Sammlung von Newsfeeds
-- Delivered by Feed43 service
Metsä Group’s Operating Result Excluding Non-Recurring Items Was EUR 109 Million In January–March 2016
"Our solid first quarter results are a testament to the great effort of our employees to reduce costs, drive cash flow and invest wisely in our business," said Paul Boynton, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We continue to focus on our three year transformation initiative which targets incremental savings of $75 to $90 million by 2018. This critical initiative will allow us to reduce debt, enhance our competitive position and drive value for our stockholders."
First Quarter Operating Results
First quarter 2016 net sales were $218 million, a decrease of $3 million, or 2 percent, from $221 million in the prior year comparable quarter. The decrease in net sales was driven by a decline in cellulose specialties sales prices and modestly lower cellulose specialties sales volumes which were partially offset by increased sales volumes of commodity products. Cellulose specialties sales prices decreased approximately 7 percent due to 2016 price negotiations, in line with prior guidance. Commodity sales volumes increased 29 percent as a result of production efficiencies achieved in the second half of 2015.
For the first quarter of 2016, pro forma operating income was $32 million, $8 million above first quarter 2015 pro forma results of $24 million. The impact of cellulose specialties sales price declines were more than offset by the contribution of higher commodity sales volumes, the impact of the Company’s cost reduction initiatives and lower chemical, energy and transportation costs. Selling, general and administrative expenses were lower as a result of lower professional fees driven by the Company’s cost savings initiatives and stock compensation expense. Additionally, the first quarter 2015 costs were higher due to the Fernandina plant annual maintenance outage which will occur in the third quarter of 2016.
Interest and Other Expense, Net
Interest expense, net of interest income and other expense, was $9 million for first quarter 2016, consistent with the prior year.
The Company recorded a pre-tax gain on the extinguishment of debt of approximately $9 million as a result of the purchase in the open market of approximately $44 million of its 5.50% Senior Notes due 2024 for approximately $34 million. As a result of the repurchase, the Company recognized a pre-tax write-off of approximately $1 million of unamortized debt issuance costs.
Income Tax Expense
The first quarter 2016 effective tax rate was 34.9 percent, compared to 28.2 percent the same period the prior year. The prior year period reflects the increased impact of the benefit of domestic manufacturing tax deduction and state tax credits as a result of lower pre-tax income.
Cash Flow and Liquidity
The Company generated $54 million of adjusted free cash flow and reduced adjusted net debt by $63 million to $705 million since December 31, 2015. The Company ended the quarter with $346 million of liquidity including $236 million available under its revolving credit facility after taking into account outstanding letters of credit.
Over the last seven months, the Company renegotiated cellulose specialties contracts with its three largest customers through 2018 and 2019. For 2016, the Company expects cellulose specialties prices to decline 6 to 7 percent and cellulose specialties sales volumes to decline 4 to 5 percent compared to 2015. Based on contractual commitments for the majority of the Company’s acetate volume, 2017 acetate pricing is expected to be approximately 2 percent below 2016.
Cellulose specialties markets continue to face a combination of industry oversupply and weaker end-market demand which could impact the Company’s prices and volumes in the future. In response to these market pressures, the Company began a three-year transformation initiative to significantly improve its cost structure and enhance cash flows. The transformation initiative is targeting cost savings of $75 to $90 million over the three year period from 2016 through 2018. In addition, through its innovation initiative, the Company is working to enhance the value of its products for customers and engineer new products to extend its market reach. It expects to derive 20 percent of our revenues from new products within a decade.
As a result of solid traction on its 2016 transformation cost savings and benign inflationary pressure, the Company is raising its 2016 guidance for pro forma EBITDA by $10 million to $185 to $200 million and adjusted free cash flow guidance to $85 to $95 million.
"We remain steadfast in our strategy to permanently reduce our costs, invest in our assets and accelerate our innovation platform to drive value to shareholders. Our progress to date is encouraging and we are pleased to improve our full-year guidance," stated Boynton.
Conference Call Information
A conference call will be held on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 10 a.m. EDT to discuss these results. Presentation materials and access to the live audio webcast will be available at www.rayonieram.com. Investors may listen to the conference call by dialing 877-407-8293, no passcode required. For international parties, dial 201-689-8349. A replay of the teleconference will be available one hour after the call ends until 6:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. The replay dial-in number within the U.S. is 877-660-6853, international is 201-612-7415, Conference ID: 13635342.
