News within the industry of pulp and paper, Oct, 18 2017
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Appvion full-year 2015 results down 8,5 per cent

Photo: Appvion
Photo: Appvion
Published by
Simon Matthis - 10 Mar 2016

Appvion's full-year 2015 net sales of $700.0 million decreased $64.7 million, or 8.5%, compared to full-year 2014. Shipment volumes during 2015 fell approximately 4% compared to 2014. Thermal papers net sales of $372.8 million were $42.5 million, or 10.2%, lower than full-year 2014 and shipment volumes declined approximately 2%. Carbonless papers net sales of $327.2 million were $22.2 million, or 6.4%, lower than 2014, with shipment volumes down approximately 6%.

Appvion's 2015 fiscal year contained 52 weeks. The Company's 2014 fiscal year included 53 weeks, with the extra week occurring in the fourth quarter. Sales for full-year 2015 decreased 6.7% compared to full-year 2014 sales, excluding the extra week.

Kevin Gilligan, Appvion's chief executive officer, said the Company's improved manufacturing operations and successful cost reduction initiatives of $30.1 million, as well as a $9.7 million reduction in selling, general and administrative (SG&A) spending, did much to counter the significant challenges Appvion faced during 2015. Those challenges included the negative impact of unfavorable prices and product mix, lower shipment volumes, and the strength of the U.S. dollar.

Competitive pressures in the thermal receipt paper market caused market prices for that product to remain below prior-year prices for all of 2015, and caused a $23.3 million decline in 2015 sales compared to 2014.

The continued strength of the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies had a $5.6 million negative impact on the Company's current-year sales compared to 2014. The negative impact on sales was greatest for thermal tag, label and entertainment (TLE) products due to the broad international markets Appvion serves with those products.

In addition, the unexpected downtime and extended maintenance outage to repair the recovery boiler that occurred during first-half 2015 at the Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania mill reduced full-year earnings by $3.7 million.

"While the business challenges we faced throughout much of 2015 hindered our earnings performance, our increased focus on customer and market needs, continuous improvement, and operational excellence gives us confidence that we will carry the positive momentum from the fourth quarter into 2016," Gilligan said.

Fourth quarter 2015 savings of $20.7 million from improved manufacturing operations and reduced SG&A more than offset the $13.6 million negative impact of lower shipment volume and price and product mix. Gilligan added that the $8.1 million of earnings the Company achieved in fourth quarter, excluding the impact of mark-to-market losses from retiree benefit plans, was the Company's best quarterly earnings of 2015. "Appvion is better positioned now than we were at the start of 2015," Gilligan said.

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