed an application to open insolvency proceedings again on Wednesday (20 February). EUWID Papier und Zellstoff said production at the site is currently at a standstill, with 100 employees affected. Click read more below for additional detail.
Finch Paper has gotten more efficient in the last few years and plans to use its profits to make many capital upgrades in 2019. Chief Financial Officer Alex Rotolo said 2017 was a tumultuous year in the paper industry as a lot of companies went out of business. While that was not good for those employers, it caused paper prices to increase as the supply shrank. “We’re taking the funds that we were able to make in 2018 and investing them back in the business in 2019 in the form of capital improvements. We have a higher capital budget than in any recent history,” he said. There are 84 projects in Finch’s capital plan, according to Rotolo. This includes hardware and software upgrades to the paper machines. The overall goal is to improve the quality and speed at which the company can change the machines to handle different types of paper, according to Rotolo. Click read more below for additional detail.
Even in a digital world, the paper industry is thriving because paper products continue to be an essential part of our daily lives. As a result, career options are booming for paper science engineers. With Domtar’s paper mills achieving record performance and an industry-wide trend of baby boomers retiring over the next several years, paper science engineers are in high demand. If you’re a college student or know someone who is, there’s never been a better time to pursue a career in the pulp and paper industry. “We always have high demand for paper science engineers,” says Melanie Jenkins, Domtar talent acquisition specialist. “It’s one of our most highly recruited positions and one of the best for offering early-career professionals an incredible opportunity to build a long and successful career.” Click read more below for additional detail.
All members of the Rottneros management team bought a total of 243,940 shares in the company, corresponding to approximately 2.6 MSEK, after publishing of the 2018 Year-End Report. Management’s total shareholding including the recent purchases amounts to 284,940 shares.
UPM collaborates with leading research organizations and small to medium sized companies in order to create a new ecosystem and novel wood-based innovations for the biomedical sector. The sector faces a growing need for products sourced from natural materials that are free from animal-derived components as they offer many advantages over currently used materials. UPM has been active in biomedicals for many years and has already commercialized GrowDex® nanocellulose product for cell culture. GrowDex provides an environment close to that found in the human body, giving researchers a tool to replicate and study the effect of diseases on cells. Plant-based biocompatible materials can accelerate market breakthrough for several new applications and technologies. In addition to cell culture, wood-based materials can be used e.g. in clinical applications and diagnostics. Click read more below for additional detail.