Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom - Basic Materials RSS feed Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom - Basic Materials feed en Wed, 21 Mar 2018 07:28:48 +0000 Genera CMS Smurfit Kappa surges after rejecting "unsolicited and highly opportunistic" takeover offer from International Paper Tue, 06 Mar 2018 09:00:00 +0000 Plastics Capital sales growth picking up a shade slower than expected Thu, 01 Mar 2018 08:02:00 +0000 Higher raw material costs and FX headwinds weigh on Smurfit Kappa’s full-year profits Wed, 07 Feb 2018 08:19:00 +0000 Plastics Capital: Impervious to cyclical blips, set for growth Thu, 11 Jan 2018 11:25:00 +0000 Plastics Capital's sales surge to boost second-half profits Wed, 06 Dec 2017 14:39:00 +0000 Smurfit Kappa reports third quarter profit drop but full year to meet market forecasts Wed, 01 Nov 2017 09:35:00 +0000 Plastics Capital on track for a “year of good progress” after solid first-half performance Mon, 02 Oct 2017 08:19:00 +0100 Plastics Capital upbeat after 'very good year' for growth Mon, 03 Jul 2017 12:01:00 +0100 GYG looks to AIM to build reputation and finance acquisitions Tue, 20 Jun 2017 12:02:00 +0100 Fortress Paper reports wider-than-expected Q4 loss amid challenging conditions in China Fortress Paper (TSE:FTP) fell in morning trades after the Canadian pulp and paper company reported a wider-than-estimated loss in the fourth quarter amid challenging conditions.

Shares dropped 8 percent to C$2.30 at 10:15 a.m. in Toronto, paring gains this year to 26 percent.

Adjusted net loss was C$0.81 per share. Three analysts on average were looking for a loss of C$0.60 per share, according to Capital IQ.

Net loss shrank to C$13.2 million, or C$0.90 loss per diluted share, in the October-to-December quarter, from C$54.7 million, or C$3.76 loss per diluted share, in the year-earlier period, the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company said in a statement late yesterday.

Sales from continuing operations were C$74.4 million, up from C$37.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 but missed market expectations of C$80.2 million.

The company said the dissolving pulp market conditions continue to be challenging due partly to an antidumping duty imposed by China.

It said operational challenges seen in the fourth quarter will affect results in the first quarter.

The dissolving pulp segment had a C$3.7 million loss before interest, taxes and other items in the fourth quarter. That more than offset $3.2 million of earnings, before items, at its security paper products segment.

Dissolving pulp is used to make rayon, acetate textile fibres, cellophane, photographic film, medical surgery products, and tire cords among others. The market for dissolving pulp has been difficult since China imposed a duty on imports from Fortress and other producers.

Meanwhile, its other main segment — which makes products used in paper money — is facing pricing pressure from competitors and is feeling the impact of a strong Swiss franc.

Fortress said its Landqart mill in Switzerland is undertaking initiatives to improve efficiency and profitability.

Tue, 10 Mar 2015 14:46:00 +0000
Interfor's US lumber mill acquisition excellent, says Dundee Interfor's (TSE:IFP) acquisition of four lumber mills from Simpson Lumber has been hailed an "excellent" one by analysts at Dundee Capital Markets.

Dundee reiterated its buy rating and raised its target price on the North American lumber company to C$28.00 per share from C$26.00 previously.

Interfor announced today a deal to acquire the four lumber mills for US$94.7 million plus an estimated $30 million of working capital.

"Based on 9-month trailing EBITDA, the purchase price (excluding working capital) represents a multiple of 5x," said Dundee analyst Stephen Atkinson.

"Including the upgrade of the business we expect the EBITDA multiple will be under 4x."

The mills are located relatively near the Interfor lumber mills in the US, Dundee said, and the capital markets firm does not expect any US anti-trust issues given Interfor's "relatively low lumber capacity."

The analyst noted that the acquisition is expected to add $21 million to 2015 estimated EBITDA, and $34 million to 2016 EBITDA. The mills reported $17 million in EBITDA over the first nine months of 2014.

"Our forecasts are well above consensus owing to our expectation of slightly higher lumber prices combined with lower energy-related costs," Dundee said.

The capital markets firm also highlighted expected lower sawlog costs in the US Pacific North West, owing to less log buying from China given increased competition from Europe and Russia.

The primary risks, Atkinson said, are weaker than anticipated US housing starts, and a significant drop in Chinese buying, which could both lead to lower lumber prices.

