12_junjul_NEWS EUROPE



UK tissue sector supplier Northwood Paper Sales acquires Peter Grant Papers

Northwood Paper Sales has boosted its presence in the UK Away from Home (AfH) tissue market after it acquired the shares of Peter Grant Papers.

The company will continue to operate as Peter Grant Papers and be led by the key members of the existing management team in the converting plant in Telford and the tissue mill in Lancaster, UK.

The current owner has now retired. Northwood Paper Sales supplies raw materials to the tissue sector and is a historical supplier to Peter Grant Papers. It and its associated companies are headed up by Paul and Adam Fecher, who also own Connect Hygiene Products and Disley Tissue.

All the businesses will continue to operate as separate entities. Paul Weddle, sales and marketing director of Peter Grant Papers said: “This acquisition provides Peter Grant Papers with the perfect opportunity to move forward in the UK AfH market.”

Paul Fecher added: “Our company has served Peter Grant Papers with tissue for more than 20 years and we know many of the operators as well as senior managers, their dedication and commitment to the business is much appreciated.

“We are pleased to welcome all of them now as colleagues and look forward to working together to continue to strengthen the company and our offering and service to the market.”

The company was unable to comment further at this time.

UK tissue in “relatively booming” phase, says CPI in latest report

Parent reels of tissue were the only UK papermaking sector to show any growth last year, according to the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI).

The UK’s papermaking representative said in its 2011 Annual Review that 2011 saw apparent consumption fall 4.2% to a new low of 10.2m tonnes, and that the only positive outcomes were in the “relatively booming tissue sector”.

Nick Langdon, statistics manager at CPI, told TW: “Demand for tissue parent reels were the only sector to show any growth at all last year compared to other paper/board sectors: tissue increased by 3.1% compared to newsprint which fell by 5.1%, printings and writings which fell by 3.9%, and corrugated case materials which fell by 0.7%.

“Production of parent reels of tissue increased by almost 5.0% to 765,000 tonnes.” He added that early indications for 2012 are of a falling back in demand for tissue parent reels with consumption in January to February 2012 falling by 2.3% compared to 2011.

“However, the announcement by Disley Tissue of a second machine at their mill would certainly suggest a positive outlook for demand over the coming years. This may however be set against consolidation elsewhere in the sector.”

CPI stats cover parent/jumbo reels and it told TW that it has no data and couldn’t comment on developments in converted tissue markets for any type of tissue.


SCA’s Q1 net sales increase: tissue division’s operating profit up 48%

Swedish paper giant SCA has said favourable volume growth in all business areas has increased net sales year on year by 1% to SEK 19,490m.

Operating profit increased 4% to SEK 1,834m compared to SEK 1,767m a year ago, with tissue showing the biggest growth of 48% to SEK 925m amid higher prices, an improved product mix, higher volumes and lower raw material costs.

SCA said it will focus on improving its product mix further, especially in the US market, where the firm sees a lower share of added value sales compared to Europe.

Sales of consumer tissue increased by 7% while sales of AfH tissue increased by 2%. However, exchange rate effects and divestments weighed on net sales, which dipped by 2% year on year in Q1 to SEK 9,121m.

The sales increase remained high in emerging markets where personal care and tissue increased sales with 23% and 14%, respectively.

Jan Johansson, chief executive, said: “The hygiene operations are performing well, with continued growth, higher market shares and significantly improved earnings compared to the previous year.”

He added that the process of completing the acquisition of Georgia-Pacific’s European tissue operations is “proceeding according to plan”.

Swedish paper workers dropped strike support plans as commercial union reached deal

The Swedish commercial employees’ union Handels and the employer organisation Svensk Handel settled the terms for a new collective agreement 12 April, avoiding a retail and wholesale trade strike which was scheduled to start 13 April. This also meant that the Swedish paper workers’ union Pappers did not engage in any sympathy measures in support of Handels.

Pappers had said it would block deliveries from four tissue mills in Sweden to the facilities taking part in the strike starting at 6am on 23 April if no agreement was reached before then.

The mills on the list were SCA’s 107,000 tpy Edet mill and Metsä Tissue’s 81,000 tpy Katrinefors mill, the 26,000 tpy Nyboholm plant and the 24,000 tpy Pauliström facility. News from RISI (www.risiinfo.com)

SCA increases ownership in Vinda

SCA is to acquire an additional 5% of the shares in the Chinese tissue company Vinda for 600m SEK. The seller in the transaction is Fu An, a company majority owned by the chairman of Vinda.

SCA’s share in the company after the transaction will be 22.6%. Jan Johansson, SCA’s president and chief executive, said: “The market for tissue products in China continues to grow well and continues to consolidate with the larger players, like Vinda, growing at a significantly faster speed than the market.

We intend to be among the leading players in China and we have for this reason taken the decision to increase our ownership in Vinda.” SCA said that Vinda is the third largest player in the Chinese household paper industry in terms of market share and production capacity. It has a total production capacity of 470,000 tonnes, and aims to reach one million tonnes in the coming years.

SCA chief executive, Jan Johansson

The transaction is subject to receiving consent from some of Vinda’s lending banks. Vinda is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Johansson added: “As one of the best preferred tissue brands in the PRC, and now with a growing personal care product line, Vinda International’s success in China cannot be overlooked.” Chairman of Vinda International, Li Chao Wang, said: “We are excited to see SCA increasing its shareholding interest in the company, a solid sign of its confidence in Vinda.

SCA’s support over the years speaks volumes for Vinda’s competence in delivering top quality products and ever-improving market recognition. The group will continue to strive to grow the business and capture market share gains so as to attain fruitful results for its stakeholders.”

After completion of the transaction, SCA’s stake will be increased from 17.71% to 22.61%. Fu An will remain as the single largest shareholder of the company.