Swiss papermaker Model Group to move forward with conversion of graphic paper mill in Eilenburg, Germany, from newsprint production to packaging papers; PM will be shut down and completely rebuilt between August 2023 and February 2024

Sample article from our Pulp & Paper Industry

April 25, 2023 (press release) –

New record turnover due to higher sales prices despite lower corrugated board volume.

Turnover report 2022
New record turnover

Model Group is active in the field of solid and corrugated board packaging. It increased the consolidated turnover from CHF 1.07 billion to CHF 1.21 billion in the past financial year which corresponds to an increase of 14%. This was due to a higher average sales price for corrugated and solid board packaging as a result of significantly higher paper, board and energy prices. On average, Model Group employed 4'541 people (previous year 4'473), of which almost 800 in Switzerland. Investments once again reached a high level of CHF 152 million (previous year CHF 156 million). The main areas of investment were a fully automated intralogistics system in Weinfelden, new wastewater treatment plants for Eilenburg and Weinfelden, two new corrugators including new buildings for Nymburk (CZ) and Bilgoraj (PL) and initial expenditure in connection with the major construction site at the paper mill in Eilenburg (Saxony).

Falling sales volumes and skyrocketing energy costs
In its 15 production sites in Switzerland, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Croatia, Model Group produced almost 1.4 billion m² of corrugated packaging and sheets (decrease of 13%) and 466'000 tons of packaging papers for corrugated board production which corresponds to an increase of 14% or approximately 60'000 tons compared to the previous year. At the folding cardboard plants, the production volume was increased by 5% to 19'030 tons.

The partial decline in consumption also led to a drop in demand for corrugated packaging. As energy costs multiplied at the same time in the upstream value-added stage of paper production due to the sanctions policy and pipeline destruction, there was a price increase despite the decline in demand.

We expect the decline in sales to continue in the current year. Nevertheless, we are planning investments of more than CHF 200 million for 2023, of which the conversion of the paper mill in Eilenburg from graphic papers to packaging papers will account for the largest share. The machine will be shut down and completely rebuilt between August 2023 and February 2024. Another major construction site is already underway in Bilgoraj, Poland, where a new corrugated production hall with fully automated semi-finished and finished product storage is being built.

Model Group
Model Group develops, produces and supplies high-quality packaging made of solid and corrugated board, from simple transport packaging to highly refined boxes for chocolates and perfumes. The group is represented by 12 companies in seven countries. The main markets include Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Benelux, Austria, France, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The company headquarters is located in Weinfelden/TG, Switzerland.

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