Tag: Antalis

By Jo Francis for Printweek

Antalis has described its first half performance as “resilient” in the face of declining overall demand for paper and supply issues caused by events at the Arjowiggins paper mills. However, one-off costs have resulted in increased losses for the period.

The group is the biggest distributor of paper, packaging, and sign and display materials outside of the USA. It has been working to establish a new shareholder structure since February, and its majority shareholder Sequana went into liquidation in May.

Antalis said the search for a new shareholding structure, with support from Goldman Sachs, continued and was “proceeding in line with the plan”.

The group’s results for the six months to 30 June were in line with its preliminary figures announced in July. Turnover fell by 5.4% to €1.072bn (£950m) on a like-for-like basis, while EBITDA was down by nearly 10% at €30.1m (2018: €36m).

The Papers business suffered a sharp decline in sales of 7.6% to €714.1m, growth at its Packaging business was described as “weak” with sales nudging up 0.3% to €254.2m, while Visual Communications was “stable” with sales down 2.4% at €103.9m.

The bottom-line loss for the period increased from €16m to €27m, with one-off costs including a €10.2m asset writedown mainly related to goodwill at its Latin American business, and restructuring costs of €9.8m. The group also implemented accounting standard IFRS 16 for the first time, which resulted in a further €3m hit to the figures.

Sales in the UK and Ireland slipped by 5.6% to €282m, with Antalis describing market conditions as “difficult… notably due to Brexit” although the UK did better than the general market contraction.

Chief executive Hervé Poncin said: “In H1 2019, the group’s operating performance was impacted by the decline in volumes of Papers in a market that contracted by around 7%, and by the bankruptcy of one of our graphic and recycled papers suppliers.

“Against this backdrop, we have continued to adapt our structure to changing patterns of demand and we have significantly reduced our overheads, particularly our logistics and marketing costs.”

Arjowiggins Graphic had supplied around 4% of the group’s purchases, in value terms.

Antalis stated that it had complied with its banking covenants and had strengthened its liquidity with an amended factoring agreement. This has increased its facility from €215m to €290m through the inclusion of an additional finance partner.

Net debt fell by 4.1% to €318m, although under IFRS 16 the net debt figure increases to €434m.

Sales at the group’s Papers division are expected to continue to decline, although it expected a better second half now the situation at Arjowiggins Creative Papers in the UK had been successfully resolved.

“In H2 2019, Antalis should benefit from the launch of new ranges of recycled products and the relaunch of Arjowiggins Creative Papers ranges following its management buyout. Packaging and Visual Communication should show resilience over the coming months and continue to grow their contribution to the Group’s consolidated gross margin,” the group stated.

It anticipates that full year sales will be down by between 6%-7%, with EBITDA margin of 2.7%-2.9%.

Antalis shares fell by 14% to €0.90 after the announcement.

Paper, packaging and graphic solutions provider Antalis South Africa has announced that the company will become South Africa’s leading black empowered company in its industry, on completion of a 100% local buyout of shares currently owned by Antalis International.

Antalis South Africa has a net asset value exceeding R200-million and an annual turnover of over R1-billion. In the process of divesting from South Africa, Antalis International sold all its shares to two existing Antalis South Africa directors. The company will continue to trade as Antalis South Africa.

Following the buyout, the entity becomes an entirely South African owned company that is 51% black- and 30% black female-owned. Antalis South Africa’s B-BBEE maximum procurement recognition level will enable the company to partner with government, state-owned entities and other organisations that prioritise South Africa’s transformation agenda.

The new shareholder team comprises Antalis South Africa’s existing financial director Neelesh Kalidas, who will serve as joint managing director. Together with his business partner they will own a combined 51% of Antalis South Africa, with a 30% black female shareholding.

Raymond Waldeck, currently managing director of Antalis South Africa, will hold the remaining 49% of the company, and will also assume the role of joint managing director.

Each managing director will concentrate on business functions specific to their core strengths for operational efficiencies and market optimisation.

“Kalidas and Waldeck realised that the buyout opportunity presented by Antalis International would result in the formation of a truly empowered South African entity. Together with our 320-strong team, we will continue to serve existing and new customers with excellent service, innovative product ranges and industry expertise that Antalis customers have come to expect – elements that are critical to the ongoing success of the business,” says Romano Daniels, spokesperson for Antalis South Africa.

“Antalis South Africa will continue to be a reputable contributor to the local paper, packaging and graphic solutions market, just as it has been for over 120 years. We are proud to lead meaningful transformation of the industry that is long overdue, with this transaction.”

With an eye firmly on how digitisation and shifts in the commodity markets are changing the pulp, paper, and packaging trade worldwide, Daniels confirms that Antalis South Africa aims to continue increasing its focus on market opportunities in packaging, graphic equipment, visual communications, inclusive of signage and display as well as logistics services.

