American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Heidi Brock issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) proposed rule: “AF&PA is pleased the EPA has moved forward in proposing an achievable Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rule. This is the result of more than two decades of work that gives the forest products industry regulatory certainty while encouraging the use of renewable, carbon-neutral fuel. “While limits for several boiler types have become more stringent, we believe they are feasible and affordable. Already, to date, our industry has invested $1 billion in controls to meet Boiler MACT obligations.
The Board of Directors of the Europac Group has approved its 2017 annual accounts, which recorded a net profit of 78 million euros, 59.4% up on 2016. Aggregate sales increased by 10.9% to 1,186 million euros, Aggregate sales increased by 10.9% to 1,186 million euros, while consolidated sales reached 868 million euros, 8.4% more than a year ago. Consolidated EBITDA amounted to 158 million euros, 25% up on the 127 million euros of the previous year, while recurring EBITDA totalled 147 million euros, 19.3% up on the previous year.
The difference between consolidated and recurring EBITDA is mainly due to the extraordinary effects of the sale of the packaging factory in Tangier and the logistics operator at the port of Viana do Castelo, as well as settlement of the guarantees linked to the acquisition of the paper and packaging factories in Rouen (France) in 2008. In this context, the EBITDA margin rose by 2.4 percentage points to 18.2%, while EBIT amounted to 106 million euros, 37.1% up on the previous year.
“The 2017 results are the best for the third year running, although they do not represent our best possible result,” indicates José Miguel Isidro, Chairman of the Europac Group. In this regard, he stressed that “maintenance of paper demand with additional rises in January 2018 and the downward trend in the price of its raw material, which has accumulated an overall fall of 45 euros per tonne since the beginning of the year, together with the necessary recovery of the margins of the packaging business, allow us to think that the Company’s results have the potential to continue improving.”
Furthermore, the Chairman indicated that “the year improved progressively as it went on and was marked by strong final demand and repeated rises in paper sales prices, which, together with the management endeavours at cost optimisation and productivity improvements, have allowed us to comply with the 2015-2018 strategic objectives one year early, thus confirming the good work performed over recent years, which has had the multiplier effect of good market conditions in 2017.”