The RISI Top 50 Power List 2011: 11 - 20

Read so far

The RISI Top 50 Power List 2011: 11 - 20

July 07, 2011 - 22:00

BRUSSELS, July 8, 2011 (RISI) -The RISI Top 50 Power List: 11 - 20

11. David Hathorn,Mondi

Presiding over a company that seemingly can do no wrong both on the financial front and on issues of sustainability, Hathorn, CEO of Mondi, has made our Power List for the first time this year.

It is more for the sustainability aspects of Mondi that Hathorn enters the Power List. The company, its employees and mills virtually swept the board of environmental achievements at RISI's PPI Awards at the end of last year, picking up Environmental Strategy of the Year for both overall company, and individual mill (Mondi SCP, Ruzomberok) and Research Achievement of the Year.

But it doesn't end there, Mondi has been rated number one in last year's launch of WWF Paper Company Index, as well as being awarded "best performer in Basic Materials category" for the Forest Footprint Disclosure Project, a new initiative backed by 34 financial institutions created to help investors identify impacts on deforestation.

12. Yoshio Haga,Nippon Paper Group (NPG)

NPG is another of the Japanese giants that was hit hard when the devastating earthquake struck in the north of the country earlier this year, and by all accounts it continues to return to normal operations. But it is also another Japanese group that has expansion plans off its home turf. Yoshio Haga took over as president in 2008, and although the group is one of the leading producers in Japan, it has ambitions to become one of the top five pulp and paper companies in the world by 2015.

Haga has continued implementing his "Group Vision 2015" plan in a number of ways: the main thrust of the plan is to close down unprofitable plants in Japan and expand overseas through acquisitions and joint ventures. NPG's list of partnerships and/or acquisitions in the P&P sector include: Yuen Foong Yu of Taiwan, SCG of Thailand, PaperlinX's manufacturing arm, Australian Paper and last but not least, with Lee & Man of China.

Fiber is also a focus for NPG and the group has made good progress in setting up overseas plantations, with 167,000 hectares established in Australia, South Africa and Chile. The group plans to boost this to 200,000 hectares by 2015.

13. Jan Johansson,SCA

With its strong tissue position, SCA moved to no. 4 onPPI'sTop 100. SCA closed out 2010 on a positive note, a trend Johansson expects to continue through 2011. The turnaround in packaging was the most significant improvement from the previous year, but it was SCA's tissue expansions, particularly in North America and Europe, which proved Johansson is using every avenue to "absolutely improve profitability."

Completing the acquisition of Copamex, SCA gained the third largest producer of baby diapers in Mexico and a presence for further growth through Central America. Last year also saw the announcement of a $50 million investment in SCA's personal care products division in Kentucky, expanding the existing line and introducing new capabilities. Part of that project included a manufacturing partnership with Japanese Unicharm, building on an existing relationship between two companies in Europe.

Additional investments to expand tissue capacity in Russia and Germany reinforced SCA's market position there, where analysts say there is room for favorable growth. Despite the recent emphasis on tissue, Johansson has no plans to reduce its packaging operations, saying recently "Packaging is part of our core business." Instead, Johansson remains resolute to keep after profits as analysts expect price increases for some grades, along with tissue price hikes in certain regions.

14. Paul Herbert,Ilim Group

Paul Herbert is the CEO of the Ilim Group, a Russian company which is a joint venture between Ilim Group and International Paper (IP). Ilim's strategic objective is to become the best and most-respected world-class paper and packaging company in the domestic market and be the leading pulp supplier in China.

As a part of the strategic plan, last year the group announced a $700 million expansion program at its Bratsk mill, close to the border with China, which will see it become a major supplier of pulp to Asia. A new pulp mill at the site will produce 720,000 tonnes/ yr of bleached softwood market pulp bringing the annual pulp production at Bratsk to over 1 million tonnes.

Herbert, a qualified papermaker, has spent 37 years in the industry, including a stint as President of International Paper Europe, and as Senior VP, Strategic Initiatives, also at IP.

15. Li Hongxin,Shandong Sun Paper

Since winning the RISI Asian CEO award last year, Li Hongxin has been busy building his business in China and abroad and raising funds to finance these investments. Sun Paper is one of the biggest market pulp customers in China, purchasing nearly 1 million tonnes/yr, with imports accounting for 70% of that figure.

To address its fiber shortage, the company aims to build a 300,000 tonne/yr bleached hardwood kraft (BHK) pulp mill and develop 100,000 ha of eucalyptus and acacia plantations in Laos's southern province of Savanakhet. The company has already begun construction work and made some supplier choices and it aims to commission the BHK line in late 2012.

Closer to home, Li Hongxin is investing in a 350,000 tonne/yr coated paper machine at the Yanzhou facility on schedule and he's jumped on the lucrative dissolving pulp bandwagon with several investments. Sun Paper is installing a 200,000 tonne/yr dissolving pulp line at a greenfield mill in the port city of Fengcheng. It is also converting a 300,000 tonne/yr BHK pulp line to make the grade at its Yanzhou facility. It looks like Li Hongxin is again making the right moves at the right time.

