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  • Proficiency Index Poll - 40 under 40

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    WBMason-gervais-jaffeProficiency Index Poll

    40 under 40

    Nominations flood in the

    top talent in the OPS market


    29 Oct’11 (Updated)

    Last year we launched the first Proficiency Index ’40 under 40’ identifying the rising stars of the OPS market place. This hugely popular feature has attracted hundreds of nominations this year. Nominations are all in,results announced on 2 Nov'11

  • Papermakers Financial Review - Q3'11

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    Paperless trends
slow makers sales
    Capacity cuts counterbalance demand
    29 Oct’11
    Global leading papermakers International Paper, Stora Enso and UPM announced last week weaker financial results for Q3’11.
    International Paper
    Financial Review – Q3’11 v Q3’10
    Sales were $6.6Bn down 2%. Operating profits were up $571m or 7.3%/sales compared to $752m or 5.7%/sales.
    "IP delivered a strong quarter in a tough environment," said John Faraci, CEO. "We are consistently generating higher profits and cash flow from our transformed portfolio with an international footprint that has strengthened our earnings power. Even as some expected challenges persisted in the third quarter, including weak economic growth in developed markets and input cost inflation, we look ahead with confidence as we continue to capitalize on our balanced portfolio and realize gains from recent investments.”
    The performance of the company's business segments are measured quarter to quarter without variations caused by special items, as management focuses on business segment operating profits excluding those items.
    North American sales volumes and prices were relatively stable in the third quarter, but were somewhat weaker in export markets reflecting seasonal declines in our integrated EMEA box plants, as well as a slower than expected overall economic recovery. Higher recycled fiber costs had a $14 million negative impact versus the second quarter of 2011.
    Printing Papers’ operating profits were  $238 million ($239 million including special items) versus  $222 million ($243 million including special items) in the  second quarter of 2011.   In
    Consumer Packaging operating profit was  $103 million ($30 million including special items) compared with $98 million (a loss of $33 million including special items) in the second quarter of 2011. Third quarter improvement was primarily driven by the lack of maintenance outages and
    further sales price realizations in North America, but was partially offset by higher input costs.
    xpedx, the company’s North American  distribution business, reported operating profits of $27m ($9m including special items), up significantly from $14m($4m including special items) in the second quarter of 2011.   Earnings improved from the prior quarter due to seasonally higher sales volumes and lower operating costs, partially offset by lower sales margins.
    UPM Kymmene
    Financial Review – Q3’11 v Q3’10
    Sales were €2.6Bn up 13% with operating profits €136m or 5.2% compared with €204m or 8.8%/sales.
    Jussi Pesonen, CEO, comments on the result:
    “During the third quarter UPM’s delivery volumes fell while variable costs reached a peak level. These coinciding events impacted on our operating profit.  Particularly the lower pulp and fine paper deliveries in Europe had an adverse impact on the operating profit”.
    “On a positive note, our strong performance in terms of operating cash flow continued. Myllykoski integration proceeded well and the magazine paper business showed solid performance. The demand for publication papers was stable and, during the quarter, we were able to increase paper prices by 1-2%.  Also, the Label and Plywood businesses were able to implement price increases. However, this was not sufficient to offset the rise in variable costs during the third quarter. While the cost level still remains high, we estimate that we have now reached the peak and variable costs are expected to start gradually decreasing”.
    “We are prepared for a heavy winter. There is already a clear decline in demand in Europe for our timber and plywood businesses. However, UPM is in a much better position to respond to the rough economic climate compared to 2008”.
    “The strategic acquisitions of the Fray Bentos mill and the Myllykoski have further improved our cost competitiveness and cash flow generation. Our net debt increased only EUR 205 million year-on-year. Our balance sheet is strong, which gives us opportunities to consider further strategic moves”.
    “As announced after the Myllykoski acquisition, we have plans in place to reduce 1.3 million tonnes of paper capacity in Europe and gain annual cost synergies worth EUR 200 million. We are prepared to adopt flexible production operations in various businesses, if needed, and will continue our stringent cost control and strict investment policy. All in all, UPM is well prepared to face any economic scenario”, Pesonen concludes.
    Outlook for 2011
    Economic outlook has turned weaker during the second half of the year. As a result, demand for UPM’s products for the rest of the year is lower than earlier anticipated.
    Price outlook for UPM’s products is mostly stable for the rest of the year and variable costs are anticipated to start gradually to decrease during the fourth quarter of 2011 from the peak level reached in the third quarter of 2011.
    UPM’s full-year 2011 operating profit excluding special items is expected to be somewhat lower than last year. Previously, the full year 2011 operating profit excluding special items was expected to improve from last year.
    Stora Enso
    Financial Review – Q3’11 v Q3’10
    Sales were €2.74Bn up 4.6% with operating profits of €204m or 7.4%/sales down from €255m or 97%/sales.
    CEO Jouko Karvinen comments on results as follows:
    “Solid quarter, measures to fight the economic reality continue and increase”
    “We finished the third quarter as planned. The business areas performed as expected, but associated companies underperformed, essentially due to currency impact.
    “In July we forecast rapidly increasing economic uncertainty and the need to plan for alternative demand scenarios going forward. We described the early signs of weakening demand and sales channel inventory reductions in Fine Paper and Wood Products.
    Whereas we see for example in coated fine paper stabilisation after inventory corrections, it is clear that going into the fourth quarter our customers, as well as ourselves, will reduce inventories and therefore we will further step up the manufacturing curtailments which we already increased significantly in the third quarter. If temporary lay-offs are planned, they will be subject to co-determination negotiations.
    “As before, in a rapidly changing business environment our priorities are clear: cash preservation, defending our margins through active capacity management, minimising the number of underutilised assets by product swaps and continued cost-efficiency actions. The good news is that we are now in a stronger position than a few years ago due to lower fixed costs.
    We have enhanced flexibility through outsourcing and other means of decreasing the negative earnings impact of reduced demand. This path of improvements in costs and productivity, but also flexibility is one we will continue to follow.
    “Looking further ahead, our current strategic projects – the Montes del Plata pulp mill in Uruguay, the Ostroleka containerboard machine in Poland and the cross-laminated timber investment in Austria – are proceeding according to plan. Inpac acquisition was completed in the third quarter. Our strong balance sheet and cash position gives us a solid platform to pursue our future in our selected growth areas.”