About Rayonier Advanced Materials
Rayonier Advanced Materials is the leading global supplier of high-purity, cellulose specialties natural polymers for the chemical industry. Working closely with its customers, the Company engineers natural polymeric chemical chains to create dozens of customized high-purity performance fibers at its plants in Florida and Georgia. Rayonier Advanced Materials' intellectual property and manufacturing processes have been developed over 85 years, resulting in unique properties and very high quality and consistency. Upon completion of the previously announced strategic realignment of assets in Jesup, the Company's facilities will have the capacity to produce approximately 485,000 tons of cellulose specialties for use in a wide range of industrial and consumer products such as filters, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and approximately 245,000 tons of commodity products. Rayonier Advanced Materials is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50 exporters and delivers products to 79 ports around the world, serving customers in 20 countries across five continents. More information is available at www.rayonieram.com.
Glatfelter reports first quarter 2016 earnings
Consolidated net sales totaled $402.2 million and $417.5 million in the first quarters of 2016 and 2015, respectively. Currency translation adjustments unfavorably impacted the year-over-year comparison by $5.2 million.
“Glatfelter is off to a solid start in 2016 as a result of our focus on operational excellence and leadership positions in key markets,” said Dante C. Parrini, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our Advanced Airlaid Materials and Specialty Papers businesses reported operating income increases of 25 percent and 58 percent, respectively, compared with the first quarter of 2015, with improved operations and increased shipping volumes. The strong performance of these two businesses was partially offset by lower operating income in the Composite Fibers business, which was impacted by softer demand during the quarter for food and beverage products after a strong 2015.”
Mr. Parrini continued, “Glatfelter is fully committed to building upon our market leadership positions across all of our business units. To accelerate our growth as a leading global engineered materials company, we have been making select, strategic investments – including a new, state-of-the-art Advanced Airlaid Materials production facility in Fort Smith, Arkansas, which is expected to be completed in late 2017. Our airlaid business continues to grow with key customers in the feminine hygiene, adult incontinence and specialty wipes markets. In Specialty Papers, our manufacturing performance is improving, we expect to see the impact of recently announced price increases predominantly during the second half of the year, and we anticipate completing our environmental compliance projects by the end of the year. Although Composite Fibers had a challenging first quarter, this business is core to our growth strategy due to its positions in growing markets and close relationships with a broad, industry-leading, customer base.”
The following table sets forth a reconciliation of net income on a GAAP basis to adjusted earnings, a non-GAAP measure
Business Segment Results
The Specialty Cellulose Pulp segment generated adjusted EBITDA of $17 million on sales of $120 million for the quarter ended March 26, 2016, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $19 million on sales of $109 million in the December 2015 quarter. The pulp sales increase of $12 million was due to higher shipments of specialty and viscose grades. Canadian dollar selling prices for specialty grades declined by $39 per tonne. The benefit of a weaker Canadian dollar for the Temiscaming mill was more than offset by a weaker sales mix, which reduced average US dollar selling prices and led to a $2 million decline in adjusted EBITDA. The $52 per tonne increase in the selling price of viscose and other grades was due to higher US dollar selling prices and the weaker Canadian dollar. Overall, the higher viscose grade prices increased adjusted EBITDA by $2 million. Shipments were equal to 94% of capacity, compared to 80% in the December 2015 quarter. There was no major maintenance downtime at either pulp mill in the December 2015 or March 2016 quarters. Costs increased by $3 million quarter-over-quarter, including a $2 million negative variance on net realizable value adjustments related to the carrying values of non-specialty grade finished goods inventories. Chemical business adjusted EBITDA increased by $1 million versus the prior quarter.
