Norwegian paper maker Norske Skog sought on Tuesday to delay bond repayments due in the next two years and cut debt in the hope of repairing its finances and avoid a more radical restructuring. The maker of newsprint and other paper for the publishing industry has seen years of declining revenues as consumers and advertisers move to online sources for news and entertainment, while its debt, measured in foreign currency, has surged. "The sharp weakening of the Norwegian krone has increased the net interest bearing debt and squeezed our book equity to an unacceptable level," Chief Executive Sven Ombudstvedt said in a statement. The company separately told Reuters its net interest bearing debt stood at 8.4 billion Norwegian crowns ($963.60 million), with $108 million due for repayment in June 2016 and 212 million euros due in June 2017.
Iggesund Paperboard, a subsidiary within the Holmen group, is currently implementing efficiency measures to secure an efficient business and safeguard the long-term profitability of Iggesund Mill. The redundancies are part of an efficiency package aimed at improving production capacity and reducing costs.
Local negotiations with the affected employee organisations will now begin with a view to completing the cutback in personnel before the end of the year.
We have a strong position in the global paperboard market, but we need to work proactively to maintain our competitiveness. With this in mind, we are preparing to increase production capacity by around 100 000 tonnes and will now also be conducting a review of the organisation in order to ensure efficient operations and long-term profitability at Iggesund Mill, says Daniel Peltonen, CEO of Iggesund Paperboard.