"Interfor is one of our preferred investments. The company is very well-managed and selects its acquisitions astutely," the analyst concluded.

With a capacity of 2.6 billion fbm, the Vancouver-based company is the fastest growing lumber business in North America. Shares of Interfor jumped 10.6 percent to C$20.63 in Toronto on Friday afternoon.

Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:58:00 +0000
Fortress says it will suffer $20 mln in annual lost revenue due to Chinese anti-dumping duty Shares of Fortress Paper (TSE:FTP) fell more than 6 percent in early trading Thursday after revealing that China's anti-dumping duty imposed on dissolving pulp imports from Canada, the US and Brazil has remained unchanged since the introduction earlier this year, and will contribute to substantial lost revenues as a result.

This means its dissolving pulp exports from subsidiary Fortress Specialty Cellulose to China remain subject to a 13 percent tax, which would cost the company about $20 million in lost revenues per year, it said.

Fortress highlighted that the duty has put thousands of jobs in the dissolving pulp industry at risk in Canada, including over 300 at its cellulose mill in Thurso, Quebec.

A 23.7 percent duty has also been imposed on new dissolving pulp mills in Canada, which the company says has effectively "frozen expansion in the once-growing industry." Fortress was forced to suspend, for an indefinite period, its dissolving pulp conversion project at its Fortress Global Cellulose mill in Lebel-sur-Quevillon.

"We trust that the Chinese government will correct the situation as the antidumping duty does not comply with international law and World Trade Organization rules and has not resulted in any positive effect on the local price," said chief executive officer, Chadwick Wasilenkoff in a statement released late Wednesday.

"In light of the negative impact of the duty on Canada's dissolving pulp producers since the duty was first imposed, we continue to petition the Government of Canada to intercede on behalf of the industry to seek resolution with the Chinese government."

In the meantime, the company has launched cost-cutting initiatives at its Fortress Specialty Cellulose mill to mitigate the effects of the Chinese tax, and said it continues to evaluate its options. 

The duty is the result of China's claims that dumping was harming the country's pulp sector following an investigation China launched in February last year on the importing to China of cellulose pulp originating from Canada, the U.S. and Brazil.

Fortress said it believes that China's domestic dissolving pulp industry has "suffered no injury as a result of imported pulp," and that the duty has not had any positive effect on local price.

Shares were down 6.2 percent at C$2.13 in Toronto as of 10:26am ET on Thursday.

Thu, 16 Oct 2014 16:07:00 +0100
Fortress swings amid plans to cut staff Fortress Paper (TSE:FTP) shares were volatile on Tuesday after the company approved a plan to cut approximately 16% of its staff in its dissolving pulp unit, including senior and middle management, as well as clerical employees.

The company said the move is expected to result in cost savings of about $2.2 million per year. Shares traded in a range of C$2.82 to C$3.00 in Toronto today, and were lately down at C$2.83, off by more than 2%. 

The layoffs are the result of a management directive to immediately reduce labour costs as part of a comprehensive cost reduction strategy implemented in response to challenging market conditions.

"Fortress Paper is facing extremely difficult market conditions for dissolving pulp and we firmly believe in the need to be proactive to control our future," said CEO Chadwick Wasilenkoff. 

"The reduction in labour costs announced today is anticipated to save the company over $2 million per year and is representative of management's efforts to improve the efficiency of the company. 

"While layoffs are unfortunate, they are a necessary and prudent measure in these difficult times."

In April, China's Ministry of Commerce stuck with its initial decision to impose a 13% duty on dissolving pulp imports, the result of claims that dumping was harming the country's pulp sector following an investigation China launched in February last year on the importing to China of cellulose pulp originating from Canada, the U.S. and Brazil. 

The wood-pulp producer with mills in Quebec operates its dissolving pulp business at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill. It is also evaluating expanding its dissolving pulp capacity by converting the Fortress Global Cellulose Mill located at Lebel-sur-Quévillon, Québec into a dissolving pulp mill and re-starting the cogeneration facility. 

The company also operates a security paper products business at the Landqart Mill located in Switzerland, where it produces banknote, passport, visa and other brand protection and security papers. 

Tue, 03 Jun 2014 19:59:00 +0100
Fortress Paper down as 13% Chinese duty remains final Fortress Paper (TSE:FTP) shares were falling early Friday after China's Ministry of Commerce stuck with its initial decision to impose a 13% duty on dissolving pulp imports, which the company said it disagreed with and was disappointed with the outcome.

