Printing Papers operating profits in the first quarter of 2018 were $64 million versus $136 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. In North America, the benefits from increased sales prices and a favorable mix were more than offset by higher planned maintenance outages and higher input costs related to transportation and energy. In Brazil, seasonally lower sales volumes and an unfavorable geographic and product mix exceeded the benefits from higher sales price realizations. In Europe and Russia, earnings decreased due to higher planned maintenance outage costs, higher input costs and lower sales volumes, partially offset by improved pricing. Industrial Packaging operating profits in the first quarter of 2018 were $437 million ($464 million excluding special items) compared with $609 million ($614 million excluding special items) in the fourth quarter of 2017. In North America, strong demand in box and export containerboard markets, along with price realization, were more than offset by seasonally lower sales volume, production constraints due to weather related disruptions and maintenance outage costs. Click Read More below for additional information.
As the world leader in label papers, UPM continues to grow in the attractive release liner segments to support its customers globally. Steady growth is expected to continue in all markets driven by favourable economic conditions and strong increase in specialty paper demand for labelling, packaging and e-commerce as well as in medical and hygiene applications. To strengthen its position UPM will rebuild paper machine 2 at its Nordland mill in Dörpen, Germany and convert it from fine paper to glassine paper production. The machine will be equipped with new finishing equipment and starts producing glassine paper as of Q4 2019. The planned capacity after the rebuild will be 110,000 tonnes per year. The total investment in Nordland is EUR 116 million. The production of woodfree papers on PM2 in Nordland will continue until Q3 2019 and the machine will be producing both glassine and woodfree paper during the ramp-up phase. Click Read More below for additional information.
UPM Paper Europe and North America (ENA) business area will be renamed UPM Communication Papers as of 26 April 2018. The new name underlines the industry focus and global reach of the business area. It further highlights UPM's long-term commitment to sustaining its global graphic paper business, building on the view that paper will continue to be an important part of the media mix in the publishing industries and business communication. UPM Communication Papers is a world leading producer of graphic papers, offering an extensive product range for advertising and publishing as well as home and office uses. We serve our customers through a global sales network providing quality papers, strong services and an integrated supply chain. Our papers are produced in 15 paper mills in Austria, Finland, France, Germany, the UK and the USA. Click Read More below for additional information.
Q1 2018 highlights •Comparable EBIT increased by 17% to EUR 355 million (305 million in Q1 2017). •Sales prices increased in all business areas, outweighing the impact of higher input costs and unfavourable currencies. •Operating cash flow was EUR 208 million (396 million), including an increase in working capital. •Net debt decreased to EUR 41 million (807 million). Click Read More below for additional information.
The company reported net sales of $48.2 million in the first quarter of 2018, up 36.5% compared to the year-ago period. Converted product sales were $43.6 million, a year over year increase of 32.7%, and parent roll sales were $4.6 million, up 86.8% over the first quarter of 2017. The increase in converted product sales was a result of the company ramping new customer volume at the Barnwell facility. Parent roll growth was driven by an increase in the volume of excess parent rolls sold from Barnwell. Orchids had a first quarter operating loss of $1.0 million in 2018 and a loss of $0.9 million in the first quarter of 2017. The increase in the operating loss was driven by SG&A increasing to $3.6 million in the first quarter of 2018, up $1.0 million from $2.6 million in the year-ago period. Click Read More below for additional information.