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Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia reported to reduce rubber exports  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Bangkok, Thailand - Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, the three major producers of rubber latex in Southeast Asia, might reduce their exports of that product to balance international prices. Local media quoted government sources, according to which, the reduction in production by 300,000 tons will start in August, although the final decision will be made at one of the regular meetings among the main producers. Thailand is the world's largest rubber producer with 4.5 million tons a year, Indonesia makes 3.1 million tons, and Malaysia has an output of 720,000 tons. Altogether, Southeast Asia supplies about 12 million tons of rubber, nearly 60 percent of the world's production. - * Email

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Ansell announces transformation plan after divestment of sexual wellness business  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sydney, Australia – Ansell Limited announced it will implement a four-point transformation program following a review of the business portfolio and the agreed divestment of the Sexual Wellness business, announced in May 2017. The company will make a cash investment over a three-year period of $70-$100 million as part of a significant business transformation, with an additional $20-30 million in non-cash asset write-downs. The primary objectives are to enhance growth and improve return on capital employed through a sharper focus on core businesses selling to industrial and healthcare end markets, streamlined operations, and accelerated investment in manufacturing technology to support the continued rapid growth of innovative new product ranges. Approximately $40-50 million of the above cash investment will enable a cost reduction program expected to deliver annualized pre-tax savings in excess of $30 million by fiscal year 2020, with savings of approximately $5-7 million to be realized in fiscal 2018. The balance of the investment will be in new manufacturing technology and capacity to support continued top line expansion, building on the encouraging momentum seen in fiscal 2017. The additional non-cash asset write-downs are expected to arise primarily on the closure of smaller, less efficient production lines. Further details of the business transformation will be provided at the company’s full year rsults release on August 14, 2017, and at an Ansell Investor Capital Markets Day to be held on October 23, 2017, in Sydney, Australia, followed by investor roadshows in Europe and North America. The transformation program will target four areas of improvement to create a sharper focus on the key drivers of growth and profitability for core businesses, while also reducing overhead cost and redirecting resources towards the most important priorities. The improvement areas include streamlining Ansell’s global business units (GBUs) and support cost; commencing in fiscal 2018, Ansell will be organized into two GBUs; single use and medical will be merged into a new healthcare GBU that will manage all single use exam products, surgical and life science products and account for approximately $750 million in sales; and industrial will continue to manage all mechanical and chemical hand and body protection solutions, accounting for approximately $700 million in sales; the simpler GBU structure will also enable productivity gains in support functions and in the regional sales organizations; realize step change improvement in supply chain productivity and performance through bringing together all sales and operations planning, transportation and distribution into a single global function reporting to the CEO; benefits to include reduced distribution cost, improved service to customers and a targeted improvement in inventory turns benefiting cash flow by at least $30 million; and optimize manufacturing operations. Ansell’s 13 global plants will be linked more tightly to the streamlined GBUs. Three sites will be part of healthcare, nine sites part of industrial, with the Sri Lanka site supporting both businesses. Industrial will begin executing a comprehensive manufacturing optimization plan, with detailed productivity targets to be implemented over the next two to three years. Benefits will be achieved through site productivity initiatives and some realignment of product manufacturing locations, delivering lower costs, improved flexibility and further enhancing Ansell’s leadership in product performance and quality. Ansell will accelerate investments in technology and automation and will add capacity to support its fastest growing and most innovative new products to make a step-change in manufacturing efficiency and effectiveness while creating the capacity to support continued share gain in targeted market verticals. The above initiatives are to be implemented over the next 30 months with the P&L, investment and cash impacts of the transformation program also being incurred over this 30-month period. A separate transformation and project management office has been established, reporting to the CEO, the costs of which are included above. Commenting on these changes, Magnus Nicolin, CEO and managing director at Ansell, said, “We completed our fiscal year 2017 with good momentum in all businesses, achieving 3.5 percent organic growth for the full year, and 6 percent in the second half in the ongoing business, excluding sexual wellness. We continue to see significant opportunities to accelerate growth further and improve the profitability of our core businesses, including a focus on the cost competitiveness and capability of our manufacturing operations.” Regarding the sexual wellness divestment, the company is progressing as expected toward a closing and settlement by the end of September 2017 with the following updated impact on Ansell’s financial results and balance sheet: Provisional unaudited fiscal year 2017 divested EBIT of the sexual wellness GBU is $40 million with profit attributable of $28 million (or 19 cents per share at fiscal year 2017 average share count). The company continues to anticipate gross proceeds from the divestment of $600 million. Net proceeds are estimated at $529 million after deducting estimated tax and transaction costs. A $265 million share buyback will continue as previously announced on May 25, 2017. Retained net proceeds not redeployed in further acquisitions or on the share buyback are expected to reduce net interest expense at a marginal rate of 2.1 to 2.3 percent arising from expected pay down of shorter term debt and increased cash holdings. - * Email