Fri, 04 Apr 2014 14:54:00 +0100
Fortress hits all-time low after reporting wider-than-expected Q4 loss Fortress Paper Ltd. (TSE:FTP), a wood-pulp producer with mills in Quebec, tumbled in midday trading after posting a worse-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter.

Fortress sank 13 percent to a record low of C$2.83 at 1:01 p.m. in Toronto.

Net loss expanded to $54.7 million in the three months ended Dec. 31, from a net loss of $4.2 million in the year-earlier period, the Vancouver, British Colombia-based company said in a statement after market close yesterday.

Excluding certain items, adjusted net loss was $21.2 million, or $1.46 a share in the quarter, compared with a loss of $11.2 million, or 77 cents a share, a year earlier. That exceeded the 99 cents a share loss forecast by analysts.

Revenue dropped to $37.2 million from $58.7 million. That also missed an analyst's estimate of $64.8 million.

Fortress, which makes various types of paper and fibre, or pulp, has divested its specialty papers segment, which is listed as a discontinued operation.

The company announced yesterday that it recorded a $32.9-million item in the fourth quarter to reflect the reduced value of property, plant and equipment its Fortress Global Cellulose mill in Lebel-sur-Quevillon, Quebec.

In November, China threatened to impose a 51 percent interim duty on dissolving pulp from the FGC mill if it converted to that purpose. The mill is currently not in production. China also imposed a 13 percent interim duty on dissolving pulp from the Fortress Specialty Cellulose mill in Thuro, Quebec.

"The 2013 year proved to be very challenging for Fortress Paper," Chief Executive Officer Chadwick Wasilenkoff said in the statement. "Positive developments throughout the year were overshadowed by the disappointing financial results from the Dissolving Pulp Segment."

"As we enter 2014, we believe that we are making progress on numerous initiatives and are confident that we are on the right track to overcome remaining obstacles. I would like to thank the entire team at Fortress Paper for their perseverance and commitment throughout a difficult year."


Tue, 11 Mar 2014 17:48:00 +0000
Fortress Paper sinks to new 52-week low after decision to shut down pulp mill Fortress Paper (TSE:FTP) shares fell 11% on Wednesday after saying it will shut down its Fortress Specialty Mill in Thurso, Québec after taking a hit from a recent interim duty imposed by China's government on the import of Canadian dissolving pulp. 

Wed, 18 Dec 2013 17:37:00 +0000
Fortress shares battered after Chinese duty causes downgrade Fortress Paper (TSE:FTP) shares have skidded sharply on Wednesday after an analyst downgrade, on concerns that a Chinese duty will cause a massive hit to the bottom line.

CIBC World Markets lowered Fortress to "sector underperformer" from "sector outperformer" and sharply cut its price target to $4.50 from $17.50.

"We believe operational improvements will be seen at Thurso in coming months, but the Chinese duty imposition drains the equity upside in [Fortress]," the analysts wrote.

It's the fifth-straight session that the stock has fallen--an 18% plunge over that time--after the market appeared to brush off the $13.4 million loss reported on Tuesday. Shares around midday on Wednesday were about 11% lower.

CIBC lowered its 2013 loss prediction to $4.84 per share from $4.70 per share and 2014 guidance to a $1.72 per share loss from a 17 cents a share profit. It said the proposed tax has caused it to lower its book value calculation by $13 per share. The duty notwithstanding, CIBC sees operational improvements at the Thurso, Que. mill starting in the current quarter.

The duty is the result of China's claims that dumping was harming the country's pulp sector, after the Chinese Ministry Of Commerce launched an investigation in February. If the 13% duty, effectively immediately, remains in place for a prolonged period, Fortress said "it will have a long term deterrent effect on supply dynamics." In a note released on Tuesday, CIBC called the Chinese government probe "puzzling."

"With the announcement of preliminary duties on certain dissolving pulp producers, this has turned into a case of political cronyism triumphing over free trade, economics and common sense," the analysts wrote.

CIBC said China will always be a high-cost producer of dissolving pulp because its fiber input costs are up to three times higher than what it is for import partners like Canada, Brazil and the U.S.--nations which, incidentally were singled out--which means China is paying a premium to buy product locally.

Fortress said on Monday that it is in talks with the Chinese government, but because the Canadian government is unlikely to intervene, CIBC said Fortress is left to its own devices and China is unlikely to budge given its punitive history. CIBC said that if the duty holds, the likely scenario, it will last for a five-year period.