“As the global demand for commodity paper changes, established businesses like Antalis South Africa, who has the widest offering in the market, are taking advantage of technological advances that create opportunities for new services, innovative product developments and overall industry growth,” he says.

He notes that the increasing impact of environmental consciousness is bringing about new developments in paper packaging as an example of how changing consumer outlook and demand has benefited, rather than threatened, the paper and graphics solutions sector. Furthermore, Antalis South Africa will continue strengthening its ties with key global suppliers to ensure the organisation is always at the forefront of new product introduction to the market.

Daniels says that in the meantime, staff, clients and suppliers will find that business continues as usual because business stability is of critical importance to customers and staff alike.

“This is an exciting new chapter in the Antalis South Africa life cycle, and as an influential, sustainable and transformed South African company, we look forward to being at the forefront of the continually-evolving local paper, packaging and graphic solutions industry,” he says.

Sequana reports that Antalis, the world’s largest paper distributor (outside the USA), strengthened its market share in Europe while continuing to deploy its strategy.

Antalis’ Packaging and Visual Communication distribution activities now account for 36% of its gross margin.

Antalis’ enhanced product mix

Sequana said that it benefited from an enhanced product mix mainly due to:

  • Acquisitions by Antalis;
  • Arjowiggins’ refocus on its specialty businesses;
  • The favourable impact of consolidation in the European paper distribution market;
  • Lower fixed costs resulting from the closure of Arjowiggins’ mills; and
  • The streamlining of Antalis’ supply chain.

Source: www.office-times.com

Paper sourcing and usage is an integral part of a comprehensive corporate and social responsibility (CSR) strategy. By implementing a responsible paper sourcing and usage policy focused on recycled paper or paper produced from sustainable virgin fibre, enterprises can demonstrate their commitment to conducting business responsibly and encouraging the development of sustainable forestry.

To support companies in their efforts to integrate paper into their CSR policies, Antalis, Europe’s leading paper merchant, has developed its Green Connection Initiative with the Green Star System (GSS) at its core. The GSS attributes a number of stars to each paper product according to its environmental credentials allowing customers to make informed, responsible choices.

The Antalis Green Connection is completely aligned with its parent company Sequana’s global CSR strategy, which has three key objectives:

• Ensure responsible sourcing of the products Antalis sells;
• Ensure Antalis commits to environmental excellence in its everyday business; and
• Support Antalis customers in their commitment to green paper and printing.

The Antalis Green Star System: making it easy to go green
Hotels,restaurant and theatre reviews, household products … all are commonly ranked by consumers on a star-based system. Antalis therefore chose this universally-recognised point of reference as the indicator of the different levels of eco-responsibility for its Green Star System, ranking papers from zero to five green stars.

Even those unfamiliar with the growing number of ecological certifications, can easily understand the system and identify the most environmentally-friendly products.

While the GSS is designed to be accessible to everyone and to simplify the intelligent choice of products with a lower environmental impact, its definition is based on exhaustive information and stringent requirements regarding the origin of the wood fibres and the paper manufacturing process.

Origin of the fibre – for a product to be eco-responsible the wood fibres must either be FSC/PEFC certified or at least 50% recycled from post-consumer waste with the remaining in line with FSC or PEFC standards.
Manufacturing process – for a product to be defined as eco-responsible, the mills that produce the paper must carry either ISO 14001 certification (based on a framework for the development of an environmental management system – EMS – and the supporting audit programme) or the EU Ecolabel (lifecycle based approach).

Companies often still have an either/or attitude to paper and digital communications but these media are complementary,” explains Xavier Jouvet, group marketing and purchasing director.

Antalis’ David James says, “The right combination of both can strengthen the impact of a company’s messages and image, particularly when paper is sourced and used in an eco-responsible manner. We want to make taking that step as easy as possible for our customers which is why we have developed the Antalis Green Star System.”

As part of its Green Connection initiative, Antalis has developed a number of additional tools and solutions which aim to promote environmental excellence amongst all the stakeholders in the paper industry and to defend the industry as a responsible, sustainable economic player.

These include:

• The “Did you know?” video which debunks all those widespread myths about the paper industry which is in fact the greatest user of renewable energy and contributes widely to reforestation.

• The Antalis Green White Paper which provides concrete advice on how companies can integrate paper into their sustainable development strategy and the advantages of a properly managed paper sourcing policy.

• The Antalis Green Brochure which presents the merchant’s complete eco-responsible product offering, its characteristics and application possibilities. Brochure available on request.

• The environmental ECO calculator developed with Arjowiggins Graphic which allows companies to calculate the reduction in their environmental impact when using the Antalis range of eco-responsible papers.

To find out more, visit http://www.antalis.co.za/

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