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McLube

Trelleborg reports increased sales for the second quarter  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Trelleborg, Sweden - Trelleborg president and CEO, Peter Nilsson, reports that, “During the second quarter of the year, sales increased by 26 percent, of which acquired units contributed 20 percentage points. Organic sales rose 3 percent. Excluding project businesses, comprising mainly offshore oil and gas-related operations, which are currently experiencing a difficult market situation, organic sales rose 5 percent, driven by improved demand in most market segments and in all geographic regions. General industry continued to develop well in all regions, and continued highly favorable organic trend was noted in Asia. Demand for our tires for both the agricultural sector and industrial and construction machinery is continuing to grow. Following a scenario during which the prices for the majority of raw materials dramatically skyrocketed over the course of a few months, these have subsequently fallen to approximately the same levels as during last summer. Our premium position has limited the impact these turbulent movements had on our earnings. We are continuing to work with pricing to offset the effect of this, and the outcome moving forward is largely dependent on how the players in the various stages of the market react. The market for our operations in oil and gas remains weak, which mainly affects the Trelleborg Offshore and Construction business area, which reported a minor loss for the quarter. The market situation is similar to the first quarter, with intense price pressure for the small number of outstanding project transactions. However, this business had only a minor impact on our quarterly earnings from a group perspective. We are continuing to adapt the oil and gas business to the lower level of activity, and these efforts are aimed at building a long-term attractive structure that will be ready when the market outlook improves. We have completed a number of acquisitions in past year and we are working hard to ensure that the integration of these new units is carried out in a long-term and structured fashion. This could mean that we may decide to recognize costs in individual quarters aimed at generating synergies and thus providing scope for improved earnings in the future. It is also of the utmost importance that, during the integration work, we do not lose focus on the daily sales work, and I believe that we have been successful in that regard. We have talked a lot about digitalization recently, and I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that we are at the forefront of our industry to respond to the changes brought about by new technology in terms of how we do business with customers. A key word we use internally is ‘easy. We want to make it as easy as possible for customers to do business with Trelleborg. If we also combine this with our strong niche positions, and continue to offer the highest product quality and smartest comprehensive solutions, then we as a Group have an exciting future ahead of us. In summary, we saw a general improvement in the demand situation in most of our segments during the quarter. For the third quarter, our overall assessment is that demand will be in line with the second quarter of the year. We are continuing to carefully monitor economic developments and maintain a high level of preparedness to manage fluctuating market conditions." - * Email

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Nexen Tire wins two IDEA Design Awards  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Seoul, South Korea - Nexen Tire announced that two of its products won the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). Sponsored by the Industrial Designers Society of America, IDEA is a premier international design competition, also known as the 'Academy Awards' of the designing industry. It is one of the most renowned design awards along with the 'Red Dot Design Award' and the 'IF Design Award' in Germany. The winners of the IDEA 2017 are 'N'FERA AU7,' a commercially available tire product and 'BREATHRE,' a future-oriented conceptual tire. 'N'FERA AU7' is the first commercialized product from the tire industry to have been selected as a winner. Recently released in North America, 'N'FERA AU7' is an ultra-high performance (UHP) tire developed for high-ends sedans. 'N'FERA AU7' boasts in outstanding driving stability, handling and break performance at high speed and features reduced tire noise generated during driving. 'BREATHRE' is an air purifying concept tire designed to contribute to reducing the recent environmental problems such as air pollution and fine dust. With air purifying filters embedded within the tire, 'BREATHRE' filters polluted air and fine dust to re-discharge purified air back into the atmosphere. 'BREATHRE' was reviewed favorably for having suggested a new paradigm for the tire industry. "Nexen Tire's product competitiveness was proven by the prestigious IDEA design awards received by Nexen Tire's commercialized and conceptual products," said Kyung Woo Cheon, executive vice president of R&D at Nexen Tire. "Nexen Tire will continue to lead the industry with differentiated product competitiveness, in addition to the innovative and active strategies." Nexen Tire has been strengthening its design competitiveness, winning numerous awards this year including the 'Red Dot Design Award' from Germany, 'A Design Award' from Italy, 'Good Design Award,' 'Green Design Award' from America and 'European Design Award.' - * Email