In its calculations, CIBC said the 13% levy translates into a $150 per tonne cost to produce dissolving pulp. A target output of 200,000 tonnes at the Thurso mill would imply a lost EBITDA margin of $30 million per annum and $189 million or $13 per share in lost net asset value. CIBC lowered its NAV calculation another $5 per share due to the slower-than-expected operation ramp at Thurso.

Wed, 20 Nov 2013 16:28:00 +0000
Fortress experiences more setbacks at new cogeneration facility Fortress Paper Ltd. (TSE:FTP) announced Tuesday that it had completed all major testing of equipment at its Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill during the operating period despite delays associated with the mill’s high pressure water pump.

The company, which operates internationally in two distinct business segments: dissolving pulp and security paper products is in the process of expanding into the renewable energy generation sector with the construction of a cogeneration facility.

The high pressure water pump was re-installed in mid-July, with the cogeneration facility operating for 20 days before being shut-down due to pump failure. A back-up high pressure water pump was installed in early August but its operation proved to be short-lived due to inadequate repairs. Fortress has ordered a replacement high pressure water pump from another supplier, and expects the new pump to arrive in roughly four weeks.

Nonetheless the facility successfully completed 18 and 24 MWH output testing with the company forecasting completion of final 100 hour test as soon as the new pump is installed and tested. Following that, the company expects the cogeneration facility to be delivering power to the Hydro Quebec grid within 24 hours of the successful completion of the test.

"Although the performance of the repair by the supplier of the pump has been disappointing, we are pleased that we were able to complete all major testing of equipment,” said Chief Executive Officer, Chad Wasilenkoff, quoted in a company statement.

“The Company will proceed with an alternate pump supplier in order to complete the final 100 hour test before delivering power to the Hydro Quebec grid and ultimately reducing our production costs."

In addition to the move into renewable energy, the corporation is also seeking to expand its dissolving pulp capacity with the recent acquisition of Fortress Global Cellulose Mill located at Lebel-sur-Quévillon, Québec.

Shares in the company had dropped 2 cents as of 11.13am EST to hit $7.53 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Tue, 13 Aug 2013 16:38:00 +0100
Fortress experiences setback at Thurso, Quebec plant Fortress Paper (TSE:FTP) says its cogeneration project will be delayed as a result of a mechnical failure to the high pressure water and the backup pumps. 

The company's supplier expects the water pump to be operational in mid-July. Despite the setback, Fortress says the cogeneration facility in Thurso, Quebec will produce power before the month ends.

As a back-up measure in case the pump cannot be fixed, Fortress has ordered a pump from another supplier, to be delivered in about two-and-a-half months. In that case, Fortress would need a week to install the new pump and 100 hours to conduct a mandatory grid test. 

"Once the cogeneration facility is operational, we will see production costs at the mill improve towards our originally targeted cost structure," said chairman and chief executive officer Chadwick Wasilenkoff.

In the past quarter, Fortress says the cogeneration project's turbine was successfully synchronized to the power grid and has operated up to four megawatts without complications. 

The stock had fallen about 2.8 per cent to $5.97 as of 3:30 pm ET. 

Tue, 02 Jul 2013 20:45:00 +0100
Schnitzer Steel to cut 300 jobs, lowers Q4 expectations  

Schnitzer Steel Industries (NASDAQ:SCHN) said Tuesday that it will cut 300 jobs, and expects to incur charges of about $5 million in the fourth quarter, or $12 million in total, as part of its restructuring efforts.

Schnitzer is a recycler of used and salvaged vehicles and a manufacturer of finished steel products.

The company also provided updated financial guidance for its fourth quarter, saying that as falling prices hit profits, it expects to break even on an adjusted basis - excluding restructuring charges of about 12 cents per share.

Schnitzer said that its cost cutting initiatives “will extract greater synergies from the significant acquisitions and technology investments which we made in fiscal 2011 and realign our organization to support our future growth”. 

Upon completing its restructuring efforts, the company said it expects to yield higher earnings and to increase shareholder returns.

“These initiatives are expected to lower annual operating costs by $25 million and be substantially complete by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2013,” said Schnitzer in a recent release.

Schnitzer said in early June, export sales prices for ferrous metals, net of freight, dropped approximately $70 to 80 per ton from May levels, largely driven by slower global growth rates, economic uncertainty, and the stronger U.S. dollar. 

The company said its export sales prices remained relatively flat for the remainder of June and July before increasing slightly in August for September shipments. During the quarter, Schnitzer added that the supply of scrap continued to be constrained by low U.S. GDP growth, and was further impacted in the fourth quarter by a lower price environment and unusually hot weather. 

