Huhtamaki buys carton manufacturer Interpac Packaging for €7m

Huhtamaki Oyj chief executive Jukka Moisio

Huhtamaki Oyj, the Finnish packaging manufacturer, bought Auckland-based folding carton maker Interpac Packaging for 7 million euros to expand its product range.

Interpac manufactures folded carton packaging for consumer goods and retail products, and the foodservice industry, and manufacturers corrugated packaging for the local wine industry with annual sales of some 11 million euros, the Espoo, Finland-based company said in a statement. The New Zealand company was largely owned by interests associated with Bill Berry, and transferred ownership to Huhtamaki (NZ) Holdings on Aug. 29, according to Companies Office documents.

"With the acquisition Huhtamaki continues to implement its strategy of quality of growth and to expand its product offering," it said in a statement.

In 2012, Huhtamaki shut its loss-making flexible packaging plant in New Lynn, laying off 135 staff, and leaving its local operations consisting of its food service business in Henderson and the moulded fibre unit in Otahuhu, collectively employing 320 people.

Huhtamaki (NZ) Holdings, the multinational's holding company for the Henderson plant, reported a 43 percent slump in net profit to $1.75 million in calendar 2013, on 2.3 percent decline in sales to $55.3 million, according to statements filed to the Companies Office in June. Of that, some $5.9 million of sales were to related parties, and the local unit showed $1.5 million of purchases from other Huhtamaki units.

Sister company Huhtamaki New Zealand Ltd, which held the New Lynn business, returned to profit in 2013 with earnings of $3.22 million, including a $2.05 million tax benefit, compared to a loss of $6.24 million in 2012. Revenue fell 11 percent to $26.3 million. Of that, some $5.4 million in sales were to related parties, with purchases of $2.9 million. The unit provided $70,000 for employee restructuring benefits from the New Lynn closure.

The Finnish group lifted net profit 24 percent to 67.5 million euros in the six months ended June 30, on largely flat sales of 1.19 billion euros. Of that, the Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania unit contributed sales of 304.7 million euros.

Huhtamaki said its New Zealand unit benefited from a strong apple season in the second quarter, which "had a positive impact on the demand for molded fibre fruit packaging."

(BusinessDesk)

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