The Forest Products segment generated adjusted EBITDA of $1 million on sales of $108 million for the quarter ended March 26, 2016, compared to negative adjusted EBITDA of $1 million on sales of $110 million in the prior quarter. Sales decreased by $2 million due to lower SPF lumber shipments, partially offset by higher lumber prices and by-product shipments. During the March 2016 quarter, the random length lumber reference price increased by US $2 per mbf while the reference price for stud lumber decreased by US $5 per mbf. Currency was a favourable factor as the Canadian dollar averaged US $0.727, a 2.9% decline from US $0.749 in the prior quarter. The net effect was that Canadian dollar selling prices increased by $19 per mbf, increasing adjusted EBITDA by $3 million. Lumber shipments were equal to 81% of capacity versus 92% in the prior quarter. In response to relatively low stud lumber prices, the Company idled the Senneterre, Quebec, sawmill in early February 2016, removing approximately 14 million board feet of production in the March 2016 quarter. Sawmill manufacturing costs increased by $1 million. The fall and winter months are normally higher operating cost periods.
The Paper Pulp segment generated adjusted EBITDA of $2 million on sales of $77 million for the quarter ended March 26, 2016, compared to negative adjusted EBITDA of $2 million on sales of $68 million in the December 2015 quarter. The $9 million increase in sales was due to higher shipments. The benchmark price (delivered China) for bleached eucalyptus kraft (BEK) decreased by US $94 per tonne. The high-yield paper pulp market followed a similar pattern, but the decline was less pronounced as pricing was already relatively low. Average US dollar prices for high-yield pulp declined by US $16 per tonne quarter-over-quarter. Currency was favourable as the Canadian dollar declined versus the US dollar. Overall, average selling prices in Canadian dollars were relatively unchanged and did not impact adjusted EBITDA. Pulp shipments were equal to 92% of capacity as compared to 83% in the prior quarter. In the March 2016 quarter, the two pulp mills produced 24,500 more tonnes as compared to the prior quarter. In response to weak market conditions, the Temiscaming mill was idled for a total of 33 days in the December 2015 quarter as compared to only eight days in the March 2016 quarter. The Matane mill also lost five days due to scheduled major maintenance in the December 2015 quarter. The higher production generated a $4 million favourable cost variance related to the absorption of fixed manufacturing costs.
The Paper segment generated adjusted EBITDA of $21 million on sales of $102 million for the quarter ended March 26, 2016, compared to adjusted EBITDA of $16 million on sales of $94 million in the December 2015 quarter. The increase in sales was due to higher shipments of coated bleached board and higher selling prices for both coated bleached board and newsprint. The US dollar reference price for coated bleached board was unchanged at US $1,180 per short ton. Currency was a positive factor due to the previously noted Canadian dollar decline. Overall, average selling prices for coated bleached board were up $59 per tonne increasing adjusted EBITDA by $2 million. The coated bleached board shipment to capacity ratio was 99% compared to 90% in the prior quarter. Manufacturing costs were relatively unchanged. The US dollar benchmark price for newsprint increased by US $33 per tonne. The weaker Canadian dollar favourably impacted price realizations, which improved by $41 per tonne, increasing adjusted EBITDA by $2 million. The newsprint shipment to capacity ratio was 91% compared to 98% in the prior quarter. Manufacturing costs at the Kapuskasing newsprint mill declined by $1 million due to higher productivity and lower energy costs.
Overall, the March 2016 quarterly results were better than anticipated. All business segments benefited from the 3% decline in the relative value of the Canadian dollar versus the US dollar. The $2 million decline in Specialty Cellulose segment adjusted EBITDA was expected as the Company shipped a lower mix of specialty pulp as well as a higher percentage of viscose grade. This situation will likely continue for at least several quarters. The Temiscaming specialty cellulose pulp mill will be down for its annual maintenance outage in May, which will reduce June 2016 quarterly profitability by approximately $6 million. The expected seasonal improvement in US dollar lumber prices has been muted to date, resulting in low profitability for the Forest Products segment. The lumber market remains difficult to assess, but relatively balanced inventory levels combined with some improvement in demand should lead to higher prices. The $4 million improvement in the Paper Pulp segment results was due to less market downtime and higher productivity at the Temiscaming mill. Hardwood paper pulp markets continue to be soft, as evidenced by the recent price decline in the benchmark BEK grade. This market will remain challenging. The Paper segment adjusted EBITDA increased by $5 million. In addition to the currency benefit, quarterly results benefited from the first US dollar newsprint price increase in several years. This segment should continue to perform well, albeit with a decrease in margins due to the recent strengthening of the Canadian dollar versus the US dollar. While the Company expects a significant improvement in year-over-year operating results, the extent of the increase will be impacted by external factors such as the US dollar price for certain products as well as foreign exchange rates.