“As a result of these conditions, average inventory costs were not able to decline as quickly as cash purchase costs for raw materials,” said the company.

“Average inventory costs are expected to adversely impact consolidated operating income by approximately $25 million compared to the third quarter, with approximately two-thirds of this impact affecting our metals recycling business.”

In its metals recycling business, Schnitzer said ferrous average net selling prices are expected to decline 10 to 15 per cent from the third quarter of fiscal 2012. 

Ferrous sales volumes are also expected to decline 10 to 15 per cent due to reduced flows of raw materials, said the company, adding that non-ferrous average selling prices and volumes are expected to decline approximately five to 10 per cent from the third quarter. 

Operating income per ferrous ton is expected to be approximately 35-per-cent lower than the third quarter of fiscal 2012, primarily due to the adverse effect of average inventory accounting and the impact of lower volumes on unit costs partly offset by improved cash metal spreads generated in the early part of the quarter. 

For the fiscal year 2012, the company said its metals recycling business is expected to achieve operating income per ferrous tonne of about $12 on aggregate sales volumes of roughly five million ferrous tonnes and 600 million non-ferrous pounds.

In Schnitzer’s auto parts business, it expects lower commodity prices and parts sales to result in a decline of 15 to 20 per cent in revenues from the third quarter of 2012. Operating margins in the fourth quarter are expected to approximate break-even.

The auto parts is expected to generate an operating margin of approximately 10 per cent on an aggregate 340 thousand cars purchased, said the company.

In its steel manufacturing unit, volume increases of about15 per cent are expected and average selling prices are expected to decline more than five per cent from the third quarter. For 2012, operating performance is expected to be slightly below break-even, said Schnitzer.

During the quarter, the company said operating cash flow was used to fund capital expenditures, to repurchase approximately 500,000 additional shares of its class A common stock and for the acquisition of a metals recycling facility in Canada. As a result, total debt to total capital is expected to be approximately 25 per cent, in line with the third quarter.

More detailed information will be provided during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call in October.

Schnitzer Steel Industries is a recycler of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal. Through its North American metals recycling business, it collects and recycles autobodies, rail cars, home appliances, industrial machinery,

Schnitzer’s shares were down 0.21 per cent as at about 9:45 a.m. ET, trading at $29.09.


Tue, 28 Aug 2012 14:54:00 +0100
Schnitzer Steel Q3 profit falls, but beats market expectations Schnitzer Steel Industries (NASDAQ:SCHN) said fiscal third-quarter earnings dropped 65 per cent, as higher costs and lower selling prices in its metals recycling unit crimped profits.

The Portland, Oregon-based company beat market expectations which pushed its stock up 0.32 per cent hitting $24.97 apiece on the Nasdaq on Thursday.

Schnitzer's net income fell to $11.24 million, or 40 cents per diluted share, compared with a year-ago net income of $33 million, or $1.17 per diluted share.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg had expected per-share earnings of 32 cents for the latest quarter ended May 31.

Sales for the quarter fell 10 per cent to $879 million versus $981 million, also missing analyst calls for $887 million in revenue.

The company’s auto parts business saw revenue fall slightly to $83 million from the $87 million seen in 2011.

Schnitzer said that the metals recycling unit's average non-ferrous sales price was 97 cents per pound compared with $1.12 per pound in the prior-year period.

Ferrous volume dropped to 1.3 million tonnes from 1.4 million tonnes, Schnitzer Steel said.

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 18:39:00 +0100
Plastics Capital expecting surprise boost in films' sales to continue Faisal Rahmatallah, executive chairman of Plastics Capital Plc (LON:PLA) tells Proactive that strong demand for their films and mandrels lifted sales by almost a third in their latest half year.

Revenues rose 31% to £36.6mln, with organic growth of 13.5%, though earnings were held back by a combination of heavy expenditure on plant upgrades, raw material price rises and adverse currency movements.

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 11:05:00 +0000
A year of 'excellent' growth for Plastics Capital - Chairman Faisal Rahmatallah Faisal Rahmatallah, chairman of Plastics Capital Plc (LON:PLA) talks through the firm's results for the year to the end of March 2017.

''We made a couple of acquisitions during the course of the year which have contributed'', Rahmatallah says.

''Four of our existing businesses have had record years in terms of organic growth and profitability, so we're delighted with that''.

''We've had a bit of an impact from foreign exchange as well so that's helped a little bit ... and we've used a lot of our cash flow to reinvest back in the business'.

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 11:41:00 +0100