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Yokogawa acquires Norwegian company with advanced chemical injection technology  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tokyo, Japan - Yokogawa Electric Corporation announced the acquisition of TechInvent2 AS, a Norwegian enterprise that holds the rights to FluidCom, a chemical injection metering valve (CIMV). FluidCom prevents blockages and corrosion in oil wells, pipelines and other facilities and employs a patented technology for thermal control. It incorporates the functions of a mass flow meter, control valve, and valve controller and has very few moving parts. FluidCom has already been delivered to several international oil and gas majors. With TechInvent2 joining the Yokogawa Group, Yokogawa will now target delivery of this solution to the oil and gas upstream and midstream sectors, thereby helping to improve operational efficiency, reduce operational costs, and enhance health, safety and the environment (HSE). Based on its Transformation 2017 mid-term business plan, Yokogawa will continue to focus on the oil and gas industries, and will strive to strengthen its solutions targeting the upstream and midstream sectors, in addition to its forte downstream sector businesses. Following its April 2016 acquisition of KBC Advanced Technologies, a provider of consulting services that are based on its own advanced oil and gas simulation technologies, the company has been striving to work with its customers to create value through the provision of solutions that address every aspect of their business activities. At oil wells and pipelines, efforts to ensure a secure oil flow path (flow assurance) play an important role in maintaining production efficiency. The adherence of various chemical substances to the inside walls of a pipe can reduces its internal diameter and causes corrosion. To prevent the accumulation of substances and corrosion, certain chemicals must be injected in the pipes. Improving the efficiency of this process is a major challenge in the upstream and midstream sectors. Chemical injection valves have traditionally been manually operated in the upstream sector, although there are cases where chemical injection has been automated using an actuated solution. In the former case, the valves must be frequently opened, closed, and adjusted by plant personnel. This is costly as it necessitates the hiring of additional staff, and it is work that must be done under very harsh environmental conditions in the field. It is also a well-known problem that inaccurate and unstable dosing of chemicals leads to additional operational costs and challenges with specific processes. To address and resolve such problems, there is an increasing demand for integrated automatic injection solutions that perform stably and offer a high level of precision in the dosing. FluidCom’s CIMV has a unique design this is based on a patented technology, providing integrated flow control and metering using a unique combination of material and thermal effects. FluidCom is a fully automated and reliable device with a simple design that performs autonomous valve control and continuous flow metering. The device is able to stably inject chemicals in the required small amounts. It has few moving parts and has proven to be an accurate, reliable solution for the control of chemical injection applications. No regular maintenance is required and remote control features are provided. The device features a self-cleaning mechanism that reduces maintenance workload, and the automatic injection of chemicals in the correct amounts eliminates the need for manual interventions by plant operators and maintenance workers, thereby enabling personnel to lessen their exposure to harsh environmental conditions in the field. This enhances HSE. FluidCom is also a valuable solution for downstream operations, where corrosion prevention is always a pressing concern. An ISA100 Wireless version is planned. Commenting on the acquisition of this company, Shigeyoshi Uehara, head of Yokogawa’s IA Products and Service business headquarters, says: FluidCom will improve flow assurance, which is a key concern of our customers in the oil and gas industry, and it will make a major contribution to their operations by helping them not only improve production efficiency and reduce operational costs, but also enhance HSE. The combination of FluidCom, KBC’s simulation technology, and Yokogawa field devices will allow us to expand the range of our upstream and midstream solutions and enable the delivery of value in new ways to our customers. - * Email

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