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20 September
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PaperlinX seeks fresh start

Struggling paper supplier PaperlinX, which will change its name to Spicers, says it is putting its troubles behind it.

苏州半永久眼线

PaperlinX is looking to accelerate its diversification into signage, display materials and packaging so that it is less reliant upon the paper industry, which continues to decline because people are using less paper.

In recent years, PaperlinX has reported big losses, changed its board and senior management, unloaded assets and watched its shares decline.

PaperlinX chairman Robert Kaye says that following the group’s exit from loss-making businesses in Europe and the sale of its profitable Canadian business, PaperlinX is now focused exclusively on viable, well-managed businesses in Australia, New Zealand and Asia (ANZA).

“I want to assure shareholders that the ANZA businesses are profitable and viable and represent a solid platform for further growth,” Mr Kaye told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting on Friday.

“Continued diversification is essential for future sustainability.”

Mr Kaye said PaperlinX was looking for acquisitions to help it grow its ANZA business.

Also, PaperlinX had cut directors’ fees and executive pay to reflect the group’s smaller size.

“Now, with a loyal and capable team, we will take this opportunity of a fresh start and begin to transform this company into a broader wholesale and distribution business,” Mr Kaye said.

One shareholder praised the board for its hard work – it met 31 times during fiscal 2015 – and thanked directors and management for extricating PaperlinX from the “fiasco” in Europe.

Chief executive Andy Preece, who was appointed in February 2015, said fine paper for the commercial print market was still an important part of the PaperlinX business, but the company was equally focused on diversification.

“Our mission is to drive overall profitability by managing paper business returns and re-investing to diversify into growth sectors,” he said.

Mr Preece said that in the first three months of fiscal 2016, the company’s New Zealand business was performing well and Asia was stable.

But business in Australia had had a difficult start to the year because of the continued decline of the Australian dollar against the US dollar. That was counter-balanced to some extent by price rises in October.

Shareholders at the PaperlinX AGM voted in favour of the company’s name change to Spicers.

PaperlinX booked a loss of $392 million in fiscal 2015, following a loss of $63.6 million a year earlier.

Shares in PaperlinX were 0.1 cents lower at 3.7 cents at 1406 AEDT.

 
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