Heinzel Group founder and CEO says he's pleased with company's 2013 result, which was second best in its history, attributes success to record levels of production, sales volumes, sales revenue, even though Laakirchen paper mill was not yet included

VIENNA , May 21, 2014 (press release) –

  • Sales revenue increase of 22% , net income up 73%
  • Laakirchen Papier AG acquired from SCA
  • Extensive investments raise production capacity

The year 2013 turned out to be a very successful one for the Heinzel Group in spite of the difficult market situation. Production was expanded by 68% to 965,759 tons of paper and pulp. Total sales volumes (including traded goods) rose by 20% to 2,813,314 tons. On this basis Heinzel Group increased its sales revenue by 22% to EUR 1,329.1 million, and its net income by 73% to EUR 57.0 million. “This is the second best result in our company’s history”, says a satisfied Alfred H. Heinzel, founder and CEO of the Heinzel Group.

“We achieved record levels with respect to total production, sales volumes and sales revenue, even though the Laakirchen plant specializing in uncoated publishing papers did not belong to the Group yet in the first quarter. This shows that it is possible to successfully operate in our industry even under difficult circumstances thanks to our focused strategy and our streamlined and efficient structure”, Alfred Heinzel adds. “I am particularly pleased with the fact that we managed to integrate Laakirchen Papier AG, a company which had belonged to the Heinzel family until the 1980s, into the Group last year.”

New in Pöls: “Starkraft“
The Heinzel Group also invested in its two other production facilities in 2013. At the pulp plant in Pöls, a new state-of-the-art paper machine with a capacity of up to 100,000 tons of high quality packaging paper annually was constructed in the record time of only thirteen months. This paper is being marketed under the brand name “Starkraft” and can be deployed in a variety of ways. “The strategic decision to increase paper production volumes and thus to ensure greater value creation was absolutely the right move to make“, CEO Heinzel states. “The new paper machine PM2, for which we invested a total of EUR 115 million, already started production earlier than planned in November 2013. Moreover, the start-up curve is steeper than we originally anticipated.“

Estonian factory boosts efficiency
A total of EUR 4.9 million was invested in a new slab press for Estonian Cell, enabling the pulp mill there to raise total production by 10% to 165,000 tons annually. At the same time, at a cost of about EUR 11 million, Estonian Cell realised the anaerobic stage of the company’s own effluent treatment plant, from which it can derive biogas. The facility started trial operations in January 2014 and will help the factory make a major leap forward with regard to its energy efficiency.

Success in trading
The year also proceeded positively in the trading business. The trading company heinzelsales (Wilfried Heinzel AG) expanded its international network by opening four new liaison offices in South Korea, China, Kenya and Australia and now sells paper, pulp and board in more than 79 markets around the world. Moreover, within the context of the acquisition of Laakirchen Papier AG, a sales partnership was concluded with the Swedish SCA group for publication papers, pulp, kraftliner and flexible packaging. The paper wholesaling group Europapier integrated the subsidiaries of its competitor PaperlinX in Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia acquired in 2012 in record time. Sales volumes, sales revenue and earnings were already increased in the year of integration.

Force Majeure at the Pöls plant
The Heinzel Group had a stroke of luck when major damage occurred to the recovery boiler at its pulp mill in Pöls in March 2014. “Fortunately only two employees were hurt, and they are thankfully recovering now”, says Alfred Heinzel. Other facilities were not damaged by this incident. Production could be resumed after an interruption of only 36 hours with the help of a reserve boiler. “There is no problem whatsoever in supplying pulp to the new paper machine PM 2, and we are already working intensively to replace the damaged boiler”, CEO Heinzel adds.

ABOUT HEINZEL GROUP
With its industrial subsidiaries Zellstoff Pöls AG , Laakirchen Papier AG (both Austria) and AS Estonian Cell (Estonia), the Heinzel Group, consolidated within Heinzel Holding, ranks among the largest producers of market pulp and magazine paper in Central and Eastern Europe.

The Group’s trading activities include Wilfried Heinzel AG, a globally active pulp and paper trading company, and Europapier AG, the top paper merchant in the CEE region. In addition, Bunzl & Biach is one of the biggest and most important waste paper trading companies in Austria and the leading wholesaler in Central and Eastern Europe.

Fulfilling the highest quality and efficiency requirements of its customers is the basis of Heinzel Group’s successful growth.

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