Tembec is a manufacturer of forest products – lumber, pulp, paper and specialty cellulose – and a global leader in sustainable forest management practices. Principal operations are in Canada and France. With annual sales of approximately $1.5 billion, Tembec has 3,250 employees and is listed on the TSX (TMB). The full quarterly report, including the interim Management Discussion and Analysis, the interim financial statements and the accompanying notes for the quarter ended March 26, 2016, can be obtained on Tembec’s website at www.tembec.com or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
The Company`s financial results have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). All financial references are stated in Canadian dollars, unless otherwise noted. All references to quarterly information relate to Tembec’s fiscal quarters. Adjusted EBITDA and certain other financial measures utilized in the press release are non-IFRS financial measures. As they have no standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS, they may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. Non-IFRS financial measures are described in the Definitions section on the last page of the interim Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A).
Reflections on how far gender scholarship has evolved, and how to further broaden its application
Indigenous, community and civil society leaders call for action on human rights violations and land grabbing linked to global palm oil supply chains.
At event in London, Indigenous and civil society leaders call for an end to human rights violations and land grabbing linked to millions of tons of palm oil imported into Europe every year, calls for enforceable standards to stop abuses.
LONDON, 4th May 2016. Indigenous, community and civil society leaders visiting Europe from across the world today issued a call for urgent action in the EU to respond to the human rights abuses directly or indirectly linked to palm oil supply chains.
Visiting delegate Agus Sutomo, director of the Pontianak-based NGO LinkAR-Borneo, in West Kalimantan, Indonesia said, “We need the global community to understand that when they are consuming palm oil and biofuels they are consuming the blood of our peoples in Indonesia, Liberia, Colombia and Peru. Human rights violations are being committed by an industry that is expanding due to the EU demand for palm oil and bioenergy.” Despite efforts to regulate the palm oil industry with initiatives such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and controversial climate standards like the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC), testimonies from the delegates reveal the industry is failing to be accountable to affected communities.
“What do we mean by the term sustainability? The palm oil industry has not dealt with many of the past and present violations of community rights by agribusiness developments. It is not enough to create voluntary certification schemes, while we continue to suffer land grabs and the on-going violation of human rights” said Franky Samperante from Sulawesi and the founder-director of the indigenous peoples’ organisation Pusaka. He adds, “The uncontrolled expansion of palm oil plantations is creating land rights conflicts, leading to social and cultural upheaval and unprecedented environmental damage.”
From April 25th to May 4th the delegates from Indonesia, Peru, Colombia and Liberia gave personal testimonies of the impacts of the palm oil industry to members of the European Parliament and Director-Generals of the Environment, Trade, Energy, Climate and Development Aid at the European Commission as well as Commissioners’ cabinet members, to press for stronger EU regulation of palm oil supply chains. They also shared with high-level decision makers their grave concerns about the rapid expansion and projected increase in the area of land slated for palm oil plantations and production of biofuels, which is set to double in the coming years in countries such as Indonesia.
Delegation activities also included visits to a palm oil refinery installation in the Port of Rotterdam and to Canary Wharf, the heart of the international finance industry in the City of London. These actions were taken to inform decision makers and to allow delegates to witness first-hand the extent of the palm oil supply chain in Europe. “Since much of the global demand for palm oil based commodities is being driven by EU consumption, we need strong binding regulations of supply chains bringing palm oil and other agricultural commodities to Europe, not voluntary schemes” said Ali Kaba, program coordinator and senior researcher at the Sustainable Development Institute, a Liberian civil society organisation, “When you have palm plantations in the absence of secure rights to customary land or indigenous lands in reality it can often lead to land rights violations and human rights abuses, environmental damages and poverty for the communities affected by that industry”.
Progressive certification schemes like the RSPO can sometimes be useful to communities as they are often the only immediate means to challenge corporate abuses and destructive plantation development. In order to be more effective, certification complaints systems like that of the RSPO must be strengthened and better equipped to respond and investigate community complaints. However, testimonies from communities on the ground highlight that green labelling and voluntary approaches are not adequate to properly provide redress for community grievances, and are insufficient to ensure protection for land rights and full compliance with national and international human rights laws.