16. Cheung Yah,Nine Dragons

Cheung Yan, Chairlady of Nine Dragons, appears yet again on our Power List for the third time in succession. Despite being a relative newcomer to the paper industry, starting out with just one reconditioned paper machine in 1998, Nine Dragons has seen a meteoric rise and it is now China's top paperboard packaging producer with a capacity of around 9 million tonnes/yr.

But it hasn't all been plain sailing, the global economic turndown hit Nine Dragons particularly hard, and it shelved a lot of its major investments that were planned at the time. However, last year the company restarted its investment programs, and is now set to increase its capacity from 8.55 million tonnes in June 2010 to 12.43 million tonnes in 2012. This two year growth plan will diversify the grade mix which was almost exclusively in recycled content linerboard and corrugated medium.

By mid 2012, the company plans to be running 5.6 million tonnes of linerboard, 2.95 million tonnes of medium, and 3.9 million tonnes of what Nine Dragons says is "high margin products". With this dramatic increase in capacity, sales also continue to grow with revenue up 36.7% in 2010 to 17.9 billion RMB and profit at 2.2 billion RMB.

17. Berry Wiersum,Sappi

Listening to the CEO of Sappi Fine Paper Europe during a speech at any number of conferences and events, it's clear that Sappi has become more than a paper manufacturer. From digital media to bioenergy to sustainability, Wiersum has been one of the most vocal advocates for the industry, urging it to respond to these challenges and transform itself.

As the current chairman of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), Wiersum has pushed for policy frameworks and strategic partnerships to move the industry aggressively into the bioeconomy "where jobs and environmental performance intersect." Proceeding with a restructuring effort, Wiersum confirmed the world's largest fine paper producer is expressing interest in moving into packaging. Increased production of dissolving pulp is also on the horizon, say analysts, growing Sappi's lead in that sector. This is a critical time for Sappi, but Wiersum's vision is the right one for the company and the industry.

18. Jose Honorio,Portucel Sporocel

A CEO who has strongly advanced Portucel's green credentials, in 2010, the company won the PPI award for Green Energy and Biofuels, Honorio is always in demand as a guest speaker. Under Honorio's leadership, the company is considered a benchmark for renewable energy production in the global pulp and paper industry.

Portucel Sporocel generates more than 50% of the power generated from biomass in Portugal. It has a leading strategy for sustainability in the field of renewable energy. It also has a healthy balance sheet with strong cash flow and although plans for a Brazilian mill have been put on "standby" because of new laws concerning foreign ownership of rural land in that country, there are options to build in other places such as Uruguay and Mozambique. Coming off a strong 2010, Honorio says he expects further growth in revenue and output in 2011.

19. Doyle Simons,Temple-Inland

Strong earnings earlier this year for Temple- Inland affirmed Simons' leadership as chairman and CEO through the teeth of the recession and into the recovery. A continual focus on cost reduction, productivity, and return on investment for the company's corrugated and wood products businesses seem to be paying off, strengthened in turn by higher prices and stronger volumes that lifted most of the US pulp and paper industry revenues.

In fact, it could be argued that International Paper's (IP) recent interest in acquiring Temple-Inland can be credited to Simons' success at making the third-largest US containerboard producer an extremely attractive business. Since Simons took over in late 2007, Temple-Inland's share price has been in line with the broader market and the company regained an investment-grade rating as it restyled itself as a low-cost, highly efficient producer of corrugated packaging and building products.

A previous recipient of RISI's North American CEO of the Year in 2009, Simons has earned multiple awards as chief executive. He will have his hands full in the next little while as the company tries to stave off the hostile takeover bid of IP. "As the economic recovery continues and the benefits from our strategy continue to be realized, it is the stockholders of Temple-Inland who should gain from those anticipated benefits, not the stockholders of IP."

20. AJ Devanesan,APRIL

AJ Devanesan heads up Asia Pacific Resources Limited (APRIL) which is an expanding giant, particularly in China. The company has recently announced a RMB 30 billion ($4.6 billion) expansion program at its Rizhao mill in Shandong province, which it plans to have up and running over the next five years, subject to local licenses. The Rizhao mill already houses one of the world's largest single pulp lines which has a bleached hardwood capacity of up to 1.5 million tonnes/yr. The company is also installing paper machines with a combined capacity of close on 1 million tonnes/yr at another greenfield mill in Xinhui city, Guangdong province.

Devanesan has his work cut out, not only is he heading up an ongoing massive expansion plan, but he also has to contend with the company being spotlighted regularly by NGOs for its forestry operations in Indonesia.

The RISI Top 50 Power List: Introduction

The RISI Top 50 Power List: 1 - 10

The RISI Top 50 Power List: 21 - 30

The RISI Top 50 Power List: 31 - 40

The RISI Top 50 Power List: 41 - 50