Total printing-writing paper shipments decreased four percent in April compared to April 2017. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels decreased less than one-half of one percent from March. Imports of printing-writing papers decreased less than one-half of one percent compared to March 2017 imports, while exports remained flat compared to March 2018. •Uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper shipments in April 2018 increased year-over-year, the third increase in four months. Imports of UFS decreased 22 percent year-over-year in March – the tenth consecutive decrease of 12 percent or more. Exports of UFS papers increased 25 percent in March compared to March 2017. •Shipments of uncoated mechanical (UM) papers decreased year-over-year in April 2018 by more than 20 percent. Imports of UM decreased one percent year-over-year in March. Exports of UM decreased 45 percent year-over-year in March. •Shipments of coated free sheet (CFS) paper and coated mechanical (CM) papers in April both declined year-over-year for the eleventh consecutive month. Imports of CM papers increased 33 percent compared to March 2017, partly on the strength of a 47 percent year-over-year increase in CM imports from Canada.
Neenah, Inc. (NYSE: NP), a leading global manufacturer of specialty materials focused on filtration media, specialty coatings, engineered materials and imaging & packaging, today announced a number of operational changes consistent with the Company’s commitment to accelerating growth, strengthening margins, and creating value for customers and shareholders.
*Investing $13 million in new release liner coating capacity in support of its growing specialty coatings business and the recent ITASA acquisition
*Restarting an idled Fine Paper & Packaging asset in support of its premium packaging business
*Ceasing operations at its Appleton, Wisconsin facility
“These actions will drive accretive value and accelerate efforts toward our long-term revenue growth goal of 5% annually with strong, consistent margins. Both the investment in coating capacity for release liners and the start-up of an idled asset in support of premium packaging are aligned with our strategy to extend our capabilities into larger, growing markets with customers that value unique, premium solutions,” said Julie Schertell, Neenah’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Closing a facility is always a difficult decision and not one we take lightly. This decision is not a reflection of our employees or their efforts, as the team has consistently worked hard to overcome obstacles, improve safety and drive results. We’ll continue to provide innovative filtration solutions and serve customers from our other manufacturing facilities in Europe and North America.”
Schertell added, “I’m confident these footprint changes will unlock immediate value for our shareholders as we continue to transform Neenah into a faster growing, more profitable company. We remain focused on investing for growth, maintaining a strong balance sheet and providing meaningful shareholder returns.”
Financial implications associated with the closure of the Appleton facility include an estimated annual EBITDA benefit of $7 million to $8 million, excluding estimated one-time cash closure costs of $5 million to $6 million and one-time non-cash charges of approximately $45 million. Annual revenues are estimated to decrease by $20 million to $25 million from the closure. The facility is expected to be closed by the end of the third quarter of 2021.
The release liner coating capacity is planned to come on-line in mid-2023, providing necessary capacity to fuel growth in North America and Latin America. The Fine Paper & Packaging asset is expected to be restarted in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Additional information regarding these announced actions will be provided when Neenah, Inc. issues its second quarter 2021 earnings news release before the market opens on Thursday, August 5, followed by an earnings conference call with investors at 11 a.m. E.T. that day.