“We have travelled to Europe with an urgent message from our communities. When listening to people from across South East Asia, Latin America and Africa, we are hearing the same problems: land rights are not being respected by the palm oil industry and other agribusinesses. We have been left with no choice as the representatives of our communities but to come to the EU to elevate our call for the recognition of our territories in Peru.” said Sedequías Ancón Chávez, representative of the Shipibo people and leader affiliated to the Inter-ethnic Development Association of the Peruvian Amazon. He added: “those working to protect the environment and mitigate climate change need to understand that the most effective way to protect the remaining standing forests is to support our demands for collective legal titles over 20 million hectares of our land belonging to 1240 of our communities that still lack secure tenure rights.”
Delegates unanimously call for the EU and its member states to strengthen regulation of financial institutions and private sector involved in the agribusiness sector to ensure legality, including compliance with national and international human rights and environmental protection laws.
“Our Mother Earth is weeping for the violation of our peoples’ rights and the destruction of our environment. We visited an oil palm refinery on our mission to the EU. The smoke from this refinery represents the blood of our families first split at the hands of the paramilitaries and also the suffering that is now being inflicted by the palm oil industry.” stated Willian Aljure, land and human rights defender and representative of Communities Constructing Peace in Territories (CONPAZ) from the Mapiripan area in the plains region of Colombia “Together we are calling for international solidarity in demanding that harmful investments and plantation operations in the palm oil sector affecting indigenous and local communities are investigated and properly sanctioned, including for historical injustices. You cannot separate human rights from environmental damage.”
In addition to a general call to action addressed to the EU, governments, the private sector, certification bodies and investors, the delegates together with a wide coalition of indigenous and civil society organizations from Peru, Europe and North America have issued a specific public demand that financial regulatory bodies remove AIM-listed United Cacao Ltd SEZC from trading on the London Stock Exchange due to the reported illegal deforestation of at least 11,100 hectares and related rights violations in the Peruvian Amazon. United Cacao’s project is being supported by financing raised on the London Stock Exchange’s junior market, the Alternative Investments Market (AIM).
“We are demanding that the London Stock Exchange immediately halt trading services and cancel registration of companies that act outside of the law.” said Robert Guimaraes Vasquez, member of the Shipibo-Conibo indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon, “Peru has the fourth highest rate of murders of human rights and land defenders in the world. We are alerting the international community to protect the community leaders who are speaking out against the deadly palm oil industry and who now face grave dangers to their security.”
The delegates’ call to action did not fall on deaf ears with EU decision-makers, who have invited them to submit further testimonies. Reflecting a growing movement among the citizens of EU member states concerned about the potentially shattered communities and devastated forests that the palm oil in their groceries may have caused, there is an increasingly loud call for EU and member state regulators to take decisive regulatory action that does justice to this demonstration of solidarity between European citizens and the communities calling for the cleanup of global agribusiness supply chains linking Indonesia, Liberia, Colombia, Peru and other producer countries to European markets.
Notes to editors
Press Contacts (London):
UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 9:30 AM UK Time on WEDNESDAY, 4 MAY
Susan Schulman’s photo essay reveals life in the Dzanga-Sangha forest, where Baka Pygmies are struggling to maintain their traditional way of life in the face of logging, poaching and a lack of healthcare
As the Baka Pygmies of the Dzanga-Sangha region of Central African Republic struggle to live in their traditional ways, they find themselves caught between worlds.
Baka split their time between village and forest. Here, in their forest home, life continues in the face of many challenges, ranging from poachers to ill health. Destructive developments within the forest, such as illegal logging, also pose a threat.Continue reading...
There has been tremendous concern over the ways climate change will affect human rights, but little attention to how human rights abuse affects our global climate.
Fifty years ago, Indonesia went through a genocide. The massacres may be relatively unknown, but in a terrible way the destruction continues, and threatens us all. In 1965, the Indonesian army organised paramilitary death squads and exterminated between 500,000 and 1 million people who had hastily been identified as enemies of General Suharto’s new military dictatorship. Today, the killers and their protégés are comfortable establishment figures whose impunity, political power and capacity for intimidation endure.
A few companies have started eliminating conflict palm oil from their products, but most remain recalcitrantContinue reading...