    paperless-officePaperless trends

    slow makers' sales

    Capacity cuts counterbalance demand


    28 Oct’11

    Global leading papermakers International Paper, Stora Ensoand UPM announced last week weaker financial results for Q3’11.

  • MWV Financial Review Q3'11

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    at-a-glance-calendarMWV sales
    growth slows

    Back to School lower than 2010


    26 Oct’11
    the leading US packaging and stationery maker, reported a solid growth in its Q3’11 sales and profits. However office products sales were slower...

  • FAME Index - Do more with Dell

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    Dell-do-more-entrepreneurFAME Index

    Do more with Dell

    Spend less time on paperwork
    and more time with…


    24 Oct’11

    Last June, Dell launched a new $80 million ad campaign designed to broaden its image from PC maker to full-service IT solutions provider. The timing was perfect given HP’s self-inflicted implosion…

  • FAME Index - Xerox Ready for real business

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    Xerox-Virgin-America-print-adFAME Index

    Ready for
    real business

    TV/Magazine ad review


    22 Oct’11

    The current series of XeroxTV/magazine and press ads are exemplary in promoting the productivity services message to decision makers in business…

  • Acme United Q3'11 Financial Review

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    Westcott--scissorsAcme’s cutting
    edge results

    Innovation the key to sharpness


    21 Oct’11

    Acme Unitedtoday announced impressive results for  Q3’11 financial results to September 30, 2011...

  • Newsweek's 100 Greenest US Companies

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    staples-soul-v-depot-green100 Greenest US Companies

    OPS leaders rated
    high by Newsweek

    How and why can Depot rank
    higher than Staples…again?


    21 Oct 11 (Updated)
    Earlier this week, Newsweekpublished its annual list of the greenest companies. Its goal is to to quantify environmental footprint, policies, and reputation....

  • Best Buy: bye, bye Britain?

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    best_buy-BrowseB e s t   B u y :
    bye, bye Britain?

    Will arrogance and Amazon
    force store downsize or exit?


    17 Oct’11

    The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Best Buy, the world’s #1 consumer electronics retailer was considering its options in the UK…

  • Office Depot demands fraud story erasure

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    ODgate Scandal News

    Depot demands 
    fraudstory erasure

    Threatens legal action v publisher of US Communities conspiracy report


    16 Oct’11 (updated)

    Office Depottoday threatened Business Insider with libel suit and forced it to take down the article that was critical of its collusion on the US Communitiescontract before it lost the business in December’10. We get whistleblower David Sherwin's reaction...

  • ODgate Scandal - Office Depot's USCommunities collusion revisited

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    ODgate Scandal

    Depot’s USComm
    collusion revisited

    Fraudulent overcharging and
    commission kickbacks exposed

    14 Oct’11

    Stephanie MaierofPajamas Mediahas written a terrific expose on the US Communities and Office Depot conspiracy we first reported with Rick Marlette’sanalysis in February 2008. The stink is not going away from Depot's denials and deceit...

  • Depot faces the heat in Houston

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    Depot faces the 
    heat in Houston

    US Communities contract under
    scrutiny from fraud investigators


    13 Oct’11

    The City of Houston Controller'soffice has informed whistle-blower David Sherwin that they are opening an investigative audit of Office Depot for pricing fraud/overcharging on the US Communities contract.

  • TOP 50 Fastest Growing Resellers - Part 2 Over $5m sales

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    UK-US-top-50Proficiency Index

    Top 50 Fastest
    Growing Resellers

    Part 2: stars with $5m-$20m sales
    and a progressive OPS agenda


    8 Oct’11 (Updated)

    We have now listed the double-digit dynamos with sales over $20m we followed up by the Top 25 in the US and UK. The UK profiles will be completed this weekend...


  • Proficiency Index = Top 50 Fastest Growing Resellers

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    Top-50-fastest-Growers-Top-6-2011Proficiency Index

    Fastest Growing Resellers 2011


    have  i g n i t i o n!

    Part 1: Top 25 over $20m sales
    The OPS market dynamic forces


    1 Oct'11 (Complete)

    Fortunemagazine recently published its Fastest Growing Companies list,so we thought we’d publish a similar list for the dynamos in the OPS marketplace. We publish the Top 25 with sales over $20m with pictures and commentary

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